The final main season of excavation on Ashtead Common was undertaken by the Society’s Roman Studies Group in August and September this year. The ground was very dry at first at the end of the long dry spell, making excavation difficult, but it did allow work in places that would usually have been under water (and indeed were at the end of the dig). The excavation was aimed principally at completing work on the area of the newly discovered building, the Lowther villa and the tile kiln(s).
For some years now David and Audrey Graham have been undertaking fieldwork on the site of the building complex at Whitebeech, Chiddingfold in order to gain a better understanding of this enigmatic site. What follows is the text of a recent report to English Heritage dealing with the outcome of a geophysical survey. The report contains a useful summary of what has been achieved to date.
The advertised excavation in June-July has been postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic. We are hoping to reinstate the dig, government guidelines permitting, later in the summer. However we are not accepting any more volunteers as numbers are likely to be severely restricted. Participants already registered will receive further e-mails with the latest information.
This summer work is planned in the field north of the Roman villa looking for further evidence of Iron Age and Roman rural activity.
Unfortunately due to the current situation with COVID-19 we have decided to cancel this conference on 9th May 2020.
We hope to re-schedule it for May 2021.
Refunds will be issued automatically and there is no need to contact us
Dr. David Bird, RSG Chairman and past Surrey County archaeologist, will be giving us an update on his research on Ashtead Roman villa and Tileworks. Surrey Archaeological Society carried out excavations on the site between 2006-2013, but the history of archaeological investigation on the site goes back to the 1920s when AWG Lowther investigated the main villa building and detached bath house. David, in preparation for publication of the project has been examining records, both modern and historic, and his talk will give us a glimpse of what he has found.
Emma Corke, Director of excavations at Cock Farm Abinger, will be updating us on yet another successful season on this site of Iron Age and Roman agricultural activity in Abinger. Earlier indications of a human presence include Neolithic pottery and a number of flint implements. Archaeology found in the three CFA19 trenches , including Iron Age, transitional and Roman ditches, and more than 170 postholes, are tying together features from previous seasons to indicate a pattern of activity over several centuries.
James Bromwich is the author of several specialist guide books to Roman archaeology in France. Last season we heard James talking on the garum and salt industries in France and he is back talking to us about Gallic sanctuaries. Sites that will be expanded upon include Le Vieil-Évreux in Normandy and Haut-Bécherel Sanctuary at Corseul in Brittany.
James' detailed guide books will be on sale during the evening.
David Calow, Director of the Flexford excavations, will be talking to members about a number of sites within Surrey where metal detectorist have uncovered large numbers of metal finds. These finds have either enhanced the understanding of activities on a known site or highlighted the presence of a previously unknown site. Come along to learn more.
David Quick, Chairman of Liss Archaeology, will talk to us on the latest excavations at Colemore.
The first of RSG's winter series of talks commences with the group's Annual General Meeting.
Once business is concluded we are lucky enough to have a talk by Dr Clare Rainsford on animal bones in ritual contexts.