Kent Archaeological Review extract

Archaeology and the "Blue Circle".
by Ronald Jessup.

The enlightened and helpful attitude of the APCM at an appeal for a controlled archaeological examination of its property at Darenth Park in advance of quarrying reflects the experience which some of us have enjoyed down the years from what is now Blue Circle Industries Ltd. Its constituent member companies have encouraged both rescue and research excavations among which one recalls, in Kent, work on the Thames gravels, and at Ebbsfleet, Northfleet, Stone by Greenhithe, the Lower Thames region and in the neighbourhood of Sittingbourne. Particularly valuable has been the fifteen years of research and training excavation directed by Mr A P Detsicas on the Romano-British site at Eccles, part of which is the Group's property. At Harborough, Snodland, the APCM financed and gave great technical aid in my rescue excavation of a Roman barrow, then in 1954 the first to be excavated for 50 years. In this a magnificent lead sarcophagus based on an eastern design contained the secondary burial of an infant with fragments of her head-band of silk damask probably woven in Syria and subsequently recognised as the earliest example yet known in a Roman context.

Swanscombe Man and the Holborough barrow, both in their way landmarks in British archaeology, owe much to the "Blue Circle". We hope that Darenth Park with the outstandingly generous financial help promised by the Group will also make archaeological history in Kent.

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