Time flies …..

So I’ve only recently realised how long its been since my last post!  I’ve been pretty busy working in commercial archaeology since June.  I’ve been working on various sites, mostly excavating Iron Age features.  I wasn’t sure about going back into field archaeology full time…for one thing, it’s getting cold!  So far its mostly been enjoyable and I feel my digging skills have improved.

I’ve also been up to some other things which I’ll catch you up on.  Since I’ve finished my PhD I’ve been working on various publications which have come out of my research.  I’ve been collaborating on a publication on the Church Lawton barrows (Cheshire), I’m also (supposedly) working on a paper about the radiocarbon dates which have come out of the project for which this blog is named!  Despite my good intentions, I’ve not got as far as I would like!

A month or so ago I had a little trip to the Grosvenor Museum in Chester to collect some samples so that Clare (a UCLan colleague) and I can do a thorough analysis of the cremation slag which I found in some of the Church Lawton North cremations.  Cremation slag is thought to be created from silica bearing soils and pyre material.  Our initial analysis (carried out during my PhD) using portable XRF seems to confirm that the material is cremation slag.  A portable XRF for those of you who aren’t familiar with this technology is basically a very nifty gadget which resembles an original Star Trek phaser.  The portable XRF ‘zaps’ most materials then sends read outs of  the different elements which make up your substance.  Hopefully when we’ve completed this analysis this will be yet another publication.

I’ve also been to Belfast recently to speak at the Bronze Age Forum.  My talk was about looking at social age and gender within the sample of burials in my PhD, and how it can be useful to think about different kinds of identities.

So to sum up its mostly been non-stop lately!

Hopefully I shall be writing more posts soon as I am taking part in the Blogging Archaeology carnival.  The site for this can be found here http://dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/blogging-archaeology/

Be back soon….ish!  I shall leave you with an image of something interesting I excavated in an Iron Age square barrow.cow1

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