20th October 2022:

In September 2022 Oxford Archaeology North undertook the second season of community archaeological excavation, commissioned by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership, to undertake fieldwork on Little Asby Common.

Last year was spent doing a series of trial trenching across various features identified on the common by landscape survey, the surveys revealed that the common is packed with interesting archaeological features, but we had to settle on one site to go to full excavation this summer. The location settled on for this year’s investigation was a Longhouse structure that appeared to be built against a stone built enclosure that last season’s carbon dates revealed to have been constructed in the Bronze Age.

 Video credit WMDP and Jon Chappell

Andy Phelps from Oxford Archaeology North, assisted by Katie Sanderson, lead a team of local volunteers and community archaeologists in the investigation of this structure with the aim of figuring out its age and construction. During the excavation, the collection of finds suggested early post-medieval occupation but there is still a round of environmental samples that could narrow this down – so watch this space! Our team found some really interesting artefacts which spanned an extensive time period. From a fragment of broken Neolithic Langdale Axe all the way to Post-Medieval ceramic and a lost horseshoe!

Viking reenactors

We were visited on our open day by our own Adam Parsons (pictured left) dressed and carrying reproductions of materials that may have been used by those who once stayed in our longhouse, which really brought our excavation to life!

We would like to thank Hannah Kingsbury for organising this wonderful project and all our brilliant and skilled volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without you!

by, Katie and Andy

You can read back over our daily site updates on our blog, and a summary from Hannah as well as information about Dales Archaeology Day on the Friends of the Lake District website.