Tag Archives: excavation

Gardening in Roman Britain and Border Roads Project talks – tonight!

Tonight CBA North’s members have a difficult choice to make; we’ve had short notice of this talk tonight in case you are in the Berwick area…

…but if your interests are more in the hills, however, you might want to get along to the Till Valley Archaeological Society meeting which is on the Border Roads Project, which is at Crookham.

Are these our pre-Christmas choices to be made?

CBA North: End of August/Start of September news

CBA North News
This issue of CBA North news has been slightly delayed. However, we hope that you find it worth the wait. We have a report of the recent Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage, which happens only one every 10 years, and a round-up of recent years by one of our local group members.

In addition the usual listing of events to come with the change in month soon – the sharp-eyed will notice changes to this and our Events website page as we are told of those changes for September and other months, we also have a further article on archaeological creativity and notice of an event from our sister organisation CBA North West.

We hope you that you enjoy and that you might contribute something, perhaps of your own local group’s activities this summer?, that you think that others might enjoy or should know of for our next issue.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee,
25.08.2019

Remaining August 2019 Events
28 August – The Past Beneath the Lawns; current excavations at Auckland Castle, John Castling and Chris Gerrard [SOCANTS]

September 2019 Events
2 September – Whitby Abbey, Tony Wilmott [BAS]
4 September – The Bowl Hole Cemetery at Bamburgh, Graeme Young [TILLVAS]
14 September – Mapping the Khandaq Shapur: One of the Great Barriers of the Ancient World [ARCH & ARCH]
24 September – title to be announced, Dr Ben Roberts [TAS]
25 September – (Re)Discovering Ava: the Achavanich Beaker Burial project, Maya Hoole [SOCANTS]

The 2019 Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage – done with stile!
It was rather unkindly and harshly said that we know all we need to of Hadrian’s Wall sometime ago. However excavations, surveys and other researches have continued on and at a pace. Sometimes a stock-take is useful and the Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage is one such opportunity. We asked Bill Griffiths to explain all on the pilgrimage, and you will see why there isn’t a typo in the article title. He writes;

‘The first pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall took place in 1849, attended by 24 people under the direction of the Reverend Collingwood Bruce. The second pilgrimage occurred in 1886 when it began a decennial tradition. Since 1949 it has taken place in the last year of the decade.

The 14th Pilgrimage took place over 20th to 28th July 2019 and saw 218 Pilgrims, in four coaches, traverse the wall over eight days, looking in particular at some of the new discoveries and research questions of the last 10 years. The Pilgrims came from across the UK and Europe and as far afield as the USA and China.


The 2019 Pilgrims following a lunchtime reception at South Shields Town Hall, who displayed the flags of the majority of nations represented on the Pilgrimage.

Each coach had a pair of guides, each an acknowledged expert on the Wall. Pilgrims were encouraged to change coach each day to get different perspectives from different guides.


Nick Hodgson, President of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and one of the coach guides, explaining the fort at Chesters.

Organised by the two learned societies of Hadrian’s Wall, the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, the Pilgrimage is five years in the planning. The committee, led by the Chief Pilgrim David Breeze, pores over every detail, from the hotels, to the menus for receptions, to considering whether we will need additional portaloos at key sites.

In the midst of this a handbook has been created for the Pilgrimage, with contributions from experts along the length of the Wall setting out the new advances of the last decade. It has been complied by Dr Rob Collins of Newcastle University and Dr Matt Symonds, editor of Current World Archaeology. Such a volume has been produced for the last three Pilgrimages, beginning with the volume produced in 1999 under Paul Bidwell, and each marks a significant contribution to Hadrian’s Wall studies in its own right. Copies are available from either of the Societies, and can also be found at several of the museum shops along the Wall.


The ‘twin’ compliers of the Pilgrimage handbook Matt and Rob.

The week included on site tours, receptions and walks along sections of the Wall. Much thought goes in to attempting to keep the Pilgrims safe. This year the Pilgrims were granted access to walk a section of the vallum, not usually accessible to the public, between Carrawburgh Roman Fort and Limestone Corner. However, this necessitated getting the Pilgrims across the Military Road at a very fast section of the road. The steering group thought hard about this, with Graeme Stobbs, our lead for Health and Safety, providing the solution. He designed a wooden stile for the event, to get Pilgrims over the field wall opposite Limestone Corner and the two of us, resplendent in hi viz jackets, marshalled the pilgrims to cross the road, with Graeme deploying a green or red flag according to whether the road was clear enough for us to release Pilgrims across it. Anyone who has led a tour knows how hard it is to marshal people to cross roads safely. However, the theatre of the flags worked well, with only a recalcitrant few daring to try and cross under their own initiative! At the end of the day they were all brought across alive – job done.


The Pilgrimage stile, with Graeme Stobbs poised and ready to prevent the Pilgrims throwing themselves in front of cars!

The Pilgrimage is a unique event in every way, not least for the melting pot of people who constitute the Pilgrims, who range from dedicated Wall specialists to curious members of the public who have not visited the frontier before. The discussions held over the week are truly stimulating for all concerned.

So – here’s to the next one in 2029, planning will start in 2024 (gulp!)’.

Bill Griffiths – Pilgrimage Secretary

The Northern Archaeology Group grasps volunteering opportunities
It is a while since we’ve had a local group round-up and heard something from our group member the Northern Archaeology Group, so we asked Phil Carter to review what the group has been up to lately. Here Phil notes how a small group, with its own small projects, has also been engaged with a number of larger ones again. He writes;

‘In addition to our own on-going Roman roads research & fieldwork, and of course our two divers investigating the river crossings and associated votive deposits at Piercebridge, the Northern Archaeology Group also has members who have regularly volunteered on the long-running and prestigious excavations at Vindolanda and Binchester Roman fort sites. They have continued to do that, but with the advent of NLHF funded local community archaeology projects along came the opportunity to look at other, new, initiatives to broaden our field-based experience. Thinking how good that had proved, I thought it might be of interest to CBA North readers to see the extent volunteers from a local group can contribute to archaeological investigations here in the North East of England whilst we aren’t formal group partners in such projects. I have chosen a selection of the community archaeology projects we have worked on in recent years to give you a flavour of what’s out there and what can be achieved.

A few years back a hardy core of us worked on the 3-year Hadrian’s WallQuest community project run by Tyne and Wear Archaeology and Museums. On that we were fortunate enough to excavate on such key sites as the Roman Military Way, vallum & vicus at Benwell, the north defensive ditch of the Wall at Albemarle Barracks and the fort ditch/vicus at Arbeia. We then turned our attention to Wallsend to locate, dig and expose the actual bathhouse remains at Segedunum. And as a final hurrah it was particularly gratifying to re-dig a section of the nearby Wall. It’s fair to say that was a fantastic project to be involved in.

Hadrian’s WallQuest: the (actual) bathhouse remains we helped find at Wallsend.

Following on from that a few of us signed-up to work with the Auckland Castle Trust (now The Auckland Project) community project where with Archaeological Services Durham University (ASDU) we investigated the 18th century walled garden prior to its planned redevelopment. We revealed remains of the early dated pinery & vinery complex created by the Bishops of Durham. It was very different and very interesting. Next we were back at Auckland Castle with a call to excavate an area adjacent to the Scotland Wing in advance of groundworks. ASDU were again the on-site team and supervised the volunteers. We were astonished to find a well-preserved section of the early medieval curtain wall, associated buildings, fine carved window tracery and a Tudor-era kitchen range with three intact hearths. We have since investigated important early chapel remains and more of the curtain wall & service buildings. It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting all of that at all! And continuing work with that Project, this time overseen by Northern Archaeological Associates, we are currently helping to excavate the northeast gate area of Binchester Roman fort, investigating both the early fort rampart there & later fort roadway.


Auckland Castle : a surviving section of the Medieval curtain-wall being revealed.

Closer to home (we are based near Chester-le-Street) something very close to our heart was the Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones community project. The Northern Archaeology Group has long sought to discover Roman Sunderland and we have investigated various sites and evidence for that presence, particularly at Hylton where the Group strongly believe there was some sort of Roman bridge structure in the River Wear. Back in 1999 we published a small booklet and a CD outlining our case and always wanted to undertake some trial trenches there but the opportunity never presented itself. So, it was terrific to learn that Castletown Neighbourhood Action Group was seeking assistance from the then HLF to explore just that. They wanted to investigate the site of where many large ‘briggstones’ were removed from the river bed at Hylton in the 1860s and shipped down to the mouth of the river where a good number can still be seen. Knowing of our keen interest in all this they sought our support from the outset. The project secured the services of Wardell Armstrong to oversee the archaeological investigations. The volunteer workforce did a dig on the river foreshore at South Hylton. This proved challenging as we could only dig at low tide.  We cleaned off a spread of large worked stone blocks & wood, and then put a section through to help establish its construction.  Wardell’s view was that without any material dating evidence, and with a similar build style to a lot of the river quayside, it was probably of 17th or 18th century construction. Later local diver Gary Bankhead was in the water to video some very large worked stone blocks underwater on the river bed close to the opposite bank. They need investigating more. A couple of months later we then moved over to North Hylton to investigate a large parch mark in a pasture field. Excavation found ditches and wall foundations related to a post-medieval farm house. Nothing Roman came to light.


Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones: working on the river foreshore at South Hylton.

Travelling to the south of the region some of us volunteered to help out on the River Tees Re-discovered community archaeology project at two locations. Tees Archaeology were running a dig at Piercebridge village to explore features shown up on a geophysical survey northwest of the roman fort. A number of trenches were opened and investigations concluded they were probably Roman-era trackways. Dalton-on-Tees was the next target, to investigate an extensive earthwork feature that came to light on a Lidar survey. In two trenches the associated ditches of the earthwork were revealed, one having a single piece of Roman mortaria. In a third trench well preserved wall foundations of a Medieval house with evidence of occupation was found sitting on the earthwork mound.


River Tees Rediscovered: wall foundations of a Medieval house come to light.

To summarise; you can see we have been very fortunate to volunteer on a wide range of projects covering different localities and different eras. We have forged valuable relationships with the project leads, the contractor archaeology teams and other volunteer groups. If you want to dig there’s lots out there to get involved in, and CBA North is a great source of information. Local groups and societies don’t have to have their own projects at all’.

Phil Carter, Secretary, Northern Archaeology Group.

Creative Archaeological Continued: Art and Archaeology at Aldborough Roman Town
In one of our earlier emails we had one of our own members describe their creativity inspired by archaeology, and in our earlier emails again Dere Street events and projects have been covered. Rose Ferraby and Rob St. John have combined the two in Soundmarks to find overlaps and resonances between art and archaeology at Aldborough. This is something that is geographically ‘just at the end of the road’, but still running till the end of the month. They write;

‘Beneath the quiet streets and farmland of the North Yorkshire village of Aldborough lies the Roman town of Isurium Brigantum. Recent work by the Aldborough Roman Town Project has revealed that it was a town of great importance in the Roman north; a key trading point and busy hub. It was a busy town with a central forum and basilica, large town houses, warehouses and workshops, an amphitheatre and large suburbs.


Rob and Rose at Aldborough Roman Town, North Yorkshire, pictured by Mario Cruzado.

Visiting Aldborough today, this rich history is not always immediately obvious [as above]. This year, a collaboration spanning art, sound and archaeology has explored and documented Aldborough’s hidden sub-surface landscape, leading to an art exhibition and sound installation and a series of public events in August 2019.


Recording at the Roman amphitheatre above Aldborough, pictured by Mario Cruzado.

Soundmarks is a collaboration between us, funded by Arts Council England. An exhibition of our work will be held at The Shed, Aldborough, between Saturday 24th August and Saturday 31st August.

A free ‘art trail’ will be launched alongside the exhibition, allowing the public to navigate eight ‘soundmark’ sites through the village. Each soundmark is located on an important Roman site – such as the Forum, amphitheatre and river – and will be accessed either using a free interactive mobile app, or using a paper map distributed through the village.


Village Green by Rose Ferraby, Soundmarks 2019.

At each soundmark, visitors can view Rose’s visual work and listen to Rob’s sound work, each interpreting the character and history of the site. The soundmark trail – which takes around an hour to walk in full – is designed to encourage people to explore Aldborough’s unique landscape, and to gain new perspectives on its rich Roman history.

At The Shed, visitors can view Rose’s original visual works and listen to an immersive ambient sound piece created by Rob using the sounds of Aldborough, and produced using compositional cues from archaeological techniques, datasets and maps. Two invited guest speakers – Dr. Lesley McFadyen, an archaeologist from Birkbeck, University of London, and Dr. Jos Smith, an environmental landscape writer from the University of East Anglia – will give talks on Saturday 31st August, alongside an artist Q+A. An artist book documenting the Soundmarks collaboration – containing a download of Rob’s sound installation piece – will be available to purchase’.


This exhibition is funded by the Arts Council with support from the Aldborough Roman Town Project, English Heritage and Friends of Roman Aldborough.

Soundmarks runs to till the 31st August, 10 till 5 during the weekends and Monday, 12 till 5 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at The Shed, Aldborough Manor, Aldborough, York, YO51 9EP. Further information on Soundmarks can be found online on their website.

For booking a place at the talks and Q&A during this week, and other further September workshops, these are free but you will need to book a place through the Eventbrite website page here.

Excavating the Steam Engine
Our sister organisation CBA North West have arranged a conference in Bolton, Lancashire. John Roberts, CBA North West’s Membership Secretary, writes;

‘I am very pleased to inform you that CBA North West in partnership with the Association for Industrial Archaeology and the Centre for Applied Archaeology, University of Salford will be hosting the 39th North West Industrial Archaeology Conference on Friday September 27th. The conference is being held at Bolton Museum. As this year is the 200th anniversary of the death of James Watt the theme is excavating the steam engine. With excellent speakers and a tour of Bolton Steam Museum in the afternoon it promises to be a splendid day. There are discounts for CBA North West and Association for Industrial Archaeology members. Please note that lunch is not provided. Details, programme and booking information available at the Eventbrite page here‘.

This conference includes a talk on the Reel Fitz Pit Engine, of Little Clifton (between Workington and Cockermouth for those who don’t know) in Cumbria, where a short-lived Newcomen engine was of around 1780. There were many early engines in the West Cumbria coalfield during the 18th century. This one, however, was excavated in the 1970s. CBA North members with industrial archaeological interests are welcome at this event.

In the future
In our next issue of CBA North news we would like to hear more of what you have been doing over the summer that you think deserves wider coverage. We hope that our next email to you won’t be as delayed as this one and will be out early September.

There are a number of Committee places to fill in the forthcoming year. If you or your local group would like to become more involved in CBA North, please send us an email or feel free to talk to one of the existing committee for more details.

CBA North: July (Festival of Archaeology) special issue

CBA North News
As many of you will know the Festival of Archaeology for this year, till the 28 July, has now started – as has, at times, severe rain showers. Nonetheless across our region are a number of events planned. Indeed one of those events is today. Gillian Waters, the Festival Coordinator at CBA National, explains what is happening nationally below.

This year’s theme is archaeology and technology with some of our own local group members who have organised their own events to coincide with the Festival. Details of those events are given special mention below, but all link into technology – whether of that past or those of the present looking into the past – in some way. Other events, of course, are also happening and Pete Jackson has sent us details of a further event this Saturday. The 2019 Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage also starts Saturday, so lots of things happening and across CBA North-land to cater for all tastes.

Best wishes for the summer,

CBA North Committee
17.07.2019

Festival of Archaeology 2019
Gillian, as Festival Coordinator, writes; ‘The Festival of Archaeology is a UK-wide annual two-week event, coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology. It showcases the work of archaeologists and encourages people of all ages and abilities to engage with their own locality and heritage through archaeology. This year’s Festival will take place from 13 to 28 July 2019 and features special events hosted by hundreds of organisations across the UK with hidden sites to explore and new techniques to learn, with talks, tours, workshops, re-enactments, and activities for the archaeologically inclined of all ages.

This year the Council for British Archaeology is also organising on-line festival events – so that no matter where you are you can get involved in the Festival of Archaeology. On 17 July [today!] the CBA partners with the National Trust for #AskanArchaeologist. This live Twitter event gives you the chance to put your question to archaeologists from across the UK. On Youth Takeover Day on 22 July, our band of dedicated volunteers will be masterminding and coordinating the Council for British Archaeology’s social media streams. Volunteers will also be helping behind the scenes on A Day in Archaeology which takes place on the same day. Archaeologists will be showcasing the enormous variety of exciting career and volunteering opportunities that are available, as they post their own blogs and share details of their work.

Find out more details of the Festival on our website https://festival.archaeologyuk.org.

Whatever events you get involved with during the Festival of Archaeology let us know about it via social media with the hashtag #FestivalofArchaeology. You can keep up-to-the-minute with what is happening by keeping an eye to our own social media presences as per below;

Twitter: @archaeologyuk
Facebook: /archaeologyuk
Instagram: @archaeologyuk

To find out more about the work of the Council for British Archaeology visit our website: 
https://new.archaeologyuk.org/. For more information contact the CBA office on 01904 671417 or email festival2019@archaeologyuk.org.

If anyone wants more details that might be unavailable online, please feel free to email Gillian at gillianwaters@archaeologuk.org.

CBA North’s local group members: their own Festival activities
Some of our own local group members are running Festival activities this year across the region. These are by the Appleby Archaeology Group, the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, as well as the Bamburgh Research Project.

Members who were at our 2016 Corbridge AGM will recall the two presentations following the AGM business by Martin Joyce of the Appleby Archaeology Group and Phil Bowyer of Tynedale Archaeology. Martin outlined the plans for the Dig Appleby project which this year continues in Dig Appleby Digging Deeper at two Medieval burgage plots at the site of the almshouses known as Saint Anne’s Hospital. If you wish to take part in the excavations, you will need to book – but visitors are welcome at any time. Further details can be found here.

Phil, back in 2016, outlined the recent work by his group in the Tynedale area, which has now extended into adjoining Redesdale. The prehistoric site at Rattenraw which the group has surveyed and reported here is now being excavated as part of the Revitalising Redesdale Landscape Partnership; this excavation is also open to volunteers, but again requires booking if you want to be involved. Contact details for this excavation can be found in the Festival’s pages here.

These events are happening next week, but in the meantime there are events this weekend as well. The Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland are holding their monthly lecture looking at more recent investigations of old technology.

Please note that this lecture is not in the usual location where the society holds it meetings, and later than normal also, but will be at Alington House as indicated in the poster above. Directions can be found on the Festival’s website pages here for those unfamiliar with Durham.

Meanwhile the Bamburgh Research Project‘s 2019 season is continuing. During the weekend there are a number of half-day tutorials on environmental archaeology using modern technology to examine the past and its varied technologies. For this you will also need to book; the Saturday is reportedly booking up fast, but in case you are interested there are also Sunday sessions available. Please contact the project through the details of this page if you are interested in taking part.

A new future for mining in the North Pennines?
Also technologically related Pete Jackson has sent us notes of a forthcoming meeting also on Saturday looking to establish another local group in the area. He writes a meeting will be from 1100 to 1430 at the Upper Weardale Town Hall at St Johns Chapel.

‘The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a proposal about setting up a new group for the North Pennines to share information, advice and opinions about the North Pennines mining industries. For this meeting we are defining the North Pennines Orefield as east of the River Eden, south of Hadrian’s Wall, west of the North East Coalfield and north of the Stainmore Pass.

It is proposed that such a group could facilitate the sharing of information within the community of historians, explorers, geologists and archaeologists, to encourage research about the mining industries and provide information to national and local government authorities, as well as land and property owners. This would build on the previous North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s Oresome project which the group could continue. You can read more about the proposals at http://northdalemine.uk/2019/04/23/north-pennines-mines-research-group/.

Car parking is available at the east end of the village, adjacent to the Anglican Church, and the bus service 101 runs by Weardale Motor Services from Bishop Auckland railway station. Though hot drinks will be available on the day, you should organise your own lunch. For further details please free to contact me, Pete Jackson, through email or phone 01388 527 532′.

CBA National – a change in address
CBA National have now moved location in York. Rather than being at Bootham, to the north of the minister and beyond the city walls, they are now located on the other side of the river and within the walls. Their address for postal correspondence is now;

CBA National
92 Micklegate
York
YO1 6JX

Other details for email, website and phone details, however, remain unchanged.

CBA National’s Book Sale (continued)

The CBA National book sale as reported in our last issue is, according to the grapevine, now continuing to the end of July. There remain a number of North-land relevant publications which can be bought for a fraction of their original prices. If you haven’t yet had a look, the online shop can be visited here.

CBA North: Start of April newsletter

CBA North News
In this issue we have the details of the April events soon to come your way, as well as news from a number of projects and publications from across CBA North-land from four of our local group members. This email was drafted out on Saint Cuthbert’s Day, and like him we criss-cross the region in what news we have to share.


From Cumbria we have a summary of the Appleby Archaeology Group’s investigations across their local golf course (including rare Bronze Age evidence) whilst from Northumberland we have an update on the Border Roads Project of Coquetdale Community Archaeology. Members may recall the fieldwork and plans for both of these projects, here we now report upon their successful completion and publication.

From two other of our group members, the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland once again and the Northumberland Archaeological Group we have notices of their own recent publications. The contents of both volumes also listed for you here as well.

Please feel free to circulate our news around your own contacts and groups. We hope that our next email to you will be out mid-month, next month, reporting further news from across the region.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
31.03.2019

April Events 2019
1 April – The Enigmatic Trusty’s Hill: Royal Capital of Rheged, Dr Chris Bowles [BAS]

3 April – AGM and An Update on the 2018 Mardon Excavation, Richard Carlton [TILLVAS]
8 April – Lowick Races (Horses, Bikes and Athletics) and the Lowick Feast 19th-20th centuries, Julie Gibbs and cast [Lowick Heritage Group]
8 April – Mediaeval village landscape in Cumbria, David Johnson [LUNESDALE]
9 April – Cold War to Coal Trains – TOPS, British Railways’ First Computer Train Operating System, Johnathan Aylen [NEWCOMEN]
10 April – A History of Alnwick Castle Gardens as revealed through excavation and building recording, Jenny Proctor [NAG]
11 April – A Roman bath house at Stanwix, Frank Giecco [APPLEBY]
11 April – The Eslington Sword, Prof Sam Turner [CCA]
24 April – Magnificent Women and the Revolutionary Machine; The extraordinary individuals who founded the Women’s Engineering Society in 1919, Henrietta Heald [SOCANTS]
25 April – Annual General Meeting and Chairman’s Choice [Tyneside Industrial Archaeology Group]
27 April – Long Meg and her Daughters, Paul Frodsham [ALTOGETHER]
27 April – Living in Harm’s Way: Further reflections on the Development of Hornby Castle, Wensleydale 1000-1700, Erik Matthews [ARCH & ARCH]

[As noted we continue to keep our Events website page up-to-date with details; please let us know any additions or alterations to that page or indeed this listing. More one-off or annual events can be sent to us at any time, Ed.]

Appleby Archaeology Group: Fieldwork on the Green
Our CBA North AGM in 2016 included a talk from our group member the Appleby Archaeology Group on their forthcoming Dig Appleby which we covered in a later email to you. However the group’s previous project has now been published. Here Martin Railton, Research Officer of the group, gives us a summary of their project;

‘Between 2009 and 2013 the Appleby Archaeology Group carried out a number of small-scale surveys and excavations across a range of monuments located at Brackenber Moor adjacent to the Appleby Golf Course. Despite the hazards of flying golf balls and more, the group carried out both geophysical surveys and excavations of a range of features in the area. Some of these features were freshly identified by the group during the survey carried out in 2009,whilst others had been known about – albeit misidentified – in the archaeological literature for some time.

The highlight of the excavation aimed to record the details of one of these earlier recorded sites – a roughly circular flat area, partly surrounded by a pair of crescent-shaped ditches, was thought to be one of the chain of Roman signal stations that operated between the Stainmore Pass and the larger Roman roads to the west and east. The large post-holes and structure of a signal station were expected. However our excavations revealed this to be a different type of monument altogether and one much, by thousands of years, older.

The feature was revealed to be an enclosed cremation cemetery – a funerary monument typical of the Early Bronze Age. Our excavations across the centre of monument revealed a number of pits, some containing human cremated remains and prehistoric pottery dating to the Bronze Age. Samples were taken at the time of excavation and only now, following the post-excavation process, can a fuller story of the monument be told. This appears to have been a multi-phase monument and, surprisingly, extending into Middle Bronze Age times from the radiocarbon dating of samples of human bone. These yielded a date of 1740 to 1630 BC when sampled at the SUERC lab. This was quite surprising when nationally evidence of funerary activity starts to disappear.

Other sites were sampled, but perhaps none with so spectacular results as the cremation cemetery. These included a scheduled cairn of likely Bronze Age date, which revealed evidence for earlier Mesolithic and Neolithic activity in the vicinity. Our fieldwork was carried out by the group in conjunction with the North Pennines AONB Altogether Archaeology Project with support from Wardell Armstrong Archaeology. We are grateful to them for their support and the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society for funding the post-excavation work, without which the Transactions article could not have been published’.

[The full excavation report can be read in the most recent Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (3rd series volume 18), Ed.].

The Border Roads Project: Taking the High Road
David Jones, Secretary of Coquetdale Community Archaeology, reports on their recent work as The Border Roads Project. He writes;

‘Based in North Northumberland, Coquetdale Community Archaeology (CCA) was founded in 2008 at the conclusion of a community archaeology project funded by the Northumberland National Park Authority. One of its first major projects as an independent group was the identification and excavation of a thirteenth-century fulling mill on the River Coquet at Barrowburn, about five miles upstream from Alwinton. Built by the Newminster monks from Morpeth, the project uncovered one of the best-preserved medieval wheel pits in the country, with a wheel configuration otherwise known only from the sixteenth century.

The project was a success, with large numbers of volunteers, many visitors, and two papers in Archaeologia Aeliana. But rather than rest on their laurels, CCA decided to follow this up with a broader initiative, one that would include not just excavation, but also walking, photography, surveying, research, design and writing.

The Border Roads project, reported in earlier CBA newsletters and funded by the HLF and the National Park, started in 2014 and ended in December. Its focus was on the rich set of archaeology found along the Border Roads – the ancient routes through the Cheviots such as Dere Street, Clennell Street and The Street that connect what are now England and Scotland.

The purpose of the project was to research and document this archaeology, but above all to communicate its presence to as wide an audience as possible. It’s very clear that many people who visit the hills are unaware of the history they are moving through – walking past ridges, shapes and ruins in the landscape without any real idea of what they are missing.

So CCA teams delved into archives, travelled the roads and planned walks and tours. There were excavations too – four different sites in the five summers of the project, often two in one year. There were four seasons of work at a site by the Hepden Burn, where an unprepossessing rectangular earthwork was found to conceal not only a seventeenth-century agricultural building but, under that, a carefully-laid paved medieval floor.

This site has been the subject of a recent excavation report in Medieval Archaeology (Nolan and Jones, 2018 volume 62/2 in the Fieldwork Highlights for 2017).

Excavation has now started on a scheduled site at the deserted settlement of Linbrig, also by the Coquet. Although the Border Roads project has finished, this work will continue until 2020, with the objective of looking at several structures on the site, including what are probably farmhouses and a corn drying kiln.

With its focus on communication, the project has produced a website (www.border-roads.org/) and two books. The first of these – The Old Tracks through the Cheviots – weighs in at over 200 pages. Its early chapters cover the history of the hills, the records left about them and the types of structures found there. Then each route is examined in turn, with details of the archaeology along them.
The second book – Walking the Old Tracks of the Cheviots – is a portable ring-bound guide to nine carefully-documented walks on either side of the border. Again in full colour and designed to be carried out on the hills, it provides detailed route instructions and precise map references, as well descriptions and histories of what people might otherwise miss.

Both books are available from book shops, on-line from the usual suspects, or direct from the publisher, Northern Heritage.

With all the work that’s gone into it, the involvement of over 90 volunteers and the outputs described, it’s clear the project has been a success. Other people think so too. In November CCA won a competition organised by National Parks UK for their Volunteer Project of the Year. Open to all volunteer projects across the country, and for any kind of work in a National Park, the award brought not only a trophy, but a bursary of £1000 to help CCA continue its work’.

Recent publications 1: Durham Archaeological Journal 21
Also fairly hot off the press our group members the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland – the ‘Arch & Arch’ – who reported their 2018 activities in our last issue, have published the latest volume of their Durham Archaeological Journal

The varied contents of volume 21 include the following;

The excavation of an Anglo-Saxon arable enclosure at Easington, County Durham by Kevin Horsley, 1-5
Hexham Abbey, Northumberland: archaeological excavation, monitoring and historic building recording 2012-14 by Richard Carlton and Peter Ryder, 6-81
A late medieval pectoral cross recovered from the River Wear near Elvet Bridge, Durham City by Gary Bankhead, 83-102
Kepier water-mill, Durham City: a conjectural reconstruction by John M Coffey, 103-134
Hebburn Hall, South Tyneside by Richard Pears, 135-165
Forgotten antiquarians? William Greenwell and his northern contemporaries by Rob Young, 167-186

[Members who attended our various Hexham meetings in 2013 will recall the archaeological work required in advance of the development of the Abbey Centre. It is those pieces of work that are reported in the Hexham Abbey article of this issue, Ed.].

Recent publications 2: Northern Archaeology 23
Gordon Moir, Editor for the Northumberland Archaeological Group, gives us details of their latest Northern Archaeology. He writes;

‘The Northumberland Archaeological Group (NAG) announces the recent publication of volume 23 of its journal Northern Archaeology. This volume is dedicated to the memory of Colin Burgess, the founder of NAG, who died in 2014. Contents relate to the archaeological life of Colin and the work he directed in Portugal; it includes colour pictures, maps, diagrams and plans, is printed on high quality cartridge paper and with a paper binding.
 
Copies may be purchased from the Editor: Gordon Moir, 7 Albury Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 3PE; gordon.moir@blueyonder.co.uk ; 0191 284 5062. The prices are: in the UK £17 which includes postage and packing; within Europe (which includes Eire) £21 and for the rest of the world £25. These costs are for both Institutions and individuals. Cheques should be made payable to “Northumberland Archaeological Group”. For details of bank transfer contact the Editor.

The contents are:
Editorial, iii-iv
A later-20th century mould for casting a Bronze Age from the north-east of England; A life of Colin Burgess
by Roger Miket, 1-21
Colin Burgess: a Bibliography, 23-34
Colin Burgess and the Bronze Age Studies Group by John Waddell, 35-40
NAG: The First Twenty-Five Years, 1973-1998 by Gordon Moir, 41-54
Archaeological Work in the Évora Area – Preamble by Gordon Moir, 55-56
The Évora Project 1986-91, 1993 by Frances Lynch, 57-60
The Megalithic Tomb Survey by Frances Lynch, 61-77
Excavations and Survey at Monte do Casão, 1990 by Anthony Harding and Melanie Pomeroy, 79-84
The Late Bronze and Iron Age enclosures of the Évora region by Catriona Gibson, 85-95
The Search for the Roman hinterland of Évora: thirty years on by Steven Willis, 97-106
Évora Archaeological Survey: Fieldwalking by Margaret Maddison, 107-118
The impact of the Évora Archaeological Survey (EAS) project in Portuguese Archaeology by Virgílio Hipólito Correia, 119-124

The Bibliography is an augmented and extended version of those published previously.

 
Colin in France, April 2013, on his last Archaeotrekker’s trip, at La Chaire à Calvin, near Angouleme.

Corrections
Our last email noted the changes made for the Local Societies and Groups website page for the Northern Archaeological Group, rather this should have been the Northern Archaeology Group. In case of any other alterations to this, or any other website page, please let us know by emailing cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org.

Another open day – Morley Hill enclosures tomorrow!

CBA North News
We covered an open day for the Roman bath house at Carlisle earlier in the month, here is some last minute news of an open day on a prehistoric site in North Tyneside tomorrow for you!

More news to come next week.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
27.10.2017

Morley Hill enclosures excavation open day

The Lake District, Japanese mines and more besides

CBA North News
Fieldwork may have slowed for the summer, if not stopped. Events, however, continue apace across the CBA North region. Last week saw the start of the Border Archaeological Society’s fresh season of lectures, this week sees other regular lecture series from the Appleby Archaeological Group, Northumberland Archaeological Group and Coquetdale Community Archaeology.

This week, and indeed the weekend, alone the very range of local events with topics ranging from prehistoric Japanese obsidian mines to Roman Scotland in the east of our region, whilst another talk and conferences look at more local matters in the northwest on Medieval grave slabs and recent archaeological work in the Lake District. Before all those listings, however, we’ve a short article upon the CARD Fund which might be of use to some of you if your fieldwork has now finished.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
11.10.2017

The CARD Fund
Clive Waddington, Director of Archaeological Research Services Ltd, writes on the CARD Fund which his organisation administers. He writes:

“The Community Archaeology Radiocarbon Dating (CARD) Fund was established in 2016 and is funded by Archaeological Research Services Ltd and the SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory. The fund supports the full cost of radiocarbon dates for community archaeology groups or projects. The fund is not open to universities, students, professional archaeological organisations or large national charities. It is directed specifically at community groups and volunteer projects seeking to obtain radiocarbon dates on key samples from sites they have investigated. For 2017 we will fund 10 to 20 radiocarbon dates. The application is straightforward and is all undertaken on-line. Please visit www.cardfund.org for more information and to apply. In 2016 the fund supported 7 projects and funded a total of 14 radiocarbon dates. The fund is open to applicants from across all of the UK and the closing date for applications each year is strictly 30th November. An applicant does not have to pay for the dates themselves as this is all done by ARS Ltd when we receive the dating samples.

‘I have always felt that it is crucial that archaeologists give back to society and support the amazing work that goes on in the wider community. We have worked with SUERC to establish a radiocarbon dating fund to assist the volunteer sector with obtaining much-needed dating evidence as we saw this as a way we could offer real practical help and maximise our support by making limited resources go as far as possible. We hope that community groups and projects will take advantage of this support and hopefully we can grow it over the coming years.’

SUERC’s Gordon Cook adds ‘A significant proportion of the money that comes to the radiocarbon laboratory is from commercial archaeology. This is our way of putting a little of that back into the system.’

Two recent projects helped by the fund range from Chewton Mendip, Somerset, where Anglo-Saxon industrial activities dated and the Rosemarkie Caves on the Black Isle, on the Moray Firth, Highland.


Blacksmith’s Cave where evidence for Early Medieval metalworking was uncovered

Here also the fund was used to date metal-working activities in the caves, as well as a 6th to 7th century (Pictish) burial. As yet, Clive notes, nowhere in the CBA North region has featured in applications to the fund.

Lake District National Park Archaeology Conference
The next summary of archaeological events this year takes place for the Lake District National Park. This year has seen a number of changes – not least of all World Heritage Site status for the area, as well as staff changes also. The conference at Keswick this year includes a varied set of talks with a summaries of the Lake District’s archaeology over the past year as well as since the appointment of the first park archaeologist, accounts of recent survey and excavations of Medieval longhouses as well as recent re-evaluation and radiocarbon dates for the area and county more generally.

The full programme, as well as details for tickets can be found in this webpage.

Other events this week
Here’s a list of the other events happening this week – indeed starting tonight!

Details as to venues and times can be found on the Local Societies and Groups page of our website.

11 October – The Jomon Period Obsidian Mines in the Hoshikuso Pass, Nagawa, Japan, Pete Topping [NAG]
12 October – Medieval Grave Slabs of Cumbria, Peter Ryder [APPLEBY]
13 October – The Archaeology of Early Steam Locomotives, Dr Michael Bailey [Newcomen North East]
14 October – New Insights into Iron Age and Roman County Durham, David Mason [ARCH & ARCH]
15 October – David Dippie Dixon Memorial Lectures: The Roman assault on Burnswark Hill and New Views on Roman Scotland, John Reid [CCA]

Please feel free to know us any additions to our Events page (increasingly we are hearing of 2018 events which we are gathering up for the start of the year) and for any groups that you know that wish to be included in our listing.

T’s and U’s for the archaeological alphabet

CBA North News
Our alphabet of archaeology continues with a quick pair of Updates from TillVAS and CITiZAN with news; there are also events listed for this weekend… but we aren’t going to cheat and claim the W just yet!

Our Events page on the website will continue to grow and further events that have come to us from one of our group members to us will be added soon to the page. We’ll gather these up for 2018 (please send us notice of any that you think might of interest to everyone else) and send on all the events that we know of at the start of the year for what is, traditionally, the most widely read and circulated of all our emails.

We hope to send out more news later this week with October’s many events listed.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
26.09.2017

Local group round-up: TillVAS in north Northumberland
Maureen Charlton and Heather Pentland send us another group round-up from the Till Valley Archaeological Society. Excavations have only recently finished at this site, so this – outside of the local parish magazine – is the first news of this excavation outside the area.

They also note the next TillVAS event – to which all are invited – is not long away either.

Events this weekend
This weekend is full of archaeological events – we know of at least six. Here are posters for three.

…and finally, though you’ll have to be quick to book a place for this dayschool.

CITiZAN in CBA North-land during 2017
Megan Clement of the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN) has sent us a brief note of their work this summer as we covered last year. This year the project’s efforts have concentrated, so far, upon Cumbria. She writes;

“Two events were hosted in Cumbria during the Festival of British Archaeology on the 16th and 17th July, led by CITiZAN North in partnership with Morecambe Bay Partnership. These were CITiZAN app workshops which involved a basic guided walk around a local area whilst updating and adding new records to the CITiZAN dataset. The two sites chosen were Roa Island near Barrow-in-Furness and Bardsea near Ulverston. Several new sites were recording including Rampside Navigation Light, a number of shipwrecks at Roa and anti-tank and anti-glider defences were recorded at Bardsea. In all 10 people attended across the two events and were trained in recording the app and identifying archaeology on the coast and in the intertidal zone.

If you are interested in reading more about the workshop at Roa Island, there is a blog which can be found here. We will be returning to Roa Island in November 2017 as some significant new features were identified and need to have a more in-depth survey carried out.”


A volunteer recording a shipwreck at Roa Island causeway (© CITiZAN)

Megan also writes that there are further training events to come if you are interested;

“There is one in Tyneside and one in Cumbria coming up in October. These are:

1. App Workshop and Guided Walk: North Shields
Friday 6th October at 2.00pm – 4.30pm
Venue Old Low Light Heritage Centre

Come join CITiZAN at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, in North Shields (Fish Quay NE30 1JA) for an app workshop in how to rapidly record at risk archaeology on the coast. Join us for a short talk and tutorial on the app, a leisurely walk down the north bank of the Tyne recording archaeology. The event is free but places have to be booked here.

2. Training event: Roa Island
Friday 13th and Saturday 14th October 10.00am-4.00pm
Venue to be confirmed but near Roa Island

Join CITiZAN North and Morecambe Bay Partnership at Roa Island, near Barrow-in-Furness to make a permanent archaeological record the remains of a jetty and slipway identified during a workshop in July. These features appear to be part of the former slipway to access Piel Island and part of Piel pier used for travel to Belfast and Douglas. The event is free but places have to be booked for this also.”