2008 Survey

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New discoveries were made by the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education (OUDCE) training survey at Dorchester-on-Thames in 2008. An exciting and productive week long training survey course was conducted by Oxford Archaeology with a team of MSc students from the between 14th and 20th June, directed by Dr. David Griffiths and Dr. Gill Hey.

With the Dorchester Training Excavation due to start on 29th June on the village allotments, it was agreed that activities would aim to compliment the established research objectives of the excavations. These are to examine the major periods of transition in the village's history (for which Dorchester has unparalleled evidence), creating a picture of close to five thousand years of change and shedding light on the development of medieval and modern England.

To the north of the village magnetometer survey found the end of the Neolithic cursus, most of which was comprehensively destroyed by gravel extraction and the construction of the bypass from the 1940s to 1980s, and an unrecorded ring ditch. Behind Dorchester Abbey in the Hurst water meadows the team (below left) found hitherto unknown medieval fish ponds, which were no doubt part of the extensive Abbey complex before dissolution. The development of the medieval Abbey Guest House was recorded by the students (above). OA's team of instructors were: Leo Heatley, Anne Kilgour, Gary Jones and Jane Phimester.

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