Open day will showcase archaeological findings of Peak District's medieval past

Archaeological experts will be showing their findings from a Peak District dig during an open day this weekend.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:59 pm

For three weeks last summer archaeologists from across the country arrived at the Dove Valley Activity Centre in Under Whitle, near Longnor, where experts hoped to find links to the area’s medieval past including the remains of houses and rubbish tips.

All the finds have been collected and this weekend there is an open day to allow the experts to share their findings with everyone.

Dr Ian Parker Heath, the project manager and archaeologist for the Tudor Farming Interpretation Group’s (TFIG) Digging Deeper: A Community Archaeology Project which excavated the site last summer, said: “It was a dig worth doing.

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Lead archaeologist Ian Parker Heath.

“In the peat bogs we found artefacts from three different periods, some fairly modern, a deeper layer from 1250 and the bottom layer going back to 1100BC.”

Archaeologists were previously at the site in 2016 and returned last year for further investigations to expand the knowledge of medieval country life.

The project, which was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Peak District National Park Authority as well as several small community grants, allowed the group to not only analyse the finds but also date the natural materials like soils and pollen.

Ian said: “We found some fragments of undecorated medieval pottery and although we have been able to date it we have been unable to trace its origins of where it came from so that still needs to be done.

“That will give us a clearer picture of where these people may have got the pottery from be that nearby Staffordshire or Yorkshire.”

Experts and volunteers recorded finding cooked oats on the site but Ian says they were unable to find evidence of oats growing nearby.

Ian added: “We worked with a lot of refugees and those from ethnic minorities to broaden the opportunities available for people and a lot of the volunteers are returning to the open day which is great.”

The open day at the centre on Sunday, May 29 from 12pm to 4pm will allow people to explore the findings, listen to talks and get involved with hands-on projects.

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