Bradford Kaims - wetland wonder

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Two young members of the Flodden Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) were the lucky winners of the ‘Dig It’ excavation competition.

‘Dig It’ is a yearly YAC competition, with the winners getting the chance to work on a real archaeological site.

William and Elizabeth Allis from Lowick in Northumberland were recently invited to spend the day digging with the professionals at Bamburgh Research Project’s excavation at Bradford Kaims.

Here they were able to get their hands dirty digging, examine and wash some of the finds made on the site and learn other archaeological skills such as drawing to scale and measuring features.

In addition to being involved in the professional dig both William and Elizabeth were awarded tool rolls filled with archaeological tools and t-shirts as part of the prize.

Elizabeth said: “My brother and I had a great time digging at Bradford Kaims with the team of archaeologists.

“There was a strange wooden object found, it had a sort of handle and three holes in one end.

“No-ones knows what it is yet, I think it’s something that prehistoric people made and buried to confuse archaeologists later on!

“We did some troweling in trench six with Tom and found some charcoal, we put it in sample bags and labelled them.

“Cole showed us some of the finds like flint arrowheads and a prehistoric giant cow tooth. It was called an auroch. We were given t-shirts with an auroch skeleton on. I learnt a lot and the day was really fun.”

Bradford Kaims is a truly remarkable ancient wetland site, located just a few miles from Bamburgh, and is not usually open to the public so this was an exceptional opportunity for the two youngsters.

It has an extensive prehistoric landscape containing many burnt mounds, with finds dating back some 6,000 years to the beginning of the Neolithic period.

A spokesman for Bamburgh Research Project said: “The Bamburgh Research Project was happy to host the winners of the Young Archaeologists Club at our Bradford Kaims Wetland Site last Saturday.

“We had a blast showing them around the Kaims and teaching them about prehistory and burnt mounds. We can’t wait to have more visitors from YAC next year.”

Nicky Milsted, YAC communications officer and competition organiser, commented: “It’s always great to see YAC members getting their hands dirty on archaeological sites, learning excavation skills from real archaeologists – and this opportunity for competition winners William and Elizabeth is especially exciting!

“Huge thanks must go to the team from Bamburgh Research Project for allowing our YAC winners to work alongside them, and also to Past Horizons who provided each of the winners with an amazing tool roll to use on site and take home with them.”

Flodden YAC was established as part of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project to coordinate the heritage and legacy of the Battle of Flodden.

Anyone who would like to join should contact Jane on 07768 557698 or email

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