Anglo-Saxon handprint uncovered in Sedgeford dig in west Norfolk

Sedgeford dig - Anglo-Saxon handprint found last year when partially excavating one of the large ov

Sedgeford dig - Anglo-Saxon handprint found last year when partially excavating one of the large ovens. Pictures submitted. - Credit: Archant

An Anglo-Saxon handprint dating back 1,200 years was found during the annual archaeological dig in Sedgeford in west Norfolk.

The team from the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project said the handprint, believed to be a child's, was discovered during last year's dig. Spokeswoman Brenda Stibbons said: 'Experts say the handprint dates back to about 800AD. It was found in the clay that made up an oven. We think it was a child's handprint, because we had a child on site when it was found, and that fitted it. But it could have been a small woman's handprint. I was there when it was found, and it was incredible.'

The handprint will be available to view at Sharp's annual open day on Sunday.

This year's excavation season - the 20th - started earlier this month and an extensive trench has been opened on the site of two large Anglo-Saxon ovens. A third oven has been identified with the possibility of a fourth one.

Mrs Stibbons said: 'It looks like the ovens were on a big industrial scale and used for grain processing.


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'We have also found a substantial sized building, measuring about 10 sqm by 5 sqm, which is bigger than previous ones.

'It's aligned east to west, so it could have been a church. All the houses we've found before were aligned north to south, and we know churches were aligned east to west. We also found another fingerprint.'

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In addition to a Roman villa, Anglo-Saxon cemetery and First World War airfield, high profile finds from previous excavation seasons have included a hoard of Iron Age coins hidden in a cowbone and the terminal of the Sedgeford Torc.

The aim of the long-term archaeological research project is to investigate human settlement and land use in the parish of Sedgeford.

The site can be visited daily, except on Saturdays, during the excavation season, which runs until Friday, August 14, and there are still places available on some of the excavation projects and courses.

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