Young archaeologists win chance to take part in professional dig in Northumberland

William and Elizabeth Allis, of the Flodden, Northumberland, branch of the Young Archaeologists Club, won the national Dig It Excavation Competition

William Allis and Elizabeth Allis
William Allis and Elizabeth Allis

Two young archaeologists from the North got the chance to get their hands dirty at a professional dig after winning a national competition.

William and Elizabeth Allis, of the Flodden, Northumberland, branch of the Young Archaeologists Club, won the national Dig It Excavation Competition and got the chance to work on a real archaeological site.

The siblings, from Lowick in Northumberland, spent their Saturday with the professionals digging at Bamburgh Research Project’s excavation at Bradford Kaims.

Examining and washing some of the finds made on the site, eight-year-old William and 11-year-old Elizabeth were taught other archaeological skills such as drawing to scale and measuring features.

Elizabeth, a pupil at Berwick Middle School, said: “My brother and I had a great time digging at Bradford Kaims with the team of archaeologists. There was a strange wooden object found, it had a sort of handle and three holes in one end.

“No ones knows what it is yet, I think it’s something that prehistoric people made and buried to confuse archaeologists later on.”

In addition to being involved in the professional dig, both William, a pupil at Lowick First School, and Elizabeth were awarded tool rolls filled with archaeological tools and tTshirts as part of the prize.

Dig It is an annual Young Archaeologists Club competition with the winners getting the chance to work on a real archaeological site.

Bradford Kaims is an ancient wetland site, located just a few miles from Bamburgh, and is not usually open to the public making this an exceptional opportunity for the pair.

It has an extensive prehistoric landscape containing many burnt mounds, with finds dating back some 6,000 years to the beginning of the Neolithic period.

Nicky Milsted, YAC Communications Officer and competition organiser, said: “It’s always great to see YAC members getting their hands dirty on archaeological sites, learning excavation skills from real archaeologists – and this opportunity for competition winners William and Elizabeth is especially exciting.

“Huge thanks must go to the team from Bamburgh Research Project for allowing our YAC winners to work alongside them, and also to Past Horizons who provided each of the winners with an amazing tool roll to use on site and take home with them.”

Anyone who would like to join the Flodden YAC - which was set up as part of the celebrations to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden - should contact Jane Miller on 07768 557698 or email JMiller@woodhorn.org.uk.

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