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Dales archaeology day to examine our love of landscape


Malham Cove. Free copyright. Credit: Tim Hill from Pixabay

If you've ever wondered why the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales is so alluring, then a Dales Archaeology Day at Leyburn Methodist Church on October 29 could hold the answers.

Guest speakers, including archaeologists from the University of Bradford, will cover time periods from 4000BC through to the medieval period and beyond.

They will be explaining how things like the introduction of farming affected the Yorkshire landscape, and looking at a medieval site in Wensleydale. There will also be a talk entitled It costs a barn and a leg on the restoration of traditional Dales agricultural buildings.

Debbie Hallam, doctoral researcher at the University of Bradford will be explaining how the ‘lumps and bumps’ of the Yorkshire landscape are actually signs of Neolithic people becoming more fixed to the landscape.

She said: “Instead of wandering around following seasonal resources and following the food, the concept of farming was introduced. They moved from being mobile hunter-gatherers always on the move, to introducing domestic cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and so on and being in a fixed location, and this started happening around 4000-2500BC. It’s gone on for far, far longer than a lot of people realise.”

The University of Bradford has a rich history in archaeology, and won the coveted Queen’s Anniversary Prize for their research in 2021.

Dr Cathy Batt

Above: Dr Cathy Batt.

Dr Cathy Batt, Head of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences at the University said: “Archaeology and Forensic Sciences at Bradford has a long history of work in the Yorkshire Dales, with excavation, survey and archival research, stretching back to the establishment of the University. Debbie is doing great research, continuing this tradition and working with the public to explore this amazing landscape on our doorstep."

This year's Dales Archaeology Day, organised by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, is the first in-person event since 2019 and with a mix of talks, displays and lectures, the day is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of the Yorkshire Dales.

Dr Douglas Mitcham, community heritage officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “This is an annual event to bring everyone together and exchange ideas and information, and to give an update on what different groups have been doing over the course of the year.

“If you want to learn more, this is definitely the event to attend, and it's a good opportunity to meet people from local groups to find out about what you could get involved with in our projects in the future.”

Tickets for the event are £15 and can be booked via the Yorkshire Dales National Park website.


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