Home Downley Hambleden Stories in Stone


A list of past projects appears below, while the links above give more detail for currently active or recent community projects undertaken by Chiltern Archaeology.

Report number 124                            Date: Dec 2012

Title: Archaeological Assessment for the proposed caravan development Broadfield, Harrow (Pinner Deer Park).

Report number 123                            Date: Aug 2012

Title: Yewden Villa, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire

Report number 122                            Date: in progress

Title: Sedimentological investigation of the Quaternary sediments at Broom Quarry, near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

Report number 121                            Date: April 2010

Title: Woodland archaeological survey, North Cot Wood, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire

Report number 120                            Date: December 2009

Title: Woodland archaeological survey, Ridge Wood, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire

Report number 119                            Date: January 2010

Title: Investigation into Chalk Mining in Badgerdell Wood, Hertfordshire.

Report number 118                            Date: October 2009

Title: Salvage recording of the Old Long House, Charndon, Bucks.

Report number 117                            Date: October 2008

Title: The Hambleden Project: Geophysical survey and desk top study. Report 1

Report number 116                            Date: November 2007

Title: Archaeology of Downley Common, Bucks

Report number 115                            Date: September 2007

Title: Cockmarsh, Berkshire : Resistivity Survey.

Report number 114                            Date: June 2007

Title: Watching brief on Chamonix , Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire

Report number 113                            Date: April 2007

Title: Buckinghamshire Geological LGAP and RIGS audit  

Report number 112                            Date: December 2006

Title: The Kale, Fethiye , Turkey : landscape and structural survey  

Report number: 111                           Date: November 2006

Title: Bedfordshire Geological LGAP and RIGS audit

Report number: 110                           Date: October 2006

Title: Geophysics survey Missenden Abbey grounds (south)

Report number: 109                           Date: October 2006

Title: Nine Acre Pit, Bedfordshire: geological report.

Report number: 108                           Date: July 2006

Title: Bisham Abbey ( Priory Church ): Geophysical survey.  

Report number: 107                           Date: January 2006

Title: Gate Piers of St Peter and St Pauls Church, Olney , Buckinghamshire. Geological report.

Report number 106                            Date: December 2005

Title: Geological report on the floodplain excavations at Cookham Paddock

Report number: 105                           Date: December 2005

Title: Bedfordshire RIGS survey: initial assessment

 Report number : 104                           Date: December 2005

Title: Archaeological excavation of Sandy Fields Allotment, Cadmore End, Bucks.

Report number: 103                           Date: August 2005

Title: Archaeological watching brief for St Dunstan’s Church Hall, Monks Risborough.

Report number: 102                           Date: June 2005

Title: Church Hall, St Dunstan’s Church, Monks Risborough: Desktop study, Map Evaluation.

Report number: 101                           Date: April 2005

Title: Archaeological investigation on land between Kiln Barn and Kiln Lodge, Lacey Green, Bucks.


PROJECTS PRE-CHILTERN ARCHAEOLOGY undertaken by Dr J. Eyers (Director)

Brawdie, Pembrokeshire

A study of the lithics from this long-term excavation was completed December 2003. A completed field survey of the region assessed the geological character of all the rocks of this area of Pembrokeshire and then sourced the artefacts found on this Dark Age site.

Geomorphological report on the Bragenham Fields Country Wildlife Site, Bedfordshire

Evaluation due to Planning Application for development. March 2004.

Evaluation of palaeochannel sediments surrounding a Bronze Age burial site, west of Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Auger report on Thames Floodplain deposits of Harleyford, near Marlow, March 2003. 

Auger survey across Bell Rope Meadow, Cookham, Berkshire: field survey report and analysis

The auger traverse was initiated to record the stratigraphy of the Thames floodplain deposits in Cookham, to correlate the deposits in the context of the present land surface, date horizons using artefacts discovered, determine rates of sedimentation and changes in river activity, and to link this chronology to human occupation of the area. June 2002.

Survey of Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological sites in Buckinghamshire (Part 1)

Survey of the geology, landscape and including archaeological and ecological features for the County of Buckinghamshire (Part 1 excludes Milton Keynes District). September 1999.

Survey of Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological sites in Buckinghamshire (Part 2: Milton Keynes District)

Survey of the geology, landscape and including archaeological and ecological features for the County of Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes District. September 1999.

Byzantine ceramics petrology project

This archaeological project, undertaken with Dr Ken Dark (University of Reading) and the Late Antiquity Research Group, seeks to use petrology as an inexpensive method (and first call) to identify the sources of Byzantine ceramics and building materials. There are two project directors: Dr Dark (Byzantine archaeology expert) and Dr Eyers (specialist in the Eastern Mediterranean, and microscopy expert). The result was the initiation of a database comprising Byzantine ceramic and building material types. 1996.

Tunisia: Byzantine building materials

A geoarchaeological project running from 1995-6 involving research and walk-over survey of a newly discovered site – Pupput.  The site was excavated by Tunisian staff and involved the identification of the building stones, columns, artefacts and mosaic components. There followed a geological survey of the local area for suitable local building materials. Two source areas were located for the sandstones and limestones. Although there are better known and higher status sites in Tunisia, the importance of this site lays in its provinciality – very little is known about Byzantine village life. This was a good opportunity to gain further information about small settlements.

Turkey: Byzantine settlements

1. Lycia

Previously unknown sites were located during an initial short ‘look and see’ visit to Lycia. These may yet turn out to be exciting finds for Byzantine history. The initial survey was undertaken in 1997 with limited excavations occurring in 1999 and on-going during 2003-4. These Lycian sites may provide the best insight into rural Byzantine archaeology that has ever been undertaken. 

2. Cappadocia

Permission is currently being sought for geophysical work preceding excavation in Cappadocia, central Turkey. Very little is known of the Byzantine archaeology of this area, except for the rock-hewn dwellings themselves. Geophysical work will hopefully locate middens and other occupation areas, and hopefully will provide evidence that will lead to an understanding of these 4th to 8th century populations.

Palaeoenvironments and palaeoecology:

The UK and Spain

Previous work has resulted in a detailed comparison of the stratigraphy and a reconstruction of the palaeoenvironments of the Lower Cretaceous for northwest Europe. The resulting stratigraphical and sedimentological study is also of use for a future evaluation of the palaeoecology of the Lower Cretaceous faunas. In this respect, research has shown that this part of the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian and Albian stages) saw rapidly increasing sea-levels indicating:

  1. the effects of continued rifting of the North Atlantic on sedimentation patterns (Spain and UK) and hence on the faunas;
  2. the effects of sea-level variations on the deep sea faunas and other faunas.

Brazil: sedimentological and palaeoecological study

Links for a cooperative programme of research were made with the University of Cariri, NE Brazil during 1993. Initial fieldwork was completed in 1993-4 in the Chapada do Araripe area. The stratigraphical and palaeontological work, plus following basin analysis compliments the work of Martill (Portsmouth University) and Wilby (BGS), which concentrated on the exceptional preservation of the fish faunas and other vertebrates. Work on the detailed sedimentology and also the palaeoecology of the fauna is still required.

Stratigraphy and palaeoenvironments of the Gault Clay

The palaeoecology of the Gault and Red Chalk of England were research during 1989 to 1992 and in 1995 to 1996. Research involved a collection and determination of the fauna, zone by zone, throughout the Gault. The following study then concentrated on autecological and synecological studies followed by a study of the interactions between species and between species and their environment. The research also included a concurrent sedimentological and gamma-ray spectrometer survey. Results showed that there are distinct environmental influences on changes in  faunal structure, such as variation in oxygenation of the seafloor and sea-level variations.

Palynological and trace fossil study of Cretaceous estuarine environments

Fossil evidence supporting sedimentological data pinpoints the precise location of an ancient estuary (near Leighton Buzzard, Beds) and also its morphology (unpublished). The study was carried out during 1989-92 and then from 1994-96. The Lower Greensand has always been proposed as an entirely marine sequence. The Leighton Buzzard sections have always been noted for their ‘different’ character in relation to the rest of the outcrop area in Southern England. The palynology and trace fossils, as well as sedimentological character prove the differences as being due to the close proximity of an estuary to this part of Bedfordshire 110 million years ago.

Sediments and fauna of the Shenley Limestone, Bedfordshire

A study of the sediments of the Shenley Limestone, in Bedfordshire was undertaken during 1989-90 and in 1993-4. The study included a field survey, hand specimen and thin section microscope studies. A detailed evaluation of this unusual clastic limestone proved this to be a carbonate infill of an ironstone beach platform. A crevice fauna was discovered within the lenses, together with an encrusting fauna on the ironstone platform.

Tidal flat environments of the Silty Beds, Bedfordshire

This research (carried out during 1990-93) combined stratigraphic, sedimentological and biostratigraphic studies. The research conclusions were a reconstruction of a tidal flat environment in Bedfordshire 105 to 95 million years ago.

Palaeoenvironments and stratigraphy of the Lower Greensand Formation, Bedfordshire

This 1992 to 1993 research resulted in a detailed correlation of the units of the Lower Greensand using new and traditional techniques. This led to a new interpretation of the influences on sedimentation during the Aptian to Albian stages of the Lower Cretaceous. The new ideas developed here involved the discovery of the reactivation of basement faults which resulted in a separation of the province into the Bedfordshire and Norfolk Basin, the results are still visible in the landscape today.

Gamma-ray survey and profiling of sedimentary sequences

This technique was evaluated over the period 1990-1993. The research conclusions were that the technique of gamma-ray profiling (hand-held equipment in field locations) can be used with argillaceous sediments, and sometimes with clastic sediments, as a correlation tool. The radioelements of K, Th and U were used in the study. Careful analysis of the data revealed that there may be an environmental significance to the variations in radioelement concentrations, such as an indication of depleted oxygen, glauconitisation or phophatisation of the original environment. The value of this is enormous in that important information can be gained quickly and cheaply, without the need for expensive laboratory analyses.

Lycia, Turkey: The Lycian nappes

This study completed in 1993 involved detailed lithostratigraphy and thin section microscope analysis of the complex mountainous region around Fethiye known as the Lycian Nappe. Research conclusions resulted in the distinction of allochthonous and authochthonous sediment sequences and a new interpretation of the structure of the nappes as imbricate thrust slices. The imbricate thrust model developed beautifully explained the previously puzzling narrow foreland basin.

The Lesser Antilles volcanic arc

Fieldwork in 1991 preceded a geochemical study on the evolution and geological history of the volcanic arc. In collaboration with Professor R. Mcdonald (Vice Chancellor and Head of Geophysics, Lancaster University)