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Peak District archaeology project scoops national award

This is an archived press release

Monday 26 July 2010

26 July 2010

Peak District archaeology project scoops national award

An excavation of the Iron Age hill fort site at Fin Cop, overlooking Monsal Dale in the Peak District National Park has won a British Archaeological Award.

Longstone Local History Group and Archaeological Research Services of Bakewell shared the accolade for the best community archaeology project in the 2010 awards presented at the British Museum.

Last summer some 160 schoolchildren and 80 adult volunteers helped excavations funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The three-week dig unearthed a female skeleton and baby dating from 400-200 BC, along with hundreds of prehistoric pottery shards and tools, and posed a lot of unanswered questions.

As a result, the Heritage Lottery Fund has given a further £49,900 for a five-week dig this summer, which ends on August 6.

Ann Hall, Fin Cop project manager for Longstone Local History Group, said: “So many members of the local community have helped us to win this award. Longstone School children and their teachers excavated test pits on site and then recreated Iron Age jewellery and weaving at school. The local Youth Group made an award-winning video about Fin Cop legends and history.

“Ashford Art group were inspired to take photographs and create artwork which was displayed at local Art Shows. Our group members themselves enthusiastically helped with all aspects of an archaeological investigation and large numbers of the public visited on open day tours.4

Professional support was provided by Dr Clive Waddington and his team from Archaeological Research Services Ltd, Bakewell.  He said, “It is a real honour to have won this national award with Longstone Local History Group and it gives deserved recognition to the hundreds of people who have worked so hard to make this project so successful.”

The project has been given practical support by the Peak District National Park Authority, whose senior conservation archaeologist Sarah Whiteley said: “Longstone Local History Group is a worthy winner - not least for bringing local schoolchildren and surrounding villages together in a common cause to understand more about this iconic site.”

Winners in five other categories included the Staffordshire Hoard and the Lindow Man exhibition at Manchester Museum. Awards chairman Dr Mike Heyworth said: “These awards have gone to the very best of British archaeology from the last two years. We congratulate all the winners and are hugely encouraged by the public interest in archaeology and the enthusiasm shown across the UK for our archaeological heritage.”

Guided tours of this year’s dig will take place on Saturday July 31 at 11am and 1pm starting from the Monsal Head car park. The tours start with a walk of about a mile over rough paths and fields, up hill all the way.

The excavation will feature in the “Secret Britain” series due to be screened on BBC on Sundays in August. More about the project can be viewed online at www.greatlongstone.net  and www.archaeologicalresearchservices.com/projects/fincop  

This is an archived press release

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