"Maintaining the best standards of independent archaeology."

Medieval Mason's Marks

Medieval Masons Marks

Fieldwork Projects

SOAG has actively been engaged in fieldwork for many years from the excavation of paleolithic flints by the Thames to recording Cold War architecture. Projects can involve anything from simple excavation with a trowel to fieldwalking and landscape surveys using the latest geophysical techniques.
Our projects welcome both those who are new to archaeology and those with many years experience.

Projects active in 2016-17

 

Roman Villa Excavation

Started in 1993, the excavation of the 3rd - 4th century villa is SOAG's longest running fieldwork project. The project is run by experienced archaeologists and volunteers, participating in field walking, geophysical surveys, excavation and post-excavation work. Beginners as well as experienced archaeologists are welcome.
See our dig guide and other villa pages for more details.
If you would like to take part or need any more information please contact: villa@soagarch.org.uk.
LatestOur most exciting recent find at the Roman Villa is an almost complete example of a 3rdC AD drinking beaker made in Trier. See and manipualte a 3-D model. Click here
Broken Roman Pot
   

Blewbury Big Dig

Blewbury runs a village archaeology programme in which SOAG are partners, and to which SOAG members (and others) are invited to participate. For more information about the project see the project website. Fieldwork dates are advertised in the SOAG calendar, and to participate email blewbury@soagarch.org.uk.
   

Romano-British site near Harpsden

This woodland site has been subjected to extensive damage by metal detectorists since the 1970s and possibly earlier by antiquarian diggings in earlier decades. . It was partially investigated on a separate part of the site by HAHG (Henley Archaeological and Historical Group) during the 1970s and 1980s when a supposed windmill mound was probed. It has been known about as a Roman site but never investigated. In 2014 extensive initial clearance work by SOAG members was followed by partial in-house geophysical survey work supported by Reading University and separate GPR scanning. These surveys were not conclusive due to exceptional conditions. Exploratory test pitting in 2015 indicated extensive damage to the terrain and potential structures covering an area of some 1500 sq m. The site resembled a First World War battlefield. Walls and flooring from Roman buildings have now been uncovered, but much further investigation as to the nature of the whole site will be required. In 2017 excavation work commenced in March and will run until late June. We work in association with the Phillimore Estate’s gaming interests. Sitework runs for a five day bi-weekly session covering weekends.
(See the SOAG Calendar)
To participate email: highwood@soagarch.org.uk
   

Exlade Street Hamlet & Landscape Archaeology Survey

In the 1980s SOAG’s founder, Cynthia Graham Kerr, researched the buildings and landscape of Exlade Street, near Woodcote. SOAG and The Oxfordshire Woodland Group are now taking up where Cynthia left off, leading a new multipart project, which includes: searching for lost buildings; understanding how local timber buildings were constructed; and studying how the local woodlands were exploited for these purposes, in particular how extant sawpits were used to convert timbers. There is an immediate need for documentary researchers and diggers. Contact: kenhume@soagarch.org.uk
 
   

Projects that are suspended or recently completed

 

Ewelme Hundred VCH project

Victoria County History (Oxfordshire) were currently researching the history of the parishes of the Ewelme Hundred. SOAG were partners in this project. See our Ewelme Hundred VCH project page for more information.
Group Photograph in Rain
   

Ascott Park

Ascott Park, close to the village of Stadhampton, has a mystery at its heart concerning a lost manor house. Extensive research and fieldwork undertaken in recent years, by and on behalf of Oxfordshire Buildings Trust (OBT), to try to confirm where it stood, seems only to have compounded the mystery. SOAG accepted an invitation to continue fieldwork which will mainly involved geophysical surveys with an geophysical survey. Visit our project page for more of the history and details of the survey.
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Emmer Green

Aerial photography of the recreation ground shows circular parch marks that may indicate the presence of the remains of Bronze Age barrows. A joint project between SOAG and the Berkshire Archaeology Research Group (BARG) wit the help of Reading University conducted a geophysical survey of the main features. See our project page for more details.
   

Gregan Hane

Gregan Hane near Highmoor in the Chilterns has been identified as being a medieval enclosure suggestions for its date ranging from Saxon to 13th/ 14th century. SOAG conducted a test dig in 2013. See the project website. 
   

Ancient Mound

A SOAG member spotted the mound in a Chilterns field in his youth in the early 1950s and discovered that it had been neither recorded nor studied. Personally convinced that it dated from the Bronze Age, starting in 2007 he organised a variety of geophysical and mapping surveys of the site in which many SOAG members have been involved.
See our Ancient Mound project pages.
Group Photograph in Rain
   

Brightwell Baldwin Community History and Archaeology Project (BBCHAP)

BBCHAP is a community based project being run in association with the South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group (SOAG). It is a long term research project, centred on the parish of Brightwell Baldwin but extending into the surrounding parishes.
See our BBCHAP project pages for more information
View into Trench
   

Search for the Lost Church of Bix Gibwyn

Operating on behalf of the Victoria County History Oxfordshire survey, SOAG investigated the medieval manorial centres at Bix Gibwyn and Bix Brand, in particular looking for evidence of the lost parish church of Bix Gibwyn.
See our Bix Gibwyn project pages for more information..
Skeleton and Drawing Frame