The Yorkshire Dales is home to half of all the known caves in Great Britain, and contains many ancient archaeological remains.
DigVentures’ latest crowdfunded excavation is uniting cavers and archaeology-enthusiasts, and anyone can join the team.
The caves and landscape of the Yorkshire Dales have been scrutinised by archaeologists since the 1830s when a local man, Joseph Jackson, followed his dog through a very small opening and discovered Victoria Cave.
Inside, he found a scattering of Romano-British artefacts, including bronze jewellery and mysterious bone spoons, which still puzzle archaeologists to this day.
Later excavations in the 1870s also uncovered the skeletons of hyena, elephant, bison and rhino, proving that these impressive creatures once roamed the Yorkshire Dales during a warm climatic spell 120,000 years ago.
DigVentures’ crowdfunded excavation at Ben Scar Cave is due to take place from August 15-21.
People who crowdfund the dig will be able to join the excavation team for a day, and help bring evidence to light all while learning ‘hands-on’ about cave archaeology, and will be able to try excavation, palaeoenvironmental sampling, survey, and be able to digitally record anything they find.
DigVentures has already created 3D images of some of the artefacts from Victoria Cave, which are available online.
The crowdfunded fieldwork and excavation will help to contextualise these and other finds from the area, and hopefully answer interesting research questions about Romano-British activity, as well as earlier palaeo-environmental evidence dating back to the Ice Age and beyond.
This opportunity is part of DigVentures’ Under The Uplands project, which has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and which aims to enable everyone to participate in, enjoy, and understand the unique archaeology in the landscape around Ben Scar Cave, above the market town of Settle, North Yorkshire.
You can find out more about crowdfunding the dig and joining the team at http://digventures.com/projects/ben-scar-cave-2016-2/
In return, you get to go and dig for a day.
DigVentures is using a ‘Pay-What–You-Think-It’s-Worth’ model.
They recently completed an excavation in Hest Bank and last year helped with the excavation in Meadows Quay, Lancaster.