Microburin.com is my blog, a space for idea sharing. It’s also a space where I want to present the projects I am working on, and get your feedback. It will be evident very quickly that I walk on and in peat bogs, dales, valleys and rivers, wet places, that I love the wild landscapes of north-east England.
I want to populate and engender a distant period in our past. When you layer people, their lives, their children and elders, their priorities, insecurities, challenges, stories and memories, successes and their humanity—people just like you and me—upon the artefacts we dig up, you can only then start to ask how and why they did what they did, why we do what we do today, and what on earth we will do next. We tend to repeat past mistakes, and we seldom learn from those that tried it already.
A selective list of recent projects, excavations and discoveries. Includes websites where available and media coverage—look out for the “biggest, tallest, deepest, oldest” headlines.
Regional research frameworks, also included, provide a useful review of current knowledge across periods and heritage themes, archaeological assets, historical contexts, gaps in knowledge, research priority recommendations and extensive bibliographies.
This informative article by Jake Rowland (Digital Digging) offers insights into the design, construction and use of the mesolithic bow discovered at Holmegaard (Holmegårds Mose) in Denmark, dated to around 7000 BC. Two bows were discovered in 1944, one complete, and are now in the Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen.
Jake takes us through each of the steps, including the lithic (flint) technology brought to bear – and not without some damage to his adze which makes for interesting testing against our lithic artefactual records. He makes good observations about the effectiveness of flint versus chert (adze) and scrapers versus blades.
Neolithic hunter-gatherers and farmers lived side by side without having sex for more than 2000 years, new research suggests. Analysis of fossil skeletons unearthed in a cave in Germany revealed that the two populations ...
The most exciting evidence to emerge was, however, of Mesolithic date. A series of pits were identified, including several clusters. These are themselves of considerable interest and importance as deliberately dug pits of this date have only rarely been identified. Their significance was, however, greatly enhanced by the identification of a 'buried soil', containing only material of Mesolithic date, and in some quantity, within a topographic hollow occupying an area of almost 1Ha.
The Mesolithic settlement was unearthed beside the modern A-road near Catterick, North Yorkshire. Flint tools dating between 6000 and 8000 BC were also found.
Spencer Carter's insight:
While it might be a terrible headline, the upgrading of the A1 to motorway status between Leeming and Barton (North Yorkshire) offered an opportunity to re-explore the Early Mesolithic site at Little Holtby. Previous evaluation work recovered flint tools of "Deepcar" type - thought to date a little later than "Star Car" obliquely truncated microliths and indicating a river-based mobility between east coast flint sources (chalk, beach and tills), the lowlands (Vale of Mowbray) and foothills of the eastern Pennines. The River Swale seems to have been a significant transit route throughout the Mesolithic.
Over the last couple of years, GUARD Archaeology teams led by GUARD Archaeologists Warren Bailie and Kevin Mooney, have discovered a range of prehistoric archaeology spanning 7000 years of activity, during excavations undertaken in advance of the A75 Dunragit Bypass in Dumfries and Galloway in south-west Scotland.
La Braña 1, name used to baptize a 7,000 years old individual from the Mesolithic Period, whose remains were recovered at La Braña-Arintero site in Valdelugueros (León, Spain) had blue eyes and dark skin. These details are the result of a study conducted by Carles Lalueza-Fox, researcher from the ...
Early Britons Ate Roasted Toads Sci-Tech Today Natural History Museum and University College, London, researcher Simon Parfitt said that the dig had provided experts a glimpse of a Mesolithic menu that also included fish, hazelnuts, berries, deer,...
This is a slightly delayed post about an extraordinary find that we made at the Bradford Kaims excavation towards the end of the Summer season. It has taken some time for us to work out the beginni...
Spencer Carter's insight:
This place is becoming increasingly interesting, with reasonably good organic survival. We seem to be somewhere between the very Late Mesolithic ("terminal" mesolithic) and very early Neolithic (ceramics present). Here's a project to watch very carefully.