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Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club in April ’18: at the Roman circus!

The Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) met here at the Roman circus visitor centre on the 21st April to explore the Roman circus itself! Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘… We held our April meeting at the Roman circus visitor centre after the re-opening of the Roman circus site, visitor centre and tea room for the summer season, and after the Peter Froste archaeological art exhibition had opened. Fifteen YAC members arrived and were taken on a guided tour of the Roman circus site and visitor centre by one of the Trust’s volunteer tour guides, Vicki. The tour included [read more…]

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Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club in March ’18: more medieval mayhem at the Roman circus visitor centre

  The March meeting of the Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) here at the Colchester Roman circus visitor centre was postponed from the 17th to the 24th March, Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘… The planned Colchester YAC meeting was postponed because of really cold and snowy weather. However, 16 YAC members were able to come to the Roman circus visitor centre on the 24th March to continue our medieval theme in considerably warmer weather, but just before the Roman circus site, visitor centre and tea room re-opened for the summer season and before the opening of the Peter [read more…]

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Good Friday 2018: medieval sea shells from St John’s abbey in Colchester

  Last week and this week, Trust archaeology volunteers have been hard at work washing a very large quantity of sea shells from a site within the area of the precinct of St John’s abbey in Colchester. The shells were excavated from medieval rubbish-pits on a site at the Flagstaff House complex in the old Colchester garrison, where we conducted a very long-running archaeological watching brief from 2015. The watching brief was undertaken on works at the Flagstaff House complex during extensive redevelopment works (the complex is now the Arena Place residential development).¬†This complex of listed and locally-listed buildings was [read more…]

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NAAFI memorabilia at the Roman circus visitor centre

On Wednesday (21st March), an interesting item of NAAFI memorabilia arrived here at the Trust’s HQ. It is a page (page 382) from an issue of The War Illustrated, published on the 12th April 1940, during WW2. It shows five great photo.s relating to the NAAFI, and – appropriately for¬†Women’s History Month (March) – these feature some of the women who worked in NAAFIs or for the NAAFI during the war. The NAAFI – the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute – was created to provide catering and leisure facilities and services to ‘the Services’. Our HQ and the Roman [read more…]

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Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club February meeting: medieval mayhem!

                                      The Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) met on Saturday 17th for their February meeting here at the Roman circus visitor centre. Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘… Colchester YAC enjoyed a medieval session at the Roman circus visitor centre on the 17th. We started by telling each other what we liked about the medieval period and then what we disliked… A horror of plague, lack of sanitation, lack of technology, lack of transport and weird remedies headed the list of [read more…]

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‘tea and talks’ 2018: ‘a good time was had by all’

                    On Saturday (17th February), Trust archaeologists took part in the big ‘tea and talks’ event presented by the Friends of Colchester Archaeological Trust (FCAT) at Lion Walk Church in Colchester town centre. The event was open to FCAT members and members of the public and it was well attended, as usual. This is the chance for the Trust to tell people about some of our projects from the previous year. Trust director Philip, Trust archaeologists Howard Brooks and Laura Pooley, and Trust pottery specialist Steve Benfield presented short illustrated talks [read more…]

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very interesting results from a recent site to the north of Colchester

  On the 20th November ’17, the Trust began an archaeological evaluation on a large site to the north of Colchester. Interestingly, we completed the fieldwork on the 20th December! The site also produced some very interesting results… The evaluation trenching followed by excavation of exposed features revealed a large number of small shallow pits, each containing a charcoal-rich fill but few finds. As the pits show evidence of wood having been burned in them, we have called them ‘fire-pits’. The few finds from the site include part of a Roman pottery vessel, six post-medieval gun-flints, and a modern US [read more…]

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Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club in January 2018

The Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) met here at the Colchester Roman circus visitor centre on Saturday (20th January), for their first meeting of 2018. Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘… We tried to envisage millions of years in a timeline. Using the floor space, we made a 250,000,000-year timeline. To fit inside the visitor centre, this had to be on the scale of 10,000 years to 1 millimetre. We used coloured A4 sheets of paper which were approximately 30 centimetres in width. There were 19 YAC members at the meeting, and one of them worked out that we [read more…]