Summer search for treasures at Romano-British settlement at Barcombe Mills

Volunteers busy at last year's dig.
Volunteers busy at last year's dig.

Following on from the brilliant success of the 2013 excavations, the Culver Archaeological Project is once again running a six-week summer excavation at the Roman-British settlement at Bridge Farm near Barcombe Mills.

The dig will take place from Monday, June 30, until Saturday, August 9, seven days a week, 9am to 5pm (Saturday and Sunday 9.30am start).

Unlike last year, when everything - even training courses - was free courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund, CAP does not have any funding for 2014 so is asking for contributions of £30 for a week or £50 for the season from anyone wishing to take part.

Onsite camping is available at £50 a week inclusive of dig fees. The project would also welcome anyone who would like to sponsor any post-excavation work.

This summer the team is targeting one particularly interesting area with a trench 32m x 21m metres, some 670sq metres (red box on 40m square image) which from the recent geophys results looks positively packed with features.

There appears to be a metre wide ditch running down the entire trench with two parallel rows of postholes to the right of it plus some larger individual pits. The rectangular configuration of the 13 postholes strongly suggests that they are looking at the foundations of a large post-built building approaching 20 metres long (66 feet).

David Millum, a director of the Culver Archaeological Project, said: “The postholes plus the pits and the long trench will give plenty to investigate for all who participate. CAP hope the finds will rival last year where virtually everyone had artefacts in their trays and a feature under their trowel as well as interest for those who chose to process the finds rather than kneel in the trench.

“The proof, however, will be in the excavation which is what gives archaeology its extra buzz as until you dig you can only predict.”

Full details of both the project and how to apply for this year’s dig can be found on the website

The Culver Archaeological Project began in 2005 with the hope of identifying further archaeological sites within the landscape around Barcombe Villa. The first year of excavations at Bridge Farm, Wellingham, proved to be truly memorable not only for the archaeology revealed but also for the terrific response from the 180 volunteers of all ages and experience who took part.

During the six weeks’ excavation an estimated 400 visitors had tours of the site, including five school field trips.