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Book chapter

Ceramics and other small finds

2016

Abstract

At 318 pages, the volume is a comprehensive piece of work bringing together decades of archaeological work along the North Sea coastline and the results have already received national and international recognition in archaeological fields. Written by Clive Waddington and Clive Bonsall, the book includes details of the wildlife charity’s ‘Rescued from the Sea’ Project, the 13 week archaeological excavation project at Low Hauxley, situated at the north end of Druridge Bay during that summer. The sequence of excavations at Low Hauxley uncovered a truly remarkable archaeological site where layer upon layer of human history had survived in a discrete parcel of land as sediments had built up during the Holocene. Associated with the archaeological remains were rich paleoenvironmental deposits that contained a record of vegetation change and land use that could be correlated with the archaeological evidence. The remains date from the Mesolithic to the modern period and include particularly well-preserved features thanks to their burial under a metre of dune sand in a benign geochemical environment. The site is subject to severe coastal erosion and this volume disentangles the complex stratigraphy of the site and places it in its local and wider North Sea setting. The comprehensive radio-carbon dating programme is supported by detailed artefact analyses and in-depth of key historical processes affecting the wider North Sea Basin, including the arrival of narrow-blade-using Mesolithic groups from “Doggerland”, the presence of Early Neolithic farming groups, the arrival of the first Beaker-using people to the region and the farming intensification of the Bronze Age, together with Iron Age and Roman-period farming groups with access to Roman material culture despite being north of Hadrian’s Wall. Important environmental events are also documented including the development and subsequent burial of peats, catastrophic sand inundation following Bronze Age relative sea level high-stand and further episode of catastrophic sand inundation in the early medieval period and in the late or post-medieval period that could potentially correlate to the “Little Ice Age”. This project was a partnership between Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Archaeological Research Services, with financial support from Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, LEADER and UK Coal. This project was a partnership between Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Archaeological Research Services, with financial support from Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, LEADER and UK Coal.

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