Tag Archives: Prehistoric

On Salt and Scottish soldiers: a pair of lectures this week

CBA North News
Today’s email title sounds like the cabbages and kings of the walrus in Lewis Carroll’s The Jabberwocky, but it is so this week. There are a pair of two lectures that we know about this week – both at the northern edge of our CBA North region. But both have stories to tell beyond their immediate area and internationally so.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 05.06.2017

Salt
The next lecture of the Border Archaeological Society lecture is tonight at 7.30pm at Berwick Parish Church Hall, Berwick, on The Needles Eye Enclosure: salt production in the Late Iron Age by Jenny Proctor. This important site was partly excavated to reveal an extensive, and well dated, settlement dating from the late 4th century BC to the Romano-British period.

The arch of Needles Eye north of Berwick
Photo © Phil Catterall (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The site takes its name from the Needles Eye rock arch in the cliffs shown above. The excavation of this site currently provides the most northerly evidence of salt production in prehistoric Britain, but more regional links with the Cheviots are also hinted at. All will be explained tonight.

Scottish Soldiers
Also this week is the next lecture of the Till Valley Archaeological Society which is also at 7.30pm at Crookham Village Hall, though this is on the Wednesday night.

This talk will also highlight further national – and indeed international – links of events that happened in our local area. We’ve covered earlier some of the earlier events on these soldiers at Durham. Further information on this project, and the range of work carried out, can now also be found here.

Details for both groups can be found through the Local Societies and Groups page of our website.

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The varied landscapes of the CBA North region (and beyond)

CBA North News

Now well into February, we are well into the programmes of the local groups and societies all across the CBA North region. As you will recall we cover everywhere between the Scottish Border south to Lancashire and Yorkshire (are we the only thing that would unite those two historic counties so flippantly?). Today we have notices for a variety of landscapes across the CBA North region (and a bit beyond as well).

 Our landscapes include a review of coastal fieldwork in 2016 as well as the announcements in Yorkshire following from previously covered investigations of  ‘Cade’s Road’ (as ‘the bit beyond’) and from Northumberland for the landscapes of the Peregrini Partnership and Hexham Abbey, with a nod to the second Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum’s annual conference in between. 

We will also be letting you know soon of the details for our main CBA North events this year. Both are planned to take place in Newcastle with the 29th April confirmed and 20 May to be confirmed; save both of these dates in your diary if you can! We always try to avoid the dates of other similar organisations where we can. Hopefully we will be able to give you more details of these, as well as recent work by the committee on your behalf, to you in our next set of emails.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 12.02.2017

Local Group Round-up: CITiZAN across CBA North
Andy Sherman and Megan Clement have written the review below of their 2016 across CBA North’s two coasts. We announced their various events throughout the course of last year, here you can see the fruits of their labours on both east and west coasts;

“In 2016 CITiZAN (the Coastal and Inter Tidal Zone Archaeology Network) ran several outreach and training events in CBA North’s region including examining a prehistoric peatshelf on the beach at Blyth, recording post-medieval saltpans in Maryport and surveying the remains of a First World War sea-plane base on Tyneside. As well as being out on the foreshore and the riverside Andy and Megan have spoken at archaeological groups, museums and heritage centres around the region discussing everything coastal.

They have also been running introductory sessions with Young Archaeologist Clubs, Duke of Edinburgh groups and Girl Guide troops, introducing the next generation of heritage enthusiasts to coastal and inter-tidal archaeology. Here our youngest trainees learn about the features you find on the foreshore and why it’s important to record them, as well as being told about some the dangers they might face if they venture into the inter-tidal zone unaccompanied. The CITiZAN North team ran a total of ten outreach and training events across Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyneside in 2016.


Members of the public brave a cold, blustery August day to talk about prehistoric submerged landscapes in Blyth

In July CITiZAN North investigated the foreshore along the Howick coast which today is known for its recreational use with coastal footpaths and holiday cottages. In the 19th century the coast was owned by the Grey family and was known for a different sort of recreation. The second Earl Grey (Charles Grey, Prime Minster from 1830-1834) built a bathing house for his children and wife. He also had two, small rock-cut pools cut into the foreshore, which would have heated up much quicker than the surrounding sea, for his family to swim in. Earlier in the summer CITiZAN identified a third rock-cut pool a short distance along the coast south of the bathing house that our volunteers helped us record.


CITiZAN volunteers and staff discuss the 2nd Earl Grey’s bathing pool on the Howick foreshore

On a sunnier day in August we investigated the lime processing industry in the Northumberland village of Beadnell. Lime is a versatile product used for a wide range of things from the building industry to agriculture. The material has been processed in Beadnell for hundreds of years with the earliest known kiln having been found on a short promontory known as Ebb’s Nook and archaeomagnetically-dated to c1480-1520 AD. Perhaps the most well-known lime kilns in Beadnell are those constructed in the late-18th century by John Wood and later converted to smoke fish in the 19th century.

A short distance north of the harbour is a lime kiln eroding out of the edge of Dell Point, one of four kilns marked on an estate map of 1759. CITiZAN’s volunteers photographed and drew the remains of this kiln preserving it in record before it is fully destroyed by the sea.

CITiZAN staff and volunteers establishing a section line early in the morning so that a scale drawing of the remains of the Dell Point lime kiln can be made

As part of the training sessions our volunteers are show how to use our app, which can be downloaded on to Apple and Android devices such as smart phones and tablets. The app enables people to record, photograph and geo-locate archaeological features they find on the foreshore.  As well as allowing people to explore our interactive map and discover heritage sites along the English coast.


A CITiZAN volunteer recording part of the submerged forest at Howick using the projects app

Over the summer CITiZAN filmed three television programmes on the archaeology of the coast for Channel 4. The first of these programmes was filmed along the Northumberland coast featuring heritage sites in Beadnell and Howick including the lime kilns and rock-cut bathing pools mentioned above. The programme also featured the wreck of the early-20th century French fishing trawler the Tadorne. Little remains of the wreck on the foreshore now, although part of the partially salvaged boiler from the trawler can be seen rearing above the jagged rocks of the foreshore at low tide.


Filming with cast and crew of Britain at Low Tide at the wreck of the Tadorne

The three television programmes can still be download from More4 if you would like to watch them.  If you are interested in exploring and recording the heritage of England’s coastline you can download our app here.

To keep up to date with the exciting events CITiZAN North are hosting around the coast of the north of England visit: this page“.

Andy Sherman and Megan Clement
CITiZAN, 08.02.2017

[As a stop-press footnote addition to the review Andy also writes “We’re currently looking at several events in the CBA North’s region and are slowly ironing out the various permissions, timings etc. We’ll keep you updated on progress”. Watch this space for more details, Ed.].

Thornton le Street Heritage Lottery Fund Project
John Sheenan writes to tell us that;

“Thornton le Street History Group are launching their Heritage Lottery Fund supported archaeology and history project with an open day to be held in the village hall on Saturday 18th February between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. Anyone interested in participating is invited to come along, see what is involved and register their interest.
 
Thornton le Street is a typical Vale of York village with extensive evidence of early occupation. The project will study the history of the village and its surrounding area which contains a substantial Scheduled Monument site, a watermill, a river ford, an early church, and landed estates. Two Roman roads are said to converge at this point and it is hoped to resolve whether the village is Roman or medieval in origin.
 
Jim Brightman of Solstice Heritage, who recently led a community archaeology project at Kiplin Hall in the nearby Vale of Mowbray, will supervise the project which will be of 18 months duration. Training and practical experience will be provided in archaeological fieldwork and historical documentary research. The latest digital recording will be used which will be incorporated into a bespoke website which will be developed by the participants.  
 
If you cannot attend on the day, a project synopsis is available on the village website or you can contact John Sheehan on 01609 771878 or at jgsheehan@btinternet.com“.

Events listed on the CBA North website
Our Events page has now settled for a while. Though many of the February events have been and gone, there are a few still to come in the regular programmes of the Lunesdale and Teesside Archaeological Societies covering the Neolithic of the northwest, as well as the mysteriously titled Dance of Death.

Please let us know any questions, comments or information that you have or want publicising by emailing cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org. We have been emailed the three announcements of more one-off events below which you might be interested in. Versions of these posters, which you can download, if you wish to click the links, circulate yourself to your own group’s members or wish to book up, can be found in our blog and website versions of this email.

Peregrini Landscape Partnership Conference

The download-able version of this poster can be found here.

Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum: 2nd Annual Conference
We have been told that the Tyne & Wear Heritage Forum’s event this year will be on Saturday, May 13th 2017, at the Wallsend Memorial Hall. Further information on this day will be available soon.

Hexham Abbey Day School
Members will recount that some of our previous AGMs have been held at Hexham which covered plans for further display and interpretation of the buildings of the abbey. Looking further ahead – to July this time. You will notice, however, that there are advantages in planning ahead as an early bird discount (till the end of March) is offered.


Once again we’ve included a download-able version of this for you – this can be found here as Hexham day school. This includes the booking form on the second page of what is evidently designed to be as a folded leaflet as well.

We were sent details of this last event by Chris Tolan-Smith and Jo Shoebridge; please feel free to let us any information that you may want publicising as well.

Free Access to Routledge Archaeology publications

CBA North Members will already have been sent this this (as a benefit of membership), so for CBA North’s Followers might also be interested in this offer in case people haven’t already seen it with lots available for sites and finds across CBA North-land.

CBA North note that there are of course lots of good things to read in printed form as well with the libraries of local societies as well when this offer closes as well, but in the meantime…

Routledge Archaeology, Heritage, Museum Studies and Conservation

From 4th-17th April 2016 you can access our Archaeology, Heritage, Museum Studies and Conservation journals for FREE*. There is no need to sign-up or register, simply click the links below and start reading today!

Discover our Archaeology journals

Explore our Heritage, Museum Studies and Conservation journals

*This exclusive offer is only available via this page between 4th-17th April 2016 and to post-1997 content only.

If you are using Google Chrome please ensure you have the latest version in order to read these journals.

Spring into archaeological action this spring!

Now Spring 2016 seems to have arrived why not spring into archaeological action this month?

Events start tonight with the Border Archaeological Society [BAS] on places warmer again with prehistoric rock art in Africa, though the speaker will be familiar to many of CBA North-land already, and this week two more talks on recent Mesolithic and Medieval researches in meetings of the Northumberland Archaeological Group [NAG} and Till Valley Archaeological Society [TillVAS].

Other talks cover the Medieval elsewhere across CBA North-land with Furness Abbey in the southwest of our region covered by the Appleby Archaeological Group [Appleby], though looking further westward again next week, and the week after that a Teesside Archaeological Society talk will deal with Durham University excavations of a castle in Wales,

..and then again other talks cover the area from the lowlands to the hills. Take your pick, attend your own local group meetings and why not something else as well? Our list of things known to us for April is below, but feel free to let us know of any more that you know about or would like to publicise. Details for each of the local groups can be found in our Local Societies and Groups page of the website.

April 2016
4 April – An engraved landscape: rock carvings from the ‘Central Sahara’, Dr Tertia Barnett [BAS]
6 April – Salters Nick – Some Final Conclusions, John Davies [NAG]
6 April – AGM followed by The 2015 Flodden 500 Excavations, Richard Carlton and John Nolan [TILLVAS]
12 April – Furness Abbey and her Daughter Houses: Irish Sea Relations in the Medieval era, Dr Fiona Edmunds [APPLEBY]
19 April – Neven Castle in Pembrokeshire, Dr Chris Caple [TAS]
23 April – Lead mining landscapes and legacies of the North Pennine Uplands, Mark Kincey [ARCH & ARCH]
27 April – The Cosmos, Kant and Thomas Wright of Durham, Andrew Fletcher [SANT]
Date to be confirmed: April – Wetlands in the Neolithic, Dr Kristian Pedersen [CCA]

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee

Natural History Society of Northumbria lecture: Quaternary Fluvial Archives: a new paradigm

On Friday 29 January, 7pm-8pm, at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle, Professor Dave Bridgeland will lecture on work over the past few decades which has pulled together geological and geomorphological records from rivers in the Quaternary Period that show interesting patterns of similarity and difference, which can be related to climate, its zonation and fluctuation, and to crustal provinces. Quaternary ice ages have influenced our landscape far beyond the immediate reach of the ice sheets themselves.

David Bridgland is a Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University, with research interests in Quaternary environmental change and fluvial history, with reference to palaeontology and archaeology. Until recently he was President of the Geologist’s Association.

The lectures of the Natural History Society of Northumbria are usually held every Friday evening, starting at 7pm, in the learning suite on the ground floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock. The museum is closed to the public at this time, so entry is via both side entrances.

Entry is from 6.20pm and tea, coffee and biscuits are available and the opportunity to socialise. Speakers give an illustrated presentation for 45mins-1 hour and then open the floor for questions and discussions.

Non-members are very welcome to attend but we ask that they kindly make a donation on the night to support these lectures. Further details of the lecture programme can be found at http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/activities-ttea.php.

Field Opportunities

Field Opportunities

Here are some details for upcoming excavations, please see contact details at the end of the email if you are interested!

The two community Archaeology Projects described below are part of the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership scheme and are to be undertaken under the aegis of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland.  Each one will be managed by staff from an appointed professional archaeological contractor who will supervise the volunteer workforce (maximum of 20 places for each).   Final discussions about the precise dates are underway but both projects will take place in the period late September – end October.

Project outlines:

Brignall Shrunken Medieval Village

The village of Brignall is one of many settlements that underwent a significant reduction in size and prosperity in the later medieval period. What are thought to be traces of former buildings and tofts have been identified on aerial photographs immediately south of the present village. There are a few fields bounded by ditches, but much of the area is disturbed with no set pattern, and no trace of house platforms. At the time of the Domesday survey, Brignall was composed of 12 carucates of land, all waste, but the village must have been of some importance in 1265 to have been granted an annual and weekly market. There were 4 mills in the village in 1712.

The project will consist of geophysical survey followed by targeted trenching to clarify the nature and extent of the remains of the medieval village.  Volunteers can be involved in both elements of the project and will receive training in archaeological excavation, survey, recording and interpretation techniques.

 

Hawkesley Hill Prehistoric Rock Art

Field research by 2000 identified four ‘panels’ of Rock Art at the western edge of Hawkesley Hill, a few miles north-west of Barnard Castle .  The motifs consist variously of cups, rings, grooves, isolated peck marks, and other more heavily eroded features some of which may actually be of natural origin.  There are also a number of earth-fast boulders nearby.

The project will entail the detailed recording of the visible Rock Art features and a search for additional examples in the vicinity both by surface inspection and by excavation.  An area around each of the principal rock outcrops bearing Rock Art will be de-turfed and excavated in order to establish if there are other potentially contemporary archaeological phenomena nearby.  Training in archaeological excavation, survey, recording and interpretation techniques.

 

Please email Belinda Burke at archandarch.dandn@durham.ac.uk

 

Festival of Archaeology 2015: The Great North Archaeology Event

The Great North archaeology event

Sat 25th Jul 2015

Come to the Great North Museum: Hancock and meet the expert curators and handle museum artefacts from prehistoric Britain. You will also be able to work with the learning team to make a prehistoric shelter to take home and try your hand at designing rock using clay.

See the following for more information, including directions:

http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/events/1939

www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum.html