Students dig deep to find about Shefford’s history

STUDENTS from four schools dug deep into the past to find out about a town’s history.

Fifty eight students from Bedfordshire East Schools Trust (BEST) Archaeological Society, which comprises of students from Samuel Whitbread Academy, Robert Bloomfield Academy, Henlow Church Academy and Etonbury Academy, took part in a national project – The Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) to dig up six gardens in Shefford.

The HEFA excavations formed part of current research into the development of historic settlement in the post-Roman period being conducted in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. The project has been devised and headed by Carenza Lewis who is well known from Channel 4’s Time Team.

With the help of the British archaeologist, the students had the opportunity to dig one meter test pits over two days to discover what went on in the area in the past.

The gardens where the work was carried out comprised of private gardens and an area of St Michael and All Angels Church in Shefford.

RE teacher, Lee Thomas, from Samuel Whitbread School in Clifton who was co-ordinating the event said: “Archaeology covers nearly all subjects in the national curriculum. It’s got a link to everything and supports a lot of learning. From an RE perspective it gives the students a deeper understanding of history and also gives them the opportunity to learn about the local community.”

The students dug the test pits themselves, completing all elements of their excavation by measuring out, de-turfing, digging, cleaning and recording finds and backfilling.

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The finds will be evaluated by the university and the students will receive a certificate to mark their achievement in completing the HEFA.