Archaeological excavations at Ham Hill Somerset

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Welcome to this website, dedicated to keeping you informed on the progress of the archaeological excavations at Ham Hill.

Ham Hill is the largest hillfort in Britain, enclosing an area of over 88 hectares (ha). This compares with an area of 17.3ha at Maiden Castle, and 22.3ha at Hod Hill. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (no 100), and widely recognised as having regional, national and indeed international significance.

The hillfort has been the subject of a substantial amount of archaeological investigation, starting with late 19th century ad-hoc work, followed by examination of a late Roman Villa in 1907 and work by H St George Grey in the mid 1920s. This work was never adequately published, and part of the current scheme is to collate the notebooks stored at Taunton Museum and publish a monograph.

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More recent work has been associated with the opening and expansion of Ham Hill quarry in 1983, 1991 and 1998.

This website was launched on 9th June 2011 and will be expanded over the coming weeks, both broadening the background and keeping up to date with progress on the archaeology. Keep an close eye on the blog, go to the Facebook page or follow the progress of the dig on twitter.

The Photos page shows albums of the latest activities going on at the site, and also collections of historic photos.

Ham Hill quarry need to extend their area of extraction to assure the long term supply of the honey-gold Ham Hill stone, described by architectural historian Alec Clifton-Taylor as “…one of England’s most seductive stones”, which has been used in construction since Roman times. Ham Hill stone has been used in nearly 5% of all Grade 1 listed buildings in the UK, and in South Somerset the built environment is characterised by the use of Ham Hill stone. This has been acknowledged by English Heritage, who have supported the extension, and the inevitable destruction of archaeology. This has created a once in a lifetime opportunity to excavate a large area of a Scheduled Ancient Monument and transform our understanding of the Iron Age in Britain

Welcome to this website, dedicated to keeping you informed on the progress of the archaeological excavations at Ham Hill.

Yeovil Ales have very generously given sponsorship in the form of free beer to the archaeologists and volunteers at the end of the day’s dig. We are most appreciative of this!

Volunteer Archaeologists are welcome to apply to join the team. Please contact Adam Slater by e-mail : as813@cam.ac.uk

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