Sunday, 21 October 2012

Archaeology: Artifacts Shown At Healing Heritage Weekend 2012

Many people enjoyed last year's article about the artifacts shown at the village fete, so I am beginning another about the articles shown at this year's village history event. The weather was fantastic, and this was a great opportunity to find out more about the village and its long and varied history.

The first find, pictured below, is of an animal's jawbone. This was probably killed and eaten as a meal. The shape and formation of the teeth suggests that this was a herbivore, and the size and shape of the jaw itself suggests that this was probably a pig. The site itself most probably kept farm animals, as would most self-sufficient farmsteads at this time.

The next find is a common one on the site - the remains of shellfish. During the medieval period, Healing would have been surrounded by marshes, each of which provided an abundance of shellfish, such as cockles and oysters. These would be carted back to the settlement, and wrenched open. The meat on the inside would be eaten, and the shells would remain. More often than not, these would be buried in the ground. During the 1995 excavation, archaeologists found a haul of these shells (near Trench One), which they compared to a 'medieval McDonald's'.

In total, the archaeologists dug six pits, spread out over where the New Estate is in Healing. In Trench One, near to where the original manor house would have been, they found this brick. Dating from the 14th century, bricks were a symbol of status, as only the very richest would be able to afford them.

As I mentioned in the introduction, Healing has a long history, even dating back to the Neolithic times. One of the main tools of the time would have been flint tools, examples of which were found on the site. In total, archaeologists found 19 pieces of worked flint - 13 flakes, 4 chunks, 1 core and a hammerstone. An example of this can been seen below.

Flint Tool

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the evidence of occupation in Healing. If you missed the Healing Heritage Weekend, you may want to visit next year - planning begins in January, and the event usually takes place in the first or second week of September. More information to follow. 


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