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Kent Archaeological Review extract

News from the Groups.
by Various Contributors.


DOVER Reported by Doug Crellin.

The Dover Archaeological Group was formed in November, 1971 from digger who had taken part in the Dover Dig of 1970/71. John Gaunt was elected director with Jill Wilson and Jonathan Rady as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Briar Philp addressed the inaugural meeting to wish the new Group well and Gerald Clewley and Howard Davies have both lent their support. Gerald in particular, has given valuable instruction in pottery identification and drawing at the monthly meetings.

Although the Group is new, most of the members have previous experience of digging in Dover and elsewhere in East Kent. With many young members, the Group is keen to add to its experience. As a gesture of thanks to the Reculver Excavation Group the first outing was a caretaker weekend at Reculver. Members also took part in a short rescue dig at Dover after the main dig had finished and some of them were glimpsed on the recent BBC Television programme "Chronicle." There have been pot washing sessions at Dover and an interesting field walk beyond Canterbury with East Kent friends.

The Group is currently engaged, under Brian Philp's direction, on a short "crisp" (his word) rescue dig on the line of the A2 near Dover.

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RECULVER Reported by Brian Philp.

Although the main summer excavation was again cancelled so that all Group members could help with the rescue-excavations at Dover, it was possible to return to Reculver in December.

In addition to a variety of essential maintenance jobs, various surveys and minor excavations were carried out. The most urgent was about 200 yards west of the Roman fort where a bulldozer had broken through the cliff to make a track on to the beach. Here recent storms have caused considerable erosion and more sea defences are required. Limited excavation revealed a diagonal section cut across the Roman road into the fort, one of the flanking ditches and a pit or ditch running roughly north-south. Material recovered from this area was exclusively early-third century AD. The Group gratefully acknowledges the active support of the Dover Archaeological Group with this project.

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SITTINGBOURNE AND SWALE Reported by Edward Newnham.

During January and February, members have been active at week-ends, clearing and surveying the quadrangular earthwork site known as Castle Rough, in preparation for the Group's training dig under the direction of Ralph Mills.

The site is on the west side of Milton Creek and tradition has it that in 892 AD the Danish Chieftain Haestan built a fortress here, after bringing 80 ships up the Swale.

The membership of the Group is increasing steadily and our plans to encourage new members include a monthly programme of illustrated lectures and regular working meetings. Also, to ensure that our members take and read the Kent Archaeological Review, the cost of this is included in the annual membership subscription.

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WEST KENT BORDER Reported by Edna Mynott.

Watch on Development Projects.

During the Autumn and Winter months special attention has ben given to surveillance of sites under development. More than 20 members have taken part in all-day 'motorised' surveys of the Group's area. Car-loads of archaeologists have followed carefully arranged routes surveying whatever is seen and this scheme has proved a useful supplement to the regular watch undertaken by individuals. Many sites have been covered in this way and a number of new discoveries made and recorded.

Operation Motorways.

The Group's work on M25, started last year well ahead of the construction of the road, has been continued. In the Westerham area the old railway and its bridges, stations and other related features have been recorded before destruction. Five main bridges were cleared of undergrowth so that a photographic record could be made and detailed drawings prepared for publication. This aspect of the work is being co-ordinated by Mr M Godfrey and a special team.

The west end of the proposed M20 continuation is also within the Group's area and an initial survey has been completed. In addition, the farmer's permission has been obtained for trial-excavations and this is a task reserved for the future when crops are lifted.

Winter Lectures.

The normal series of winter lectures for the public has been well supported in Bromley. Six main lectures have been arranged and these are followed by progress reports and slides from earlier Group excavations. Interesting lectures have been given by Mr R Walsh (Director, Fawkham Group), Rev F Mitchell (Vicar of Hayes), Mrs S Palmer (Curator, Orpington Museum), Mr S Harker (Director, Springhead Group) and Mr R Canham (Field Officer, London Museum). The series of lectures for the winter of 1972-3 has already been arranged.

Monthly members' meetings have punctuated the normal evening work in the Research Centre at which members have given a great variety of informative lectures. Very interesting talks have been given so far by Mr and Mrs Broadfoot, Mr P Grant, Mr M Godfrey, Mr R Tedbury and Mr R Gierth.

The main effort throughout the winter months (as in 1970-1) has been the preparation of reports on the Group's work in readiness for publication. Happily, virtually all members readily appreciate that this work is vital and that excavation without publication is worth very little. The task is a large one, but it is hoped that a few more weeks will see it completely finished. When this work is completed the full energy and effort of the Group can be returned to extensive field surveys and excavation.

Gift to the Group.

The Group gratefully acknowledge with many thanks a generous gift of money from Mrs G Grobby of London. This was given specifically for the purchase of a suitable surveying level for use by the Group.

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