Tag Archives: Excavation

Foot of Avebury Down Dig – Day 1

We’re just coming to the end of Day 1 of our  first full- blown excavation in the Living with Monuments Project which is being directed by Prof. Josh Pollard (Southampton University), Dr Mark Gillings (Leicester University),  Prof. Alistair Pike (Southampton) and Dr Nick Snashall (National Trust) together with Dr. Ben Chan (Southampton), Dr. Ros Cleal (National Trust) and Dr Mike Allen (Allen Environmental Archaeology).  This year the team is based at a the foot of Avebury Down, in an area to the east of Avebury henge, where we will be for the next three weeks.

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Opening up the trenches at Avebury Down ©National Trust/Briony Clifton

The site is in an area where Rev. H.G.O. Kendall and W.E.V. Young began to collect Neolithic flintwork in the 1920s, and where a fantastic, dense scatter of early and middle Neolithic flintwork (c.4000-2900BC) was identified. Though Kendall’s collection is housed in the Alexander Keiller Museum in Avebury the exact location of the scatter remained a mystery until 2006 when  map detective work by Jim Gunter identified its probable location and shortly afterwards on the ground investigations by Josh, Ros and Nick established its exact position.

Today we began excavating this known Neolithic site, starting with the de-turfing of a series of trenches, and already we are revealing some worked flint flakes and cores, so watch this space…

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De-turfing with a view towards Avebury henge and the West Kennet Avenue  ©National Trust/Briony Clifton

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Durrington Dig Nominated for Research Project of the Year Award

Mike Parker Pearson celebrating finding the base of the western post hole © National Trust Abby George

Didn’t they do well! Mike Parker and some of our Durrington Dig team in action this summer ©National Trust Abby George

This summer our Durrington Dig in the Stonehenge landscape revealed a major new monument that had been hidden from view for the last 4,500 years beneath the bank of Durrington Walls henge. The dig was a partnership project between the Stonehenge Riverside Project, the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project and our team here at the National Trust.

Now Current Archaeology have recognised our team’s achievements by nominating us for their Research Project of the Year Award 2017.

You can find out more about what we got up to and cast your vote by visiting the Current Archaeology website.

Countryfile Explore the Stonehenge Landscape

Durrington Walls at the Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire.

Durrington Walls, Stonehenge Landscape ©National Trust Images/John Miller

Tonight (Sunday 28 August) Countryfile explore the Stonehenge Landscape, one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in Europe. We care for 2,100 acres of grassland, woodland and farmland around the famous stone circle which is packed with prehistoric monuments and wildlife. Tune in to BBC1 at 7pm and discover the supersized secret that’s been unearthed and how our tenant farmers have helped to protect wildlife and archaeology through one of Europe’s largest grassland reversion projects.

You can find out more about their adventures in the Stonehenge Landscape here.