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Museum site available for let
From the Press and Journal website (19 October 2012):
A mothballed prehistory park in Aberdeenshire is now available for let – which could finally clear the way for it to be put up for sale.
Archaeolink at Oyne closed last year after the local authority withdrew all funding for the venture long labelled a “white elephant” by critics.
Negotiations between Aberdeenshire Council and the Archaeolink Trust had been continuing over the possibility of reviving the site, but earlier this year the now-dissolved trust transferred its lease of the site back to the council.
CBA issue "Archaeology is about knowledge, not treasure" article
Following on the from ITV's "Britain's Secret Treasures" programme, the Council for British Archaeology have issued an excellent, unequivocal statement on their website.
"The Council for British Archaeology has been working in collaboration with ITV, the British Museum and the Portable Antiquities Scheme on Britain’s Secret Treasures to ensure that everyone fully understands all the issues involved in the search for 'treasure' and can seek expert advice and guidance.
That way we can all share our fascination for the history and heritage of the UK and pass on our knowledge and understanding to future generations, whilst protecting the remains in the ground, which are best left undisturbed.
So, if you are thinking of rushing out to buy a metal detector to search an area near you and seek out your very own 'treasure', CBA Director Mike Heyworth explains why you should think again."
Legendary Welsh lake to be bought for the nation
National Trust has raised £1m to buy a farm encompassing a lake considered one of the most beautiful and emblematic in Wales.
There were concerns that Llyn Dinas in Snowdonia and its shoreline could be turned into a water sports centre if it were not saved for the nation.
Llyn Dinas and the farm, Llyndy Isaf, are considered special partly because they are home to a wealth of wildlife but also because the area is the setting for the mythical battle between a red and white dragon. Legend says the red dragon won, and thus it became the country's beloved national symbol.
Possible prehistoric bead found in Suffolk
A RARE piece of treasure which is believed to date back to pre-historic times could be the first find of its kind in Suffolk.
The British Museum said the gold personal ornament, which was found in Glemsford, near Sudbury, was an "important item".
It is currently in the hands of the British Museum, which carried out the report into the object, but it could come home to Suffolk.
Janina Parol, assistant treasure registrar at the British Museum, said Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service and the British Museum were all interested in the ornament, which is thought to be from the Bronze Age.
In his report, Ben Roberts, curator of European Bronze Age at the British Museum, said: "The probable bead is very rare for Britain and Ireland though a necklace of similar beads from Ireland is in the British Museum."
The ornament was classified as treasure at a treasure trove inquest in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.
Faye Minter, senior finds recording officer at Suffolk County Council, said it was discovered by Lindsey Holland, from Liverpool, who was at a metal detecting rally in cultivated land in Glemsford on September 25.
She said there had been some deliberation over its date, but the unusual object is believed to be late Bronze Age, from 1,100 to 800 BC.
The ornament, which is probably a bead, is cylindrical in shape with decoration across it.
Speaking after the inquest, Jude Plouviez, archaeological officer at Suffolk County Council, said: "I don't think we have found anything similar in Suffolk for example. It is quite an unusual one."
Miss Parol said if the local museums could not acquire the item, then it would remain at the British Museum.
No comment could be made on the value of the ornament as the valuation is yet to take place.
A rare silver Eadmund penny of early medieval date, which was found near Mildenhall, was also deemed to be treasure at yesterday's inquest.
Miss Minter said it was found by metal detectorist Steve Foster on October 30 and he reported it to Suffolk County Council.
The coin, which is thought to be part of a previous hoard, dates to between 850 and 870.
Picture and story here:
North Sea wind firms could unearth archaeology
OFFSHORE wind farms could help reveal the ancient secrets of East Yorkshire.
Archaeologists believe plans to connect a network of huge wind farms in the North Sea to an existing sub-station in Cottingham offer the chance to unearth dozens of previously unknown settlements.
The Creyke Beck sub-station will be the connection point to the National Grid for up to 1,700 wind turbines expected to constructed in a 3,500 square-mile area of sea on the Dogger Bank.
A consortium of energy companies behind the ambitious project have yet to decide whether to lay underground cables from the coast to Cottingham or build overhead power lines.
A proposed route has also yet to be finalised.
But an expert from the Humber Archaeology Partnership said recent underground gas and water pipeline schemes in the area had revealed over 50 previously unrecorded settlements, monuments and ancient burial mounds.
Partnership manager Dave Evans said close liaison between project engineers and archaeologists would be essential over the next few years.
"Such an approach has paid dividends on both the Easington to Ganstead gas pipeline and the Easington to Paull gas pipeline," he said.
"The on-site aspects of these two major schemes were undertaken between 2007 and 2010 and both passed through much the same landscape within the Holderess Plain."
Mr Evans said before extensive fieldwork was carried out on both schemes, a desk-based survey of known records identified mainly medieval and post-medieval features along the routes.
However, geophysical surveys and subsequent trenching and excavations uncovered over 50 Iron Age and Roman settlements and burial sites.
Archaeologists also discovered evidence of major flint-working site near Wawne thought to date from at least 4000 BC.
In a consultation submission on the offshore wind farm scheme, Mr Evans added: "Precisely because the current proposed cable trenches would pass through much the same landscape, a similar density of archaeological settlement, funerary and early agricultural activity may be expected.
"It is clear that any proposed developments within this large area would have substantial archaeological implications, some of which would be readily apparent from visible and recorded remains, others of which may be currently masked beneath the surviving medieval landscape."
Bronze Age bracelets found in Kent
Two Bronze Age gold bracelets almost 3,000 years old have been discovered during excavations along the route of the East Kent Access Road. When they were found one bracelet was placed inside the other.
The bracelets were found in an area of the Ebbsfleet peninsula from which four other Late Bronze Age hoards are already known. Those hoards are all of bronze objects, mainly axes, tools like punches and gouges, fragments of swords, and small ingots.
Full story, including lovely pictures and interview, here:
IA Goddess figurine returns to East Yorks
EAST Yorkshire's oldest lady has come home – after a 21-year absence.
The Iron Age representation of a woman was sent to experts at the British Museum in 1989.
Staff at Hull Council's archaeology department assumed it had been returned and was somewhere in their stores.
Manager of Humber Archaeology Partnership Dave Evans decided recently to track it down and found it still at the British Museum. He said: "It's a joy to have her back."
Prehistoric cave on Skye "Still occupied"
A cave thought to have been occupied by people as early as 3BC was still being lived in this year, it has emerged.
A new hearth for a fire and stacks of wood cut for kindling were found in the L-shaped fissure at Leitir Fura, Kinloch, on Skye.
Its present day occupation is noted in the former sea cave's entry on Highland Council's historic environment record database.
The cave is 6m deep and stretches to 3m at its widest sections.
Forestry Commission Scotland commissioned archaeologist Martin Wildgoose to make a fresh assessment of a township abandoned during the Highland Clearances and the nearby cave.
His report was published earlier this year and is among new additions uploaded to the online database of Highland archaeological and historic sites.
Excavations of the cave in May 1996 uncovered evidence that the cave was occupied at periods of time from at least 3BC.
When it was first discovered tools, pottery, a hearth and a shell midden were found suggesting people had lived in it during the late 18th or early 19th Century.
But according to its historic environment record entry, the site remains in regular use.
From BBC News website:
Two Irish ring-forts destroyed
CONSERVATION GROUP Friends of the Irish Environment has called for the "full weight of the law" to be brought to bear following the complete destruction of two ancient ring forts located in Co Cork.
The group has written to Minister for the Environment John Gormley calling for prosecutions to follow the recent destruction of the two forts in north Co Cork.
The ring forts were located in the townland of Knockacareagh, near Kilmurry, Co Cork.
One was oval and measured almost 60m in an east-west direction, 48m in a north-south direction, and was enclosed by a two-metre high earthen bank.
Archaeologists had found the remains of cultivation ridges crossing its interior.
The other ring-fort was circular and slightly smaller, measuring just more than 33 metres, and was surrounded by a two-metre high earthen ditch. It featured numerous cattle gaps across its bank.
However, both structures have been completely levelled. No above-ground trace remains. All their earthen banks have been removed and filled in.
Further details from the Irish Times (10.8.2010) and Irish Examiner (9.8.2010):
IA grave found in Alkmaar town centre
Archaeologists digging in the Paardenmarkt (Horse market) square in the centre of the Dutch town of Alkmaar have discovered a prehistoric grave.
The remains show a person buried in the crouched position, which is typical of the Iron Age. The grave was found under a layer of sand found earlier in Alkmaar and known to date from the same period, between 700 BC and the beginning of the Christian era.
The dig in the centre of town is now in its final phase.
Earlier, archaeologists found a collective grave dating from 1573 and containing 15 skeletons and several musket balls and traces of shot. The siege of Alkmaar by the Spanish and the subsequent relief by William of Orange took place between August and October 1573. Other discoveries include a monastery graveyard and the remains of an historic street plan.
The dig is due to end later this month, after which the square will be subject to a major redesign.
From Radio Netherlands Worldwide:
Hut circle revealed at Lanlivery
From Cornish Guardian 3/2/2010:
A Bronze Age hut circle near Lanlivery, on Helman Tor (Cornwall, England), has been revealed by conservationists. Recently, nine volunteers met at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust's largest nature reserve, which takes in the tor and the surrounding 217 hectares (536 acres), and stripped back gorse to show off the monument.
Mid Cornwall reserves officer, Sean O'Hea said: "This is a really positive thing we are doing for the reserve. By stripping back the gorse, we are encouraging increased plant biodiversity and as a result we will see more butterflies and bird species eventually. The whole tor including the hut circle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument - the tor's got quite a few features of interest but the gorse makes it difficult to see them."
The archaeological management of the reserve is being advised by English Heritage with the Historic Environment Service. Helman Tor is a county geological site and the ancient monument makes up part of the remains of a Neolithic hill settlement.
English Heritage respond to criticism of scrub clearance
From Salisbury Journal 11/2/2010:
English Heritage has hit back at criticism of its management of Old Sarum (the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, in England, containing evidence of human habitation as early as 3000 BCE) as a fresh round of scrub clearance gets under way. And it has confirmed that no new trees will be allowed to grow up there. The work has upset campaigner Mo Vines, who has accused the organisation of 'getting rid of our future' by felling yew and beech saplings and holly bushes. "It will end up like Figsbury - just dead," she said. "I want to see variety and diversity there."
English Heritage says it is trying to preserve the embankments, which are being damaged by tree roots, by grass being shaded out on the surface, and by rabbits. Its ultimate aim is to restore the monument's original character as unimproved chalk grassland, and it has the backing of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. EH landscape manager for the Southwest, Chris Bally, said only scrub was being taken out, and the work was being car ried out by volunteers from the group Friends of Ancient Monuments. He said large trees would not be felled unless they became unsafe, but he is preparing a planning application for permission to clear more thorn, ash and sycamore.
Archaeologist Julian Richards, who is drawing up a management plan for the site, said he was recommending 'a lot more' scrub clearance. "The policy is going to be not to allow woodland to regenerate naturally in places where we don't want it. Primarily, Old Sarum is not a nature reserve, it's a nationally important ancient monument and English Heritage holds it in guardianship for the nation. I will be working with the volunteers up there on Sunday and I will be happy to explain to people what's going on." Mr Richards said he was recommending to English Heritage that a Friends of Old Sarum group be formed to involve the community in its care.
Iron Age roundhouse reconstruction near Oswestry
Park Hall Countryside Experience, located near Oswestry, is undertaking a major new project for 2009 with the reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse built using traditional methods by local crafts men and women.
There is an important local connection to the Iron Age, for just over a kilometre from Park Hall is the site of the Old Oswestry Iron Age Hill Fort, which is one of the finest hill forts in Britain.
The construction is a 'work in progress' and visitors to Park Hall can see each stage as it progresses. The expected completion date is mid/end of May.
Further information can be found at http://www.parkhallfarm.co.uk/iron-age-roundhouse/index.shtml
Showing 1-20 of 22 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20
"The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body." Alfred Wainwright