Our #OAat50 August highlights took us first to Fleet Marston where excavations of a Roman settlement for HS2 led to the discovery of a Roman cemtery and some rather different burials. We then revisited an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Cambridgeshire with some very special grave goods. From there we jumped all the way back to the Palaeolithic to explore what Britain looked like then. Then excavations at the church of St Michael's in Workington, Cumbria, revealed an exciting potential murder mystery set in the Middle Ages. We ended the month in France, where we looked at the work OA did at the Chateau de Falaise, birthplace of William the Conqueror.  

Headless Romans at Fleet Marston

For this week's #OAat50 highlight, we visit a fascinating site in Buckinghamshire. In 2021, archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology and Cotswold Archaeology, working as COPA Joint Venture, uncovered parts of a Roman town at Fleet Marston, outside Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The work was carried out for Fusion Joint Venture HS2 Enabling Works Contractor as part of the HS2 programme. Until the HS2 work, little was known about this large roadside settlement.

The OA team excavating the Roman cemetery at Fleet Marston

An Anglo-Saxon cemetery near Cambridge Airport

If you're into Early Medieval archaeology, this week's #OAat50 highlight is a real treat.

In 2007 our Cambridge Office (then the Archaeological Field Unit) evaluated a site at Hatherdene Close next to Cambridge Airport. Roman and Middle Saxon remains were known from nearby, but ten Anglo-Saxon burials were found. We would have to wait 9 years to excavate them fully...

Zoomorphic brooch from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Hatherdene Close, Cambridge

Lost Landscapes of Palaeolithic Britain

This week's #OAat50 highlight is an OA publication that revolutionised our understanding of the Palaeolithic in Britain. "Lost Landscapes of Palaeolithic Britain" was a collaboration between OA and a team of leading academics aimed at disseminating to a wider audience the results of projects supported by £8.8 million funding from the Government's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) administered by Historic England.

Reconstruction illustration of a river ford in Palaeolithic Britain

A medieval murder mystery?

This week's #OAat50 highlight takes us to Workington, Cumbria, and a potential early medieval murder mystery.

This intriguing drawing indicates some of the final injuries suffered by an individual buried at Workington in the 11th century looking out over the Irish Sea; but what are these injuries, and how did the person get them? The story begins in 2014 when we were commissioned to conduct the analysis and publication of some archaeological work conducted on St Michael’s Church in the late 1990s. This included a detailed investigation by our burials team of skeletal remains dating to the early medieval and medieval periods.

Illustration of the injuries sustained by the skeleton found at the St Michael's church, Workington

Chateau de Falaise and William the Conqueror

For this week's #OAat50 highlight we go back to France and to another castle project. After the success of OA’s work at the Chateau de Mayenne, OA had the privilege to carry out another complex castle excavation in Normandy at the Chateau de Falaise. 

View of the excavations of the round tower at Falaise