Blogging and Archaeology | Please help a researcher!

Blog◊ Dear Microburins,

If my friend and archaeological blogger Robert M Chapple doesn’t mind, I’m using his own blog post text here to highlight a request from a researcher.

I’ve been blogging archaeology here myself since May 2012, nattering about my Mesolithic period research and related topics, activities, sites and finds in the news, challenges, frustrations, discoveries and wins.

I too have recently been contacted by Fleur Schinning, a post-graduate student in Heritage Management at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her research focuses on the use of blogs and social media and how they contribute to the accessibility of archaeology in the Netherlands. For comparative material, she will be looking at a number of blogs from the UK and the USA (where archaeological blogging appears to be widely accepted). I’m honoured that she has asked me, and the readers of this blog, to participate in her research.

  • If you can spare even a few minutes, she would be very grateful if you could complete a simple questionnaire to share your thoughts about this blog |

As a reward for your assistance, you will be entered into a draw for six issues of Archaeology Magazine.


Some Microburin blog statistics

      • Blog set up on 20 May 2012 when I didn’t know anybody in archaeology!
      • 119 posts
      • 19,157 visits
      • 35,819 views from people in 105 countries
      • 1.54 to 1.69 views per visitor this year
      • 1,204 followers on Twitter @microburin

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.

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.


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.


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.


Irish Mesolithic Cemetery | Hermitage, Co. Limerick

funeral-pyre◊ Dear Microburins,

This is to highlight an excellent short article about Mesolithic period cremation burials at Hermitage on the River Shannon. The article is on the Irish Archaeology website/blog and was published in March 2013.

“The three cremations at Hermitage are extremely significant and represent an important addition to the very small corpus of Mesolithic burials from Ireland. Not alone are they the oldest burials from the country but they also demonstrate that our earliest hunter-gather ancestors practiced a relatively sophisticated means of disposing of their dead.”



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