|During 2012/13 the Swaledale and
Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group have excavated a Romano-British
settlement halfway up the fell-side at Hagg Farm, Fremington
Swaledale. In many of the trenches a yellow band of clay often
less than 10cm thick with a much deeper deposit of blue clay
underneath was found. In one trench it was noticed that the blue
clay also contained small amounts of charcoal.
|Hagg Farm Fremington. X=Excavation
|The pictures show two clays with the
bright yellow one overlying a blue clay. It is suggested that
these two clays correspond to the glacial maxima (coldest
climate) of the last Devensian Ice Age. These maxima are show on
the graph. The dates for this are 27 ka and 19 ka before
present. The bright blue clay appears to have a local origin. At
the bottom of some of the trenches is a soft grey shale. This
shale can be moulded in the fingers into a clay which appears
blue. The yellow clay is more problematic but could be a local,
soft, calcium rich mudstone ground up by the glacier.
|Similar kinds of clay deposits have been
found in the southern dales. Clay is a textural term to denote
the finest grade of clastic sedimentary particle. These
particles are less than 4 microns in diameter and shale
particles are of similar size.