An archaeological study of Offa's Dyke

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Offa’s Dyke is one of the great engineering wonders of the pre industrial age. The linear earthwork was built by King Offa (757– 96) of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom Mercia as a barrier against the people of Wales. This response to the power of the Welsh rulers continues to shape our view of the size and identity of Wales. Offa’s Dyke and its northern extension, generally referred to as Wat’s Dyke, remain significant archaeological features in the landscape.


 


Sir Cyril Fox was a noted archaeologist and was Director of the National Museum of Wales from 1926 – 1948. He devoted eight successive summers, between 1925 and 1932, to surveying Offa’s and Wat’s Dykes. He described his work as ‘a series of journeys, with notebook and camera, level and staff’. Fox’s study of these earthworks remains a vital record as some stretches still in existence during Fox’s surveys have since been destroyed.


 


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