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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Hiding in plain sight: Skipsea Castle, East Yorkshire

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.

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Tales of a boring man: the fieldwork experience

Fieldwork is a major part of many archaeological projects, the Round Mounds Project is no exception. Although a lot of fun and a welcome break from being stuck behind a computer or in the lab, fieldwork can also be challenging and just plain old hard work.

In this week’s post, Kevin, our very own expert technician talks us through his experience of last week’s fieldwork trip to County Durham and East Yorkshire…

Although I spend most of my time working on “enterprise” (i.e. commercial) projects for the SAGES (School of Archaeology Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading) consultancy Quest, another key part of my job is to assist in fieldwork and laboratory work on research projects. So it’s not a 9-5 Monday to Friday job, which is why I spent my Saturday evening packing my bags and checking the weather forecast…

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