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News

Oldest Human DNA - from the β€œPit of the Bones,” in Spain


Nice article on this at the link below. 400,000 years old the DNA (in Spain) has close links to later samples taken from Siberia.

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/12/oldest-human-dna-contains-clues-mysterious-species

Norway (Country) — News

Iron Age clothing uncovered in Norway


Melting ice in Norway has revealed an Iron Age tunic.
Amazing preservation.

Great photo on BBC web site.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23849332

News

Oldest North American Stone Art Discovered


Dated to between 10,200 and 14,800 years ago...

Some pictures at:

http://www.livescience.com/38865-oldest-petroglyphs-rock-art.html

Ness of Brodgar (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — News

Neolithic stone discovered at Ness of Brodgar


"An intricately-inscribed stone described as potentially the finest example of Neolithic art found in the UK for several decades has been found in Orkney.

Archaeologists working at the Ness of Brodgar excavations made the discovery....."

BBC News Link
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-23529871

Site Dig Link at
http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/

Dun Torvaig (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Links

RCAHMS


Dun Torvaig, a dun with outworks on a rocky knoll.
The dun, oval on plan measures externally 28.0m NW-SE by 18.0m transversely. The wall is 4.1m thick at the N side of the entrance which is in the W and is 1.4m wide. Except at the entrance the inner wall face is not evident, but the outer face can be traced for most of the periphery. Within the wall is a stabilising face which can also be traced for most of the periphery. Of two circular structures planned RCAHMS in the interior, the more westerly appears to be a ruinous recent structure, and the other is an amorphous scatter of stones with no structural details apparent, but possible fortuitous tumble.
The approach from the W has been blocked by two curving close-set walls of indeterminate thickness whose outer faces are well defined by blocks on edge. An entrance 1.2m wide in the SW is well defined by similar blocks.
Immediately outside the outwork in the N is a level platform, about 7.0m in diameter which although probably natural, would make an excellent hut stance.
Surveyed at 1/500.
RCAHMS 1928; Visited by OS (I S S) 11 October 1971.

County Clare — News

6,000 year old Tsunami in Ireland?


Archeologists have uncovered evidence of pre-farming people living in the Burren more than 6,000 years ago β€” one of the oldest habitations ever unearthed in Ireland.

Radiocarbon dating of a shellfish midden on Fanore Beach in north Clare have revealed it to be at least 6,000 years old β€” hundreds of years older than the nearby Poulnabrone dolmen........

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/6000-year-old-settlement-poses-tsunami-mystery-193230.html

Cambridgeshire — News

Bronze Age Must Farm Site near Peteborough - Site Update


Nice update and article with some cracking photos of some of the finds

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2012/must-farm-bronze-age-site-the-finds

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — News

Search for 2nd Passage at Newgrange


Newgrange may have a second passage, and it too could be aligned with a solstice event.

Check out link below for more info:
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/search-on-for-a-second-passage-in-newgrange-2908492.html

Spain (Country) — News

Plans to open rock art caves at Altamira to the public?


Article at New Scientist covers the potential risk to the rock art paintings here if the caves are opened to the public to help local tourism.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21020-ancient-cave-paintings-threatened-by-tourist-plans.html

Lincolnshire and Humberside — News

2,000 year old salting site found at Willow Tree Fen


BBC report on a dig at Willow Tree Fen, near Bourne in Lincolnshire.

Nice video and more details at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-15168543

Mac

Forteviot (Henge) — News

Forteviot site - seat of a Celtic Cheiftan?


Very good article from the local paper on the dig at Forteviot.

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/Community/Heritage-and-History/article/16972/forteviot-dig-uncovering-new-story-of-scotland-s-past.html

Berkshire — News

Planned Iron Age town near Reading - BBC report


More "news teasers" from the BBC for Digging for Britain - but looks like the series will be worth watching.

This one covers a planned Iron Age settlement near Reading.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14555449

Beccles Causeway — News

BBC report on new Causeway near the Beccles Iron Age Causeway


"The site, excavated in June, may have been part of a route across the River Waveney and surrounding wetland at Geldeston in Norfolk..."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14503302

Ellsnook (Round Barrow(s)) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Ellsnook (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Finally got to visit this one and to be honest I wouldn't recommend it.

First off while it's just off the old A1 and there is parking close by the woodland between the barrow and the road is jungle like with no clear paths - not an easy 100m to get through.

Second when you get there, there is very little to see. A semi-circle has been cut in the woods and the records show this as the site of the barrow but there is nothing obvious there - through there is a clear ring of bracken growth so the soil is obviously different. You'd need a full day with an industrial strimmer to see any features.

Thirdly the site is close to the A1 so there is lots of noise and very little atmosphere.

All that being said there are some points of note:

1) This barrow hasn't been built to be seen from a distance. It's not prominent at all and seems to have been located here either because it was close to water (stream nearby) or close to an ancient trackway. It does lie on raised (slightly) ground.

2) There might be a second barrow in the field between the trees and the A1 (or the original position might have been out and this is the barrow). This looks like an over-ploughed feature on top of a raised area of land - roughly 50m from the marked site.

Both can be seen from the A1 if you are passing but don't blink or you'll miss it.

On the way back through the trees I came across what looked like a large piece of worked stone - 1m or so in all directions, roughly rectangular and looked like it had split at some time. Not sure what this is/was but it stands out as an "erratic" in that it's very large and has no obvious context. It's on the north edge of the woods near the stream as you work back from the barrow to the old A1. Photos attached.

Ellsnook (Round Barrow(s)) — Links

Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, Vol. LXXIII.


Describes Cist found in 1921.

"In August, 1921, a cist was excavated by Mr. Bosanquet and his son in the parish of Rock. The site is the plantation known as Heiferlaw Plantation on the old edition (Sheet 27, S.W.), and Ellsnook Wood on the new edition (Sheet 29, N.W.). In the cist was found a beaker. The cist was in the top of a mound, and it is thought that it is not the primary interment. The
mound is certainly partly artificial. Excavations are to be resumed this summer. (Mr. R. C. Bosanquet, Rock Moor, Alnwick)."

Heifer Law (Enclosure) — Images

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Heifer Law (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

Finally got a chance to visit here - put up some photos. Field notes follow.

I'd put this one down as one to visit mostly due to the lack of any scenery or sense of place until you get nearer the site, then the wonderful views to the west when you get to the site.

Very easy site to get to, park on the old A1 at the edge of the woods and walk in. Best to park north of the pathway shown on the OS maps as the road is very narrow here and there's nowhere to pull in.

Easy walk in through woodland but no obvious paths so some trail making required. As you follow the rising ground up towards the site it's easy to see that is wasn't built to impress when coming from the East. For a start there is much higher ground to the east. You'll see this as pass the 15th century tower. This is higher than the main site but much smaller in area. Had a look up here (hard going) and no obvious ditches or platforms.

As you pass the tower the ground flattens and you can see the end of the tree line in the West. While the site has been over planted with trees these are far apart and don't interfere with viewing the site.

Main features of the site are as follows:

1) Double ditch with bank between, very easy to see at the Eastern end, less obvious at the west end where there seems to be one larger bank and single deeper ditch. Bank around 1.5m high at the highest point near the western entrance.

2) Round/Oval in form, around 100m across at the widest point.

3) Number of features inside the ditches, bumps, hollows, etc. What looks like two well features - rectangular holes with iron railings over them.
Had a look round the web and this isn't a well feature but the entrance to an underground shelter that would have been used by the British resistance forces if the Germans had invaded in WW2 - link at http://www.coleshillhouse.com/heiferlaw-auxiliary-zero-station.php

That's a first for me!

4) What looks like two entrance gaps in the main bank, one to the East (South East), with the most obvious one at the western end.

5) Obviously built with a "western aspect" in mind. When you get to the Western entrance its obvious that the site would have been most impressive and most visible from the west where it would have been approached up a steep slope from the valley. Views from the site to the west go off to other sites such as Jenny's Lantern, White House Farm, Hunterheugh and the edges of Beanley Moor.

6) As with many "forts" in the area the site doen't look like it was mainly built for defence. From the East there is both higher ground and a wide area of flat land outside the ditches and the ditches here look the least impressive.

7) Possible "mound" feature inside the western entrance, but this also has the entrance to the underground shelter in it so could well be WW2 in date to hide the entrance.

8) Worked stone in the western wall - see photo - probably much later in date.

The views to the west are stunning and my photos don't do them justice - well worth the short walk from the car.

Heifer Law (Enclosure) — Images

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News

Bright coloured decorations found on Iron Age interior walls


Archaeologists in Saxony Anhalt have discovered a 2,600 year old wall painted in bright patterns. It reveals that Iron Age houses were not the drab constructions they were once thought to be.

Full details - with photo at:

http://www.archaeologydaily.com/news/201108117054/Iron-Age-people-gave-interiors-of-dwellings-a-decorative-streak.html

Bruan (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Royal Commission Site summary:

"A robbed broch represented by a turf-covered stony mound about 10ft high and 50ft in diameter, surrounded at a distance of about 31ft, by a wall about 4 1/2ft high which stands on the inner lip of a ditch about 28ft broad and 3 1/2ft deep from the top of the counterscarp. Except on the W, the ditch has been almost destroyed by cultivation. "

Bruan (Broch) — Links

Royal Commission Site Entry


Nybster (Broch) — Links

Royal Commission Site Entry


Elsay (Broch) — Links

Royal Commission Site Entry



Caithness CWS site - with photos


Elsay (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Notes from Royal Commission Site:

"Broch, 'Cairn of Elsay', Staxigoe, was excavated and planned by the late Sir Francis Tress Barry. The wall was approximately 17ft thick, enclosing an inner area with a diameter of 29ft. Any outbuildings which may exist around the broch have not been uncovered. The plan shows an outer casing wall on the S, through which an entrance passes, but this is not now apparent.
RCAHMS 1911.

The broch is a grass-covered mound situated on level ground close to the shore. It is 18.0m in diameter, has a wall 4.8m thick and stands to a maximum height of 2.7m above the level of the ground at the base of the mound. A fragment of the inner face of the wall is visible on the E side only, but the outer face is exposed to a height of 1.2m and for a length of 7.0m on the NE side; fragments are also visible on the SE side.
The entrance, in the SE, is 0.7m wide, its walls exposed to a height of 1.2m at the outer end.
The court is now a rubble-strewn hollow 2.6m below the top of the broch except for a large, stony, grass-covered mound 1.2m high which extends from the centre to NE of the entrance. In the centre of the court is an upright stone slab 1.0m high, 0.4m wide and 0.1m thick.
No trace of any outbuildings was seen around the broch."

Nybster (Broch) — Links

Caithness CWS site - with photos



2nd BBC News report - human remains found



BBC News report


Nybster (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Nybster Broch - reported on BBC News and added site.

Royal Commission Site entry states:

"Nybster Broch was excavated by Sir Francis Tress Barry about 1900, revealing neither guard chamber nor mural cells. It has in internal diameter of 23ft and a wall thickness of 14ft. In 1910 the maximum height of the walls was 5ft 3ins.
The broch is defended by a possibly later forework and the whole is fronted by a ditch about 20ft wide which cuts off the promontory on which the broch stands. To seaward of the broch practically the whole promontory is covered by well-built out-buildings, oblong, circular, and irregular in plan.
Finds include a fragment of 2nd century Samian ware, as well as the more usual bone and stone objects."

Highland (Mainland) — News

Human remains found at Caithness Iron Age broch site


BBC News report of this find at Thrumster, near Wick.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-14154062

News

Prehistoric islands built up from middens?


I know it's way out of the normal geographical focus of TMA but there's an interesting article on how Pre-historic midden dumps may have grown to become larger "islands" in the Florida everglades.

I wonder if they will find evidence of "Crannogs" as they dig down more?
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/03/prehistoric-garbage-piles-may-ha.html?ref=hp

Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow) — News

Marden Henge excavation uncovers 4,500yo "Ceremonial Building"


Article on the dig here at
http://www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/03/2011/marden-henge-excavations-opens-window-on-neolithic-ritual

Oxfordshire — News

Complete Neolithic Pot found in Didcot


Archaeologists working on a housing development in Oxfordshire claim to have found one of the oldest complete pots in the country (5,500 years old).

Nice photo at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-12698321

Yeavering Bell (Hillfort) — Links

Google Books


George Tate's dig report - Vol 4, History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, 1857.

Cartington (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Links

Keys To The Past


Broomwood Camp (Enclosure) — Links

Google Books


'Memoir written during a survey of the eastern branch of the Watling street,' describing the site in 1864.

Broomwood Camp (Enclosure) — Miscellaneous

Clearly visible on Google Earth, this looks like a defended enclosure.

Listed as Iron Age but bronze axe was found here.

Looks worth a visit.

Broomwood Camp (Enclosure) — Links

Keys To The Past


Scrog Hill (Round Barrow(s)) — Links

English Heritage Research News


Article on Dunstanburgh Castle has diagram showing pre-historic features nearby including Scrog Hill.

Yeavering Bell (Hillfort) — Links

Northumberland National Park.


Information board showing access routes and giving an overview of this site.
Also a leaflet at
http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/yeaveringbell-infoleaflet.pdf

Nottinghamshire — News

Museum offers public chance to handle prehistoric axes


The Nottinghamshire public are being offered a rare opportunity to handle a 75,000-year-old axe and other ancient artefacts at a local museum.

The University of Nottingham Museum of Archaeology is putting on a Prehistory Day on 23 February 2011, in conjunction with the BBC's Hands On History.

Full details at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/nottingham/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_9398000/9398611.stm

News

Researchers Map Out Ice Sheets Shrinking During Ice Age


A set of maps created by the University of Sheffield have illustrated, for the first time, how our last British ice sheet shrunk during the Ice Age.


Link below with some graphics
http://www.archnews.co.uk/featured/5322-researchers-map-out-ice-sheets-shrinking-during-ice-age.html

Sheffield Uni press release at:
http://www.shef.ac.uk/mediacentre/2011/1842-ice-sheet-age-melt-maps.html

More details and graphics at:
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-ice-sheets-age.html
Showing 1-50 of 206 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
Based in Cheshire but spend a lot of time in Northumberland I've always been interested in things Iron Age and earlier.

I now have the time to combine this interest with walking and taking photos so I hope to add content where I can.

My TMA Content: