March highlights took us all the way to the Mesolithic with the first confirmed cremation from the period (watch this space for more news about that!), then to Heathrow T5 and Stansted when Oxford Archaeology formed the first archaeology joint venture in Britain together with Wessex Archaeology, Framework Archaeology. A 6,000 years old elm leaf then showed how archaeology today is important to understand the climate change challenges we are facing. And then we visited Stonea Camp, the lowets hillfort in Britain which could be the first place to enter history books in the British Isles, thanks to a citation by Roman historian Tacitus.
A special highlight was celebrating International Women's Day with OA's women and archaeologists, listening to their experiences and what drives them every day in their work. A special thank you to all the colleagues who shared what it means to be a woman archaeologist.



The oldest cremation... so far!

In 2014, OA's Cambridge office was tasked with excavating a number of sites along the Chelmsford Effluent Pipeline. As a number of Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon features were found, the team were not particularly surprised when they uncovered a pit with remains from a cremation. It was assumed that the bone fragments and charcoal would date to the Bronze Age, when cremation was common.

a pile of human bone fragments

Framework Archaeology, Britain's first archaeology joint venture

1998 saw the formation of what, we think, was the first ever joint venture in British commercial archaeology: Oxford Archaeology linked up with colleagues at Wessex Archaeology to form Framework Archaeology – and the rest, as they say, is history! Well, maybe not. However, this coming together of two of the largest archaeological contractors in the UK did prove to be truly significant in the history of commercial archaeology.

two archaeologists are digging near a fence that has a large commercial airplane on a tarmac

A 6,000 years old elm leaf from Windy Harbour

This leaf, although fragile, looks like it could have fallen from the branch last autumn, so it’s mind blowing to realise that it’s around 6000 years old. The elm tree from which it budded would have thrived in the vast and largely untouched oak and elm forests that then covered much of Britain.

An elm leaf from Windy Harbour displayed at the British Museum's The World of Stonehenge exhibition

Stonea Camp, Britain's lowest hillfort

Stonea Camp is Britain’s lowest lying Iron Age fort (2m above sea level or 7.5m OD).  It is a Scheduled Monument of National (International) importance. 

Stonea Camp

#OASheDigs to celebrate International Women's Day