For the first time, archaeologists are attempting to map the shape of Great Yarmouth’s mediaeval town wall and towers. The project will integrate various community engagement activities, such as building surveys, test pitting, and school activities. The experts hope to use GPR scanning to find undiscovered structures beneath the ground without digging everything up. GPR surveyors are headed by Carl Smith, the Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader.
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Smith said they are extremely proud of the rich culture and heritage of Great Yarmouth. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to delve deeper into that history and learn more.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council collaborates with Cotswold Archaeology on the “Uncovering Yarmouth” project, which is part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone Scheme. The focus is on the churchyard of Great Yarmouth Minster and the surrounding marketplace.
The goal of the survey, according to the council, was to determine the location of the mediaeval town wall and St Nicholas’ Gate, which were demolished in 1799 to expand the churchyard.
Interested archaeologists, hobbyists, and UK GPR surveyors are encouraged to participate in the project, providing opportunities for skill training and education.
The team in charge is happy to work closely with the local community and the council. This will allow them to uncover fragments of the stories buried beneath the surface. The historical significance of the renowned market town outweighs its Golden Mile and sandy beach.
Tony Calladine from the Historic England organisation said that the project is a wonderful opportunity to get hands-on with the past and history of the borough. The project will involve, inspire, and inform local communities, who will learn new things about the people who lived and worked in Great Yarmouth many years ago.
According to Revd Simon Ward of Great Yarmouth Minster, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover secrets without disturbing the earth in one of our city’s oldest neighbourhoods. It is fascinating to learn more about the churchyards the people’s ancestors frequented, and technology like GPR scanning allows researchers to do so respectfully and discretely.
Bodmin Moor, in north-eastern Cornwall, is one of Britain’s most spectacular landscapes, with heather-covered high moors punctuated by granite outcrops, sharp river gorges, and isolated woodlands. However, archaeological discoveries made this year are changing people’s perceptions of Bodmin and the Tamar Valley and Dartmoor, Devon’s sister wilderness.
Teams have also discovered remains of a large 6,000-year-old timber building around Stonehenge. The building is believed to be linked to burials and rituals. Searching for more secrets within the same area, they also found signs of up to 60 previously unknown huge stone pillars spreading across a 1.5-kilometre range: far more extensive than today’s iconic single stone circle.
This year, one of the most significant discoveries was in the north of Scotland, where laser-scanned topography revealed signs that a 4th-century hillfort site, known as Tap o’ Noth, was at the heart of one of the largest Pictish settlements in Britain. Rather than being the small settlement previously thought, the new data revealed that this was one of Scotland’s largest ancient towns, with an estimated 4,000 people living in 800 huts.
Archaeologists have discovered the first Roman mosaic in the United Kingdom. Heeding Historic England’s advice, DCMS has designated a rare Roman mosaic and surrounding villa complex as a Scheduled Monument.
During the 2020 lockdown, Jim Irvine, son of landowner Brian Naylor, discovered the mosaic and contacted the archaeological team at Leicestershire County Council, the local authority’s heritage advisors. In September 2021, more of the site was excavated by staff and students from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History. The mosaic’s ruins measure 11m by almost 7m and depict a scene from the Greek hero Achilles’ story.
The artwork is thought to be the floor of a large dining or entertaining area. Mosaics were used in various private and public buildings throughout the Roman Empire, and they frequently featured historical and mythological figures. The Rutland mosaic is one of only a few in the UK that depicts Achilles and his battle with Hector at the end of the Trojan War, and it is one of only a few in Europe.
The site was later reused and repurposed based on fire damage and mosaic breaks. Human remains were discovered within the rubble that covered the mosaic, among other things. These burials are thought to have been interred after the building was no longer occupied. While their exact age is unknown, they are older than the mosaic but close to the villa building, implying a late Roman or early Mediaeval date for the repurposing of this structure.
ULAS will examine the evidence recovered from the site at their Leicester headquarters and specialists from Historic England and across the UK, including David Neal, the country’s foremost expert on mosaic research.
The designation as a scheduled monument recognises the site’s exceptional national significance. It ensures that these relics are legally protected and aids in the prevention of illegal works or activities, such as illegal metal detecting.
The possibility of an off-site display and interpretation of the villa complex and its finds are being discussed with Rutland County Council. The proposed future excavations will dictate the form and scope of this work, which will be the subject of a future National Lottery Heritage Fund bid.
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