Mesolithic Transitions Project receives research grant funding

Late Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherer Transitions at Esklets, Westerdale, North York Moors 5000-3800 BC

Despite the precarious situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, I’m delighted, alongside colleagues, to have been awarded research funding by four esteemed organisations. We remain dependent on laboratories re-opening for the various analyses and radiocarbon AMS ageing activities involved.

About the project

The aim of this project is to reconstruct the cultural and environmental history at Esklets, on Westerdale Moor on the watershed plateau of the North York Moors in North Yorkshire, which is undergoing severe erosion of the blanket peat that covers the moors, exposing several ‘narrow-blade’ Late or Terminal Mesolithic activity areas (“sites”). These sites are under threat, and are being destroyed by erosion, by land management, by heavy use of adjacent footpaths and by unrecorded flint collecting by the public. The project is trying to research the sites through excavation and scientific analyses before they are destroyed. Several are already badly affected. Read more »

Activities include fine-resolution analysis of soil and peat sediments, with pollen analysis and sample extraction, at the University of Liverpool; radiocarbon aging of peat monoliths which include flint artefacts; use-wear analysis of flint artefacts at Southampton University. Grants, amounting to £2327 so far, have been awarded by:

  • Architectural & Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland (AASDN)
  • Association for Environmental Archaeologists (AEA)
  • Quaternary Research Association (QRA)
  • Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society (YAHS)

More news will follow as we begin to make progress through the autumn.