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In the Summer of 2009 SSARG carried out a rescue dig of a Roman occupation/light industrial site at Castle Farm, South Cadbury.

The site included pottery kilns, furnaces, ovens, plus burnt stone floor surfaces with later post holes suggesting post-Roman re-use of the site.  There were also two large middens suggesting intensive occupation activity.  The excavation also uncovered two human burials and a calf burial.

Working against the clock...Excavation of a crouch burial. 






One of the farm yard's residents inspects the site!
Circular burnt stone feature.
Possible corn dryer.



In 2009 SSARG carried out a gradiometer survey at Lytes Cary Manor on behalf of the National Trust and the Charltons Historical Society as part of the Lytes Cary Landscape Research Project.  The field to the west of the Manor House was scheduled in 1993 by English Heritage as being the site of the Deserted Medieval Village Tuck's Cary.  The purpose of the gradiometer survey was to assess the condition of the surviving earthworks and to add to what is known about the extent and nature of the site.

Survey results                                                                                     Interpretation

The survey has detected a series of linear anomalies on a southwest-northeast alignment which correspond with the existing earthworks and relate to the Deserted Medieval Village.  There are, however, other linear anomalies on differing alignments which could relate to early phases of activity on this site.  The results have been adversely affected by ferrous magnetic interference from modern pipelines, quarrying and a horseshoe shaped anomaly to the south which probably relates to a buried metal fence around a previous garden feature. 



In the Summer of 2014 SSARG was approached by the Dorset County Council Portable Antiquities Officer about surveying the find site of the Tarrant Valley Early Bronze Age Lunula, the discovery of which had made the National Press earlier in the year. 
The survey was carried out in conjunction with members of the Stour Valley Search and Recovery Club who had discovered the lunula whilst metal detecting.  Unfortunately the geophysical survey did not discover any features that appeared to be associated with the deposition of the lunula, but by using the grid set out for the geophysical survey, the metal detectorists were able to discover another section of the lunula.



Photo reproduced with the kind permission of Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevathen, Dorset County Council.



SSARG has carried out a major geophysical survey in Main Road Field, south of North Cadbury which is nearly 1km long.  The results, confirmed by data from testpitting, reveal a substantial Iron Age trackway heading for South Cadbury Castle hillfort.  Although this project is currently on hold we hope to continue with the geophysical survey over the next couple of years.

Map data copyright 2016 Google



In 2014 SSARG members had the opportunity to take part in post-excavation work on the fascinating environmental samples that were taken from the Glastonbury Abbey Abbot’s Kitchen excavation in 2013.

Before sorting the samples were processed by GeoFlo - Southwest Geophysical and Flotation Services. 
The washed residues from the samples contain a large amount of oyster, whelk, mussel, and other shellfish, plus a huge quantity and variety of fish bones.  This was a rare opportunity to gain an insight into the everyday life of a nationally important scheduled monument.

After sorting the residues were sent to specialists for further analysis.