About clevelandarchaeo

Cleveland Archaeology Trust is a portal for active community archaeological projects being undertaken by TimeVista Archaeology and colleagues in the Teesside and Cleveland areas south of the River Tees, ceremonially north-east Yorkshire. WEBSITE https://clevelandarchaeology.wordpress.com/ Our Cleveland projects enjoy grant support from the Big Lottery Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund as well as other charitable and philanthropic organisations. This site does not include projects being conducted by other voluntary or commercial groups. Our Mission | Connecting People With Place by promoting well-being, belonging and cultural value through sustainable Heritage and Archaeology.

John D Hastings Music partners with CAT | Donate today!

Dear Followers,

We’re proud to have a fund-raising partnership with John D Hastings Music. You can help!

John D Hastings is a singer, songwriter, lyricist – a working-class lad from a small industrial town called Eston, North Yorkshire and proud of it.

The fundraising song, When It’s Gone was launched on World Environment Day in June 2020. Proceeds from the moving song, from as little as £2 or bigger song bundles, are being donated to Cleveland Archaeology Trust (CAT) for ongoing community work in the ICE AND FIRE rescue project which began in 2017. You can listen to a short taster on the song webpage.

Never in history have we needed to care more for our natural landscapes and promote CAT’s mission of “Connecting People With Place by promoting well-being, belonging and cultural value through sustainable Heritage and Archaeology.”

Eston Hills are being ravaged by arson attacks and damaged by vandals. John writes “I grew up there and community group Friends of Eston Hills bought the land back for future generations to enjoy. The senseless destruction of important heritage sites and natural beauty inspired me to write this song. I want to empower people to band together, stand up for their environment when it’s under threat. Let’s use music as a positive and non-violent way to drive out this brutal anti-social behaviour. Before it’s too late.”

Donations will help us:

  • Provide community engagement for all: kids, parents, schools, walkers, dog walkers and their dogs, cyclists and more
  • Do more to protect our landscape, to preserve it for future generations
  • Continue to explore, discover, rescue and repair before our heritage is lost
  • We will report back, and we will celebrate a unique part of Britain!
  • Everybody in any part of Britain and the world can get involved – that’s our partnership mission

Please help us spread the word! If you would like to donate a larger sum, please get in touch.

Kind Regards,

Spencer Carter (Spence)
Managing Director

Music for our story | No Going Back

Dear Followers,

We wish everybody well during these extraordinary times. COVID19 has and will continue to have impacts on all of our lives, personal, professional, aspirations in many cases. Our heritage and archaeological ambitions are also on hold – not least for very practical reasons while on lock-down, but also because, understandably, grant funding bodies and our partner organisations such as Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum, are also impacted. The Heritage Lottery for example have frozen all grants and created a £50m emergency fund for heritage and museum organisations at risk. We must all wait and see.

Music Be The Food of Love

In the meantime, I’m delighted to share a recent song by John D Hastings, a native of Eston. This track here on Youtube, “When It’s Gone” is very moving, inspired by some of the challenges we have with arson and anti-social behaviour, launched on Earth Day 2020.

Words, Music and Vocals: John D Hastings. Piano: Ira Thomas. Recorded at Crown Lane Studios, Morden. Surrey

Peeking Into The Past

As a lock-down treat, here’s a fantastic picture, courtesy of © Adam Stanford of Aerial-cam.co.uk of three prehistoric round houses. While these are reconstructions at Castell Henllys, Pembrokeshire (2012), they resemble the cluster we have at Airy Hill within an enclosure dating to the Bronze Age or Iron Age, and revealed by geophysical survey in Field 7 last year. Don’t be deceived. Roundhouses are huge! Read more about the 2019 results »


I’m also delighted to have presented our projects, ICE & FIRE (Eston Hills) and REAPING TIME (Airy Hill) at the Lithics Studies Society 40th Anniversary Conference in Newark last October, and then again at their AGM at the British Museum. In an alternative to talking about prehistoric stone tools, the presentation focused with dramatic images on the community aspects of our projects: Archaeology For All with a little bit of shock-and-awe! That’s me in the back centre amongst national experts.Lastly for now, we also submitted an article about CAT, our work and ambitions, to the latest Teesside Archaeological Society Bulletin journal No. 24 (2020), published in February. While they’re updating their website (that’s me), you can download the journal for free here (PDF) »

And Finally

With more news to come, we have been successful with ongoing grant funding for an allied Mesolithic Transitions project, although dependent on university laboratories re-opening. Read more »You can register your interest in future involvement, without commitment. We’ll be sending news updates through the year.

Kind Regards,

Spencer Carter (Spence)
Managing Director

Cleveland Archaeology Trust is now registered and ready!

In a great start to 2020, Cleveland Archaeology Trust is registered in England & Wales as a Community Interest Company (CIC) no. 12441367. We now also have a business bank account, three directors including my colleagues Paul Docherty & Guy Forster, and a fantastic team of specialist advisors. We’re ready to make funding grant applications and seek donations for ongoing community projects in our patch of north-east England, hopefully continuing later in the year, after three amazing years of evaluations. See what we’re up to at https://clevelandarchaeology.com/projects/

  • ICE & FIRE | Eston Hills Rescue Archaeology Project
  • REAPING TIME | East Cleveland Community Archaeology Project
  • MESOLITHIC TRANSITIONS | Late Mesolithic Research Project in Westerdale
  • MORTON CARRS | Early Prehistoric Landscape Project

There’s a summary of our 2017-2019 evaluations around four project areas, published in Teesside Archaeological Society’s BULLETIN Journal 24, 2020 (see pages 26-43).

Evaluation Success – What’s Next?

All projects have enjoyed exceptional evaluation phases to scope future potential. We’re seeking permissions to proceed at Airy Hill for REAPING TIME, ahead of grant applications, all inter-dependent. A likely change in land management is a factor, as well as tying in to the agricultural calendar for excavation work, after crop removal in late summer. Similarly, land ownership has changed hands recently for access to Eston Hills, more likely for a 2021 re-engagement. The Westerdale research project, involving radiocarbon dating of peat samples, is in funding mode with one already successful. The research will indicate future possibilities for on- and off-site community activities.

You can register your interest in future involvement, without commitment. We’ll be sending news updates through the year.

Kind Regards,

Spencer Carter (Spence)

Cleveland Archaeology Trust | Fieldwalking at Airy Hill | 29-Sep to 04-Oct

CLEVELAND ARCHAEOLOGY TRUST is conducting field-walking around Airy Hill Farm, near Boosbeck, off the Cleveland Way footpath above Skelton Green (see below). Please forgive the very short notice due to constraints of the agricultural calendar and supervisor availability.

Sunday 29-Sep Informal Volunteer Drop-In Induction *RECOMMENDED*

“Where, why, how and what” with finds handling and registration for fieldwork.

Where: Tees Wildlife Trust, Margrove Heritage Centre, Margrove Park, Boosbeck, TS12 3BZ. Free parking and toilet facilities.
Time: Midday until 3pm (any time)

Field-walking Mon-30-Sep through Fri-04-Oct around 9.30am to 3.30pm

*NOTE* after the very wet weather on Sun-29-Sep, Monday may prove too muddy for field-walking, but we’ll assess that morning.

10-15 max volunteers aged 18+, age 11+ (but is school week) require parent or guardian presence (no dogs please). If we have more people we may either pair-up or do a “first come” selection. Suitable clothing for walking wet ploughed fields (wellington boots and a bin bag with change of shoes), food, fluids and sanitary hand treatment. A portaloo is provided, insurance covered for third party liability.

Gather at 9.00am at the bottom of the Cleveland Way / farm track (not on the track please) at Skelton Green. The walk from there to the farm is moderate but not long; it is derivable but rather rough. We have a 4×4 which seats three, and can do runs to the farm house HQ area. Please do not enter any fields unaccompanied.

Apologies again for the very short notice. There will be more chances – and much more fieldwork – next year, grant funding dependent. We also aim to present our results so far at community and school venues through the winter and Spring 2020.

Kind Regards,
Spencer Carter (Spence)

Neolithic Journey | Eston Hills arrowhead is well-travelled!

A late Neolithic arrowhead, a Ripple-flaked Oblique type more than 5000 years old and discovered in the 1980s, has always stood out amongst other finds because of the unusual quality of the flint and fine working. It’s tip and tail are both missing. Interestingly, a similar large example was found in the same vicinity, now in the Duffy collection at Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar. It is broken in the same way and has been burnt. The find spots are adjacent to a large, intact burial mound close to the Carr Ponds wetland at the north-western end of Eston Hills above Teesside, north-east England. While these burial mounds usually date to the Bronze Age, it is possible that some are of earlier date, before the arrival of copper and bronze metalwork.

ZAP! Science and lasers

The arrowhead was examined by Dr Tom Elliot of the University of Worcester and included in the analysis stage of his doctoral research¹, which investigated the geological source of Mesolithic artefacts from the Lower Wye Valley region of the Anglo-Welsh border. We’re extremely grateful to Tom for his help and interest.

This used Laser Ablation Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and was conducted at the University of Oxford Department of Earth Sciences.

The results were compared to over 1200 analyses of geological samples from 21 bedrock sites from across the Chalk, as well as 14 sites that sampled a range of superficial deposits, such as river terrace gravels and glacial tills, centred on the Severn Valley and Estuary.

Statistical analysis indicates strongly that the arrowhead comes from the geology represented in the samples from Beer Head in Devon, and importantly discounted other geological sites sampled in Tom’s research.

Map of Chalk bedrock sample sites overlaid on White and Grey (darker green) Chalk and OS 50m DTM (click to enlarge).

FH – Flamborough Head, ER – Enthorpe Railway Cutting, WW – Welton Wold Chalk Pit, TC – Trimmingham Cliffs, CS – Caistor St Edmund Chalk Pit, BC – Brandon Country Park (superficial deposit samples), KC – Kensworth Chalk Pit, AR – Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, SL – South Lodge Chalk Pit, FG – Fognam Quarry, WB – Winterbourne Chalk Pit, BX – Boxford Chalk Pit, PF – Pewsey Hill Farm, LB – Langdon Bay, Dover, BM – Blick’s Mead/ Vespasian’s Camp (superficial deposit samples), WH – West Harnham Chalk Pit, SQ – Shillingstone Quarry, PH – Peacehaven Steps, BH – Hooken Cliff/ Beer Head, BP – Ballard Point, WN – White Nothe. © Tom Elliot.

While further investigation is needed to sample more geological material, particularly from the Teesside region, much of this material can already be ruled out by macroscopic visual comparison as it is often speckled and different to that of the artefact. The flint which occurs in our regional beach and glacial till deposits originated in chalk beds under the present North Sea (formerly Doggerland) and in neighbouring continental Europe, carried by the glaciers of the last Ice Age more than 12,000 years ago.

The implications of the results suggest that the arrowhead, or the material it was made from, travelled c.450km from the source at Beer Head in Devon, to the Eston Hills in North Yorkshire, putting it on a par with other widely distributed lithic materials during the Late Neolithic such as polished stone axes.

Thank you for reading — more news soon!

– Spencer Carter
Cleveland Archaeology Trust Project Team

¹ Elliot, T. (2019) The Mesolithic in the Marches: Geochemical Lithic Sourcing in the Lower Wye Valley. Unpublished PhD thesis. Worcester: University of Worcester.