If the public has heard of or wants to explore the Isle of Wight, most people recall the Needles.  It is the most prominent landmark on the isle, a lineup of rocks running out into the sea from mounting chalk cliffs with at the top, the Needles lighthouse.

The chalk downland of Tennyson Down And West High Down, over these cliffs, is home to some of Britain’s rarest wildlife. Just to the north, our best maritime heathland is observing on Headon Warren with its more refine tumbled cliffs. This is a rare instance of an undamaged habitat.  For the visitors, there is a big car park between the two locations.

Throughout the Island are separated parts of preceding riches, just as with England generally; the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society try to document and understand them. Before that was seen by many as inescapable extinctions’ records, an unstoppable progression. Today there’s some expectation that diversity will be valued and conventional usages reinstated.

Image: geograph.org.uk

This island’s landscapes are incredibly diverse, giving us many kinds of habitat for plants and animals. On the mainland nearby, to pass over the rock formations as here, you need to travel ten times as far. Geologists love it, and well they might, it comprises some of the famous sites of British Geology.

Archaeology finds are in abundance here. From Prehistoric through Roman to Medieval times, this land has a long history of settlement, and the submersion of the Solent, the layer of water departing it from the English region, has protected mark of Stone Age structures which elsewhere have broken away. Marine Archaeology is currently making exciting discoveries along our northern coast.

The Isle of Wight provides a wealth of archaeology to research, and we welcome both novices and experienced archaeologists to share in a range of activities. Skills and knowledge are appreciated, but the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society are happy to encourage members as they take their first actions into the fascinating world of archaeology.

What Do They Do?

The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society annual program includes discussions, visits, walks, workshops, and practical activities on global, national, and local topics.

Wednesday Activities

A passionate group of about 16 members also meets usually on Wednesday mornings, for fieldwork. Wednesday plans often need to be made or changed in the event of poor weather, particularly at short notice, so please visit the website on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

Activities are small excavations, fieldwalking, exploring crop marks, monitoring geophysics, and coastal sites.

Image: iwnhas.org

‘Under The Universe’ Geophysics

The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society has been using a magnetometry and resistivity equipment for many years to research sites across the island. These methods allow us to search for possible features – ditches, walls, banks, etc. – that provide hints to the archaeology under our feet.

Dormant sites may be identified by crop marks, aerial or satellite representation or characteristics on the surface.  They have recently bought a new Gradiometer that will speed up our surveys.

Utilizing GIS allows one of their staff to examine the possible relationship between suspected and known attributes. Finds listed on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database, land use, and geology. This helps them plan where to focus work.

Over time they want to develop and share a greater knowledge of how people have maintained and used the Island over the decades.

Historic Sites To Visit

Bouldnor Cliff

The study of the Mesolithic site Under the Solent The Maritime Archaeology Trust recognized as being of national, if not international, significance. Their service work helped discover some intriguing evidence. Such as worked flints and wood, charcoal, nuts and seeds, and burnt flints.

Brading Roman Villa

Image: bradingromanvilla.org.uk

Located overlooking Sandown Bay on the Isle of Wight, Branding Roman Villa is among the most excellent Roman sites in the United Kingdom. Their award-winning Visitor Centre and Museum present special insights into Roman life in Britain from superbly maintained mosaic floors to an extensive collection of Roman archaeology.

Carisbrooke Castle Museum

CCM is an Authorized regional history museum managed by an autonomous Charitable Trust, situated inside an ancient building in the service of English Heritage. Queen Victoria’s most junior daughter, HRH Princess Beatrice, founded it as a monument to her spouse, Prince Henry of Battenberg.

Organizations That Support Archaeology

CBA Wessex

CBA Wessex is just one of many regional teams affiliated to the Council for British Archaeology.

Brings together individuals with enthusiasm for archaeology (whether as a general interest, an active pastime, or as a career) in Berkshire, Dorset, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, and Wiltshire, an area intensely full of archaeological landscapes, sites, and historical buildings. Their interests comprise all periods – from prehistory to the existing day and cover industrial and maritime archaeology.

Council for British Archaeology

An independent charity, the Council for British Archaeology, brings together supporters, members, and partners to provide a voice to archaeology and protect it.

Current Archaeology Magazine

Current Archaeology (CA) is the UK’s leading (and bestselling) archaeology magazine.

Isle of Wight County Archaeology and Historic Environment Service

The Archaeology and Historic Environment Service provide advice and information about the historic environment of the Isle of Wight and its surrounding waters.  They provide information to representatives, developers, landowners, and the local planning authority at all stages in the planning procedure.

They advise on matters related to management and the conservation of the historic rural environment, such as Woodland Grant Schemes, Environmental Stewardship applications, and hedgerow removals.

We preserve the Historic Environment Record (HER), the Island’s most detailed source of information on all aspects of the historic environment, from the original evidence of humans to the present day.

Isle of Wight History Centre

The Isle of Wight History Centre is a detailed source for news and links to the Island’s past, from prehistory till today, including new discoveries and established work.

Oxbow Books

A publisher, distributor, and bookseller are specializing in archaeology, architecture, landscape, heritage, art, and the ancient world.

Portable Antiquities Scheme

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is regulated by the British Museum and Amgueddfa Cymru. National Museum Wales to support the documentation of archaeological objects discovered by members of the public in England and Wales.

Each year many thousands of archaeological objects discovered. Several of these by metal-detector users, but also by people whilst out gardening, walking or going about their regular work. Finds recorded with the Scheme help advance knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales.

Primitive Ways

Practising and teaching of primitive technologies

The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology

Image: maritimearchaeologytrust.org

The Maritime Archaeology Trust is an authorized charity with over 25 years’ experience in research, investigations, and methods for the analysis of cultural heritage. They have risen from our geographical roots to a globally renowned authority on maritime archaeological issues and research.

The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society

The Isle of Wight Natural History & Archaeological Society is considering geology, archaeology, and the nature of the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England. Most types of plants and animals have a Group enthusiastic about them.

The Lithic Studies Society

Flint and Stone’s tools built and use since the initial times, and arguably, they serve the world’s oldest technology. The Lithic Studies Society was started in 1979 to promote the global education of lithic marketplaces. However, particularly flaked and ground artefacts, in the deepest viable context. Our member’s interests are diverse, spanning Palaeolithic to historical periods over many regions of the world.

Wessex Archaeology

Image: wessexarch.co.uk

Wessex Archaeology is the industry leader in the supply of quality archaeological society and heritage services, delivered by a UK extensive network of offices.

Young Archaeologists’ Club

Young Archaeologists’ Club is the place for young people who want to get into archaeology.

Community Celebrates 100 Years Of Isle Of Wight

The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society obtained a letter of good wishes to mark one hundred years of conservation and research of Island’s natural and archaeological heritage.

About eighty members and followers of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society assembled in Caffe Isola, Newport. To celebrate precisely a century since the society created in November 1919.

Letter From Her Majesty

A letter of the Queen read out by the President-elect, Matthew Chatfield. Her Majesty sent her, “good wishes to all those people who will be present as you celebrate this most critical milestone.”

Ellie Beaman prepared a spectacular cake covered in edible archaeological artefacts and natural history for the event. Such as a Glanville Fritillary butterfly and the miniature Starlet Sea Anemone. Which gets its name from the Isle of Wight: Nematostella vectensis.

Oldest And Youngest Members

The oldest member of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society, Bill Shepard, 98 cut the cake together with the most junior member, Natalie Bone, 18.

Well-known naturalist Bill joined the society in 1955, born just two years after the organization found.

Natalie, an expert bird-ringer, a member of the society since her early childhood.

Speech And Presentations

With drink and food offered by Caffe Isola, the night proceeded with a word from society president Dr Paul Bingham, performances about the origins of the Society. Therefore, some exciting historical anecdotes, and extracts from local newspapers describing life on the Isle of Wight back in 1919.