Cotswold Archaeology are delighted to announced that our Career Development Programme won the 2016 Archaeological Training Forum award, presented at this years’ Chartered Institute for Archaeologists conference in Leicester. The current scheme is the culmination of a sustained period of hard work from the staff in involved in the programme, and Ian Barnes and Rosanna Price collected the award on our behalf.
Over the years we have found that many talented archaeologists want a clear career path, with clearly defined goals. Since 2010, Cotswold Archaeology has sought to develop a coherent Career Development Programme to support employees to reach their potential. Around 50 staff have benefited from the training provided and have taken at least one of the career steps supported. The 2016 group of Trainees, Supervisor Designates, Post Excavation Supervisor Designates and Project Officer Designates amounts to 16 staff members who might otherwise have found it challenging to make their respective promotions.
Cotswold Archaeology recognises both an opportunity and a need to help its employees realise their potential across all grades of archaeological employment, with the added benefits of improving staff retention and progression within the company. We also saw an opportunity to tie together the professional standards established and expounded by the Chartered Institute for Archaeology from the earliest career stage possible.
The Exeter office of Cotswold Archaeology celebrated its first birthday in April, and has already begun to make a positive impact on the archaeology of South West England. Office head Laurie Coleman has been joined by fieldwork manager Derek Evans, who transferred from our Milton Keynes office, and the team has more than doubled in size in the year and will soon number 15. Over 100 projects have been completed so far, including the unexpected discovery of Roman military buildings at Topsham, near Exeter, and the investigation of a substantial Bronze Age enclosure and post-Roman cemetery on the outskirts of the city.
Developing links with local stakeholders is a major objective for the office and we have already established a flourishing partnership with the Department of Archaeology at the University of Exeter. Most notable has been the success of a of a joint bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Historic England tor funding for a major four-year project that will explore the relationship between the Roman and medieval city of Exeter and its rural hinterland. The project is a partnership between with the Universities of Exeter and Reading, Cotswold Archaeology, Exeter City Council and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM). The project will run from 2016-20 and will see several of the important excavations from the 1970s and 1980s written up, as well as a programme of radiocarbon dating and research into the pottery, animal bones, and metallurgical debris. The results will be published as a series of monographs in 2022, and other benefits will include the updating of the city’s historic environment record and of the museum’s displays and interpretative material.
The office will also be collaborating with Exeter University again this summer at the Ipplepen Community Archaeology project near Newton Abbot in Devon.
Cotswold Archaeology’s Senior Marine Heritage consultant, Michael Walsh, has recently obtained his HSE Scuba diving qualifications. Michael already has almost two hundred hours diving experience and gaining this qualification allows his participation in the variety of underwater projects that Cotswold Archaeology is currently undertaking. These include the excavation of the wreck of the London in the Thames estuary and the recently commissioned Historic England project looking at the possible de-designation of three sites, Langdon Bay, Hanover, and Brighton Marina. This is an important next step in the expansion of the services offered by the marine team here at Cotswold.
Cotswold Archaeology has been appointed by Historic England to undertake archaeological assessments, including geophysical and diver surveys, of three designated sites. The purpose of the project is to assess whether the sites still merit designation. Langdon Bay, Brighton Marina and Hanover have not been fully assessed by archaeologists for many years so it is unclear what, if anything, survives.
Bronze objects found in Langdon Bay in 1974 were made in France during the Middle Bronze Age and are rarely found in Britain. The wreck of the cargo vessel may lie within the Bay, although no remains have been identified.
The Brighton Marina site, comprising bronze and iron ordnance and other associated material, is believed to represent an unidentified armed vessel, probably dating to the sixteenth century.
The Hanover was a 100ft brigantine carrying £60,000 in gold and valuables when she was wrecked in a small bay on the North Cornish coast in 1763. The site was discovered in 1994 and has been tentatively identified by a bronze bell reported to have been recovered from the site that was inscribed ‘The Hanover Paquet 1757’.
We are delighted to announce that Michael Walsh has recently joined us as a Senior Marine Consultant. He spent the previous two years leading the Headland Archaeology marine team in Edinburgh. Michael has extensive experience in the UK offshore sector and has worked on numerous projects such as offshore windfarms and interconnectors, dealing with all aspects of the EIA and consents process. He has also worked extensively in the Middle East. Michael joins us at an exciting time as the marine team are working on some fascinating projects such as the Tidal lagoons off South Wales and the wreck of the London in the River Thames.