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You are here:home > Leisure > Arts and Heritage > Family and Local History > Archaeology

Archaeological evidence from Southampton

The whole city of Southampton contains a wealth of archaeological evidence and remains much of which is held within the city's archaeology collections. Below the modern streets can be found evidence of prehistoric hunter-gatherer and farming communities, the Roman settlement of Clausentum, the Middle Saxon town of Hamwic, and the late Saxon and medieval town and villages that laid the basis for the modern city and suburbs. Some ancient walls and buildings survive above ground. The complex picture is constantly being amended and enhanced by new fieldwork and research.

The Southampton Historic Environment Record (HER, formerly the Sites and Monuments Record), is the main source of information on archaeological sites, find spots, monuments and historic buildings in Southampton. To contact the HER, email her@southampton.gov.uk. Follow the links to the left and below for further information about these services (some links will take you to different parts of the web site).

Archaeological Collections

Archaeological collections - medieval vaseThe Archaeology Collections comprise all archaeological finds from the city and any associated records. These collections provide the basis for understanding the Roman, Saxon and Medieval periods in Southampton, and are one of the top ten most significant archaeology collections in the country.

Much of the collection is searchable through the online database (see link on the left-hand side).

Archaeology has been collected in Southampton since the first museum opened in 1912. These collections include not just finds, but site records, drawings and photographs, which provide the context for each find or group of finds. These finds and records are an indispensable research resource for understanding Southampton’s past.

We offer a range of services including identifications, talks and tours.

The archaeological collections also include a small amount of non-local finds, part of the historical collections of Tudor House Museum. We no longer collect non-local archaeological finds.

Some material is on display, but the bulk of it is kept in storage, and can be viewed by appointment. For further information please contact the Archaeology Curator.

Contact information