The team also becomes involved in specialist research arising from this work, including Bayesian analysis and wiggle-matching, and new guidelines are currently being drafted for radiocarbon dating.
This work can involve working closely with European colleagues, for example in developing chronologies that will help us to date softwood timbers, much of this timber having been imported to England from Baltic states.
The largest current European collaboration is The Times of Their Lives, a project jointly run by Cardiff University and English Heritage that won €2.5m of European Research Council funding to develop a new dating framework for the Neolithic period:
This builds on earlier ground-breaking work on the Neolithic in Britain and Ireland (Whittle, Healy and Bayliss, 2011 Gathering Time: Dating the Early Neolithic Enclosures of Southern Britain and Ireland).
This is an important and ambitious programme of research, and involves frequent travel to coordinate research across Europe, from Serbia to Scotland.
It is also, of course, a demanding programme of work and travel, and quite a lot of discussion at our meeting was devoted to trying to resolve some of the programming difficulties arising from juggling this and other commitments.
Too much (unpaid) overtime is being incurred, and we will have to defer some work to try to bring working hours back to within reasonable limits.
As Head of Intervention and Analysis, I manage a number of that provide expert advice on archaeology to English Heritage, commissioning and carrying out research in support of the organisation’s aims and objectives as set out in the National Heritage Protection Plan.
I’ll skip the train commute into London – I did that in my 2011 piece, and it wasn’t that interesting then.
We gathered at 10am in the Wroxeter Room in EH’s headquarters building at Waterhouse Square in Holborn.
The purpose of the meeting was to review progress across the full range of the team’s activities and projects, to look at issues arising from the team’s work, and to try to resolve the pressures that arise in a small team with a heavy workload.
Much of the meeting focused on the two main commissioning budgets, for radiocarbon dating and tree-ring dating, covering progress on commissioned work and progress on completing reports.
While much of the work goes on to appear in monographs and journal articles, most of the work is also disseminated through the English Heritage Research Reports series – the database of reports can be searched at (try searching using the keywords radiocarbon dating or dendrochronology).