Research into Sedgeford's past looks set to enter an exciting new phase with news that SHARP archaeologists have uncovered what they believe could be a Roman farm.
And although only a small section of the potential area has been excavated this summer, early indications suggest that settlement on the site could have spanned at least two centuries.
Pottery found in the corners of adjoining fields first prompted project archaeologists to take a closer look at the area.
And a geophysics survey last Easter – which shows areas where there have been deep disturbances to the soil through their differing magnetic fields – revealed what looked like several square "enclosure" areas.
The word enclosure refers to any specially-designated area, surrounded by ditches. These can include areas set aside for uses such as orchards and paddocks.
Site director Matt Hobson said in the trench they had found two ditches – one from the early Roman or late Iron Age period, around the first century AD, and a second from around the third century AD – showing the area remained in use.
He said excavations had also uncovered an area packed with flint and chalk which looked like the surface of a yard and could perhaps have been sited next to a farm building.
While it was too early to make predictions about the size of the farm, Matt said the kinds of pottery shards found indicated the farm had been "fairly affluent".
And although SHARP believes the site could have been a farm, rather than villa, Matt said it could have been "only one step down from a villa", with links to other settlements in North West Norfolk.
"These could have been the people who were the grandchildren of the people wearing the Sedgeford torc," he said.
Evidence of burned corn from a pit in the trench shows the farm was growing crops, while cow and sheep bones provide proof that farm-holders were also keeping animals.
Unusually for a rural site, two coins have also been unearthed.
Although one was too corroded to date, the other came from the time of Emperor Carausius (286-293AD), perhaps indicating the farm's status, as coins are more commonly found in hoards and obtained through links with the army, as is believed to be the case with the Sedgeford hoard uncovered in 2003.
But more important than the objects found is the opportunity for archaeologists to focus on a smaller Roman farm, of the type often overlooked in favour of the more visually impressive villa excavations.
"It's quite a unique thing to look at one of these less affluent sites," said Matt.
"We can follow a community and find out how it gets affected by the invasions of Caesar (55 and 54 BC) and Claudius (43AD). Some other sites just seem to stop in the Iron Age.
"We can see if we have subjection or continuity here. Are we seeing Roman control or are the people here just getting richer and building a bigger farm?"
The next step is further geophysics work to calculate the extent of the site and find areas to target in future.
But while the area is being considered as one of the possible focuses when work on the "old trench" on SHARP's original "boneyard" site comes to an end in the next few years, this season work in the boneyard continued unabated.
True to its name, archaeologists and volunteers have lifted further skeletons from old trench, bringing the number to around 274 in the project's ten-year history.
And on a new trench, alongside an old trench, evidence of a building – first mentioned after a dig in Sedgeford in the 1950s – has been been uncovered. Sited close to the Saxon cemetery, SHARP spokesman Chris Mackie explained it looked to be quite a substantial structure, but it was not yet clear if it was some form of communal hall or religious building.
To keep up to date with all SHARP's news, see the project's website at: www.sharp.org.uk