Alton Big Dig: 17 Jul-1 Aug 2021
What is it?
The second Alton Big Dig is due to take place in Alton from 17 July to 1 August 2021. As in 2019, activity will be focused in the Public Gardens but we will also be doing geophysics scans and 'test pits' in other parts of the town, including some private gardens.
The first Alton Big Dig was a community archaeology event that took place in the Alton Public Gardens between 14-28 July 2019, inspired by a previous excavation in the Gardens over 30 years ago which found foundations of a Roman building. It was prompted by the sight of 'parch marks' in the lawns in the very hot summer, which suggested buried building foundations. The 2019 event was a great success and found archaeological evidence of Roman foundations and pottery, structures from the Victorian period (including the plinth of a sundial which has been left uncovered) and from the Second World War. Finds ranged from the Romano-British period through the English Civil Way to the Victorian era and the 20th century; for more details click on the 'read more' button below.
Members of the public were able to take part and, because the event was registered with the British Festival of Archaeology, all participants were covered by free liability insurance arranged by the Council for British Archaeology. Visitors came from all over Hampshire and other parts of the UK.
The event was organised by Liss Archaeology, the community archaeology group for East Hampshire with 130 volunteer members working under the supervision of professional archaeologists, who have experience of archaeology excavations on Romano-British sites at Liss Roman Villa, Colemore and Stroud (near Petersfield).
The event took place in collaboration with and generous help from Alton Town Council, the Hampshire Cultural Trust (Curtis Museum), the Friends of the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery, and several other local community groups.
To see what was achieved during the first Alton Big Dig please read our day-by-day blog via the button below.
We hope to see you there this summer; watch out for more details!