The Yarnton Project

The Yarnton project was initiated when archaeological remains were discovered during gravel extraction in the parishes of Yarnton and Cassington in the Upper Thames valley approximately 5 km north of Oxford. English Heritage funding was made available when the huge research potential of the archaeological resource was realised. Excavations were carried out between 1989 and 1998 within an area covering 200 hectares. The large size of the project area has allowed us to study the landscape as a whole rather than simply individual settlements within it.


Research Aims



Post-Excavation Assessment

1 Saxon and Medieval

2 Iron Age and Roman

3 Neolithic and Bronze Age



  Grave goods from a Beaker burial found on the floodplain
  The archaeological remains revealed evidence of continuous human habitation on the floodplain and the higher Second Gravel Terrace from the Neolithic period (4000 - 1800 BC) through to the modern day. This has allowed us an unparalleled opportunity to study changing settlement patterns and use of the landscape and environment through the ages.  
  Grave goods from a Beaker burial

  Due to the large quantity of archaeological data recovered spanning over 5000 years of occupation, it was clear that the results of the post-excavation analysis could not be published in one volume. Three period-based volumes 1 Saxon and medieval, 2 Iron Age and Roman and 3 Neolithic and Bronze Age are therefore being produced although care is being taken to consider the transitional periods which fall between the volumes. Each volume aims to bring together a huge variety of archaeological and environmental evidence in order to interpret all aspects of life at Yarnton, including settlement patterns, land use, artefacts and crafts and social and economic practices, and to place these within a national context.

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