Institute of Archaeology

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Whitehawk Camp Community Archaeology Project wins HLF grant

14 April 2014

A reconstruction by Ian Dennis of the Whitehawk causewayed enclosure c. 3,600 cal BC (reproduced from Whittle, Healy and Bayliss 2011; fig. 1.3)

The Whitehawk Camp Community Archaeology Project has received £99,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting initiative based in Brighton.

The Whitehawk Camp partnership, formed of UCL's Centre for Applied Archaeology (CAA), Brighton & Hove City Council’s Royal Pavilion & Museums and Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society, has received the HLF grant to allow the local community to work with professional and skilled volunteers on a nationally important archaeological monument. A series of volunteering opportunities, workshops and events will be run at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Whitehawk Camp and other venues from April 2014 for 12 months.

Volunteers will learn the necessary skills required to catalogue and examine archaeological finds, undertake geophysical survey, excavate archaeological remains and undertake conservation work to the monument. A series of outreach events will examine themes such as our relationship with food, the bio-diversity of Whitehawk Hill and Whitehawk Hill's relationship with the wider Downland landscape. The results of the project will be interpreted through digital media and an archaeological archive report.

Neolithic pottery found at Whitehawk Camp

This project will focus on Whitehawk Camp and the collection of objects excavated from the site in the 1920s and 1930s. This 5,500 year old Stone Age monument (a Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure) on Whitehawk Hill in Brighton, East Sussex is a rare type of ritual monument (predating Stonehenge by around 500 years) and marks the emergence of Britain's first farming communities. It is the project’s aim to work with the local community to build understanding of the importance of the monument, engender a spirit of ownership and identity and actively work for the physical improvement of the site and its archive.

Congratulations to CAA team members Hilary Orange, Jon Sygrave and Sarah Wolferstan for their grant success! 

Commenting on the award, Dominic Perring (CAA Director) added:

  • This is what archaeology should be about: a chance for everyone to participate in
    the adventure of discovery on a really important site. There are some fantastic events planned, and we look forward to learning a lot more about what happened at Brighton in the early Neolithic (New Stone Age)
    .”

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Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) logo

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, the HLF has supported almost 36,000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK to date.

Image captions:

  • Top: A reconstruction by Ian Dennis of the Whitehawk causewayed enclosure c. 3,600 cal BC (reproduced from Whittle, Healy and Bayliss 2011; fig. 1.3)
  • Bottom: Neolithic pottery found at Whitehawk Camp