Think of the archaeology of Oxford and thoughts will inevitably turn to the historic city centre. In the suburbs, however, there is a heritage every bit as rich and distinct.
The Archeox project was set up to investigate the archaeology of part of this underexplored landscape: East Oxford, stretching from St Clement’s on the edge of the city centre to Blackbird Leys beyond the modern ring road. This was as much a social and educational project as an archaeological one. The ‘development of a community’ in the title refers not only to the study of historical change in the area, but the involvement of the people who live there today. Using multiple techniques, the volunteers, led by Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, uncovered evidence of activity from prehistory to the present.
The volume not only makes a valuable contribution to archaeology, but also provides a case study of a large-scale landscape investigation and a blueprint for inclusive community archaeology projects.
The Archaeology of East Oxford – Archeox: the development of a community, David Griffiths and Jane Harrison (eds), Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, ISBN 978-1905905430
Review by Edward Biddulph.