Archaeologists to begin excavating early Bronze Age cemetery in Hampshire

By Ben Miller | 26 June 2014

A four-year campaign to dig a 21-barrow set of graves, declared as a set of Scheduled Ancient Monuments and aligned in a style linked to Stonehenge, has begun at one of Britain's largest and most intriguing mixed cemeteries

A photo of a large green grassy mound within parkland
The People of the Heath project expects to hold its first dig in September© Petersfield Museum
Archaeologists hope to discover the origins of the cemetery on Petersfield Heath, where the early Bronze Age burial mounds are set in a style more typically associated with Wessex.

A photo of an outdoor park with a green mound visible
The style of the burial mounds is more commonly seen is Avebury, Stonehenge and Wessex© Petersfield Museum
The build, environmental impact, social implications and living conditions of the barrows will be examined in a series of dig seasons expected to begin in September.

Geophysical and topographic surveys, documentary research and palaeo-environmental studies will also take place under plans backed by a £100,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and a £20,000 investment from the South Downs National Park Authority.

Volunteers of all ages will be invited to take part in the excavations.

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As one of the volunteers who was a novice this has been great, with all the people there really supportive. Have done other bits of archaeology this was my first geophysical experience, and the results are wonderful - passing even the experienced people's expectations. Now desperate for the actual dig to happen as I am soooo tempted to get my trowel out now due to more questions being asked than answered. Will be back tomorrow, hoping that it is not as wet as today.
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