bits not bricks: an archaeological reconstruction

Featuring the first ever mention of my PhD on this site.

My PhD research is on the analysis of non-ferrous early medieval alloys from three cemeteries at RAF Lakenheath excavated by the lovely people at the Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service (SCCAS). Because of a confidentiality clause in my funding (not inserted by SCCAS or Cardiff University) I’m not allowed to blog or communicate it without first submitting the text for approval, hence why none of my research has ever appeared here.

I didn’t mind this clause too much as the Suffolk County Council (SCC) website used to have a series of very interesting webpages about the Eriswell excavations to which I could at least direct anyone who was interested for a bit of context. Sadly, however, these were removed without ceremony as the dead hand of corporatism and the council’s “New Strategic Direction” took hold. This left very little information about the excavations publicly available, which was a bit of a shame.

Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across the SCC pages reconstructed by Nosher, the original web developer:

 One of the most interesting projects I did whilst looking after the pioneering Suffolk County Council website (from 1995-2000) was building the web pages for the Saxon horse-and-rider burial discovery….

Since the SCC website has moved away from doing lots of random interesting stuff for the sake of it into a proper corporate website, most of this content has disappeared and is no longer available anywhere on the internet (apart from the WayBack Machine), which I thought was a shame. So some time in 2009/2010 I contacted Jo Caruth, who had directed the actual dig and who was still working at SCC, for permission to re-assemble this content and re-publish it here. I finally got round to actually pulling all the bits together during March 2011 – and here it is. All text content, the photos and x-rays are reproduced with permission and are © SCC (and are all as originally scanned, with 1997 equipment), and the graphics (which are also 1997 and very Web 0.9) are, I guess © SCC and me, as I made them with Fractal Design’s Painter 4. With thanks to Jo Caruth at Suffolk County Council.

Three Cheers for Nosher

Recently Matt Law and Colleen Morgan’s excellent article on Online Sustainability and Archaeological Sites (although focussed on commercial not governmental infrastructure) really highlighted the fragility of much archaeological information on the net to me. Consequently I felt that this brilliant bit of digital archaeological reconstruction really ought to be celebrated.

Is this a lone case or do you know of any other public organisation or local authority archaeology/heritage pages that have been resurrected?

References

Law, M and Morgan, C 2014. The Archaeology of Digital Abandonment: Online Sustainability and Archaeological Sites. Present Pasts 6(1):2, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pp.58

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