This survey and excavation project, established in 2007, seeks to understand the archaeological landscape of the inland region to the south, west and northeast of the medieval site at Tintagel in Cornwall. The main focus is on the early medieval landscape and the visibility of the tin trade and international trading links. In this collaborative project the University works closely with English Heritage and North Cornwall Heritage, a heritage education consultancy based at Slaughterbridge, as well as with local community groups. The project is primarily a training programme; so far, students from the UK and the rest of Europe as well as America and the Middle East have taken part.
These excavations are designed to provide a relaxed learning environment in which industry standard techniques are taught by professional archaeologists.
Excavation work currently consists of three main strands. Firstly, at the 12th-century village of Melorne, work continues on excavating the large longhouses, enclosures and earthworks of the village, which was abandoned at some stage by the 15th century. Finds suggest that some of the buildings were used as forges after their abandonment.
|Excavation also takes place at Camlann, the supposed site of King Arthur's final battle, near an early Christian Ogham stone with a 6th-century inscription, popularly known as the Arthur Stone (photo). A key part of the project is to place the famous 6th-century site of Tintagel in a wider context. To this end, a geophysical and earthworks survey has been undertaken on the hillfort of Helsbury Castle, Michaelstow, which we believe to have been occupied at the same time as Tintagel.
The third excvation strand is an 18th-century garden feature created by Lady Falmouth, which is in the process of being restored.
Fieldwalking at the site of Daymer Bay on the Camel Estuary has suggested the presence, hitherto only hypothesised, of an extensive Roman and post-Roman entrepot and trading post. Work on Bodmin Moor focusses on survey and location of early medieval tin workings, and in addition, extensive work is undertaken on earlier and later sites in the area, from prehistoric to medieval and post-medieval, on settlements, churches and churchyards. Future plans include a series of sea bed surveys off the coast, with the aim of integrating the archaeological landscapes and seascapes.
The 2012 summer excavations focussed on multiple sites in and around the Camelford area, including a 13th-century village, a site of known Iron Age provenance,and a possible Roman building.