Sunday, 30 September 2012

Dorset Diggers I

The new archaeology group for Dorset. Dorset Diggers will work in the community promoting Dorset archaeology and undertaking community excavations. Our first project is in Maiden Newton, looking at a World War Two site. What is it? We need to put it back on the map of monuments from this important period in our history. What will we find as we dig down? Keep looking in to find out!

The brick structure at the front of the feature. The bricks go quite deep.
The structure runs into the hedge and is framed by brick and stone. A mound is quite pronounced. 


Please contact me directly for details of Archaeotreks weekends.

07768695162 or


Friday, 21 September 2012


The Site Stories course for Beaminster now starts on the 11th October at the museum, 7pm. Please contact me to go on the list.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Wetwang Slack

As part of my course at Bridport I gave a talk on the chariot burials at Wetwang in Yorkshire. The excavations of 1984 and 2001 allowed archaeologists to reconstruct an Iron Age chariot and tackle some of the practical engineering problems of how to make one work as an instrument of war and part of burial ritual.  The most remarkable discovery is that the fighting platform was free to move by suspending it from the side arches using straps, as can been seen in this photo. Thus the standing warrior, pulled by two ponies driven by a seated companion, would not be thrown off going over rough ground and thus deliver the spear into an enemy. 

One grave was that of a woman, c.35-45. This individual was reconstructed and found to have a facial disfigurement. She also had a dislocated shoulder which had not been reset in life. Are the two connected, being on the same side - an accident? Or was this a result of disease or from birth? 

The 1984 site was only saved from total destruction by the quarry manager Mr Mick Ward, who stopped the machines when he saw one of the metal tyres sticking out of the side of a cut. He had seen something similar in 1971 and knew what it was. He was posthumously given the BP award for the best non-archaeologist who found and reported archaeology in 1986. It was presented to his son.