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Prehistory of Geology on Dartmoor (Geology Section)
Sat. 20 May 2023 at 10:30 am
£3 – £4
A talk by Lee Bray.
In the Western world, geology is a well-defined science: the study of the structure and composition of the Earth and the processes which act on it. As such, the geological sphere is seen largely in economic or academic terms; as a source of resources or a field of study to promote our understanding of the planet we live on. All human cultures divide the world they experience into conceptual categories which influence how they think about and interact with it. We are no exception and the way we think about geology is an example of this. However, the categorization of other cultures is not always the same, or sometimes similar to those which we are familiar and this seems particularly so in prehistory. This talk will explore some of the ways in which prehistoric societies interacted with the geological world and what the evidence tells us about how they may have viewed and understood it. Where possible, it will focus on Dartmoor and Devon, but will also seek to contextualise the ideas presented by exploring more far-flung evidence.
Lee Bray is Cornish by birth, growing up in the St. Austell area and spending considerable time, including undertaking the Ten Tors expedition, hiking and camping on and developing a deep appreciation for Dartmoor. He is currently an archaeologist for Dartmoor National Park but started his career as a geologist gaining a BSc from Kingston University in 1988 and a MSc in Mineral Exploration from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College. His geological work then took him into the oil industry working firstly as an on-site geologist and then as a specialist analysing sub-surface pressure regimes within oil and gas reservoirs.
However, in 1999 he switched careers and moved back to the South West to undertake a BA in Archaeology at Exeter University. He graduated in 2002 and then launched into a PhD researching Roman iron working on Exmoor which he completed in 2006. Since then, Lee has held a variety of archaeological positions including as a project officer in commercial archaeology, working on sites ahead of development all over the South West and working for Exmoor National Park, especially in the area of mire restoration. He has been an archaeologist for Dartmoor since 2015 undertaking a variety of work ranging from giving advice on planning matters to running community excavations.
DA members £3, non-members £4.