Reconstructions

Taplow Iron Age hillfort, Buckinghamshire
I was commissioned by Wendy Morrison at the Chilterns conservation Board to produce this Illustration for The HLF Funded 'Beacons of the Past' project which explores the Iron Age landscapes of the Chilterns AONB, with a particular focus on its hillforts and their surroundings. A bespoke LiDAR survey of the AONB formed the major dataset for this project. Taplow is a multiphase hillfort in Buckinghamshire which was discovered in 1999 by Oxford Archaeology. Although a lot of work has been done on the site which has been heavily disturbed over the years, much is still unclear. Excavation of the site revealed an outer V shaped ditch and a substantial inner Iron Age U shaped ditch with rampart and entrance that had burn't down at some point. It is not known whether the outer V profile ditch was constructed in the Bronze age or whether it was contemporary with the Iron age U profile ditch and rampart or whether it was constructed after the Iron age rampart had burn't down to enlarge the enclosure. What is certain, is that after the Iron age rampart burn't down the outer V shaped ditch would have existed and the inner Iron Age U shape ditch would also have existed creating a multivallate fort. I decided not to show the outer V shape ditch in this reconstruction so as to avoid the uncertainty mentioned above but instead, focus on the substantial rampart, bank and entrance that would have certainly existed at some point during the Iron Age.
https://www.chilternsaonb.org/what-we-do/preserving-history/
https://www.chilternsaonb.org/flagship-projects/beacons-of-the-past/

Ivinghoe Beacon, Buckinghamshire
I was commissioned by Wendy Morrison at the Chiltons conservation Board to produce this Illustration for The HLF Funded 'Beacons of the Past' project which explores the Iron Age landscapes of the Chilterns AONB, with a particular focus on its hillforts and their surroundings. A bespoke LiDAR survey of the AONB formed the major dataset for this project.
Ivinghoe Beacon is a late Bronze Age - early Iron Age hill fort which has been settled since the 7th-8th century BC. There are numerous barrows around the site.
https://www.chilternsaonb.org/what-we-do/preserving-history/
https://www.chilternsaonb.org/flagship-projects/beacons-of-the-past/

Bozedown Camp, near Whitchurch on Thames
I was commissioned by Wendy Morrison at the Chiltons conservation Board to produce this Illustration for The HLF Funded 'Beacons of the Past' project which explores the Iron Age landscapes of the Chilterns AONB, with a particular focus on its hillforts and their surroundings. A bespoke LiDAR survey of the AONB formed the major dataset for this project.
https://www.chilternsaonb.org/what-we-do/preserving-history/
https://www.chilternsaonb.org/flagship-projects/beacons-of-the-past/

Between 2016 and 2018, Cotswold Archaeology excavated a villa on land previously used as rugby pitches by Dings Crusaders RFC at Stoke Gifford, Gloucestershire.

An earlier phase of the site revealed an enclosed Iron Age farmstead with a roundhouse that was established during the 1st century AD. It consisted of a single roundhouse, possible four post grain store along with the banks and ditches of probable livestock enclosures.
Commissioned by Tom Brindle of Cotswold Archaeology in 2021
https://cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk/dings/

Between 2016 and 2018, Cotswold Archaeology excavated a villa on land previously used as rugby pitches by Dings Crusaders RFC at Stoke Gifford, Gloucestershire.

Spanning the entire Roman period, the site developed from an enclosed farmstead with a roundhouse that was established during the 1st century AD, into a ‘row’ or ‘cottage’ type stone building in the 3rd century AD. In its final form, which lasted until at least the end of the 4th century AD, the stone building was expanded with new wings constructed at either end, as well as having underfloor heating and a bath suite added, and ancillary buildings put up around a courtyard. Whilst it never achieved refinements such as mosaic floors, the presence of painted plaster and some architectural features, such as a carved stone roof finial and a decorative column, indicate a site of some, but perhaps not the highest, status.
Commissioned by Tom Brindle of Cotswold Archaeology in 2021
https://cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk/dings/

Bronze Age Pond barrow
Discovered in Didcot, Oxfordshire in which a very nicely knapped arrowhead was found. Hence, the christening ceremony at sunrise complete with the breaking of arrows by the local priest/shaman and the drinking of mead to celebrate. A little too early for me!
Commissioned by Christopher Haydon at Oxford Archaeology in 2017

https://research.reading.ac.uk/research-blog/a-year-in-the-life-of-the-earliest-europeans/

Vaynor Henge
Reconstruction showing the partially infilled Late Neolithic henge at Vaynor being revisited in the Roman period, looking north. The image imagines the event to have occurred during a period of stress. Storm clouds gather on the horizon as armed warriors and villagers gather at what was by then an ancient monument. Commissioned by Cotswold Archaeology.
https://cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk/timeline-the-story-of-south-wales-longest-dig/

Weyhill Medieval Punishment Cemetery
Criminals who were put to death in Anglo-Saxon England were often interred not in community graveyards, but in separate burial grounds. Such a site was discovered In 2016 by Cotswold Archaeology at Weyhill Road, on the western fringes of Andover, in Hampshire containing the graves of 124 people. Radiocarbon dates showed that the cemetery was in use from at least the 10th century (and possibly as early as the 8th century), and continued in use beyond the Norman Conquest to at least the 13th and possibly the 14th century. The idea behind this illustration was to show the brutality of such a place and the punishments inflicted but without making it too graphic. It was therefore decided to use a medieval style of imagery to soften the illustration and convey this. Commissioned by Karen Walker of Cotswold Archaeology.
https://cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk/weyhill-andover-an-anglo-norman-execution-cemetery/

West Gate Friary Oxford
The Friary as it may have appeared in the 14th century. Commissioned by Ben Ford at Oxford Archaeology.

Neolithic House in Northumbria

This reconstruction is based on the discovery of an early Neolithic house on the lowland river plain of the Milfield Basin in Northumbria, which is surrounded by the dramatic uplands of the Cheviot Hills. The Structure was a post built one but not like other Neolithic houses, e.g. Yarnton. Instead, it is thought to be akin to structures used by people in north west coast America, a double post structure, which possibly contained organic material sandwiched between the posts that was removed and moved on to the next place. I also wanted to explore and introduce the use of tattoos during the Neolithic in this illustration.

Illustrated by Mark Gridley
Commissioned by Dr Ben Edwards at Manchester Metropolitan University and Dr Seren Griffiths at UClan.

Chess
I was commissioned by the Dorset County Museum to produce this illustration as a backdrop for an exhibit displaying a few 11th century chess pieces which was installed in the new archaeological gallery that opened in November 2015. The idea was to suggest how games like chess reflected the war strategies played out on battlefields at that time.

Crick
The expansion of Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal near Crick, Northamptonshire, led to a series of archaeological investigations that have uncovered one of the largest Iron Age settlements in the country. This Illustration depicts the remarkable discoveries made over some 178 hectares of land over the last 20 years. Commissioned by Cotswold Archaeology.

Viking burial pit
I was commissioned by Oxford Archaeology to produce this interpretation of the gruesome archaeological discovery of a mass grave containing 54 dismembered skeletons and 51 skulls on Ridgeway Hill near Weymouth by archaeologists in 2009. Isotope analysis has shown the skeletons, all of which were male, to be of Scandinavian decent who were executed some time between AD 910 and 1030. The men are believed to have been Vikings executed by local Anglo-Saxons and it has been suggested that they may have been a viking raiding party which had been captured during an attempted raid into Anglo-Saxon territory.

This reconstruction is based on excavations undertaken on the M25 ring road in 2008 by Oxford archaeology. The interesting thing about this excavation to me was the size of postholes belonging to the two front posts of what was presumably a gatehouse to an Iron Age enclosure. They were over a metre in diameter and must have supported substantial posts. One possible explanation is that they were there to impress and may have been decorated with elaborate carvings.

Anglo Saxon Lyminge, Kent. Several high status buildings had been unearthed up until 2013 and the excavations that took place in 2014 uncovered even more. Further reconstructions are underway in an attempt to better understand the structures and their development through time and to shed more light on this internationally important site for an understanding of the development of royal power in early medieval Europe. Commissioned by Dr Gabor Thomas at Reading University

A sketch which was made for the previous Viking burial pit reconstruction. Analysis of the decapitated skeletons showed some signs of struggle prior to the captives execution and that some of the victims had been decapitated whilst facing their executioner.

Another sketch made prior to the viking burial pit reconstruction showing an Anglo Saxon amongst the corpses in the pre Roman pit.

Reconstruction Illustration of Late Saxon Winchester. The coloured areas show the extent of excavation within this archaeological site.

Description

A visual reconstruction of an archaeological subject such as a costume, building or settlement for example, gives one an immediate impression of how something may have appeared in the past, allowing the viewer to gain a possible insight into the lives of their ancestors. This type of visual language can bypass the usual conventions used to describe such data which normally may only be understood by specialists within a particular field, and thus can communicate directly and instantly in an exciting and stimulating way to a general audience. It may therefore be true that archaeological reconstruction provides the most immediate interface between the archaeologist and the public.