Good morning, we are continuing to wrap up October of the Time Team. This time the Time Team will have to look at under 5000 tons of stone for their excavation.
What was this site? It has been called everything from a stone-age homestead to a fortress. This site sits on a hill on a sheep farm. Its crumbling walls still provide an interesting puzzle. The site was nicknamed the castles. The Time Team will have to find a date and the function of this enclosure. A ditch may provide environmental evidence. What will the Time Team discover about this site? How many stones will the Time Team have to move to learn more about the site?
The Time Team converges on the site. Stewart is looking at the walls and geophysics is doing its work. An environmental archeologist looks at the ditches. There was a lot of curiosity about the site. However, the site has been investigated once and that was in the 1920s. The archeologist was local and he looked in the enclosure for internal structures. There were no internal structures. There were no finds made at the time. However, local sources seem to hint at fossilized trunks and flints found at the site. There were photos of the site made during the 1920s.
The Time Team starts moving stones away from the site of the gatehouse. Another trench will go in on a wall in hopes of finding datable evidence. Since it is a dry-stone structure, it is difficult to tell the difference between rubble and wall. Geophysics is having a little bit of difficulty with the trees and the stones so John will rely on the knowledge of a local farmer to find a place to start geophysics.
Tony catches u with David Mason a county archeologist to talk about the site. It is County Durham’s least understood site. There are a variety of stories about the site. The rock enclosure was home to a local tribe. The Romans used it as a penal colony where slaves were kept. Tony concludes that there were plenty of stories about the site that eventually people believed the stories. The variety of stories will prove to be a challenge for the Time Team.
Mick and Stewart talk with experts from English Heritage to talk about the possibility of the site being Roman. The experts do not necessarily believe that the site was Roman. That said, the trenches are progressing well. The entrance or gate site’s archeology is proving to be a challenge. Unfortunately, the site has provided no finds so environmental archelogy will take center stage. A third trench is put in on the south wall. Moving stone on trench three will be a huge job.
Phil is getting somewhere in trench one. Maybe he is hitting the original ground surface. Mick catches up with Phil to talk about the wall and the ground level. The interior is going to be cleared so that geophysics can find evidence of the site. At the end of Day One, there is a Time Team catch-up. They go over the photos taken in the 1920s. Mick seems to believe that it was a defensive site based on a small body of evidence. What were these walls protecting? Was it really a defensive site? What will the Time Team find out inside? Tune into the rest of this Time Team episode to find out more.
This would be an interesting show for a class on landscaping because environmental archeology took center stage. This would also be a good episode for a fun history day in the classroom.
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