What would Indy dig up in our county?
Indiana Jones: The Gloucestershire Connection
The new Indiana Jones film - the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - opens in cinemas this week. But did you know that our county is home to some spectacular real-life archaeological treasures?
If you're looking for a film-buff's idea of a Gloucestershire connection with the Indiana Jones movies then look no further than 'The Raiders of The Lost Ark'.
The Poulton Gold (Photo: CDC/Corinium Museum)
In the scene where Indy is lecturing to a group of archaeology students the much-loved character played by Harrision Ford mentions an historical site near a village in the Cotswolds...
"Let's get back to Turkdean barrow near Hazleton, he says. "It contains a central passage and three chambers, or cists..."
But what are Gloucestershire's best Archaeological treasures? Where might Indiana Jones want to dig up the past if he ever fancied an adventure in the UK?
We asked Neil Holbrook - Chief Executive of Cotswold Archaeology and a regular on TV's Time Team - to select his top 5 archaeological sites in the county...
(Click on the following links to listen to a detailed description of each site from Neil Holbrook)
Site 1 - Poulton
Bronze Age Gold found near Poulton close to Cirencester. Includes jewellery and the tip of a spear head. The collection was found by a metal detectorist and dates back more than 3000 years.
Was it an offering to the gods? Was it buried for safe keeping but never reclaimed? Or was it a load of old scrap?
Roman glass bottle (Photo: Cotswold Archaeology)
Site 2 - Gloucester
A Glass Bottle found with a Roman burial of a young woman in Parliament Street, Gloucester. It was made in Cologne in about 150 AD, but the burial was from around 100-200 years later.
So was the bottle an heir-loom? What was in it? Could it have been perfume? Medicine maybe? Where did the woman come from? How did she die?
Site 3 - Tar Barrows
Barrow call 'Tar Barrows' near Cirencester. Associated with the barrow is an old amazing story about two people who were digging a gravel pit there in 1685. The tale tells that they found several rooms containing furniture, urns and ashes, and coins with Latin inscriptions.
Tar Barrows (Photo: Cotswold Archaeology)
On entering another room they saw a figure of a man in armour with a light. The men saw two embalmed heads with long beards and heard a long groan. They escaped before the earth fell in burying all within. Is the story just folklore or was the tale based on some truth?
Site 4 - Spoonley Wood
Just outside Winchcombe in a small valley is a 'lost' Roman Villa called Spoonley Wood. Many of the walls are still standing. It's like a lost villa preserved in time. Very few people knew about it until Bill Bryson wrote about it in his book "Notes from a Small Island". Since then it's become more well known.
However not all is as it seems - the villa was in fact excavated in the 19th Century and some of the present day mosaics were reconstructed.
Salmonsbury (Photo: Cotswold Archaeology)
Site 5 - Salmonsbury
Near Bourton-on-the-Water can be found the site of Salmonsbury. People have been there since Neolithic times (2500-3000 BC). It's been home to camps, hill forts, and it was the centre of a Saxon 'hundred', but is now abandoned.
Why has the site been so important over the last 5000-6000 years?
last updated: 20/05/2008 at 18:40
Have Your Say
What's your favourite historical site in Gloucestershire?