REPORTS AND DATA
Project reports and data will be made available free and open access. They will be uploaded to the University of Cambridge's Apollo digital repository as they become available. They can be accessed via the links below and also via http://doi.org using the reference numbers below.
Because some projects plan to publish their results in journals, the articles and data may take a little while to appear here.
Over the last twenty years, digital technology has made great inroads into archaeological work in the UK. The last major part of archaeology which remains largely paper-based is fieldwork. This project reviewed 35 digital tablets which might be suitable for recording archaeological data in the field. This report is a non-technical review. It makes no recommendations about tablets suitable for use in UK archaeology. Rather, it outlines factors archaeological units need to consider when adopting tablets, along with the information systems they need to work in, if tablets are to be effective and efficient tools. Attached to the report is a spreadsheet with details of the 35 tablets reviewed by the project team.
Download: Report only (PDF)
DOI: 10.17863/CAM.54844 (includes report and product data)
Archaeology on Furlough (AoF) involved volunteers gathering together and analysing large volumes of archaeological data on a wide range of themes. Inadvertently, it became a test for how easy it is for archaeologists to obtain information they need. To understand more, AoF volunteers were surveyed about their experiences when locating, obtaining and using archaeological information. The report includes suggestion about how commercial archaeological units in particular might improve the grey literature reports and monographs.
Download: Complete report (PDF)
Sheepfarming has had a profound effects on the economy, culture and landscape of the Scottish Borders for hundreds of years. This project identified and catalogued sheep-related sites in the Lammermuir Hills—primarily sheepfolds, as well as sheep dips, sheep houses and other livestock enclosures.
Using aerial photographs, historic maps and lidar data, the project team documented 860 sites These have all been catalogued and sorted into different types of structures. This data was further analysed using GIS software to understand more about where these were positioned in the landscape. This highlighted a preference for sites lower than 100m altitude, as well as proximity to roads and water.
The project report also includes an extensive discussion of placenames in the Lammermuir Hills related to sheep raising.
There is also a 25-minute video presentation about the project on YouTube.
Download: Complete report (PDF)
Brittni Bradford, David Connolly, Lily Hawker-Yates, Hanka Kdolska, Cas Paice, Gemma Scott, Maria Bellissimo, Timothy Jones and Sorcha Maddern
Across eastern and central England, excavations of Roman sites have uncovered rows of parallel trenches which are usually interpreted as remains of cultivation systems. Their use is disputed. This project gathered a large sample of excavation reports, and analysed the trenches’ characteristics, contents and relationships to other contemporary Roman features. The project team identified 52 sites—over twice as many as the most recent survey. While these features show characteristics of house garden beds described by Roman authors, they are much larger, capable of supporting hundreds of people with vegetables. One possible interpretation is that the planting trenches might have been established to support the Roman army during the first century of the Roman occupation, and positioned close to roads in order to provision troops on manoeuvre.
Download: Report only (PDF)
Emily Brewer, Robbie Luxford, Joseph Losh, Rachel Fosberry, Michael Richards, Clare Jackson-Slater and Ashleigh Brewer, and Rob Wiseman.
Investigating burials proved to be very popular amongst volunteers, with four teams working in parallel to record the contents of graves as well as injuries to skeletons. The teams focussed on two of Britain's most thoroughly excavated counties: Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire. They recorded burials chiefly from the Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods, with a few burials from the Iron Age included as well.
In total, the volunteers recorded over 4,000 burials in detail—roughly half the total cemetery populations in the two counties for the periods investigated. The data will provide future researchers with huge datasets to explore a host of topics.
Download: currently being prepared for public release.
Veronica Abadie, Dominic Allen, Theodora Anastasiadou, Kerry Barrass, Brittni Bradford, Emma Brownlee, Hannah Burke, Julian Carty, Elena Citterio , Brett Colburn , Summer Courts, Liz Davies , Kinga Durczak, Emma Forber, Stacy Hackner, Megan Howard, Sarah Gallagher, Sally Jones, Jenny Loader, Martin Musgrove, Lauren Neal, Juan Palomeque-Gonzalez, Taria Partyka, Sadie Powell, Casimir Radvan, Alessandra Riva, Phoebe Ronn, Megan Seehra, Dani Shacklock, Jo Shoebridge, Alice Short, Amanda Talboys, Isabella Thompson, Miranda Veinot, Susan Walker, Natalie Wilson, and Rebecca White
Aurochs were a breed of wild cattle which roamed prehistoric Europe. In Britain, they became extinct around 1500 BC. They were hunted by humans, who also competed with the aurochs for land and water.
In recent decades, research into Britain's vanished aurochs has relied on a list of about 200 sites where their bones have been recovered. A huge search by the project team added a further 450 sites, spanning all of Britain and also a few examples dredged from the drowned lands in the North Sea and English Channel. This huge dataset will provide much information on the types of environments favoured by aurochs, as well as insights into the reasons for their extinction.
The team are now preparing their results for formal publication in a major archaeological journal.
Download: Report only (PDF)
DOI: full data will be released with formal publication of findings.
Chloe Akhurst, Justin Ayres, Linda Marie Bjerketvedt, Alex Blanks, Sara-Jayne Boughton, Lewis Greenway, Harriet Guinn Jennings, Wendy Howard and Siobhan McKenna, with much-valued specialist input from Ewan Chipping, Lizzy Wright and Peter Rowley-Conwy.
Henges were dug in Britain from the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC to maybe 2000 BC)—roughly the same time as the other more famous circular monuments of the time: stone circles. But surprisingly little is known about henges, in part because until recently, most were only known through aerial photography comparatively few had been excavated. That has changed in the last twenty years with the growth of commercial archaeology.
The team set out to gather examples of excavated henges, focussing on the northern and eastern parts of Britain where they are mostly clustered. The volunteers found 85 excavated examples, and are now expanding their search area to cover the remainder of Britain. Their database records details of each monument, and will doubtless will be the foundation for further research into henges for years to come.
Download: Map of excavated sites (PDF)
Lauren Devereux, Daniel Firth, Penelope Foreman, Moyra Simon, Mary-Anne Slater, Kimberley Teale and Amanda Wintcher
Most research into Anglo-Saxon houses conducted before 2000 had to focus on the south and east of England, where the bulk of excavations took place up until then. But over the last twenty years, the huge acceleration in discoveries by commercial archaeological units has seen many more examples found across England and Scotland.
In this project, the team focussed on buildings excavated in the Midlands, Northern England and southern Scotland. They identified over five hundred structures, and analysed about half in detail. Many were typical of the rectangular timber-built houses and 'sunken featured buildings' typical of southern Britain, but the volunteers also identified regional variations, along with large halls, tiny shepherds' huts, and granaries.
Gillian Allmond, Megan Cameron-Heffer, Clemancy Cooper, Heather Dawson, Claire Gamble, Brigid Geist, Lucy Johnson, Elanor Pitt, Amanda Talboys and William Wyeth.
Prehistoric barrows dot the uplands of Dartmoor—one of Europe's best-preserved Bronze Age landscapes. While most barrows were built over graves, archaeologists have long suspected that their prominent size and position in the landscape mean they had other functions in the past as well.
A team of volunteers experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) explored some of these hypotheses using data supplied by the Dartmoor National Park, along with lidar data from the Environment Agency. They confirmed that some barrows appear to be clustered along routeways between prehistoric settlement and in less-visible parts of the landscape.
Other members of the team scoured lidar images for upstanding archeology not already recorded in the National Park's Historic Environment Record.
Lewis Allan, Ann Bojko, Phoebe Ronn, Eleanor Winter and Kevin Wooldridge.
Most art in later British prehistory consists of decoration—on objects as diverse as pots, metalwork, bone and ornaments. Almost all of it consists of geometric patterns, with almost no realistic depictions of people or animals.
The project team are developing a cognitive model to explain the development and spread of British decorative styles from the early Neolithic through to the end of the Bronze Age (roughly 4000 to 800 BC). It focusses on the mental simulations people created when creating patterned baskets and weaving, and how these were then transferred onto other objects. They are also contrasting this with he entirely different circular and spiral motifs which appear almost entirely limited to rocky panels and stone-built tombs.
Rachel Hosier, Cecilia Levratto, Rhiannon Pettitt, Lauren O’Toole, Phil Stastney, and Craig Stewart, with the invaluable expert input of Brendan O’Connor.
A personal reflection on Archaeology on Furlough, written by its creator and coordinator, Rob Wiseman.
The report provides detailed advice on setting up and running online projects in archaeology, with detailed information on recruitment, promotion, resourcing, guidelines, and templates. The report presents a timeline of AoF from inception in March 2020 following lockdown , through the work of over 100 volunteers into 2021. The retrospective also assesses the programmes' achievements against AoF's three goals—(a) to provide archaeologists with peer support during lockdown; (b) to provide early career archaeologists with training opportunities; and (c) to synthesise archaeological data and make results publicly accessible.
The report also contains all key project documents used in AoF, including the welcome pack, guidelines on running online groups, and all the templates for recording data and writing up the findings.
Download: Report and resources (PDF)