Mini ceramic statues found during Upminster excavation project

Two mini ceramic statues dating back to Medieval times were discovered during a community excavation project in Upminster.

The findings were unearthed during the project at the Upminster Healing and Teaching Sanctuary in Pea Lane on Tuesday August 7.

Ben Paites, who organised the project said: “It was very exciting.

“Everyday we have managed to find something, but they are the biggest findings and they tell us a lot about Upminster’s history.”

The dig sees a team of eight residents working alongside archaeologist Ben to get a background into the subject, before taking part in the dig.

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One of the statues is believed to be of the head of a girl, while the other one is the body of an adult.

The dig has also uncovered a number of jewellery and glass items believed to be from Edwardian times.

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Ben believes that the area might have been used as an refuge pit for more than 100 years.

He said: “We need to get all the items looked at by a professional potter because the head of the girl doesn’t match with the other statue.

“The interesting thing is that we believe that the site was used by different families over the years as a refuge area, because we have found lots of items dating back to different periods.”

Ben, who has just completed a degree in archaeology was invited to carry out some work by Julia Massey, who lives and works on the site.

She was inspired to find out the history of the site when she discovered a red brick wall while she was carrying out work on her home.

Ben decided to get the whole community involved in the project to encourage them to take more of an interest in the history of their community.

He said: “I was lucky enough to know that I always wanted to be an archaeologist but a lot of people have never had the experience to do anything locally.

“I think its important to get a lot of the younger generation into archaeology and it is a big part of their history and it’s nice to have help from people in the area.”

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