We started the June highlights with a special Iron Age figurine from the Wimpole Estate, which currently features in the "Beneath our feet" exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge. A Roman bathhouse in Kent excavated during the works for HS1 marked International Bath Day. We celebrated the Summer Solstice with some stunning images from the survey of the archaeology of the Lake District carried out by the Lancaster office in the 1980s. And we ended the month with a touch of retro computing, with a look at OA's first ever computer.

Iron Age cults and hairstyles

The first June highlight took us to the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire where a figurine in the shape of a man showed the Iron Age origins of the mullet hair style. If you don't believe us, visit "Beneath our feet" at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge and check out the mullet on this beautiful figurine of a worshipper.

The back of the WImpole figurine displaying a mullet hairstyle

The Northfleet Roman bathhouse

During works ahead of the constructionof HS1, the Oxford Wessex Archaeology joint venture excavated a beautiful bathhouse linked to a luxurious Roman villa. 


Aerial view of the Northfleet bathhouse during excavations

The Lake District National Park archaeological survey

Between 1982 and 1989, the Lancaster office of OA had the privilege to work with the Lake District National Park on a survey to identify all archaeolgical and heritage features in the landscape and establish their condition to inform plans for their future preservation. The team identified 10,000 monuments in this gorgeous landscape, including stone circles aligned with the Summer solstice. 

OA team excavating a ring cairn near SeathwaiteTarn, Lake District

Retro-computing: OA's Computer 0

We are so used to having the world in our smartphones that it's easy to forget how it all started...for OA, it was with Computer 0. See how Computer 0 works here

In 1982, OA was leading the charge on tech innovation in archaeology: thanks to a Government grant, OA was able to acquire and set up the 380Z, a Z80A computer made by Oxford-based Research Machines. It was a black box with a screen and no hard drive and it used enormous 8'' floppy disks (remember those?) which held only 1MB each. As the disks cost £6 each (or £20 in today's money), OA had to inform its insurers every time a new disk was bought.

The computer remained in use until 1987, when it was replaced by newer machines. However, "Computer 0" was kept safe, if unused and sometimes forgotten, on the premises. That was until OA's Head of IT Paul Miles decided to restore it and bring it back to life, a real labour of love that took a lot of time and the collaboration of other enthusiasts. The results can be seen here: Paul was not only able to revive Computer 0 but also look at some old records from the excavations at Barrow Hills, Radley, he found on one of the huge floppy disks that can still be found in OA's records.

Image of OA's first ever computer, a Z80A machine