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What will big excavation find?

What will big excavation find?

July 8, 2024

Three villages in the South Downs will be the focus of community excavations this summer as people dig deep to discover the area’s archaeology.

The Burpham Big Dig is a fascinating project that will involve community excavations in Burpham, Wepham, and Peppering in West Sussex.

Based on previous finds in the area, these excavations hold the potential for uncovering evidence of significant archaeological features, and artefacts from the Stone Age, right through the Iron Age, and into more recent times. The excavations will see a total of 34 test pits dug in the gardens of village residents.

The digs will take place from during August, undertaken by members of the Worthing Archaeological Society, residents of the villages, James Sainsbury, from Worthing Museum, and a small number of student volunteers.

The project is being led by Worthing Museum, in association with Worthing Archaeological Society, with support from the South Downs National Park Trust, South Downs National Park Authority, Ian Askew Charitable Trust, Burpham Parish Council, Burpham Village Hall and Recreation Ground.

There will be an official open day on 17 August, where locals and visitors will be invited to take a closer look at what’s happening.

Excavations over the last 200 years have unearthed remarkable finds in the area. In the early 19th century a mammoth was discovered in Peppering, and other palaeolithic tools were found in the 20th century. In Burpham, Neolithic flint tools have been found as well as Iron Age coins, and even a Bronze Age burial site.

Worthing Museum’s archaeology curator James Sainsbury said: “This will be Worthing Museum’s first active archaeological investigation in the 21st century, and has the potential to be a pilot project for further work in and around Worthing in the coming years.”

Learn more here.