Friday, 3 June 2011
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Friday, 4 March 2011
I've written a new draft introduction to the report, and I'm now part way through re-writing the chapter describing the contexts. I'm trying to make it a little easier to read and understand, outlining the features by cutting, and then summarising the buildings in a subsequent section. I'm also currently going through cross-referencing the finds from the buildings, though I anticipate that most of the info. will have to remain within the separate chapters (e.g. ceramics, metalwork, etc.)
Still after volunteers to help in producting matrix diagrams neat enough to go in the volume, and anyone fancy dong some nice reconstruction drawings / digitising plans?
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
I first created a period site matrix diagram in 1997 using a roll of lining wallpaper - I think it was about 13' long, and an absolute nightmare. Then came the Harris programme - though it has problems, it's OK (mainly 'cos it's free). Better than wallpaper, anyhow, which eventually disintegrated.
I was able to save my efforts (as a bunch of TIFFs) on Omega zip disks, although when the Zip drive contracted the dreaded clickling death (before CD writers became readily available) I was no longer able to access these.
So, I had to start redoing the matrix diagrams, though I managed to procure a volunteer for a few days (thanks to Steve for helping out on this).
If anyone has time to help in continuiny this task, please contact me...
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
(Click on the title of this post to access the site, or click: http://crickleyhillad.community.officelive.com/default.aspx)
The finds image database will be available through that site, as will descriptions and interpretations of the Roman and Early Medieval archaeology at Crickley Hill
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
If anyone would like to know more about matrices and stratigraphy, check out Harris' book - now available online:
And there's a free program available online, that I use for doing the Crickley matrices:
Sunday, 11 July 2010
There are still plans to digitise, and if any one is based in north Gloucester (which I am not), several hunderd sherds of pottery need sorting and weighing.
If you have other archaeological skills to offer - please let me know!
After completing my other work, I'll now be able to include lots of (what to me at least are exciting!) discoveries in the CH hillfort reoccupation report. I've spent the last 10 years staring at plans of hearths etc., with questions of ethnic and cultural identity, so some of this may get into the P3c - 4 (LPRIA - Early Medieval) report - in small doses.
As for the report: I've started re-writing the introduction, in which I hope I'm now a bit more forceful in saying just how important this site really is!
I'm finding the application of modern policies on archaeological report writing rather challenging (primarily due to the excavations being undertaken before these strategies were in place), but I'm finding the structure quite helpful. At the same time, I'm aware that I have to try to make this report a 'good read' - I have my work cut out, notwithstanding the interesting nature of the site!
While I still have access to ArcGIS through Sheffield, I've also again been looking at the site in its wider context - hopefully I'll be able to have access to this programme in the future, although at present, the costs suggest not.
And I'm creating a website relating to periods 3c - 4, so that any one so interested may be able to have easy access to both data and interpretations. However, as a fully functional site that can contain databases will cost, and I'm not earning at present, this site will initially be limited to a basic version of what is to come when I've been able to secure the necessary funds. I'll post the address as soon as it's finished.
Friday, 20 November 2009
This database requires a little more work from me (to fill in a few details from my research notes), but in the mean-time, please let me know if you would find it useful to take a look at it.
I'm hoping online access can soon be achieved...
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Friday, 12 June 2009
The main dating evidence for the rampart settlement (providing a late 4th century - but more probably 5th century, consideering the wear and repair tpq) is the type IV buckle (bottom)
This is very similar to the only other example of this type from Britain, found at Catterick (top: photo taken through the cabinet at the BM). They also seem to have the same metallurgical composition. The crickley version has no frame, however, which may have been removed at some point - microscopic analysis would possibly demonstrate this
Friday, 24 April 2009
Thursday, 2 April 2009
Grog or clay pellet tempered sherds from the rampart settlement (top and middle), and one from a midden deposit near to the western (palisade enclosed) settlement (bottom). In an area of Period 4 activity, but possibly prehistoric.
The bottom sherd might be later 'soft pink grog tempered ware', but there a a few problems with this interpretation. For one, they felt handmade, not wheel-made. The bottom sherd felt soapy, the others more sandy; I can't recall micaceous fabric. In either case, I don't recall the inclusions being particularly angular (they may instead be clay pellets), or the presence of other inclusions, and the sherds were thick-walled. No grey core, either. Although within the distribution zone for 'pink grog tempered', it is outside that of 'late Roman grog tempered' (which is mainly S/SE); though the latter type is often described as 'soapy', the fabric is more commonly dark (grey, brown, or black). Possibly they're (or at least the sandy, buff sherds) earlier (C1) local grog tempered ware? Any ideas?
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Take a look what Henry can do, on his own website:
3D building reconstructions will really help show how buildings related to one another on the site, as well as visually represent hypotheses of the types of buildings that were in use during this time. This will tell us a lot about how people lived and interacted during the post-Roman period on this site
Henry will be using the data and interpretations from the initial report, as well as consulting previous CAD plans. Google SketchUp may be used to illustrate these buildings, and hopefully they will be publically accessible on a future website
When doing my previous interpretations, I consulted architects and civil engineers, as well as looking at previous building reconstructions, to try and determine the forms of the building superstructures, but there's still much unknown. It is hoped that we might use these computer models in future experimental archaeology
PS there's still more CAD of the ground plans to be done, if anyone would like to volunteer for this task - training will be given. This would really help in producing the 3D illustrations
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Kathy's going to interpret the initial report to help complete the dark age context database (which will go in the appendix of the new report), and then (re-)produce some matrix diagrams for the report and a possible site website - thanks Kathy!
Friday, 30 January 2009
These fragments of grass-tempered loom weights come from the settlement activity in the area of the hillfort entrance, and look to me suspiciously like the Saxon examples from Bourton.
This of course alters the interpretation of activity within that particular area - particularly as sporadic middle Saxon metal work has been found on site
Or maybe the Crickley locals were so enthused by immigrant weaving techniques that they undertook a little industrial espionage?!
Does anyone know of other local parallels?
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Henry has already dispensed some good IT advice. We now have a Google Group - this provides greater storage capacity to make data more easily accessible to volunteers etc.
Pete is presently grappling with recreating the matrices in a readable format (I remember dealing with the matrices as a pretty intense job!)
Thanks to Steve for his recent proof-reading, and for trying to keep me on the grammatical straight & narrow!
I'm currently trying to convince Tom to do a reconstruction of the Dark Age village in oils, before he goes off to Ruskin - he's still reluctant (being a portrait, rather than landscape, man!). Maybe he thinks it'll be worth too much in a few years time?! ; )
Thanks again to all!
PS. from next week I'll be teaching for a few months, so may not be able to respond as rapidly as usual to enquiries, though will respond ASAP
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
If there any other students of related subjects also wish to voluteer (& gain valuable archaeological post-excavation experience in the process!) - particularly to help finish digitising plans - please contact me
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
For Dark Age enthusiasts, I've posted pics of the rather enigmatic grass-tempered pot - is it 'Saxon'? Is it 'British'? Does it have any ethnic sugnificance at all? What is its economic role? What is its date? These questions have puzzled students of the 'Dark Ages' for some time now, so I'd like to hear from anyone doing reserach in this field.
This particular sherd looks very similar to the one sherd from 'British' sites that I've been able to come in close contact with in my search for comaprisons (from Cad Cong, pinned to the the wall of Bristol Museum). The Crickley e.g. has mica-rich fabric, and was not found within the 'lower-status' settlement. I'm wondering if this fabric was seen as elite?
Other sherds are (according to Alan V) of macroscopically different fabric to the sherds from 'Anglo-Saxon' sites, though thier globular form is perhaps more 'barbaric' that RB forms. This pot (there were at least 2 of this type) has a leathery surface - quite tactile, in fact!
So, how does this compare with GT from AS sites? I've only really been able to access later wares from the region, which were much harder fired and often sandy, though I'd be interested to hear about earlier local finds.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
(There's a link to the CHR blog in the blog list to the bottom right of this page)
If you're doing a BA in archaeology, perhaps this could count towards your archaeological experience instead of field work?? Also, if anyone is a whiz with ACad, and fancies doing some digital reconstruction drawings, let me know!
Friday, 31 October 2008
Nothing much to report - still working on the finds database. However, the discovery of a piece of daub from one of the western settlement enclosure fence postholes leads me to question the finish of this palisade. This had clearly been wrapped around wattle, and was unusually made of the same ceramic fabric as the P4 phase A pottery found across the site. I shall re-examine any daub from the fill of other fence postholes in due time, but has anyone come across anything similar on a contemporaneous site?
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Here's what I've found out so far (please let me know of any errors!):
The site report for the Roman Tilery site at St. Oswald’s Priory, Gloucester (Heighway and Parker 1982: 25-77), indicates the presence of local wheel-made BBI pottery in hard, sandy fabric from sub-Roman levels (ibid. 46). Further examples of later local BBI were sought. Local production of Roman pottery has been noted with increasing frequency at the end of the Roman state in
Various centres have produced examples of BBI in local Grey Ware fabric, including the Thames Estuary region and a separate fabric noted in the South of Britain (Tyres 1996: 182). Distribution of BBI had reached the South, West, and lower
It has been established that the Oxford Ware industry had developed a tradition of imitation BBI (Young 1977: 205) to include the ‘dog-bowl’ form similar to that from Crickley. Later versions included the type R53, which bears a similarity to the form of the Crickley bowl, and has been dated to AD 240-400+ (ibid. 221, fig. 82). However, the Crickley example bears traces of a second beading on the rim, of which the most comparable example is from Birdoswold, dated to c. AD 350-400 (Gillam 1968: 71, no. 321), although this form is deeper. This latter form gained popularity during the later Roman period, with all kiln finds extant from the end of the 4th century or later, with local production possibly limited to the end of the Roman period (Young 1977: 206). Kiln sites include Cowley, St. Luke’s Road, Allen’s Pit, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Churchill and Foxcombe Hill, Dorchester and Garsington, Sandford and Shakenoak, Oxfordshire, the latter datable to c. AD350-420 and AD350-400 (ibid. 247, 248, 252, 352).
Further examples of BBI from late 4th – early 5th century levels are not unknown, the most notable examples being located at Poundbury,
[i] Pers. comm. Phil Greatorix,
[ii] Pers. comm. Alan Vince; J. Timby (1986: 63). Non-local grey coarse ware, wheel made micaceous. C3 introduction into
[iii] Pers. comm. Ron Firman.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Considering the inclusion of occasional local grey ware sherds within the fabric of the mound, perhaps from the (re)construction of the buildings in the rampart settlement during phase 2 of period 4 - constructed as 'scoops' within the ground surface - provided material for the mound? This would place the monument within the post-Roman period. There are few other finds, although this might be expected given the general 'poverty' of the site?
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Thursday, 14 August 2008
In the initial (MA) report, a number of pieces of semi-circular copper-alloy binding were listed as cup mounts, although are perhaps as likely to be Roman period shield bindings, or even from military helmets, i.e. trim from neck-guards and cheek-pieces, dating to the 1st century AD (notwithstanding comparable e.g.s from post-Roman sites in the west).
This has implications for the dating of the buildings in which fragments were found in the rampart settlement, and for the significance of military equipment in ritual deposition (considering the presence of fragments in the Long Mound)