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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 F,S,A,

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 10
 Date Entered 09/01/2011
 Updated on 06/06/2017
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Burnt Mound
 Record Type Archaeology
 SWAAG Site Name 
 Site Type 
 Site Name 
 Site Description 
 Site Access Public Access Land
 Record Date 01/01/2005
 Location Harker Mires
 Civil Parish Grinton
 Brit. National Grid SE 03392 97440
 Altitude 345m
 Geology Glacial till at souther edge of shallow mire over shales below the Underset Limestone.
 Record Name Harker Mires. The Main Burnt Mound within the Harker Mires Ring Cairn Complex of Sites.
 Record Description Very large burnt mound of characteristic form- crescentic on plan, double hump appearance with central hollow which marks the position of the trough. Peat and heather covered located on East bank of stream, 30m below spring rise.
 Dimensions Large, high*
 Geographical area 
 Scientific Name 
 Common / Notable Species 
 Tree and / or Stem Girth 
 Tree: Position / Form / Status 
 Tree Site ID 0
 Associated Site SWAAG ID 0
 Additional Notes *Indicative Dimensions: Size: Small <6m, Medium 6m-9m, Large 10m-15m, Extra large >15m. Height: Low <0.5m, Average 0.5-1.0m, High >1.0m. Burnt mounds are crescentic or circular mounds of fire cracked , reddened sandstone. They vary in size from 4m to 18m diameter and can be more than 2m above present ground level. In the Eastern Dales, their regular distribution at springs at 1-2km intervals on the Dale Sides may represent the distribution of contemporary transient settlements with which they were associated. They are numerous throughout Britain and their distribution is not limited to the Uplands. Their use as sweat house saunas seems most probable in the absence of any evidence for cooking. Radiocarbon dates from burnt mounds have been obtained from as early as 2400CalBC to around 800 CalBC, most are of Middle Bronze Age date. The six burnt mounds at the spring line overlooking Harker Mires of which this is the largest, are an important component in the Bronze Age landscape complex centred on the ring cairn and cairnfield (Grinton 2650) 150m to the North of this site. They may be the earliest evidence for transient seasonal occupation of this well watered elevated terrace. The small low energy stream would have provided ideal habitat for beaver whose silted up dams (Bryony Coles, 2006) may have caused the formation of fertile mesa pastures attractive to fauna and most suitable to pioneering arable settlement- such as the the cairnfield and paddock like fields on Harker Mires. Many burnt mounds throughout the Dales are located at the spring rise of lateral, low energy streams which flow parallel to and across the elevated terrace below the Underset Limestone before turning at right angle to fall abruptly to the floor of the dale below. References Coles, Bryony. 2006. Beavers in Britain�s Past. Oxbow. Laurie,T.C. 2003. Researching the Prehistory of Wensleydale, Swaledale and Teesdale, in �The Archaeology of Yorkshire-an assessment at the beginning of the twenty first century�. Leeds: Y.A.Soc Occ Pap 3, 223-34. Laurie , T.C. 2004. �Burnt mounds in Wensleydale and Swaledale�. Leeds: Y.A.Soc Occ Pap 2,79-88. Laurie, T.C 2007. � Enigma excavations - The Sturdy Springs Burnt Mounds, October 2006�. Conservation Update, Defense Estates. 2007.
 Image 1 ID 405         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description Harkermires burnt mound under heather.
 Image 2 ID 406         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Harkermires burnt mound next abandoned stream 20m below spring.
 Image 3 ID 407         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description Harkermires burnt mound next abandoned stream 20m below spring.
 Image 4 ID 408         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description Harkermires burnt mound next abandoned stream 20m below spring.
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