Howburn Excavation Update 7 June 2009


Castlecraig Cubs excavate at trench
Castlecraig Cubs excavate at trench

First 100 metres completed

We have now completed 125 square metres beside the road, and have completed the first full 100metre block. The general picture is a scatter of flint and chert, the flint probably mostly being Upper Palaeolithic and the chert being Mesolithic. The tally for the 100m is around 240 flint including some fine tools and snapped tools, 1200 chert including at least one microlith, and thirteen pieces of Arran pitchstone

A couple of volunteers show the tools they have found
Irene and Leigh Ann show the tools they have found

We are convinced that the pitchstone is Early Neolithic based on numerous sites we have worked on (see the pitchstone report here), where it is found and dated in association with pottery and stone axe fragments. It was hardly surprising that in Grid No 1 four Early Neolithic sherds were found – and a piece of pitchstone, and in a nearby grid, a chunk of Langdale Pike (Group VI) was found.

Several flint tools have been found by the kids at the site of Trench No 1 and I am happy to announce that we have finally re-established the trench on the ground. This allows us to continue with that area where we know the main concentration lies, we shall resume work there on the weekend of  20th and 21st June to celebrate mid summer (if we ever get one!). During the first two weeks in July there will be the opportunity to work during the week as well as at the weekends. If you would like to come along then please get in touch by using the contact form we will be there most days so best to check.

John and Rosie Wells demonstrate Kite photgraphy in action.

It was particularly interesting to have John and Rosie Wells visit the site and to demonstrate pole and kite photography to us. If you want to know more about this fascinating way of recording, visit their web site at

In the meantime thanks to all who have helped, we have people from Newcastle, Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh and lots of places in between, it has been a magnificent effort so far but please help us to complete this important work.