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Extractive Industries Research Framework

THE National Association of Mining History Organisations (NAMHO) is currently producing a ‘Research Framework for the Archaeology of the Extractive Industries in England’. Commissioned by English Heritage, the aim is to build an inventory of research carried out into mining and quarrying and, in parallel, to highlight the gaps in coverage.

The two-year project, which started last year, will assess the current knowledge (and gaps in knowledge) to plan for future research in this area. Although the emphasis is on archaeology, the historical context is also of importance.

The project covers all minerals except gas, oil and peat, and ranges from pre-history to the very recent past. To gather information as widely as possible, various working groups are being set up to cover particular mineral groups, regions, periods and other themes.

As part of this process, the National Stone Centre (NSC) at Wirksworth, in Derbyshire, which is co-ordinating the work on bulk minerals and building stone, has organized a free one-day meeting at the NSC on 26 November 2010 to bring together all those with an interest in quarries, archaeology and history.

‘Millions of pounds have been spent on investigating archaeology encountered in operations, but by comparison very little attention has been given to recording the history of the industry itself, which would be a relatively inexpensive task,’ commented NSC director Ian Thomas. ‘Significantly, this knowledge is being lost at a tremendous rate as mergers take place and older memories fade.’

At the meeting, Mr Thomas and NAMHO project officer Phil Newman will outline the project as a whole and introduce he work and challenges posed by this sector of the industry. This will be followed by a series of short presentations on current research, after which group discussions will explore areas where further work remains to be done.

To book a place at the November meeting, contact the National Stone Centre on tel: (01629) 824833 or use the contact form below.


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