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Fulston Manor - Latest discoveries

Recent excavations at Fulston Manor in Kent, in advance of a new road, have revealed yet more about this fascinating area. Previous excavations by Wessex Archaeology led to the discovery of a medieval bakery. Now the history of the site has been traced back even further. The earliest find is a pot dated to the Middle Bronze Age, some 3,300 years ago. Iron Age finds show that people were still using this landscape 2,500 years ago. We know this from the presence of pottery and field boundaries. Most interesting of all, slag produced during iron smelting suggests that iron was being worked somewhere very close by at this time. We also know that people continued to live here into the Romano-British period as we have found traces of the boundaries around their fields.

Find out more about our previous excavations at Fulston Manor

Kingsmead Quarry

Visit the website to find out more about prehistoric Berkshire, from flint to flood gates!

Marvellous Margate

Discoveries ranged from hoards of metalwork, to cemeteries and bakeries. Find out more about the Margate pipeline.

Archaeocast 4: Ancient Technology with Phil Harding

The latest edition of Archaeocast is available for download over at the Wessex Archaeology Events Blog. Phil Harding explains about stone tool technology, and how the past wasn’t the primitive place we are often led to believe.

If you would like to subscribe to Archaeocast, our RSS feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/Archaeocast - enter this into your favourite podcast software (such as iTunes) and the latest edition will download automatically to your computer (instructions).

 

New volume in the Mary Rose series is out now!

The Mary Rose sank outside Portsmouth on 19th July 1545, as she sailed out of Portsmouth harbour to meet the French fleet. Trapped by netting, or below deck, the crew stood little chance, and their bodies and belongings went to the bottom of the Solent. Excavation of the hull and its contents produced a huge and varied collection of objects, that together make up a detailed and unique picture of what life was like on board a sixteenth century warship.

‘Before the Mast: Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose’, edited by Dr Julie Gardiner is the biggest and most ambitious of the series of volumes on the archaeology of the Mary Rose, produced by Wessex Archaeology for The Mary Rose Trust. With over 700 pages, and more than 570 illustrations (71 in colour), it is a truly magnificent achievement.

This volume covers all the objects from the ship apart from the weapons (Weapons of Warre: The Armaments of the Mary Rose by Alexzandra Hildred will be published next year). Clothing, tools, personal objects and navigation equipment are all examined in meticulous detail, together with environmental evidence of foodstuffs and other organic materials, insects, pollen and the content of ointment canisters.

The volume contains articles by a most impressive team of experts in their field and will be absolutely invaluable to scholars, students and re-enactors, as well as offering a fascinating insight into Tudor life for the more general reader.

To buy a copy visit the Mary Rose Shop or Oxbow Books

New pages on the Wessex Archaeology website

Earlier this month, the nineteenth century timber granary at Vale Farm, Sutton Waldron was successfully lifted and moved. You can find out more about the background to the project on our new web pages.

WA Coastal & Marine staff on TV

Wessex Archaeology staff feature in the two part series on ‘Heritage’ which will be broadcast on ITV Meridian on Sunday 13th and 20th November at 17:45.

The series covers the work of English Heritage and our involvement is through The Protection of Wrecks Acts project. The wreck is of the Holland no. V submarine.

An uplifting moment!

A second attempt to lift the historic granary in the village of Sutton Waldron was a resounding success. Check back next week to see our video footage and in-depth web pages.

Archaeocast #3: Winchester Excavation Podcast

The latest episode of “Archaeocast”, our archaeology podcast, is now available to download from our Events blog.

Second attempt to move historic granary

Vale Farm, Sutton Waldron, near Shaftesbury, Dorset

Weather permitting, a second attempt is to be made tomorrow (2nd November) to move a 150 year old building by crane and carry it to a new location. The first attempt was made on 20th October, but was postponed due to a technical problem.

The building is a type of granary which was once common across Wessex, but which is now rare. The granary is to be moved to a new site and converted into a holiday cottage. This is a challenging piece of engineering and a mobile crane is needed to move the delicate granary, weighing over 2.5 tonnes, from its current location to its new home.

Instead of having normal foundations, the granary, which was built in 1856, sits on top of large carved stones that resemble mushrooms, known as staddles. These support the building above ground level and were shaped to prevent rats getting into the granary where they could eat the stored grain. Once a common sight around farms, often the staddles alone remain as garden ornaments.

Owners, John and Sarah Drake said ‘we are commercial dairy farmers and also have holiday cottages, but these are so popular that we need more space. This is an excellent way to preserve our heritage by finding new uses for a building that is otherwise redundant and starting to fall down. All it takes to move it is a big crane!’

Bob Hill, a Senior Project Manager with the Conservation Management Team at Wessex Archaeology Ltd, who has managed the whole process, added ‘moving the building in one piece may sound odd, but it really makes life a lot easier and helps to ensure it is brought back into use as soon as possible.’

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