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Viewing website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA
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Excavations and Survey Reports & Blogs SWAAG Members Pages SWAAG Database Search Swaledale Aerial Images
The Swaledale Big Dig
2014 - 2015
An archaeology project to investigate the history of Reeth, Fremington and Grinton by a series of community excavated 1 metre test pits.

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Photograph Archive:
Swaledale Museum Image Archive (5500+ images) database is part of SWAAG's community work. It is an on-going project  digitising both their images and their 'document' archive. Both databases are hosted by SWAAG and can be freely searched from the museum's archive menu. The Swaledale Museum can be contacted via their home page.  

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Video produced for the Swaledale Museum by SWAAG as part of our community work.

SWAAG  is a group of enthusiasts in the northernmost Yorkshire dales who contribute to the knowledge base of the history of our dales through archaeological and related activity.
SWAAG, affiliated with the Swaledale Museum, began work in July 2009 under the guidance and supervision of Tim Laurie FSA, the leading expert on prehistoric landscapes in the area.
welcomes new members. Our walks and
meetings are open to all, so please come along to see if you would like to join us. Our work ranges from archaeology, landscape and geophysical surveying, geology and local botany or just walking the beautiful countryside year-round, please contact us or complete and return the Membership Form. You can find more membership information here.

Our landscape and geophysical surveys and excavation work continues on a variety of sites in Swaledale. We welcome all who want to participate or learn new skills. We will over time
study a wide range of sites from prehistoric through Romano-British to medieval and lead mining. Please explore the website for our archaeological reports, Tim Laurie’s publications, photographs and records of wonderful trees and fungi, and general Historic Environment Records.

SWAAG Publications

Landscape Surveying using Handheld GPS Receivers   Trees in the Swaledale Landscape
Hungry Chert Quarries - Arkengarthdale  
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"He was a one man band" and "very cute"
Listen to this short video for the story. (7:12m)

SWAAG Database: This is the most recent record uploaded by SWAAG members.

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 Date Entered 13/01/2015
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Standing Stones / Circles
 Record Type Archaeology
 Site Access Public Footpath
 Record Date 00/04/2012
 Location Various. The Vale of Eden
 Civil Parish Not known
 Brit. National Grid 
 Geology Glacial erratic boulders over drift.
 Record Name SWAAG in Eden April 2014. Return to Long Meg and a ray of moonshine on some great stone circles.
 Record Description At the beginning of the New Year, it is thought appropriate to remind ourselves of one of the highlights of the 2012 visit by SWAAG members to see spectacular archaeological landscapes of the Vale of Eden and eastern fringes of the Lake District . In so doing we shall cast a faint ray of moonshine on a possible purpose and of the construction of a number of great stone circles.
 Dimensions See photos.
 Additional Notes Theodolite surveys of all known stone circles throughout the British Isles were undertaken by Alexander Thom and his son Archie Thom, both very distinguished Academics in Engineering Science, with the main objective of demonstrating the astronomical significance of their construction. Whether this objective was achieved has been the subject of very considerable discussion and I do not intend to add to this except to say that the theodolite surveys were completed to a very high degree of accuracy by Engineers of high repute. Following the surveys and drawing of the site plans, each stone ring was analysed to determine the geometric shape of each stone ring and to look for possible astronomic alignments within the stone settings. The results of this work have been summarised in two publications, namely: A. & A.S. Thom 1980. 'Megalithic Rings.' British Archaeological reports British Series 81. Aubrey Burl 1976. 'The Stone Circles of the British Isles.' Yale. One conclusion which may have hitherto been overlooked in the literature and which may fairly be considered from the analyses of the shapes of the stone rings is the presence of a significant number of stone rings which have one flattened edge. See the examples from A. and A.s. Thom 1980 attached below as photo images nos 7,8 and 9. This flattened circle exists ONLY in Nature as the face of the Gibbous Moon, at the waxing gibbous and waning gibbous quarters. The flattened circular form of Long Meg and other Stone Rings throughout Britain is exactly similar to the shape of the Moon on the days before and after Full Moon. This suggests the question: 'Were our Prehistoric Ancestors constructing the stone rings to reflect the unique form of the waxing and waning moon?' If so the construction of these rings could have been to honour the Moon Goddess and at the same time construct practical astronomic observatories to mark the seasons. Sceptical observers will say that the geometry reflects the inability of any primitive labour force to lay out or work to a perfect circle. Individual stones creep down slope through time. Stone rings of perfect circular form are certainly the exception not the rule. Egg shaped and oval shaped rings are usual for the smaller stone rings. See
 Image 1 ID 6042         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description Vale of Eden. Blencathra seen from within Long Meg and Her Daughters.
 Image 2 ID 6044         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Long Meg and the entrance feature to Her Daughters, the great stone ring.
 Image 3 ID 6045         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description Long Meg and her uncountable daughters, western perimeter of the ring.
 Image 4 ID 6046         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description Counting the stones- a hopeless task.
 Image 5 ID 6047         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description One of the very large stones all of which are glacial erratic boulders, except for Long Meg herself who is a slab of Triassic Sandstone from the cliffs of the River Eden.
 Image 6 ID 6048         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description The Great Stone Ring seen from two fine old ash trees by the farm road.
 Image 7 ID 6049         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description Long Meg and her Daughters. A. & A.S. Thom 1980. 'Megalithic Rings.' British Archaeological Reports British Series 81. Figure L1/7 pp42,43.
 Image 8 ID 6050         Click image to enlarge
 Image 8 Description Castle Rigg, Keswick. Stone Circle A. & A.S. Thom 1980. 'Megalithic Rings.' British Archaeological Reports British Series 81. Figure L1/1 pp28,29.
 Image 9 ID 6051         Click image to enlarge
 Image 9 Description Barbrook, Derbyshire. A. & A.S. Thom 1980. 'Megalithic Rings.' British Archaeological Reports British Series 81. Figure D1/7 pp18/19.
 Image 10 ID 6052         Click image to enlarge
 Image 10 Description The Moon Gibbous Waxing Phase.

SWAAG: Calva Hill from the West Hagg pre-historic site, by Jocelyn Campbell
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SWAAG's first archaeology walk with Tim Laurie. Photo: © Tim Laurie 2009.
Heather or ling thatched barn above Daggerstones, Healaugh.

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