Archaeological Field Unit

A report of last year’s archaeological activities by the HRGS Field Unit has been included in the Spring edition of the Kent Archaeological Society’s newsletter:

  KAS Newsletter

Bredhurst Archaeology

HRGS have been excavating at Bredhurst since 2011. We have recently uncovered new flint walls, defined the depth and width of a ditch, found a sherd of Roman pottery, sherd of Roman Tegula (roof tile) and sherds of Medieval pottery. We are slowly making sense of our structures and history the site. Thank you to all those you have taken part and continue to be involved.

Why do we dig?

Archaeology is how we learn about ancient people, how they lived, what they looked like, what tools they used and also about their culture.

The word ‘archaeology’ comes from the Greeks – meaning the study of what is ancient.

Archaeologists are the scientists who study the remains of past civilisations or groups of people.

The life of an archaeologist is far from adventure and danger as portrayed in films…but it still can be pretty exciting when we piece together the puzzle and discover something new.

What do we hope to achieve?

Archaeology is a bit like putting a puzzle together that has lots of the pieces missing. It is a cross between a treasure hunter and a detective. 

Whilst we have a scientific process that we like to follow, we believe that Archaeology should be fun.

Understanding our past, helps us to decide our future. History is the glue that holds communities together.


How do we go about it?

Research plays an important part in deciding where to excavate. 

Archaeologists also look at buildings, ruins, mounds or sunken features in the natural landscape. Using modern technology or aerial photography can help provide archaeologists with clues to where old roads or walls once stood. 

Additionally clues may be available in books or maps.

 Various resources help archaeologists to determine where to start digging. We then use modern technologies to help us understand what we have found

Archaeologists look at the things people have left behind such as their dwellings, clothes, bones, cooking utensils, weapons, money and even their rubbish. In fact rubbish pits can be one of the best places to find artefacts of the past.

The Work on site: Is it just digging?

Although a great deal of effort goes into digging or excavating an archaeological site… there are plenty of additional activities that are part of the process to appropriately record, understand and make sense of the site.

These activities include…

  • Metal detecting
  • Geophysical surveying
  • Photography
  • Plan Drawing
  • Dowsing
  • Site surveying
  • Cleaning finds
  • Recording finds
  • Research

So there are plenty of activities to participate in when recording a site!

Who can get involved?

  • Anyone who is keen to be involved…
  • If under 18, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Typically free for HRGS members (£20 for all year which includes talks). Day members welcomed – £5, refunded if you join as an annual member.
  • On-site training is available.