The Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society archaeological monographs are an occasional series of publications that largely cover significant Dorset excavations or research projects.


This has included some of the most influential Dorset excavations, including those at Greyhound Yard in Dorchester, Bestwall Quarry at Wareham, the Viking mass grave on the South Dorset Ridgeway, and a number of Dorset villas. Monographs are available from the Dorset Museum shop.


To discuss a DNHAS monograph proposal, contact the Editor.


Some of our most recent publications




Bill Putnam’s Excavations 1969-1979


By Iain Hewitt, Maureen Putnam, Jonathon Milward and Jonathon Monteith.


The excavations carried out by Bill Putnam at Dewlish have given us some of the most iconic images from Roman Dorset, particularly its mosaics. However, the site tells us so much more. The villa lasted for centuries and is an example of how a ‘villa’ is not one static thing. It developed and changed and the uses of different areas altered over time. It certainly included dwellings of high status, which had similarities and differences with other Roman country houses, both near and far, but there was also evidence of agricultural production and more mundane activities.



The archaeology is well illustrated in this volume with drawings and photos from the site archive. The nationally important Leopard and Gazelle mosaic, and other tessellated floors, are illustrated and discussed. The excavation which began more than 50 years ago, marked an important moment in the development of archaeology in Dorset and more widely. Bill Putnam’s work was instrumental in the development of teaching archaeology as a discipline, and Dewlish is remembered fondly as the beginning of many distinguished archaeological careers.


Anciently a manor Monograph




Excavations of a medieval site at Lower Putton Lane, Chickerell, Dorset
By Clare Randall.

(with contributions by Tara Fairclough, Cheryl Green, Richard McConnell, Wendy Carruthers, Lorraine Mepham and Jörn Schuster)


Excavations on a development site at Chickerell in 2016 and 2017 found rather more than had been expected. A complex of manorial buildings was revealed, along with its associated fields. The manorial centre of Putton came into being at the end of the 12th or early 13th century was re-arranged and rebuilt during the 14th century, before probably being deliberately dismantled in the early 15th century.



The site is the first manorial centre to be revealed extensively in Dorset; a separate chamber block and hall was replaced by a cross-passage house, reflecting changes in domestic architecture and social habits in the 13th century. The finds tell a story of daily life, agriculture, fishing, and well-connected inhabitants. There was even evidence of some of their superstitious beliefs. Records from the 13th century onwards place the manor and its demise against the backdrop of the fortunes of the family who held and possibly lived in it.



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