Mick Aston is one of our most highly respected and celebrated archaeologists. Over the last 6 months he has left Time Team and received a lifetime achievement award at the British Archaeological Awards. Now he shares the highs and lows of his archaeological journey. From Mick’s earliest site visits (while bunking off school), to his current project (exploring the back gardens of Winscombe), via the Time Team work that made him a household name, this is his story, in his words.

For almost 300 years an unsung archaeological gem lay just south of central Bath. Here a warren of mine workings had been cut through the living rock to win the stone that built the Georgian spa town. Covering 18 hectares this unique monument was an archaeological time capsule. But it was also deteriorating. Following dire predictions that within a decade the houses above would collapse, a team was sent to learn what they could before the mine was sealed forever. We tell the story of the largest underground archaeological recording project ever attempted in the UK.

Next we visit Vespasian’s Camp, a recently discovered Mesolithic site just over a mile fromStonehenge. Excavations here have revealed the first major concentration of Mesolithic material from Salisbury Plain. With tools hinting that groups were travelling long distances to assemble here, was this Mesolithic ‘missing link’ the cradle of Stonehenge?

We end with England’s first capital: Winchester. Recent excavations have allowed archaeologists to write the 2,600 year biography of a plot in the city’s urban core. From the earliest Iron Age colonists to Second World War bomb shelters, this dig has laid bare how a city’s fortunes waxed and waned over millennia.

 

FEATURES

MICK ASTON

An archaeological journey
CA talks teaching, test pits and Time Team with a household name of the heritage world.

HOLLOWED GROUND

The archaeology of Bath’s stone mines
Going underground: navigating the labyrinthine quarries that built Bath.

VESPASIAN’S CAMP

Cradle of Stonehenge?
Does the discovery of thousands of Mesolithic flint tools on Salisbury Plain provide the key to the later location of Stonehenge?

UNCOVERING WINCHESTER

A city in the making
Oram’s Arbour, Alfred the Great, and air raid shelters: exploring the 2,600-year evolution of England’s first capital.

NEWS

Harnessing expertise; The tines they are a-changing; Cherrymount crannog: crisis averted; Spicing up Silchester; Altaring perceptions of Maryport; Named and shamed: Kent’s unusual suspects; Vindolanda’s generation game.

REGULARS

Context
Tunnel vision: Exploring Maeshowe in Orkney

Reviews
Britain Begins; Discovering Abergavenny; Castles and fortifications of Wales; Hadrian’s Wall and the end of Empire

Sherds
Chris Catling’s irreverent take  on heritage issues.

Last Word
Andrew Selkirk asks whether the days of excavation without a grant are behind us, and casts an eye over official guidance.

Odd Socs
The International Society for the Study of Pilgrimage Art

One Comment

  1. Alan Stevenson
    March 11, 2015 @ 4:34 am

    I spent some time a few years ago exploring Wales in the footsteps of “the Green Knight”. While there I was told of restoration work being undertaken on the organ of a church in Abergavenny. The floor collapsed revealing Roman remains. The site was off limits to tourists, so I could not find out more. Do you know of any interesting findings? There does not appear to be much on the internet. Regards, Alan Stevenson

    Reply

Leave a Reply