My (re)interest in archaeology started about 2 years ago really. Whilst walking my then dog Jessie, I noticed one of the local fields was being “field walked”. I approached the group and enquired as to their objectives and discovered they were part of the Cambridge Archaeological Field Group. Mike Coles , the group leader, gave me he his contact details and explained what the group was about. Essentially, with local land owners permsission, the group were field walking as many fields as possible and recording the finds themselves and sharing with the Cambridge County Councils Archaeology Department, so enhancing the SMR (or HMR as I now know it to be called).
The Sites and monumnets record is basically a map and database of all known archaeological sites and find spots in a county. It provides both a valubale research aid as well as a useful addition to the planning department of a County Council, as it can be referenced by planners to ensure no new development takes place on known archaeological deposits. Well, at least it provides the archaeologists with a chance to flag up the fact that there may be a risk to archaeology, as to whether they can stop new development is another story..
So, now that I knew there was a local group whose remit was close to my heart, I looked them up and line and arranged to go walking with them the next time they were in my village. As it turns out in 2 weeks time they began a program of walking in the huge field behind my house. Knowing of their plans I studied old OS maps I had gathered of the area and, crucially, the Google Satellite maps of the area. Intriguingly the maps recorded a former spring emerging in the field and this was was confirmed by the satellite view. Knowing how important a spring was to prehistoric and early farmers I decided to take a look on the ground myself, as I was unable to join the field walking program due to other commitments.
Sure enough a substantial scatter of Roman pottery was evident on the ploughed field to the east of the former spring line. I was delighted at the discovery which was confirmed by the CAFG, who too had come across the pottery scatter. Emboldened by this discovery I then purchased a metal detector, safe in the knowledge that as an Archaeologist, I could be trusted in appropriately searching and recording any artefacts I discovered on the site.
With a wriiten agreement from the farmer who owned the land, I bagan ad hoc visits to the site with some very pleasing results. To date I have discovered around 20 Roman coins, a brooch and a substantial amount of pottery. All of the artefacts have been presented to the local Finds Liason Officer, who is the local Portabel Antiquities Scheme representative.
The retrieval of the coins has enabled me to deduce that the Romano-British population were on the site from the mid 3rd to early 5th Century. For me this is a fantatstic result as, according to Allison Taylor in her work: “Archaeology of South West Cambridgeshire”, …Apart from two Neolithic flint axes, a reference to Roman pottery occuring near Sing Close in the south of Great Eversden….no early finds have been reported.
Well, thanks to my investigations Great Eversden now has its first official Roman settlement.