Stonehenge exhibit shows relations of ancient Britain and Europe. (NOV)  The exhibition, Making Connections: Stonehenge in its Prehistoric World, explains the movement of people between the British Isles and continental Europe. Our ancient British ancestors have been "making and breaking relationships with continental Europe" for thousands of years, a new exhibition will show.  The collection, including a 6,500-year-old jade axe made in Italy, will go on display at Stonehenge on from Friday 16th October.  Organisers say it highlights how there were different periods of connection with, and relative isolation from, Europe in Britain's history. It will be the first time the objects have been displayed together.


Stonehenge tunnel plans submitted to Planning Inspectorate. (NOV)  Highways England (HE) said it has applied for a development consent order to build a 1.9-mile (3km) road tunnel past the monument.  The government wants to build the tunnel to hide the busy A303, but opponents claim it could destroy archaeological treasures.  Inspectors have 28 days to decide whether to accept the plans.  The tunnel is part of a £1.6bn programme to upgrade the A303, which links the M3 from London to the M5 in the south west.


Ancient burial site and monument found in New Forest (NOV).  Archaeologists have discovered a 3,000-year-old burial site during a dig on farmland in the New Forest.  They set out to excavate what they thought was a Bronze Age barrow at East End near Beaulieu and found four cremation burial urns.  When the team and volunteers continued to dig deeper they also found two flint tools from about 5,000 years ago.  They said the finds suggested it had been a Neolithic monument that was re-used as a Bronze Age memorial site.  James Brown, New Forest National Park Authority community archaeologist, said: "We were elated to find the urns - they were inverted in what we originally thought was the ditch around the barrow and one has a decorative band pattern on it that will help us to date them.  "These urns were domestic pots and contain cremated human bone placed into small pits.  "But we didn't find any evidence of the barrow's mound or any burial activity in the middle as you might expect."


Newcastle University (DEC)

Hidden history of Rome revealed under world's first cathedral. Research beneath the Archbasilica of St John Lateran reveals the appearance of world's first cathedral and the remarkable transformations that preceded its construction. The church, the Pope's own cathedral, was originally built in the 4th century AD by Constantine - the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Positioned on the Caelian Hill, the church would have dominated the Roman skyline at the time. As research reveals, however, the site had already been in use for centuries. To build his magnificent cathedral, Constantine had swept away the Castra Nova (New Fort), the lavish headquarters of the imperial horseguard constructed over a century before by the Emperor Septimius Severus. Read the full article here.

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (DEC)

First ancient DNA from mainland Finland reveals origins of Siberian ancestry in region.  New study shows that the genetic makeup of northern Europe traces back to migrations from Siberia that began at least 3,500 years ago and that, as recently as the Iron Age, ancestors of the Saami lived in a larger area of Finland than today.  Ancient DNA was extracted from bones and teeth from a 3,500 year-old burial on the Kola Peninsula, Russia, and a 1,500 year-old water burial in Finland. The results reveal the possible path along which ancient people from Siberia spread to Finland and North western Russia.  Read full article here.


University of Sheffield (DEC)

Remains of Anglo-Saxon cemetery discovered.  Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield have uncovered a previously unknown Anglo-Saxon cemetery. Excavations have revealed more than 20 burials at the extraordinary cemetery in the Lincolnshire Wolds dating back to the late fifth to mid-sixth centuries AD. The cemetery was first brought to light when a local metal dectorist began to discover a number of Anglo-Saxon artefacts, including copper gilded brooches, iron shield bosses and spear heads.  Read the full article here.


University of Utah (DEC)

Human ancestors not to blame for ancient mammal extinctions in Africa.  New research disputes a long-held view that our earliest tool-bearing ancestors contributed to the demise of large mammals in Africa over the last several million years. Instead, the researchers argue that long-term environmental change drove the extinctions, mainly in the form of grassland expansion likely caused by falling atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.  To test for ancient hominin impacts, the researchers compiled a seven-million-year record of herbivore extinctions in eastern Africa, focusing on the very largest species, the so-called 'megaherbivores' (species over 2,000 lbs.) Though only five megaherbivores exist in Africa today, there was a much greater diversity in the past. For example, three-million-year-old 'Lucy' (Australopithecus afarensis) shared her woodland landscape with three giraffes, two rhinos, a hippo, and four elephant-like species at Hadar, Ethiopia.  Read the full article here.


Australian National University (DEC)

ANU study casts new light on fishing throughout history.  A new study from The Australian National University (ANU) has revealed new insights into ancient fishing throughout history, including what type of fish people were regularly eating as part of their diet. The study looked at fish bones unearthed in an archaeological dig on the Indonesian island of Alor - home to the world's oldest fish-hooks ever found in a human burial site, dating back to about 12,000 years. People were fishing for open water species about 20,000 years ago, then about 7,000 years ago they started to fish exclusively for reef dwelling species. Dr Samper Carro said a similar pattern was identified on the nearby island of Timor, indicating that the change in behaviour was due to environmental circumstances. Read the full article here


University of New Mexico (DEC)

Ancient human population histories revealed in Central and South America.  The first high quality ancient DNA data from Central and South America--49 individuals some as old as 11,000 years--has revealed a major and previously unknown exchanges between populations. Unprecedented details about the ancestry of the people of Central and South America have been uncovered in a new study in the journal Cell by archaeologists and geneticists at The University of New Mexico. The researchers analyzed DNA data from precisely dated skeletons found in excavations in Central and South America. Some of these people were over 10,000 years old. Previously, the only genomes that had been reported from this region and that provided sufficient quality data to analyse were less than 1,000 years old.  Read the full article here.


Public Library of Science (DEC)

The teeth of Changchunsaurus: Rare insight into ornithopod dinosaur tooth evolution.  Unexpected features in this dinosaur's teeth appear to represent early adaptations for herbivory. The teeth of Changchunsaurus parvus, a small herbivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous of China, represent an important and poorly-known stage in the evolution of ornithopod dentition.  Ornithischian ("bird-hipped") dinosaurs developed an incredible diversity of teeth, including the famously complex dental batteries of derived ornithopods, but little is known about how these intricate arrangements arose from the simple tooth arrangements of early dinosaurs. Changchunsaurus parvus belongs to an early branch at or near the origins of the ornithopods, and thus may provideinsight into the ancestral state of ornithopod tooth development. In this study, Chen and colleagues took thin sections from five jaw bones of Changchunsaurus to investigate tooth composition as well as how the teeth are maintained throughout the life of the animal using histological techniques.  Read the full article here.


Southampton University (NOV)

Anglo-Bulgarian expedition finds evidence of the world’s ‘Oldest Intact Shipwreck’.  Following three years of highly-advanced technological mapping of the Black Sea floor, an international team scientists led by experts from the University of Southampton have confirmed that a shipwreck lying intact has been officially radiocarbon dates back to 400BC.  Using the latest technology, previously only typically made available to oil, gas and renewable energy companies, the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea MAP) surveyed over 2000 sqkm of seabed. During the life of the project over 60 shipwrecks, varying in age from a 17th century Cossack raiding fleet, through Roman trading vessels complete with amphorae to a complete ship from the Classical period, were found. It was during the most recent phase in late 2017 that the team discovered what has been confirmed as the world’s ‘oldest intact shipwreck’ – a Greek trading vessel design previously only seen on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the ‘Siren Vase’ in the British Museum. Read the full article here.



Western Washington University (NOV)

When the Syrians bathed like the Romans.  Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" at the WWU have explored a rare bathing facility in south-eastern Turkey from the time of the Roman Empire, and a magnificent basilica from Christian late antiquity. "Our excavations in the ancient town of Doliche clearly show how a town flourished across epochs and religions in what was then northern Syria - from the Hellenistic period through Christian late antiquity to the early Islamic epoch", "The bath, decorated with splendid mosaics, was built in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, when public baths in Syria, unlike in the Latin West, were exceedingly rare. However, the bath was no longer in operation from as early as the 4th century AD". People left the town as a result of wars and economic crises. "A new heyday began under Christian auspices: the basilica was built, and the town, which had originally gained attention and become rich on account of the sanctuary of the Roman god Jupiter Dolichenus, became a bishopric".  Read the full article here.


University of Washington (NOV)

Study reconstructs Neandertal ribcage, offers new clues to ancient human anatomy.   

n international team of scientists has completed the first 3D virtual reconstruction of the ribcage of the most complete Neandertal skeleton unearthed to date, potentially shedding new light on how this ancient human moved and breathed.  Using CT scans of fossils from an approximately 60,000-year-old male skeleton known as Kebara 2, researchers were able to create a 3D model of the chest -- one that is different from the longstanding image of the barrel-chested, hunched-over "caveman." The conclusions point to what may have been an upright individual with greater lung capacity and a straighter spine than today's modern human.  Read the full article here.


Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (NOV)

Earliest hominin migrations into the Arabian Peninsula required no novel adaptations.  A new study suggests that early hominin dispersals beyond Africa did not involve adaptations to environmental extremes, such as to arid and harsh deserts. The discovery of stone tools and cut-marks on fossil animal remains at the site of Ti's al Ghadah provides definitive evidence for hominins in Saudi Arabia at least 100,000 years earlier than previously known. Stable isotope analysis of the fossil fauna indicates a dominance of grassland vegetation, with aridity levels similar to those found in open savanna settings in eastern Africa today. The stable isotope data indicates that early dispersals of our archaic ancestors were part of a range expansion rather than a result of novel adaptations to new environmental contexts outside Africa.  Read the full article here.


Public Library of Science (NOV)

City of Koh Ker was occupied for centuries longer than previously thought.  Koh Ker was part of the Khmer kingdom during the Angkor period in what is now Cambodia. For a mere two decades in the tenth century CE, the city served as royal capital, and it has long been proposed that after the royal seat moved back to Angkor, the city and its surroundings were abandoned. In this study, Hall and colleagues tested this theory by analyzing charcoal and pollen remains in sediment cores spanning several centuries in three Koh Ker localities, including the moat of the main central temple. From these data, they inferred a long history of fluctuations in fire regimes and vegetation which are highly indicative of patterns of human occupation and land use over time.  The newly-painted picture is of a region that was occupied well before the Angkor period, at least as far back as the late 7th century CE and continuing seven centuries or more after the royal seat's departure. The authors suggest that the mobility of royal houses may have had less of an impact on regional populations in the Khmer kingdom than previously thought. This study also highlights the utility of palaeoecological tools to reconstruct the occupational history of ancient urban settlements. Read the full article here.


Binghamton University (NOV)

Easter Island inhabitants collected freshwater from the ocean's edge in order to survive.  Ancient inhabitants of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) maintained a society of thousands by utilizing coastal groundwater discharge as their main source of "freshwater," according to new research.  The team measured the salinity of coastal water around the island of Rapa Nui, in order to determine whether or not the water close to the shores had a salt concentration low enough for humans to safely drink. The process of coastal groundwater discharge makes it possible for humans to collect drinkable freshwater directly where it emerges at the coast of the island.  By measuring the percentage of salt in the coastal waters, and finding it safe for human consumption, and by eliminating other options as primary sources of drinking water, the researchers concluded that groundwater discharge was a critical factor in the sustenance of the large population the island is thought to have harboured.  Read the full article here.



"New Forest: the forging of a landscape" by Hadrian Cook.  List price £34.99.  Copies available on Amazon.

"Blick Mead: Exploring the First Place in the Stonehenge Landscape". David Jacques, Tom Phillips & Tom Lyons.  £35 from Peter Lang.

"The Hidden Bones" is an archaeological novel by Nicola Ford (aka Dr Nick Snashall - National Trust archaeologist for Stonehenge & Avebury WHS).  £19 from Allison & Busby.

“Megalith” is published by Wooden Books.

"Hillforts and the Durotriges" A geophysical survey of Iron Age Dorset  by Dave Stewart and Miles Russell. Published by Archaeopress price £30.  Miles is Senior Lecturer in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology at Bournemouth University and a Trustee of CBA Wessex.

"50 Finds from Hampshire" finds of PAS from Amberley Press.  £13-15

"Winchester: An Archaeological Assessment" by Patrick Ottaway will be available shortly from Oxbow Books.  £40

"Arthur and the Kings of Britain" by Dr Miles Russell.  Published 15 March 17: £20. Pre-order now through Amazon.

"50 Finds from Hampshire: Objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme” by Katie Hinds (Hants PAS officer).  Available from Amazon from £6.55 plus postage

 Thames Valley Archaeological Services Publications.  New monographs:

Neolithic, Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon occupation and Bronze Age burial at Ibsley Quarry, Ibsley, Ringwood, Hampshire.

Roman occupation at Chapel Farm, Blunsden, Swindon, Wiltshire (Lower Widhill Farm), Excavations 2004-2012.

Archaeological excavations at Latton Quarry, Wiltshire.  Click here for website


"Neolithic Horizons: monuments and changing communities in the Wessex Landscape".  Dave Field and Dave McOmish.  From £10 on Amazon

Iron Age Hillfort Defences and the Tactics of Sling Warfare by Peter Robertson. 2016.  £25.00. eBook £19.00 from Archaeopress.

Exploring Avebury the Essential Guide by Steve Marshall with 400 photographs, maps and diagrams. Price around £15.

Stonehenge: The Story of a Sacred Landscape. Francis Pryor. Available mid-July £16.99

Gardens & Gardeners of the Ancient World: History, Myth & Archaeology.  Tracing the beginning of gardening from Ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia to the Minoans, Greeks and Romans right up to the Middle Ages. £25 Oxbow Books

 “Rescue Archaeology: Foundations for the future”, edited by Paul Everill and Pamela Irving, published by RESCUE The British Archaeological Trust, as part of the celebrations of RESCUE's 40th anniversary.  Examines current challenges faced by archaeologists in Britain.  Full details from RESCUE.

 "Stonehenge: Making Sense of a Prehistoric Mystery".Parker-Pearson, Pollard, Richards & Thomas.  £14.  Oxbow Books.



Click here for the full Salisbury Museum programme.



Click here for full programme and joining details

26th January 2019 2:30 pm - 2:30 pm.  Lecture: Wessex and Mycenae: old finds and new insights by Ken Wardle, University of Birmingham.  Book online here



(Members of U3A are welcome at all these events although there may be a small charge for non-members of CBA Wessex) Contacts for bookings, expression of interest and further details:   

Study days, Wessex Weekend & Conference - Andy Manning   events@cba-Wessex.org.uk : Tel.  03303 133406.  C/o Wessex Archaeology, Portway House, Old Sarum Park, Salisbury, SP4 6EB

Walks: Steve Fisher: walks@cba-wessex.org.ukTel. 02380 227191

or book through the new website  http://www.cba-wessex.org.uk/

CBA Members can now benefit from a 15% discount on outdoor clothing, footwear, books, maps and equipment from Cotswold Outdoor. For details of how to claim your Member's discount and all of our other member offers go to our offers and discounts page.



Study Days:




2017/18 PROGRAMME - all meetings take place on Wednesdays at 7.30 pm in St Catherine’s Church Hall, Wimborne.  Click here for more details.


PROGRAMME - all meetings take place on Wednesdays at 7.30 pm

  • 12 Dec

Chess - Air war over Britain and Germany by Phil Judkins of University of Buckingham


  • 9 Jan

Please note that the programme leaflet has an incorrect date. Neolithic Imports or Collectors? - Continental axe-heads in Britain by Kath Walker, Visiting Research Fellow at Bournemouth University and Project Officer at the New Forest Centre

  • 13 Feb

Orkney and Beyond by Ben Buxton, Archaeologist

  • 13 Mar

AGM followed by Andrew Morgan and Geoff Taylor on the 2018 EDAS Field Trip to S E Wales

  • 24 April


  • 8 May

Once upon a Hill - a study of Dorset hillforts by Dave Stewart, EDAS member



All meetings are held on Mondays at the Methodist Church, St Edmunds Church Street, Salisbury. Doors open at 7.00 pm and the meeting starts at 7.30 pm. Non-members are welcome to attend.



MEETINGS: 7.30 pm at Ann Rose Hall, Greyfriars Community Centre, Christchurch Road, Ringwood BH24 1DW (Members £2.00, Visitors £3.50; annual subscription: adult £10.00, full-time Student £5.00.  Enquiries to: - The Chairman, Mark Vincent 01425 473677 or use the Contact Us page on the website: https://avonvalleyarchsoc.wordpress.com/

2nd January 2019:  Members Evening – “2018 – A vintage year?  Recent aerial and geophysical discoveries in and around the Avon Valley”.  Speakers: Mike Gill & Jo Crane

6th March 2019:Spitfires of the Seas, Coastal Forces During the Second World War.  Speaker: Steve Fisher.  Steve Fisher, formerly of the Maritime Archaeology Trust, is working on a project with the New Forest National Park Authority recording the work of Coastal Forces during the war.



Seminars:  All seminars are on Thursday evenings in the John Wymer Lab Building, 65a Faculty of Humanities Avenue, Campus Southampton SO17 1BF. All welcome.



BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY The Fusion Building on Talbot Campus