In this section of the website you can find out more about specialist and technical terms archaeologists sometimes use. There is also lots more information about famous people and historic events in the north-east.
A central tower to a Medieval 11th to 13th century castle, when a curtain wall encloses the remainder of the site. This may be of an irregular shape or square. It may be surrounded by other buildings and be on top of a motte and bailey.
Kerb; Kerb stones
A series of stones, often set upright, which serve as an edge. This will retain the main body, or shape, of otherwise loose materials. Kerbstones are used on some Bronze Age cairns, such as that at Blawearie, Old Bewick, Northumberland.
A place where a material is heated to change it. For example pottery kilns are used to produce hard ceramics by heating warm clays. The heat can be forced to go through the superstructure of the kiln in a particular way to create a special firing environment. Some are shaped like bottles in profile, so acquired the name bottle kilns. (See also bloomery, blast furnace, bail hills, corn-drying kiln and furnace).
King Edward I
1239-1307 Known as "Longshanks" for his extraordinary height, Edward, son of Henry III, was a strong-willed, militaristic king who succeeded in subduing Wales but failed to conquer Scotland. He made significant changes to feudal law, strengthening both the Crown and Parliament at the cost of the old nobility.
King James IV
1473-1513 James IV was crowned at Scone on 26 June 1488. James IV was a man of many skills - he was known to practise dentistry and even charged his patients for his services. He also founded the Royal College of Surgeons in 1505 which was 35 years earlier than the equivalent in England. The peace between Scotland and England which arose from the marriage lasted ten years. But James had renewed the "Auld Alliance" with France - and King Henry VIII of England had invaded the France of King Louis XII. Because of treaties which had been signed between Scotland and England in 1502, James did not need to take action . But, perhaps out of chivalry, perhaps out of a hope of winning territory while King Henry VIII was across the Channel, King James advanced into England after some Scottish merchant ships had been boarded by English privateers. After some minor successes, James met an English army led by the Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Flodden on September 9 1513.
Knapping is the making of flint tools. Flints could be struck against each other to knock flakes away. The flint core would then said to be knapped. Sometimes small wooden or bone tools were used instead - such flint would then be pressure-flaked. It is often possible to tell if flint tools have been made at a site, as knapping will leave the small fragments of flint that have been knocked off called debitage.
The Knights Templar were an order of warrior/monks officially founded in 1118 by Hugues de Payns after the successful campaign to recapture the holy city of Jerusalem.