Potton's Dig & Sow
|Author: Naomi Gornall||Published: 7th June 2012 20:25|
Potton residents invited to participate in mass archaeological digs as part of major 2012 Cultural Olympiad project
Dr Carenza Lewis examining some of the finds
Dr Carenza Lewis chatting with Robert Pacitti
Councillor Adam Zerny at one of the digs
One of the digs close to the church
On Saturday 26th May 2012, Potton hosted a total of 27 digs. Potton residents were invited to participate in a region-wide archaeological dig project, as part of Dig and Sow - just one of the many events that make up On Landguard Point. They joined in the Olympic effort to host 34 digs in Potton with Dr. Carenza Lewis (from University of Cambridge and Channel 4's ‘Time Team') and her team at Access Cambridge Archaeology - who lead the digs. What did they find in their gardens? Was it possible to know where it came from before that, or even how it got there? Roman Pottery? Modern Danish Lego? Or perhaps Anglo-Saxon artefacts?
There were 27 dig sites in total in Potton, including five on public land. Some nice finds were:
- A prehistoric worked flint. Dr Lewis thought this could be an indication of a bronze age settlement.
- A couple of skull fragments (not human!)
- A number of pieces of medieval pottery suggesting that the centre of Potton was inhabited from 1100 onwards.
- At the recreation ground a number of bottle caps were found, along with a penny and farthing and some horse teeth.
- The team also found a dog tag from 2005, which actually belonged to another resident taking part in the dig!
- A toy lead soldier on horseback which Dr Lewis thought could have come from anywhere between 12c-18c.
Robert Pacitti, artistic director of Pacitti Company, who devised the Cultural Olympiad project- On Landguard Point, said:
"It is exciting as it shows us how we can be together as a community and work on a shared task in a way that is fun, educational but still about the art."
Once people had finished the excavation, they buried their silver charm as a legacy for the future. Hundreds of people packed into the hall afterwards to hear Dr Carenza Lewis from Time Team explain the findings.
On Landguard Point's Dig and Sow events ask participants how much they really know about their own home. Overall excavations took place in 205 locations across the East of England: communities, families and budding archaeologists were encouraged to take part in this unique opportunity, under the supervision of one of the UK's leading Archaeological teams. This was the perfect excuse to gather friends and loved ones together to undertake something truly adventurous! Apart from Potton, digs also took place in Peakirk in Cambridgeshire, Clavering in Essex, Ashwell in Hertfordshire and Ipswich in Suffolk.
On Landguard Point was a series of live large-scale, public outdoor events and activities. Created by Pacitti Company as part of Artists taking the lead - a project at the heart of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad funded by Arts Council England - On Landguard Point explored notions of 'home', what it meant to people in the East .
Before the digs commenced, Dr Carenza Lewis (University of Cambridge, ‘Time Team' presenter/contributor) commented:
"Digging into the ground provides an umbilical link from the present to the past. Trade, migration and the many waves of settlers over the centuries are physically represented by finds from different places - we expect to find pottery which has been made and/or used by Britons, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Huguenot refugees, Dutch engineers. Other objects may range from Ipswich-made Saxon pottery to modern Danish Lego to eighteenth-century Chinese porcelain."
For more information about On Landguard Point please visit http://www.onlandguardpoint.com/
Pacitti Company is a UK based ensemble of international theatre makers, live artists, visual artists, sound and film makers, researchers and technicians. Convened in 1990 by Artistic Director Robert Pacitti, the Company has spent nearly two decades producing and touring an award winning body of radical new performance works worldwide. Pacitti Company also produce the SPILL Festival of Performance, the UK's premier artist led festival of experimental theatre and live art.
Artists taking the lead is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. 12 public art commissions have been awarded, one in each of the nine English regions, and the Nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, all with engagement at their heart. The winning commissions were selected by independent panels of artists and producers, and are funded by Arts Council England. For further information see http://www.artiststakingthelead.org.uk/.
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. The finale of the Cultural Olympiad will be a twelve week UK-wide Festival in the summer of 2012, bringing together leading artists from all over the world.
The Cultural Olympiad has benefited from significant public funding from Arts Council England and a National Lottery grant of £16.6 million from the Olympic Lottery Distributor. Other funders include Legacy Trust UK and British Council, which will commit £3million to the international development of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad. Panasonic are the presenting partner of Film Nation: Shorts. www.london2012.com/culture
Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives. We support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and a further £0.85 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. For more information visit http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/
The Potton event was organised by Potton History Society in collaboration with Pacitti Company.
Here are some of the images from the day.