Further Radiocarbon Dates in 2008
Radiocarbon dates have now been received for a number of projects.
Excavated Pits at Fruid Reservoir
The Fruid Reservoir dates are 3100±35BP and 3150±35BP. This first of these was obtained from coppiced seven year old hazel used in the construction of the walls of one of the two houses investigated on the site. The second result was obtained from birch, also from a wall context in the other building. These dates make the site mid-Bronze Age and correspond well with the age of the palstave found in the earlier of the two buildings. The work at Fruid is complete and a report is in preparation. However, in 2009, with the aid of a grant from the Robert Kiln Trust, received as a consequence of our Pitt Rivers Award 2008, we will commission further environmental investigation of the abundant charcoal retrieved from numerous features in both buildings.
Biggar Gap Project dates
Excavating the chert
As part of the Biggar Gap Project our work on a chert quarry site near the village of Broughton has yielded a date of 5220±35BP. This was obtained from hazel charcoal, found, with oak, at the base of the 2m deep quarry face. Extraction had been done using stone pounders, several of which were found dispersed in the quarry infill. It is possible that fire-cracking was carried out to open up the chert layers but no conclusive evidence for this was found. (Report in prep).
Excavation at Howburn
The fourth radiocarbon date we obtained this year is from a site near Melbourne crossroads. Dating was carried out on charcoal contained in one of a series of pits dug into glacial till and overlain by ploughsoil which had yielded a substantial lithic assemblage. The lithic material is being studied by Alan Saville of the National Museums and the results of his work will soon be available on this website.
As the date obtained was c.200 AD, it is evident that the pits have no connection with the lithic material recovered from the ploughsoil.