Orpington and District Archaeological Society (ODAS) is an active local archaeology group based in Orpington, Kent with a field headquarters at Scadbury Manor, Chislehurst.
The Society promotes the study of archaeology in the Upper Cray Valley by undertaking excavations, carrying out research into the archaeology of the area and encouraging public interest through meetings and visits.
ODAS was founded in February 1975 by a group of local enthusiasts who, having helped the Curator of the Bromley Museum excavate the Roman Bath House and Anglo-Saxon cemetery in St. Mary Cray, realised the importance of investigation and recording of archaeology in the Upper Cray Valley.
There is recorded evidence of man's presence in the Cray Valley from Palaeolithic times, and since its foundation ODAS has undertaken numerous excavations in the valley. It has uncovered a Roman corn drier, a Saxon sunken hut associated with a Roman ditch, and a Roman trackway and ditch complex.
In 1986 the Society embarked on a long term excavation of the Medieval moated manor at Scadbury, Chislehurst. One of the aims of the excavation is to find evidence of earlier occupation of the site. The work continues at weekends between May and September every year.
The Society undertakes a number of projects, the most important of which is the Upper Cray Valley Project. This research project has involved identifying records of all the sites and finds reported in the Upper Cray Valley and then listing them by period. The first five parts of this project from Palaeolithic to Medieval periods have been published and details are available from the Publications page.
Processing and Research
In addition to excavation the Society carries out field surveys, documentary research and post excavation finds processing in preparation for publication. The Society also maintains a close relationship with the Bromley Museum.