Sheffield Year 2

27/6/13

The group have spent the last few weeks learning new archaeological techniques. These have included walk over survey, paced survey and today offset survey. Although there was not time in the session to complete full surveys of the area, the students got to try out plotting features in by measuring off a base line.

Explaining how to draw to scale for the offset survey

Explaining how to draw to scale for the offset survey

We then added some levels using a ‘dumpy’ level. Fortunately the stones we were surveying were located near a trigg point so a level could easily be found.

Taking a back sight to the trigg point

Taking a back sight to the trigg point

Taking a foresight to the stones we were surveying

Holding the staff so that a level could be taken

The learners enjoyed this session and were particularly pleased that they had had the chance to try out the level, something they had often seen being used but had never tried themselves. They were very good at making sure it was level and understanding the maths involved.

20/6/13

The group had a go at doing some experimental metallurgy with Giovanna Fregi today at Heeley City farm. Smelting tim they learnt how to make clay crucibles and moulds and how to build a fire hot enough to melt the metal. After a few practice runs with water ( to make sure no one got burnt) the learners were able to make their own small ingots in clay moulds.

Making the fire

Making the fire

Using Sheep skin bellows

Using Sheep skin bellows

The learners also got the chance to try out a reproduction bronze age axe and using a sheep’ss jaw as a saw.

Trying out a Bronze Age Axe

Trying out a Bronze Age Axe

The group also had a go at willow weaving.

Willow Weaving

Willow Weaving

2/5/13

The group looked at the buildings in Attercliffe and how they could identify buildings from different time periods.

Group drawing the once impressive Banners department store.

Group drawing the once impressive Banners department store.

18/4/13

The Sheffield group had their first session making comparisons with what they ghastly seen on Waddsley Common with the stone circle at Ewden Beck. They conducted their first walk over survey and were able to see how they could  use this method to locate features on a map.

The stone circle at Ewden Beck.

The stone circle at Ewden Beck.

Conducting a walk over survey.

Conducting a walk over survey.

14/3/13. Successful taster lesson launches the Sheffield Year 2 group.

Today Sheffield students got their first taste of the archaeology course which will be starting after Easter. After a brief introduction we all headed up to Waddsley Common to examine the landscape and have a go at interpreting it. Starting from the Long Lane carpark we started by looking a some interesting stones to the right of the path.

Discussing the erosion on large stone.

Discussing the erosion on large stone.

Students identified the remains of a stone wall and several interesting stone formations that they decided would be worth further investigation.

Interesting stone features?

Interesting stone features?

We also looked at the trig point and  the edge before heading into the coppiced silver birches. Here we discussed why the trees had been coppiced and found some more stone walls that appear to predate the trees.

The common is an exciting landscape and the students decided that it would be interesting to explore it further with their tutor Tim Cockrell.

Looking at the coppiced Woodland

Looking at the Woodland

Watch this space for blogs about the group’s work in the coming weeks.

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