'Digging London' is a newly launched website to record the 20th-century rise of archaeology in London and the archaeologists who participated.

Ten years ago, ‘Hobley’s Heroes' was launched onto an unsuspecting world, its aim to document the life and times of the hundreds of largely forgotten archaeologists who worked for the Department of Urban Archaeology (DUA), by collecting the photographs, videos, newsletters, fragmentary scraps of paper, and other ephemera, that collectively document their lives, at work and at play, on excavations across the City of London in the period 1973-1991.

The DUA, though central in the story of the development of large-scale urban rescue archaeology in the City of London, is nonetheless, only a small piece of a much larger and more complex archaeological story. The website Digging London has been born out of a realisation that the limited remit of Hobley’s Heroes, needed to be expanded to allow us to chronicle all the archaeologists, archaeological units, and local historical and archaeological societies, who have collectively excavated thousands of sites across Greater London since World War 11.


Digging London will be multi-layered allowing new material to be added into named sections for any archaeological body, which can be readily expanded as required. The hope and aspiration of the site is to create a living growing mixed media archive, with photographs at the forefront, detailing the archaeologists past and present, who have collectively helped to save London’s past for the future. It is purposely designed to not have any single affiliation and have no borders when it comes to different archaeological bodies, past, present, or future, contributing to its pages, and to be a celebration of all those who played a part.

Please have a look at the fledgling site as it takes its first faltering steps, and feel free to comment, make suggestions, but most importantly, send us your stories and new material that can be added to the site. Multiple pieces in this fragmentary jigsaw documenting the life and times of London archaeologists are spread far and wide; individually we all have a missing piece or two to contribute to complete the picture.

Please do so!

Ian Blair & John Burke-Easton




  • Comment Link Brian Philp Thursday, 09 September 2021 15:48 posted by Brian Philp

    Just noted your website.
    Would you welcome some details of our work in 1964 at Huggin Hill and then in 1968-9 at the Roman Forum site ?
    Also much work across the SE London Boroughs.
    Do advise and suggest limits. Many thanks.

  • Comment Link Elaine Brazier Friday, 02 April 2021 17:24 posted by Elaine Brazier

    Good luck! sounds wonderful!

  • Comment Link Chris Tripp Monday, 29 March 2021 18:32 posted by Chris Tripp

    Writing a book about my life in archaeology, mostly in London.

  • Comment Link Pete James Monday, 29 March 2021 12:37 posted by Pete James

    A great idea!! I am sure it will be a great success, and so valuable as a digital archive.

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