"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 2020


Goring Heath Landscape Study

A new SOAGproject in 2020.
Th
e SOAG Goring Heath Landscape Study began in early 2020 in response to the Chilterns Conservation Board’s (National Lottery Heritage Fund funded) 'Beacons of the Past' Project.
https://www.chilternsaonb.org/projects/beacons-of-the-past.html
The BotP project recently (2019) completed a high-resolution LiDAR survey of the AONB, and has as one of it purposes to kick start Citizen Science projects, using the Lidar maps as the starting point and with initial support from the BotP project. Click here for more details of the SOAG Study
. To partcipate: email: goringheath@soagarch.org.uk

 

Smokedown

A new SOAG project in 2020.
Smokedown is a site in West Oxfordshire that has been identified as being rich in evidence of Romano-British activity. Over a 140 coins have been found by metal detectorists, and there is a plentiful scatter of Romano-British pottery together with lydions (or, possibly roof tiles) and numerous fragments of flue tile, suggesting the presence of either a hypocaust or bathhouse, and therefore a possible villa. We anticipate a long-term project which will begin in 2020-21 with an extensive geophysical survey after which decisions will be made about future work.
To participate e mail: smokedown@soagarch.org.uk


 

Roman Villa Excavation

Note that fieldwork at this project is now finished and we enter a period of post-excavation work
See our villa pages for more details.
For more information please contact: villa@soagarch.org.uk.

Latest:
Our 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
   

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 2020 excavation work commences 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.
(Note that due to limitations caused by the pandemic all places on the dig for 2021 have now been taken.)
(See the SOAG Calendar)
To participate email: highwood@soagarch.org.uk
   

Ascott Park

ThAscott 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 so far has mainly involved geophysical surveys.. The project was revived in 2018 in a three year prooject finally to determine the location of the house. Dates for digging can be found in the SOAG Calendar. Visit our project page for more of the history and details of the project.
(Note that due to limitations caused by the pandemic all places on the dig for 2021 have now been taken.)
To participate email: ascottpark@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.
For more informatiomn conact:
kenhume@soagarch.org.uk
2020 update:
An exploratory dig of some features on the land is being planned as part of SOAG's Goring Heath Study for late summer 2020. For this activity contact: goringheath@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
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.
   

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