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This section contains the latest news from the Field Unit, as and when it occurs. New sections are added as and when to show the progress the Field Unit are making during the year.

* Original Information 10th July 2021

 

Rocky Clump Excavations 2021

The Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society have not been out into the field at Rocky Clump, Stanmer since 2019 as a result of the coronavirus restrictions. Now with the easing of those restrictions and with up to 30 people allowed together the BHAS are back at Rocky Clump for another season of digging. Brighton City Council digger driver Gary has removed the top soil from an area of 15 metres by 15 metres so we are already removing the remaining top soil seeking features below. Geophysical surveys using both resisitvity and magnetometry have identified a number of areas with archaeological potential.

Excavations in 2018 and 2019 revealed a large enclosure containing large post holes indicating the location of a granary for storing grain for food processing. Adjacent to this feature was a deep depression suggesting that it was a grain storage pit, an area of a worked floor with ephemeral lines of flints suggest a possible threshing barn. The north ditch of the enclosure contained the remains of 4 baby burials and a number of Roman coins.

The new season will seek evidence for a possible round house, which should be located not too far from the primary food source, and the baby burials. The geophysical anomalies are circular and large enough to suggest that they could be such dwellings. What we don't know is how much damage has been caused by ploughing in the past. Already there have been finds of pottery, marine shell, nails and animal remains (Fig 1.) The new area is immediately north of the large enclosure which had substantial ditches (Fig 2.)

This excavation at Rocky Clump is in the south field, and it is producing pottery from the Late Iron Age. It may be that the small peasant, subsistence settlement originated in this location before moving north of the trees, and expanding during the early and middle Roman periods. Low status sites from the late Iron Age and early Roman periods are quite rare so this will be a great opportunity to reveal where, and how, ordinary people were living and working.

The Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society is open to all whatever your experience. You will need to be a member to participate, which is £20 full or £10 student, and have a current tetanus. Digging is on Wednesdays and Saturdays until late October. There may one week of digging during August with the date still to be confirmed.

You will need to bring refreshments, sun factor and wet gear, as the site is exposed and you can get wet. BHAS supply tools and training You will be
able try your hand at anything within our archaeological resources.

We meet at 9-45 am at the Upper Lodge car park in Stanmer, and finish on site at 4-00 pm so back at the car park at about 4-30 pm.

 

 



BHAS have a full winter programme with lectures, finds processing, day schools and walks or visits to places of interest.

 
The BHAS field unit is open to anyone with an interest in archaeology, no previous experience is required, all training will be given. For further details apply to the membership section or contact either Pete Tolhurst at archsec@brightonarch.org.uk or John Funnell at co-ordinator@brightonarch.org.uk for more details

 

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