Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hiking in the Heather

     Classes started off with the Archaeology department first years going on a field trip. Our destinations? Creswell Crags, Stanton Moor and Arbor Low! Oh what funny English names they have here :)

     I would like to start with the lovely and very stereotypical English weather... it rained all day. We got into the coach and drove to Creswell Crags. There are multiple sets of caves but we only visited 2. The first cave held the earliest and I'm pretty sure only english cave drawings. It sounds really cool but there where only 3 that where distinguishable so they where a bit of a let down. The other cave was interesting because it was inhabited at one point. That is until the nice guide pointed out giant spiders that looked like this...

Our class in the spider infested cave

Hardhats with lights!

     Next we went to Stanton Moor to look at the nine ladies, a set of small standing stones from the Bronze Age. My professor started complaining about pagans (he called them nutters) when one student pointed out some dangly bits hanging from the trees. Apparently they make it hard for archaeologists to study certain sights because they go around placing small stones and other objects in or around the circles. It was a small hike to the circle and we saw a barrow that had been excavated by what people here call antiquarians (basically victorian age treasure hunters thinking they where archaeologists). Here are some photos from Stanton.

The Cork Stone: Huge naturally formed sandstone. The steps where carved into it to allow people to sit on top.

After this picture was taken I climbed half way up but the metal rings where freezing and made my hands burn.

My friends looking wet and cold... because they where hahaha!

The Nine Ladies

Then on to Arbor Low which is this really cool sight in some dudes cow field. It's a stone circle and barrow from the early Neolithic. Describing it is a bit hard so here are pictures :P