Discovery and Exploration

‘This enquiry I must confesse is a gropeing in the Dark: but although I have not brought it into a cleer light; yet I can affirm, that I have brought it from utter darkness to a thin mist.’

John Aubrey, 1693

The Avebury and Stonehenge Landscapes have been the scene of antiquarian and archaeological exploration and discovery for centuries and today researchers from around the globe continue to try to unlock its mysteries. They come to survey, to dig and to study and analyse the archives and collections held by the Alexander Keiller Museum.

Today’s archaeologists follow in the footsteps of some of the great antiquaries and archaeologists of the past; men and women who’ve shaped our understanding of not just the World Heritage Site but the discipline that we know today as archaeology. The list is long and includes not only John Aubrey but William Stukeley, William Cunnington and Richard Colt-Hoare (and their marvellous illustrator Philip Crocker), Harold St. George Gray, OGS Crawford, Alexander Keiller, Dorothy Liddell, Stuart Piggott and Isobel Smith. The roll call continues and in these pages we’ll bring you a flavour of discoveries  big and small, past and present alongside a smattering of insights into what life is like working as an archaeologist in these extraordinary places.


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