Newly discovered well gives further insight into the history of one of Cambridge University’s Colleges

jesus college well

During recent excavations at Jesus College, Cambridge, a newly discovered well, of later medieval or early post-medieval date has been found.  The well is located within the remains of the hall building designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1875, although it is much older. Prior to 1875, it would have stood in a courtyard just outside…
Read More »

3D scanning of archaeological artefacts

3d model of a Roman brooch

Hearing about new technology in archaeology is always an exciting topic of conversation for the Geomatics Team here at Cotswold Archaeology – especially when that technology includes the term ‘laser’! Scanning artefacts is a relatively new concept for the team, but after a virtual demonstration of a number of scanners by Central Scanning Ltd, we…
Read More »

Cotswold Archaeology’s modern-day link with the World War Two generator plate

A417 Missing Link generator plate

A few weeks ago, we highlighted a manufacturer’s generator plate, dating to 1939, which had been unearthed during excavations along the A417 Missing Link in Gloucestershire. The plate, perhaps for a searchlight, was made by R. A. Lister & Co Ltd, a local Gloucestershire company, based in Dursley and founded by Robert Ashton Lister in 1867. Soon…
Read More »

Unusual brooch from a Roman site off Denmark Road, Gloucester

Roman brooch

A few weeks ago we profiled the astounding assemblage of Roman artefacts found at a site off Denmark Road in Gloucester, ahead of its redevelopment by Redrow Homes South West. Amongst the array of finds, which included 1st century Roman military equipment and harness fittings, was this rather unusual brooch. Made from copper-alloy and decorated…
Read More »

Timeline — the story of South Wales’ longest dig

Timeline cover

Timeline, a new book by Cotswold Archaeology, brings to a conclusion one of the longest (in terms of distance) digs ever to take place in Wales, if not the UK. The project known as the South Wales Gas Pipeline took place during the construction of a 317km gas pipeline that runs from Milford Haven via…
Read More »

Major new study shows ancient international trading routes between Exeter and Europe

EAPIT books

Cutting-edge scientific techniques used to study ancient artefacts found in Exeter have revealed more about the ancient international trading routes between the city and Europe. A five-year research project by a team of archaeologists led by Professor Stephen Rippon at the University of Exeter shows the links between merchants in Exeter and France, the Low…
Read More »

Roman military finds off Denmark Road, Gloucester

Lion's Leg and harness pendant from Denmark Road

A Civil Service sports pitch on the site of a post-medieval quarry may seem like an unlikely place to discover an astounding assemblage of early Roman artefacts. However, Cotswold Archaeology did just that in autumn 2019 when we excavated a site off Denmark Road in Gloucester, ahead of its redevelopment by Redrow Homes South West.…
Read More »

Geoarchaeology – Analysing Monolith Samples

Monolith samples

‘Soil monolith samples’, such as these taken from a site in Yoxford, Suffolk, are a type of sample that we collect from features with changing accumulated deposits, such as alluvial channels (rivers) and ditch sections with significant sedimentation, or from buried soils, which were the old land surfaces of the site. These are taken vertically,…
Read More »

All in good time: radiocarbon dating

The henge at Vaynor farm – found on the route of the SW gas pipeline and subjected to r

As archaeologists we are used to studying time and placing the archaeological material we excavate into its correct sequence. The identification of material allows us to order the past into a relative sequence, and occasionally certain objects such as coins provide a good level of precision within the historic period. However, if we have no…
Read More »

Washing away the dirt: the use of hydrogen peroxide on soil samples during environmental processing

hydrogen peroxide

Environmental remains, which include material such as animal bones, charred plant remains, charcoal, pollen, molluscs and insects, have the potential to give us key information about the sites we excavate. These remains provide vital information about things such as diet in the past, what a settlement’s economy may have been based on, what the local…
Read More »

You are what you eat: exploring questions of migration, diet and status through the use of isotope analysis

weyhill cemetery

Isotope analysis involves taking samples from bone or teeth (of humans or animals) and measuring the ratios of different isotopes to provide information about an individual. The technique can be used to answer questions about the mobility of people and animals, and their diet.  Differing isotope ratios provide information about the chemistry of the food…
Read More »

A rare Roman double burial from Roman Gloucester: revealing relationships through aDNA

double burial from Gloucester

The scientific study of ancient DNA (aDNA) provides us with new and transformative insights into many aspects of the physical make up of people in the past. Recent breakthroughs in this cutting edge and exciting technique shed light on themes including ancient population movement, social relationships, families, gender-specific mobility, and social inequalities. Working together with…
Read More »