Help archaeologists at Peterborough Cathedral dig

Peterborough Cathedral seen through Arches of Guildhall ENGANL00120110222110216
Peterborough Cathedral seen through Arches of Guildhall ENGANL00120110222110216
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Would be archaeologists can help unearth the history of the city at a dig at Peterborough Cathedral.

Archaeological Excavations at Peterborough Cathedral are to be run jointly by Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) and the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), both of the University of Cambridge alongside the Peterborough Cathedral Archaeologist as part of Peterborough 900 campaign.

Volunteers are needed to help work on the dig, which will run from Wednesday June 22 through to Sunday July 3.

A total of six trenches will be opened in the Garden House area in the north-west part of the cathedral precincts.

The trenches have been sited following a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey on the land and it is believed that finding archaeological remains pre-dating the abbey are fairly low, so the main focus of the archaeology will probably be on the Late Anglo Saxon period and later.

There is a possibility that the burh (or burgh) wall crosses the garden area; this was constructed in 1005 AD when the entire precinct was fortified after the abbey was re-built following Danish and Viking raids from the continent. It was when the burgh was constructed that the original Saxon name of Peterborough, Medehamstede, was changed, first to Goldenburgh and then Burgh St Peter or Peterburgh (after the saint dedication of the church and the presence of the burgh – an Old English name for fortified settlement).

Volunteers are invited to take part in the excavations for a minimum of three consecutive days. Those wishing to work for further days will be put on a waiting list in case there are still spaces available shortly before the dig. The excavation is open to all ages and abilities, as there will also be opportunities not only to excavate but to be involved in less physically demanding tasks too. Children under the age of 16 may be considered, but they must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

If you want to take part in the excavation or for more information please email ACA directly on access@arch.cam.ac.uk or phone 01223 761519.