Digging a Test Pit is a good way to find out about previous occupation and use of an area, particularly in a village or settlement although it can also be used in a field to see if anything is there. It is sometimes used to discover how far down deposits go and what the sequence of soils will look like. Test pitting is currently very popular as they can provide evidence very quickly, they are are easy to dig over a weekend and, at 1 metre x 1 metre, do not take up much space. A weekend test-pitting excercise in a village can get lots of people engaging with archaeology and provide good results about village history. Recent test pit weekends in Leicestershire have been conducted in Anstey and Rothley by Charnwood Roots projects and in Great Bowden by the Archaeological and Historical Society. Market Bosworth Society are looking to set up a project which will include test pitting in 2017. For further information please enquire via the contact page on this website.
Here is a guide to Test Pitting. Written by Carenza Lewis of the University of Lincoln it has been modified by Mathew Morris of University of Leicester Archaeological Services. Also there is a short guide to finds processing and a Test Pit Recording booklet – note that the forms in the booklet are duplicated – you may only wish to print the first few pages. All these guides are free to download and use without copyright. They all open in a new tab. If you have comments on these or other forms that others would find useful please let us know via the comments page on this website.