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The most recent excavations at Boscombe Down have thrown new light on a baffling question: why were the Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen, men with apparently strong links to Stonehenge , buried here, some 4 miles away?
The discovery of Neolithic and Bronze Age features at Boscombe Down offer an explanation. A remarkable Neolithic pit circle and a Bronze Age barrow, ring ditch and enclosure clearly made this area the focus of ritual activity, a site that belongs in the Stonehenge landscape.
Read the article "A ritual landscape at Boscombe Down"…
Excavations have been taking place in Jewry Street, Winchester, prior to the building of new flats, offices and a restaurant.
The site lies inside the Iron Age enclosure of Oram’s Arbour and within the Roman town of Venta Belgarum and the Saxon town of King Alfred. In the medieval period houses lined Jewry Street, the homes of tradesmen and craftsmen - amongst them weavers, bookbinders and carpenters. Archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology have uncovered a deep pit or cellar, evidently connected with the medieval buildings.
Work continues until 29th June.
A new publication, funded by Southampton Football Club, redraws the map of Hamwic - the Saxon settlement beneath part of Southampton. The investigations reveal a rather dirty, polluted and unhealthy place, pockmarked with rubbish and cess pits, where disease and infection were daily hazards.
Excavations between 1998-2000, the most extensive single investigation yet undertaken within the Saxon settlement, were funded by Southampton Football Club prior to the building of the new Friends Provident St Marys Stadium.
They show that the Saxon town extended further north than had previously been thought. Much of the pottery that was found had been imported, showing that foreign trade was clearly already important to Saxon Hamwic.
As well as an early Saxon cemetery, traces of a street and of wattle and daub buildings were found, including the possible site of a blacksmith’s workshop.
Intriguing finds include a small skein of gold thread, and Romano-British jewellery that was already 300 years old when it was buried.
Update December 2011
This book has now sold out. If it is reprinted, or made available as an ebook, we will update this page.
Salisbury MP Robert Key has been appointed a Trustee and Board Member of Wessex Archaeology, based at Old Sarum.
Wessex Archaeology is Britain’s leading consultancy, working on excavation projects where there is a statutory obligation on developers of property or roads to undertake archaeological surveys, and many other heritage projects.
Robert said," I am thrilled to have joined the Wessex Archaeology team. In my childhood I collected arrowheads, old token coins and anything else my mother let me hoard. My tenth birthday treat was a picnic on top of an Iron Age barrow on Cranborne Chase. I spent hours in the old Salisbury Museum with the great curator, Hugh Shortt. Later, as Heritage Minister and then as Roads’ Minister, it was a delight to work with archaeologists. Now I will be able to put something back."
Sue Davies, Chief Executive of the charity, said “We are delighted that Robert has agreed to join our Board. He is immensely supportive of our archaeological and outreach activities. We look forward to his contributions to our organisation’s development.”
NB: The post is unpaid