Monday, 25 July 2011

JULY 2011

Dorchester Excavation Update – July 2011
Despite the hiatus taken for the larger aspects of the project, this season, Dr Gill Hey led a small team to continue the work begun last year on the Neolithic cursus near Berinsfield. A circular enclosure constructed after the deliberate backfilling of the cursus ditch included a central feature which housed a single Beaker period inhumation with an all-over corded ware beaker (recovered intact). The complexity of the grave sequence will likely mean a return to this feature next season. Additionally, there is much more to be discovered in the Dorchester Allotments, and we will be returning there to excavate in July 2012.

If you would like more information about the project, or how to get a place to dig during the 2012 season, please contact

Monday, 21 February 2011

Update: 2011-2012 plans

Well, it's been a busy few months, and the post-excavation work continues apace. Coins are being cleaned and conserved, ceramics and bones are being washed, dried and sorted for analysis, and the interim report is nearing completion.

Through the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund, an interim report is being prepared which will detail both the archaeological background to the region and chronicle the first four years of the project. The  publication will appeal to researchers keen to know the particulars of the excavations as well as the popular audience who can learn more about our discoveries, see some of the amazing finds and become inspired to visit the Dorchester Abbey Museum to see some of the finds in person.

This season, we are concentrating upon the processing of finds and the consolidation of materials from the last four seasons of fieldwork. 2010 was an amazingly successful season, culminating in the discovery of an early medieval Grubenhaus and the footings of a probable Late Roman building. A deep ditch seems to have served to demarcate a part of the site used for midden deposition from an area serving a different function, and we began to explore the post holes cut into the Roman road surface. There is much more to be discovered in the Allotments, but we have decided to take a year’s hiatus from fieldwork, returning to excavate in July 2012. 

We still plan to participate in the CBA Festival of British Archaeology in July, and more details will be available here and on the main website in the next few months.

If you would like more information about the project, or to put your name down for the 2012 season, please contact Wendy Morrison