An excavation on Salisbury plain has proved an unusually emotional experience for the volunteer archaeologists, as soldiers recovering from injuries received in Afghanistan have made a surprise discovery: the remains of warriors who died more than 1,400 years ago.
The haul astonished professionals from Wessex Archaeology, who led Operation Nightingale, an award-winning project to give soldiers new skills and interests as part of their rehabilitation. The excavation was expected to produce modest results, after earlier digs had turned up empty army ration packs and spent ammunition. Instead, they revealed their ancient counterparts, including an Anglo Saxon soldier buried with his spear and what must have been a treasured possession, a small wooden drinking cup decorated with bronze bands. Read more.
An award-winning project using archaeology to aid the recovery of soldiers from The Rifles injured on Operation Herrick continues its success on Salisbury Plain.
‘Operation Nightingale’ has this week received a special award from the British Archaeological Awards in recognition of its innovative use of archaeological work to boost the recovery and career prospects of military personnel injured in Afghanistan.
This unique, and hugely successful, programme continues with investigations into the Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon deposits at Barrow Clump. Soldiers are excavating material, including Saxon grave goods, moved by badgers who have constructed their setts on the prehistoric monument. Read more.