The Archaeology of Archaeology

Thanks to all of the students and volunteers we are making amazing progress here at Basing House. Despite the best efforts of nettles and roots the turf has now been removed. It is fantastic to see the previous of the excavation be uncovered and to get a better sense of how the excavators worked on the site in the 1960s. Archaeological techniques have changed a lot in the intervening period and we hope to be able to add to the discoveries which were made then.

Equally interesting though are the techniques used by the diggers of the past. We are used to thinking of archaeologists digging up ancient sites about which we know very little. Here though we are learning a great deal from excavating archaeological features which were made only 50 years ago. Finding the edges of the 1960s trenches has proven to be a challenging task which will prepare any archaeology student  for the exacavation of a post hole or Bronze Age pit! The excavation so far has made us think very carefully about why the archaeologists working here in the 1960s dug the site in the way they did and as we progress I am sure that a lot of the decisions which were made then will become clearer.

Overgrowth conceals the archaeology very effectively. Time to get those spades out

Overgrowth conceals the archaeology very effectively. Time to get those spades out

The trenches from the 1960s excavation are becoming visible.

We are very interested in talking to people who remember seeing people dig this trench in the 1960s. If you have any recollection of this time and are reading this then we would love to hear from you.


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