After all the trials and tribulations of fieldwork over the autumn and winter of 2015/2016 followed by months of lab work, logging the core samples and extracting datable material, at last we have the results of the radiocarbon dates from the first ten study sites!
multiple samples of organic material from all ten study sites were sent for AMS radiocarbon dating, allowing us to provide objective dates for all of these mounds for the very first time
In total we were able to extract almost 50 sub-samples of material from the 155m of core samples we collected last year; these were then sent to our colleagues at SUERC, in East Kilbride, for AMS* radiocarbon dating. Thankfully, we managed to extract multiple samples of datable material from each of the ten study sites, allowing us to produce objective “absolute” dates from these mounds for the first time.
The full title of our research project is Extending Histories: from medieval mottes to prehistoric round mounds, and that is exactly what our work is doing: we are extending our knowledge of these enigmatic mounds, challenging assumptions, and finding that the histories of these monuments aren’t always as straightforward as we think they are.
Our investigations in East Sussex, down on the south coast, have produced some intriguing results…
As we will discuss in a forthcoming post, the radiocarbon dates from the first set of study sites are in. As well as finding a prehistoric mound, of an unprecedented scale for its date, in East Yorkshire, our investigations down on the South Coast have also produced some intriguing results.
The second fieldwork season of the Round Mounds Project is already in full swing! Below is a list of sites that will be investigated this year.
One or two more sites may yet be added to this list… See here to read about the criteria we used to select our study sites. We’re looking for mounds situated in landscapes with known prehistoric activity (especially Neolithic monuments!), mounds that are in low-lying and ‘watery’ topographic settings, and mounds that are relatively large (i.e. larger than your average barrow).
- “Castle 2”, Hamstead Marshall, W. Berkshire
- Sherrington, Wiltshire
- Castle Tump, Worcestershire
- Clare, Suffolk
- Tonbridge, Kent
- Catterick, N. Yorkshire
- Pilsbury, Derbyshire
- Tickhill, S. Yorkshire
- “Montem Mound”, Slough, Berkshire
See here for the list of sites we investigated in our first field season.
On the low-lying plain of Holderness in East Yorkshire lie the impressive remains of Skipsea Castle. The site was investigated by the Round Mounds Project team during our first season of fieldwork with quite extraordinary results…
Holderness is a rural, gently undulating landscape bounded by the dip slope of the Yorkshire Wolds to the north and west, and the large expanse of the Humber Estuary to the south. To the east lies the soft boulder clay cliffs of a coastline being rapidly eroded by the power of the North Sea. Skipsea Castle is situated 12km south of Bridlington, in an area formed primarily from glacial deposits of clay, sand and gravel which carpet the underlying Cretaceous Chalk strata.