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Young archaeologists unearth history

PUBLISHED: 10:03 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:25 03 July 2010

INDUSTRIOUS youngsters have helped reveal the rich and varied history of their Norfolk village after they dug up rare Roman pottery and prehistoric flints.

INDUSTRIOUS youngsters have helped reveal the rich and varied history of their Norfolk village after they dug up rare Roman pottery and prehistoric flints.

For the last two summers pupils from Acle have been getting their hands dirty as they took part in major excavations to unearth the community's past.

A report by the Norfolk Archaeological Unit has now revealed that the Acle High School's students' efforts this July have led to the discovery of 242 shards of Roman pottery from mainly 200 and 300AD and 46 Neolithic flint fragments.

The Springfield dig also found animal remains that may have been butchered which could confirm strong evidence that the area used to be a Roman farm. Roman ceramics and tile and coins were also found.

Springfield used to be on a prominent spit of high ground on a now vanished estuary known by the Romans as Gariensis and the foreign invaders may have also built a lighthouse there.

The Neolithic flints found by the students are believed to be arrowheads.

As well as Roman and Neolithic remains the students also found Iron Age pottery, a copper armlet and medieval brick and cutlery.

Last year the high school pupils discovered primitive arrowheads and an Anglo-Saxon burial urn.

This summer's Springfield dig, which comprised 70 test pits, was part of a £41,000 three year programme to unearth Acle's past funded by the National Lottery.

The money will be used to open up Springfield to the public and will see residents of Acle be joined by professional relic hunters from Norfolk County Council on future digs.

Next July top television archaeologist Julian Richards, of the BBC's Meet the Ancestors, will be joining the pupils on an excavation of the site.

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