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!