Archaeology appeals to all kinds of people – and Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project, now in its 19th year, wants you at the cutting edge.
The project, abbreviated to the initials SHARP, is firmly rooted in the local community and has won awards for its outstanding contribution to education.
The excavations, which have to date yielded a hoard of gold coins in an animal bone, now in Lynn museum; ancient murder victims; a hitherto unknown Saxon chapel predating St Mary’s Church and an oven big enough to serve a monastery, continues to break new ground every year.
Half-a-dozen West Norfolk locals have gone on from the experience to study archaeology at university and many have felt enriched by the hands-on experience of digging Norfolk’s fascinating history.
SHARP secretary Brenda Stibbons enthused: “If you have always wanted to work on an archaeological site, this is your opportunity. We welcome people of all ages on the courses.
“The Basic Excavation & Recording Techniques course teaches the theory and practical side of excavation – they will be working on the main site for their practical experience.
“A campsite, well served with hearty victuals, is provided.
“If people live locally they do not have to camp on site but can travel in each day.
“If you are interested but do not fancy digging, you can join one of SHARP’s week or day courses which run throughout the excavation season from July 6 to August 15.”
This year there is a variety of courses to cover the theoretical and practical aspects of archaeology.
But it’s not all work. The annual tradition of entertainment and scrumptious mediaeval banquet is provided this year by Norfolk-based Room at the Gin’s theatrical production of ‘Margery Kempe of Lynn’ (on July 30) and returning musical act the Fried Pirates. These shows are also open to the public.
Director of SHARP since 2007, Gary Rossin, sums up: “In 2014, we’ll be revisiting glimpses of a mediaeval landscape, including a manor house itself, moving backwards and forwards from our continuing Saxon focus.
“And, on the centenary of the First World War, we will also revisit our research at the nearby Great War aerodrome, along with the militiarised landscape of the local area.”
n SHARP’s week-long courses include the following:
Basic Excavation & Recording Techniques – weeks commencing July 6, 13, 20 and 27; August 3;
The Archaeology of WWI – w/c July 13;
Standing Buildings/Church Archaeology – w/c August 3;
Human Remains 1 – w/c July 20;
Landscape – w/c July 6;
Archeometallurgy – w/c July 20;
n The day courses are as follows:
Dig for a Day – July 20-25; July 27-August 1;
Anglo-Saxon Cooking – Saturday July 26.
n Details of the courses are available at www.sharp.org.uk/courses.html and more general information on the project is on www.sharp.co.uk