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3 June 2007
Volunteers invited to help unearth Neolithic mound

A Neolithic long mound at Warden (Northumberland, England) is to be excavated in a two-week project. Long mounds, which are also called long cairns and long barrows, were generally constructed around 4,000 to 3,200 BCE and were places of burial for the residents of the British Isles during the Neolithic period. In the North-East, long mounds remain little understood, and whilst it appears that there are two major types in the region, only two have been subject to modern excavation in Northumberland and County Durham.
     This exciting new archaeological excavation project is a joint initiative between Volunteering Tynedale and Durham University. Volunteers will carry out the work under the supervision of the archeological services unit at the university. Thanks to the permission of the landowner, Philip Straker, the site will be investigated through open-area excavation.
     Durham University archaeology departmentís Ben Edwards said: "Warden long mound is an ideal site to investigate as it is almost totally undisturbed unlike many of the cairns in the region. The volunteers will help us to determine the structure and nature of the archaeological remains and help us to clarify our knowledge of Neolithic burial practices."
     Volunteering Tynedale will be inviting many of its registered volunteers to take part in the project, but staff are anxious to involve the wider local community. Volunteering Tynedaleís manager Mike Coleman said: "This is a really exciting opportunity for the local volunteering community to receive specialist training in an environment in which they will undoubtedly gain valuable new skills, as well as allowing them to engage with their local heritage in a real hands-on way. We strongly believe that volunteering is for everybody and people need not be excluded from participating in this excavation research project because they are not currently registered with us.
     Anyone wishing to take part in the project should contact Volunteering Tynedale on (01434) 601201 or email info@volunteeringtynedale.org

Source: Hexham Courant (1 June 2007)

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