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Preparation

1. Identifying areas of interest.

We started planning the Petersfield Big Dig over a year ago, in conjunction with Petersfield Town Council. Our working group, called the Fieldwork Committee, is made up of unpaid volunteers who all have different areas of expertise and backgrounds. The project team comprises a mix of members of the Petersfield Area Historical Society, led by Ann Brooks, and members of Liss Archaeology:

  • Keith - our chairman,

  • Juliet - professional archaeologist and our Archaeology Director,

  • Peter - deputy chairman and also a qualified archaeologist,

  • Carl - expert in geophysics scans, trained by Historic England,

  • David - drone pilot, photographer, IT professional and researcher.

The Town Council asked us to look at a number of specific areas in the older parts of town:

  • The Avenue Playing Fields

  • The Spain, and

  • Goodyers Meadow.

Meanwhile Ann canvassed owners of many of the older houses, especially around The Spain and Sheep Street, to ask whether they would consider letting us explore their properties with geophysics scans, test pits or a combination of both. From dendrochronology it is known that some of the houses have timbers dating back to the 15th century. Many of these residents have proved to be incredibly enthusiastic and helpful. Some have found artefacts such as clay pipes or know that there used to be wells in their gardens.

Petersfield-3.jpg

Very old houses fronting onto The Spain in Petersfield

From this the team drew up a list of potential sites to research further.

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