Through October's highlights we travelled from the Neolithic, with the Yarnton hall, all the way to a post-medieval burial ground in Kingston upon Hull. A large settlement uncovered at Burwell, Cambridgeshire, gave us new insights into life in the Late Bronze Age. And we also celebrated 30 years of working with the Royal Household and Historic Royal Palaces by reminiscing about the first excavations OA carried out at the iconic Tower of London. 

Exploring the Late Bronze Age at Burwell

The first #OAat50 highlight for October is an exceptional Late Bronze Age settlement site in Cambridgeshire. 

In 2021, OA excavated an 8ha site in Burwell in south-east Cambridgeshire. Located on a chalk escarpment close to the fen-edge, the team uncovered exceptional remains of a Late Bronze Age settlement, dating between 1150 – 800 BC.

Aerial view of the team with the excavated horse burial

A rare Neolithic hall at Yarnton

This #OAat50 highlight takes us to Neolithic Oxfordshire, to a site that revealed one of the few known buildings from the period when farming was first adopted by communities in Britain.

The hall, one of Britain’s earliest buildings, was discovered by Oxford Archaeology in 1996 in a gravel quarry at Yarnton.

A reconstruction of the Neolithic hall found at Yarnton

Excavating a post-medieval burial ground...during a pandemic

This #OAat50 highlight is the work OA undertook at Kingston upon Hull, as part of the improvement of the A63 Castle Street on behalf of National Highways and Balfour Beatty. A truly outstanding project because of its scale, the innovative approach required, and the thousands of personal stories we uncovered. 

OA was involved in the project from the very beginning in 2013 and, through the different phases, we explored through different methods parts of the medieval town defences, the Georgian Humber Docks, the remains of the Georgian gaol, and various pre-cemetery features, including the first archaeological evidence for Hull’s little-known twelfth-century predecessor. In 2020-21, the excavations focused on the Trinity Burial Ground, which was the most complex and sensitive part of the project. And all this at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which required major adjustments to our fieldwork. 

An osteologist records a skeleton

Rediscovering the Tower of London

Over the decades, OA has had the immense privilege to work on some unique and iconic locations that include some Historic Royal Palaces. 

This #OAat50 highlight is about one of these locations that is famous all over the world and has become synonymous with London and the UK: the Tower of London. This was a real "pinch-me" project for the archaeologists involved. 

Richard Brown at work under the supervision of a Beefeater.