The voice of archaeology in Britain and beyond

Cover of British Archaeology 107

Issue 107

July / August 2009



Scottish dig has big surprise in the post

Urine to navel fluff: the first complete witch bottle

Celtic tankard adds value to Welsh treasure

In the press

In Brief & Phase 2


on the web

Recommended websites
Websites of univeristy archaeology departments and a community site for Digging Vindolanda.


your views and responses

CBA Correspondent

Some recent projects benefiting from Challenge Funding.

my archaeology

Simon McBurney is a writer and actor; his father, archaeologist Charles


ISSN 1357-4442

Editor Mike Pitts

CBA Correspondent

Campaigns, comment and communications from the CBA

Mike Heyworth introduces some recent projects benefiting from Challenge Funding.

Since 1997 the CBA has provided funding to some 200 research projects across the UK, mostly undertaken by small voluntary groups and societies. With the aid of financial support from English Heritage (or their HELM scheme, Archaeology Scotland and Historic Scotland, the CBA's Challenge Funding scheme distributes small grants of up to £750.

Challenge Funding is intended to encourage independent, voluntary effort in making original contributions to the study and care of Britain's historic environment. Groups, societies and individuals are challenged to put forward proposals for innovative projects which will say something new about the history of local surroundings and thus inform their future care. Proposals are judged on their intrinsic quality, and evidence of capacity to see them through successfully.

A condition of grants is that relevant results are made available to the general public through local historic environment records (HERs once known as sites and monuments records or SMRs).

Projects supported in recent years include:

Cornwall Archaeological Society Bodmin Moor Monitoring Project
To monitor and record the changing vegetation patterns imposed on the moor by external agencies, and their affects on the identified archaeological landscapes. The results will be used as evidence to debate the protection of such important landscapes.
• Dorset Castle Research Group
To identify, investigate, and where possible date the little known East Lulworth Norman castle, to place it in a historical and environmental framework. Although its exact location has yet to be determined, examination of documentary evidence, aerial photographs and fieldwork has established several potential sites for this castle.
• Peter Bone
Survey of historic textile finishing sites in Greater Manchester. Williams and Farnie surveyed Greater Manchester's cotton mills in the 1980s, but focused on spinning and weaving and gave only cursory mention of the finishing processes of bleaching, dyeing, printing etc. Many of the finishing works were architecturally less imposing than the mills but it is important that the sites are identified and recorded. Preliminary work suggests that there may be more than 500 of these sites in the area.
Norton Community Archaeology Group
To excavate the site of a deserted medieval village (DMV) in Churchwich Field, Norton, and working with North Hertfordshire district council to publish and present the results.
Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society
To provide practical training and equipment to the islandcommunity archaeology plan, and to assist with the recording of the island's archaeology to assist decision makers. To purchase geophysical survey equipment, provide training and recording facilities. To carry out a systematic, 10 year programme of geophysical and fieldwalking surveys of sites that are deemed under threat of destruction.
Bradstow School
To investigate the edge of a previously dug barrow in Kent, using a geophysical survey, small excavation trenches will be investigated and students will also be involved in digging, sieving and measuring. This will be a community project with helpers and others being invited to join in, including the local university, the amateur archaeology group and other local schools, mainstream and special needs (Autism), primary and secondary.
• Holystone History and Archaeology Group
This project aims to locate the Augustinian Priory in Holystone (Northumberland), by undertaking a geophysical survey of an area south of the existing church. It also aims to enhance the skills and understanding of the Holystone group in the field of geophysical survey.
The Westbury Society
A ">Q-pit" at Lodge Hill, Westbury-sub-Mendip (Somerset): to identify the nature, dating and function of an earthwork tentatively identified on the Somerset HER as a "bomb crater".
Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service
Community excavation of an 18th century latrine in Croome Landscape Park for Festival of British Archaeology.
Northern Ireland Archaeology Forum and The National Trust (NI)
To initiate Northern Ireland's first cooperative interactive event. The project will provide demonstrations of archaeological recording techniques and an opportunity for public participation, closely linked to NT research into the history and archaeology of the Castle Ward demesne. The project will draw together archaeologists and other specialists from Environment and Heritage Service, Built Heritage, Department of Archaeology, Queens University Belfast, Gridpoint Solutions Ltd (Surveying Company) and the Ulster Archaeology Society to demonstrate a proactive approach to a set archaeological research project, raise the profile of archaeology with the general public in the region and provide educational activities targeted to all age groups.
Braemar Castle Archaeological Records
A local community group is encouraging wider public participation, especially amongst the younger generations, by recording the many unrecorded archaeological features in the Braemar area. Training is provided to locate, identify and record sites associated with the castle and other historically important buildings. See also CANMORE entry and SCRAN images.
Luing History Group
To establish, through an underwater preliminary survey, whether the Sgeir Carnach, Isle of Luing (Argyll) shows evidence of having been a crannog. The site lies in a sheltered bay on the north-east of the small island 25km south of Oban. The survey will include a carbon dating test should any relevant organic matter be found.
Lanark and District Archaeological Society
To record a selection of farms and outbuildings with digital photography. To compare the existing farms and outbuildings through the use of both estate maps and Ordnance Survey maps, then produce a record for each surveyed farm and mount a small exhibition to travel around local museums and libraries.
North of Scotland Archaeological Society
The Ross-shire Rock Art project (PDF 238KB). Verification of existing records by ground truthing to add recent discoveries of rock art, to survey and record the art using the methodology developed by the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project (or information at Northumberland Council, and further prospection for rock art in Ross-shire, with the engagement of schools and local artists.
Margaret Jane Dunn
North West Wales Dendrochronology Project (Gwynedd). To identify, sample to date, and research the histories of many of the Tudor hall houses, cruck and Snowdoniastyle storeyed buildings and town houses across north-west Wales which have suitable original timber, and raise the awareness and involvement of local communities in the built heritage of the Welsh culture of the region. To share the results of the project widely, and thus hope to safeguard these elements of our heritage for future generations of local people and visitors.
• Mold and District Civic Society
To carry out a desk top survey on the Bailey Hill, Mold, the site of an early Norman (c 1095) motte-and-bailey castle which became the nucleus for the settlement and town of Mold.

How to apply

Details of the funding scheme, and other grants, are available at Applications can be made at any time and are considered by the CBA with additional information provided by two referees nominated by the applicant. The application process is deliberately kept "light touch", and the CBA aims to notify applicants of a decision within three weeks of receiving the referee's comments.

Mike Heyworth is Director of the CBA.

CBA web:

British Archaeology

Jan/Feb 2005
Mar/Apr 2005
May/Jun 2005
Jul/Aug 2005
Sep/Oct 2005
Nov/Dec 2005
Jan/Feb 2006
Mar/Apr 2006
May/Jun 2006
Jul/Aug 2006
Sep/Oct 2006
Nov/Dec 2006
Jan/Feb 2007
Mar/Apr 2007
May/Jun 2007
Jul/Aug 2007
Sep/Oct 2007
Nov/Dec 2007
Jan/Feb 2008
Mar/Apr 2008
May/Jun 2008
Jul/Aug 2008
Sep/Oct 2008
Nov/Dec 2008
Jan/Feb 2009
Mar/Apr 2009
May/Jun 2009
Jul/Aug 2009
Sep/Oct 2009
Nov/Dec 2009
Jan/Feb 2010
Mar/Apr 2010
May/Jun 2010
Jul/Aug 2010
Sep/Oct 2010
Nov/Dec 2010
Jan/Feb 2011
Mar/Apr 2011
May/Jun 2011
Jul/Aug 2011
Sep/Oct 2011
Nov/Dec 2011
Jan/Feb 2012
Mar/Apr 2012

CBA Briefing

Courses & lectures
CBA Network
Grants & awards

CBA homepage