25th November 2015:
Historic England has identified seven archaeological discoveries made in the past 25 years that have 'rewritten England's story'. Three of the seven were discovered by Oxford Archaeology.
There is the Ebbsfleet elephant, the remains of a straight-tusked elephant, which had been killed and butchered by the Palaeolithic inhabitants of the Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent, where it was found some 420,000 years later during archaeological work associated with HS1. Then there is the Iron Age chariot burial from Holmfield in Yorkshire; analysis showed that the man buried in the grave came from Scotland. Just as remarkable is the mass grave of beheaded Vikings, which was unexpectedly discovered ahead of construction of the Weymouth Relief Road in Dorset.
These discoveries are listed in a blog post that coincides with the publication of 'Building the future, transforming our past', a report by Historic England that celebrates the achievements of developer-funded archaeology in England. The report highlights other discoveries with which Oxford Archaeology has been involved. These include a Mesolithic camp found on the route of the Carlisle Northern Development Route, a Mesolithic enclosure in Thame (excavated with Cotswold Archaeology), and Bronze Age settlement along the East Kent Access Route (excavated by Oxford Wessex Archaeology).
The report by Historic England is testament to the significant role developer-funded archaeological investigations have had in changing our understanding of the past. Oxford Archaeology has played its part from the beginning.