Artefacts from Iron Age found during dig

Volunteers who took part in an archaeological dig at Mardon, near Crookham.
Volunteers who took part in an archaeological dig at Mardon, near Crookham.

Evidence of an Iron Age settlement has been uncovered during an archaeological dig in north Northumberland.

The dig was planned by TillVAS (Till Valley Archaeological Society) as part of the Branxton and Crookham Village Atlas Project begun in 2016 and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

After a great deal of research and using aerial photographs, a site near Mardon, possibly Iron Age, was chosen.

The farm is owned by George Farr, of Pallinsburn House.

Permission to dig up an arable field was granted on condition that it was completed by early September, when it would be sown with winter wheat.

Preparations were made under the supervision of archaeologist Richard Carlton despite the fact geo-physics showed little of note, the excavation began on August 31, manned by up to 17 volunteers.

Once the top soil was removed by digger, the potential of the site became apparent.

A number of trenches were opened and several pieces of Iron Age pot were found, along with two springs of clear running water. The widest ditch was dug down to 1.75metres and produced evidence of Iron Age occupation; shards of pot, pieces of wood, a piece of bone then finally, a section of vertebrae and two shoulder blades, all much too big to be human.

The excavation closed on Saturday and everyone involved was happy with the outcome.

A return visit may be planned next year.

For more information on the Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS), which is a not-for-profit organisation, visit its website – www.tillvas.com