Thursday, 30 August 2018

The Holy Island Quartz Pebble Project

Plenty more pebbles on the beach… When we excavated some of the Anglo-Saxon burials close to Lindisfarne Priory we found that many seem to have had small white quartz pebbles placed in or on the graves. This is in fact quite a common early burial rite in Northern Britain in this period, although one we don’t understand well. As part of our research we are trying to get a better understanding of where the quartz pebbles could have been originally collected from, and how long it took to gather them.

This is where you come in. We need your help to check out the beaches of Lindisfarne for quartz pebbles. We would like you to go to any of the Island’s beaches (or even one of the beaches on the mainland between Bamburgh and Berwick) and see whether you can find any small (less than 5cm across), white quartz pebbles.  Give yourself 15 minutes to see how many you can collect.

Once you have done this complete the form overleaf and hand it back to one of the archaeological team on the island, scan it and send it to or fill in our on-line questionnaire

Please don't take the pebbles with you - return them to the beach when you have finished collecting.