A young archaeologist

I can’t really remember how it came about that I joined a ‘dig’ when I was about 11. It wasn’t hard work and it did prove to be good fun. The dig was in a dried up moat around an old Tudor house not far from where I lived. If memory serves me right the dig was organised by a school teacher who lived very close.

The moat was soft and easy to cope with and really we were looking for discarded rubbish, flung into the moat to get rid of it. We didn’t expect any ancient finds but we had finds a plenty.

Two things stick in the memory – clay pipes with lots of stem and not so many bowls and blue and white china.

We were allowed to keep some bits and I obviously put my treasures in a handy box. And there they still are.


The box is for twenty five cigars. I have no idea where it came from. At that time nobody in my family smoked. It had probably felt useful at a jumble sale.


The inside has contents and a pretty inner lid!


The three clay pipe bowls there do not have any maker’s marks which is a shame. I dare say had they been marked, they’d have been kept centrally.

I’d love to date these. I’m going to guess that the top two are early eighteenth century but really it is only a guess. If I was a real nerd I’d apply the Harrington rule. This involves measuring the size of the hole through the pipe in sixty fourths of an inch and then looking it up on this table.


OK, I am a real nerd and on that basis I get that the top two are 1720 to 1750 and the fluted one is 1680 to 1720.

But do, please put me right on that if you can.

I also have fragments of pottery. What better than to toss broken china ware into the moat.


I’m not even going to try to date these items but again, if anyone likes to tell me anything, I’ll be delighted.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we do turn up odd finds in our garden and even though they have zero cash value we can still be very pleased with them.

Oh, I found a recent photo of the house and moat on the web. That moat is now full of water again. Maybe, back in about 1960 it had been drained deliberately


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One Response to “A young archaeologist”

  1. Janet Says:

    Reblogged this on Janet’s thread and commented:
    Do it yourself archaeology.

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