Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Best wishes

DDCAG wish all our blog viewers around the world a healthy and happy 2016 and hope that you will all look in to see what we find in Dorset over the next twelve months.

Monday, 21 December 2015


Members and friends had a great first DDCAG quiz night at the weekend at The Lugger near Weymouth. Hopefully this can will be an annual event.

Congratulations to the winners.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Roman around

A possible project near Dorchester, where MD club members found some R/B artefacts. DDCAG may be able to do some geophiz work here and see if there are any hidden buildings on the site as well as the extant round barrows, of which there are many. More news later.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

SOS - Save Our Sites!

The South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership held a morning introduction to monitoring and recording ‘at risk’ monuments in our landscape today.
Many of our monuments are being de-scheduled by Historic England at the moment, which means that it is important that volunteers go out and monitor the state of our many round and long barrows, hillforts and stone circles for example and record any problems. This may include animal burrows, natural erosion, stock erosion (through grazing or just trampling) or anything that has an impact on the monument.
The project is running until July 2018 and the SDRLP are looking to have the first six month results starting now and hope that monitoring can continue after that with extra funding. All the paperwork needed to do the recording will be sent to us, including maps.

It is suggested that DDCAG could take on an area and monitor it over the six months and this area will be sent to me very soon, so if anyone wants to be put on a rota please get in touch. We can then have a meeting of the volunteers and go through the process and paperwork. This is an important project for us to be involved in, especially for those that cannot or don’t want to dig. The only criteria are to be able to walk in the landscape and not mind getting a bit muddy!    

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

We have lift off!

Our chair, David Northam, has the new geophiz software up and running and tested out the Rez Meter on his garden! All works well and the data downloaded. No archaeology in David's garden, unfortunately. This is a vital piece of kit for future independent work in this very technical area of archaeology surveying [see above!].

Thursday, 24 September 2015

And the award goes to...

Elizabeth Adam, of Nether Compton, Dorset was presented a certificate and one of the 4th century hoard coins in recognition of her support and contribution to the project. She was the instigator and inspiration for the geophysics and excavation of the archaeology at Kitton Lane and even though coming up for 90 also gave us a hand with digging! Thanks Elizabeth, from all the members and committee.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Possible new project

We have been contacted by a group of people in South Somerset to help out with a possible Norman priory project. This could be very big and we are hoping to do some geophiz at the site soon to see what features may be lying beneath two fields. More reports later.

Trench 3 finished

With the features recorded we had a look for more finds in the fill of the N/S feature and found these sherds. All the more for our expert to have a look at. Our Open Day is on the 5th September based at the village hall.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

9 Stones video

Although not perfect we hope you like this little film. We are working on doing more and better ones on other sites in Dorset.

Trench 3 update

We have dug and recorded the N/S feature which looks as if it cuts the E/W ditch of the enclosure. We were hoping that this was a trackway through an entrance to the enclosure, but it seems not.
We have had some chunky pot from the upper fill but a 19 c. fragment has put a 'spanner in the works'. Is this example residual or the 19th c. sherd? [In fact we have now found out that it is 4th c. Roman!]
 David taking levels

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Trench 3 now open

Trench 3 has already produced pottery, probably 1st c., and looks to be good for more. We need to date this enclosure so as to compare it to the southern one, so all the finds we can get the better. More news and pics later.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Bournmouth site visit

DDCAG members went to see the Bournmouth University dig where it was reported that they had evidence of c.200 Iron Age roundhouses, probably not all contemporary.
 This lovely little pot came up this year.

Nether Compton Fete

Vaughan, Richard, Chris and Pam attract the emergency services at Nether Compton fete to help keep the crowds controlled at the DDCAG table!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Community Report

The Nether Compton community report is now available with the technical report out soon. Please contact us for your copy; £2 + p&p.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Finds find a home

Some of the finds from our site at Nether Compton have been placed in the village hall cabinet for all to see for years to come. Villagers and visitors can see their Romano-British heritage here and at Sherborne Museum. We hope to add to the haul this year and open up more information of how the village developed 2,000 years ago.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Cabinet of Curiosity

Alison, Vaughan and Chris joined the villagers of Nether Compton at their coffee morning recently to donate some of the finds from our excavation so that present and future inhabitants can see what past inhabitants were using c.2,000 years ago. Thanks go to the village hall committee for the space to show them.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Geophysics day

Members had a very interesting days instruction in geophysical survey at the weekend from a local company called GeoFlo (look them up). We will have some more information on this very soon.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Drunken builders?

Here is a suggestion as to why the Drift Road building is skew-whiff.

 Any other suggestions? Before anyone suggests it, our measurement were accurate!

Mystery find

Anyone any ideas as to what this may be. It feels like lead by harder, so could be mixed with another metal. Unfortunately it is unstrat. But I would suggest it is Roman. See our Facebook page for other suggestions.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Pot dating news

Our pot expert has informed us that due to form and fabrics the pottery we found is Late Iron Age/Early Roman in date. Added to the profile of the ditch and other finds, such as the building material, it is more probable that the pot is of the latter period.

Four different fabrics types were identified including, Calcareous (Limestone inclusions), Sandy, Greywares and a small amount of Black Burnished Wares. These are all moderately coarse fabrics with burnished and smoothed surfaces. These sherds are all in a fair condition.

A moderate number of diagnostic sherds were also recovered including necked and bead rim jars, lug handles and pedestal bases. These forms were all made between the Late Iron Age through to the Early Romano-British period and associated with the plain decoration and surface finishes this dates the assemblage. With the lack of finewares and no imports, this coarseware assemblage is fairly low status and the vessels suggest a domestic setting with vessels that were probably made using locally sourced materials.

It would be logical to suggest that the ceramics available locally would be used by the incoming military. But at the same time it may be argued that perhaps the features we dug are earlier, from just before the conquest.

That is why digging this type of site is vital for the research of this pre- and post- conquest time period. 

Sunday, 1 February 2015


We had our AGM last week and we gave ourselves a pat on the back for all we have achieved in 2014 at Nether Compton and all the events we have organised. We have many more members due to the dynamic progress we have made as a group. The outstanding achievement was the HLF bid and successful outcome that allowed us to dig at NC. We hope to go back this year and do more work in the village. We have plenty of events coming up, so keep looking in here and at our Facebook page for all the information and pics from DDCAG.