Archaeological Test Pits

Test pits 2016 - to see what was found click here.
To read the report on what was found during the Parish Study, which ran from 2013 to 2016, click here.

What is a Test Pit?

A test pit is a one meter square hole, carefully dug in 15 or 20cm 'slices'.
The layers and sections are photographed and/or drawn for a detailed record, and the excavated soil is sieved before being heaped to one side.
(Pictures shown here are from an experimental test pit dug close to the Hollies classroom on 21 April 2012.)

Opening the trial pit  Down to the first level  Sieving for finds  The washed and sorted finds

Any finds are washed and, in our case, stored, in labelled trays for later identification by experts.

The spoil heap is usually swept with a metal detector, just to make sure we haven't missed any tiny coins!

Why do this?
Well, as you dig down, you go back in time through Victorian, medieval, Saxon, Roman, and prehistoric eras.

Actually, we'll be lucky to find really old artefacts in a standard test pit, as they can only be just over a metre deep - but it is fun looking, and you never know 'til you try!

We had permission for the location of 5 or 6 test pits for our first phase of the work for the Parish Study, which you can see below-

Phase 1 Test Pit locations

For all test pits we need help, not necessarily to dig, but to sieve, wash and record. Children under 16 are welcome, but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Although we will take all possible care, and will have been trained in pit digging, no responsibility for personal accident/damage can be accepted by the Loddon History Group, or by the organisers, or landowners.

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