Four things we’re hoping to find

 Four things we're hoping to find

The #SaintsandSecrets excavation is due to take place 7th – 20th July at Leiston in Suffolk. It has the potential to uncover some really important evidence of a previously unknown prehistoric site, and find out how the inhabitants of Leiston Abbey sustained themselves during the Middle Ages.

With just four days of fundraising to go, we’re 97% funded! We just need a tiny bit more support to make it happen! So, what will your support mean for the discoveries at Leiston Abbey? Here are four things about what we’re hoping to find:

1. Is there a (previously unknown) prehistoric settlement at Leiston?

Last year, we found some prehistoric artefacts and features. To find out whether they were part of a larger (and previously unknown) prehistoric settlement at Leiston, we need to carry out further investigations into some of the nearby humps and bumps, and have a look at what’s underneath the mysterious crop marks.

2. How did the community sustain itself?

Our site, Leiston Abbey, was home in the Middle Ages to a community Premonstratensians, an order of canons regular originally founded by Saint Norbert in 1120. They were known as the White Canons due to the colour of their habits and, as they go, were a pretty radical order. And yet, little is known about how the community sustained itself. We need to investigate the perimeters and surrounding fields of the abbey to find out what kind of industry and agricultural activity took place.

3. Can we find the long lost buildings of Leiston?

Among the ruins of Leiston Abbey, there is still much to know. We’re hoping that with the excavation of some additional trenches, we’ll be able to follow the course of the monastic ditch and rediscover the location of other long lost buildings, such as the infirmary, kitchens, and mill and get a much better understanding of how this medieval abbey operated.

4. And one thing we’re NOT trying to find…

Suffolk is haunted by the legend of Black Shuck, a great black beast of a dog with fiery red eyes, who supposedly killed the parishioners on a dark and stormy night. So when we discovered the bones of a big dog in the abbey grounds, the Daily Mail seized upon the story and reported that we’d found the bones of Black Shuck. As disappointing as it may sound, we’re not actually trying to find any devil dogs, headless horses or paranormal parrots (though don’t tell that to the Daily Mail!)

Click here to support the dig and help uncover the mysteries of Leiston.

There are loads of rewards! As a member of the #DigitalDigTeam, you’ll get live updates as soon as something comes out of the ground, online access to all our finds and an open invitation to come and visit us on site. You can even pick up a trowel and jump into the trenches right alongside us!

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Written by Maiya Pina-Dacier

Head of Community at DigVentures, Maiya digs with a trowel in one hand, and a Twitter feed in the other. She reports on all our discoveries live from the trenches, and keeps our Site Hut full of the latest archaeology news. Got a story? Just drop her a line...

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