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Archaeological team unearths fascinating items in Great Yarmouth

A team of archaeologists has recently completed an exciting dig at Beaconsfield Recreation Ground unearthing a wealth of Victorian artefacts.

A photo showing some of the findings at Beaconsfield Park. Credit: Professor Licence.

The Beaconsfield was created in the 1890s with the reclamation of 18 acres of sand dunes. The dunes were fenced off then levelled by the tipping of domestic waste, comprising ash, food waste, street sweepings and other rubbish. A layer of turf was then laid on top and the recreation ground was created in two phases. The southern end was created in 1890 /1891 and the northern part of the grounds was made up in in 1895 / 1896.

Led by renowned archaeologist Professor Tom Licence Professor of Medieval History from UEA University, the team spent several weeks excavating the site, carefully sifting through layers of soil to reveal a treasure trove of artefacts such as bottles and jars.

According to Professor Licence, the items date back more than 100 years and have helped shed new light on the history of the region and its inhabitants.

Professor Licence said: "Through our painstaking excavation process, we were able to piece together a picture of the Great Yarmouth more than a century ago and gain insights into people's way of life. The artefacts we discovered provide a glimpse into daily life and what people ate and drank."

The team's findings have already generated significant interest among archaeologists and historians who are eager to learn more about this fascinating slice of social history.

A select group of artefacts showing the kinds of everyday items that were discarded in the 1890s have gone on show in an international exhibition which runs for a year at the House of European History museum in Brussels. The display was partly inspired by Professor Licence's BBC documentary called The Secret Life of Landfill.

Last modified on 04 April 2023

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