Pre-Roman relics back on display in Forestry Commission and Yorkshire Museum project

By Culture24 Reporter | 26 March 2013

Bronze Age ceramics, tools and part of a scabbard pre-dating the Roman era by 1,000 years will return to the Yorkshire forests in a poetic rendezvous with their original burial grounds.

A photo of a woman holding up a Bronze Age pot outdoors
Katie Thorn, of the Forestry Commission, takes a look at a Bronze Age food vessel which has joined dozens of historic monuments on display in Dalby© Tony Bartholomew
Amateur archaeologists William Lamplough, his son David and John ‘Ronnie’ Lidster found the items, described as a “remarkable” archive by curators, in the North Yorkshire countryside in the aftermath of World War II.

More than 4,000 years after their original use, they will go on display at the Forestry Commission-run Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, which has entered a partnership with the Yorkshire Museum, who the explorers donated their finds to.

“We have never had this kind of material on show at Dalby,” says Katie Thorn, of the Commission.

“But it’s absolutely fitting as the forest contains no less than 83 Scheduled Ancient Monuments, spanning thousands of years.

“Most of the archive items were found around Bronze Age burial mounds in forests like Langdale and Broxa.

“Little is known about this period, as it was nearly 1,000 years before the Romans came and we have no written records.

“But these artefacts do give us a precious and fascinating insight into life of our ancestors.”

The 3,440-hectare forest, near Pickering, has come under the focus of the museum’s three-year project, Prehistory in Yorkshire, highlighting the county’s megalithic past.

“Since they were donated we have been carefully cataloguing, photographing and researching the artefacts,” says Natalie McCaul, the museum’s Curator of Archaeology.

“Dalby is the perfect place to show them as we are very keen to link objects back to the landscape in which they were found.

“Simple objects can tell us quite a lot about the habits and customs of people who seem very distant in history but are very much part of our cultural fabric.”

Lamplough and Lidster’s search for the relics was driven by a fear that barrows full of buried items would be destroyed by the post-war expansion of forestry.

  • Exhibition runs until May 2014.

More pictures:

A black and white photo of an archaeologist working on mossland after World War Two
The finders were keen to avoid the items being lost forever after the Second World War© Tony Bartholomew
A photo of a woman looking through a whole in a small slab of Bronze Age rock
A Bronze Age axehead© Tony Bartholomew
A photo of a pair of hands holding a small circular black Bronze Age rock
A jet broach© Tony Bartholomew
A photo of a woman holding a small triangular white piece of Bronze Age rock
Curator of Archaeology Natalie McCaul takes a peep© Tony Bartholomew
A photo of a line of black neck beads found in a Bronze Age archaeological archive
Bronze Age jet beads© Tony Bartholomew
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