CARDIFF University’s Cosmeston Archaeology Project hosted a successful open weekend at Cosmeston Medieval Village. (July 9 and 10) More than 1,000 visitors enjoyed a wide range of shows and activities. Medieval life was re-enacted by costumed characters including a medieval music group performing in the Tithe Barn and the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust demonstrated the Archwilio on-line heritage record for South-East Wales.

A great draw was the excavation in progress on the site of the original manor house. Visitors from all over the world were shown around and had the processes of archaeological digging explained to them. For overseas visitors, staff and students rose to the challenge of describing what was going on in French, German, Italian and Lithuanian, as well as providing regular tours in English and Welsh.

Wherever possible, volunteers were able to have a go at trowelling the ancient layers. For younger children the University’s Community Engagement Team ran a children’s activity tent, whilst Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust provided the children with their own trench, including a Roman skeleton for them to find.

Professor John Hines of the University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion said: "Saturday got off to an especially good start with another important find. A jeton (similar to a medallion) made in Nuremberg in Germany between 1585 and 1635, was found, apparently where it had been dropped 400 years ago by someone busy taking stone out of one of the walls of the old manor house for use elsewhere. This is not an especially rare find, but is particularly interesting as most of the other examples known from Wales are from urban centres: Cardiff, Carmarthen and Flint. The words on one side of the medallion read GOTTS SEGEN MACHT REICH … ‘God’s blessing enriches’. These were probably worn as badges of the Protestant faith in the Elizabethan and Jacobean period."