#FlintFriday | Do you Tweet? Join this weekly ritual

If you’re a Twitterer and ‘into’ archaeological lithics and flint, why not join the weekly #FlintFriday celebration of beautiful flint—as well as good fieldwork, recording, curation and sharing? Do you have a favourite in your local museum or archive?*

This week’s latest from @microburin

Microlith_EMDC_TeesFFT

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*Please always ask permission to take photographs, and a scale is useful! Always report finds to the landowner (who remains the legal owner), the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and Historic Environment Record (HER) or seek advice | See useful contacts and links »

Remember: if an artefact isn’t accurately recorded, it’s lost its context and much of its meaning for everybody else.

St Swithun’s cycle | Mesolithic press | CBA Yorkshire’s FORUM journal v2

Been a bit quiet on here? Microburin has been living out his own kind of St Swithun’s (or Swithin’s) cycle—forty days* in an alter ego role as Hon Editor of an archaeological journal. The Council for British Archaeology Yorkshire Group’s annual journal, FORUM Yorkshire, is about enter the second year in its new, refreshed format.

The ‘forty days’ allegory reflects this last cycle of pulling together 180 print pages for volume 2 (2013)—twelve substantial articles, seven archaeology notes, a book review and archaeological register of some commercial activities in the fine county.

*St Swithun’s day is mid-July, but hopefully you follow my drift?

The reason for bringing this up here, other than the feeling of exhilaration towards the ‘end game’ and the desire to smell brand new printed paper (a lifelong predilection), is that my friend, mentor and collaborator Paul R Preston accepted an invitation to write for the journal. Paul is director of Lithoscapes Archaeological Research Foundation, a not-for-profit venture focused on all things prehistorically lithic:

‘Lithoscapes is an innovative, educational non-profit organisation established in 2012. As a think-tank, we research, promote and educate on best practice related to the study of lithic artefacts and assemblages, their recovery, analysis, preservation, conservation, archival storage, display and publication.’

Research agendas and new frameworks

Paul’s paper, one of two with a central Mesolithic focus—the other deals with the Late Glacial palaeoenvironmental context of a Bos skeleton from Flixton, Vale of Pickering—is important and precedes publication of his full doctoral thesis (Preston forthcoming) that deals with the Central Pennines, due later this year. With permission, here’s his FORUM abstract:

‘This paper aims to present an overview of recent research on the Mesolithic lithic scatters in the Central Pennine area. In particular, it aims to exemplify a new analytical and interpretive approach to these lithic scatters by outlining—on a broad level—the new methodology, themes and conceptual links between the artefactual evidence (including the chaîne opératoire model), and hunter-gatherer behaviour. The main conclusions are summarised including a radically new narrative that intimately links prehistoric lithic consumption and tool use with Mesolithic mobility strategies, and settlement patterns in Northern England. In doing so, the author also hopes to highlight the need for a radically different methodological and paradigmatic approach to the recovery, study and recording of the lithic heritage of the Pennines and beyond.’ – Preston (2013)

There’s more in FORUM Yorkshire

cbaylogoThere are two thematic areas in particular where I believe this second volume provides new insights and reflects trends not catered for in more formal periodicals. Firstly, I set out with an intention to showcase the growing success of community-based archaeological projects. At a time where academic-based research funding is waning, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant-based outlets have transformed the ability of local groups to explore their archaeology and heritage in well-planned, inclusive and entirely voluntary ventures. These inspiring projects have a canny knack of bridging between traditional stakeholders—academic institutions, commercial practices, museums and archives—to build a compelling enterprise that would be the envy of any individual party. I’m  pleased that a number of such (and often award-winning) project practitioners have also contributed here in a way that future, formative groups may learn from.

Secondly, this volume reflects a readerships’ desire to know more about the behind the scenes aspects of archaeological practice and related disciplines that seldom see, by function of their inherent complexity, a presence in more traditional periodicals—in terms of the principles, methods and human processes involved.The papers by a distinguished artisan pottery expert and by the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) will give a background to the skills (and challenges) involved and the ongoing learning process that we might otherwise not appreciate.

How do you get hold of FORUM Yorkshire?

Reserve your copy* by joining CBA Yorkshire—the student rate is £5 with the Journal! We operate a ‘green level’ Open Access policy which means that the previous volume becomes available online at no charge once the new edition is published in hard-copy print. If you want to write for FORUM Yorkshire, simply contact me at my other self: forum-editor@cba-yorkshire.org.uk.

ARCHAEOLOGY FOR ALL!

FORUM Yorkshire vol 2 (2013) is now at the printers and will be available in early April 2014, at which point vol 1 becomes available online (via ISSUU, ADS and our website). ADS archives will be in  PDF-A format, the accepted standard for future-proof archives.

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PS: More White Gill Mesolithic Project news is coming soon as the final suite of radiocarbon dating for this amazing site gains a grant funder (to be announced).

References

Preston, P.R. 2013. New Perspectives and Suggested Directions for Future
 Research on Central Pennine Mesolithic Lithic Scatters. Archaeological Forum Journal: CBA Yorkshire 2, 1–20.
Preston, P.R. Forthcoming. MESO-Lithics, Landscapes and Mobility: Towards a New Research Framework. BAR British Series. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Ryedale Folk Museum | Archaeology returns

Gallery

This gallery contains 21 photos.

One of my favourite museums in the north of England is the Ryedale Folk Museum in the beautiful village of Hutton-le-Hole on the southern flanks of the North York Moors. It actually sits at the boundary of the high moors—a … Continue reading

Hey Punk? You do public archaeology? | Grass rootism in contemporary mayhem

Punk-BanksyHere’s a thought-provoking—ie intelligently provocative—blog post by Lorna Richardson:

“Moving into an election in 2015 means archaeology should really be thinking about leveraging some of the anger in the discipline to lobby for our own interests. But how to do this without falling into the structural traps within archaeology? Is there room for a bottom-up grass-roots movement, driven by fearless, passionate and enthusiastic individuals in archaeology, when others have tried and failed to harness wider support?”

About Lorna

Lorna Richardson is studying for—and blogs about—a PhD at UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. Her key research areas are “the impact of Internet technologies on archaeology and cultural heritage, Public Archaeology, and the politics and sociology of community participation and social and participatory media.” Lorna is co-founder of the now renowned and international Day of Archaeology. She is also much of the energy behind the new (Committee-less) Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group. And much more besides.

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Teesside Archaeological Society | New Facebook page and group

Hello all,
Saxon JewelIn addition to the Mesolithic and lithics research I’m doing, I’m also involved in the Teesside Archaeological Society where I’m Chair and eCommunications officer. We’ve made excellent progress in building the 2014 lecture and events programme—plenty of big names, fascinating topics, finds-handling and an extra bonus lecture in early summer. Catching up with the twenty-first century, we’ve now launched an official page on Facebook where you can stay up to date with news, events, fieldwork, lectures and download our quarterly eMagazine—TEESSCAPES. We’re up to 75 followers after just two days. Thanks for the “Like”! Our TAS NEWSFLASH emails will continue for eNews subscribers.TAS-Fb-Header

Alongside this page, there’s an informal Facebook Group where members and friends can share their adventures, discussions, pictures, news and ask questions.

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Compelling Kickstarter digital project | 3D Virtual Prehistoric Worlds | Donate as little as £1

Kickstarter_VPW

Donation window is now closed but was very successful!

Digital heritage professional Marcus Abbott is using Kickstarter, an innovative way to fund projects, to raise donations for his Virtual Prehistoric Worlds project—an explorable visualisation of a 3D digital world generated from archaeological and palaeo-environmental data.

“This project is a visual representation of what we know about a past landscape, it combines archaeological data and scientific data with cutting edge digital recording and visualisation techniques to produce a virtual world.

This world is a representation of the Bronze Age in East Anglia and focuses on an area known to be of religious significance during this time. The landscape is a wetland environment and has been generated entirely digitally. The archaeology has been reconstructed from actual evidence found on sites in the area. Round houses and wooden platforms, track ways, fences and the great causeway structures of Flag Fen are all present in the landscape.”

You can pledge as little as £1 to support this exciting project and join more than 58 backers who have already offered over £1,000. There are just seven days to go—and every extra pound helps bring the project to realisation. The funding window closes on 7 October 2013.

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