CA’s Milton Keynes office relocates to bigger premises

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On the morning of Friday 5th January it was all hands on deck as we prepared for the MK office relocation from Kiln Farm to larger premises at Stonebridge (a grand distance of 3 miles).

a row of boxes stanging next to the wallAcross the office could be heard panicked cries of “Do we have to label EVERYTHING?!”, “I’ve run out of stickers!” and “What’s my ID number again?”. But amidst this there was the joy (?!) of rediscovering long-lost and long-forgotten items buried in desk drawers: a tin containing crumbs of ancient flapjack (Nathan), a plastic tiara from a colleague’s birthday party (Liz), novelty sound-effects toys (Hannah), and those ‘emergency’ tinned pears… (Dr Mark).

Over the weekend the office relocation company (supported by Pete and Sarah) worked their magic, bringing everything across to the new office and leaving it all in the correct place. After some minor technical and practical glitches on Monday morning (including a temporary absence of toilet roll), we are now more or less settled and enjoying the extra space and facilities (ground floor warehouse space for fieldwork and post-excavation, a larger kitchen with seating area, additional toilets and showers).

Thanks to Alli, Pete, Zak, Vicki and Jinny for organising the logistics!

a group of people (MK team) standing in the new office

 


Cotswold Archaeology Nominated for Two Current Archaeology Awards!

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The 2018 Current Archaeology Awards nominations have been announced, and we are fortunate enough to have been nominated for two awards, both in the Research Project of the Year category!

Archaeology Awards nominee badge for Roman Rural settlement projectRome’s Homes On The Range: Revealing the Romano-British Countryside

This nomination is for our work as partners with the University of Reading on the Roman Rural Settlement Project. This major project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and Historic England, drew together published and unpublished excavated evidence for Roman rural settlement, from over 2500 sites, in order to produce a new synthesis of the countryside of Britain during the Roman period. The results of the project are presented in three volumes, dealing respectively with the rural settlement pattern, the rural economy, and life and death in the countryside. The first two of these volumes are now published!

Additionally, the project produced an online resource, which makes the data collected by the project (including site plans and information about artefacts and environmental evidence) available to anyone who wishes to use it. This resource is hosted by the Archaeology Data Service.

It is no overstatement to say that this project has been immensely influential, and its results are transforming our understanding of rural settlement, industry and life in Roman Britain.

Cover of Britannia monographs
screenshot of the ADS project website

Don’t believe us? Prof. Richard Hingley, author of an early and influential previous study of Romano-British rural settlement, has said:

‘The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain Project’ and its outputs will doubtless serve as an exemplar for future initiatives that seek to address rural settlement in the Western Roman Empire, and will provide a vital research tool for future work in England and Wales.
R Hingley, 2017 Antiquity August 2017

Archaeology Awards nominee badge for Boxford community digBellerephon in Boxford: A Mythological Mosaic Revealed

This nomination relates to our work on a community project, ‘ Revealing Boxford’s Ancient Heritage’, a joint project involving CA, the Boxford History Project, and the Berkshire Archaeology Research Group. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, over three years the project has investigated three closely linked Roman sites near to the village of Boxford in West Berkshire. This summer our excavation revealed a spectacular Roman mosaic (you may have heard of it!), associated with a late Roman villa.

Matt Nichol working on the mosaicThe figurative mosaic is packed with mythical characters and beasts based on Greek legend, including a scene depicting the hero Bellerophon, fighting the Chimera. Other figures on the mosaic possibly include Hercules fighting a centaur, Cupid holding a wreath, and depictions of telamons in the corners.

The discovery of this exceptional mosaic attracted international attention; mosaic specialist Antony Beeson has said:

This is without question the most exciting mosaic discovery made in Britain in the last fifty years and must take a premier place amongst those Romano-British works of art that have come down to modern Britons.

Left to Right: Potentially Hercules fighting the Centaur & Cupid with a wreath in his right hand
Left to Right: Potentially Hercules fighting the Centaur & Cupid with a wreath in his right hand

All nominations for the Current Archaeology Awards are based on articles and books featured within Current Archaeology over the last 12 months. Voting for the awards is live (until 5th February 2018) and is open to everyone. We’d be very grateful for your support!


We are seeking new trustees

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Cotswold Archaeology is a registered educational charity, and as such it is governed by a Board of Trustees who also serve as Non-Executive Company Directors. We now have up to three vacancies on our Board and would like to hear from people who are interested in being considered as a Trustee.

 We are particularly looking for people who have experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • Archaeology / heritage
  • Business development / marketing & promotion / business-to-business selling
  • Property development / construction / land use planning

Applications from women and early career professionals are particularly welcome, as they are currently under represented on our Board. We are also particularly interested in people who live or have worked in the areas served by our Andover, Exeter or Milton Keynes offices.

Trustees typically contribute 4-8 days annually to the affairs of the Trust and involve attendance on between two and five meeting days per annum. Most meetings take place in Kemble, near Cirencester, and occur during the working day. At least one meeting per year takes place at one of our other offices (Andover, Exeter or Milton Keynes). Outside of Board meetings liaison is conducted by email and telephone.

No remuneration is offered for performing the duties of a Trustee, although all reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

You can find out more about Cotswold Archaeology on our About Us page.

 If you think you might be interested in this opportunity please contact us by email at careers@cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk or telephone Liam Coates on 01285 772610, and we will send you further information and details of how to register an expression of interest. The deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 3 November 2017.

 


CEO becomes President of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society

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On Saturday 25th March, our Chief Executive Neil Holbrook became Chairman of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society for 2017/18, taking over from out-going president John Loosley.

The Society was founded in 1876, has over 800 members and promotes the study of history and archaeology in Bristol and the historic county of Gloucestershire. It publishes an annual journal which over the years has contained many reports on CA investigations. This year is no different, with the latest edition of the Transactions containing an article on a Roman cemetery excavated in Bourton-on-the-Water. One of the excavated skeletons showed evidence on the skull of trauma caused by a bladed instrument – as the injury never healed it looks like this person was murdered!

The Society’s presidential medal
The Society’s presidential medal

Neil said: ‘It is an honour to be made President of this long-established and well-respected Society. Individual membership is a mere £10 per year, and for that you get a copy of the annual Transactions which is packed full of interesting articles on archaeology and history. The Society always welcomes new members, so I hope we can help increase membership during my presidential year. My final duty in March 2018 will be to deliver a talk at the next Annual General Meeting, and I’m intending to look at a prominent archaeologist of the early 20th century who made a major contribution to our knowledge of Roman Cirencester. Given that the archaeology of Corinium has been a long-standing interest of mine since I came to Gloucestershire in 1991, it is only right that my talk will focus on one aspect of this fascinating subject.’

Neil Holbrook and John Loosley, out-going president of the Society
Neil Holbrook and John Loosley, out-going president of the Society

Cotswold Archaeology’s walk for charity

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Cotswold Archaeology is delighted to announce that on the 28-30th of July 2017, 20 hardy souls from across our 4 offices will be participating in Trailwalker 2017.

Trailwalker is a 100km walk in 30 hours non-stop across the South Downs through day and night to raise money for Oxfam and the Gurka Welfare Trust.

Our Trailwalkers will be ably abetted in their bravado/foolishness by a team of Cotswold Archaeology supporters who will provide food, water, encouragement and blister plasters.

The Cotswold Archaeology Trailwalkers are hoping to raise £7,500 for these two worthy causes.

Make a donation today.

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Cotswold Archaeology Trebles in Size in Four Years

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Despite uncertain market conditions, Cotswold Archaeology is delighted to announce that it has trebled in size in the last four years. Our recently published annual accounts for the financial year April 2015 to March 2016 show that the company now has a turnover of over £9 million and over 175 professional staff who work out of our offices in Andover; Cirencester; Exeter and Milton Keynes.

Neil HolbrookCommenting on the results CA Chief Executive Neil Holbrook, who celebrated 25 years with the company this summer, said

“This remarkable growth vindicates our policy of opening offices in Milton Keynes (in 2011); Andover (2012) and Exeter (2015). Not only have we succeeded in widening the geographical footprint of our projects, we have used our new bases to attract more high-quality experienced archaeologists into the company. So we have managed to grow the company while maintaining the reputation for quality and customer service which underpins all we do. Not only have we grown our staff and other resources, we have also increased our reserves. This provides us with enviable financial security and resilience.

Personally I have always been of the belief that if we concentrate on the archaeology, and act in a professional and business-like way, then the numbers will look after themselves. We have so many excellent archaeologists in the company now that it is natural that they want to work on the best and most demanding projects. I am delighted that we have succeeded in securing these opportunities. We look to the future with optimism.”