I have been lent the Annual Report (No. 20) of the Medieval Settlement Research Group for 2005. It couldn't have come at a better time.
Low and behold, there is a paper by Carenza Lewis entitled, "Test pit excavation within occupied settlements in East Anglia in 2005" which "introduces a new project which is focussing on the archaeological investigation of medieval rural settlements that are still inhabited".
I am pleasantly surprised to see that a new (to me) acronym of CORS has been devised for "currently-occupied rural settlements". With CORS it would seem, test pits have become main stream and the verb "test pitting" has arrived.
The project described is tied in with the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA - find out more here) thereby meeting twin archaeological and educational aims (and providing an archaeological workforce in the process).
The paper concludes, "In terms of archaeological results, it seems clear already that the HEFA model of test pit excavation within currently-occupied rural settlements can and does produce new and useful archaeological evidence".
How encouraging! Somehow I feel less confined to the periphery of archaeology. But it does make me want to catch up with the documentation of my test pitting!