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Comet Lode - Copa Hill


Engine Vein


Members of the EMRG assisted with survey and excavation work  which was carried out here by the Alderley Edge Landscape Project (Manchester Museum and the National Trust) between 1997 and 2000.



In 1874 William Boyd Dawkins reported on the discovery of numerous grooved hammer stones at Brynlow Levels on the Edge which he referred to as the tools of Bronze Age miners.


Later in 1878 the Rev. Sainter described a primitive oak shovel recovered from one of these pits.


The latter now resides within the collections of the Manchester Museum and has been radiocarbon dated to circa. 1750 BC.


This pit contained broken and carefully deposited stone tools, nearby a 12 metre-deep square-cut Roman mining shaft was found on the north side of the vein.


The latter connected with workings on the vein and within its base were found a number of oak planks which probably date from mining carried out during the early first century AD.


The top of the shaft was first uncovered by the Derbyshire Caving Club in 1995 when they recovered a pot containing a hoard of 4th century AD bronze coins (Timberlake & Prag, 2005)


Side of prospecting pit with peck marks from use of stone tools


Engine Vein opencast, Alderley Edge with bisected Early Bronze Age pit-workings along its northern side



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This website was made possible by a grant from the Cambrian Archaeology Association

The Alderley Edge shovel.

The Alderley Edge Landscape Project carried out archaeological work on the Edge including the excavation of an Early Bronze Age prospecting pit discovered on the south side of Engine Vein in 1997.

A grooved cobble stone mining hammer recovered during excavations.

Roman Pot Shaft Excavation (1997-1998)

Section through excavated shaft showing  position of level and sump.

Looking down this excavated Roman shaft showing its profile and twist in axis.

Excavation of Early Bronze Age Pit Working (EVBI) on south side of Engine vein (1997-98)

Table of radiocarbon dates from the Bronze Age mining levels.

Firesetting evidence on the base of the emptied pit.

Layer of cobbles and broken stone mining tools placed within base of pit.

Partly excavated Bronze Age prospection or mining pit.