This autumn our young archaeologists have returned to Slawston in south-east Leicestershire for another season of fieldwalking.
We would like to say a big thank you to the Hallaton Fieldworkers and the Leicestershire Fieldworkers for sourcing a field for us to walk and helping us set up the grid and process the finds; also a big thank you to the farmer for allowing us to tromp across his crops.
Fieldwalking near Othorpe deserted medieval village
Wet weather didn’t damped our spirits!
This year our efforts have focused on a field close to Othorpe deserted medieval village at the northern end of the parish. Cropmarks visible on aerial photographs suggest that part of the village might lie beneath the field and we were very excited to see what we could find.
Little is known about the village of Othorpe. It is first recorded in the Domesday Book (AD 1086) and it is thought to have disappeared in the late 14th or 15th century. One of the aims of our fieldwalking is to see if we can pin down better dates for the village’s origin and abandonment.
Despite crops growing in the field visibility was good…
…and lots of stuff was found!
Fieldwalking was carried out on a horrible wet day at the end of October. Braving the cold, the wind, the rain and the mud, our club members successfully walked most of the field in a couple of hours before conditions became too horrendous to continue! In a following, warmer (but equally wet and muddy!) session at the University of Leicester they washed everything that was found and attempted to identify and plot their discoveries.
So far, results look very promising. A small sample of Iron Age and Roman pottery has been picked up, as well as some Saxo-Norman material (9th – 11th century). The bulk of the pottery, however, is medieval shelly ware typical of the 12th to 14th century. Virtually no later medieval or early post-medieval pottery has been found, suggesting that the village had indeed been abandoned by the 15th century.
Watch this space…
Over the winter our Assistant Branch Leader Mather will finish cataloguing the material and produce a report of the results which we will upload to our website and send to Leicestershire’s Historic Environment Record so that our discoveries are properly documented.
Did you know that during World War I Stonehenge was the site of the worlds largest military training camp? …
The BBC have a short report and the stories of our most famous historical sites and what happened to them during 1914-1918.
Watch the BBC’s short video and photos of the day and life of our historical monuments during World War I. Click on the link below.
BBC News: How Stonehenge Site Became the Worlds Largest Military Training Camp?
We hope you have been enjoying all the different events available in Leicestershire organised for the Festival of Archaeology, this weekend is the last for this years Festival so if you’re not joining us for the Community dig in Anstey, don’t miss out!
As part of the Festival our friends at Jewry Wall are also running an event looking at Archery. It is running this Sunday 27th July, why not pop down to Jewry Wall Museum and find out all about Archery, from Robin Hood to the bowmen of Agincourt.
There will be themed trails and crafts, an opportunity to try your hand at the skill itself and costumed archers on hand to tell you all about it all!
Entrance is free with a small to charge to ‘have-a-go’ and crafts.
The event runs from 11.30am through until 3.30pm
As we are also part of the national Festival of Archaeology, there are free guided tours of the Bath house (12.00) and Treasures of the Museum (3.00)
Light refreshments are also available.
Something for everyone!
Enquires on 0116 2254971
Good News for all our Richard III fans.
It has been announced today that Richard III is to stay,and will be buried at Leicester Cathedral.
For the University of Leicester News Click here
For the BBC News article Click here
Today is the 700th anniversary of the death of Jacques de Molay who was the head of the Kinghts Templar. His death marked the end of the Catholic military monastic order the Kinghts Templar, that for 200 years defended the Holy Land including Jerusalem. They were heavily involved in the Crusade.
For a short summery read the medieval news blog
Watch this video to see the different types of graffiti our medieval ancestors did in their church. What do you think this tells us about medieval society?
You Tube Video
Would our modern graffiti survive?
What would future archaeologists think of it?
YACs are getting a guided tour of the Grayfriars today. The site of Richard III burial.
There are some exciting photos and details of the dig being released tomorrow from the University of Leicester and ULAS.
‘The king in the car park’: new light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485
Richard Buckley, Mathew Morris, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Deirdre O’Sullivan and Lin Foxhall have published an article about Richard III and the Greyfrairs. It is 19 pages long, but it is an interesting read.
For all you Richard III fans why not have a read http://www.antiquity.ac.uk/ant/087/ant0870519.htm