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18 September 2014
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Wetwang: Story of a Dig

By Julian Richards
Image of Wetwang site
The site at Wetwang, in the Yorkshire Wolds ©

An Iron Age burial mound was discovered in the chalk hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. What would the excavations reveal? Julian Richards joins the dig.

The excavation begins

Any excavation, no matter how large or small and of whatever period and type of site, can be an exciting and essentially unpredictable event. No matter how much preliminary research and investigation has been carried out, there is no certainty about what will be revealed until soil starts to be removed.

' ... the contours of the site were mapped and a geophysical survey was carried out ... '

In many ways the story of the excavation at Wetwang is a perfect illustration of this element of surprise. A small paddock in the centre of the village, which lies in the chalk hills of the Yorkshire Wolds, was identified by builders as being a suitable site for a small development of houses.

Owing to its location within the centre of an historic village, and with an awareness of the importance of the area for Iron Age studies, the local authority decided that the site needed to be investigated before planning permission could be granted.

This investigation was carried out by the Guildhouse Consultancy. Before the ground was disturbed by excavation, the contours of the site were mapped and a geophysical survey was carried out which showed ditches, pits and what appeared to be quarries.

Published: 2005-01-25

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