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Excavation

Note: 2017 - The latest digs are under Bowden Ridge Research/ Digs on the Ridge

 We started digging in 2005 in a member’s garden in The Ridgeway, Market Harborough, a ridge of higher ground which separates the town from the village of Great Bowden.  


We could not believe our eyes when Roman pottery sherds began falling out of most spadefuls of soil!

We thought it would always be like this. About 100 pits later we are a bit wiser. Sometimes we find very little but always dig with a question to be answered, and after researching the site.

With support from professional archaeologists, we have added to the Historic Environment record. 
We dig in gardens and paddocks in Great Bowden, Market Harborough and nearby villages.  Digs usually take place in the spring and summer leaving the autumn free for field walking. Sometimes it is just one small pit, but elsewhere, particularly in paddocks, we have opened up to 8 pits. None is very big - we dig everything by hand. See Excavation Reports

Over the recent years we have worked alongside professional archaeologists on archaeological surveys prior to development. 

With twelve years experience we have acquired a growing knowledge of pottery types which we try to pass on to other people in the group.  The group is affiliated to the Council for British Archaeology and has good insurance cover. Members are required to sign code of conduct and health and safety forms before working on a site.  We try very hard to leave a site as we found it and believe this is appreciated by house owners and landowners.  Our backfilling has become a speciality!

We started with little experience but have developed systems and techniques over the years which are constantly being improved.  We cannot run our digs in the same way as professionals as we normally have to complete everything over one weekend and do not use machinery.

There is also the social side.  Lunchtime is a good time to have a break from the hard work, get to know other members and enjoy a picnic lunch often with a lovely view. The tea tent is on the go all day and we all crowd in for a cuppa and for shelter if there is a sudden shower.