Finds Day and Finds Processing at 65 Tontine Street
The finds day on April 16th was dedicated to archaeology from gardens inland from the Roman Villa and the seashore beneath it. Having been well publicized, with extensive leafleting of the streets behind Wear Bay Road by Albert and Sheila Ingleston and Nick Spurrier, it achieved it aims of proving that there are probably no large and hitherto unknown collections of archaeology from the area in private hands. However, some human finger bones and a single fragment of Iron Age pottery, found on the seashore beneath East Cliff were brought in by Margaret Hicks.
A few others who brought in artifacts were pleased to have them indentified and, in some cases, photographed by Andrew Richardson from Canterbury Archaeological Trust and Jennifer Jackson from the Portable Antiquities Scheme. But most finds were not local and one small collection came from the Mediterranean area.
Meanwhile the processing by volunteers of finds from the Villa site and the Bayle test pits continues at 65 Tontine Street. With the sorting, labelling and recording proceeding well, analysis will soon commence. It is doubtful if this would have proceeded so smoothly without the loan of the shop rent free by the Creative Foundation. As Roma Mortimer says “These premises have been vital for the finds processing, so I hope we will be able to keep them as long as possible. We would never have achieved what we have if we had been forced to find a room for an occasional evening or weekend session.”
The Finds processing and visitors centre at 65 Tontine Street is open on Monday from 6.30pm to 9.00pm when Andrew Richardson is in attendance, Tuesday and Thursday, 10.30 am – 2.30 pm and Friday and Saturday 10.00 am – 3.00 pm. For further information please phone Roma Mortimer on 01303-244714 or Hannah Lewis on 01303-850614. New volunteers or interested visitors are always welcome.
The use of the shop has now been extended to the end of May. In the mean time negotiations are under way about the possibility of moving into the Town Council’s new premises in Church Street, which may even provide a permanent home for finds processing over the next few years, together with a small exhibition area – a starter museum.