The ASL team have been involved in many community archaeology projects over the years, especially in connection to the Barcombe Roman Villa excavations.
We are very keen to participate in non-commercial projects that involve community engagement, which includes local society groups, students and other community partners, such as the Sussex School of Archaeology. ASL’s proprietor set up the present School in 2012 and worked for two years as the school manager. She left in 2014 in order to concentrate fully on developing ASL further, although she still teaches for them part-time and continues to have close links. Individual training and day schools in prehistoric pottery are also organzied through ASL and will be expanded upon in future years.
Our team have designed and delivered public engagement activities, covering a wide range of events including talks to local societies, walks with local groups and conferences about our projects, as well as training for local colleges, the National Trust and working with the Young Archaeologists Club. Sites we have collectively contributed to include Isfield Ditched Enclosure, Barcombe Roman Villa, Varley Halls in Brighton, Plumpton Roman Villa and Bridge Farm, Wellingham. These have been conducted as a mixture of hands on teaching with students, as well as providing voluntary excavation and site direction/supervision.
In addition, we have attended open days with displays about the work that we do in order to promote community excavations with local societies, such as the Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society and University of Sussex Archaeological Society, working both on-site and off-site and including report writing. We also accept volunteers who wish to gain some work experience and can offer various activities, such as field-work shadowing, finds processing and environmental processing. We are fully insured through Towergate for these activities and have a robust Health and Safety policy and working practice.
"The Newmarket Farm Dig Project is currently recieving much needed support from ASL for the post-excavation processing of our finds offering the use of their office space, as well as linking me with further volunteer and professional help - thank you"
David Cuthbertson, Community Project Site Director
Royal Pavilion July 2016
In July 2016, ASL have been invited to supervise the excavation of a small test trench within the grounds of the Pavilion, in conjunction with Brighton Museum and the Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society. This is expected to be a well attended event and results will be posted once we have conducted the excavation. This is purely a demonstration event rather than a targetted excavation and is open only to non-members of BHAS.
Preston Manor June 2016
In June ASL were invited to take part in the open day held at Preston Manor in Brighton, as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival events in conjunction with Brighton Museum and the Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society. A small test pit was excavated and a surprising amount of artefacts were recovered, although the majority of these dated to the Victorian period when the walled garden was at it's heyday. Also found was a sherd of medieval pottery and plenty of visitors ensured a captive audience. Lets hope some future archaeologists were encourgaed during the event.
Gallops Farm excavations 2015
Last summer ASL embarked on a new research dig which was open to local diggers and historians.The site was a former timber-frame medieval single-aisled Hall which was previously demolished. The aim iwas to excavate the footprint to compare what is uncovered with what is known about this important and fairly rare building. There was also an Historical documentation project to help put the archaeology in its widest possible context, revealing past tenants and owners. A short free course took place at The Keep in order to facilitate this. ASL were awarded a Margary Grant from the Sussex Archaeological Society to help run the excavations. The report is still being compiled and is forthcoming in Autumn 2016.