How It All Started
1st August 2010, the beginning of the archaeological part of the A Town Unearthed Project started. We all got stuck in straight away, from painting huts, erecting fences, digging test trenches and finally getting to the villa dig itself. A number of people who joined in had experience of archaeological digs, however there were a bunch of us who arrived there expecting to be handed a fine paintbrush to meticulously clear the mummified bodies (too much exposure to 19th century Egyptian photographs I think), whilst others were expecting to have Raiders of the Lost Ark adventures (too much exposure to 1980's movies) In reality, it was nothing like that; it was even more addictive. Within a few days we discovered items from the Roman era, suspiciously looking like a ritual placement, however it didn’t take long before other artefacts were found: pottery, brooches, coins, animal bone and tonnes (literally) of ceramic building material. Bit by bit, more and more was discovered over the next 95 days, indicating an Iron Age settlement had been in existence before the Roman structures were constructed.
During the 138 days digging in 2011 lunch time chats turned to a new idea; we knew that there were a number of history societies and groups in the local area, but no specifically archaeological ones. Through various discussions we realised that there had been a number of digs done in the area by people from afar, not the locals, until this one. Over the months of excavations, discovery, and learning, the idea of a group who were interested in Folkestone and its surrounds gained momentum. It was agreed, therefore, amongst the volunteers, that we needed a focused group for the Folkestone area. Although we had agreed to setting up the group, we were all involved in the dig already underway, and we needed a name, not a simple proposition! After the 2011 excavations were concluded, although there was further work still to be completed, we decided that we would initiate the group to get further involved in projects in the Folkestone area, or to initiate our own excavations in the region.
We held an inaugural meeting late in January 2012 to set up our group, with a draft constitution being proposed and approved. The official document is now available on this web site.
Since then our members have been actively involved in the archaeological processes (from initial assessment through the digging, pot-washing, marking and analysis processes) of a number of sites both near and far. A number of our members have/are also undertaking degrees in Archaeology at Uni of Kent, Christ Church Uni and UCL, as well as day courses and various conferences. Furthermore, this year (2018) we will be a sponsor for the 21st Iron Age Research Student Symposium hosted by the University of Kent.
Not only are we interested in finding out the past, and collating the historical references, but we are also passionate about educating people about the amazing, and ancient, heritage of the area.
If you are interested in joining our group - either as an active member - or just for the purposes of keeping up to date with our endeavours or open days, then please contact us.