Scotland’s earliest people, their landscape and houses | Alan Saville Memorial Conference 17-Jun-2017

◊ Dear Microburins,

There are still places available for this conference in Edinburgh, Saturday 17 June 2017, free entry. Hope to see you there!

Spence | FSA Scot

ICE AND FIRE | Taskforce meeting at Cleveland Police HQ | School visits scheduled

◊ Dear Microburins

Momentum continues across local government, emergency services and community groups to coordinate sustainable solutions to problems on Eston Hills – devasting fires, burned out vehicles and illegal off-roaders. Friends of Eston Hills campaigner Craig Hornby is adamant that solutions ‘are not rocket science’ but need the will, resources and concerted effort to put in place. Watch the video and read the Evening Gazette 10 May article »

“I think the biggest problem is not allocating sufficient funds and resources fast enough to tackle the issues. I have been lobbying the authorities for three and a half years for robust barriers to be installed at the points of access being used by illegal vehicles.

Barriers are now in place at Lazenby and Eston but the Flatts Lane barrier and plans for an earthwork barrier have been delayed six months, so the problems have persisted.”

Cleveland Police Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, has called the first meeting of an action group at Police Headquarters on Ladgate Lane at 1.30pm, Monday 15 May 2017.

School Visits

Adam Mead, ICE AND FIRE project director, has also scheduled talks in local primary schools and a further visit to the hills:

  • Whale Hill Primary School, Eston | Talks on Fri 12 and Fri 19 May
  • Parkend Primary School, Parkend, Middlesbrough | Visit to Eston Hills on Mon 22 May

Look out for a feature article on Teesside’s archaeology in the forthcoming Council for British Archaeology Newsletter no. 40!

♦ Spence | Get Involved!

ICE AND FIRE | Public Meeting with Anna Turley MP & Cleveland Police Commissioner | Fri-28-April

◊ Dear Microburins

The ongoing problems on Eston Hills and neighbouring farmland will be the subject of a Public Meeting hosted by Anna Turley MP at the Cleveland Inn, 37 Cleveland St, Normanby, Middlesbrough TS6 0LX at 5.30pm on Friday 28 April 2017. Cleveland Police Commissioner Barry Coppinger and ICE AND FIRE project director Adam Mead will also be in attendance.

The meeting is intended to discuss and explore, in an open community forum, both the issues and how cooperation between local government authorities, the emergency services, landowners, schools, residents and businesses might work together more effectively.

Acts of fire-setting, the burning of abandoned vehicles, illegal 4×4 and off-road vehicles, fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour persist on an increasingly frequent basis, despite ongoing efforts by local services and voluntary organisations, including the Friends of Eston Hills, and media coverage.

The ICE AND FIRE project team and its stakeholders also believe that shifting public opinion – across generations from school children, their parents and people who benefit from tourism and economic footfall – is a local and regional priority. While the project aims to rescue archaeological and environmental assets where they are at risk, the longer term solutions must involve a coordinated effort to make anti-social behaviour entirely unacceptable in a community that values its rich historic, archaeological and natural environment.

More about the project and summer fieldwork »

Spence

Two rants for the price of one | Narrow blades, Heritage at risk and Pledges

◊ Dear Microburins,

2016-10-01_crathes4bHere are a couple of ranty reads with mentions of the Mesolithic.

First is another great post from Caroline Wickham-Jones on her Mesolithic archaeology blog. Caroline (pictured) eloquently expounds some of the problems with typology-based dating.

“It is important to remember that type fossils are a tool that speaks to us, rather than one that we should force to fit in. We need to look at our finds and think carefully about what they might mean.”

hom_archaeoSecond up is an article I wrote for the Hands on Middlesbrough heritage campaigning group challenging the alleged suggestion, made in 2012, “that Middlesbrough has no archaeology”. Middlesbrough and its neighbouring boroughs, and Teesside overall, have an amazing portfolio of over 10,000 years of archaeology and built heritage! I offer some tips — against the value of heritage, the historic and archaeological environments — for easy steps to take in championing our shared past. A recommended reading list, much available online, and links to related resources are included at the end of the article.

Spence

UK & Ireland Mesolithic Sites and Finds Update | Hermitage, Co Limerick

Europe’s Oldest Polished Axe?hermitage_axe-jpg__800x600_q85_cropHermitage, Co Limerick, Rep Ireland | Mesolithic cremation cemetery

  • Earliest polished axe (decomissioned? Mesolithic)
    “The cremation too, which requires a fire between 645 and 1,200 degrees would have also required some know-how and experience, Little tells Gartland. In fact, she says whoever prepared the grave took painstaking effort to pick up every tiny fragment of bone to put in the burial.”
    Smithsonian.com (09-Nov 2016) »
  • More Sites & Finds in the media »

Image | © University of York.

Living Mesolithic Project | Evocative images of life in 5000 BC

◊ Living Mesolithic Project | Frank Wiersema Photography with Chris Pallasch at Stone Age Park Dithmarschen in Albersdorf | 2015 Facebook (Images & video) Experimental archaeology

Mesolithic_FrankWiersema1In the summers of 2015-16 the Stone Age Park Dithmarschen in Albersdorf (Germany) organized a Stone Age Living Project in the area of the newly built 2014 “Mesolithic Settlement” site, in the form of both an educational programme and as an experiment. The activities and outputs (used tools and established structures) were scientifically documented by archaeologists from the Archaeological Department of the University of Exeter, England, as partner of the OpenArch-project. The scientific results will be published by Exeter, the detailed documentation will be published by the Stone Age Park in form of a magazine and a brochure.

Mesolithic_FrankWiersema2The aim of the project was to reconstruct the everyday life of hunter-gatherers of Mesolithic Northern Europe around 5000 BC by doing an authentic as possible life experiment with skilled re-enactors and experimental archaeologists, in order to gain a new type of insight of how life might have been at that time.

Images © Frank Wiersema

Spence