First Annual Field School Dig at Folkestone’s East Cliff

Published on July 27th, 2015

Following the successful archaeological digs at the Roman villa site on East Cliff in Folkestone as part of the “A Town Unearthed” project in 2010 and 2011, the first of a new series of annual digs has begun that will continue to explore the area beyond the villa.

The “East Wear Bay Archaeological Project” (EWBAP) is being led by Canterbury Archaeological Trust in conjunction with Kent Archaeological Society, Folkestone Research and Archaeology Group and Dover Archaeological Group. As part of the project a field school has been up, offering high quality, comprehensive, archaeological field training. With the support of the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and the Up on the Downs Landscape Partnership Scheme, ten free places per week in the field school have been offered to young people (aged 16-24) who are resident in Shepway or Dover Districts. Also helping with the dig are a number of students from Texas State University in Austin, and the University of Lille 3.

Initial findings have included numerous Iron Age and Roman features, including a quern production area, with large numbers of unfinished quern stones, which were used for grinding corn, confirming that long before the Roman Villa was built the site was an important trade and production centre.

Director of the Project Andrew Richardson said: “This is an internationally important site, but it is being progressively lost to the sea. EWBAP offers the chance over the coming years to rescue information and finds from the site before it is lost, as well as providing high quality archaeological training and skills for both local and international students. We’ve got off to a great start in season one, revealing the first Iron Age quern production site to be archaeologically excavated anywhere in Britain. This site is once again putting Folkestone firmly back on the archaeological map.”
Visitors to the site are welcome from Monday to Saturday, plus for the official site open day on Sunday August 9th, until mid-August.

For further information contact: Dr Andrew Richardson 01227 825276 or 07876 307681
andrew.richardson@canterburytrust.co.uk