Ancient settlement discovery in England


This video from Britain says about itself:

13 October 2014

Archaeology students from the University of Hull have carried out an archaeological dig on the Yorkshire Wolds in East Yorkshire, over the summer of 2014.

Students discovered a great amount of exciting finds at this Iron Age site including a miniature axe, a bone needle, pottery and – perhaps most exciting – an Arras burial.

Hull and its surroundings is a region of superb archaeological wealth. There are few better regions in Britain to study archaeology. The countryside of Eastern Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire contains a wealth of archaeological remains, and its historic centres, such as Hull and Beverley, provide well preserved evidence for the development of medieval townscapes.

For many students, fieldwork is one of the highlights of their degree, and at Hull we regard field teaching as a vital part of our courses.

For more information about studying at Archaeology at the University of Hull visit www.hull.ac.uk/archaeology.

From the Hull Daily Mail in England:

Iron Age settlement discovered in Pocklington of ‘national significance’

By HDMJCampbell

March 17, 2016

A 2,500-year-old settlement has been discovered during work on a housing development in Pocklington.

The Iron Age find has been described as of ‘national significance’.

The site includes more than 75 square barrows that contained 180 skeletons from the Arras Culture – a group of people who lived in the region in the Middle Iron Age as far back as 800BC.

The excavation at the David Wilson Homes development has already revealed objects including a sword, shield and 10 spears, as well as more than 360 amber and glass beads, brooches and ancient pots.

A major focus area of the archaeological analysis will concentrate on whether the population is indigenous or migrants from the continent.

The skeletons found are a mixture of men, women and children.

Paula Ware, managing director at MAP Archaeological Practice, said: “To date, the east of Yorkshire has the largest concentration of ‘Arras Culture’ square barrows, and naturally these findings have helped to strengthen this.

“On the whole this is a hugely important discovery and is a fine example of what can be revealed and discovered if house developers and archaeologists work hand-in-hand to reveal the nation’s hidden history.”

David Wilson Homes found the settlement at its Pavilion Square development after it started work in September 2014. The discovery will be officially announced on BBC Four’s Digging for Britain at 8pm tonight.

Peter Morris, development director at David Wilson Homes, said: “These findings are of national significance and could help shape our understanding of the ‘Arras Culture’ and indeed the Iron Age as a whole.

“At present we are still at the early analytical stages of reviewing these findings, however we do understand that this discovery is very rare and of international importance.”

English waterfall flows after centuries


This video from North Yorkshire in England says about itself:

Malham Cove as never seen in living memory

6 December 2015

Unprecedented amounts of rain created this unique phenomenon this morning. Talking to 2 neighbours who are both around 80 and have both lived in Malhamdale all their lives, they have never seen this happen before, and some suggestions are that it could be nearly 200 years since it was last recorded.

The waterfall started again because of rains caused by the storm Desmond. It lasted only for a few hours.

FIRE and rescue services currently responding to the floods in northern England are hampered by the unprecedented cuts they have suffered over the past five years, said the Fire Brigades Union yesterday: here.

English birds news update


This video from Britain is called BTO Bird ID – Goldcrest & Firecrest.

Spurn Bird Observatory from England reports on Twitter today seeing a quail, a hawfinch, a firecrest, a great grey shrike and an olive-backed pipit.

Avocet chicks in England, video


This is a video about an avocet and its chicks, in RSPB Fairburn Ings nature reserve in Yorkshire, England.

Criminal ‘canned fox hunting’ in Britain


This video from Britain says about itself:

Kidnapped for Cruelty – Hunting Exposé 2015

11 June 2015

Hunts try to justify their cruelty of chasing and killing foxes by claiming that they need to keep the fox population down.

In May 2015 the League Against Cruel Sports carried out an undercover investigation on land linked to the Middleton Foxhounds hunt, near Malton in North Yorkshire.

What we found was shocking.

After canned lion hunting in South Africa, canned fox hunting in Britain

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

16 fox cubs ‘reared for the hunt

Saturday 13th June 2015

A MAN has been arrested after hand-reared fox cubs were found feet away from hunt dog kennels, sparking fears they were raised to be hunted.

An investigation by animal rights group the League Against Cruel Sports (Lacs) discovered the 16 cubs in a barn near the Middleton Hunt Kennels in Malton, North Yorkshire.

Fox hunting was banned in 2004 and the Middleton Hunt denies any wrongdoing.

“There were no vixens or adult foxes, which suggests the cubs were forcibly removed from their earths,” said Lacs spokeswoman Ginny Reid.

“We’ve known for a long time that this is a practice carried out by many hunts, but this is the first footage that graphically shows the scale of what they are doing, and links it directly to members of the hunt.”

Images were given to the press hours before police raided the barn and rescued the cubs, which are now in a sanctuary.

See also here.

In fact, as more foxes were needed for hunting than were present, large numbers of animals were imported from Europe to be sold at markets in England: here.

More details of the sickening badger baiting incident from Flintshire are here.

Leucistic guillemot at Bempton Cliffs, England


Leucistic guillemot

The bird on the left of this photo, taken at Bempton Cliffs in England by Steve Clifton, is a normally coloured guillemot (as are the birds at the bottom of the picture).

The other guillemot, on the right, is leucistic.

Britain’s oldest dinosaur discovered


This American Museum of Natural History video says about itself:

How Are Dinosaur Fossils Prepared in the Laboratory?

9 October 2012

Fossil preparators are highly skilled technicians who restore the naturally fractured bones and teeth of fossil to the original state, somewhat like art conservators restore damaged paintings and sculptures.

When fossils arrive from the field, they are encased in plaster jackets, and the rock, or matrix, which was deposited around the fossils. Fossil preparation involves cutting open the plaster jacket and removing this matrix surrounding the fossil. The matrix may be soft and crumbly, when the sand or mud is poorly cemented together, or it can be extremely hard, when the sediments are well cemented. Accordingly, a wide variety of tools is required to remove the matrix and stabilize the fossil. Commonly, dental tools are used to carefully pick away sediment near the bone, along with custom-made needles composed of carbide steel. Formerly, chisels and hammers were used to remove blocks of matrix further away from the bone, but recently, smaller mechanical tools have taken their place. These include small grinding wheels, miniature jackhammers called air scribes, and tiny sand-blasters, all powered by compressed air.

When using these tools, the work is often conducted while peering through a precision microscope under high-quality lighting to make sure delicate features on the fossils are not damaged. Preparators carefully select the materials used to strengthen or repair specimens. Adhesives, glues, and fillers must stand the test of time and not become brittle or discolored, just like the materials used to conserve works of art. The types of materials used are recorded in order to aid future preparators if further preparation or repair is required.

This video is part of a series, “Dinosaurs Explained,” produced by the American Museum of Natural History. In the series, Museum paleontologists answer the most frequently asked questions about dinosaurs.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Britain’s oldest dinosaur fossil found on North Yorkshire coast

Experts say they have identified 176m-year-old sauropod from fossil backbone discovered on a beach at Whitby

Monday 1 June 2015 20.00 BST

Experts say they have identified Britain’s oldest sauropod dinosaur from a fossil bone discovered on the North Yorkshire coast.

The dinosaur backbone – which dates back about 176m years to the Middle Jurassic period – was found on a beach at Whitby after it fell out of a cliff face.

It represents the earliest skeletal record of this type of dinosaur from the UK and adds to existing evidence from Yorkshire dinosaur tracks that the creatures once roamed freely across this part of the country, say researchers at the University of Manchester.

Sauropods include some of the largest plant-eating dinosaurs that have existed and were a successful group for nearly 150m years.

They possessed distinctive long necks and tails, small heads, a large body and walked on all fours. Some species, such as the Argentinosaurus, grew up to 115ft (35 metres) long and possibly weighed as much as 80 tonnes.

The fossil is said to be an extremely rare find, given that the Middle Jurassic rocks of the world are exposed in very few areas, although dinosaur fossils of a similar age have been found in China and Latin America.

Prof Phil Manning and his team from the University of Manchester used x-ray tomography to study the fossil bone, which is now held in the collections at the Yorkshire Museum in York.

Prof Manning said: “Many scientists have worked on the amazing dinosaur tracks from the Middle Jurassic rocks of Yorkshire.

“It was a splendid surprise to come face to face with a fossil vertebra from the Jurassic rocks of Yorkshire that was clearly from a sauropod dinosaur.

This fossil offers the earliest ‘body fossil’ evidence for this important group of dinosaurs in the United Kingdom but it is impossible to define a new species based upon this single bone.”

Until more bones are discovered the team have nicknamed Britain’s oldest sauropod Alan, after the finder of this prehistoric giant, Alan Gurr.

Sarah King, curator of natural science at the Yorkshire Museum, said: “We have some of the best examples of fossils from the area in our collections and we are delighted to be able to display the vertebra of Britain’s oldest sauropod alongside them for the public to enjoy.”

The vertebra will be on show at the Yorkshire Museum from 8 June.