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High school students dig deep into Norfolk village’s history

PUBLISHED: 13:43 19 March 2018

Access Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl students Zizi Duffield, 13, and Luke Bettridge, 14. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Access Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl students Zizi Duffield, 13, and Luke Bettridge, 14. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

High school pupils have been discovering Norfolk history in an archeological dig run by the University of Cambridge.

Access Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYAccess Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Students spent two days in Brundall, digging in people’s back gardens for artefacts.

The students from Framingham High School and Holt Youth Project dug the trenches themselves, combining maths, geography and history.

After the digging, the pupils will be taken to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, to listen to a lecture and find out more about university life.

The finds were mostly from the 18th century or the Neolithic period, an era that goes back as early as 10,000 BC.

Access Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl student Luke Bettridge, 14. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYAccess Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl student Luke Bettridge, 14. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

One Neolithic artefact found by the students was a piece of flint believed to be the core of a “blade rock”, which would have been used to make smaller tools or weapons.

Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) has been running for 14 years, and has operated in Brundall for four years.

Funded by the University, one of ACA’s main aims is to raise aspirations of going into higher education.

Emily Ryley, ACA administrator, said: “We try to select students that might not have thought about university before, perhaps because no one in their family has been.”

Access Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl student Bethany Houldsworth, 14, with Ann-Marie Simpson from the Brundall Local History Group. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYAccess Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl student Bethany Houldsworth, 14, with Ann-Marie Simpson from the Brundall Local History Group. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“It’s a great for them to see how the village has changed over the eras.”

ACA collaborated with Brundall Local History Group (BLHG), who contacted local residents wanting to see what lies underneath their garden.

Ann Marie Simpson, BLHG member, said that villagers were queueing up to participate.

She said: “This year we’ve had more people offering ther gardens than kids signing up.”

Access Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl student Bethany Houldsworth, 14, sieving for finds. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYAccess Cambridge (University) Archaeological dig at Brundall. Framlingham Earl student Bethany Houldsworth, 14, sieving for finds. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Five Brundall houses were chosen for the current digs, but ACA have been to 40 over the past few years.

Framingham student Luke Bettridge, 14, from Stoke Holy Cross was digging trenches in Cucumber Road.

He said: “I didn’t really know about archeology before this. I’d seen Jurassic Park, but that’s about it.”

Working with Luke was Bethany Houndsworth, also 14, from Norwich. She said: “My favourite thing about the dig is when we find something a bit different, like shards of pottery.”

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