Black Cat Quarry nominated for Current Archaeology’s ‘Rescue Project of the Year’ – and you can vote for us now!

Local school visiting the excavations at Black Cat Quarry and having the chance to excavate test pits and handle finds © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
Roman pottery vessels buried in some of the Roman graves at Black Cat Quarry © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
Roman grave during excavation at Black Cat Quarry © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022

Archaeological Research Services Ltd is thrilled to reveal that in tandem with Breedon Group we have been nominated for Current Archaeology’s Rescue Project of the Year 2023 for “The Archaeology of Black Cat Quarry: Farming, Flooding and Fighting in the Great Ouse Valley”!

The nomination is for our exciting archaeological excavations at Black Cat Quarry (see below) and we are delighted to see this large multiperiod site get the recognition it deserves.

Voting is now open and available to everyone at: – so please click and vote for us!

How long will voting remain open?

Voting will remain open until early February 2023. The winners will then be announced at the Current Archaeology Live! 2023 conference, held at UCL’s Institute of Education on 25 February. For more information, see:

Current Archaeology Awards nomination for Black Cat Quarry © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022

About our award-nominated Black Cat Quarry archaeological rescue project

In 2013-2019 Archaeological Research Services Ltd carried out archaeological excavations in advance of gravel extraction at the quarry, which is situated immediately east of the Black Cat Roundabout on the junction between the A1 and A421, roughly 6km south of St Neots and 12km east of Bedford.

Covering almost 50 hectares, the excavations revealed evidence of human activity dating from the Upper Palaeolithic period through Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, Romano-British and early medieval. From chipped stone tools and pits with early ceramics the archaeology also included Bronze Age settlements, a succession of flooded Romano-British farmsteads with an associated late Roman cemetery with hybrid early Christian burials that included decapitated inhumations, along with a riverside enclosure thought to be the over-wintering camp of the Vikings and the site of the pivotal battle of Tempsford and described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Local schools visited the excavations and had the chance to excavate test pits and handle finds, while public lectures and displays have been given throughout the project with the academic publication of the site imminent.

For more details about the site, see our Black Cat Quarry project pages. There is also an upcoming article in Bedfordshire Archaeology entitled: “From Nomads to Norsemen via Farming and Flooding: An Overview of Excavations at Black Cat Quarry, Roxton, 2013-2019”. Plus you can find our Current Archaeology article entitled “The Archaeology of Black Cat Quarry: Farming, Flooding and Fighting in the Great Ouse Valley” in Current Archaeology’s June 2022 edition here.

Vote now!

Please help us win this prestigious award by voting online for us under ‘Rescue Project of the Year’ using the link below:

Anglo Saxon bone comb and needle from Black Cat © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
Excavating a pit at Black Cat Quarry which contained both Beaker and Early Bronze Age pottery © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
Aerial view taken using a drone of the Iron Age shrine looking north during excavation of the rectangular-shaped outer ditch at Black Cat Quarry © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
Archaeological Research Services Ltd