Chard Junction Quarry, Dorset: Palaeolithic Archaeological Resource

Tony Brown, Laura Basell, 2015

Data copyright © Prof Tony Brown, Historic England unless otherwise stated

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Prof Tony Brown
School of Geography
University of Southampton
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SO17 1BJ
Tel: 023 8059 5493

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Tony Brown, Laura Basell (2015) Chard Junction Quarry, Dorset: Palaeolithic Archaeological Resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Photograph of Chard Junction Quarry

The Axe Valley has long been known for its Palaeolithic finds particularly from the site at Broom. Whilst research has continued at Broom, other sites have also been investigated in the valley as part of the English Heritage managed ALSF funded project Palaeolithic Rivers of South West Britain (PRoSWeB). This project was completed in March 2007. Between March 2007 and March 2009, research focussing on the Quaternary geology and Palaeolithic archaeology of the south west region has been continued at selected locations by Prof Tony Brown (University of Southampton), Dr Laura Basell (University of Oxford) and Dr Phil Toms (University of Gloucestershire), with assistance from Dr Ramues Gallois and Dr Richard Scrivener (formerly British Geological Survey). As a result of funding from the University of Southampton, and the kind permission of Bardon Aggregates, an Aggregate Industries Business, Chard Junction quarry is one of the key sites at which work continued during this period.

This research included monitoring the changing sedimentology as aggregate extraction progressed. On 10th July 2008, Tony Brown found two bifaces whilst working in the pit with Laura Basell and Phil Toms. The importance of these finds lies in their stratigraphic location, comparison with previous finds, potential for dating and confirmation of a Lower Palaeolithic hominin presence in the Axe Valley South West England. From March 2009, work at Chard Junction has been supported by English Heritage. This has allowed the dating of deposits from which the bifaces came, the contextualisation of the bifaces, continued monitoring of extraction and some preliminary developments of new methodologies for sites of this kind.