Sedgeford Historical & Archaeological Research Project (SHARP)
2016 Excavation Season
This summer the Sedgeford Historical & Archaeological Research Project (SHARP) will be celebrating its 20th year of excavation and recording in the Norfolk village of Sedgeford, making it one of the UK’s largest and longest running archaeological research projects.
Back in 1996, SHARP did its first dig in Sedgeford. Every year since then, volunteer archaeologists from around the world and around the corner, have been exploring 5,000 years of history (from the Early Bronze Age to the First World war) in this typical Norfolk village. Experts and amateurs work side by side to learn the story of how Sedgeford’s ancestors lived, worked and died in a very ordinary piece of English countryside.
This season’s focus will be on the excavation of a Middle Anglo-Saxon village and its associated industrial complex. We will also be working with the University of Leiden as a lead partner in the Ancient and Medieval North Sea Research Group, investigating Sedgeford in the context of the North Sea zone during the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval period.
Previous excavations of the Anglo-Saxon settlement have uncovered the remains of 300 of its occupants, buried in a cemetery in the nearby river valley. The ongoing excavation of the settlement has revealed a series of building structures and associated material culture. The village, situated in Lower Chalkpit Field, is reorganised on a regular rectilinear grid pattern, with a monumental D-shaped enclosure constructed on the southern side of the village settlement.
In recent years, the project’s excavations have extended from the village to a nearby industrial complex where a sequence of grain malting ovens have been excavated. The oven features, an exciting discovery for the Middle Saxon period in England, offer tantalising glimpses of how the people of Sedgeford during this period were living and working.
SHARP’s research is by no means limited to the Anglo-Saxon period. This summer teams from the project will also be investigating a Medieval manor and mill site, as well as continuing our study of the WWI aerodrome at Sedgeford.
In addition to excavation and research, SHARP offers a variety of archaeological courses:
SHARP will be holding its annual Open Day on Sunday 7th August, from 10.00 to 16.00 at its site at Boneyard Field, Sedgeford.
The excavation site is open from 10.00 to 16.00, Sunday to Friday during our excavation season – Sunday, 10th July to Friday, 19th August.
Further details can be found on SHARP’s main website www.sharp.org.uk.