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Contemporary Military Archaelogy, Landscapes, Research, Outreach & Blogging

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Outreach

Fun outreach activities with Archaeology and the City, my personal archaeology volunteering, and perhaps other volunteering as well. Any research-related outreach will be cross-posted to the Research category.

The Woodland Heritage Festival 2016

I spent the Bank Holiday Monday joining in with the Woodland Heritage Festival. It’s an outreach day organised by Archaeology in the City (AitC). I’m generally more involved with the behind-the-scenes (social media and podcast) side of AitC but I really enjoy getting into big public events like the Festival. Last year, I focussed on recording presentations by archaeology PhD candidates and making them available as special episodes on the Archaeology and Ale podcast.

This year, as we decided not to run the talks programme again, I decided to create a family-friendly Landscape Archaeology activity. Almost every other research theme in the department had an activity, and as I’m the only full-time landscape archaeology PhD candidate who’s around and fool enough to volunteer for things (I think…. there may be someone in their writing-up year, but we’ve not met yet!), I thought I’d be remiss if I let my research field go unrepresented again.

Thus, the Landscape Archaeology Woodland Heritage Adventure treasure hunt was born…

Continue reading “The Woodland Heritage Festival 2016”

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Pt. 7 Tuesday #archaeology #fieldwork #otterburn etc

WARNING: I have safety training and permission from Range Control to access these parts of the OTA. If you want to visit the OTA you must follow all safety and access guidelines and the byelaws.

Tuesday was spent continuing to walk transects over the railway target’s interior area and there is definitely a different assemblage of training finds. It was also a day for wildlife sightings, with two crows chasing a fox, two hares fighting, and a lot of skylarks.

Picture of the day:

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A target – made of two 10cm thick armoured panels set into a mound of earth, in the centre of the railway target area (c) K Moore 2016 all rights reserved

The weather was very odd on Tuesday – bands of cloud sweeping rapidly overhead brought intervals of snow and hail in between bursts of very bright sun. I felt like I was in the Zone.

Please email kemoore1 AT sheffield DOT ac DOT uk with any comments. Cheers!

Pt 6. Monday #archaeology #fieldwork

WARNING: I have safety training and permission from Range Control to access these parts of the OTA. If you want to visit the OTA you must follow all safety and access guidelines and the byelaws.

I’ve moved to a new study area now – the area in and around the Otterburn Ranges Railway Target System. According to the Historic Environment Record, “It was originally used during World War Two as part of the Ross artillery range, Ross Sands, but moved after the war to Otterburn.”

It doesn’t look that big on the map but when you’re walking transects it takes a LOT of time to cover! The area has a very different assemblage of surface training finds indicating it was used intensively at a different period than the area around Bellshiel Law (at least in terms of the finds that I can see on the surface), and also (it seems) in a different way.

Monday’s picture of the day:

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The hut associated with the Railway Target System (c) K Moore 2016 all rights reserved

Sorry for the delay! Technical difficulties with my camera not wanting to talk to my computer.

If you have any comments/want to get in touch about the research please tweet or email at kemoore1 AT sheffield DOT ac DOT uk

Pt 4: #Archaeology in #Otterburn #Northumberland etc…

WARNING: I have safety training and permission from Range Control to access these parts of the OTA. If you want to visit the OTA you must follow all safety and access guidelines and the byelaws.

Another busy day. For a landscape that seems quite empty at first glance, the area around Bellshiel Law long cairn is actually full of evidence of training over many years.

On Friday I looked closely at the Scheduled Monument area of the long cairn itself, then headed up the westward hill to record a bunker (still in active use) and its associated artefact scatter. I then thought it wouldn’t take too long to do a walkover survey of the eastern facing slopes of the hill – from the bunker back down to the track facing the long cairn – and of course was there until 7pm before I called it a day.

On the north-east facing slope of the hill I found a scatter of early 20th century building rubble which upon closer inspection contained several horseshoe-shaped arrangements of stone and rubble which had been used as gun placements.

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Gun emplacement on ‘Bunker Hill’, looking north over fields (Bellshiel Law long cairn to the east) – actually full of spent blank cartridges and pieces of non-disintegrating metal belt (c) Krissy Moore 2016 all rights reserved.
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Ah yes, the English Spring… (c) K Moore 2016 all rights reserved

They had a good view over Bellshiel Law Long Cairn and the fields to the north and north west where I recorded the brush-wood shelters.

I also recorded the in-use bunker on the hill.

It was a three-jumper day but thankfully the rain held off all day.

Pt 3: Fieldwork in #Northumberland #archaeology #blog etc…

WARNING: I have safety training and permission from Range Control to access these parts of the OTA. If you want to visit the OTA you must follow all safety and access guidelines and the byelaws.

Back in the field again! On Thursday I looked at the land north and east of Bellshiel Law long cairn to see how it has been used for training.

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A brushwood shelter with occupation debris (c) K Moore 2016 all rights reserved

I recorded three small shelters used by soldiers on training exercises, and occupation debris showing evidence for food preparation, shooting practice and weapons maintenance.

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A pull-through rifle cleaner, accidentally dropped (c) K Moore 2016 all rights reserved.

 

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Fieldwork Hat again (c) K Moore 2016 all rights reserved

It might sound strange to be recording this, but I’m interested in seeing what ‘archaeology’ modern training leaves behind, and how it fits into the landscape around the older archaeological features like the long cairn. I use the same methods as I do when recording stone tool scatters and medieval settlements.

 

Archaeology & Ale podcast – community archaeology at Medieval Brockhampton

Every other month I volunteer with recording and editing the monthly Archaeology & Ale pub lectures*. These are a free public talk on an archaeology-related topic, presented by the Arcaeology in the City outreach programme. The talks are held upstairs at the Red Deer in Sheffield on the last Thursday of each month. Here’s the recording of last month’s talks.

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© Copyright Brian Robert Marshall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

* I’m also happy to say I’ve recruited an MA student, Ashley, as co-producer – I’ve trained Ashley in recording and editing the podcasts (using the opensource software Audacity) and I’m hoping to recruit more students as the year rolls on.

DerwentWISE H@R Training

A considerable chunk of my PhD study data is drawn from Heritage at Risk reporting for the OTA estate. Specifically, the OTA now has no sites on the H@R register and I’m interested in looking through their old monitoring reports to see how issues were identified and then addressed. As part of this, I need to understand how Risk is assessed and reported, so I yesterday I attended the DerwentWISE HAR training session for assessing risk in built heritage (buildings) at Cromford Mill.

© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Here’s some info on the DerwentWISE project from their website: “The DerwentWISE Landscape Partnership has embarked on an exciting three year project to survey over 1,000 heritage assets within the landscape of the Lower Derwent Valley.  [This is a] significant step forward in the management of heritage at risk and prevent the further loss of historic buildings, monuments and features.  At the core of the Heritage at Risk project area sits the internationally important Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.  Through this project we will be able to survey and record the many attributes that contribute to the outstanding universal value of this special place…”

It was a beautiful day in a beautiful place. I was really interested to meet the first batch of volunteers and to hear their reasons for volunteering – they included retired or semi-retired heritage professionals, teachers, chartered surveyors, museum curators, reenactors and people from unrelated fields with an interest in history and finding out more about their local area.

© Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The project is being delivered by ArcHeritage and I’m very grateful for them letting me attend this training session. I’m looking forward to attending their Archaeological Features H@R training early next month.

(I’m using CreativeCommons images because my digital camera gave up the ghost).

Another Young Archaeology activity!

I’m busy getting my methodology and fieldwork lined up, but I still keep up with the local branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club. Here’s a post I wrote about our latest visit to the university Department of Archaeology’s Osteology lab: Osteoarchaeology with the Young Archaeologists’ Club.

First ever article submission!

Photo on 13-01-2016 at 4.10 pm

Good grief. Could it be I’m about to post off the completed WWI Practice Trenches on Blaeberry Hill, Rothbury article for consideration by Archaeologia Aeliana…?

At this point I won’t even mind if I get rejected*. I’m just very pleased that it’s done. Huge thanks to the Coquetdale Community Archaeology group and NCC archaeologist Dr Chris Burgess for inviting me to complete the report of their 2008 excavation.

*it’s my first go at applying for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, so it’s not unlikely!

 

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