ARCHAEOLOGICAL excavations in the Peak District are in the running for a national award and support from the public can make all the difference.
The Fin Cop project is one of five shortlisted for the prestigious Archaeological Research Project of the Year Award by readers and editors of Current Archaeology magazine.
The excavations at Fin Cop, an Iron Age hill fort overlooking Monsal Dale, near Bakewell, rose to national significance when unexpected evidence of a prehistoric massacre was revealed.
Skeletal remains of several young women and children were found thrown into a ditch with the ramparts pushed over them more than 2,000 years ago.
The project included digs carried out over two summers in 2009 and 2010 followed by extensive laboratory analysis and research.
The excavations, which also yielded hundreds of prehistoric pottery shards and tools, won a British Archaeology Award for best community project in 2010.
Work was carried out by Bakewell-based Archaeological Research Services Ltd with the Longstone Local History Group, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It was also supported by the Peak District National Park Authority, English Heritage and the private landowners and farmer.
Hundreds of young people and adult volunteers helped the digs and created videos and artworks. The site has been restored to grazing land.
n The winners will be decided by an online vote at http://archaeologyawards.org/2012/research-project-of-the-year-2012.htm