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On Keiller’s excavation of the West Kennet Avenue and why we wash flint…

Whilst going through the archive in the Alexander Keiller Museum I came across some boxes of worked flint from the West Kennet Avenue. The material consists primarily of flint flakes, some of which is waste material from making stone tools, some of which are tools in their own right. The latter would have been flakes […]

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Blog Keiller cuttings

Pinning down the Keiller cuttings – Part 5 (over-zealous planning & creative turns of phrase)

This blog post is part of a series: you may like to explore Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 first. Although I promised that this post would cover the process of geo-referencing – i.e. locating Keiller’s cutting grid on the ground today – I would like to briefly digress and talk a little about the […]

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Sorting Loose Prints

In the archive, we have several photo albums for the 1934 to 1939 excavations at Avebury. Each album shows us how Alexander Keiller and his team carefully excavated and lifted the stones in the outer circle and down West Kennet Avenue. Alexander Keiller was very particular about which photo prints he used in the albums […]

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Video: March updates from the paper archive

We are two short months into the digitisation here at Avebury! Below you can watch a very short video going over what we’ve been up to with the volunteer team in the paper archive so far. This video was originally made for the local National Trust spring update. Please leave your questions or comments – […]

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Cool Finds of the Month

We are now well into our second month of digitisation here at Avebury. So let’s look at some cool finds we’ve had this month. This photo found in photo album E shows workers pumping water out of a stone hole, presumably after heavy rainfall, to complete the stone’s excavation. This cool sketch was found in […]

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Blog Keiller cuttings

Pinning down the Keiller Cuttings – Part 4

This blog post is part of a series: read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. If the West Kennet Avenue had followed a largely straight line (as John Aubrey portrayed it in a drawing carried out shortly after his survey in September 1663), Keiller’s 80’ wide corridor would have done the job. […]

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Blog Keiller cuttings

Pinning down the Keiller Cuttings – Part 3 (scheming and plotting)

This blog post is part of a series: read Part 1 here, and read Part 2 here. I have a confession. Much as I admire his surveying chops, Keiller’s approach to numbering and labelling (stones, cuttings, whatever) leaves me sobbing. Let me give you a flavour of what I mean. In an earlier post I […]

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Behind the scenes: homepage flat lay

Choosing a photograph for the homepage of this website was tricky. We wanted something that would represent a wide selection of items held at the Alexander Keiller Museum, while taking conservation requirements into account. So, while we couldn’t mix paper and artefacts, we went for a selection of photographic prints, letters, diaries, and archaeological drawings. […]

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Blog Keiller cuttings

Pinning down the Keiller Cuttings – Part 2 (Keiller makes a point)

Last week Mark shared Part 1 of this series – read it here first. Next step is to recreate Keiller’s excavation grid using the step-by-step measurements and drawings in his 1934-5 Plotting Book. I could have taken a digital approach from the outset, but to limber up, and better understand how the grid of planned […]

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Coolest finds of the month

This month we had the first volunteers in the archive, here are some of the cool things they found in the photo albums photographed so far. The photos above show workers setting up a pulley system to help lift one of the stones into place in the West Kennet Avenue excavations. This clearly shows that […]