Students unearth Anglo-Saxon history

For two days they brushed gently at the earth in a Norfolk field with no reward. But after hours of painstaking labour, pupils at Acle High School unearthed history's secrets - ancient arrowheads and an Anglo-Saxon burial urn containing human remains.

For two days they brushed gently at the earth in a Norfolk field with no reward.

But after hours of painstaking labour, pupils at Acle High School unearthed history's secrets - ancient arrowheads and an Anglo-Saxon burial urn containing human remains.

The discovery has turned Joe Prentice and Guy Andrews, both aged 15, into budding archaeologists.

"We spent two days finding nothing. When we first started we were really bored," said Guy.

But then they saw a pattern in the clay.

Joe said: "We initially found just the rim of the urn. Then we started trowelling more of the earth away.

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"When we lifted it out the ground everybody cheered because it was quite a rare find. They took it to the science lab at Acle High School and found that it was Saxon."

He added: "Archaeology is like fishing. Once you've caught your first fish you are hooked. It is a real challenge. It is not often that people get to go out and discover the past."

And the urn could signify that the field at Acle could be the site of a Saxon burial ground.

History teacher Paul Jones, who organised the dig, said: "It seems Acle has more Saxon heritage then just its Saxon name.

"What we hope is that we will turn up more cremation urns. That would be a problem for the parish council if they want to develop this land."

And he said: "The reason we are doing it is that it is a fantastic opportunity for the kids to do and something not on the curriculum."

Other finds unearthed during the dig include a rare Neolithic arrow head and plenty of Roman pottery.

Local historian Brian Grint, who suggested that the field would be a good place to dig, said: "When they built the bypass we found many pieces of Roman pottery.

"Sure enough when they dug here there were also lots of Roman remains."

But he said the discovery of the urn and arrow head were a real treat.

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