Children dig into the past

Archaeologist Catherine Parker Heath with the kind of stone age implements they are hoping to uncover near Arbor Low
Archaeologist Catherine Parker Heath with the kind of stone age implements they are hoping to uncover near Arbor Low
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Digging into the past have been pupils from primary schools around Buxton who have taken part in an archaeological project.

The dig has been taking place in a bid to uncover more about the history of the area around the henge of Arbor Low and Gib Hill situated near to Monyash.

Children from Harpur Hill Primary working in a trench near Arbor Low

Children from Harpur Hill Primary working in a trench near Arbor Low

The Arbor Low Environs Project, set to take place over the next five years, is a collaboration between archaeologists, students, volunteers and farmers.

It is being co-directed by Drs Ian and Catherine Parker Heath, independent research archaeologists and Dr Hannah Cobb of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Manchester.

Several test trenches, about a metre square, have been dug as experts try and find out more about the history of the site.

Running alongside the main dig Dr Catherine Parker Heath, of Enrichment Through Archaeology, has been ensuring that members of the local community can get involved.

Arbor Low, stone age henge monument with later stone circle.

Arbor Low, stone age henge monument with later stone circle.

She has been spearheading out-reach work with local schools to introduce them to archaeology and has been delighted by the enthusiasm shown by the youngsters and their teachers.

“We opened up trenches for the children so the schools could access it,” she said.

She said the children and teachers had proved quite nifty with a trowel as they dug and sifted soil.

Pupils from Buxton Infant, Harpur Hill Primary, Fairfield Juniors, Curbar Primary and Monyash Primary schools were among the 250 children able to get their hands dirty during their visits to the site.

They were also able to handle various artefacts, borrowed from the Derbyshire Schools Library Service, including Palaeolithic hand axes and scrapers, Neolithic polished stone axes, and Bronze Age spear heads.

The Arbor Low Environs Project, which saw two days work lost to the snow, has been supported by a team of volunteers.

The aim is to try and develop a new, broader understanding of not only the monument but the landscape around it.

Arbor Low is ‘Derbyshire’s Stonehenge’ – a Neolithic henge monument set amid high moorland and judged by English Heritage to be the most important prehistoric site in the East Midlands.

lTo find out more about the project, further information is available at www.arborlowenvirons project.org