Friday, July 17, 2009

Another mention in 'The Times'

Thanks to Kate Dumycz, who unearthed this for us:

'Five excavations in £10,000 contest - Archaeology

Times, The (London, England)-July 26, 1988
Author: Norman Hammond, Archaeology Correspondent

Five excavations have qualified for the final of an original archaeological award aimed at rewarding clear explanation to the public. The projects have each been given £1,500 to spend on preparing for the final judging this summer. A £10,000 prize will go to the winner.

The Hepworth Award, set up by a Sheffield ironworks company, was announced last year (The Times, July 29), and was the first time that a major company had adopted archaeology as part of its marketing strategy, although both builders and a BMW dealership have found it useful at a local level recently.

More than 200 entries were received, but the five finalists are all well-known projects. The longest-established is the Crickley Hill excavation, of a neolithic and Iron Age fort on a spur of the Cotswolds near Gloucester, directed by Dr Philip Dixon, of Nottingham University. Crickley Hill was the first site to prove the reality of Iron Age longhouses, and the first to yield good evidence that the "causewayed enclosure" of the neolithic period more than 4,000 years ago were defensive earthworks.

Falling into the late Bronze Age, between the two major periods of occupation at Crickley, is Flag Fen, near Peterborough, where Mr Francis Pryor is excavating a large timber building preserved by waterlogging. Discovered in 1982 during survey of the drainage dykes, the position of the timbers below a layer of peat which was itself crossed by a Roman road showed a prehistoric date.

The other three projects are in towns, although of widely varying types: the Brooks excavation in the centre of Winchester, the Saxon capital of England, is a follow-up to the pioneering urban archaeology project directed by Professor Martin Biddle in the 1960s.

On half of the site, which is due for development, a Roman town house has been exposed, while on the other a series of medieval tenements includes the lavish house of John de Tytynge, a merchant, mayor and MP for Winchester who died in 1312.

In south-west Scotland, Whithorn is one of the cradles of Christianity in Britain, associated with St Ninian (367-432) and a pilgrimage centre with a flourishing medieval priory. The excavations have uncovered numerous burials and buildings, and among the explanatory items for visitors is Guthrum, "the resident Viking", who teaches children the finer points of handling sword, shield and scramasax.

Peel Castle, ancient seat of the Lords of Man and the Bishop of Sodor and Man, lies on an islet joined to the modern port of Peel, on the west coast of the Isle of Man. The traditional tourist industry of the island has been hard hit by the exodus to the Mediterranean, and archaeology is seen as one attraction for a more upmarket type of visitor.

Mr David Freke, of Liverpool University, has been digging at Peel since 1982, concentrating on the Lords House, the ruins of the seat of the Earls of Derby, who governed the island for centuries. Viking defences have also been found, together with numerous Early Christian burials and an early chapel.

All five projects, which are reported in the latest issue of Current Archaeology, will be open to the public this summer, during which they will be scrutinized by the judges. The Times will carry news of important discoveries at the sites.

Record Number: 1019084909
(c) Times Newspapers Limited 1988, 2003'

I wonder what the result was?

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