Mapping the Sun at the Hurlers

A groundbreaking community archaeology project on Bodmin Moor has just wound up its excavation phase. Mapping the Sun has been facilitated and managed by The Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project (CHAHP), which receives funding from the Heritage Lottery Project, DEFRA, Cornwall Council and other local partners. This phase of the project has been deemed a great success, with the excavation and associated workshops being visited by well over 1,000 people. Twelve local school group visits were also facilitated and managed during the week long project by CHAHP. With the children learning about life in the Bronze Age and actually visiting the remains of the roundhouses where the builders of the Hurlers may have lived, as well as Rillaton Barrow, former home of the famous gold cup. Myths and Legends, Astronomy and Archaeology workshops were laid on for them also. A series of guided walks during the week were well attended, as were the flint knapping, small finds and woad dyeing workshops on Saturday. The excavation team was mainly made of volunteers, most of which were local, and had no archaeological training beforehand. Apart from the successful community aspect of the project, important discoveries have been made and a unique pavement excavated initially in the 1930s, and under threat from erosion has been re-excavated, surveyed and resealed. During the excavation a Bronze Age cutting tool was found as well as other flakes of flint. We will have to wait, possibly up to three months, for the pollen sampling analysis to come back, which should enable us to date the building of this unique monument, which is unknown in any other part of Britain, possibly the world. The excavation has been led by members of Cornwall Council’s Historic Environment Projects Team, who have overseen the dig, trained the volunteers and kept the visitors informed. The Roseland Observatory was on site all week leading workshops and surveying the landscape and astronomical alignments. A local Geologist has also been on site adding to a unique mix of experts who will be all adding their findings to the final report, which is due to be published before Christmas 2013. The Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project would like to thank the landowners, site managers, graziers and local commoners for their help and permissions, without which this event could never have taken place. We would also like to thank all those who turned up to help out with the dig, school trips, workshops etc.

The Project

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