Tuesday, November 25, 2008


An amateur archaeological team from Datchet (Berkshire, England) have been presented with a Highly Commended award at the British Museum for uncovering a prehistoric settlement at Southlea Farm.

For the past five years a group from the Datchet Village Society have been carrying
out regular digs at the site after Janet Kennish, historian and chair of the group, became interested in some aerial photos of the village from the 1950s which prompted the archaeological investigation. Experts from local universities and museums have now labelled the discoveries as 'very important' after the 20 weekend volunteers
unearthed evidence of a settlement dating back 3000 years to the Neolithic period.

"A remarkably large quantity of flint and pottery was recovered along with tile, metal, bone, burnt flint and a complete quern stone. A fragment of human ulna was also recovered. As the project developed far beyond any original expectations it became clear that expert help would be needed and a successful application was made
to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant."

The presence of human occupation dating from the Neolithic Age all the way up to the Roman period has now been revealed thanks to the group's painstaking investigations. Group member Julia Martin, said: "We initially set out to investigate cropmarks at the farm but as work progressed we started to turn up all of these wonderful artifacts.

Professional people were called in to help identify our findings and they became very excited and encouraged us to continue with our Project, that was several years ago now and we've only just finished."

How great that amateurs evolved into a profesional excavation. But the important fact is that they did bring in professionals to help. A great lesson no matter where in the world you are digging!


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