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To interrupt your festivities for a moment…I was very pleased to discover a report on the BBC News site, about the results of the research undertaken by Archeo Briton, from the excavation of the site of the Steventon Rectory. This excavation took place last year and you may recall that I wrote about it here.
Archeo Briton have now released some further information about their findings, and some of the conclusions they have made about the type of life the Austens lived at the Rectory. It does confirm, I think, what we thought to be the situation: that the Austens lived a modest, self-sufficient life at Steventon with one or two touches of luxury here and there. Below is a picture of some shards of salt-glazed domestic pottery found on the site.
There will be an exhibition next year, and a book is to be published about this wonderful exercise, Archeology Meets Jane Austen, by Deborah Charlton. I will of course report back. I’m determined to visit the exhibit and the book is on my “To Be Purchased” list!
You were very interested in yesterday’s post, and rightly so because it is I think a fascinating project. It really will be fascinating to read of the discoveries being made on the site of Jane Austen’s birthplace,and what it reveals to us about the Austen family’s life style at Steventon. Apparently, interesting “finds” have been made every day of the dig
So, I’ve dug around ( groan!) and found some more information, which clears up some of the questions you raised in the comments, yesterday.
The work is being carried out by a Hampshire based firm, Archaeo Briton. They are a group of experienced archeologists, who have formed their own firm to undertake individual archaeological projects. The Steventon Rectory project is, according to their website, not only going to lead to an exhibition at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke, but also to a publication, Archaeology Greets Jane Austen.
“The Rectory Project will research the home of the authoress Jane Austen to explore the factual lifestyle of the Austen family. Jane Austen was born at Steventon on 16th December 1775 and lived there with her family for 25 years. The “Rectory” was demolished to the ground during the 1820s and very little is factually known about the building or its contents. The project will use archaeological research methods to discover the material culture of the Rectory and the Austen family.
The project has been made possible financially by a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and also support from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation. Maureen Stiller of the Jane Austen Society has been closely involved in the project. As have lots of volunteers from the locality, which is wonderful.
If you go through this link, here, you can see a short BBC Hampshire film on the project. I am so looking forward to the results of this research. And you can be assured I will keep you all informed of any developments.