This summer sees the resumption of the archaeological excavations at the important Romano-British settlement at Bridge Farm, Nr. Barcombe Mills, East Sussex, and as in past years the Culver Archaeological Project (CAP) is offering volunteer involvement and an open weekend for visitors.
Discovered in 2011, the Roman settlement at Bridge Farm shows activity from the late 1st to the 5th centuries AD, spanning the Roman occupation period and pre and post-dating the nearby villa and bathhouse at Barcombe. The site is in a pivotal location at the junction of three main Roman roads and the River Ouse and stretches over several hectares with the early open settlement enclosed temporarily by a double defensive ditch in the late 2nd century. During the 2014 excavations the team discovered the remains of a rectangular building of 13 large postholes containing waterlogged timbers including some with carved ogee ends re-used as post-padding.
The 2017 excavation will target the defensive ditches where they cut the Roman road heading north to the Weald (M14 London-Lewes road). CAP has always actively encouraged the local community, students and volunteers to participate in their annual summer excavation, which this year will run 7 days a week from June 26th to August 5th.
The project is partly funded by a modest charge made to volunteers (£25 for 7 days, £40 for 14 days or £60 for 6 weeks) plus any other, much welcomed, donations. Camping is available on site with use of showers, toilets, fully equipped kitchen etc at £50 per week (to include dig fees).
This large site of potentially national importance offers scope for many years of investigation into the little known life of ordinary Britons under Roman rule with the promise of remarkable discoveries with every new trench dug. For more information of recent finds or of how to get involved this summer go to www.culverproject.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bridge Farm excavations will also be open for public visits during the weekend of the 29th-30th July as part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology. See Festival website for details of this and other nationwide events: www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk
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