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#FindOfTheDay 2011

  1. On Sunday 3rd July 2011 Cosmeston Archaeology took it’s first tentative steps on Twitter. A day later, buoyed by the discovery of our ram head aquamanile, we decided to challenge other tweeting excavations to a ‘Finds Off’ to see if they could match our stunning artefact. You can also read this on Storify.
    The aquamanile (a type of high status vessel which would used for hand washing at meals) was discovered in a large demolition layer that sealed the medieval deposits at Cosmeston.
  2. Share

    Sat, Jul 02 2011 20:00:00
  3. For a full breakdown on the background and latest research on the ram see the blog below:
  4. Discovering this amazing artefact early on in the excavation season (and so soon after the project had expanded it’s digital presence) buoyed our confidence.
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    What other tweeting excavations are there at the moment (besides @brparchaeology )? Could we organise a finds off? #archaeology

    Mon, Jul 04 2011 11:16:08
  6. Surely no other excavation could match our stunning ram?
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    @CosmestonArch Check this out 🙂 wp.me/sQuNT-gold

    Wed, Jan 04 2012 17:18:26
  8. Bamburgh responded with an ambiguous but confident tweet mentioning gold.Still, surely even a bit of gold couldn’t match our beautiful sherd of Welsh pot?
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    Tue, Dec 27 2011 05:51:39
  10. Ah.
    Bamburgh had responded with this extraordinary gold plaque. You can read about it’s discovery in their blog:
  11. With Twitter being such an instantaneous and public method of communication there were some questions on how wise it was to publicise such a stunning find:
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    @brparchaeology are you sure you want to tweet yellow metal – a magnet for nighthawks

    Wed, Jul 06 2011 06:30:45
  13. Nighthawks is a colloquial term used by archaeologists, heritage professionals and metal detectorists to refer to unethical metal detectorists who “trespass on to land…any finds are sold on to unscrupulous dealers” rather than officially declare them. Luckily Bamburgh had no need to worry about such unscrupulous individuals:
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    @Sarah_May1 We are inside the curtain walls of Bamburgh Castle which has heavy security.

    Wed, Jan 04 2012 17:18:26
  15. Silchester excavation quickly joined in the fun:
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    This large glass bead with twisted marvered blue & white decoration was found today @brparchaeology @CosmestonArch null

    Wed, Jul 06 2011 12:40:29
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 09:06:24
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    @silchexcavation @CosmestonArch Lovely bead!

    Thu, Jul 07 2011 05:52:20
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    @silchexcavation Oh wow, that is rather beautiful. We saw that @RomanBinchester had a lovely bracelet as well.

    Wed, Jul 06 2011 14:58:35
  20. The bracelet in question:
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    Nice #Roman #bracelet discovered at #Binchester this week! More on blog: http://binchester.blogspot.com #archaeology #Durham #UK http://yfrog.com/khonap

    Wed, Jul 06 2011 14:29:58
  22. With such a fantastic range of archaeological artefacts being shared on Twitter (often moments after they had come out of the ground) we thought a unifying hashtag might be useful to make it easy for people to follow all these amazing discoveries as they developed:
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    @silchexcavation @brparchaeology @RomanBinchester Perhaps there could be a #findoftheday tag to bring these amazing objects together?

    Wed, Jul 06 2011 15:01:05
  24. It seemed a popular idea:
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    @CosmestonArch @silchexcavation @RomanBinchester Definitely!

    Thu, Jul 07 2011 05:53:28
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    @CosmestonArch @brparchaeology @RomanBinchester #findoftheday tag is a great idea!

    Wed, Jan 04 2012 17:18:26
  27. And so #FindOfTheDay was launched.

    University research excavation were not the only ones tweeting pictures of objects:

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    @m_law has a rather lovely #Neolithic #findoftheday http://lockerz.com/s/117610907

    Wed, Jul 06 2011 16:01:48
  29. The finds quickly started to mount, with some great Roman artefacts courtesy of Silchester and Binchester:
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    Candidate for #findoftheday a samian stamp from the workshop of the potter Niger from Southern Gaul AD50- AD70 null

    Wed, Jan 04 2012 17:18:26
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 14:36:28
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    #Roman (#Latin) inscription from #Binchester! #findoftheday http://yfrog.com/klyewp

    Wed, Jan 04 2012 17:19:00
  33. Meanwhile we had rusty medieval iron:
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    A fab find to start our day. Iron arrow head. Does anyone have an idea of date or any other info? null

    Tue, Jul 12 2011 04:19:57
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 14:36:28
  36. To which Silchester had a much better preserved copper alloy brooch:
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    #findoftheday …a copper alloy two-piece brooch null

    Tue, Jul 12 2011 16:28:40
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 18:04:55
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    Bit bored this Wednesday? Check out the #FindsOfTheDay from @silchexcavation – some astonishing objects coming up at the moment

    Wed, Jul 13 2011 05:50:54
  40. …and we had more medieval pottery…
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    #findoftheday french medieval pottery null

    Wed, Jul 13 2011 11:05:29
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 14:45:19
  43. The large green sherds are from a French Saintonge jug (13th – 14th Century). Whoever lived in the manor house at Cosmeston had some fancy tastes!

    Finds were now coming up thick and fast. Binchester came up trumps with a whole altar:
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    Delayed #findoftheday from #Binchester #Roman #Fort on Monday: small stone #altar! #archaeology #Durham #UK http://yfrog.com/ki9rkpp

    Thu, Jul 14 2011 12:03:44
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    @silchexcavation we certainly can’t compete with the rate of finds you are retrieving. Archaeology envy!

    Fri, Jul 15 2011 04:26:50
  46. As we expanded our use of Twitter we discovered many more tweeting digs and became aware of how UK biased #FindOfTheDay was, something we sought to rectify:
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    @GrandPre2009 a few of the tweeting excavations in action at the moment are using #FindOfTheDay to illustrate best/favourite finds

    Mon, Jul 11 2011 19:39:23
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    @GrandPre2009 It’s very UK focussed at the moment, you should join in and broaden our horizons 🙂

    Mon, Jul 11 2011 19:41:19
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    @CosmestonArch Thanks, we’ll take you up on that! We have a wonderful coin to feature, which I’ll blog about later this week. #findoftheday

    Mon, Jul 18 2011 20:39:34
  50. Grand-Pré is a post-medieval settlement in Nova Scotia (Canada) founded by Acadian settlers in 1680. Saint Mary’s University is excavating the site, the coin they refer to in the tweet is pictured below:
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 14:36:28
  52. You can read about their ongoing work at the site on their blog below:
  53. Meanwhile, back in the UK, Silchester were continuing to make amazing discoveries:
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    However, our #findoftheday is… an Iron Age Coin!! From an environmental sample, found by Jess! null

    Wed, Jul 20 2011 16:09:50
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 18:04:54
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    @silchexcavation are continuing to discover amazing objects. Check out their #findoftheday for the latest awesome discoveries #archaeology

    Sun, Jul 24 2011 16:21:02
  57. Towards the end of July another Cardiff University excavation started at Ham Hill in Somerset.. This large Iron Age hillfort was being jointly excavated by a team of students from the University and professional archaeologists from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit. As the project had a strong web presence from the start (see their blog here) we encouraged them to join in with #FindOfTheDay.
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    @hamhillfort any chance of tweeting your favourite finds as #FindOFTheDay – All the cool kids (like us & @silchexcavation ) are doing it 🙂

    Mon, Jul 25 2011 08:48:35
  59. Naturally, not wanting to seem uncool, Ham Hill joined in:
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    #findoftheday from yesterday is a bill hook null

    Thu, Jul 28 2011 12:38:37
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    Thu, Dec 29 2011 18:04:55
  62. As did the Cardiff University excavation at Caerleon Legionary Fortress (read their blog here):
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    #findoftheday Part of an Antefix (gable ornament) from Trench 7 twitpic.com/62mfl6

    Sun, Aug 07 2011 17:12:10
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    Wed, Mar 21 2012 18:11:34
  65. We, meanwhile, had even more pot.
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    Another day of marking pot. this afternoon will cover our ceramics featured in #findoftheday as the sherds are properly sorted and marked.

    Thu, Jul 28 2011 04:32:00
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    Sat, Jul 16 2011 20:00:00
  68. As did Silchester:
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    The first #findoftheday is this amazing Alice Holt fragment of pottery – with some graffiti on! null

    Mon, Aug 08 2011 16:46:01
  70. Share

    Thu, Dec 29 2011 14:36:28
  71. Along with a rather nice key:
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    #findoftheday this gorgeous iron key… http://twitpic.com/65n761

    Sat, Aug 13 2011 18:33:48
  73. And more pot:
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    A piece of terra nigra pottery – with a complete stamp! #findoftheday http://twitpic.com/66obv0

    Mon, Aug 15 2011 16:18:46
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    From another pit on site, we have pieced together a near-complete Alice Holt pot! #findoftheday http://twitpic.com/66oejv

    Mon, Aug 15 2011 16:25:49
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    …which also has a pierced bottom! #findoftheday http://twitpic.com/66of4o

    Mon, Aug 15 2011 16:27:11
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    … and Lisa from environmental found this gorgeous piece of millefiori glass in a sample! #findoftheday http://twitpic.com/675sjq

    Tue, Aug 16 2011 16:35:02
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    This tiny blue glass bead was also found during flotation! #findoftheday http://twitpic.com/675tbe

    Tue, Aug 16 2011 16:36:52
  79. Phew!
    As the excavation at Silchester drew to a close their team sat down, thought hard, and decided on a find of the season:
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    And, after much deliberation….the #findoftheseason is….

    Mon, Aug 22 2011 03:54:27
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    …the Puddingstone quernstone! The first of its kind found at Silchester – a favourite among diggers & public! http://twitpic.com/69v7ej

    Mon, Aug 22 2011 03:55:43
  82. At Cosmeston it may seem like the aquamanile was an obvious candidate for our #FindOfTheSeason, however, one of the students (Rachel Phillips) thought this 1980’s trowel was the true star:

    Archaeologists digging up old archaeological tools.

    This is a GGAT (Gwent and Glamorgan Archaeological Trust) trowel we found in our trench. It had been left and buried at the bottom of their trench from their excavations in the 80’s.

    Despite finding some amazing medieval pottery and such, i think this is my favourite find of the dig.”

  83. Share

    Sat, Jul 02 2011 20:00:00
  84. Bamburgh had so much to choose from they went for a top 5!
  85. Whilst many excavations were now coming to an end others were still going strong:
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    #findoftheday typical, small copper ring flicked out as we were cleaning T7 for section drawing t.co/i8Dys8T

    Sat, Aug 27 2011 10:26:13
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    Wed, Mar 21 2012 18:11:52
  88. And as the year drew to a close the hashtag was still going strong as CADW (the historic environment service of the Welsh Government) tweeted finds from their excavations at the St Lythan’s and Tinkinswood Neolithic burial chambers (located in the Vale of Glamorgan).
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    Hammerstone in Chamber 1 today #FindoftheDay

    Wed, Oct 26 2011 12:09:36
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    Microlith, Neolithic scraper, plus lots of pieces of Bronze Age pottery – some with nice rim decoration in Chamber 2 #FindsoftheWeek

    Wed, Oct 26 2011 12:17:53
  91. Including an intriguing, distinctly non-Neolithic, find:
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    Oops no pic. Ahem. Here is the find of the day at #stlythansdig @CadwArchaeology
    What is it??? t.co/jOJWfOaL

    Sat, Nov 19 2011 11:46:03
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    Wed, Mar 21 2012 18:11:02
  94. You can read about CADW’s work at these sites (and find out about opportunities to get involved) on their blog. They continued to find brilliant artefacts right into December (brrr):
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    The decorated pot from yesterday… are we allowed to have 2 #findsoftheday? t.co/uCXUb4TY

    Sun, Dec 04 2011 14:21:03
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    Wed, Mar 21 2012 18:11:34
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    The bone pin found yesterday #findoftheday t.co/HcNYhOAk

    Sun, Dec 04 2011 14:19:48
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    Wed, Mar 21 2012 18:11:02
  99. As 2011 ended we started compiling this Storify. Silchester on hearing this had a great idea:
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    @CosmestonArch Look forward to your Storify – a great idea – looking forward to the #findoftheyear ?

    Tue, Jan 03 2012 05:48:03
  101. So, what was your favourite #FindOfTheDay 2011? Which should take the ultimate accolade of #FindOfTheYear? Have we missed any great objects that were tweeted about?
    If you have enjoyed reading this please consider using #FindOfTheDay yourself. You needn’t be a big university project or a professional archaeologist, anyone can join in by tweeting pictures of any interesting old object you come across (whether in a field, skip, attic, museum or archive).
    Here’s to #FindOfTheDay 2012!

About Cosmeston Archaeology

Cardiff University School of History, Archaeology and Religion is working with the Vale of Glamorgan Council on an exciting project to increase community awareness and access to learning about Cosmeston Medieval Village and the surrounding area. Initially discovered in 1979 by local archaeology company GGAT, University excavations since 2007, involving students and the local community, have advanced our understanding of this complex medieval settlement. With excavations now entering their fifth year this blog will provide you the inside track with the exciting discoveries and finds as they come out of the ground.


4 thoughts on “#FindOfTheDay 2011

  1. This is great Cosmeston! I sense a re-match this summer…….

    Posted by bamburghresearchproject | March 22, 2012, 5:39 pm
  2. very cool stuff I love the photos! Thanks for posting them!

    Posted by dirt fill florida | April 18, 2012, 7:34 pm
  3. Great post!

    Posted by Courtney | May 30, 2014, 4:15 am


  1. Pingback: The story of ‘Find of the Day’ | Bamburgh Research Project's Blog - March 23, 2012

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Day of Archaeology 2011

Cosmeston contributed to Day of Archaeology 2011. Click through to see our posts!

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