We’ve had the most amazing, productive and archaeologically rich year so far. The team showed just how hardy they are by starting the excavation and coring season in chilly February, digging three Iron Age enclosures in the depths of Pamber Forest. That site was all about the charcoal, it looks like there was concerted woodland management and charcoal preparation going on in the Iron Age . Then it was on to the Temple dig with its huge ritual pit, and the infamous horse. The super-sized kiln site dig ran concurrently where the team dealt with over 4 tonnes of Roman finds! Not ready to lay down their trowels even then, October was spent over near Mortimer at a group of exciting Iron Age banjo enclosures. All of this was supported by you, showing an interest, visiting us, and in many cases helping on-site too so a very big thanks from us. We’re still busily working away on the post-excavation from all these wonderful sites so there’ll be lots more news on prehistoric and Roman life and landscape to come from us next year. In the meantime, we hope you all have a wonderful festive season!
There’s been an excellent start to our big summer excavation season. Machining at the Little London Tile Kiln site has confirmed the geophysics results, and more, with a number of large burnt clay and brick structures starting to emerge. There’s clear evidence of Roman activity already! Meanwhile at the Silchester Temple site, Prof. Fulford rallied the troops under cover of a beautiful timber framed barn while topsoil stripping started outside in the monsoon.
We cant wait for blue skies so we can begin digging in earnest!
On Wednesday 9th August we will begin our summer season of excavations at Silchester Roman Town. This year we will be looking to find a previously-undiscovered temple situated within the east of the town. The Victorian excavations of the late 19th Century revealed two temples sat within a walled temenos – an area of land or sanctuary separated from the rest of the town – but only partially identified a third building slightly to the north. However, our geophysics work has shown the third building to be formed of two concentric squares, the classic layout of a Roman temple. Because of the lack of Victorian intrusion we’ll be hoping to find some undisturbed archaeology within and perhaps discover more about the religious practices of the inhabitants of Calleva. We’ll be holding an open day on Saturday 26th of August for visitors to come and see the progress we’ve made at Silchester as well as our second site which we will be revealing later this week.