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Archaeological dig at stone age site on Exmoor

Press release issued: 31 July 2002

Media release
Archaeological dig at stone age site on Exmoor

An Open Day to view the archaeological excavation work underway at Hawkcombe Head, near Porlock, today, Wednesday, July 31, is being organised by joint directors of the dig Dr Paula Gardiner, from the University of Bristol, and National Park Authority archaeologist, Rob Wilson-North.

The 'Widening Participation' project is a joint venture between Exmoor National Park Authority and the University of Bristol that seeks to involve A-level and mature students from North Devon and inner-city Bristol in hands-on archaeology and fuel their interest to study it further at university.

This is an opportunity to show the work undertaken so far and there will be a demonstration of flint-tool making by Keith Faxon to show the students how the material would have been worked into tools thousands of years ago.

Dr Mark Horton, Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Bristol, said: "This is an important opportunity to promote archaeology, in conjunction with Exmoor National Park Authority, to bright and committed students from differing backgrounds. We are grateful for the support of the University's Widening Participation Office, which has funded the field school.

"The field school is a chance to promote universities in general and Bristol in particular in schools that have little or no record of generating applicants for university places." Hawkcombe Head is the oldest archaeological site found so far on Exmoor, dating from the Late Mesolithic period (7,000-4,000 BC) and is an area that has been frequently visited by late hunter gatherer groups over many millennia. Flints have been found from the surface in an area of erosion caused by vehicles driving across the moor.

National Park Authority archaeologist, Rob Wilson-North said,: "Although this site of considerable archaeological significance, we know very little about it and information gathered from this work will help us to manage it better. We are delighted to be working with the University of Bristol which has enabled students from other areas to see something of Exmoor."

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Wednesday, 31-Jul-2002 16:46:26 BST

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