Even a brand new town can hold ancient secrets. That is certainly the case at Sherford, currently under construction outside Plymouth, where wide-ranging excavations have revealed a wealth of clues to much earlier occupation spanning thousands of years. Some of the Sherford structures are enigmatic, but the estate covered in our next feature is downright […]
A community project at Thusater Burn near Thurso – the most northerly town of mainland Scotland – has revealed possible evidence of far earlier occupation of the area. Traces of what is thought to represent an Iron Age settlement were uncovered during an event organised by the Caithness Broch Project – a charity that aims to promote and preserve archaeological sites in Caithness by training the public in fieldwalking, geophysical survey, and excavation techniques (see CA 322).
It remains one of the biggest archaeological mysteries: why do so many hillforts, particularly across Scotland, appear to have undergone a significant burning event that caused their stone walls to melt and ultimately fuse (see CA 133)? Was it done deliberately, either during an attack or as a ceremonial act, or was it accidental? One of these ‘vitrified’ forts, Dun Deardail in Glen Nevis, was recently excavated over the course of a three-year project funded by Forestry Commission Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Nevis Landscape Partnership. This Iron Age hillfort was built in the middle of the 1st millennium BC, around 2,500 years ago, and was eventually destroyed in a catastrophic fire. Now excavations have shed light on its construction, occupation, and destruction.
Perched above Windwick Bay on South Ronaldsay, Orkney, the site known as The Cairns has been under continuous excavation by the Archaeology Institute of the University of the Highlands and Islands for several years. Although best known for its Iron Age broch (see CA 275), it seems that the area continued to be used even after this structure fell into ruin around the mid-2nd century AD. Recent radiocarbon dates are now shedding new light on this post-broch occupation, particularly on how it reflects the shifting social structure of late Iron Age Scotland.
Excavation of Neolithic Kerb Cairns continues in 2019, with prehistoric cremation burials on a later multi settlement site up to the 13th & 14th centuries. All ages are welcome to participate in excavation but all expenses to be paid by student/visitor alike. No disabled access is available.
Courses at the Kent Archaeological Field School for 2019 will include: Field Walking and Map Analysis Saturday 13th April 2019 Field work at its most basic involves walking across the landscape recording features seen on the ground. On this weekend course we are concerned with recognising and recording artefacts found within the plough soil. These […]
We have been granted HLF funding to investigate Iron Age settlement in the southern Vale of York following a successful dig between 2012 and 2014. The site has numerous crop marks of Iron Age date and geophysical survey has revealed many more Iron Age features not revealed in crop marks. We appear to have an […]
The Cairns, South Ronaldsay, Orkney is a research and training excavation based around a substantial multi-period settlement site. The main focus is a monumental Iron Age roundhouse or broch and its associated contemporary and later extramural buildings. Excavations have been running since 2006 producing a substantial architectural, artefactual and environmental resource. The main aims of […]
How do you run an experimental Iron Age Farm, or indeed a museum in these days of cuts to the government budget? The answer can be seen at the Butser Ancient farm on the South Downs near Petersfield, which I heard all about at the Archaeology Fair, at our Archaeology Live Conference in February 2018. […]
SHARP (the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project) is a long-term, independently-run archaeological project. Our primary objective is the investigation of the entire range of human settlement and land use in the north-west Norfolk parish of Sedgeford. Established in 1996, SHARP is one of the largest independent archaeological projects in Britain and is firmly rooted […]