Digging is Underway for 2010!

Welcome to the 2010 excavations of the Bamburgh Research Project!

This season, we’ll be digging from the 7th June to 1st August inclusive. Work got underway on Monday morning and we’re currently working hard to clear our trenches of the debris and vegetation that has encroached over the off-season period. 

What are we planning this season?

The 2010 season of archaeological work to be undertaken at Bamburgh will build on previous seasons within the two major excavation trenches and the post excavation processing. The BRP is also welcoming film crews from the BBC and Time Team this year, who’ll be filming with us later in the season. 

Trench 1

Excavation within Trench 1 will continue concentrate on the gradual reduction of the medieval deposits in the southern half of the trench with the long term aim of revealing more of the early medieval buildings encountered during earlier seasons in the northern part of the trench. It’s hoped that the late early medieval layers will be reached by the end of 2010 so that that the work on the building can commence in 2011.

The excavation will be conducted within the present bounds of the trench and no extension of the trench is proposed. Archaeology Supervisor Neal Lythe will be heading up the excavation team in Trench 1.

Trench 3

Having successfully identified the expected later medieval features intruding in the late early medieval layers (10th to 11th century AD) currently under excavation, the 2010 season will concentrate on investigating and characterising the metal producing layers at the south end of the trench as well as identifying other potential features. These will need to be localised in outline and the burnt layers or deposits investigated to identify, where possible, the nature of the activity that produced them. 

The aims of the season are to continue to reduce present levels towards those reached by Brian Hope-Taylor during his excavations in the West Ward in the 1960s and 1970s. Our ultimate intention is to join up the two sequences.

As with Trench 1, we aren’t planning any extensions to the trench. Archaeology Supervisor John Castling is in charge of the excavation work in Trench 3 this season. 

Inner ward

This season, Time Team will be joining us for a week in July. During the course of their time at Bamburgh it’s been proposed by Time Team that a principle area of geophysical investigation may be the Inner Ward. Preliminary discussion with Graeme Attwood of Geophysical Surveys of Bradford (GSB) has led to the possibility of an extensive radar survey being undertaken in the hope of identifying buried masonry structures. Watch this space for results!

Lidar-type survey

A site-based laser survey of the castle has been proposed by Digital Surveys to the BRP.  We’re hoping to welcome the LiDAR team in the first week of excavation. We’ll tell you more about the survey later in the week.

Keep checking back with us – we’re aiming to update several times daily this season so that you can keep as up to date as possible with out work and our finds!

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