It’s not broadcast quality but for those involved in the Nassington excavation I hope this video brings back happy memories – and perhaps the inspiration to return next year…….

Day 1 – Saturday 19th

The Nassington excavation of a Roman barn continues. Members of FRAG joined up again with our friends from MidNAG to delve deeper into the Iron Age and Roman agricultural site close to Nassington.

Last year we revealed a substantial Roman rectangular building:
Nassington Roman Barn

Day 2 – Sunday 20th

Day 2 now over and though we are still only preparing the site there have been plenty of finds including the base of an unusual Iron Age pot, Samian ware and hypocaust tile.

roman hypocaust

This was how the Nassington excavation looked on Sunday morning. We’ll keep updating this as we continue our exploration over the next two weeks.

Roman Nassington Start of Day 2

First step is to uncover what we found last year.

Day 3 – Monday 21st

All the soil now off last year’s Roman building – but frustratingly the terram remains for one more day.

Nassington Roman Barn - Day 3

Much of the extended excavation area now cleaned to natural or initial layer of archaeology. Lot’s of pot sherds, bones and mysteries.

Day 4 – Tuesday 22nd

That’s better! End of day shot shows covers removed and the site in all her beauty.

Nassington Roman Barn Tuesday 22nd

And if you want to look in more detail at the features we’ve been digging:
Composite Site Photo – 220817

Interpretations of the following features welcome:

Nassington feature - centre of building

Nassington feature - porch

Nassington feature - oven

Nassington feature - anglo saxon floor

Day 5 – Wednesday 23rd

Slow and steady scraping through the layers.

roman barn at nassington 23 aug 2017

Here’s today’s detailed Composite Site Photo in case you want to check your patch and plan for tomorrow!

And here’s the Same Image in 3D. (Some web browsers cannot handle this; best with Chrome or Firefox.)

Not quite how they did it in Roman times but harvesting has long been an important time of the year.

Nassington Harvest

Day 6 – Thursday 24th

Continued cleaning – and lots of pot and bone in places.

The area in the centre is under cover with the hope of a moist surface tomorrow morning.

nassington roman barn 24 aug 2017

Day 7 – Friday 25th

Diggers and excavation surface baking in the sunshine.

Stephen Upex visited site and gave a very helpful explanation of the differing Roman pottery types.

[There’s a general introduction to pottery identification on this website.]

And here’s the site at end of day.

Nassington Roman Barn 25 Aug 2017

Day 8 – Saturday 26th

A Roman feast was today’s highlight. From imitation dormouse to honey cakes and figs, it was delicious.

Roman Feast at the Nassington excavation

A bit more digging achieved too!

Nassington Roman Dig 26 Aug 2017

Spot the Roman millstone…….

Spot the Roman millstone

Day 10 – Monday 28th

You noticed! Your correspondent took a sneaky break yesterday but others continued – and over 100 visitors came to the open day on Sunday.

Our main focus today was to dig deeper into the various features previously identified. Some destruction inevitable but also some great finds including a chunk of thick bluish moulded glass.

Nassington Excavation Blue Roman Glass

Overview of the site after lunch:

Nassington Roman Barn 28 Aug 2017

Temperatures were in the high 20s but still diggers were reluctant to stop for breaks:

nassington dig site from SW

And are still smiling:

happy digger!

Andy’s beautifully excavated bone pit:

andy's bone pit

Day 12 – Wednesday 30th

Temperature of 13° rather than 26° which perhaps helped make this a particularly enjoyable day as we got stuck into the remaining features.

Geoff seems seriously laid back as he soaks up the kudos of making today’s star find.

Nassington Roman Jar - 30 Aug 2017

Site at end of day:

Nassington Dig 30 Aug 2017

At last we’re starting to get some real clues as to the “burning” features within the building:

Nassington Dig Central Features 30 Aug 2017

After which, off to the Black Horse for a most convivial fish and chips supper.

Day 13 – Thursday 31st

Time pressure building as we aim to “finish” investigation of the main structure by end of week.

nassington diggers 31 aug 2017

At lunch time Stephen Upex put the Nassington site into the broader Roman context explaining what was happening locally, regionally and across the empire.

nassington dig stephen upex 31 aug 2017

End of day photo:

nassington dig 31 aug 2017

Day 14 – Friday 1st

How about this for a Samian Ware stamp:

Nassington Dig Samian Ware 1 Sept 2017

Nassington excavation director Derek Roberts of MidNAG answered questions from diggers:

nassington dig - derek roberts

Myk, John and a wheel barrow:

nassington excavation - myk, john and barrow

Photographer in chief:

nassington excavation - photographer in chief

Finds washing line:

nassingto excavation finds washing line

Fantastic herring bone foundations:

nassington excavation - roman herring bone foundation

Main building towards end of day:

nassington excavation - 01 sept 2017

Day 15 – Saturday 2nd

A misty start giving way to a glorious day.

The loss of a friend in the village in spite of heroic efforts by many, including two of our team.

The joy of digging, tinged with the sadness of farewells as this year’s Nassington dig draws to a close.

Nassington dig 02 sept 2017


Nassington Farewell 02 Sep 2017

Expect a few more photos over coming days but I’m afraid our daily dig diary has come to an end.

Goodbye – until next year!

A big thank you goes to Gill, Derek and the rest of the MidNAG team for organising the excellent Nassington excavation.