Discover Archaeology

Understanding the rich heritage of Dorchester

Dorchester-on-Thames is a key site in British history. It was an important ceremonial centre in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, and is very unusual in having important Iron Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon towns in a single place that has suffered remarkable little damage from development.

Excavations at Dorchester are giving us a much better understanding of three of the key transition points in English history: the move away from tribal society with the growth of urbanisation in the late Iron Age, subsequent incorporation into the Roman Empire and the rise of early Medievel society and the confused situation arising from the withdrawal of the Roman legions in AD410.

Dorchester archaeology loan boxes

‘Romans in Dorchester’, ‘Roman Pottery Detective’ and ‘Anglo-Saxons in Dorchester’ loans boxes have been built by the Project’s Education Officer, and contain carefully selected original artifacts, replicas and teaching resources. They are designed to support elements of the National Curriculum, particularly the Key Stage 2 Roman topic in History. The boxes are available free of charge, to be borrowed for up to two weeks. Contact the Education Officer at education@dorchester-abbey.org.uk

Outreach Visits

If your school or educational group would like to learn about archaeology through an outreach visit, please email to enquire about booking the Education Officer to come to you! You could have a 'blanket dig' session where children can learn about peeling back the layers of time from present day to neolithic times, seeing how archaeology works followed by carefully drawing and noting down their 'finds' (actual original artifacts are used for this activity).

If you would like to book or to learn more about outreach visits and/or the Loans Boxes please contact the Education Officer at education@dorchester-abbey.co.uk