Down in South Devon a team of local enthusiasts and volunteers have just completed a two week excavation of a site which looks as if it could have a really interesting mix of finds!
It all began when Howard Jones set himself a challenge – to find the oldest settlement in the area where he lived. The story is one of persistence and a bit of Google. Mr Jones used Google maps to identify the possible site of such a settlement and eventually gathered enough evidence to convince the Devon County Archaeologist to support the project.
The next step was to do some fieldwalking – a form of non-invasive survey which helps to find material which has been bought to the surface by ploughing, mole activity etc. Among the finds from this were a number of prehistoric stone tools and arrowheads, which gave further support to the idea that people had settled there thousands of years ago.
Once funding was secured the project was able to go ahead, and now a two week excavation has revealed that Howard’s suspicions were indeed right. The site contains elements of what is thought to be at least a two phase occupation with one being an Iron Age or Romano-British roundhouse as well as plenty of ceramic material from the 15th to 16th centuries. These are evidence it seems of a high status house on the site – Spriddlestone House.
Now the dig is over its time for all the finds to be processed and analysed, recorded and catalogued before the final report is written. We look forward to hearing more on the site in the near future!
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