ICE AND FIRE is a Heritage Lottery funded community project designed to explore and record prehistoric archaeology at risk in damaged, eroding areas where artefacts have been found on the surface. Fieldwork and post-excavation activities offer the opportunity to be part of a friendly team.

Watch the dramatic 15 minute Summer 2017 video “A Very Special Place”


  • Learn new skills – excavation, surveying, fieldwalking, finds analysis
  • No experience needed
  • Join a friendly team
  • Enjoy the outdoors
  • Discover your heritage


  • Visit the Publications page for posters, timelines and the free 2017-18 Interim Report »


Volunteers will have the chance to learn about archaeological fieldwork techniques, recording and finds analysis under expert guidance – no previous experience is needed. We will train you.

Eston Nab as it might have appeared in the late Bronze Age. © Tees Archaeology.


  • Establish the nature of prehistoric activity and state of preservation with test pits
  • Sample wetland areas with an auger to investigate past environments
  • Survey fire-damaged areas for archaeological remains including rock art
  • Conduct seasonal field-walking to assess the broader extent of prehistoric activity


  • Provide archaeological training to volunteers from diverse backgrounds
  • Assess the degree of damage and survival of archaeological remains in order to inform land management and conservation practices
  • Obtain archaeological and palaeo-environmental data to augment our understanding of climate change, past human activity and their effects on the landscape
  • Promote the unique heritage of the area, and the risks to its survival
  • Encourage community awareness and pride in the value of our shared place

Image | Early Mesolithic flint arrowhead from Eston Hills
dating to the ninth millenium BC. © Spencer Carter.


ICE AND FIRE offers a rare opportunity to explore the early prehistory of Teesside, including:

  • The first people to recolonize the landscape after the last Ice Age
  • Transitions within the Mesolithic period and into the Neolithic with the onset of farming, monument building and pottery – and into the Bronze Age and later periods
  • Recovery of dating evidence, organic and carbonised material for radiocarbon dating, and recording features where they survive
  • Testing geophysical prospecting methods against sub-surface archaeology
  • Testing 3D scanning of artefacts at Teesside University’s ‘crime scene’ forensic anthropology laboratory

Learn more about the archaeology of Eston Hills »
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