Search for 1,500-year-old murder clues

SUE SKINNER The investigation of a 1,500-year-old unsolved murder mystery will continue when an annual Norfolk dig resumes in the summer.

SUE SKINNER

The investigation of a 1,500-year-old unsolved murder mystery will continue when an annual Norfolk dig resumes in the summer.

Since 1996, the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project has uncovered a wealth of fascinating and important artefacts, as summer excavations gradually build up a complete history of the village, near Hunstanton.

The most notable finds have included an Iron Age hoard of gold coins, which was unearthed in 2003, and the long-lost end of a gold torc, found the following year.

But the 2006 season brought another exciting discovery - a burnt body under the collapsed remains of a corn-dryer oven.

Both the jumbled adult skeleton and the oven, which was used to dry crops at a farm on the outskirts of the parish, are thought to date back at least to the time of the late Roman occupation.

Most Read

Analysis by the project's human remains specialists has already concluded that the body was not there by accident but had been concealed, indicating foul play.

There are hopes more light can be shed on the mystery during SHARP's 2007 season, which will run from Sunday, July 8 to Friday, August 17.

The annual open day will be on Sunday, July 29, although visitors are welcome to view the excavations every day from 11am to 4pm, except Saturdays.

A weekly site presentation and tour is held at 3.30pm on Fridays but whenever people visit there will be someone on hand to show them round and discuss the on-going work on prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon Sedgeford.

Although the project is run by professionals working and studying in archaeology and associated fields, it depends on the many volunteers who travel from far and wide to join the dig each year.

Newcomers are always welcome and a basic excavation and recording techniques course is available for complete novices.

Other week-long and one or two-day courses are on offer for those who are interested in archaeology but do not wish to dig, most of which require no prior experience.

SHARP also runs an Easter programme of field-walking and surveying, from April 1 to 13, while during the summer there are weekly lectures in the parish church.

t For more details, visit www.sharp.org.uk or contact the project's enrolment secretary, Brenda Huggins, on 01485 532343 or tanzee@supanet.com for a copy of the annual prospectus.