The Round Mounds Project on tour: talks and conference presentations

It’s certainly been a while since we last posted on the Round Mounds Project blog but the last few months have been really rather busy, so we hope you’ll excuse us…

Since we last posted on this blog we’ve all but completed the field and laboratory work for our second (and final!) batch of sites, with only one more site left to go – the “enigmatic” Forbury Mound on our own doorstep in Reading – very soon we’ll be posting updates on the results of this fieldwork…

But we haven’t just been surveying mounds, drilling boreholes and staring down microscopes these last few months (not all the time, anyway), we’ve also been busy with another essential part of any academic’s job: getting out there and talking about our work.

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Radiocarbon dates from 10 castle mounds – results of year 1

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.

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The Mount, Lewes: ancient monument, medieval fortification… or garden feature?

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.

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