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.


Bradford Kaims Neolithic-Mesolithic wetland | Great new video from Bamburgh Research Project

Bradford Kaims is the latest venture of Bamburgh Research Project, working with the local community, volunteers and Universities to investigate a truly remarkable preserved ancient wetland site, located a few miles from Bamburgh, near the village of Lucker in Northumberland. The work has been supported by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage.

BRP-BK-VideoThis latest short video, one of three, gives an idea of the great potential of the site but also the risks from water table fluctuations and drying—as always adding a sense of urgency to recovery before it’s too late.

“We were very fortunate to have Dr Richard Tipping, an expert in environmental sciences, out with a group of staff and volunteers. His knowledge is extensive and his enthusiasm was definitely infectious. There is something almost magical about preservation properties of peat and the ability of a real expert to read a core sample in the manner of an open book of environmental history.”

The extensive wetland that formed here in the Late Glacial period was a large lake system throughout the Holocene. Pollen and palaeo-environmental evidence recovered from deep auger cores spans the last 12,000 years. Many sites of archaeological interest are known in this area, from Mesolithic and Neolithic scatters, to Bronze Age cairns and votive deposits, Iron Age hillforts and Medieval villages.

Spence | Twitter @microburin