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Avebury Papers in Current Archaeology

The Avebury Papers project is mentioned by Joe Flatman in the 2 July 2024 instalment of his “Excavating the CA archive” column for The Past (the online home of Current Archaeology and other magazines):

“For many people, Avebury means the Neolithic stone circle located in the Wiltshire village, and as such I commence there and work my way outwards. Alexander Keiller, the ‘Marmalade Millionaire’, was an influential landowner and field archaeologist across the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. He used his wealth to buy a large amount of the land in Avebury, but the National Trust gradually became the majority landowner of the village and the wider prehistoric landscape through a series of gifts and acquisitions, commencing in 1943 and concluding with the purchase of Avebury Manor in 1991. This complex history is told in an excellent series of museums, and there is currently a project digitising and exploring its archaeological archive (see As they explain: ‘the only large-scale archaeological excavations to take place at Avebury were conducted just before the outbreak of WWII. Materials and objects collected and made at this time were left under-analysed for decades. As a result, we have – until now – only had a partial understanding of Avebury’s past and present’. This absence of fieldwork also explains the modest interest of Current Archaeology in the henge, with only five visits of note in over 50 years – CA 97 (June 1985), CA 225 (December 2008), CA 330 (September 2017), CA 332 (November 2017), and CA 351 (June 2019). Of these, the most significant news came in CA 330, when a square monument was unexpectedly identified within one of the stone circles, proving to be among the earlier structures on the site, although its use remains unknown.”

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By Fran

Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Avebury Papers project. I’m responsible for coordinating the digitisation process of the multi-media Avebury archive, building narrative pathways into the digital collection, and facilitating the creative reuse of archival materials.

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