PUBLICATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS IN KENT
In 1994 the Kent Archaeological Trust, as part of its work to promote and support archaeology in Kent, launched an appeal for funds to publish six important Kent excavations, These major excavations had been undertaken by the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit (C.I.B.) on sites threatened totally or partially with destruction.
The Trust is delighted to report that following that initial appeal for funds there was a good response. Three of these excavations have now been published:
The Trust would like to thank sincerely the organisations which so generously supported the post-excavation and printing costs for these three sites and thus made publication possible:
- the Collyer Ferguson Charitable Trust,
- J. Clubb Ltd,
- the Rochester Bridge Trust,
- the Pilgrim Trust,
- the Robert Kiln Trust.
- Woolwich Antiquarian Society.
For the Reculver volume the following are gratefully acknowledged:
- English Heritage (stage 1 only),
- Kent Archaeological Trust,
- Kent Archaeological Society,
- Howard Davis,
- Association for Roman Archaeology,
- Canterbury Archaeological Society,
- CBA South-east,
- Hanson Aggregates,
- Herne Bay Records,
- J Clubb Ltd.
- Millbrook Garden Centre.
The Kent Archaeological Trust recognises the importance of making these discoveries available to archaeologists, students and the public so is appealing for financial support to prepare the material for publication (post-excavation work) and for publication costs, mainly printing. The following three sites are of prime importance and funds have not yet been found to publish them.
"Excavation without publication is destruction."
Sir Mortimer Wheeler.
PREPARING MATERIAL FOR PUBLICATION.
Preparing archaeological material for publication is a major programme of work involving expertise and hard work. The work is to be undertaken by the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit, using both professional staff and volunteer members with outside specialist help as needed.
The post-excavation work includes:
- cleaning, coding and classifying all finds,
- ordering all site records and photographs,
- preparing drawings of plans, sections and finds,
- studying structures, features and finds,
- writing main text, discussion and comparative studies,
- specialist reports.
The first two categories of work are largely undertaken for the sites under review.
1. IRON AGE AND ROMAN SITES, ISLE OF GRAIN.
These sites were discovered in 1978 by the Unit during an inspection of a large gravel pit on the Isle of Grain. Since then a selective programme of area excavations and watching-briefs were undertaken over circa 20 acres ahead of gravel extraction and destruction, lasting about 12 years.
The site, significantly positioned on the confluence of the Rivers Thames and Medway, contained extensive evidence of a "proto urban" Iron Age settlement. The lay-out of hut circles, rubbish pits, enclosure ditches and 4-post structures was recovered. Romano-British burials and enclosure ditches of the related settlement were also located and recorded.
Publishing IRON AGE AND ROMAN SITES, ISLE OF GRAIN.
2. THE ROMAN TOWN AT SPRINGHEAD, near Gravesend.
Extensive excavations over many years by the late William Penn and the late Sydney Harker of the Springhead Excavation Group located the lost Roman town of Vagniacae with major temples, roads, buildings and other features. Work by the C.I.B. (Kent Unit) team in 1963-64 located a tessellated building, a stone building, a timber building and a stone-walled enclosure S.E. of the town. In the 1990's the Kent Unit discovered more Roman buildings, a metaled road, burials and many other features in the area of a new garden centre.
Post-excavation work by the Kent Unit, in conjunction with the Springhead Excavation Group, was started in 1988, but has been held-up by lack of extra funds. The vital work on this important Roman town needs to be completed and fully published. A full programme has been worked out and funds are now sought for its completion.
Publishing THE ROMAN TOWN AT SPRINGHEAD, near Gravesend.