Speaker National Trust Archaeologist - Martin Papworth
Dr Martin Papworth has been the South West National Trust Archaeologist for over thirty years and has kindly agreed to give our first Zoom presentation. Martin provides advice on the conservation of the historic environment on National Trust properties in our area.
Locally Martin’s excavations over the years have been at Thorncombe Beacon and Doghouse Hill on sites threatened by coastal erosion, excavation of a Bronze Age Round Barrow and Napoleonic Signal Station at Stanton St Gabriel and excavation of c. 18th century wall footings on the cliff edge at Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock.
However his subject this time will be the many Hill Forts to be found in Dorset and the surrounding counties. In his PhD thesis Martin examined the Iron Age Communities of Dorset and in particular the earliest named people associated with Dorset, the Durotriges. There is little historical evidence of their existence however but through the archaeological record Martin has been trying to establish some of the reality that lies behind accounts of these shadowy people and the Hill Forts in which they lived, their cultural and settlement patterns. Were they a united people? Was there a particular Durotrigan culture? What of their pottery, coinage, burial customs?
For anyone particularly interested in this subject Martin’s book The Search for the Durotriges, Dorset and the West Country in the Late Iron Age is highly recommended.
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