Histon and Impington Village Society Archaeology Group
Another Successful Digging Weekend 16/17 July 2016
Download this report July Report PDF (ideal for printing)
Volunteers and hosts alike showed no reduction in enthusiasm and enjoyment in our fourth digging adventure – graced again by ideal weather. Our grateful thanks to those who made us all so welcome and for the much appreciated hot and cold drinks and the nibbles. We dug five test pits and again got further insight into what lies under the ground in Histon and Impington.
Sieving in the shade at Cambridge Road
One surprise was the great variety of types of gravel at the bottom of the pits. Orange-yellow in Nun’s Orchard, lighter yellow in Church Street, yellow with large stones in Glebe Way and fine yellow with chalk in Cambridge Road.
Despite the nearness of Nun’s Orchard to Clay Street there was no clay, nor any sign of occupation in this very central location. Enterprising use was made there of a sieving machine borrowed from the Botanic Garden. Are we all redundant? No – probably not. The big bits still had to be sorted by hand and a careful watch kept for anything small or delicate.
Helen Stocks-Morgan from Oxford Archaeology East very kindly came to advise us on Saturday, which was a great help. We were joined also by friends from the CAMDIG Group in Chesterton and students from Hills Road College – many thanks to them all. Thanks too to our own committee members who give their time to help with all the necessary organising which ensures our success.
Orange gravel with post hole
We are particularly grateful to Adrian and Louise Mellish who very bravely came in at short notice to allow us to dig two pits at Church Street. The results could not have been more of a contrast. Near the house a dead hit on a Victorian waste pit produced a wide variety of finds: a smashed “creamer” to be reconstructed and someone’s toy horse – not to mention bones as a reminder of the nearby Victorian abbatoir. Deep under the end of the garden we found medieval and Romano-British pottery – maybe also Iron Age – more evidence of early occupation near the Church.
Piecing together the creamer
Pottery of many different periods from the garden at Church Street.
The pit in Cambridge Road showed the expected mainly arable use, but did produce one piece of medieval pottery – the oldest we have yet found in that area.
Interesting finds at Glebe Way included a piece of Romano-British black-burnished ware and a spectacular intact neck with a black coating on the inside and very coarse outer finish.
Thanks to Paul Blinkhorn this is now identified as Thetford ware, AD 900-1100, the neck of a jug or socketed bowl.
Curtain call at Nun’s Orchard
Don’t forget the final digging date of the season on 6/7 August