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Altogether Archaeology News

The most recent 5 news items are below. Older items can be read in the News Archive
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New Audio-Visual page
 
A new Audio-Visual web page is now available use this link here... or towards the bottom of the menu listing.

All AA videos and podcasts can be found there.
 
Video1: Martin Green describing organising the 2019 excavation at Holwick. Holwick in the medieval period?
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Video 2 Holwick - A Sense of place - all about Holwick in Teesdale Rachel Cochrane who recorded all of the podcasts - seen here at Cotherstone School.
News Record: 54     Updated: 02-12-2019 20:48:15
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Holwick Stories - An Update
 
We thought it was about time to take our archaeological exploration in new directions, so, in May, Altogether Archaeology was delighted to work with audio producer, Rachel Cochrane and Lonely Tower Film and Media to document the stories behind our Holwick excavation. Budding archaeologists from Cotherstone Primary School joined us on site to discover their heritage and kept us on our toes with their energy, enthusiasm and curiosity, which continued undimmed when we visited the school to deliver a finds processing and creative writing workshop. If you want to find out what we’ve been up to, go to the Altogether Archaeology homepage where you can gain a unique insight into the dig and the finds processing workshop via snippets of the Lonely Tower film. You can listen to a fascinating series of podcast interviews produced by Rachel, including some fantastic stories from our visitors by following this link. All of this was made possible through generous funding support from Northern Heartlands
 
Cleaning finds needs concentration! (photo Marie Gardiner) Finds processing class (photo Marie Gardiner)
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Rachel Cochrane interviewing on site (photo Mike Powell) Lonely Tower filming at Holwick (photo Mike Powell)
News Record: 53     Updated: 21-07-2019 13:00:42
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Early Churches of the Tyne Valley
 
The Tyne valley is well-provided with churches that have significant Anglo-Saxon features either incorporated in the architectural fabric or as sculptural objects, or indeed both. Many AA members have a strong interest in the material culture of the early medieval period and so on 17th July an intrepid party boarded a coach at Prudhoe Railway Station and set off on a day-long voyage of exploration. We were ably guided by member Alan Newham whose passion for early churches is well-known in the group. Starting at Heddon-on-the-Wall the tour also took in Ovingham with it's magnificent tower, the twin churches of Bywell, Corbridge, the crypt of St Wilfred's church beneath Hexham Abbey and ended at Warden with it's amazing Anglo-Saxon tower and standing-cross.

Alan's knowledge of Anglo-Saxon churches is encyclopaedic and we went home with our heads spinning with quoins (long and short, face alternate, side alternate, dovetail and clasping!), arches, lancet windows, tympani and many other architectural features too numerous to mention. Thanks Alan for an entertaining and informative day which was enjoyed by all.

If you missed out on Alan's trip, which was oversubscribed, we are hoping to persuade him to do a repeat run in the near future. Also don't miss Alan's follow-up talk on Anglo-Saxon Church Architecture which will delivered at our meeting on Saturday October 12th.
 
Hendon-On-The-Wall, chancel and sanctuary Ovingham
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Bywell, St Andrews Alan introducing us to the finer points of quoins at Heddon
News Record: 52     Updated: 21-07-2019 11:16:06
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Holwick Stories and Excavation
 
Our third season of excavation at the Well Head deserted medieval settlement in Holwick, Upper Teesdale begins on Saturday 11th May and runs until Sunday 26th. Thanks to funding from Northern Heartlands there will be a lot going on alongside the excavation this year. Film makers and an oral historian will spend some days on site talking to visitors, volunteers and the archaeologists.

One of our aims is to create a Holwick archive to complement the archaeological investigation and we would really love to hear the stories, memories and thoughts of local people and visitors. So, if you have any anecdotes or ideas about the site please do come along to our open day on Thursday 16th May and share them with us and with our documentary makers. The site is open to visitors at 11 a.m. and there will be a guided walk taking in the archaeology of the wider area at 1 p.m. There are two further opportunities to visit the excavation and join the guided walk on Sunday 19th May (open site 11 a.m., walk at 1 p.m.) and Thursday 23rd May (walk at 10 a.m., open site 2 p.m.). Bookings are not required for any of these events.

We very much look forward to meeting you, showing you around this fascinating site and hearing your stories. You can find further information about Altogether Archaeology, including how to become a member and participate in our activities by going to the Membership section of this website and you can also download and read an interim report on the 2018 excavation from our Reports page.

You can access a Google map showing the location of our Holwick excavation site by following a link at the bottom of the Activities page of this website.

Please come and visit us and be part of our Holwick story!

 
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News Record: 51     Updated: 11-05-2019 13:29:11
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First Holwick radio-carbon dates now in
 
We have received the first set of radio-carbon dates from samples collected during our 2018 excavations at the Well Head settlement in Holwick, Upper Teesdale. Martin Green, AA's Fieldwork Co-ordinator, revealed the results at our AGM in Mickleton on Saturday 16th March.

Dates have been obtained from charcoal found in each of the 3 trenches we opened last year and the results are as follows. Please see the accompanying photographs for the sample locations.

Trench 3 (Sample 303)
The charcoal sample came from the stone hearth located under the NW wall-line of the longhouse (F9) excavated in this trench. This gave a date of 1540 AD +/- 90 years. This suggests that the hearth was a relatively late feature in the sequence of this building's use.

Trench 4 (Sample 403)
This trench, located about 150m west of the centre of the settlement on the flat top of a drumlin, contained an enigmatic curving length of bank (F4). We identified this tentatively as a Bronze Age funerary monument (despite the lack of evidence for burials), possibly a ring-cairn. Charcoal was found under a slab on the inner side of the fragmentary ring. This has yielded a date of 1830 BC +/- 80 years and confirms that this is indeed a Bronze Age feature.

Trench 5 (Sample 501)
In this trench we excavated what initially looked like a two-celled building set in a scooped platform (F12). The crude foundation stones suggested a potentially early date. However, excavation revealed that the two cells differed in size and may have been built at different times. A construction sequence could not be established. Charcoal was obtained from a surface around a burnt area in the NE corner of a large rectangular structure. This yielded a date of 1580 AD +/- 80 years and again suggests that the activity causing the burning occurred fairly late in the history of this structure's occupation.

All radio-carbon dates above calibrated, 95% probability.

We hope to be able to analyse more samples from Holwick in due course which will give us further dating evidence. Nevertheless, these first results provide an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

For more information about this project please refer to our Interim Report on the 2018 Excavation which can be downloaded from the Reports page of this website.
 
General view of excavation site Trench 3
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Trench 4 Trench 5
News Record: 50     Updated: 18-03-2019 15:00:03
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