Anglo-Saxon CSI: Sittingbourne

Exciting News!
March 31, 2014, 7:29 pm
Filed under: events

The CSI: Sittingbourne lab is holding a special exhibition, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for the first two weeks in April (1-11th) + Saturday April 5th. Visitors are welcome to come see conservation in action and talk to us about new discoveries on finds from Lyminge, the Sarre/Bifrons assemblage, (normally stored at Maidstone Museum), and The Meads, Sittingbourne Anglo-Saxon cemetery.

Where – The CSI lab, The Forum, High St. Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3DL

This ‘open lab’ exhibition is in celebration of recent reassessment and conservation work done on the Kent Archaeological Society collection of Anglo-Saxon iron finds excavated at Sarre and Bifrons in the 1860s – X-radiography and microscopic analysis have revealed new details such as gold inlays and mineral preserved wood and textiles; also, mysterious past restoration and preservation techniques – ie. the mystery of the broken shears !! Visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to see work in progress on the Lyminge bone gaming piece and all the metalwork from the 2012 /2013 excavations at the Anglo-Saxon Hall house at Lyminge.

For more information about the Lyminge excavation and gaming piece, please see: and

For more information about the KAS Sarre/Bifrons collection, please see:

there’s more, almost forgot…
April 21, 2012, 4:23 pm
Filed under: Community, Home

… Ryan agreed his ‘volunteer job title’ : CSI Runner !  Ryan has been helping off and on since we first started fitting out the shop. This week he visited the library for us to see if they can locate Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England, by Penelope Walton Rogers (out of print and very expensive on Amazon !).  Ryan also initiated discussions with the library about us having a display there. He is a good lad.

… Sittingbourne Library Manager visited us to discuss ordering Anglo-Saxon books and creating a reading shelf to go with our display.

… Susan brought in great hangers and displayed our fundraising T-shirts – she also offered to do readings at the library when we set up our CSI / library collaborations.

… West Dean student Scarlett emailed me a wonderful pg. reference from Theophilus, a 12th century artist who wrote about his crafts – polishing niello with ear-wax… wonderful !!!

Busy week. Speaking of West Dean, be sure to have a look at the West Dean College Conservation Blog which is being updated regularly by students from the college.

Highlights form this week’s visitors/activities
April 21, 2012, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Community, Home, Volunteer Experiences

…a woman who could neither read/write or tell left from right but delighted in seeing what we were doing and discussing lots of our displays and microscope work, because “one never knows what there is to discover !! ”

… a  teenager’s  community carer/enabler and his charge stumbled upon us and spent quite a while discussing our lady with a crystal ball and what is going on at CSI: Sittingbourne.

… a woman who didn’t like dark places but was lured in by our lino-print T-shirts in window, she wants to buy for her sons – and then enjoyed chatting to Janet about the object and X-ray at her microscope.

… an elderly couple were overheard discussing the intricate work we are doing at the microscope and things we are discovering, while reading our wall displays. Debbie then showed them our swords and they stayed awhile chatting to volunteers.

… newish volunteer Catherine got lots of experience talking about her work with a knife with a buckle x-ray and evidence for horn handle, surviving in an  iridescent stripped layer on the tang.

… Interesting discussion about knives with two young men who upon seeing ‘our lady with a crystal ball’s 2 knives commented on how “easy it was to go around stabbing people back then”…  Lisa and Debbie explained that the knives were not weapons, but everyday items for food and work, “a bit like most everyone today caries a mobile phone”.

…Janet improved her air abrading skills and found the very fragile/thin ‘original surface’ on the front of an iron mount – with wood grain preserved on the back.

… a surveyor came in to measure our spaces for the landlord  – eek ! (we just asked for another year’s free rent… hope Tesco is happy to keep supporting us !)

… a grandmother made a pre-arranged visit with her young grand daughter, who loves to collect fossils and interesting things from her garden and walks… both looked down the microscope at a knife with MPO sheath and a bug pupa – the little girl wrote down notes about her visit so she wouldn’t forget.

…Resident artist Rob working on our popular book in the background and sketching some of these scenes – we’ll post some of his finished pieces soon.

Good times. Don’t forget to check our Facebook page for regular updates and more pictures.

CSI: Open again!
February 24, 2012, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Home

The CSI lab is currently open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. We are now finishing off the last items from the first half of the cemetary and hoping to start the other half if our fundraising is successful. Please come along to see how we’re getting on and spread the word!

Following finds – from site to store- A meeting on Archaeological finds in memory of Penny MacConnoran
September 7, 2011, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Home

Will work for free
January 11, 2011, 10:13 pm
Filed under: People

Just a quick post to let you all know about an interesting blog called, ‘Will Work For Free‘.

“I created this in order to share with the world my passion for nonprofits and volunteerism. Here you can find personal anecdotes from my volunteer work, ways that millennials and others can get more involved, and my thoughts on nonprofit current events.

I hope that those who read this blog become inspired, informed, or at least interested when it comes to nonprofit work.”

The site has a lot of interesting stuff about volunteer projects, working with volunteers, information about volunteering, the authors experiences and much more.  It’s well worth having a good look if you have the time.

Calling all young volunteers
January 10, 2011, 7:40 pm
Filed under: news, People

CSI: Sittingbourne has partnered with Vinspired, the local arm of the national youth volunteering scheme, and is offering full and part time volunteer placements for a lab assistant and fund-raiser/market developer.  If we’re able to get help in these areas we should be able to re-open, and keep open, the lab and exhibition for the remainder of the lease meaning we may be able to complete the rest of the site.  As well as these benefits, Vinspired can also backdate and give future certificates and national recognition to all our 16-25 year old volunteers, which helps them with their CVs and job applications in these difficult times.

For more information about opportunities with CSI: Sittingbourne, and other projects, please take the time to visit the Vinspired website.