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January 2021 

New Year...New...erm, Lockdown here in the UK.

However, fear not for we have plenty of virtual events, training and socials to keep you entertained over the coming month or so.

Here's what we have been up to and have planned......

What's New
WallCAP Stompers
Our goal was to virtually walk the 728km of the inscribed sections of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site and we have absolutely smashed that target in less than 2 weeks! So far, we have walked 1399km and have continued making our way around the edge of the Empire. As of Fri 22nd Jan we had made it to a little site south of Budapest called Vetus Salina. We have 2 weeks left to go in the challenge - how far do you think we will go?
WallCAP Screen Club
The first meeting of the Screen Club will be held on Monday February 8th, 7-8.30pm to discuss the film, 'The Eagle of the Ninth'. All welcome. Joining details will be circulated on the Monday morning.
Please email if you'd like to join in!
WallCAP Book Club
Always room for new members. We meet on the last Thursday evening of the month. Please email if you are interested.

Volunteer Tea Break
The next social 'Volunteer Tea Break' will be held on Wednesday 3rd February between 10-11am. Just pop in if you'd like to say hello. Joining details will be sent out the day before.

Volunteer Portal
As you know, we have been revamping the Volunteer Portal so over the past few months we have been directly emailing you with all the upcoming events, training and social events just in case of any glitches with the new Portal. But it is up and running now so all future activities will be advertised this way. We will however continue to list them in the monthly Newsletters so you know what's coming up!
Heritage at Risk (HAR) Activity
Excavation in Practice
We have arranged two sessions exploring the principles of modern excavation to get us thinking ahead of this year's fieldwork. 
Session 1: Talk followed by questions and discussion:
Why we excavate, how we find sites and how we prepare for excavation
11 February 7-8.30pm

This session is about the significance of excavation and considers all that must be done before a trench can be opened.
We will consider the following questions, amongst others:
  1. Excavation – and what follows – is an expensive, destructive and time-consuming process. Why do we excavate?
  2. What research and investigation should or could happen before excavation is undertaken?
  3. What has to happen practically and administratively before excavation can begin?
  4. What principles and questions decide where exactly we put our trenches?
An exercise in choosing trench locations will be emailed after this session with a discussion about the ‘answers’ on 16 February at 7-7.30pm!
Session 2: Talk followed by discussion: 23 February 7-8.30pm
The principles of excavation
23 February 7-8.30pm

This session is about what happens on site, how we dig, and how we record what we find.
We will consider the following questions, amongst others:
  1. Excavation is destructive. How do archaeologists ensure as much as possible is learnt from a dig?
  2. What are the various approaches to unpicking a site?
  3. What are the stages of the excavation process?
  4. Why is archaeological stratigraphy central to the practice of excavation?
  5. Excavation has its own terminology. Find out what these mean on an archaeological site: context (two meanings); stratigraphy; cut; relationship; deposit; fill; plan; section.
  6. How are sites recorded?
I will tie the sessions to WallCAP sites and objectives as far as I can, but also use examples from other sites which I have excavated. The sessions are not just for those of you keen to work on site – or who have already been involved in excavation – but also for anyone who want to understand why excavation is important and how an excavation works.

Check the Volunteer Portal to sign up!
Stone Sourcing and Dispersal (SSD)
Blog O'Clock
This month our Community Geologist,  Dr Ian Kille, delves into the world of ammonites to reveal the details of Mystery Rock 10 from the December Newsletter.
Click here to read the new 'Suckered' Blog
Mystery Rock Competition!
Last month's clue (10) ClueCareful, you might get suckered by these. 
The answer: This is an orthocerid, from the middle Carboniferous period. It is a type of ancient cephalopod related to ammonites, octopus and squid with a straight (as opposed to spiral) conical chambered shell. The animal that lived in it is likely to have had sharp eyes and tentacles with suckers, much like a squid.
Mystery Rock Number 11!
Clue: Go east again. It's hotter than it is now, but the weather still changes.....a lot!
Answer next month!
Training and Events
Recorded Training sessions 
If you have missed some of the training that we have been running, or you would like to watch some of the sessions again, the recordings are being uploaded onto the Volunteer Portal. 

What is a Frontier? by Rob Collins:

The Glaciation of Hadrian's Wall by Derek Teasdale:

Remote Sensing & Archaeology by Alex Turner:

Keep checking back to the Volunteer Portal as more videos will be added.

Upcoming Training
These sessions are now on the Volunteer Portal so feel free to visit and sign up.

Why we excavate, how we find sites and how we prepare for excavation with Dr Jane Harrison (WallCAP, Community Archaeologist)
Thursday 11th February 7-8.30pm

Life cycle of sandstone and its impact on our lives; from grain to rock with Sanem Acikalin
Friday 12th February at 10.30 am

What have the rocks ever done for us? With Cees van der Land
Thursday 18th February at 10.30 am

The principles of excavation with Dr Jane Harrison
Tuesday 23rd February 7-8.30pm
Meet the Team
In this section, we take the opportunity to get to know each other a bit better!

This month we're delighted to introduce Malcolm Thomas, a very enthusiastic and relatively new (ish!) member of the WallCAP Volunteer team!

"My name is Malcolm Thomas. I retired in Dec 2019. I’ve lived in NE England since 1984, currently in Morpeth.
Looking to pursue an interest in archaeology in retirement, I did the FutureLearn course “Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier” in spring 2020. It was educational, engaging and led me to WallCAP. I signed up immediately, days after the first lockdown began!
I like all the lectures e.g. the geology ones are surprisingly relevant. I’m doing research for 4 wall miles for the GIS project - I am learning loads."      Malcolm
And Finally.....
Save the Date
12th March. Time to be confirmed.
Our very own Drs – Rob Collins and Ian Kille – will be giving brief presentations about Hadrian’s Wall in the Newcastle Antiquaries 10-minute talks series in a session all about Hadrian’s Wall, joined by Stacy Gillis (also Newcastle University). More information to follow, including how to sign up.

That's it for this month!

Stay safe everyone,

The WallCAP Team
Click here to visit the WallCAP Website
December 2020 Newsletter
The Hadrian's Wall Community Archaeology Project (WallCAP) is very kindly funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund between 2019 and 2021
Hadrian's Wall Community
Copyright © 2019, Newcastle University. All rights reserved.

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Hadrian's Wall Community Archaeology Project (WallCAP) · Newcastle University · Armstrong Building · Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU · United Kingdom

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