Blandford Museum Archaeology Group
The Archaeology group was formed to provide a community focus for those interested in archaeology in the Blandford area. The main aim of the Group is to raise awareness of archaeology in the local and wider areas through lectures, discussions, circulars and local field visits and investigations.
Activities of the Group
We normally hold lectures from September to May on the third Thursday of the month at 7.30pm at the Tabernacle. Everyone is welcome! Admission is £3 for those who are not members of the Museum, and a donation is appreciated from members.
Around Christmas we hold our annual fund-raising quiz. Media star and archaeologist Julian Richards is our quiz master who has to manage a lively evening with a firm hand.
Here is the scheduled programme for 2021-22:
|16th Sept 2021||Exciting new discoveries in Peru before the Inca||Tim Brown|
|21st Oct 2021||Roman Aqueduct in Dorchester||Harry Manley, Bournemouth University|
|18th Nov 2021||The Long Bow & the Mary Rose||Abigail Parkes, Southampton University|
|16th Dec 2021||Social event|
|20th Jan 2022||Mycenaen Harbours||Max MacDonald, Southampton University|
|17th Feb 2022||Schooners: design and people in 18th Century||Jack Pink,|
|17th March 2022||The Roman Town House: Dorchester’s hidden gem.||Steve Wallis, Dorset County Archaeologist|
|21st April 2022||Iron Age excavation at Blandford||Dan Carter/Pete Cox,|
|19th May 2022||Underfloor excavations at Avebury Manor||Briony Clifton,|
Avebury National Trust
|June 2022||Visit : Bournemouth University Dig?|
Visits to Archaeological Sites
Each June we try to organise a trip to a local archaeological site. We have been to Martin Green’s amazing museum and had a guided tour of different archaeological finds on Down farm in Wimborne St Giles. Visits have also taken place to the Bournemouth University Summer Dig sites.
Group activities in 2020-21
Although meetings were disrupted by the Covid19 pandemic, we were able to join our sister groups of Shaftesbury District Archaeology Group and East Dorset Antiquarian Society for their monthly meetings via Zoom.
In the summer months we try to join in or organise a local archaeological project but again plans for 2020 were curtailed by the Covid19 restrictions.
We were able to organise a short field walking project at Shepherds’ Corner farm in Durweston, in February 2020, many thanks to George Hosford and Dougal Hosford for permission to walk their field. We discovered significant accumulations of burnt flint along with some Bronze Age flint scrapers, suggesting a well used activity site from that era. Analysis of the finds is being worked on and results will be shared with the group.
It is hoped we can organise a number of field walking projects in the Blandford area looking for prehistoric activity to build a picture of how the land was used before the Romans came.
Tarrant Launceston Project
A feature was identified through a crop mark at Tarrant Launceston that seemed to be a circular enclosure with an interrupted ditch. Geophysics by Dave Stewart confirmed the interrupted nature of the ditch which suggested an Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure. The Archaeology Group was planning to field walk part of the enclosure but in March 2021, it was discovered that Wessex Water were putting a small pipeline through the feature. Due to Covid restrictions only a few members of the group were able to carry out a limited excavation. The finds from the excavation are still being analysed but suggest the feature is, indeed, an Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure. We are hoping that radiocarbon dating will confirm the Early Neolithic date. We hope there will be opportunities for members of the BMAG to carry out more fieldwork on the site in the future.
Committee and Membership, Autumn 2021
Chairman: John Earley
Secretary: Edrys Lupprian
Treasurer: Gisela Pauley
Members: Dave Stewart, Rex Badgley, Gerald Killingworth.