It’s almost mid-Winter and Christmas is only a week away.

If you need a last minute Christmas present for a friend or loved one, why not buy them a membership to the South Somerset Archaeological Research Group? It’s only £10 for a year and you get this:

  • Insurance cover (Employers Liability and Public Liability) for all SSARG project activities
  • Monthly email newsletter – Project news, events info etc
  • Free annual report
  • Priority for project events (lectures, workshops etc)
  • Organised outings to local sites of historic and archaeological interest
  • Social events

SSARG volunteers are a vital part of the Lufton Project. So if you, or a friend want to get involved, joining SSARG is your first step. They’re a friendly bunch and membership is a great way of hearing about archaeology in south Somerset and north Dorset.

Merry Christmas!

A nice picture from http://redtreetimes.com/tag/archaeology/

The Ruin of Roman Britain

James is pleased to announce that his new book – The Ruin of Roman Britain – has been published by the Cambridge University Press.

The Lufton Villa gets a couple of mentions!

The Ruin of Roman Britain
How did Roman Britain end? This new study draws on fresh archaeological discoveries to argue that the end of Roman Britain was not the product of either a violent cataclysm or an economic collapse. Instead, the structure of late antique society, based on the civilian ideology of paideia, was forced to change by the disappearance of the Roman state. By the fifth century elite power had shifted to the warband and the edges of their swords. In this book Dr Gerrard describes and explains that process of transformation and explores the role of the ‘Anglo-Saxons’ in this time of change. This profound ideological shift returned Britain to a series of ‘small worlds’, the existence of which had been hidden by the globalizing structures of Roman imperialism. Highly illustrated, the book includes two appendices, which detail Roman cemetery sites and weapon trauma, and pottery assemblages from the period.

Our last post from the dig!

We have come to the end of our three weeks here in Somerset and will be sad to wave goodbye to it tomorrow morning…But first, we’d like to thank everyone who made this dig possible:

James and Liz Tabor for allowing us to camp in their field, SSARG for their amazing volunteers and lending us their HQ and some equipment, GeoFlo for their surveys of the fields, Nigel Harvey for his hospitality, Mr and Mrs Unwin and their son Robert for allowing us to dig up their land, Colin and Maggie Baker for their tractor and time, Liz Glaisher and Brympton Parish Council for their support and donations, Liz Caldwell, James Hooper for his ‘big yellow trowel’, The Rt Hon David Laws MP for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the site, Mike Charles (Ski) for his metal-detecting expertise, Mary Loxton, James and Carol Pullen, the good people of Yeovil, Brympton and Sutton Montis, the Western Gazette, The Camelot, Mudford Stores, Caffè Nero, Bartington Instruments, all of our readers – especially Marie Robinson – and the team’s friends and families.

Without all of you Lufton 2013 wouldn’t have been possible – THANK YOU!

And keep checking the blog for updates on the analysis of this year’s finds.


Team Lufton 2013 L-R from back row: Graham, Cubby, middle row: Dave, Georgia, Danni, James, El, Johanna, Lucy, Pete, front: Andy. © The Lufton Project.

Open Day

There was no rest for the wicked today – James, Andy and most of the team were on site bright and early this morning to set up for the Open Day in honour of the Festival of British Archaeology.

Cubby and Dave stayed at the camp site to clean up and prepare us a delicious dinner before James’ well received talk  at the Abbey Manor Community Centre. The team cracked on with their digging while James and Andy showed swathes of keen locals (nearly 200 we think) around the site. Members of SSARG were there to welcome visitors and give them a brief introduction to the surrounding archaeology.


James showing some members of the public around site © The Lufton Project

The whole team really enjoyed themselves and were very happy to share their experiences with the public. We would also like to extend a very big ‘Thank you’ to James for surprising us all with an incredible archaeology-themed cake made by his friend Claire Blanchard


Our delicious cake! ©The Lufton Project

Week 2 – Friday

What an incredible end to the week!

We were lucky enough to welcome the local MP for Yeovil and Minister of State for Schools, David Laws to site this morning for a tour of the trenches and for an opportunity to meet the team and handle some of our finds.


James showing the Rt Hon David Laws around site © The Lufton Project

In trench B Cubby and Dave started by recording and drawing their Roman ditch while Pete excavated a linear feature in which he found some flint. Cubby later helped him sieve the soil from his ditch in a bid to uncover more finds.

Andy, James and Johanna started excavating what they thought was the continuation of the Iron Age ditch found at the south-eastern edge of trench B and the north western edge of trench C, but it turned out to be a bit of a head-scratcher… They’ll hopefully be able to determine what it is tomorrow during the Open Day.

Over in trench C, Lucy and El finished planning the ditch and found two new linears containing some pottery.

To the south of the girls, Dave and James discovered a new linear which also contained some Black Burnished Ware and Grey Ware  while Georgia recorded and planned her  ditch in the southern edge of trench C.

Danni dug out the rest of her beam slot and discovered a complicated feature underlying it – but the real excitement of the day came five minutes before the end of the day when she discovered a copper Roman brooch pin! The whole team were over the moon and couldn’t quite believe what a great end to the week they had had.


Danni's Roman brooch pin © The Lufton Project

Time for some well-deserved drinks and barbecue!



Week 2 – Thursday

It rained heavily overnight, so the team started by trowelling back trench C in a bid to make light of the unusual features that we first saw when machine watching at the beginning of last week.


James in the northern ditch of trench C © The Lufton Project

After yesterday’s excitement, Lucy had to start drawing a section of her ditch – not before extending it to the east in an attempt to better understand its relationship to the Iron Age ditch which runs through both trenches. With El and James’ help, she found an interesting pit on the western limit of excavation and some Black Burnished Ware to the east.

Johanna dug a post hole with a post pipe in it and uncovered some sherds of pottery which will hopefully help the team understand its relationship to Danni’s post hole and beam slot, if indeed there is one.

Danni continued excavating her feature and found what she believes to be another post hole containing some more Black Burnished Ware.

Sally – our site director’s wife who was visiting for the day – excavated the second half of the charcoal-filled pit that Johanna had started last Friday and uncovered the first bone fragments of the season! Could it be a cremation pit or just a domestic fire pit?

Georgia, at the south end of the trench, dug a slot through a ditch  which runs parallel to the one she excavated last week with Danni, and found a single sherd of pottery.

Over in trench B Pete, Peter and Mary continued excavating and recording a linear of uncertain datem but later than the southern ditch. Cubby and Dave outdid Lucy’s finds from yesterday – the guys were excavating a Roman ditch, trying to follow a dog-legged linear when they came across the top of a Roman flagon with intact handle! The excitement was so much that we had to break for tea early…


Dave showing off his flagon with intact handle © The Lufton Project

Just a couple of reminders to everyone: today we got a page spread in the Western Gazette so buy yourselves a copy if you can, and please pop down to site on Saturday for our Open Day (10am-4pm) or to James’ talk in the evening if you’re interested in checking out the archaeology for yourselves.

Last but by no means least everyone would like to say a special ‘THANK YOU’ to Min, James and Sally’s 6-year old daughter, for all her hard work and help today – she was an absolute gem and a perfect little archaeologist!


Min having a go at excavating a post hole © The Lufton Project

Public Lectures

James Gerrard will be giving two public lectures during the course of the excavations.

The first will be held on the 27th July 2013 at the Abbey Manor Community Centre. The talk starts at 7.30pm and will be on the current excavations.

The second lecture will be on ‘Somerset and the End of Roman Britain’ and will take place in Seavington Memorial Hall on Thursday 18th July at 7.30pm. Tickets for this event are £6 in advance or £7.50 on the door. Please phone 01460 249730 for further details.

Open Day

The excavation open day will take place during the annual Festival of British Archaeology on Saturday 27th July 2013.

Between 10am and 4pm the excavations can be visited by the public and the excavation team will be on hand to answer any questions. We also hope to have a Roman re-enactor join us to do some living history! Lufton Open Day Flyer.

Then in the evening a public lecture will take place at 7.30pm in Abbey Manor Community Centre.

Both events are free but donations are always gratefully received.

Open Day 2012

Members of the public visit the excavations © The Lufton Project