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Altogether Archaeology News

Further Excavation at Holwick, Upper Teesdale - May 2018
We are planning a return to the Well Head deserted medieval settlement at Holwick, Upper Teesdale for a further programme of excavation in May 2018. Last year’s dig produced a rich assemblage of small finds indicating that the settlement was active for a considerable period of time during the middle ages. This year’s excavation will focus on obtaining further dating evidence which will help us work out when the settlement began and when it went out of use. The dig is scheduled to run from 12th to 27th May.

We are also delighted to announce that this project has been awarded funding from the Northern Heartlands Community Initiative Fund, managed by County Durham Community Foundation. This will not only help us fund the costs of the excavation itself but also enable us to offer a range of opportunities for local people and visitors to become involved. We are really excited by this aspect of the project, especially as last year’s dig attracted a significant amount of interest.

We are planning a number of public events associated with this year’s dig, which will include the following.

- Prior to the start of the dig we will be holding a public presentation on Monday 16th April at 7.30pm in Middleton-in-Teesdale Village Hall. We will be talking about the results of our work at Holwick in 2017, what we are planning to do during the dig in May, and explaining how people can get involved.
- We will be holding an open day on the excavation site during the second week of the dig when we will offer guided tours and an explanation of the work in progress.
- We will be offering guided archaeology walks for people who are interested in looking at some of the rich archaeological heritage of Upper Teesdale.
- After the dig is finished there will be opportunities for people to become involved in workshops when we will be cleaning and recording finds.
- Later in the year we will organise a final public talk at which we will discuss the results of this year’s excavation.

Further details of each of these activities will be announced on this website as soon as they are available. Please watch this space.
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News Record: 37     Updated: 22-03-2018 14:53:53

Altogether Archaeology AGM - Saturday 17th March 2018
Yes, it's AGM time again folks! Our third Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 17 March at the Marwood Social Centre, Kinninvie, Barnard Castle DL12 8SH. We hope that members will make a special effort to attend and show their support for the work of the group.

The AGM will begin at 11am and we aim to deal with the formal part of the meeting as swiftly and efficiently as possible so that we can move on to the two presentations that have been lined up for our enjoyment.

Many of our members took part in AA's survey and preliminary excavations at the Well Head deserted medieval settlement in Holwick, Upper Teesdale during 2017. Martin Green and colleagues will be reviewing the results of the work we have completed to date on this fascinating site and looking ahead to a second phase of excavation we plan to undertake this year. This will be an important opportunity for us to discuss this ongoing project and evaluate what has been achieved so far.

In our second presentation, AA member Liz Ryan will be sharing with us some of her research into Scandinavian influences in the Tees Valley. The early medieval archaeology of the North Pennines features strongly in AA's current research strategy and Liz's work throws light on a very important aspect of the social and cultural changes that occurred during this period.

We hope you can join us at Marwood on 17th March. Guests, as well as members of Altogether Archaeology, will be most welcome to attend.
Survey team in action at Holwick May 2018 Model of the Well Head settlement site
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The dig in progress Excavated building
News Record: 36     Updated: 27-02-2018 14:48:37

Flint knapping with Dr Rob Young
A brilliant start to our activity programme for 2018. Over 20 Altogether Archaeology members braved a raw January morning to head out to Harehope Quarry in Weardale for a flint-knapping workshop led by our good friend Dr Rob Young. We started off in the warmth of the Harehope classroom where Rob introduced us to the materials used by our prehistoric ancestors to make tools and the techniques employed in their manufacture. Rob brought along a collection of stone tools for us to handle so that we could not only experience the feel of these objects but also examine in detail how tools developed over the millennia.

After a quick refreshment break we went outdoors into the quarry to try our hands at bashing some flint. Great fun but not as easy as it looks when done by an expert! I think it is safe to say that no polished axes emerged from our efforts but we came away with a deeper appreciation of the skills involved in stone age technology and greater knowledge of what the study of lithics can bring to archaeology.

This was the first experimental archaeology session we have organised and, judging by the response from participants, it certainly will not be the last. Our activity programme for the rest of the year is now in place and full details will be published shortly so please keep an eye on our Activities page. We hope to see you out with us in 2018.
Rob demonstrates the technique No Sue, its not scuba diving
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Neanderthal discoid axe Here is one I made earlier
News Record: 35     Updated: 13-01-2018 17:07:42
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