What is Under the Uplands all about?
Under the Uplands is an exciting new crowdsourced and crowdfunded archaeology project that’s open to anyone to join. In short, it’s all about throwing open the doors to one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets – the rich archaeological heritage hidden deep inside its caves.
How are we doing it? First of all, archaeological digs have already unearthed some amazing artefacts, but the problem is that many of these finds are kept in archives, out of sight and often out of mind. We’re starting by unboxing these archives and using an app we’ve developed called to Digital Dig Team to make 3D models of the artefacts and upload them to a Virtual Museum that everyone in the world can visit.
After that, we’ll be kicking off a brand new excavation at a very special location. What will we find? Can it add to the our understanding of Yorkshire’s Ice Age past? Whatever we find, the excavation team will also be using Digital Dig Team to upload it all to the Virtual Museum.
We’re also working with Yorkshire’s caving community, who continue to explore and discover new passages and chambers. Together, we’ll be making sure that any new archaeological discoveries are recorded, recovered and available to the public. And, by publishing everything online we’re making sure that everyone who takes part, in whatever shape or form, can be with us every step of the way. It also means every single shred of our data is open to everyone to see, as soon as it comes out of the ground.
How do I get involved?
All parts of the project are open to anyone who wants to get involved. Fancy exploring Yorkshire’s Ice Age past? Or investigating the existence of a Romano-British cave cult right here in the Dales? Then sign up as a member of the excavation team, or join us for a session in the archives and help build a Virtual Museum!
Who else is involved?
The main archive collection we’re working on comes from Victoria Cave, a scheduled ancient monument in the care of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Archaeological excavations carried out by Victorian scientists and later by a working men’s club in the 1930s has produced evidence that has literally changed our understanding of the Ice Age, and of Romano-British culture. You can check out the key figures from DigVentures, and from earlier excavations on the Team page.
We’ve also teamed up with Tom Lord who, for the last few decades, has been carefully looking after the Victoria Cave collection. DigVentures applied for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the collection public and, to our delight, they agreed.
We’re spending lots of time in the Victoria Cave archives, digging through Ice Age bones, Lateglacial hunting implements and Romano-British artefacts and turning them into a Virtual Museum. You can get your hands dirty with us in the archives too!
Victoria Cave has an incredible collection, but there’s a whole other cave nearby that has never been investigated before. Will it produce more Ice Age evidence? Or is it where Neolithic people buried their dead? Help us find out!
This Digital Dig Team project is about the future: the future management and presentation of Under the Uplands artefacts, and the future of archaeological field recording. Our Venturers are already working alongside DigVentures archaeologists.