Unearthing History with Hyde900's Community Archaeological Dig 2023

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Hyde Abbey gate in Winchester

Photo: Hyde Abbey Gate Winchester

HIPPO is more than just a rubbish removal company; we're a brand committed to community engagement and the preservation of history. We're thrilled to share our recent collaboration with Hyde900, a Winchester-based community project, as we sponsored their latest archaeological dig by donating HIPPOBAGs, and provide a glimpse into this fascinating journey.

Who is Hyde900?

Hyde900 is a community project based in Winchester. In 2010, their mission was to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the founding of Hyde Abbey, the final resting place of King Alfred the Great.

The project has since continued and engages in a range of activities, including community archaeology digs to explore the rich history of the area, and the annual King Alfred Weekend to commemorate the anniversary of the King’s death on 26th October 899.

A medieval floor tile found on a Hyde900 archeology community dig

Photo: A medieval floor tile found during the dig

The Importance of Community Archaeology

Community archaeology is a cornerstone of Hyde900's activities. It's not just about digging up the past; it's about understanding our heritage and learning how to preserve it for future generations. These digs are open to the public, offering a hands-on experience in archaeological methods, inspiring people to learn more about the history of their city and inspiring a new generation of archaeologists.

People unearthing Hyde Abbey during the community archaeology dig

The 2023 Community Dig: A Snapshot of Discovery

Over the course of four days, the Hyde900 community dig delved deep into the layers of history, with a hive of activity taking place across 4 days from 26th – 29th August 2023.

At #19 King Alfred Place, the team unearthed an array of buttons and china from softer soil layers. At #8 King Alfred Terrace, the presence of more rocks and stones hinted at a possible wall structure, and they even discovered what looked like the pipe hole of a loo. Meanwhile, #14 King Alfred Terrace presented a challenging terrain filled with building rubble and foundations. Each day brought new finds, adding pieces to the historical puzzle of the area.

French jettons - a coin-like medal

Photo: French jettons – a coin-like medal once produced across Europe

Previous Discoveries

In 2022, Hyde900’s sixth community dig unearthed many finds once again. The main prize was the discovery of a vaulted culvert which would have distributed water to Hyde Abbey’s inner precinct buildings. This culvert provided fresh water for the monks, enabling them to have a cleaner toilet system than the cesspits used by most people at the time.

HIPPO's Contribution

We proudly sponsored this dig by donating HIPPOBAGs, which were instrumental in managing the vast amounts of earth during the excavations. Our bags ensured that the site remained clean, organised, and a place to sieve through the soil looking for artifacts. This allowed the archaeologists to focus on their important work and held the soil ready to be returned to the archaeological sites when the dig was completed.

Hyde900 Community Dig HIPPOBAG collection

We were delighted to be part of a project that enriches our understanding of history and strengthens community ties.

To find out more about Hyde900 you can visit their website, or follow their updates on their Facebook page.