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Uncovering the past

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The Durotriges Project (Big Dig)

Each year our international team of academics, students, volunteers and support staff combine to discover incredible archaeological finds that help to reveal the history of southern Britain, solving many unanswered questions.

The Durotriges Project is an archaeological investigation studying the transition from the late Iron Age to the early Roman period in southern England, and we run it every year as a summer field school. Students on a number of our archaeology courses are able to gain hands-on experience at a fascinating site, while anyone else with an interest in archaeology, Dorset's history, or the project as a whole is welcome to join us for the excavation.

We have been running our summer field school at the Durotriges site in Winterborne Kingston since 2009 and have unearthed some incredibly significant finds, giving us a greater insight into the late Iron Age and early Roman history in this part of the country. Download the extensive article, ‘Finding Duropolis’ (pdf 2.3mb), from Current Archaeology magazine to learn about the project’s full history.

Discover our finds, year by year


In 2017, we targeted our excavations on a late Iron Age farmstead, digging up a variety of finds, including evidence of early industrialisation.


Finds from 2016 included a late- or post-Roman farming settlement – rare in archaeological record, and dating to the period AD 300–450.


The results from our 2015 work were greater than we could ever have hoped for, with the footprints of at least 16 discrete buildings revealed.


A number of finds grabbed headlines in 2014, including the discovery of a Roman villa and adjacent cemetery.

Related courses

Students on the following degrees participate in this summer field school as part of their course:

BA (Hons) Archaeology & Anthropology

BA/BSc (Hons) Archaeology

BSc (Hons) Archaeological and Forensic Sciences

MSc Forensic Archaeology