Digging up Daleks – Ex-cav-ate! Ex-cav-ate!

Digging for Daleks

With only a series of small walls remaining where there was once a grand Roman fortress, archaeologists could be forgiven for wishing that they could jump into a Tardis and whizz back to a day when soldiers were stomping and Caesar was a ruler not a salad.

Unfortunately for us, Dr Who-style time machines, gadgets and monsters included, are confined to the realms of primetime Saturday viewing, or are they…?

Dalek found in Pond.jpgVolunteer litter-pickers dredging up rubbish from a lake near Beaulieu, Hampshire, got the surprise of their lives when they saw a bizarre metal eyestalk eerily rising to the surface like something from their childhood nightmares. As the head bobbed to the surface and the reeds were brushed away, the volunteers found themselves locking eyes with non other than… a real life Dr Who Dalek. While many would’ve run for the hills fearing extermination, as he was looking a little worse for wear covered in mould and moss, the volunteers took pity on him deciding to bring their find to the surface.

How and when the Dalek ended up in his watery home is unclear. Pond warden Tony Brown, who is more used to pulling up shopping trolleys, toys, and bicycles, says “We discovered the BBC often took the Daleks out on location for filming, and they travelled to Hampshire on at least one occasion in the 1980s, when Colin Baker played the Timelord.

“Who knows, this might be the remains of one of the originals from the old TV series. I’m told they they were built to last.”

This makes us think about the weirdest discoveries archaeologists have made and, while you might not have stumbled upon a Dalek just yet, we’re betting you’ve still got some pretty interesting stories to share.

Tell us about your weird and wonderful finds while out on you ventures on our Facebook page or by tweeting us at @TheDigVenturers.

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Written by Aisling Serrant

An all round museum educator and enthusiast, Aisling's the Family Festival Coordinator at the Museum of London Docklands.

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