Welcome to the Urban Archaeology blog. Freelance archaeologist Chiz Harward provides a range of on and offsite services to the archaeological profession, including running and working on excavations, post-excavation services, training and development work, and illustration work. This weblog will carry news of projects as and when they happen as well as wider thoughts on archaeological issues, especially recording, stratigraphy and training.

Artefact factsheets update

One of Urban Archaeology’s wider aims is to develop training materials for use on archaeological sites. For several years we produced an occasional and ad hoc series of hand-outs and reference sheets for use in identifying finds and aiding in the recording and interpretation of archaeological features and site formation processes.
A couple of years ago Urban Archaeology applied for grant funding to develop a series of factsheets based on common classes of artefacts; unfortunately we weren’t successful however we did prepare a pilot version of a Roman Ceramic Building Material (CBM) Factsheet containing information on types of CBM found in London. The concept was for a free downloadable A2 poster that could be displayed in site huts and tea rooms, with smaller A4 versions available as handouts, or potentially viewed on smart-phones. There's a downloadable version of the pilot factsheet below -the fonts don't view very well on the Scribd website, so its best to download it and it will open as a pdf.
We’d be very interested in any feedback on the format and the level of content, especially if anyone is interested in sponsoring or helping develop what we feel would be a great resource for archaeologists!

Iron Age burial and medieval farming

Since August Urban Archaeology has been working for LP Archaeology excavating the remains of a medieval farm in a pasture field next to The Horse and Groom Inn, Bourton on the Hill in the Cotswolds. The pub is building a new car park which needs to be terraced into the hillside and which would remove all the archaeological remains, so we are excavating these before the ground reduction.
Aerial view of the site looking north showing some of the medieval farm buildings

Trial trenches in 2011 showed that there was a varied range of remains on the site: a large Iron Age ditch, a Roman pit containing building rubble and grain-processing waste, medieval pits and postholes, and the remains of at least one stone-built medieval building. However when we stripped the site we hadn’t really expected to find an almost complete ground plan of a medieval farm, with nine rooms -each measuring approximately 5m by 5m- and with some walls surviving to 1.2m in height.

Construction, demolition and recycling in the Cotswolds

We can tell a lot about the medieval buildings on our site at Horse and Groom Inn from the physical remains that survive, but there are also other clues to the appearance of the buildings, some of which can be inferred from what is not there, rather than what is.