Bradford Kaims Update

Our work at the Bradford Kaimes has been extended beyond the original two-week pilot into the remainder of the BRP season, under the daily direction of Jo Kirton and Rory Foster, BRP Archaeology Supervisors who bring the following update:

The Kaims has picked up momentum since our last blog entry. We’ve now opened six trenches thanks to the hard efforts of our volunteers. Each trench has been quite unique, which has left us scratching our heads over the last two weeks. We now have a pretty good grasp of the geology which has allowed us to excavate at a quicker pace.

We’ve found the lake edge in Trench 4, which has enabled us to orientate ourselves within the landscape. Trench 2, which has been very waterlogged, has produced some excellent paleoenviromental data, including birch bark and seeds. The extension to Trench 1 has been very productive as we have un-earthed a large piece of waterlogged wood, which was either washed onto the lake edge or fell where it originally stood. This is substantial enough to get a dendrochronology date from, which will potentially enable us to date the peat layer in which it sits. dendrochronology is a technique which uses tree ring growth to date timbers and logs. Each specimen is compared to known sequences, which will provide approximate dates. This past week, in-particular, has been very rewarding.

We’ve managed to record and close four of the six trenches and focus our efforts on Trench 6, which has produced our first evidence of human activity below the peat layer. This indicates that these features are of some antiquity. As it stands we are extending Trench 6 into a 3x6m area in order to follow these features and get a good look at the geology in which they sit. The first feature we unearthed was a stone lined pit, filled with rich organic, burnt material. This deposit has been sampled and will be put the flotation tank in order to retrieve the organic material. We also have large chunks of charcoal which we are hoping to get c14 dated. The extent is unknown as it is still partially covered by the section. Our second feature consists of several substantial, linear slabs surrounded by baked clay. Again the extent is unknown as it heads of in to the section.

Amongst these features we have had some interesting finds including our first burnt bone and worked flint, which appears to be debitage, a waste piece of flint struck from a larger piece as part of the tool making process.

Debitage from the Bradford Kaimes, with two pence coin for scale.

Reverse of the same object, with two pence coin for scale.

This is excellent evidence for human activity on the site and may be key to dating the features appearing in Trench 6. Furthermore, “it has been a great boost for people excavating at the site” – Rory Foster, Archaeology Supervisor

4 thoughts on “Bradford Kaims Update

  1. Damn, I am jealous ! All I am up to right now is avoiding the excrutiating heat until I go off to Michigan and begin digging holes in sand whilst the sun beats me into submission. This is such excellent news … well done to those slogging it out in the field.

  2. Pingback: Community Outreach with the Bamburgh Research Project « Archaeology, Museums & Outreach

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