Location: North East Hampshire
Dates: Colemore: 20th April to 21st May & 20th September to 15th October 2018 [site closed Wednesdays]
Cost: Membership (£15.00 per annum, due 31.03, students half price) is required for insurance purposes. Dig fees at Colemore are £6 per day (half price for students).
Age: 18+
Training / Experience: No experience necessary - full training offered
Accommodation: Limited camping available (no extra cost but first come, first served applies). Please email for details. Other accommodation nearby.
Organization: Liss Archaeology
Name: Archaeological Director – Juliet Smith
Address: 51 Lealand Road, Portsmouth, PO6 1LZ
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 02392 783 465 / 07732 327 697


Excavation at the Colemore Project [Photo Credit: Liss Archaeology / Dave Quick]

Set amongst the rolling hills in the west of the South Downs National Park, halfway between Alton and Petersfield, views over the edge of The Weald stretch away in the distance. Little was known about the site until the landowner discovered some pottery dating to the Romano-British period when the field had a final ploughing before it was laid to pasture. In 2009, a chance comment during an organised walk led to ongoing investigations by Liss Archaeology. During this time, approximately a third of the field has undergone geophysical survey revealing a fascinating buried landscape of past rural settlement. Nine seasons of excavations and test pits plus desk-based research and topographical survey have taken place. To date, many features, including an 80m by 90m rectilinear enclosure with a 50m square enclosure seemingly attached; a raft foundation and associated flint wall foundations; a potentially winged, corridor, rural villa, currently extending to over 25m in length; a foot-worn track-way entering the small enclosure apparently bordered by small gullies and into the large enclosure via a causeway; a pond likely to be associated with iron industry plus an excitingly functioning water management system complete with filtered fresh water! Many additional features within the enclosures have been unearthed that date throughout the whole Romano-British period. Tantalising hints of earlier occupation have been seen. North of the large enclosure, a ladder system of smaller enclosures stretches away past curving, linear and rectilinear features towards a small round pond reliably filled with water. At this stage the geophysics plots suggest that the archaeology respects the pond and years of archaeological exploration are eagerly anticipated.

In 2018, two excavations are planned. In April/May the targets are features seen as geophysical anomalies towards the pond and outside of the main enclosure. The September/October excavation target is likely to be determined upon the results of the spring excavation, a large trench is planned.

Training is available in all aspects of archaeology, all skills levels welcome.

Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to take part. From 18 to 80’s, all abilities. In addition to excavation, finds processing, sieving, soil analysis, recording, planning and drawing plus surveying take place to professional standards during the dig. Local schools take part in on-site archaeology education, outreach education also available. Students are encouraged to experience community-based, volunteer archaeology with a friendly group of like-minded people. Taster days available.

A further series of geophysical surveys are also planned for 2018 at Colemore and elsewhere plus an excavation (following the test pit project) in Stroud near Petersfield, field-walking, excavation elsewhere and more!

Find out more about this exciting dig:

Website   /   Facebook   /   Twitter   /   Youtube

Leave a Reply