IN medieval times, Littlemore was a tiny agricultural community miles outside the walled city of Oxford.

Now archaeologists need residents to join them in a village version of TV’s Time Team.

The East Oxford Archaeology and History Project, which has been running for three years, is looking for residents who are happy to have archaeologists help them carry out exploratory digs in their gardens.

One metre square pits will be dug to see whether there are any items of interest such as pottery.

The ground will be returned to how it was found.

Project co-ordinator Jane Harrison said: “Littlemore is Anglo Saxon and means ‘little area less good for growing things.’ “What we have found out already from test pits is that the older houses were built on land not good for farming.

“This is the place built on because the land was not good for anything else.”

The project has found that Littlemore was an important medieval village with two centres, but more information is needed to determine the size.

The project’s Minchery Priory excavation, which finished in November last year, unearthed worked flint, which revealed that there was prehistoric activity in the area.

Ms Harrison said: “What we are after is pottery really.

“By finding pottery of different dates we can find out how big the distribution of villages are.

“We are exploring the older medieval villages that surround Oxford: Littlemore, Iffley, St Clement’s, Church Cowley and Temple Cowley.

“They were long-standing medieval villages.

“We are finding out more by digging these test pits. It is like building up a jigsaw.”

Volunteers are welcome to take part in the small excavations.

Any pottery that is found is returned to the owner.

Test pits in Littlemore will be dug on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, between 10am and 4pm each day.

Areas of special interest in the village include the triangle within Cowley Road and Oxford Road.

A finds washing session is also being held at Littlemore Village Hall in Railway Lane from 10am-2pm when helpers are welcome.

The project also needs residents in Temple Cowley to take part on Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30.

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