Humanities & social sciences research
East Oxford Community Archaeology
East Oxford is a large and diverse area of Oxford City situated across the River Cherwell from the city centre. Investigation of East Oxford has often been overshadowed by the world-famous heritage of the Oxford colleges. However its landscape includes many open spaces and green areas offering excellent opportunities for exploring the archaeology of the area.
Exciting traces are already known of Iron Age, Roman and Viking settlements, a medieval leper hospital still with its original chapel, Civil War siege works dating to the time when Oxford was the Royalist capital, and the area has a rich industrial and modern heritage.
Local history societies, community organisations and many individual volunteers are keen to discover more about the heritage of their neighbourhoods. The Blackbird Leys estate, for example, is built in an area where a major pottery industry flourished in Roman times. Archaeologists and historians will run training workshops to enable volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in researching their own areas, dig test pits and take part in archaeological excavations. Finds will be documented and reports written up, and the discoveries will also used to inspire a range of books, articles, pod-casts, programmes and displays as well as art and drama.
The East Oxford Archaeology Project invites community members of all ages to be actively involved, and offers free professionally-supported training in archaeological and historical techniques including:
- excavation and geophysics
- working with finds, maps and other evidence
- use of specialist computer programmes
- learning aboutlandscape surveying using modern equipment
In October of 2010, the East Oxford Archaeology Project will enter its second phase, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant will enable the programme to recruit two project workers. The project website will also be expanded to help detail new developments and to provide a lasting record of the discoveries.
Please visit the East Oxford Archeology project website at http://www.archeox.net/