LYM14 is just around the corner!

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We’re really excited that the final dig of our three season campaign begins next week on Monday 21st July! As it’s the last time we’ll get to dig on any scale on Tayne Field, we’re quite ambitious this year – we really want to complete the picture of the royal vill on Tayne Field as far as possible.

Last summer we completed the geophysics that I have shown you before, and of course you’ll know from the previous blog post that in April we targeted a large circular feature visible on the geophysical survey, hand-digging a trench over what proved to be a Bronze Age Barrow, complete with cremation urns and lots of Saxon post-holes cut into the ploughed-out mound. It is well known that Anglo-Saxon settlements and cemeteries often seem to have focused on or targeted prehistoric monuments, so the plan for the 2014 season is to fully excavate the barrow and establish how the Saxon settlement on Tayne Field interacted with prehistoric features that would have been visible in the Early Medieval period.

Projected layout of the site for the 2014 season

Projected layout of the site for the 2014 season

As you can see from the plan above, we are opening a second trench on Tayne Field this year! Trench 1 covers the whole of the barrow, and a very interesting ‘anomaly’ in the south-east corner that has the potential to be Anglo-Saxon sunken-featured buildings (SFBs). Test pits dug in 2012 showed Anglo-Saxon pottery and a deposit remarkably like that of the SFBs excavated in 2012 and 2013. The second trench should also be quite exciting. Last year’s excavations discovered two walls of an extremely substantial building in the extension of the main trench, underneath World War II archaeology, and we’re hoping to find as much as possible of the rest of this building this season. It has unique architectural features, with an unusual triple plank-in-trench construction, and investigating this building will, we hope, add to the list of ‘firsts’ for Saxon archaeology at Lyminge! Some of the infrastructure plans above may change a little once we are in the field, but we hope to keep approximately to the layout above for our trenches and site huts this year.

We are also pleased to announce the online publication of the 2013 Interim Report. We have summarised the main discoveries from last year and included lots of pictures so you can see how significant the excavations on Tayne Field have been over the past two years. You can download it from the website, under the ‘publications’ tab, or equally click on the front image below to save it to your computer. We really hope you enjoy the round-up of last year’s dig, and please do come and visit or volunteer for the final season to see how it all concludes!

Click on the image to download the Interim Report 2013

Click on the image to download the Interim Report 2013

As per usual, I’ll be blogging from the field as much as I can so do keep following our progress here. Comments and questions are most welcome! We hope you are all as excited about the final dig as we are!