True Daffy’s Elixir: “A most excellent preservative of man-kind”…

Daffy's elixir glass bottle

Remedies, tonics, and elixirs were popular in England from the 16th century onwards, with contents and recipes kept in strict secrecy. By the 17th century, these proprietary medicines were widely retailed and distributed, and their popularity was promoted by a steady demand during a period when scientific medicine and pharmacology were still not well established…
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Celebrating Tim Darvill’s 30 years on the Board of Trustees

Tim Darvill holding a spade

Thirty years is an amazing milestone. Back in 1992 CA had just 16 staff and wafer-thin reserves. Today we employ over 260 professionals and are a financially secure and resilient charity. Under Tim’s chairmanship we have moved from a sole office in Cirencester to operating from other bases in Andover, Milton Keynes, and Suffolk as…
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An Iron Age to Roman settlement near Ledbury Viaduct, Herefordshire

The Middle Bronze Age loop-socketed spear/javelin head, fresh from the ground

Early this year we undertook an excavation on land to the north of Ledbury Viaduct in Herefordshire, prior to residential development of the site. A previous geophysical survey and archaeological trenching had identified a small area of Roman activity, which was located on a plateau overlooking the River Leadon. Despite initial works suggesting only limited…
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Kelmscott Before Morris

Kelmscott Manor, as viewed from the air

Discovering the history of Kelmscott Manor through community archaeology Our three-year Community Archaeology Research Programme (CARP) centred on Kelmscott Manor – the retreat of inspirational Victorian craftsman, textile designer, and writer William Morris – will be starting this weekend. Working in partnership with the Society of Antiquaries, we’ll be undertaking test-pit excavations, fieldwalking surveys and…
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Our Sustainability and Social Value Aspirations

Machine stripping the site, windmill in the background

One of Cotswold Archaeology’s major objectives for 2022 is to improve the sustainability of our operations and play our part in tackling the global climate change emergency. We have therefore committed to a series of actions and initiatives to improve our sustainability performance. Our trustees have already adopted our first ever company Sustainability Policy, and…
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Cotswold Archaeology Joins the Climate Heritage Network

Partially eroded hillfort, Embury, North Devon

Climate change is one of the most significant and fastest growing threats to people and their cultural heritage worldwide. Scientific evidence shows unequivocally that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, driven by human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, are accelerating climate change and its impacts, including sea level rise and coastal flooding,…
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Ten years of discoveries at Wangford Quarry, Suffolk

Steve Manthorpe excavating a cremation urn

Our Suffolk team have spent over ten years on excavations at Wangford Quarry, close to Southwold on the Suffolk coast, and we’ve recently received funding approval for the analysis and publication of their findings. The site is located on a south-facing gravel terrace that overlooks the River Wang – the sunny aspect and easy river…
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All along the watchtower: New discoveries along the line of Gloucester’s Roman defences

Portable altar

Our investigations at the site of Gloucester Greyfriars between 2012 and 2019 have provided new information about Gloucester’s Roman fortress and its transformation into a civilian town (or colonia). The work was undertaken for Linden Homes (now Vistry Partnerships) in advance of residential development of the former Gloucestershire College of Art and Technology campus, and…
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Working in archaeology as an autistic person – a personal view

Autism Awareness day Jacky with tranchet adze

Hi, I’m Jacky, I’m one of Cotswold Archaeology’s Senior Finds Officers. I’m based in the Kemble Office near Cirencester and have been with the company for almost nine years. Q: What is your background in archaeology? A: I did my archaeology degree at Queen’s University, Belfast, which is where I’m from. My Masters degree followed,…
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Great Yarmouth community test-pitting

16th-17th c glass with floral design

A couple of weekends back, we led a team of volunteers from Great Yarmouth in a test-pitting project designed to examine the layers of archaeology within this historic town. We excavated seven test-pits at the southern and northern ends of the town, and selected locations inside and outside the town walls, so we could compare…
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Roman and Anglo-Saxon finds discovered near Towcester, Northamptonshire

piece of Anglo-Saxon gold

Early in 2021, our site team undertook evaluation trenching at a site near Towcester, Northamptonshire. A small group of mid to late Roman pottery was uncovered, including wares produced in the areas around Oxford, Buckingham, and the Lower Nene Valley. The Roman group dated to between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. Two small sherds…
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Extraordinary medieval knife from Bristol

In 2017 and 2018 Cotswold Archaeology, with our Joint Venture partners Oxford Archaeology, undertook excavations ahead of redevelopment at Redcliff Quarter in Bristol. Within the metalwork assemblage are several stand-out objects, notable not only for their craftsmanship but also their level of preservation. One such artefact was found amongst the tenement occupation debris and is…
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