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Photo Gallery: Thetford, Eye and Bury St Edmunds students get taste of Cambridge University life with Time Team-style archaeological dig

PUBLISHED: 08:33 23 May 2014

Students from Thetford, Bury and Hartismere working in village gardens in Garboldisham with help from professional archaeologists. Dr Carenza Lewis is overseeing. A fossilised sponge.

Students from Thetford, Bury and Hartismere working in village gardens in Garboldisham with help from professional archaeologists. Dr Carenza Lewis is overseeing. A fossilised sponge.

Archant norfolk

Students from Norfolk and Suffolk schools have been digging up a village's history as part of a scheme to give them a taste of life at a top university.

Villagers in Garboldisham could be forgiven for thinking that Time Team were in town on Wednesday and Thursday, as pupils from Thetford Academy, Hartismere School in Eye and King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds took part in an archaeological survey with professionals from Cambridge University.

The scheme, which will also see the students visit the university today, is designed to give pupils a taste of life in higher education and raise their aspirations.

Thirty-nine students worked on metre square test pits at 10 sites throughout the village.

Clemency Cooper, administrator for Access Cambridge Archaeology, said the project also contributed to building up a picture of village life in down the ages.

“The aim is to give students a taste of university and this is a new topic which they could have the chance to study.

“It’s academically rigorous but hands on and practical, while learning about local history.

“But it’s not simply for the students. We are interested in the development of rural settlements and how the village that people lived and worked in has changed over time,” she said.

The project has been running for 10 years, contributing more than 1,500 archaeological finds from 50 villages in that time.

Among the finds in Garboldisham were fragments of pottery dating back to 850 AD and pipes believed to be 200-years-old.

Lucy Parfett, 14, a Year 9 student at Thetford Academy, said the course had given her an insight into archaeology.

“It’s been hard work but fun at the same time. You get to see what it’s like to be at university and it’s definitely made me consider applying,” she said.

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