Revealing Roman lives through environmental remains at Dings Crusaders villa

Dings Roman villa under excavation

Every single day, sometimes without even thinking about it, we use plants or their by-products to live, and for the people of the past things were no different. We use them for cooking, heating, and making clothes, or sometimes we just leave them in a pot on their own for decoration and forget to water…
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Bronze Age burnt mound complex uncovered at Suffolk site

Plan of Area 2 with its Middle Bronze Age enclosure, Iron Age roundhouses and medieval field pattern

In the winter of 2022, our field team undertook an excavation at Framlingham Road, Laxfield, Suffolk. Two areas were excavated, following the results of earlier archaeological trial trenching. In Area 1, the remains of a Bronze Age burnt mound complex were revealed. In Area 2, an enclosure system of broadly the same period was recorded,…
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Fun and games in medieval Bedfordshire

Photo of large gaming piece found during Bidwell West excavations in hand

At our recent Taylor Wimpey excavation at Bidwell West, Bedfordshire, our Milton Keynes field team have uncovered a medieval timber-framed building and a series of medieval enclosure ditches. From one of these they recovered a large ‘tableman’ (gaming piece). The gaming piece, which has a diameter of nearly 6cm, is made from a cattle mandible and…
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HS2 Discoveries: Mesolithic stone mace head

Front-on view of the mace head being held in someone's hand, with foliage behind. The hole in its centre is clearly visible.

As part of the HS2 archaeology programme, Cotswold Archaeology and our COPA partners – a joint venture between Cotswold Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology, and Pre-Construct Archaeology – recently completed the excavation of a site near Buckingham. A find of particular interest was a mesolithic stone mace head. Mesolithic hunter-gather activity is believed to have focussed on…
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A417: Archaeological investigations move to excavation

Our archaeological investigations ahead of a three-mile road improvement in Gloucestershire are set to reveal further evidence of the changing landscape and the lives of local inhabitants, spanning more than 7,000 years. Joining forces with Oxford Archaeology to form Oxford Cotswold Archaeology (OCA), we’re working closely with contractors Kier as part of National Highways’ A417…
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Blundeston brooch

During our excavations at the site of former HMP Blundeston, Suffolk, a very well preserved later Early medieval brooch (c. 8th-11th century) was recovered from an Unstratified layer. Brooches from this period are extremely diverse and have been intensively studied by researcher Dr Rosie Weetch, our example being classifiable as her type 15B – ‘disc…
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HS2 Discoveries: Buckinghamshire watermill with Anglo-Saxon origins

Brick floor

As part of the HS2 archaeology programme, CA and our COPA partners (Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology) recently completed work at a small site near Buckingham. This is the former site of a watermill with potential late Anglo-Saxon origins, which continued to operate until the early 19th century. A review of historical records by the…
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Making a living on the Severn Vale: the invisible potters of Domesday

The windmill moat, looking south across the vale

When Domesday Book was compiled in 1086 following the Norman Conquest, it was to assess the value of William the Conqueror’s new kingdom. Land holdings were listed, but of the potters who produced the ceramics used across England only three groups were recorded, one of which was at Haresfield, Gloucestershire, a parish spanning the Cotswold…
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Great Yarmouth stained-glass rose explained

stained-glass rose

Last year, Cotswold Archaeology and a team of local volunteers excavated seven test pits within Great Yarmouth’s historic town.  Excavated finds included copper ship’s nails, fragments of 16th-century pottery (including a piece of Cologne or Frechen jar with oak-leaf decoration and a sherd of bi-colour Dutch pottery) and carved stone, but the most impressive was…
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Love in the fens: a medieval magical amulet from Burwell, Cambridgeshire

Love amulet

Introduction Post-excavation research into the finds made during our 2021 excavations at Burwell has thrown up some exciting results. In 2021 we reported on the discovery of what we thought was a medieval personal seal matrix for officiating documents (Fig. 1)…. but read on! We now believe it to be a magical charm or love-amulet. This has…
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Rare Iron Age axle found in Suffolk

Wheel hub

A fragment of wooden axle from a cart or possibly a chariot has recently been identified for us by dendrochronologist Michael Bamforth – Research Associate at the University of York, and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield. The axle fragment was uncovered during our 2021 excavations near Eastbridge, Suffolk, ahead of advance tree…
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Surprises don’t always happen in the field: beautiful enamelled brooch is revealed during conservation

Enamelled plate brooch before and after conservation

When this rather amorphous lump of copper alloy arrived at our Cirencester office from our site at Eckington, Worcestershire, we weren’t expecting a lot of it. It wasn’t until the metal finds were x-rayed that we did a double-take. A Roman rectangular plate brooch could clearly be seen, with the body and ear of an…
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