Archaeological dig hopes to reveal Great Yarmouth’s past

A COMMUNITY dig in Great Yarmouth is aiming to peel back the years and reveal what lies beneath as part of a national focus on archaeology.

Experts have earmarked a pit just outside the town walls in Blackfriars Road, close to where a 13th century monastery once stood, and say all the data indicates it is ripe for excavation.

They hope the 1m deep pit will yield a host of new artefacts - the best possible outcome being the discovery of the town tip - ancient rubbish that would be eagerly picked through for historic clues.

Patricia Day, learning support officer at Great Yarmouth's Museums, said the aim was to introduce people, especially youngsters, to the excitement of diligent trowel work.

But there was also a real chance of coming up with a star find or artefacts to build a more exact picture of medieval life when Yarmouth was a thriving fishing community hemmed in by a protective ring of towers and walls.

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She added the site near the modern fire station could contain remnants from world war two or with luck yield mosaics or other fragile fragments from a distant era.

The dig on July 26 celebrates the Festival of British Archaeology and sees the Time and Tide Museum host a Roman Day too.

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Mrs Day said it was the first community dig in the town for ten years with individuals and families pre-booking 20 minute slots. Those taking part will also receive free entry to the Time and Tide's Roman Day which will feature a host of living history events including life in a Roman Villa and making Roman fast food such as stuffed dates which were served up in Pompeii.

A Roman soldier will also be looking for recruits to defend the coast from Saxon raiders.

Artefacts from the Acle community dig and Burgh Castle will be on display.

Anyone with their own archaeological finds can bring them along to be identified by Dr Adrian Marsden, who will also give a scholarly talk about the end of the Roman Empire in Norfolk.

For further information or to book a slot contact the Time and Tide Museum on 01493 743930.

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