New Field Work Dates for the Bradford Kaims Project

Three new dates have been set for field work out at our prehistoric wetland. The dates are Wednesday 17th October with follow up sessions on Wednesday 24th and 31st October.

Volunteers coring for soil samples at the site.

We plan to do some survey and return to the excavations of Trench 6, to try to get as much done as we can before the winter sets in. There may also be opportunities for field-walking depending on the availability of harvested fields, and as always there is the chance to do some filming.

Please come along if you can, dressed for weather, and wellies are recommended. As usual, no experience is necessary!

A somewhat better photo of the Bradford Kaims arrowhead with a scale.

If you would like to volunteer please send an email to Graeme Young at graemeyoung@bamburghresearchproject.co.uk or call him on 07711187651.
We very much hope to see you there!
If you are unfamiliar with the project please click here for more information. To look at our most recent video overview of the project please click here. You can also click on the ‘bradford kaims‘ tag to the right of the screen to see all the blog posts relating to the site.

Excavation Season 2012: Project Director’s Overview

Here at the BRP we are beginning to gear up for our annual training excavation at Bamburgh Castle and its environs, commencing June 3rd. Over the next few weeks we will hearing from staff about their hopes for the season. To kick start the blog thread Project Director, Gerry Twomey, tells us about his plans for the Media output this year.

Gerry’s Thoughts: Media 2012

Over the course of the year we have been looking into ways the project can develop it’s education potential. We have recently been accepted as one of the few independent non university providers of content to Apple’s iTunes U store, so we will be spending time over the season developing that site and creating content for future courses that we hope to make available to students as part of the BRP experience.

The popularity of Jo’s blog has led us to take a new approach to the project videography, with a view to producing more regular short on site video updates in addition to our long term project video record.

Gerry capturing the dig as it happens.

We’re gradually moving away from tape based media to SD and CF card formats which is a big change for us as we will soon no longer be generating a physical video archive.  The advantage is lossless high quality files that are easily labelled during capture, but they take up a great deal of disk space so we’ve decided to cross convert them to our standard HDV file formats. One of the problems BRP faces in the near future is the effective management of its digital data archives, which mainly comes down to the expense of large hard drives and their backups. Ultimately, our archives will need to be ingested into appropriate county archives. This season, we will begin to digitise the remainder of the tape archive that has previously not been digitised, with the aim of creating a master archive of the project video.

We’re hoping that more schools and volunteers will take up the media challenge to edit stills and video from the Kaims, and we will be hosting sessions for volunteers to have a go at crafting narratives from the existing footage, and video they generate themselves (To see an example of previous volunteer work click here). I’m also excited to be going up to the University of Stirling in the next few weeks to film the lab work associated with the coring that Richard Tipping and our volunteers have been doing recently. Click here to see the coring in the field.

The seemingly endless post-production of our feature length documentary about the Hope Taylor excavations is now roughly complete, pending narration and music recording. We hope to make the film available in the near future, at conferences and festivals, with a commercial release as the ultimate aim. This has been a labour of love for a long time and very many people have contributed to it over the years. It is to be hoped we will have a premiere in Newcastle before the 2013 season.

More to follow as the season draws near.

BRP students and their own projects

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at various projects which past and present BRP students and staff are currently involved with. Many times you will see how their experience with the Bamburgh Research Project has helped them in their current endeavors.

The first student to feature in this blog thread is Joseph Tong, a third year archaeology undergraduate from the University of Chester. Joe came to the project to work alongside Gerry Twomey, filming the archaeology and many of the social aspects of the dig.

Joe filming in Trench 3 at Bamburgh Castle

Joe writes “Working at Bamburgh, and in particular with Gerry, offered me the chance to learn and develop a new set of skills. I had been aware of the theoretical benefits of video-recording excavation via Hodder and Lucas since the first year of my degree. To witness for myself the process of recording archaeology and archaeologists, gave me a true understanding of the time and effort that goes into producing a video archive for recording a site and for outreach purposes. Gerry was always accessible for me to learn from and he gave a lot of his time whilst I learned an entirely new aspect of archaeological recording. This prompted me to devise a strategy of recording for outreach and is the focus of my undergraduate dissertation”

Joe is now involved with Project Eliseg, a research excavation run by the University of Chester and the University of Bangor in North East Wales. They are currently excavating a prehistoric man-made mound on which the 9th century monument, the Pillar of Eliseg, sits. To learn more about the project click here.

Joe Tong filming at Eliseg. Note the pillar in the background.

 Joe explains his role at Project Eliseg.

“In September 2011 I was involved as media supervisor for a small scale excavation at The Pillar of Eliseg, Llangollen. Each day involved recording what was going on in the trench for a daily video blog for upload to YouTube. The process of filming, editing and producing video involves a lot of thought and effort. Without going to Bamburgh I would never have had the chance to learn how media can complement archaeological excavation which I am now greatly interested in”.

Over the past few months Joe has been turning his daily video blogs into a short film, which introduces the site, the impetus for the excavation and the results of the 2011 season.

Project Eliseg Film