Skulls, Shamans and Sacrifice in Stone Age Britain | Mesolithic video

Mesolithic videos update

Having had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see an antler ‘headress’ in situ in the 2015 excavation season at Star Carr earlier this year (plus shed loads of flint, wood, antler and bone), here’s a short video from the dig team.

Skulls, Shamans and Sacrifice in Stone Age Britain | Digging Diaries | 13-Jul-2015 Youtube (2min)

The Mesolithic settlement of Star Carr in North Yorkshire has fascinated archaeologists for decades. Nicky Milner and her digging team from York University are embarking on their final ever excavation on site to unlock the secrets of this mysterious landscape. They’ve been filming every moment of discovery to give us a glimpse into our ancient past.

Image | Prof Nicky Milner & Son at Flixton Island, 2014 (Microburin)

Spence

Day of Archaeology 2015 | Over 1800 posts and growing

DOA2015The wonderful Day of Archaeology was yesterday, 24 July, but the posts keep rolling out on Facebook and Twitter #dayofarch @dayofarch. It’s a fascinating insight into what archaeologists around the world are up to—in the field, in the lab, at an event. As ever, the success of the DoA is down to the hard work of the moderators. Now in its fifth year, this is an incredible database of the diversity of activities, people, projects, studies and outreach.

As last year, and while feeling a little under the weather (and oppressed by the endless rain), I managed to squeeze out a post (two in fact) about catching up on a mini-project and the results of fieldwalking with volunteers, plus analysis of previous collections and museum boxes that attest to 10,000 years of activity in the area.

DoA is open to absolutely everybody involved in archaeology so, if you’ve not submitted a post, have a think about doing it—perhaps you’ve been on a community dig, training project or finds-processing session? There’s still time.

DOA2015-2

Spence

UK Mesolithic Sites and Finds Update | Cairngorms, Scotland

Cairngorm_2015-07Mar Lodge Estate, Cairngorm mountains, Aberdeenshire | 2015 excavations by The National Trust for Scotland and archaeologists and environmental scientists from the University of Aberdeen, University of Stirling and University College Dublin with earlier than expected 14C radiocarbon dates | BBC News item 09-Jul-2015

Image | BBC Website.

I Love Museums | UK Campaign against yet more government cuts

ILMI Love Museums is a campaign led by the National Museum Directors’
Council to show the public support for museums.

The Campaign

Our museums are facing challenging times. Local and national governments are making tough decisions about funding, and we want to show them how much museums matter by celebrating the public support for our wonderful cultural institutions. We need you to stand up and say ‘I Love Museums’!

Whoever is to blame for the financial and banking crisis, and as we all try to recover, it is clearer than ever that our Heritage – monuments, archaeology and museums – also underpins our recovery. Our heritage assets, and the beleaguered professionals who manage them:

  • Draw tourists and footfall – make us an attractive place to visit
  • Offer a valued sense of place and well-being – for residents and business investment
  • Bring communities together – across diverse backgrounds, cultures and generations
  • Drive creative learning and education – about our past, present and future – across science, natural history, human achievement (and our foibles)

What you can do

  1. As a UK Resident, spend a minute to sign the petition
  2. Write to or email your elected representatives, Councillors, MPs and MEPs – it’s easy using this free resource (only needs your postal code)
  3. Add a twibbon to your Twitter profile picture
    Follow @ILoveMuseums
    Send a Tweet using hashtag #ILoveMuseums
    #ILoveMuseums because @ILoveMuseums

Learn more about how to spread the word »

Thank you for your support. A few minutes of your time can make a huge difference.

Spence
Archaeologist, lover of heritage and museums – and the people who make it all happen!

Council for British Archaeology Yorkshire | Journal in press

◊ Dear Microburins, CBAY_FORUM_vol3_cvr

I am delighted—and not a little relieved—to say that the third FORUM Yorkshire archaeological journal is now in press, the last under my editorship as I stand down from the Committee as Hon. Editor and Trustee this year.

“You’ve done a great job of rejuvenating the CBA Forum, and we will certainly want to provide further contributions to the journal in the future.” – Mitch Pollington, AOC Archaeology Group

Publishing this volume, pertaining to the year 2014, in May of 2015 reflects the timing and nature of fieldwork in both the commercial and community sectors, where either post-excavation analyses are still underway or where the writing up of reports, even interim summaries, usually takes place over the winter season. I suspect that this will be the ongoing rhythm for future editions, even if it means missing the opportunity to distribute copies at the CBA Yorkshire Annual General Meeting and Symposium event early in each calendar year. Such are these pressures on time, it is also difficult to build up a pipeline of future papers without those also becoming dated.

“If the next editor is half as good as you, the journal will be in safe hands.” – Ed Dennison Archaeological Services

I am particularly pleased that we are able to present papers aligned to the Communities in Action theme which we introduced last year. The cover image attests to the fantastic planning, fieldwork—and fascinated results—achieved so far in the Swaledale Big Dig, by example. While we do not have any Behind the Scenes papers this year (unfortunately the one on OASIS did not materialise), there is still an opportunity for specialists—whether in archaeological, heritage or museum practices, and their allied sciences—to offer insights into the areas of the discipline that might not otherwise be well understood.

Appreciation

CBAY_Symposium01Once again, I remain indebted to the authors for their time, enthusiasm and tolerance—both those whose papers appear in this volume and those who have promised papers for the next edition. Above all, I am grateful to the CBA Yorkshire Committee and Trustees for their wonderful support over these last three years. It has been a privilege for me, thank you. I will be working with the new editor on a smooth transition and to make last year’s FORUM Yorkshire Volume 2 available as free-to-download, fully open-access, on our website (PDF format and e-magazine style).

Interested in Yorkshire Archaeology?

Why not think about joining CBA Yorkshire, run entirely by volunteers, for the benefit of those interested in the welfare and better understanding of Yorkshire’s historic environment? It aims to encourage and promote greater public knowledge and involvement, and where possible to advance and assist relevant research—ARCHAEOLOGY FOR ALL.

There are also a number of positions available on the Committee, which meets in York four times each year. We are particularly looking for a Web & Social Media officer and Education officer, amongst other roles.

Spence

Symposium image courtesy of Eric Houlder.

Archaeological Science at Bradford Kaims | Want to look at my phytoliths?

◊ Dear Microburins,

BRP_BK_M1One of the Bamburgh Research Project’s focal points has been at Bradford Kaims located a few miles from Bamburgh, near the village of Lucker in Northumberland. A combination of excavation and palaeo-environmental investigations are ongoing in a wetland area, with excellent organic preservation, where early Neolithic burnt mounds are associated with a stone-based hearth, a timber platform and finds including lithics and a wooden ‘paddle’.

Image courtesy of Bamburgh Research Project.

Related to the ongoing project, the project blog includes some great reports on archaeological and palaeo-botanical scientific techniques being deployed — there are some excellent videos too. Two such updates, on what phytoliths are and what they can tell us, have been published in the last week:

Archaeological Science at Bradford Kaims | Phytoliths:

Both are informative and well worth a read.

Spence

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