This summer Southampton University, students and volunteers have been undertaking an excavation beside the West Kennet Avenue in Avebury. This project is a partnership between Southampton and Leicester Universities and the National Trust. Dr Josh Pollard and Dr Mark Gillings have been leading the dig together with Dr Nick Snashall, NT Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury WHS and Dr Ros Cleal, NT Curator of the Alexander Keiller Museum.
Members of both the Stonehenge and Avebury Steering Committees and Avebury Archaeological and Historical Research Group (AAHRG) were invited to visit the dig on the last day of excavations. The dig has seen a re-evaluation of the work of Alexander Keiller on a Middle Neolithic habitiation site in the 1930s and has resulted in some good information. Worked flint and pottery fragments have been found but the soil is too acidic for bone fragments to survive. A star find from the penultimate day of the dig was a barbed and tanged arrowhead shown above.
Here are pictures of Dr Mark Gillings and Dr Josh Pollard explaining the work that has been completed and the initial findings. As with all archaeological excavations the work isn’t finished when the trenches are back filled. There is plenty of work back in the lab to examine the finds to see what they can tell us about life in the Neolithic period.
The Project intends to return next year so keep an eye on the News and Events page for public open days and other news of the project.