The Alconbury Weald team have recently been involved in several activities designed to share discoveries from the area with local people.
Over 100 people attended our ‘show and tell’ guided site tours with the team. Visitors could see the ditches and roundhouses uncovered during our latest phase of works that evidence a settlement spanning the Late Iron Age into the later Roman period. As well as some of the finds discovered so far, including a fossil turned into a bead, pottery with marks left by the maker’s fingers, coins and other metalwork. They also learned about how dig sites operate and the role of archaeology in the planning process.
Staff member leads a site tour to members of the public. A round house can be seen in the background. Image credit: Urban&Civic
‘Engagement with the people from the tours was challenging and rewarding. It was good to not only show the site and finds but to represent what commercial archaeology is and why it's an important part of the planning process. We as a team thought it would be important to curate our finds to also reflect the human aspect of the people living in and around Alconbury all these years ago. Some finds travelled from the continent, there were coins and also tangible evidence like finger prints on pottery. By showing this, we felt it allowed the public to more closely relate with how special this little pocket of archaeology really is, in between these two spy plane hangers.’
Steve, Assistant Supervisor
The team have also been sharing findings from previous phases of excavation at Alconbury Weald. Chloe gave a talk in March to the Stukeleys Heritage Group which was attended by over 50 people and Emilia delivered some hands-on workshops about the Iron Age and the work of archaeologists to Ermine Street Church Academy, the local primary school.
Roman coin held between thumb and forefinger. Image credit: Urban&Civic
‘Back in March, I gave a talk to the Stukeleys Heritage Group about the excavations that took place in Alconbury lead by Nick Cox. I expected only a handful of people to show up but to my surprise there were at least 50 in attendance. It was a great exercise to practice public speaking and learn more about the pre- and post-excavation processes in order to give a detailed talk. The listeners were very enthusiastic to hear about the world of commercial archaeology and get an insight to their local history.’
The latest finds will be on display at Alconbury Weald’s Heritage Open Day on 9 September. Oxford Archaeology are working closely with Urban&Civic, the master planners for Alconbury Weald to stitch the site’s rich past into its future development through street names, park designs and further events, including continued work with the Alconbury Weald Heritage Group.
A hand with roman pottery and coin in the palm. Image credit: Urban&Civic
‘Digging at Alconbury Weald has been a privilege. Not only have we been able to explore the late Roman past of Alconbury, but our dig has also been nestled in-between two Cold War aircraft hangers: the living history of this air base. I have looked forward to working on this site each day, but what really made our time here was sharing what we have found with the public, showing some of our amazing archaeological features and finds at our open day. Sharing our work is what makes this job so special, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the archaeological past of Alconbury.’
Other posts in this collection
Read our latest posts about the archaeological investigations at Alconbury.