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Unearthing the Past

The Past

Archaeological excavations were first conducted at Glastonbury Abbey in 1904, and continued in 34 different phases through the 20th Century, with the last completed in 1979. Many iconic figures in the history of medieval archaeology led these excavations, which exposed most of the plan of the medieval church and evidence of earlier phases of the monastery.

Despite the many valuable discoveries made in the course of this work - and the unique historical significance of Glastonbury Abbey - not much has been published about them. Neither has anyone succeeded in creating a definitive body of knowledge gained from numerous revealing excavations. Until now!

The Present

The Glastonbury Abbey Archaeological Excavation Archive Research Project is an exciting collaboration with the archaeology department at the University of Reading. The entire excavation records from 1908-1979 have been consolidated into one Integrated Archaeological Database. Artefacts and other finds were analysed by a prestigious team of specialists and included in the database.

The Future

The long-awaited results of this exciting project combining 20th Century archaeology and 21st Century survey techniques will be published by the Society of Antiquaries in 2013. The interactive online database will be archived with the Archaeology Data Service to be available for other researchers and members of the public. The results will also inspire the interpretation of Glastonbury Abbey's unique and illustrious history stretching back to the Roman period.

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