A talk by Dr Helen Wickstead, Kingston University and Martyn Barber, Aerial Survey, English Heritage.
This talk reports on the latest findings from Damerham Archaeology Project, which has been investigating a remarkable complex of previously unknown prehistoric monuments on the eastern edge of Cranborne Chase. Aerial and geophysical survey - followed by exploratory excavations - has revealed more than 40 individual monuments. These include two early Neolithic long barrows, more than 30 Bronze Age round barrows, a system of linear ditches and an enclosure of probable Iron Age date.
The lecture gives an exclusive preview of discoveries from this summer’s excavation, which ended only weeks ago. These trenches focused on the setting of Damerham’s largest long barrow – which is 80 metres long and survives up to 2m in height – and merely began to address the many questions surrounding these complex and enigmatic structures.
That so many sites had previously escaped the documented attentions of archaeologists is surprising, Cranborne Chase is a classic prehistoric landscape of Wessex; one of the historic heartlands of British Archaeology. Many have been tempted to suggest there is little new to find in this area. Damerham Archaeology Project, and other recent work, suggests this is not the case – there may be much more waiting to be discovered.
A lecture in the Salisbury Museum Archaeology Lectures (SMAL) series. SMAL lectures are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to April.