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Blog Keiller cuttings

Pinning down the Keiller cuttings – Part 7 (all done for now)

This blog post is part of a series: you may want to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 first. We now have, for the very first time, an accurate mapping of the 1934 excavation cuttings that can be used to locate the various features and finds that Keiller and his team excavated, recovered […]

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Representing Avebury’s Assemblages

With a new year, we have a new round of events coming up! Our first update of 2024 will explore assemblages, and how to photograph them. All welcome! The Avebury Papers Community Update: Representing Avebury’s Assemblages Monday 4 March, 1pm – 3.30pm Venue change from previously advertised: The Chapel, Green Street, Avebury. Free! Please register […]

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A medieval face

This little chap turned up today in one of the boxes of medieval pottery excavated by Alexander Keiller between 1937 and 1939, that I am currently examining. It’s quite an unusual piece, almost certainly from a 13th-century jug. The ‘face’ is formed from an added blob of clay, shaped into a rough nose and mouth […]

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Preparing for War

While transcribing Denis Grant King’s journals, it has struck me how little mention there is of tensions in Europe caused by Hitler and Germany. Of course, my view comes with the gift of hindsight with full knowledge of the tsunami that is about to crash across Europe in the form of the Second World War. […]

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The Whimsical Flimsy

Cataloguing correspondence for the digitisation project may appear to be a dry old business, but in fact it’s often pretty interesting and every now and then it throws up a real gem of a letter. Below is a copy of a letter which caught our attention this week (typed on ‘flimsy’ paper – thin sheets […]

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An Avebury Story

By Dushyant Naresh (MSc Digital Archaeology, University of York) I’ve never really believed in magic, or the supernatural, or a higher power. But I have to admit that there is something undoubtedly magical about Avebury and the prehistoric landscape it is nestled in. Maybe it’s the size of the stones, or how large the circles […]

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Avebury is FAKE (and other archive stories)

On 13 October 2023, a news website decided to run with a rather scandalous headline about Avebury. The headline reads: “Revealed: The World Heritage ancient stone circle at Avebury is FAKE – with photographs showing that the stones were actually erected in the 1930s… and some are upside down”. The cat is well and truly […]

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The curious case of Mrs St George Gray and the West Kennet Avenue Axe (Part 2)

In my last blog I explored the prehistory of an axe found in the West Kennet Avenue. Today’s blog continues with its more recent history, or rather the history of its finder, Mrs St George Gray. Whereas the previous blog drew much from existing archaeological knowledge of the British Neolithic, in this blog our sources […]

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The Avebury Papers: Artist brief

[First posted 18 September 2023; edited 21 November 2023] Our call for submissions closed at midnight, end of day Monday 20 November. You can find an archive version of the artist brief via this Google doc. But please note that we will not be accepting further submissions. To sign up to notifications regarding more Archaeology […]

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The curious case of Mrs St. George Gray and the West Kennet Avenue Axe (Part 1)

The inspiration for writing this blog came from finding an axe whilst trawling through the archive of weird and wonderful objects held in the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury. Most of the objects in the museum were found during archaeological excavations and are boxed along with crucial information on which excavation they were uncovered by, […]