Excavations at Lyminge 2010

Aerial view of 2010 excavationsThe 2010 excavations, conducted in a trench measuring 40m x 25m, took place within a parcel of land sandwiched between the grounds of the Old Rectory and Rectory Lane. Lying some 150m south-east of the present parish church and its Anglo-Saxon precursor, this location provided an opportunity to open up a sizeable window within the eastern sector of the Anglo-Saxon monastic precincts previously sampled in 2008-9.

Contrary to expectations, 2010’s trench was devoid of the 8th-9th-century domestic occupation so conspicuous in previous year’s excavations. Instead, our efforts were rewarded by the discovery of an earlier, spatially-distinct, settlement focus dating to the late 5th-7th centuries AD, albeit with limited traces of mid-Saxon occupation of a different character to that encountered 2008-9.

The discovery of a 7th-century plough coulter  one of the most significant finds from the 2010 excavationThis earlier occupation opens up an entirely new dimension to the ongoing campaign of research at Lyminge, for it not only provides the basis for a detailed archaeological investigation into the social antecedents of Lyminge’s documented religious establishment, but also an opportunity to examine how the process of monastic foundation transformed patterns of daily life and cultural identity in Kent, a region key to the earliest stages of the Anglo-Saxon conversion.

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