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About the Project

The Culver Archaeological Project (CAP) involves the local community, students, trained archaeologists and volunteers in the investigation of the historic environment under the supervision of the project director, Robert Wallace, a Masters Graduate in Field Archaeology from the University of Sussex, and corporate member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA). CAP was founded in 2005 by Rob to investigate the historic landscape surrounding the Barcombe villa complex and has developed over the years to research the historical environment of the alluvial plain of the Upper Ouse Valley in the parishes of Barcombe and Ringmer.

In the initial year Rob discovered a substantial Roman road running down the western side of the River Ouse and work continued in the area of this road on Culver and Cowlease Farms until 2010. From its inception CAP has endeavoured to conform to a high standard of archaeological research whilst seeking to actively involve the local community in the discovery and interpretation of their local landscape heritage and archaeological remains. As well as open area archaeological excavation of targeted areas, the project includes magnetometer and resistivity surveys of the wider area as well as supervised metal detecting.

The investigation of the Romano-British settlement at Bridge Farm forms part of this wider research project of the Ouse Valley. In 2011, a geophysical survey of the London to Lewes Roman road by David Staveley, an experienced geophysicist, led to the discovery of the Roman-period settlement at Bridge Farm. This in turn initiated gaining a substantial grant from the National Lottery via the Heritage Lottery Fund, thus enabling the appointment of commercial contractor AOC Archaeology to assist in excavating four open-area trenches and also funding the post excavation works alongside an extensive programme of community engagement for the 2013 season.

From 2014, volunteers, students and campers have paid a modest fee for involvement, with donations received from visiting groups helping to fund the basic costs. From 2015 a fieldwork training course at the site, primarily run for Canterbury Christ Church University students, with some places available for individuals willing to pay for extra training, has provided a sound financial base for both future excavation and specialist post-excavation works. The large volunteer base created in 2013 is still very active and provides an excellent backbone to the project with the support of the yearly cohort of novice students.

PDF of a summary slideshow for 2011-2019

Where are we?
Where are we?

Bridge Farm, Barcombe Mills, Lewes, BN8 5BX

meet the team
Meet the Team
Rob Wallace - BA Hons, MA, PCIfA - Project Director
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Rob founded the Culver Archaeological Project in 2005 whilst supervising at the excavations of the Roman villa at Barcombe for UCL. He gained a Masters in Field Archaeology at Sussex in 2008 where he became an Associate Tutor until 2012. He had previously studied for his honours degree in Egyptian Archaeology at UCL. Since 2005 he has directed annual excavations to investigate the wider historic landscape of the Sussex Ouse valley; discovering a Roman road and roadside activity at Barcombe followed by the settlement at Bridge Farm in 2011. In 2015 he set up an under-graduate level training course which is run at the site every year and is a regular speaker at conferences and local schools and societies.

David Millum, BA Hons, MA, MCIfA - Research Archaeologist
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David gained a Masters in Field Archaeology from Sussex in 2011 where he was an Associate Tutor until 2012. He site supervised for CAP on the Roman road at Culver Farm 2007-10 and at the Roman bathhouse at Barcombe 2010-12. He was CAP's Deputy Site Director 2011-20 as the focus moved to the Romano-British settlement at Bridge Farm, and now concentrates on post-excavation reports and formal papers for Journals. He  compiled the project's site manual, 'To CAP it all' and is a frequent speaker to local societies and conferences. Away from CAP he wrote the medieval chapter for 'Archaeology of the Ouse Valley, Sussex'  (2016  Archaeopress) and the retrospective report on Ainsworth's unpublished 1979-83 excavations of the medieval pottery kilns at Streat, East Sussex. 

Dr Lindsay Banfield, BA Hons, MA - Consultant
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Lindsay joined the project in 2016 as a volunteer when she was studying archaeology at University College London and has been employed as site supervisor for the following excavation seasons since.  She has also acted as site supervisor and trained undergraduate students on the UCL training excavation for two successive years and worked on numerous other excavations, such as an investigation into the Stonehenge bluestone quarry sites in Wales.  She gained her PhD at the University of Reading where she also completed her Masters qualification.  Her PhD research involved exploring Romano-British identity through material culture, specifically looking at imported lava querns and millstones in Britain originating from the Eifel region of Germany. She is currently employed by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

Nancy Wiginton, Finds Supervisor & Recorder
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Having joined the CAP team in 2013,  Nancy became Finds Supervisor in 2018, to coordinate the finds processing team, managing the sorting, processing, recording and storage of all types of artefacts. She maintains the finds database and IT records for their inclusion in the project archive and reports, and produces displays of interesting artefacts for open days and school visits. Nancy is also responsible for training new finds volunteers and work experience students, and delivers the finds processing element of the Field School. She also fields the enquiries received via information@culverproject.co.uk.

From 2022 she has been ably supported by Julia Montgomery, our Bones Specialist, who deputises as Supervisor in Nancy’s absence.

Mike Naylor, Treasurer and Artefact Photographer
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Having helped with Finds Processing for some years, Mike has also taken on the role of CAP treasurer which has proved invaluable in these  difficult financial times with his producing regular income and expenditure spreadsheets and forecasts. He also handles volunteer and student applications that come in to join@culverproject.co.uk. 

His work with the Portable Antiquities Scheme has honed his skills in photographing archaeological artefacts. This includes all our recent Special Finds, using procedures that he shares with students on the field school. This in turn has also led to vessel reconstruction as  broken, but complete, vessels need  assembling prior to photographing.

Andy Bradshaw, Site Supervisor and Course Tutor
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Andy's involvement with CAP goes back to the Culver Farm days but since 2021 he has been our site supervisor, together with Rich Best (CCCU graduate and PhD student). Andy specialises in surveying, planning, section drawing and standing building recording, all of which he tutors as part of the Training Programme. He is employed in the commercial archaeology sector when not at Bridge Farm.

Assistant Site Supervisors: We are pleased that many CCCU graduates have progressed over recent years to take on a supervisory role. These include Georgia Gunn, Wiki Krzoska, Jade Fennell, Nat Miller,  Blake Galloway (who also runs our Instagram page) and George Morris.

Andy Symonds, Site Manager
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Andy has been a regular member of the CAP team since coming through our training course in 2018. In 2019 he became the Site Manager which involves a lot of the less glamorous hard graft on the project including maintenance and improvement work during the winter and regular visits to site to see just how flooded the trench is when the Ouse bursts its banks. He has also dug with BHAS since 2019 and

was invited by the University of Texas, to dig on the Oplontis project in Naples, Italy in 2022. 

 

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