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WHO WE ARE

Past Participate are a community interest company made up of Anne, Jim and Hayley. We are experienced archaeologists who believe in combining high quality archaeological research with high quality community participation. This results in high participant satisfaction, improved well-being and increased archaeological knowledge and skills.

See below for our individual biographies

JIM RYLATT

Director of Archaeology

Jim initially developed an interest in archaeology through a WEA course at the University of Nottingham in 1990. This led to intermittent employment with many of the commercial archaeology units working in the East Midlands. In an attempt to get more regular employment, he studied at the University of Sheffield and gained a degree in Prehistory and Archaeology and an MA in Landscape Archaeology. These courses nurtured an obsession with British prehistory, but there are still occasional moments of regret that he did not choose to specialise in the archaeology of much warmer and more exotic parts of the world.


After university Jim returned to commercial archaeology and ultimately became Senior Project Officer at Pre-Construct Archaeology (Lincoln), working on projects ranging from single person watching briefs to directing fieldwork programmes with teams of up to 40 people. A serious accident in 2004 marked the end of his regular employment in commercial archaeology (although he still carries out some consultancy work). During his recovery, he was able to carry on with the specialist analysis of flint other struck lithic artefacts. He returned to fieldwork when he joined the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2007, beginning a transition away from the study of the British Iron Age to a working life now dominated by the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age.


In 2012, Jim became a supervisor at the Ness of Brodgar, in Orkney, and is now the source of innumerable theories about Structure 12 (as well as Structures 23, 24 and 28). He is also a participant in The Stones of Stonehenge Project, which is investigating the Welsh origins of Stonehenge; and volunteers on the Between the Monuments Project, which seeks to establish the character of human settlement in the Avebury landscape during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Past Participate represents a new chapter in Jim’s career, and he is delighted to have the opportunity to excavate in the Dorset AONB.


About me

Most fun I’ve had in a field: supervising on the Stonehenge Riverside Project when the weather was lovely.


Hardest project to date: supervising on the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2008, when the weather was horrendous, and it felt like the end of days!


Favourite archaeological landscape: Orkney - every ‘bump’ is something and there are a lot of bumps! https://www.orkney.com/things/history/other-sites


Most important discovery: ‘Bluestonehenge’ a.k.a. West Amesbury Henge which is located at the south-eastern end of the Stonehenge Avenue beside the River Avon https://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1580342

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluestonehenge


Most difficult archaeology encountered: The Ness of Brodgar… the things on top push down on deposits, while things at the bottom push deposits up. Small individual deposits represent 30 seconds of DIY to fix a hole in the floor, which have accumulated to form metres of deposits that represent centuries of activity. Absolutely mind-bending.


Best artefacts discovered: Difficult, as I have spent most of my career managing/watching other people dig things up, the best of which have to be a complete 6.5m long log boat and the most complete Iron Age spear found in the UK, which were both recovered from the Fiskerton Iron Age causeway in Lincolnshire.


Oldest artefact discovered: on 11 August 1999, I was working on a particularly uninteresting site in the Witham Valley, Lincolnshire. I decided to go into a field on the opposite side of the road to get a better view of the solar eclipse, where I unexpectedly found a Mousterian of Acheulean Tradition hand axe (manufactured by a Neanderthal c. 60-40,000 years BP)!


Most important thing I have learnt in archaeology: Every site is different and brings its own challenges and lessons, so if you assume you know what is going on it is likely that things are going to go wrong quite quickly!


Motto: “Digging is an artisan skill.”


Goals for 2021: To get back out in the field and keep digging. I really want to get a better understanding of the changing nature of prehistoric activity on Tenants Hill, plus there is still a lot of midden to move at the Ness of Brodgar, and there are even a few bluestone sources to track down in Preseli.


My aspirations for Past Participate: to provide interesting and engaging archaeological experience and training to people from a range of backgrounds and ages, whilst also producing high quality publications and other research outputs.


Selected publications written or co-authored by me

Rylatt, J., Teather, A., Pullen, R., Pinnell, J., Randall, S., Roberts, H. and Chamberlain, A.         Forthcoming.   Re-examining Stone Circles in Dorset: The results of recent research and non-intrusive surveys at Kingston Russell stone circle. Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.

Parker Pearson, M., Pollard, J., Richards, C., Welham, K., Kinnaird, T., Shaw, D., Simmons, E., Stanford, A., Bevins, R., Ixer, R. Ruggles, C., Rylatt, J. and Edinborough, K.                     In Press.          The original Stonehenge? A dismantled stone circle in the Preseli hills of west Wales. Antiquity.

Teather, A., Rylatt, J., Roberts, H., Chamberlain, A. and Pullen, R.                 2020.   The Prehistoric Landscape of Tenants Hill, West Dorset. Past: The Newsletter of the Prehistoric Society, 95: 12-14.

Chan, B. and Rylatt, J. with Pettitt, P. 2020.   Lithics from stratified contexts. In M. Parker Pearson, J. Pollard, C. Richards, J. Thomas, Tilley, C. & K. Welham, Stonehenge for the Ancestors: Part 1: Landscape and Monuments. The Stonehenge Riverside Project Vol. 1. Leiden, Sidestone Press. Ch 5 – Bluestonehenge at West Amesbury: where the Stonehenge Avenue meets the River Avon: 279-295.

Parker Pearson, M., Pollard, J. Rylatt, J., Thomas, J., and Welham, K.          2020.            Bluestonehenge at West Amesbury: where the Stonehenge Avenue meets the River Avon. In M. Parker Pearson, J. Pollard, C. Richards, J. Thomas, Tilley, C. & K. Welham, Stonehenge for the Ancestors: Part 1: Landscape and Monuments. The Stonehenge Riverside Project Vol. 1. Leiden, Sidestone Press. Ch 5: 215-300.

Allen, M.J., Chan, B., Cleal, R., French, C., Marshall, P., Pollard, J., Pullen, R., Richards, C., Ruggles, C., Robinson, D., Rylatt, J., Thomas, J., Welham, K. & Parker Pearson, M.            2016.   Stonehenge's Avenue and ‘Bluestonehenge’. Antiquity, 90 (352): 991-1008.

Palmer-Brown, C. & Rylatt, J.  2011.   How Times Change: Navenby Unearthed. Saxilby, Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd., Monograph 2.

Rylatt, J.          2009.   The Flintwork. C. Allen, Exchange and Ritual at the Riverside: Late Bronze Age Life in the Lower Witham Valley at Washingborough, Lincolnshire. Saxilby, Pre-Construct Archaeology (Lincoln) Monograph Series, 1: 62-67.

Parker Pearson, M., Chamberlain, A., Field, N. & Rylatt, J.     2007.   Fiskerton: La deposition votive et des eclipses lunaires en Angleterre et Europe. L’âge du Fer dans l’arc Jurassien et ses Marges: Dépôts, Lieux Sacrés et Territorialité à l’âge du Fer. Actes du XXIXe colloque international de l’AFEAF Bienne, 5 - 8 Mai 2005: 439-448.

Rylatt, J. & Bevan, B.   2007.   Realigning the world: pit alignments and their landscape context. C.C. Haselgrove and T. Moore (eds), The Later Iron Age in Britain and Beyond, Oxbow Monographs, Oxford.

Field, N., Parker-Pearson, M. & Rylatt, J.                    2003.   The Fiskerton causeway: research past, present and future. In S. Catney & D. Start (eds.) Time and Tide: The Archaeology of The Witham Valley. Heckington, The Witham Valley Archaeological Research Committee: 16-32.

Palmer-Brown, C. & Rylatt, J.  2002.   ‘Gifts to the Gods’ at Iron Age Fiskerton. Minerva, 13, (5): 37-8.


Links to interesting and accessible websites, reports, and videos about projects that I have been involved with

The Ness of Brodgar

https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/

A video lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMiSYUVp8I8&t=1s&ab_channel=SocietyofAntiquariesofScotland


Stonehenge Riverside Project and The Stones of Stonehenge Project

https://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/news/bluestonehenge.htm

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170713-why-stonehenge-was-built

A short summary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvScpdMhQNk&ab_channel=UCL

And a longer video lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ2lR5_N0vc&ab_channel=CouncilforBritishArchaeology


Lincoln Eastern Bypass

https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/downloads/file/645/progress-newsletter-september-december-2016

https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/downloads/file/644/progress-newsletter-january-march-2017


Fiskerton Iron Age causeway

https://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/archaeology/art12215

https://www.lincstothepast.com/Fiskerton-causeway/234121.record?pt=S

https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/xgGtZvvyyATZ4w

HAYLEY ROBERTES

Community Archaeology Manager

Having worked for Cambridge Archaeological Unit for many years, both in the field as an archaeologist and managing outreach projects, she gained her PhD in Community Archaeology from Bournemouth University in 2017. Since then she has juggled raising a family with community archaeology projects for Dorset Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty and Past Participate. She is also a visiting Fellow at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bournemouth.

Most fun I’ve had in a field: Managing the outreach component of the Ham Hill Excavations (Somerset)

Favourite archaeological landscape: South Dorset Ridgeway

Hardest project to date: Pulling off a successful Roman Street Party in several inches of mud and snow www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/news/roman-in-the-snow-hundreds-visit-nw-cambridge-site-open-day.htm

Biggest achievement: Completing my PhD on time

Most bling artefact discovered: Trumpington Cross www.cam.ac.uk/trumpingtoncross

Plans for the future: To keep introducing new audiences to archaeology

What I think community archaeology is: participation in all types of archaeological research by all types of people.

Interesting and accessible publications and reports written by me

Roberts, H. 2017. Community Archaeology: A model of best practice based upon case study examples in Dorset and Cambridgeshire. Thesis: Bournemouth University http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29661/1/ROBERTS%2C%20Hayley_Ph.D._2016.pdf

Roberts, H. 2014. in Evans, C., Cessford, C. & Roberts, H. 2014. North-West Cambridge Archaeology – an interim statement. Cambridge Archaeological Unit unpublished report. www-cau.arch.cam.ac.uk/NWC.htm

Roberts, H. 2014. Public Outreach in Brittain, M., Sharples, N., and Evans C. Ham Hill: Excavation of An Iron Age Hillfort 2013. CAU Report Number 1247. www-cau.arch.cam.ac.uk/hamhill.html

Roberts, H. 2013. Public Outreach in Brittain, M., Evans, C., and Sharples, N., Ham Hill: Excavation of An Iron Age Hillfort 2012. CAU Report Number 1159. www-cau.arch.cam.ac.uk/hamhill.html

Roberts, H. 2012. Public Outreach in Slater A and Brittain M Ham Hill: Excavation of An Iron Age Hillfort. CAU Report Number 1101. www-cau.arch.cam.ac.uk/hamhill.html

Roberts, H. 2011. Public Involvement in Tabor, J. Willingham Mere ‘Digging Environment’ Project. CAU Report No.1024. http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-822-1/dissemination/pdf/cambridg3-153183_1.pdf

Interesting and accessible reports written about my work

Guthrie, K. 2013. What lies beneath? Somewhere Blog. https://somewhere.org.uk/blog/9807/what-lies-beneath_

BBC 2011. Prehistoric wetland to be recreated in Cambridgeshire. 01/06/2011.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-13604733

The Guardian 2011. Iron age hill fort excavation reveals 'possible suburbia'. The Guardian. 01/09/2011 www.theguardian.com/science/2011/sep/01/iron-age-hill-fort-excavation

BBC 2013. Cambridge Dig unearths history from Bronze Age to World War Two  BBC 22/03/13 www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-21893150

Daily Mail 2013. Excavation gives gruesome glimpse of Iron Age massacre where 'thousands' were slaughtered, chopped up and dumped in mass grave Daily Mail. 5/09/2013
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2412038/Iron-Age-excavation-site-gives-gruesome-glimpse-past-bodies-slaughtered-chopped-chilling-massacre.html#ixzz57MVOAnJn  

The Independent 2013. Exclusive: Slaughtered bodies stripped of their flesh - a gruesome glimpse of Iron-Age massacre at UK’s largest hill fort. www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/exclusive-slaughtered-bodies-stripped-of-their-flesh-a-gruesome-glimpse-of-iron-age-massacre-at-uk-s-8798680.html

Dorset Echo 2017. Historic England heaps praise of South Dorset Ridgeway Project. 26/11/2017.www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/15619164.historic-england-heaps-praise-on-the-south-dorset-ridgeway-project/.

ANNE TEATHER

Executive Director

Anne had an interest in the past from a young child, but only came into archaeology though starting an undergraduate degree in her late 20s at the University of Southampton. This was followed by studies at Manchester University and Sheffield University where she finished her PhD in 2009. During this time, she was fortunate to supervise on the excavations of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, training students in field techniques from 2004-9.


Fascinated with the Neolithic period and monuments, she has always focussed on British and northern European prehistory and their cultural similarities. She taught at the University of Chester 2007-12, and has worked on a variety of projects since, from excavation through to museum exhibition development. She supervised at The Ness of Brodgar, Orkney (2015-7) and assists in The Stones of Stonehenge Project, which is investigating the Welsh origins of Stonehenge; and volunteers on the Between the Monuments Project, which seeks to establish the character of human settlement in the Avebury landscape during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. With a passion for archives and artefacts, she continues to research material culture of later prehistory (with specialisms in chalk artefacts and art).


The monuments of West Dorset are amongst the most important and underexplored resource of later British prehistory and Past Participate are delighted to be leading their community archaeology in such a rich archaeological landscape.

About me:

Most fun I’ve had in a field: excavating the floors of Neolithic houses at the village of Durrington Walls, Wiltshire.

Hardest project to date: supervising on the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2008, when our campsite was under more mud than Glastonbury!

Favourite archaeological landscape: Avebury. Not only is the site itself stupendous, but the area around it is just stuffed with monuments. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury/features/avebury-stone-circles-and-henge

Most important discovery: knee holes in the earthen floor by the hearth, in a house at Durrington Walls.


Most difficult archaeology encountered: The Ness of Brodgar. I was excavating a trench down the side of the site where the deposits at one end of the trench were later than those at the other end of the trench. It was hard to try to tease out where and how these boundaries manifested archaeologically (there were at least 5).

Best artefacts discovered: Can’t tell you yet, haven’t published it!

Oldest artefact discovered: I re-found this in archives - early chalk art from Cissbury flint mine at the Ashmolean Museum.

https://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/teather347

Most important thing I have learnt in archaeology: The difference between water resistant and waterproof.

Motto: “Archaeology is a skill, you can learn it.”

Goals for 2022: To get back out in the field and keep puzzling out the past.

Aspirations for Past Participate: I want us to continue to provide stimulating ways for people of all ages and abilities to access an understanding of the past.


Selected publications written or co-authored by me

Magazine articles and free content

Teather, A., Chamberlain, A. and Parker Pearson, M. 2019. Getting the Measure of Stonehenge. British Archaeology 165:48-51.


Teather, A. 2015. The first British Neolithic representational art? The chalk engravings at Cissbury flint mine. Antiquity Project Gallery http://www.antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/teather347


Kenny, J. and Teather, A. 2016. New insights into the Neolithic chalk drums from Folkton (North Yorkshire) and Lavant (West Sussex), PAST 83:55-6. 

http://www.prehistoricsociety.org/publications/publication/past_83_june_2016/


Books


Gebauer, A., Sørensen. L., Teather, A. and Valera, A. (eds). 2020. Monumentalizing life in Neolithic Europe: Narratives of change and continuity. Oxford: Oxbow. 


Teather, A., Topping, P. and Baczkowski J. (eds) 2019. Mining and Quarrying in Neolithic Europe. Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Series 16, Oxford: Oxbow.


Teather, A. 2016. Mining and materiality: Neolithic chalk artefacts and their depositional contexts in southern Britain. Oxford: Archaeopress


Papers


On Artefacts

Teather, A., Chamberlain, A.T. and Parker Pearson, M. 2019. The Chalk Drums from Folkton and Lavant: Measuring Devices from the Time of Stonehenge. Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. 34:1:1-11 https://doi.org/10.1080/17498430.2018.1555927


Teather, A. 2017. More than 'Other Stone' - new methods to analyse prehistoric chalk artefacts. In Shaffrey, R. (ed.) Written in Stone: Function, form, and provenancing of a range of Prehistoric Stone Objects. Southampton: Highfield Press: 303-321.

Teather, A. and Chamberlain, A.T. 2016. Dying embers: fire-lighting technology and mortuary practice in early Bronze Age Britain. The Archaeological Journal 173:2:188-205. DOI: 10.1080/00665983.2016.1177258


On Prehistory and Theory

Frieman, C., Teather, A. and Morgan, C. 2019. Bodies in motion: Narratives and counter narratives about gendered mobility in European later prehistory. Norwegian Archaeological Review https://doi.org/10.1080/00293652.2019.1697355


Teather, A. 2018. Revealing a Prehistoric Past: Evidence for the Deliberate Construction of a Historic Narrative in the British Neolithic, Journal of Social Archaeology 18:2:193-211. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469605318765517


Teather, A. 2016. Building new Neolithic connections through artefacts: the archaeological collections of John Pull and James Park Harrison. World Archaeology 48:2:296-310. DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2016.1207559


Teather, A. 2007. Neolithic Phallacies: a discussion of some southern British artefacts, in M. Larsson and M. Parker Pearson (ed.) From Stonehenge to the Baltic: Living with cultural diversity in the third millennium BC. Oxford: Archaeopress: 205-11.  Available through ResearchGate


On Neolithic Flint Mines

Edinborough, K., Shennan, S., Teather, A., Baczkowski, J., Bevan, A., Bradley, R., Cook, G.  Kerig, T., Parker Pearson, M., Pope, A., Schauer, P.  2019. New radiocarbon dates show Early Neolithic date of flint-mining and stone quarrying in Britain. Radiocarbon 61, 1-31.


Teather, A. 2019. Radiocarbon dating on flint mining shaft deposits at Blackpatch, Cissbury and Church Hill, Sussex. In Teather, A., Topping, P. and Baczkowski, J.  (eds). Mining and Quarrying in Neolithic Europe. Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Series. Oxford: Oxbow: 37-48.


Teather, A. 2011. Interpreting hidden chalk art in southern British Neolithic flint mines. World Archaeology 43:2:230-251. DOI:10.1080/00438243.2011.579496


Stonehenge Riverside Project and The Stones of Stonehenge Project

https://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/news/bluestonehenge.htm

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170713-why-stonehenge-was-built

A short summary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvScpdMhQNk&ab_channel=UCL

And a longer video lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ2lR5_N0vc&ab_channel=CouncilforBritishArchaeology


Links to interesting and accessible websites, reports, and videos about projects that I have been involved with

The Ness of Brodgar

https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/

A video lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMiSYUVp8I8&t=1s&ab_channel=SocietyofAntiquariesofScotland