Re-enactment

Julia, who is the power behind the excellent Histories of Archaeology Research Network blog, has a particular research interest in how archaeological field practice and technique was developed in the early 20th century. For a long time she has had the vision of a research project to compare the techniques of different past archaeologists. Her idea was to get a site and dig different bits of it in different period styles using the site manuals and archives of the day to guide you.

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John gave us the OK to open another trench on Thursday. Looking at this photo of us clearing off the topsoil in the new area it appears we have adopted the Wheeler/Kenyon system of gridded boxes, which was the cutting edge of archaeological practice in the late 1930s. As long as we remember to keep recording in metric units all should be well.

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Today was the annual guided walk that we run as part of Forest of Bowland AONB’s Festival Bowland event. Thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm and the great turn out. We started out down in Rob’s finds shed to look at the different kinds of worked stone we have been finding this year and to talk about enclosures and their role as seasonal gathering places. We then walked up the hill to look at our ongoing excavation. While I was down at the barn the team had found a re-cut in the top of the enclosure ditch. This is really good evidence for seasonal re-use of the site, showing how the partly silted up enclosure ditches would have had to be re-defined when people came back to the enclosure for each season’s gathering.

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We then walked on round the hill to Mouse Hole Cave, which we dug in 2011. When we got to the site this morning as part of the tour I was delighted to see a whole lot of animal bone eroding out of the upper cave fills. We will come back to this site next week and excavate and record this properly.

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We also took everyone up onto the New Laund Enclosure, the Late Neolithic henge and timber circle we dug in 2012 and 2013. Timber circles, of course, don’t survive as visible monuments and, as we don’t have any of the nifty Ministry of Works concrete posts that you see at sites like Bleasdale or Woodhenge, I made some of the group pretend to be large oak posts in the appropriate locations.

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After all that explaining we took the afternoon off so that we could go and visit the other UCLan excavation going on at the moment, on the Roman fort at Ribchester. Here is Duncan standing on one of the fort roads while he explains the exciting evidence they are finding for post-Roman activity within the fort walls.As you can see, their trench is just ever so slightly bigger than ours.

Wildlife of the day was a pair of sparrowhawks in the trees behind the dairy while we were on our way up for the guided walk.

Rick

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