SEPTEMBER 2018 - Over the last few weeks our archaeologists have been enjoying the autumn sun on an evaluation in Bedfordshire.

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NOVEMBER 2017 - Foundations Archaeology Excavation in Lechlade.

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JULY 2017 - The Wallingford Historical and Archaeological Society took part in a volunteer day at Celsea Place, Cholsey.

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From a recently finished excavation in Buckinghamshire to Watching Briefs in London and Desk-Based Assesments in Cumbria, we've been incredibly busy over the last few months. Below is a brief summary of two of our most interesting excavations from the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

Excavations on the outskirts of Shrivenham have revealed multiple phases of ditched boundaries and enclosures. A substantial east-west aligned ditch, which was up to 9m wide, was also present. This major landscape boundary terminated at the west, within the site area. An egg-shaped enclosure, located immediately to the north of the substantial ditch, was likely to be contemporary with it. Other features included a clay-lined stone-built well, numerous quarry pits, circular vertical sided flat based pits, small clay-lined pits and dispersed postholes. There was no evidence for on-site occupation or settlement. A fairly substantial pottery assemblage was dominated by Iron Age wares, with some Roman. Other recovered artefacts included an iron sword (recovered from the fill of the substantial ditch), loom-weights, animal bone, a piece of Roman box-flue tile (recovered from the latest re-cut of the substantial ditch) and a small amount of struck flint. The site appears to be situated at the western edge of an extensive area of fairly intensive Iron Age to Roman industrial activity with evidence for multiple phases of ditched and presumably formalised demarcations of space. 

Over a period of 5 months Foundations Archaeology undertook the excavation of land adjacent to Dormer Avenue, Wing prior to the construction of a new housing estate. An earlier evaluation had identified dispersed Saxon and post-medieval activity, consisting a pit and linear ditches. The excavation confirmed the nature and extent of this archaeology revealing an hitherto unknown Saxon landscape. The earliest evidence of activity dated to the early-mid Saxon period (c.500 to 700 AD) and consisted of three widely dispersed small (c.2m by 2m) sunken floored buildings and groups of associated pits, some the classic cess/rubbish pits, others used for storing clay bricks – preshaped blocks most probably used for pottery making. Finds included a very large assemblage of pottery and curated Roman objects. Superimposed on this early activity was a field system dating to the 10th-12th century springing off a substantial ditch running just inside the southern edge of the excavation area. This ditch (5m wide by 1.3m deep) was recut several times and had a bank on its south side. It most probably marked the boundary of Saxo-Norman Wing. There was little change to this landscape until the 18th/19th centuries when new field boundaries were dug, emphasising and extending the existing system.

We also held an open-day for members of the public to visit the site and see what had been uncovered.