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Archaeological Excavations at Rushen Abbey 26 June 2007

The annual excavations at Rushen Abbey are now underway for summer 2007, with expectations high that more exciting evidence of life in the Medieval Abbey will be discovered.

Archaeologists uncover the secrets of Rushen AbbeyThis year is the tenth season that staff from the Centre of Manx Studies, on behalf of Manx National Heritage, along with volunteers and students from the University of Liverpool will dig at the site in an effort to understand more about one of the most important Christian sites on the Island.

Allison Fox, Curator of Archaeology for Manx National Heritage, commented:

Now in the tenth season of digging, we’re really starting to understand the complex of buildings and the different time periods at Rushen Abbey. During this summer’s excavation we will be continuing the excavation work near the West Range of the Abbey, although we will be doing things a bit differently than in previous years.
The large trenches that were filled with rubble to hold the walls up of the later buildings will be fully recorded and then dismantled, stone by stone, so that we can see what lies beneath them. That will give us access to the earlier phases of building on the Abbey site. Each stone that is excavated will be numbered, enabling us to be able to reinstate them at a future date”.

In previous years, lots of artefact finds have been made at the Abbey, which have helped archaeologists to build a fuller picture of what life was like for the people who lived in and around the Abbey as many as 700 years ago. This year for the first time, all of the finds will be cleaned, recorded and labelled on-site, so visitors will be able to see everything that’s come out of the ground and also get to see what life is like for an archaeologist!

The excavations will run until 10th August and volunteer guides from the Friends of Manx National Heritage are on site most days to help explain the latest archaeological discoveries.

Rushen Abbey is open from 10.00am to 5.00pm, daily, and is one of thirteen heritage attractions on the Island portraying the award winning 10,000 year old ‘Story of Mann’.

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