Current Projects

Summer 2018

William Stukeleys 1722 map showing the friary location
William Stukeleys 1722 map showing the friary location

Lincoln Archaeology Group has been involved in a number of excavations this summer. Firstly, we supported Bishop Grosseteste University Archaeology Field School 2018  run by Site Director Dr Duncan Wright, which provides hands-on excavation experience for students from the UK and abroad. This year’s dig,  was in Newport, Lincoln on the site of an Augustinian friary, which dates from 1270, close to Newport Arch.

Surprisingly little was known about the site, which had never been excavated. The Field School ran from Wednesday, June 13th – Thursday, July 5th, 2018 and volunteers helped with all aspects of the excavation, in addition to set up and close down. Discoveries included the remains of the medieval friary and a Roman building, plus a substantial amount of pottery, metal items and finds from the Victorian period.

Chair Brian Porter with volunteer Nigel(left) and student Holly in Trench 1
Chair Brian Porter with volunteer Nigel(left) and student Holly in Trench 1

 

Students, staff and volunteers at St Hugh's
Students, staff and volunteers at St Hugh’s

 

LAG's Stewart and Nikki at work in Trench 2
LAG’s Stewart and Nikki at work in Trench 2
BBC Radio Lincolnsgire's Melvyn Prior is shown Roman pottery by student Matt
BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Melvyn Prior is shown Roman pottery by student Matt
LAG's Graeme and Terry collect a biological soil sample from Trench 2
LAG’s Graeme and Terry collect a biological soil sample from Trench 2

We also had a visit from BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Melvyn Prior who hosted an hour long outside broadcast from the site.

Record high temperatures and building work proved extra challenges, but once again the Field School was an exciting and rewarding opportunity for all.

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#WigfordBigDig
#WigfordBigDig

We are also supporting the #WigfordBigDig part of the Bricks and Bones Community Heritage Project in the lower High St area of Lincoln run by Banks Newton Heritage. The two-week dig is taking place between 20th July – 3rd Aug.

The site is close to St Mary’s Guildhall and sits on top of the Roman Fosse Way, so there is great potential for some interesting finds. The project is open to volunteers so please contact Banks Newton Heritage here for further information.

 

waitroseFinally, LAG is currently raising funds for a community excavation based at Harpswell, Lincolnshire in spring 2019. Waitrose Lincoln kindly donated just over £300 to the project through their Community Matters programme. We are looking for additional sponsors for this inclusive, community project. Please  email our chair Brian if you can help.

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New LAG Logo

Lincoln Archaeology Group has a new logo, created by our Membership Secretary Nikki Goldblatt who said, ‘My solution is based on the Harris matrix, and design of the Permatrace recording sheets that archaeologist will, of course, recognise as tools of the trade.’ Look out for it on letter and leaflets and new banners that are currently being printed to display at events and open days. 

 

Nettleham Bishops Meadow Community Excavation – Spring 2018 update.

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Spring is, of course, the start of the excavation season but this year it also heralds the close of the Nettleham Bishops Meadow Community Dig. The post excavation work is now completed and an event to celebrate this took place recently at Nettleham Old School, where the finds are currently on display.

Nettleham Heritage Chair Stewart Kerrison
Nettleham Heritage Chair Stewart Kerrison

Hertiage Association Chair Stewart Kerrison said, ‘We are most grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund whom without their financial contribution the project would have been impossible. Special thanks to LAG members who were the backbone of the volunteers, and also Bishop Grosseteste University who loaned their equipment & provided a room for us to process all the finds.’ He continued, ‘We would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped either pre-event planning, actually taking part on the dig and let us not forget those unsung heroes who carried out the post excavation work, including finds washing, numbering, categorising and photography.’

‘Finally, we would like to thank Zoe, Cola & Chas of Banks Newton Heritage for their excellent leadership training and continued support, and all the budding archaeologists from Nettleham Junior School who helped on the dig. We are hoping to carry out another dig in the future please watch this space’

Nettleham Junior School's budding archaeologists
Nettleham Junior School’s budding archaeologists

More information of the project can be found at Nettleham Heritage Association’s website.

Medieval Graffiti Recording

LAG Members and volunteers, led by Chair Brian Porter, have been working on the Lincoln Cathedral Graffiti Recording Project. Teams are recording the thousands of inscriptions and doodles – ships, people, names and symbols – carved into the fabric of the 800-year-old building.

Standing Man figure
Standing Man figure
Volunteer Barbara a graffiti ship carving
Volunteer Barbara with a ship carving

During the Middle Ages, graffiti was both accepted and acceptable, leaving our medieval churches and cathedrals literally covered in inscriptions, not all of which are fully understood. The project aims to record carvings and add to our knowledge of the range and meaning of these symbols.

Opportunities are also available with our Church Graffiti Recording Project, again training is given. Perhaps there’s a church near you that you’d like to explore in this unique and rewarding way. See our Medieval Graffiti page for more details.

Scanning the south wall
Scanning the south wall

 

In the Lab – Spring 2018

Roman Finds being prepared for display
Roman Finds being prepared for display

We’ll be processing finds throughout the Spring. We are currently washing, sorting and marking material from Harpswell and also pottery and tile from previous excavations at Sudbrooke Roman villa, Lincolnshire. Regular fortnightly sessions take place on a Wednesday afternoon in The Archaeology Lab, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, 2-4.30pm. – 21st February, 7th & 21st March, 11th & 25th April, 2018

Roman coin (PAS)
Roman coin (PAS)

We are working with The Portable Antiquities Scheme(PAS), identifying artifacts brought in by the public. Training is available and regular sessions are led by Dr Adam Daubney, Finds Liaison Officer for Lincolnshire.

We’ll have news on our Summer Excavation schedule soon.

 

Pottery from Sudbrooke Roman villa.
Pottery from Sudbrooke Roman villa.

 

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Summer Field School, 2017

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Field School – Lincoln Archaeology Group is supporting Bishop Grosseteste University Archaeology Field School this summer. The excavation is taking place at Harpswell in Lincolnshire from June 19th – July 15th, 2017. Members have been helping with the set up, including the marquee and some tricky new wheelbarrows!

Har17023 (1 of 1)Har17022s (1 of 1)We’ll be assisting with the excavation and processing the finds. LAG members have a huge fund of knowledge and enthusiasm which they’ll be passing on to the students.

There will be an Open Day on Saturday July 15th, as part of the CBA Fesitival of Archaeology so come and see what we’ve found. There will be site tours, activities for all ages, plus stalls from Lincolnshire’s heritage and archaeology organisations. For Field School details see the Dig Lincoln website or contact us.

As part of the Festival of Archaeology we will also be running free drop-in session, suitable for children and adults, at Nettleham Hub, Wednesday July 26th 10-12 noon and at Welton Community Library (next to the Co-Op), Thursday July 27th 10am-1pm. Have a go at Archaeology Photography, (bring your camera or phone), handle real finds and try the ancient craft of twig weaving!

 

Finds processing in the new lab
Finds processing in the new lab

Finds Processing – Our popular sessions are now running again in the new, purpose built, Archaeology Lab at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln. We’ll be working on material from Nettleham Bishops Meadow Community Dig and the Ermine Street project. There is plenty to do so please join us! Sessions are on the following dates –

Tuesday, 9th May 2017 – 1-4pm,

Tuesday, 23rd  May – 1-4pm,

Tuesday, 6th June 1-4pm

 

Ermine Street Community Dig at The Collection

Reconstructed Roman stamped pot nicknamed 'Daisyware'
Reconstructed Roman stamped pot nicknamed ‘Daisyware’

 

Exhibition currently at The Collection, Lincoln
Ermine St Dig Exhibition at The Collection, Lincoln

ErmineStDigLOGO ERMINE STREET COMMUNITY DIG – A free exhibition is now on show in the main reception at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln until 31st March 2017 with finds and photographs from the project. An exhibition of the photographic portraits of our volunteers is at The Angel Coffee House from 18th March to April 8th, 2017.

We’re coming to the final stages of this major investigation. There was an evening reception at The Collection, Lincoln on Saturday 19th November, 2016 with presentations from our chair Brian Porter and our archaeologists Charles Simpson on the results of this year-long Heritage Lottery Funded Community Archaeology project. The exhibition continued for two months and we were thrilled at the public response.

” Fantastic display and a brilliant story of Lincolnshire’s past life’ –  SB, Lichfield

“Amazing! So brilliant to see a community project piecing together Lincoln’s history. Well done!” KP, Lincoln

We had more than one hundred volunteers take part in the series of test pits we dug along Newport and Riseholme Road in Lincoln, following the line Ermine Street, a major Roman road that runs from London to York.  For the full story on all their hard work, have a look at our Dig Diary page. The results of the excavations are changing what we know about the history and the people of this city. For more information see our Ermine Street Community Dig page.

 

We had wonderful support from schools , businesses and individuals. One of our key sponsors is Bishop Grosseteste University and the excavation enabled students to get real, hands-on experience of the archaeology. Here’s a short video showing everyone at work – BGU Community Archaeology. We loved having them with us and wish them all the best in their future careers.

 

Bishop’s Meadow Community Dig 2016, Nettleham  –Volunteers from Lincoln Archaeology Group supported Nettleham Heritage Association, and archaeologists from Banks Newton Heritage, excavating two test pits at Bishop’s Meadow.

LAG's Nigel sieving spoil from the Bishop's Meadow test pis.
LAG’s Nigel sieving spoil from the Bishop’s Meadow test pis.
LAG's Dorothy and NIkki check bone types during a Finds Processing session at Nettleham
LAG’s Dorothy and NIkki check bone types during a Finds Processing session at Nettleham

The digging phase ran from Sept 5th – 16th, 2016 in the field adjacent to the former Bishop’s Palace, once home to the Bishops of Lincoln, and now a scheduled ancient monument.

The project provided an opportunity for many people from the village to get their first hands-on experience of digging.  LAG volunteers also supported activities for children, with every class from Nettleham Junior School visiting the site and taking part in excavating, Finds washing and archaeological drawing.

A large quantity of bone and a very interesting range of Saxon ceramics was uncovered. Early conclusions are that the area was occupied much earlier than originally thought. Finds processing and analysis will continue into next year with more more open sessions planned. Get in touch if you’d like to take part.

 

LAG's Stewart, Nikki and Dorothy lending their experience. and practical support, at BGU Field School, Harpswell
LAG’s Stewart, Nikki and Dorothy lending their experience. and practical support, at BGU Field School, Harpswell

Bishop Grosseteste University Archaeology Field School – Volunteers from LAG and staff from Banks Newton Heritage again supported Bishop Grosseteste University’s summer excavation. This year’s training excavation took place at Harpswell, Lincolnshire in June and July. Led by Senior Lecturer Dr Duncan Wright and students from the UK and the USA  spent five weeks uncovering a largely medieval landscape.

LAG members have a wealth of experience having previously worked on the field school’s digs at at Sudbrooke Roman Villa site and the Roman and medieval remains of Ermine Street at Bishop Grosseteste University’s Lincoln campus.

They also played a key part running an open day at the Harpswell site, which is situated approximately 14 miles north of Lincoln, as part of the Festival of British Archaeology.

LAG volunteers with students & staff from Bishop Grosseteste University and Banks Newton Heritage at Harpswell
LAG volunteers with students & staff from Bishop Grosseteste University and Banks Newton Heritage at Harpswell
LAG's Avril helps a young visitor excavate our plastic practise skeleton
LAG’s Avril helps a young visitor excavate our plastic practise skeleton
Students, tutors and volunteers hard at work at Harpswell Field School
Students, tutors and volunteers hard at work at Harpswell Field School

 

Lincolnshire Medieval Graffiti Project –  we are continuing to provide support and training to individuals and groups who wish to take part in this exciting project.  We are always looking for more volunteers to record the fascinating graffiti that illustrates the layers of history hidden in our churches. With over 600 churches in the county there is likely to be a church near you! See our Medieval Graffiti page for more details.

 

Archaeology student and LAG volunteer Lucy on site
Archaeology student and LAG volunteer Lucy on site

Bricks and Bones 2016 – LAG volunteers were on site for the excavation at St Botolph’s Church in lower High Street in Lincoln. The aim was to look for evidence of the earlier medieval church damaged during the Siege of Lincoln in the Civil War. Children from Bishop King and St Peter at Gowts Primary Schools visited and took part in the digging and washing of artefacts. The mysteries undulations in the churchyard was proved to be Victorian alterations to allow more burials. However, numerous fragments high status glazed roof tile and stained glass were discovered giving a tantalising prospect that the site of the earlier church may yet be discovered.

 

Finds Processing Sessions – We will be processing the finds from the Ermine Street Dig test pits at our regular Wednesday afternoon sessions at BGU. We are also continuing our series of free specialist workshops on different aspects of archaeology including ceramics, artefact conservation and site recording.

We welcome all ages and abilities. Get in touch with our chair Brian Porter for more details. For a taste of what we get up to have a look at our short YouTube video – Ermine Street Dig 2015 

Meanwhile, feel free to explore our website. For a tour of our previous test pits, have a look at the Dig Diary. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook, just click on the icons at
the top of the page. Do contact us with any queries you have, we would love to hear from you.

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