Digging into Archaeological Data and Image Search Metadata


The J J Wymer Archive

John Wymer eating lunch

John Wymer eating lunch in the snow with his parents at Reculver, Friday March 21st 1958. From Notebooks Volume 3, Page 219. (copyright © Lorraine Mepham)

The Wymer Archive Project arose out of a perceived threat to Dr John Wymer’s personal archive following his death early in 2006. John Wymer was Britain’s foremost specialist in Palaeolithic archaeology, with an unparalleled knowledge of Quaternary geology and the earliest human artefacts in Britain that are occasionally associated with these deposits, and much of his work was carried out as a direct or indirect result of mineral extraction. His personal archive forms a collection of national importance.

A project with the primary aim of securing the survival of this archive was initiated in October 2006, commissioned by English Heritage with the support of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF). Examination of the archive suggested that the most important elements in what was considered to be a unique record of British Palaeolithic archaeology were Wymer’s Field Note Books (1949-2004), and his card index of every known Lower and Middle Palaeolithic artefact from Britain. The latter formed the basis of the English Rivers Palaeolithic Project (TERPS), the results of which were published in 1999 as The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain. This archive presents Wymer’s Field Note Books – the TERPS database and the resulting published volumes form another ADS archive.

As part of the development of the Wymer archive, and in order to disseminate to public and professional audiences the full benefits of knowledge gained through past work in advance of aggregates extraction, John Wymer’s Field Note Books have been digitised.

Library of Unpublished Fieldwork Reports

The aim of this resource is to make available unpublished fieldwork reports in an easily retrievable fashion. There are currently 29122 reports available and this number is increasing steadily through the OASIS project in England and Scotland.

Through this resource it is possible to list the reports by contractor, using the browse by contractor option and also to do a more advanced search filtering these reports by period, monument/artefact type and location using the search option. These unpublished reports cover archaeological interventions such as: watching briefs, excavation reports and building surveys. Desk-based assessments and specialist analysis are also included.

Lower Palaeolithic technology, raw material and population ecology

This visual and metric database is the data component of a project funded by a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board between 1999 and 2001 (Grant number AN5347/APN8525). The project was designed to examine Lower Palaeolithic technology and raw material and to use the findings to discuss aspects of population ecology during the period. The time range is from 1.5Myr to 300Kyr and includes material from Africa, Europe and the Near East. The database contains 10668 digitised images of 3556 bifaces, as well as information on provenience, raw material and standard measurements.

Culture and Gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian Brooches, 850-1050

Over the past 30 years, hundreds of new finds of Viking-Age metalwork have been brought to light, mainly as a result of metal-detecting. Particularly prominent among the new material are female personal ornaments (brooches and pendants), in both Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian styles. While several brooches and pendants recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme are now in the public domain, information relating to many more remains difficult to access in county HERs or regional museum archives. Accordingly, they are presented and illustrated here as a group, for the first time.

This database brings together all known examples of such dress items recorded in England before December 2008. It is structured according to brooch or pendant type and sub-type, and also provides information relating to the artefact’s findspot, dimensions, current location, state of preservation and bibliography. Since the find location of the material is potentially sensitive, only 4-figure Grid References have been provided.

This research forms the basis of the book Viking Identities: Scandinavian Jewellery in England, which contains a broader discussion of the material, as well as artefact distribution maps.

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