Sunday 15 May 2011

Pottery fragments from Glastonbury Abbey cast new light on Dark Ages

Archaeologists are gearing up to share their discovery that the history of Glastonbury Abbey site reaches right back to the Dark Ages. Previous studies of the Abbey’s pottery had identified early Roman, Anglo-Saxon, medieval and later material. Now, a one-day symposium hosted by Glastonbury Abbey, exploring exciting new research into the historic excavation archives 1908 – 1979, will show that human activity took place there as early as the third or fourth centuries BC.

John Allan, Consultant Archaeologist to Glastonbury Abbey, and one of the speakers at the Symposium, said: ‘We now realise that the Abbey site had a much longer history than previously known, reaching right back into prehistory and including the mysterious Dark Ages. We hadn’t realised these periods were represented in the excavated pottery, until this project.

‘A scatter of exotic Saxon, Norman, medieval and later ceramics attests the great wealth of the abbey. Scientific analysis has now established the precise origins of some of these finds; the most distant come from Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.

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