SHARP - Post Excavation Information

This is the updated (and slimmed down) website for the Post Excavation work of SHARP. The old website is still online (see below) but if there are items that you do need that are missing from this site then let me know so that I can migrate them over.  Email Me 


This website was set up to act as a portal to the extensive information collected over the years in the parish of Sedgeford in Norfolk. Traditionally SHARP stored information in physical form (ie paper, slides/photos, artefacts, permatrace) in the Sedgeford Old Village Hall. This made it difficult for SHARP members, often in remote parts of the country, to progress with their research out-of-season. In 2008 we started to digitise the site drawings and to place these on-line and this was followed by scanning paper and the majority of the photographs. This is an on-going process and although much is already done there is still a great deal that has not yet been converted.

You are reminded that the information on this site was produced by, and is the copyright of the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Reseach Project (SHARP). If you want to include such information you should contact the SHARP team via the main site and obtain their agreement. The main site is available HERE

If you have any information or memorabilia (eg Photos) from Sedgeford or any stories you'd like to share then I'd be eager to put them on this site so that the others from the project can read and enjoy them too.

Bill Howard - January 2018


This site is aimed at Post-Excavation work and the associated research. For the current situation and forthcoming season including the planned excavations and training courses please look at the main project website by clicking HERE.


    News Item #1

    This is not news, just a placeholder. A link

    If you notice any errors or omissions please let me know
  • The SHARP Campsite at Sedgeford

    Early morning in the Sedgeford campsite during the excavation season. Most volunteers bring tents and stay at the campsite which is located close to our excavations.

    Meals are taken in the large marque tent which also serves as a lecture hall and for social events. Portacabins for specialist work and lectures are also located conveniently at the campsite, while the toilet and shower facilities are a short walk away.
  • Pre-Season Preparation

    Pre-season, a JCB (sometimes called the Big Yellow Trowel by archaeologists) carries out preparation for excavation by removing the top layer of plough-soil.

    Using such machinery saves a lot of digging, but for work close to the layers being investigated, that is below the plough-soil, must still be completed by hand. This also means that the fertile top-soil can be replaced at the end of season ensuring the on-going fertility of this agricultural field.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology

    Lectures in the Marquee for the people taking the BERT course which aims to provide the basic skills for archaeological investigation. These lectures will cover the basic skills but the practical application of courses will vary from year to year based on the work being undertaken on site.

    Lectures are normally interspersed with practical sessions where BERTs can apply the knowledge gained.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Survey

    An example of the practical side of BERT. A group of BERT students carry out a Site Survey in Chalkpit Field using a Dumpy level.

    This allows the heights of various contexts to be determined by comparing with a fixed reference point. Normally the positions of features are measured from fixed references that have been set up when excavations start. The positions of these points are acccuratey measured using a GPS system.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Cleaning

    Cleaning up after the initial excavation to reveal features, involves quite a bit of work. The base and sides of the features found are 'cleaned' down to a level surface so that any layers can be seen and so drawn accurately. These layers indicate different period in the history of the site, so items found in a layer can be linked to a time period.

    Sometimes trench sides are lightly sprayed with a water mist to reveal subtle differences in soil colours.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Contexts

    Section of 2008 Trench 9 excavated by BERT showing the different contexts identified.

    It takes a trained eye to spot the sometimes slight differences that mark the change of context layers.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Excavation

    The BERT team carry out further excavation in Trench 9 in summer 2008.

    Excavating down through a feature can be a fair amount of work and concentration is needed to avoid running through the feature into the 'natural' while making sure that any artefacts are collected and placed in the context tray.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Recording Features

    Features are recorded by completing Context Sheets and by making section and plan drawings showing excavation results. Some complex features may be photographed as well.

    Post-excavation the drawings will be scanned and then entered into a CAD (Computer Aided Design) system which is known as digitisation.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Finds

    The Sedgeford Hoard discovered by SHARP. This collection of Iceni gold staters was found, hidden in a cow femur. The collection was documented and is now on show in the Kings Lynn Museum.

    BERT will receive basic training in cleaning finds and in the techniques used by SHARP to preserve the artefacts recovered from excavations.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Environmental

    Enviromental soil samples will be taken from selected contexts, usually where there a need for more detailed analysis of the context content. Some soils will be dry-sieved on-trench to make a fuller identification and recovery of items such as worked flint fragments.

    Other samples will be returned to the Enviro area where they will normally be wet sieved (and the flot removed), dried and then sorted into types of material. Each type of material found will be weighed and recorded.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Finds

    Iron Age seal box base. A rare find, it was used to seal documents for security. The document was secured with string and wax poured on, then shutting lid to protect the soft wax.

    Although it is unlikley we will be luckly enough to see such items each year, the finds from previous years will be on show in the Information area and in the Finds hut.
  • Training in Practical Archaeology - Geophysics

    The geophysical survey of Chalkpit Field has already taken place, and is expensive, specialist task. It is unlikely that this will be included in the BERT training.

    BERT will however, be consulting the Geophysical Images and how they can used in deciding where excavations are focused to yield the most information.
  • Digitised Drawings

    Since completing the excavations of the Boneyard, AngoSaxon cemetry in 2007 finds on human remains have been uncommon.

    The image shown is the CAD drawing of Anglo-Saxon burial showing detail of a skull excavated from Boneyard in 1999.
  • Finds

    An Angle-Saxon Spindlewhorl used to weigh down the end of a thread in the cloth making process. This one has been decorated with carvings and was obviously a prized possesion for the owner.

    As well as learning about specialist finds like the one shown, the BERT team will also learn how Bulk Finds are cleaned and analysed.
  • Specialist Training - Osteology

    Animal bones used for a specialist training course carried out in the Old Village Hall. It is usual to run specialist training as well as the Basic Techniques course during the summer excavation season.

    The range of specialist courses change from year to year and you should view the main SHARP site to see what is being offered. Main Website

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