Second Eaton Camp Excavations a Success

Our highly successful second dig is now over – trenches filled in and turf replaced thanks to our hardworking volunteers and the staff of Herefordshire Archaeology. As in our previous excavations, we uncovered pottery, bone, charcoal, and fire-cracked stone.  The most exciting … Continue reading

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Second Eaton Camp Dig Gets Underway

The second dig at Eaton Camp got underway as planned on the 10th of June.  Three trenches were opened.  The first is a small one to explore what appeared to be an area of rubble on the “nose” of the … Continue reading

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Heritage Lottery Fund Approval for Additional Excavations

The Heritage Lottery Fund has given the Eaton Camp Historical Society approval to use part of its remaining grant monies for additional excavations at Eaton Camp.  This will enable exploration of areas of the Iron Age hill fort that previous geophysics and … Continue reading

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Report on Findings

On 24th October the Eaton Camp Historical Society held a public meeting to celebrate the completion of initial excavations at Eaton Camp and to share the results with local residents, volunteers, and visitors from other Community Archaeology projects.  The evening was well attended by 52 people, including Tony Fleming, English Heritage Monument Inspector for the area.

Peter Dorling, Project Supervisor from Herefordshire Archaeology, presented the findings.  He noted that Eaton Camp was a particularly valuable site because the archaeology was undisturbed even after a long period of cultivation and animal husbandry.  This is somewhat unusual for Herefordshire with its history of farming from Neolithic times.

Peter noted that the earthworks explored in Trench 1 appeared to be earlier than the contents of Trench 2. Few artifacts were obtained from the Trench 1 excavation, but there was an interesting decorated slate object. It is currently being conserved.

Trench 2 was much more productive in terms of artifacts. Peter described pottery finds with four different fabrics or inclusions.  Most of the pieces were considered Malvernian Ware, typical of the Middle Iron Age.  There were several pieces that might possibly have been residual from the Early Iron Age.  There was also briquetage or a pottery salt container from the Droitwich area and a small crucible.  In addition to pottery, animal bone, teeth, a metal object and a slate object ( possibly jewelry) were also found.

Carbon14 dating of charcoal samples gave a wide range of dates from around 700BC to 400BC, but most were consistent with the Middle Iron age dates of the pottery. The wide range may be due to a phenomenon called the first millenium BC radiocarbon plateau, a function of process and calculations which limits the preciseness of results falling within this period more than others.

While trial excavations were limited to two areas within Eaton Camp, it appears that the monument has potential to produce additional finds and information.  Initial work has established that Eaton Camp is an important part of Herefordshire’s Iron Age heritage.

The Eaton Camp Project is now in the development phase for its Conservation Management Plan.  Peter Dorling and Caroline Hanks, ECHS Vice-Chairman  are the leads for this work. The National Trust, English Heritage, and local landowners are being consulted  The Plan will identify environmental issues,  detail potential barriers and solutions, suggest the parties who should take responsibility for or be involved in the solutions, and provide a recommended time frame.  The adopted Plan will be available on the Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record, and a summary can be obtained by contacting Nancy Saldana at

Submitted by Nancy Saldana


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Reporting 2012 Excavations

Since we finished our dig in May, members of the Eaton Camp Historical Society (ECHS), volunteers, professional archaeologists and local residents have been waiting with anticipation for the results of our excavations to be analysed and reported.  Some 60 pieces … Continue reading

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Neolithic fire-starters

Neolithic fire-starters – interesting article … The tell-tale scratches on the “matches” led researchers to believe they were used to start fires

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End of the dig …

It was an unexpectedly sad moment for me to see our work in Trenches 1 and 2 backfilled.  The days we spent carefully working through layers of time resulted in a sense of intimacy with the people who lived and … Continue reading

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Day 12

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The excavation work of our volunteers is done now with the exception of putting the turf back after backfilling.  That will take place next week. Today’s work by our professional archaeologists from Herefordshire Archaeology consisted of completing the stratigraphic analysis, … Continue reading

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Day 11

With the cooler overcast weather of the morning, we were able to make good progress in Trench 2.  The natural glacial till rocks of the sides of the ditch were further defined and a layer of fine dark clay fill … Continue reading

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Day 10

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Work today was made extremely difficult by the high heat and strong sun.  In Trench 1, particularly, the depth of several metres and sun shining off the surface of the ditch sides made the temperatures even higher than on the … Continue reading

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