A beautiful fresh day today with wall to wall sunshine which brought 72 persons up to the site including 3 children, the latter of whom enjoyed their excavation experience in the children's area.
Several volunteers were excavating today and one excavated out a very large body sherd of 11/12th century Exmoor derived coarseware. One of our visitors, an elderly lady was given the opportunity to inspect the sherd shortly after if was discovered. She handled it as though it was a precious stone. "Just think," she remarked, "I am only the second person to have handled this piece of pottery since it was buried almost a thousand year ago!" She clutched it to her chest and was quite overwhelmed; and the rest of the group being shown around the site clapped her for her enthusiasm and sentiment.
Surely, this is what community archaeology; inclusive and accessible is all about. Surely this is what National Archaeology Week is all about. Allowing people to claim their own archaeology and history as their own. One elderly lady, born and bred in Combe Martin over 70 years ago was, probably for the first time, able to claim to 'be part' of the archaeology and history of 'her' village. And what great delight it brought to her.
http://www.cmsmrps.org.uk - a community archaeology initiative.