Diggers' Diary: Leiston Abbey
Dig It! Leiston Abbey
On Sunday 19th July, three intrepid young archaeologists joined the archaeological team from DigVentures to explore medieval Leiston Abbey.
Poppy, Emily and Oscar were the three lucky winners of our Dig It! excavation competition. They spent a full day on site learning the skills that it takes to be a real archaeologist. The team of three diggers enjoyed digging and took a tour of the Abbey and the archaeological discoveries made so far. They also got involved with looking at some of the finds from the site, and had a go at wet sieving soil samples to find tiny pieces of evidence that might have been missed.
"The best part of the day, for me, was getting wet and muddy using the wet sieve to filter out any artefacts from soil and gravel taken from the trench. Thankfully it was a very warm day! The most interesting thing I learnt was the archaeology digging technique of carefully scraping off the trench surface layer by layer, rather than finding something exciting and trying to dig down and get it out! I also enjoyed looking at the exhibits of a big dog's bones (found on site) and the artefacts found by the River Thames.
My most exciting discoveries were medieval roof tile, cow bones, oyster shell, and a piece of green glazed pottery on which you could still see the ridges showing how it was made!
If I had to choose five words to describe my day, I'd say: time-travelling, interesting, dusty, exciting, tactile"
"My favourite part of the day was right at the end when we were sifting and cleaning artefects in a barrel of water... I got really wet and dirty! I also enjoyed walking around the Abbey and learning about the different rooms and their uses, eg the warming room. I thought that it was fascinating that the Abbey was originally at Minsmere, but the whole place was moved by hand due to flooding there - amazing!
My most exciting discovery was a massive tooth that showed that the people living at Leiston Abbey ate a lot of sheep or cows.
My five words to describe the day with DigVentures at Leiston Abbey would be: fun, inspiring, motivating, educational, enjoyable!"
Huge thanks to the team at DigVentures for looking after our young archaeologists so well, and for teaching them so much about archaeology.
And thanks to the fabulous people at Past Horizons who provided each of our winners with their own brilliant tool roll to use during the dig... and hopefully on other digs in the future too!
If you entered our Dig It! competitions this year but didn't win, don't worry... the competitions will be back in 2016, providing amazing opportunities for young people like you to work on real archaeological sites across the UK!
Just visit the YAC website regularly to see what we've got planned – or sign up to our e-newsletter by entering your email address in the box which appears on the bottom of every page of the YAC website.