Archaeologists appeal for mains power at Norfolk dig site

The Sedgeford Historical Archaelogical Research Project (SHARP) is back for another season. Picture:

Archaeologists are raising funds to connect the site of the Sedgeford dig to mains electricity - Credit: Ian Burt

Archaeologists are asking supporters to dig deep to help them power the past.

Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (SHARP) has been excavating a Romano-British settlement on the edge of the west Norfolk village for 25 years.

Until now, it has used diesel generators to supply power to the site, where volunteers camp out each summer as they look for finds.

"After a fallow 2020 season because of Covid, we’re looking to come back bigger and better in 2021," said committee member Kate Faulkes. "But to do this, we need mains power on our site, rather than the trusty diesel generator we hire every year.

"We’ve launched a Crowdfunder campaign called Powering the Past to raise the £15,000 this will cost to install, and have already raised almost £4,000."

Ms Faulkes, who has been taking part in the project for more than 20 years, said generators cost £4,000 to hire and fuel for the each summer's two-week dig.

SHARP says having mains power will allow it to have more people on the site, including people who live in the area and local schools.

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It will also offer a better camping experience, including with permanent showers, better classroom facilities for its courses and allow improved access to its archives to local people, students, volunteers academics and researchers.

Over more than two decades, SHARP has made some significant finds. In 2003, archaeologists found a cow horn which rattled when they shook it.

When it was opened up, the horn contained 32 gold coins dating back 2,000 years to when they were offered as pay to Britons who joined a French tribe fighting the Romans in Gaul.

They have also unearthed more than 200 skeletons dating back to the Bronze Age, part of a gold torc similar to those which formed the Snettisham Hoard and a wealth of evidence that society was more advanced than had previously been believed after the Romans left this corner of the Norfolk coast.

To donate to the appeal, go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sharp-powering-the-past.