Archaeologists begin big dig for knowledge
by Lynn Jackson, from This is East Dorset
AN AMBITIOUS project to uncover ancient archaeological remains dating back to the Bronze Age is due to start in east Dorset next month.
A team led by archaeologists from Bournemouth University plans to investigate a number of round barrows from around 2000BC at Knowlton Circles, south of Cranborne, as well as other ancient monuments along the Allen Valley.
Historians believe this part of Dorset was heavily occupied 4,000 years ago, but very little is known about how these early people lived.
Project leader John Gale, who is organising this summer's dig with both university students and local volunteers, said: "It could be very exciting. There are hundreds of round barrows in this area, although many are hard to spot on the surface.
"Ancient monuments on Cranborne Chase have been relatively well studied but there's been very little excavation work carried out in the Knowlton area and along the Allen Valley.
"The last major dig in this part of Dorset was sometime in the 1890s, but since then it's hardly been looked at."
As well as Bronze Age remains, archaeologists have also unearthed evidence of a nearby Romano-British settlement dating back to the first century AD.
Now, the university-led team hopes to do more exploratory work on this widespread site, with a view to carrying out excavations over the next four years.
Students and volunteers are set to start the dig on August 9, and will be on site six days a week, with Saturdays off.
Visitors are welcome to come and see how the work is progressing.
Published 27 July 2004
Posted by Jane
27th July 2004ce