Anglo-Saxon oven unearthed in Norfolk
A 1,300-year-old bread oven could have been discovered by a group of volunteer archaeologists in Norfolk.
Uncovered 4ft 11in below the ground at an annual dig in near Hunstanton, the strange clay object is believed to be an Anglo-Saxon oven. Supervisor Dr John Jolleys described the discovery as “rare and very exciting”.
He says there is a chance it could be a forge or pottery kiln, but there was no evidence of metal or discarded pottery inside or nearby.
He told the BBC: “Another thought was a corn drier. We had some burnt grain around it but that's all over the area and we suspect that relates to stubble burning…It looks very much like a bread oven.
“Our initial thought was that it was Roman, but we've found a very nice, substantial piece of middle Saxon pottery dating between 650 and 850 sealed underneath a feature which is directly attached to the structure we've got.”
The object was highlighted by a geophysical survey of the land, which also suggested there were objects either side of the potential bread oven.
According to Dr Jolleys, its size and objects around it could indicate it was once a community oven, meant for the use of a whole village or settlement. There are also signs the white clay which makes up the object had turned red due to being exposed to high heat.