The Lanton quarry site, owned by Tarmac, is situated a few miles outside Milfield, Northumberland on a large gravel terrace that flanks the River Glen. It lies next to a sensitive archaeological landscape that includes the remains of henges, ring ditches, pit alignments, settlements, two Anglo-Saxon royal towns as well as many other features such as defended enclosures, ancient field boundaries and stock control systems.
ARS Ltd undertook a fieldwalking evaluation on the Lanton site in the autumn of 2003. The fieldwalking was conducted using a methodology intended to recover 100% of surface artefacts with all findspots recorded as individual points.
The finds from the fieldwalking included a fragment of prehistoric pottery and a large quantity of stone tools dating to the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. These included arrowheads, scrapers, knives and a variety of blade tools. The Neolithic and Early Bronze-Age material was clustered toward the north end of the site, while occasional Mesolithic pieces were found across the entire area.
After the fieldwalking had taken place 10ha of the area has been stripped of topsoil and al existing archaeology recorded. This has included:
- A series of Neolithic buildings and cooking pits.
- At least 2 Bronze Age houses.
- An Anglo Saxon village with evidence for houses and workshops.
The second phase of fieldwork at Lanton Quarry was undertaken during the winter of 2008-9, and yielded more multi-period archaeology including Early Neolithic midden pits, a number of post-built structures - some probably Bronze Age, and also two unusual corbelled stone cists, one of which contained human remains. The results of specialist analysis are currently awaited.