Unique Iron Age shield found by Leicester archaeologists

The 2,300-year-old bark shield is the only one of its kind ever found in Europe A unique bark shield from the Iron Age has been discovered by archaeologists from the University of Leicester, the only one of its kind ever found in Europe. The shield, which measured 670 x 370mm in the ground, was found…

Digging for Britain

A University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) excavation, will feature on BBC4’s Digging for Britain on Wednesday 19 December at 9.00pm. Over the winter of 2013 and 2014, ULAS excavated an archaeological site at Glenfield Park, Leicester. As well as being an important site locally and nationally, the discovery of a large amount of metalwork, including 11…

2018 in 12 Images: Year in Review

We’ve excavated on a wide range of projects in 2018. Here we showcase 12 images taken throughout the year, highlighting our main discoveries, click on the images to read more from each project.

Living with cauldrons – Iron Age feasting at Glenfield Park

A unique collection of Iron Age metal artefacts which sheds new light on feasting rituals among prehistoric communities has been discovered by archaeologists from the University of Leicester during an excavation at Glenfield Park, Leicestershire. The team, from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), has located a trove of ancient treasures at the site,…

Iron Age settlement found near Welford, Northamptonshire

ULAS archaeologists have recovered Iron Age pottery and found evidence of a roundhouse at Welford in Northamptonshire. Last year, an initial nine trench evaluation of a site at Newlands Road in Welford identified several features of Iron Age date including ditches, pits and a narrow gully. The site has now been stripped of soil under…

University archaeologists nominated for national research award

Burrough Hill Project up for Current Archaeology Awards. University of Leicester archaeologists are in the running for a hat-trick of awards having been nominated in the ‘Research Project of the Year’ category for the prestigious Current Archaeology Awards for the second time in recent years. In 2013 the award was won by the Greyfriars Project…

Iron Age settlement found near Brixworth in Northamptonshire

In 2014, archaeologists from ULAS investigated a 7 hectare area of agricultural land situated between the A508 and Pitsford Reservoir, just south of Brixworth in Northamptonshire. The evaluation was undertaken as part of an archaeological impact assessment in advance of proposed residential development. Work targeted previously identified geophysical anomalies and revealed an array of archaeological…

Archaeologists return to Pineham, Northamptonshire

In 2014, ULAS archaeologists returned to Pineham in Northamptonshire to carry out a second season of excavation. Now, with two seasons of fieldwork completed, the large-scale excavation has investigated a total of 12 hectares of land in advance of major residential development for Taylor Wimpey (East Midlands). The excavations have focused on two fields, targeting…

FIND SPOTLIGHT: Britain’s oldest coin?

This Roman Republican silver denarii was found in the Hallaton treasure hoard. It was struck in Rome before the Roman general Scipio defeated Hannibal and could have been made as far back as 211 BC, which would make it one of the oldest coins found in Britain. The coin depicts the goddess Roma on one…

Iron Age treasure found in Northamptonshire

A 2012 ULAS project near Weston by Welland in Northamptonshire has uncovered a small cache of Iron Age silver coins. The site is located on a prominent hilltop, with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, and lies within a rich Iron Age and Roman landscape. Significant sites nearby include the Gartree Road, which runs south-east out of Leicester…

Treasures in the Kitchen: Archaeological investigation of Reynard’s Kitchen, Dovedale, Derbyshire

Working with the National Trust and the Defence Archaeology Group’s Operation Nightingale, archaeologists from ULAS have recently undertaken an archaeological excavation at Reynard’s Kitchen, Dovedale, Derbyshire. The programme of controlled excavation work took place within a small cave set into the Dovedale gorge walls following the chance find of four Iron Age and Roman Republican…

Rare decorated Iron Age chariot fittings found at Burrough Hill hillfort

University of Leicester archaeologists have made a ‘once-in-a-career’ discovery of the decorated bronze remains of an Iron Age chariot. A team from ULAS and the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History has unearthed a hoard of rare bronze fittings from a 2nd or 3rd century BC chariot which appears to have been buried as…