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Finds Processing with South Wiltshire Young Archaeologists Club

As we continue the work to find out more about Truckle Hill and Chiseldon one of the tasks that needs to be done is to clean the finds from the autumn excavation and recent field walking. Members of the South Wiltshire Young Archaeologists’ Club, who came to visit the Truckle Hill excavation in September, were eager to help us start this process during their January meeting.

49 The Young Archaeologists started the finds washing for the artefacts from the autumn 2010 Truckle Hill excavation.

During the session the young archaeologists started the cleaning process, working to get the dirt and clay off of the pottery, bone and ceramic building material. The young archaeologists worked in groups and while some were working on finds washing another group tried their hands at marking finds. Each find needs to be labelled with the site number and context in the smallest writing possible. It takes a steady hand to keep the writing legible, and some of the young archaeologists were naturals at this task.

50 Some of the Young Archaeologists were naturals at labelling finds with small, neat writing.

We found the first and only coin discovered at the Truckle Hill Roman Bath-House this year. Another group had the opportunity to take a look at a few examples of Roman coins, and learn about all the information these small finds can contain. Then they got creative, and designed coins of their own.

51 The Young Archaeologists got into designing their own coins after looking at some Roman examples.

The finds processing session with South Wiltshire Young Archaeologists’ Club was a great start to working on the artefacts from Truckle Hill and Chiseldon.  I’m sure the enthusiasm will continue while volunteers from Truckle Hill visit the Wessex Archaeology offices to wash and label the rest of the artefacts. They will also be starting to record all of the decorated wall plaster from Truckle Hill.
Make sure to read this blog in order to keep updated on the progress.

Wessex Archaeology’s Sheffield team expands

Our Sheffield office has now been open for over a year and a whole range of projects have been completed across the Midlands and North of England.

In order to enable further expansion whilst servicing our current portfolio of projects and clients two new appointments have recently been made. Grace Corbett joins our Heritage Consultancy Team and Andrew Norton will join in the next few weeks as a Senior Project Manager. 

We are delighted that Grace and Andrew are joining the team and look forward to further growth at out Sheffield office throughout 2011 and beyond.

Find out more about Wessex Archaeology Sheffield.

Wessex Archaeology
Unit R6
Sheaf Bank Business Park
Prospect Road
S2 3EN
Tel: 0114 255 9774
Email: Chris Moore

New video explains geophysics, 3D laser scanning and finds processing


The December issue of the flagship magazine Engineering and Technology features the uses of science and technology in archaeology using Wessex Archaeology as a case study.
Watch our experts explain how the techniques are used and how archaeology works in the supporting video.

New Rochester Office for Wessex Archaeology as growth continues

The Wessex Archaeology Maidstone office has moved to Rochester. The doubling of staff numbers meant that larger premises were needed and the new Bridgewood House office is on the outskirts of Rochester.
This new office is very much a statement of our commitment to the area. It will allow us to provide even better archaeology and heritage services to our clients and the community.
The expertise throughout Wessex Archaeology already allows us to offer a full range of services, and we will be increasing our capacity and capabilities at Rochester.
We look forward to welcoming you to Bridgewood House.
Bridgewood House
8 Laker Road
Rochester Airport Industrial Estate
ME1  3QX

Tel: +44(0)1622 739381

27 Bridgewood House

Wessex CEO appointed to lead on UK’s new World Heritage Site nominations

Wessex Archaeology’s Chief Executive, Sue Davies OBE, has been chosen by Government ministers across the UK to chair the expert panel to assess applications for a new UK Tentative List of sites for potential future nomination to UNESCO for World Heritage status.

Earlier this year the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) published a list of 38 places that had put themselves forward to be considered for nomination as a World Heritage Site. The job of the expert panel to assess each bid and decide which of those should go forward.

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose commented ‘The variety and unique nature of the UK’s heritage is recognised around the world. But if we’re to succeed in getting more UK sites awarded World Heritage Status we have to make sure the strength of the nominations we put forward are second to none. I’m in no doubt that the expert panel chaired by Sue Davies will do a fantastic job in whittling down the list to ensure we have the very best chance of succeeding in front of UNESCO in the future.’

Once the Tentative List has been completed, hopefully by Spring 2011, it will be submitted to UNESCO. Nominations from this list will then be put forward from 2012 for inclusion on the World Heritage List.

Open Day for Durrington Big Dig is a Hit

Local residents and school children alike enjoyed the open day at the newly discovered Roman settlement at Durrington.

Durrington Romano-British excavations Open DayDurrington Romano-British excavations Open Day

Children aged between 6 and 9 years old from schools in both Durrington and Amesbury took the opportunity to see for themselves what digging for the past is like. They had a guided tour of the site and handled some of the Roman finds from the dig. The chance to wear a replica Roman helmet was a big hit!

Archaeologist Steve Thompson talks to visitors to out excavations at Durrington, WiltshireArchaeologist Steve Thompson talks to visitors to out excavations at Durrington, Wiltshire

After the school visits were over it was the turn of local families to come on the guided tours that were put on at the end of the working day. Some people enjoyed it so much that they came back a second time.

Open Day - Excavation at Durrington, Wiltshire

Visit the Big Dig!
Wednesday October 13th 2010

Where: Avon Fields: Former MoD Headquarters  
Netheravon Road

The village of Durrington is well known for its early archaeological heritage, including the largest Neolithic henge in Britain at Durrington Walls and nearby Woodhenge, both over 4500 years old. However, excavations by Wessex Archaeology in advance of the construction of new housing by Persimmon Homes South Coast on the former Ministry of Defence estate offices have started to uncover the remains of a late Iron Age/ Romano-British settlement.

Aerial view of the late Iron Age/ Romano-British settlement at Durrington, WiltshireAerial view of the late Iron Age/ Romano-British settlement at Durrington, Wiltshire

This settlement lies within the north-west corner of the modern village of Durrington and at one time appears to have been surrounded by an enormous ditch over 6m in width and up to 4m in depth. The full extent of the enclosed settlement has yet to been determined, although it is possible- and further work will confirm this- that the enclosed settlement may be of a very substantial size.

The 6m wide enclosure ditch at DurringtonThe 6m wide enclosure ditch at Durrington

The excavations appear to be located at the southern edge of the settlement. Although the excavations are at an early stage, a wealth of archaeological features have been found including part of the enclosure ditch, possible granaries, large storage and quarry pits, cremation burials and a corn-drying kiln, as well as traces of earlier prehistoric activity within the site. The excavation is due to continue over the next year and will investigate the nature of this previously unknown settlement, which continued in the later Romano-British period and into the fifth century AD and may have been the first steps in the formation of the medieval estates at Durrington and the origin of the present village.

Come and see what they have found and find out more about the heritage of Avon Fields.

Free site tours Wednesday October 13th 2010 at 3.00pm and 5.00pm.

No booking required.

Please wear boots or sturdy shoes.

For more information please contact Andrew Manning or Margaret Bunyard 01722 326867

Dornier 17

Wessex Archaeology has been working with the RAF Museum to investigate a rare example of a Dornier 17 German bomber submerged off the coast of Kent, south east England. The aircraft is thought to have been shot down in August 1940 during the Battle of Britain. It was found by a local diver. Wessex Archaeology was asked to carry out a geophysical survey and, earlier this year, to carry out a diving inspection. The RAF Museum plans to recover the aircraft for eventual display. More information, including a video of the aircraft underwater, can be found on the RAF Museum website.

Bronze Age Gold Treasure found in East Kent

Two Bronze Age gold bracelets almost 3,000 years old have been discovered during excavations along the route of the East Kent Access Road. When they were found one bracelet was placed inside the other.

Find out more on the Archaeology of the East Kent Access Road website.

The late Bronze Age gold bracelets, which date to the 9th or 8th century BC

WWII German bomber on Goodwin Sands

As reported in The Times, Wessex Archaeology has been working with the RAF Museum and English Heritage on a German bomber that was shot down in the Battle of Britain in 1940.

Dornier 17

Sidescan geophysical sonar survey showed that the Dornier 17, known as the Flying Pencil, is very well preserved.

Sidescan geophysical sonar survey showing the well preserved Dornier 17.

Diver Video of WW II German Bomber on Goodwin Sands

The RAF Museum has released information about the attack that the Dornier 17 ‘Flying Pencil’ bomber was involved in on 26 August 1940.

You can follow the dramatic story of this aircraft and her crew and explore the crash site in video.

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