The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.
The “vertical pier” now Redcar Beacon | Photo Peter Robinson CC2.0
There aren’t many of us who blog about the Mesolithic, even fewer in north-east England. Here’s the latest read by These Bones of Mine (click to read) that calls out the pain and challenges of reduced heritage funding in the north-east. Heritage—sites, monuments, natural beauty, great museums, community projects—draw visitors and tourists who spend cash in the region. Most of our museums are free. There’s perhaps no fair balance between austerity and the need for inward investment (i.e. tourism and foot-fall generation), but many of us feel the knee has jerked too far in the wrong direction.
Economic recovery needs growth; growth needs nurturing and investment rather than continuous attrition? Social cohesion, a sense of belonging, societal participation and pride, “skin in the game” also require imaginative cultural and educational investment. So, for example, there are no museum-based archaeologists in the Tees area any more and two borough councils have no archaeological service whatsoever—including the one where the Saxon jewels and Roman villa were recently discovered. Ironic? They decided to spend tax-payers’ money on a “vertical pier”. Controversial?
Perhaps there’s a sense of inevitability in a political climate where invasive development takes precedence over cultural asset management, social sciences and history are being side-lined in the curriculum, libraries are seen as liabilities, and heritage services are still being closed (Southampton is the latest)?
With the world ending today (21-Dec), and my perennial procrastination around lithic assemblage analysis (I promise 2013 would be better if it weren’t all ending today!) I wonder what our Mesolithic forebears made of this? How do you spin a story about green and purple lights for 6,000+ years if not 700 thousand years and more? What part of your social psyche does it re-enforce or challenge?
A Mesolithic child buried on a swan’s wing (Denmark)?
The North-East Yorkshire Mesolithic Project is completing its current funded phase in 2013 by looking at a ‘coastal’ site near Whitby where flints recovered from volunteer and professionally led field walking suggest activity from the Mesolithic through the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Nearby locations complete the story through to the Roman period (farms, villas and signal stations), Anglo-Saxons (royalty) right up to the present. It’s also a stunning location today, right above cliffs (near Runswick Bay) with views southwards towards Whitby, north over some of the highest sea cliffs in England, eastwards toward Denmark and The Netherlands over the dark North Sea (there since only around 6500 BC).
I’m chuffed I made it into the volunteer field-walking pic (I’m the one in the middle) and may be able to eat Whitby fish & chips off myself? More seriously, the Mesolithic in NE England is compelling—a nexus of chronological, social and territorial themes—and back to the end of the last glaciation (Late Devensian) over 13,000 years ago.
Read more | Summer 2012 adventures →