Whitby Abbey Cliff, Whitby, North Yorkshire: Archaeomagnetic Dating Report 2002

Author(s): Paul Linford

During excavations on the cliff top at Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire in 2001-2, a number of fired clay features were discovered. These features were thought to relate to the settlement associated with the original abbey in the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Scandinavian periods. Two were sampled for archaeomagnetic dating to help establish a chronology for the site, in conjunction with four features previously dated in 2001. One of the features appeared to have been a hearth dating from the early medieval period. However archaeomagnetic analysis shows that it has slumped since it was last fired and thus cannot be dated. The other feature was a fire hardened clay surface, which abutted, and possibly continued beneath, some of the features dated in 2001. Its archaeomagnetic date showed that it was last fired in the Anglo-Saxon period. However, the poor precision of archaeomagnetism for this period prevents any further elucidation of its chronological relationship to the other features.

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CfA Reports


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