Tag Archives: excavation

Adventures in Archaeology


Issue 10

Adventures in Archaeology
Issue 10 Past Horizons Online Journal of volunteer archaeology and training.
November 2009

Past Horizons now celebrating its tenth issue, consists of 48 pages of free to read content. The main articles cover current archaeological excavations and conservation around the world. We also have the much loved contribution from Annie Evans our very own ‘Dig Cook’ and the Back Pages present four comedyvideos for your enjoyment, on the subject of archaeology.

Read it here

or here

Up From the Ashes  14
In 1815 on the Indonesian island of Tambora a massive volcanic eruption caused a pryoclastic flow which wiped out all in its path. The tiny Kingdom of Tambora disappeared under the ash. Now, almost two hundred years later the carbonised but well preserved remains are slowly being uncovered.

Making Preservation Happen 32
Slovenia is a small nation with big ambitions to preserve its wealth of historical buildings. Two Slovenians are at the forefront of this work and have reached out to the international community for help. Now in partnership with Colorado based Adventures in Preservation, hands on workshops are now up and running.

Archaeology Through the Keyhole  8
Dating of hillforts has long been the subject of debate amongst archaeologists. Murray Cook argues that keyhole excavation is the way forward.

Prepare for Action  38
Dominic Hall, a field skills expedition leader shares some of his top tips for enjoying a safe but exciting adventure.

A Series of Fortunate Events  20
Metal detectorist Peter Twinn describes the series of events in his life that led him to discover a passion for archaeology.

Fort St. Joseph  26
A 18th century French frontier fort involved in the fur trade provides the subject for an exceptional award winning community archaeology project.



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OPEN ARCHIVE – a new web based system for accessing our past

OPEN ARCHIVE – a new web based system for accessing our past

The wealth of information gathered by local archaeological groups and societies on excavations, surveys and documentary research is one of the important sources of data for the study of archaeology in the UK.  Currently, this archive of British archaeology is stored locally, within libraries and local history centres as well as with the originating group themselves.  In addition, PhDs and other research can be found in locations often scattered throughout the country.  The premise of Open Archive is to collect the records of the past and present and share them with everybody.

Open Archive is an accessible library of user generated reports and publications where archaeology societies, PhD research students, graveyard recording and community groups can share their discoveries with a wide audience.

The easy to use interface combines intuitive searches by period, type of project and location with a map based view showing the location of the selected documents.  Each item can then be viewed as either a short description or as the complete publication.  This resource creates a public portal to the records of our shared heritage that were previously only available on a few local archaeology group websites OR as paper copies in the local library.  The idea is to allow this to be both interactive and open to sharing via feeds and direct data transfer.

The data entry form is modelled exactly on the Discovery and Excavation Scotland (DES) fields, and has the potential to allow direct transfer of this data to the record.  (For future projects this would mean every record sent to Open Archive that is located in Scotland could be automatically be sent to the DES along with a copy of the report.)  In addition, we are working on automatically sending Treasure Trove reporting, Open Archive is developing for the future and your comments are welcome.

Loading the pdf versions of the document onto Open Archive is a quick step by step process, maintaining ease of use without compromising the value of the information gathered.  The more users that utilise this secure public archive, the more useful it becomes, building a written record of the past in Britain by those that know it best.

Free to register and use, we are currently in consultation to help take paper records and transform them into searchable digital formats, where the rediscovery of these publications may even re-ignite interest in the area.

Open Archive is exactly that – a public resource, created for everyone.

You can view the current Version here http://www.openarchive.co.uk

and we welcome comment info@digitalpast.co.uk

David Connolly and Steve White (Digital Past)

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Demonstrating the versatility of the barrow

Demonstrating the versatility of the barrow

Saturday, 4th July 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the start of archaeological excavations at Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire. More than 3,000 volunteers from around the world worked on the site between 1969 and 1994 – 25 successive seasons of digging, directed throughout by Dr Philip Dixon, former Reader in Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. The Secretary to the excavation was Richard Savage.

There will be a reunion to mark the 40th anniversary and this blog has been created to allow the many people who worked at Crickley to find out about, plan and participate in the reunion.

Go to the excellent Blog here:   and if you are..  or know somebody, let them know, or get in touch yourself.




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Cousland Big Dig : day 4

WEll it was time to fill in trenches 1 and 3 in some severe weather…  but at least I have found that my body is stil up to the task of shoveling spoil and returfing! 

We opened up the castle trench, and have uncovered a rubble layer that stops sharply along a line.  This could represent collapse inside the castle prior to the wall being robbed..  At least we know we should find a castle.  See the picture below!

 Castle trench

 Wednesday is a day of rest!  and the Historian will come in to explain the history behind the place.

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Cousland Big Dig day 3

Mary Queen of ScotsOur Historian Louise Yeoman has been working tirelessly, and on Wednesday will be presenting findings to the group, as well as showing them how to study documentary evidence.  One amazing fact that she has pointed us to is that Mary Queen of Scots mounted her horse near to Carberry Hill East Lothian. in 1547 after the non-battle of Carberry and surrendered to the Confederate Lords (of which Lord Ruthven was a major player – even involved in the murder of Rizzio) where she was taken and held at near by Cousland Castle over night where they decided her fate.  

With this evidence, we now know the castle was still standing, and that the larger structure that we are now examining was standing at this time, and with luck, we should have the lower rooms mapped out for the open day on Saturday..  this will allow us to point to the place where this event in Scottish (and UK) history actually took place..    tell you what!   I love Community Archaeology!

The kids from teh village and all teh others are working hard, and the day was pleasant, made better when the first evidence of the collapsed castle wall started to appear!  

Lets hope that day 4 (april the 1st) does not make a fool of us!

 better than Stonehenge!

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Archaeology of the Thornborough Area – Website

InvestigationArchaeology of the Thornborough Area – Archaeological excavation at Ladybridge Farm

An excellent use of web in the planning process .. they (agree with the project or not) –
have shown how to use technology to provide information, so it shows it can (on a long term project) be part of the process – and should be part of the site archive..

Open and Transparent…  and a view of Real Archaeology !!

I like it… (still a few rough edges) but I like it…in fact love it…..

quote from site:
Welcome to the Thornborough section of the APC web site, which aims to provide information on the archaeology around Thornborough Henges. Over the last four or five years so much information has been uploaded regarding Nosterfield and Ladybridge that we decided it was time to re-organise the site, and this is the result.

You can find information on all the archaeological investigations related to Nosterfield Quarry that have taken place, access the original site records and finds lists, browse photographs and view an online GIS (interactive map) displaying the archaeological features, fieldwalking plots etc.

The various archaeological works undertaken on behalf of Tarmac since 1995 are currently being brought together to form a single body of data, which can be accessed through the interactive map on this site. This is a work in progress, and it will obviously take time to assimilate the information collected over such a long period and by a number of different organisations, so please bear with us. We hope that the data will be supplemented by integrating other data sets, such as metal detecting finds etc. from other professional and amateur organisations alike.Square Barrow under excavation

This will eventually supercede the Nosterfield and Ladybridge sections of this web site, but the legacy pages will remain available through the links from the APC home page.

Please note that the resources available through this site are currently in development. Many past datasets are still to add, and new data will appear as work on site progresses.

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