Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Have a play! Have an online dig!

We're just back from our annual holidays (and very nice they were too)!

 Whilst I compose my thoughts and photos I was digging around on the internet and found this...for those of you who are interested in archaeology (and I know that I am) this is a fascinating website.

Archaeology happens in a variety of ways. I am still very much a 'newbie' at all of this so I hope that what I am saying makes sense:

1. You can have a dedicated dig e.g. Vindolanda, Maryport, Arbeia (South Shields), Binchester which will take place over many seasons (potentially).

2. You can have a rescue dig i.e.: where the archaeology is at risk of being lost if the dig does not take place - as happened over at Birdoswald Roman Fort where the Roman cemetery was literally disappearing over a cliff or an escarpment...

3. You can have a commercial development about to take place e.g. an office (think of City of London) or a motorway about to be built...then the developers have to work with archaeologists to see what can be learned about a site before it is developed. Timescales will be crucial here.

4. You can have protected or listed sites which have to be examined by archaeologists before anything (e.g. any building whatsoever) takes place - this may be rural or urban e.g. Bath, Aldborough (in Yorkshire).

5. You can also have one-off digs just to see what an area will reveal in archaeology (there may have been some indication of something there beforehand e.g. some finds turning up and/or local stories of what was thought to be there).

6. You can have digs at known historical sites to reveal different 'layers' of archaeological remains - in a bid to know more about that site.

7. I'm using "You" in the you plural - loosest sense of course!!! I'm sure there must be more categories but that's as far as I have got with my limited knowledge. If anyone can contribute more please feel free to do so. Also if I am talking absolute tosh please feel free to put me straight...my feelings won't be damaged - honestly. I can cope. ;-)

Anyway..I found this website just now - it's from the Highways website about the building/further development of the M62 motorway near Liverpool. I haven't seen anything like it before. Again if you know of more please let me know. If you have any children they might like a play at this too. There is a good variety of finds from different archaeological periods (and yes..some Roman...). So now folks....trowels at the ready...and to start digging: click here!  (For those of you who want to skip the archaeology, which would be a shame because there are some really good interactive bits, but just look at the finds from the dig...click here.)

Happy digging! :-)