Trainee archaeologists Dunia, Janita and Abigail excavate Allen Gardens

Archaeology Traineeship dig begins at Allen Gardens

Josh Frost
22.10.2015

Josh Frost is a trainee archaeologist. He tells us about his experience of digging at Allen Gardens for the Archaeology Traineeship.

The Archaeology Traineeship dig at Allen Gardens is well underway. Our dig is located in a corner of a small park just off Brick Lane in Shoreditch. The site has been in use since the 1500s when it was used for brick quarrying, which gave Brick Lane its name. In the 18th and 19th centuries the area was developed into housing and All Saints School first opened on our site in 1813.

We have been carrying out an evaluation of the site in order to get a basic idea of the archaeology in the ground, with two trial pits dug. When we dug these pits we found several archaeological features, so the pits were extended into a larger (10x4) trench to investigate further.

The last two weeks have involved getting to grips with a variety of excavation techniques, including using hand tools such as mattocks, trowels and shovels and planning and filling in context sheets, in order to have a complete record of the dig. 

Already there have been a lot of finds coming out and archaeological features showing up in the ground, including brick plinths and walls. The challenge over the next few weeks will be to understand how these finds and features relate to each other and what we already know about the school that once stood on the site.

Throughout the dig we will share more of what we have found and how the site is developing. Watch this space!

Head down to Allen Gardens on the 30 October 2015 and take part in family-friendly activities. Have a go at artfeact identidication and washing, meet Roman Londoners and chat with the trainee archaeologists about their findings. Check out our events pages for details of the Allen Gradens archaeology open day.

Tower Hamlets Council has kindly made land available in Allen Gardens for the Archaeology Traineeship. For more information about the Traineeship explore using the links below or follow our updates on Facebook and Tiwtter with the #I❤archaeology.

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