Tha Girt Harchaeology

My title today is the title of a Wiltshire dialect poem by Edward Slow who was born in 1842. He was, we believe, referring to the large number of visitors who came to see the archaeology of Wiltshire.

Market Lavington would not have been on the archaeology trail back then. Locals always knew that ancient items were found from time to time, but the proof didn’t come until about 1990 when work on the new Grove Farm estate was progressing. In fact, discoveries made brought work to a halt so that ‘tha girt harchaeology’ could descend on the village and excavate Roman and Saxon sites.

Here we have a photo of the archaeologists at work.

Archaeological dig in progress in Market Lavington - Serptember 1990

Archaeological dig in progress in Market Lavington – Serptember 1990

From the shapes dug, I think we can say that graves were being excavated. This dig was going on in September 1990 and items from 2000 or so years earlier were being unearthed.

This skeleton is not that old, dating to the Saxon era, little more than 1000 years ago.

A Saxon skeleton, as found

A Saxon skeleton, as found

We have a few bits and pieces from the dig in our museum, but we are not an archaeology centre so most items have been stored elsewhere.

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