A huge community effort to uncover the many unknowns of Tasburgh’s ancient roots kicked off last weekend with a number of test digs in the gardens of local residents.
Several villagers volunteered the land outside their homes for the search of artifacts possibly dating back millennia, as part of the two-year Imagined Land project into the origins of the Tasburgh Earthworks.
The project, which is led by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust and funded with a portion of a £74,700 grant provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to engage the community with their local heritage, whilst also trying to determine how this ancient Tasburgh enclosure came to be.
Lead archaeologist Giles Emery, of Norvic Archaeology, said the finds from these test pits could potentially yield new information of human activity around the monument during prehistoric, Anglo-Saxon and medieval eras.
“It’s a great and unique opportunity. It will all add to the story of the village and the landscape,” he told the Diss Express.
“It (the earthworks) is one of only six sites in Norfolk indentified as hill forts. It’s always been a big draw for people.
“Really, it’s a chance for people to get involved and find a bit of history within the own garden. The village has really got behind us.”
The chief question at the centre of the project is when the Tasburgh Earthworks were built, with current theories suggesting it may have been built in the Iron Age, the Saxon period or during the Danish Viking invasion of East Anglia.
These initial test pits will be followed by more digs around the village this month, involving the Young Archaelogists group and Preston Primary School, who will also be doing arts activities inspired by the findings.
It is hoped that the eventual results of the research will be revealed in a travelling exhibition in June, visiting local sites and Long Stratton Library, as well as new permanent information boards in the village.
Project leader Simon Floyd said: “The people of the village have shown great interest and enthusiasm and we look forward to working with them to going some way to unlocking mysteries surrounding the origins of this significant site and of the village itself.
“You never know what you are going to find. Each question tends to bring another question rather than an answer.”
To learn more, go to www.norfarchtrust.org.uk/tasburgh