Tuesday, 30 September 2008
The highlight of the Open Evening (apart from Mike Stone's talk) was that we had our first finds brought in, from the area near the church. Amongst the sherds of pottery were two small pieces of late medieval pottery, from the kiln at Nash Hill, dating from the 14th century. A rather unlikely small piece of metal turned out to be a corroded fragment of a late Roman coin! It was just possible to make out the ear and part of the hair of the Emperor, not enough to be certain of which one! But it is probably a 'radiate' coin - and some good examples are shown on this page from the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The photo shows the finder, with Wendy Smith of the Archaeology Field Group, and Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, the County Archaeologist from Wiltshire County Council.
The Open evening last week was a great success. We counted 47 people that attended (apart from speakers etc) - we were dreading only a handful turning up. After the introductions, David Dawson, Director of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum at Devizes gave an overview of the project. He explained how people are being asked to bring a selection of finds from their back gardens to the Calne Heritage Centre on open days and evenings. The finds will then be identified and returned to the finder, and we will explain what has been found. If we find evidence of Roman or other archaeological evidence, then these will be plotted on a map. This will give the evidence to start to identify 'hot spots' that might indicate where there might be Roman settlement. The project will be working with local schools, and might begin to do some more archaeological work - particularly field-walking, and possibly using some 'geofizz' equipment, as we have all seen on Time Team!
Mike Stone of Chippenham Museum gave more background on the type of project, explaining how he had undertaken a similar project in Chippenham, which provided evidence of Roman settlement. he gave an overview of Roman settlement in the area, and talked about some of the things that people might expect to find.
This was followed by a chance to look at the pottery that people might well find, a good opportunity to 'get your eye in' and to start spot the difference between genuine flowerpot and Roman pottery!
Sunday, 14 September 2008
The project began at the Party in the Park on Saturday! Over 150 people came to visit the stand, and we handed out information about the Open Evening on 24th September, along with bags for people to fill with pottery from their back gardens.
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
On Wednesday 24th September, there will be an Open Meeting at Calne Heritage Centre at 7pm to launch the project. Speakers will include, David Dawson, Director WANHS and Mike Stone, Curator of Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre, and we look forward to welcoming lots of people!