CBA North News
Dear Members and Friends of CBA North,
Today is the start of the Festival of Archaeology – this year in these unusual times for Part II, though these remain unprecedented times in all sorts of ways in the on-going pandemic circumstances. It remains still uncertain when normality might resume. However local and regional groups (including in our own CBA North network) have rallied in starting to investigate and use – very successfully – virtual meetings, as have other national groups, and further digital content been prepared and online to all. Some places have physically opened or re-opened or in different ways for the year, whilst other places have always remained open to the elements and new insights been gained, whether in closer examination of one’s local area or as in viewing online content. There has been lots of archaeological activity across the CBA North region, as elsewhere in this or any other year, though not perhaps as we would have expected back in January.
This has been a mixed period – some have been furloughed, others have been laid off, whilst some have been busy continuing their archaeological work (and also being borrowed for extra duties in support of assistance in the fight against CV-19 and its varied health and economic effects) whether professional or personal. Much work on your behalf has been carried out behind the scenes as well, which we hope will bring dividends in the future as well. Furthermore CBA North has since our last email has gained new members and a special welcome to all of them and thanks to you all for sticking with us!
It remains heartening that there is continuing interest – through whatever forms that may be – of the region’s archaeology, history and heritage, as well in the local societies and groups. Above all we hope you, your family and friends are all well and stay safe into the future. We hope that the range of digital content and links are of interest and/or use – please feel free to circulate to your contacts.
CBA North Committee, 24.10.2020
Notes and news of our local group members
CV-19 has affected many of the local societies and groups programmes in changes of speakers and dates, so a wholesale review of our website events pages is needed. The Appleby Archaeology Group, the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, the Teesside Archaeological Society (see details below) and the Till Valley Archaeological Society of our group members have carried out and continue with virtual meetings. The Bamburgh Research Project has continued on also (see details below for them also) and for some fieldwork and outdoor activities have proved possible, but somewhat in more of a constrained manner.
Other groups have paused including the Border Archaeological Society and the Northumberland Archaeological Group their programmes of lectures and normal events eschewing virtual means (so far though), though this doesn’t necessarily mean activities stopped – mystery location and picture quizzes, extra newsletters, objects of the week and more emails circulating further details of events, as well as fresh, revised digital content and websites, have all been seen as well in these unusual times. Groups outside our network as the North East Ancient Egypt Society and the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne have also carried out virtual meetings with extra newsletter and digital content circulated around their members also. Indeed, as with CBA North, new members have joined such groups.
CBA North remain keen to promote your local events and news – it would be useful to have a summary paragraph or line on what happening with your group for everyone else to know, whether paused, changing formats or dabbling in virtual meeting methods. Please can all group members check their entries and contact details, as well as let us know what changes may be needed for our Events website page.
Festival of Archaeology Part II events
The Festival of Archaeology for this year – and its special Part II – starts today Saturday 24 October and runs to Sunday 1 November. Full details of the programme can be found on the Festival of Archaeology website. You will need to register for some events, though some are more generally available (such as through YouTube).
These include an event by our group member the Bamburgh Research Project on the first Sunday of the festival (during the afternoon of 25 October), with discussion of the famed Bowl Hole Cemetery, discoveries within the Inner and West Wards of the famed castle, as well as of the Bamburgh Ossuary project.
The next Teesside Archaeological Society virtual lecture – as the usual last Tuesday evening of the month (27 October) – also falls within the timescale of the Festival of Archaeology. They, too, are also a group member, and have launched a new style of virtual memberships to facilitate such with the next lecture on Rievaulx Abbey.
What has CBA North been up to lately?
CBA North has been full of busy behind the scenes as well since our last email, though admittedly – through circumstances – not always outwardly so. We have continued to prioritise home-schooling and researcher enquiries made of us as before.
Behind the scenes we have been through all our membership lists and tagged you all. There are two levels to this; the first level indicates how you have joined us – whether National-to-North or North-only direct – and second is your membership type – Individual, Joint, Family, Group and/or Student. You can have a number of tags, for example your CBA North Acting Chair and Secretary is National-to-North and an Individual. Please let us know any changes as necessary, especially in any changes for our group representatives through any changes in office. It is usually a pair of names that we have to raise and circulate our information to you!
As noted we have, like other societies, gathered new members and with a variety of tag to date. Welcome to all of them! We may consider other tags in the future, but this may help us focus materials with the thought that we may be able to send you targeted emails. However one of the key things of being in the CBA North and National network is so we can spread the knowledge, skills and experience of topics from around and from outside the CBA North region. We are keen to know what your thoughts are for such tagging as well.
Work is also going on towards our next five year plan and with CBA National following your responses, and others, from the surveys we carried the links for in Recharging British Archaeology – but we are still keen to hear your views for the future of CBA North, your contributions are most welcome for the next news and towards where you think the group should be going to both promote your work and projects to others, as well as what you would like to see in these emails also.
A new society and its journal: the Roman Roads Research Association
Mike Haken, as Chairman, of the newly formed Roman Roads Research Association has written to us of their plans for its journal, and similarly seeks your help. He writes;
‘The Roman Roads Research Association is launching its own peer reviewed journal, Itinera, which will be devoted to publishing material that contributes to a better understanding of the Roman road network and its place within the wider context of Roman studies, both in Britain and internationally. It will be published both digitally and in hard copy.
We are keen to accept contributions from anyone whose work or research may involve a Roman road. The Journal will welcome longer peer-reviewed contributions, which could include accounts of newly identified roads, or papers exploring the wider context of roads as related to military and civilian activity, forts, planning, surveying and all aspects of Roman life. In a similar fashion to Britannia, Itinera will also contain a section (Roman Roads in XXXX) designed to provide an overview of all archaeological work and discoveries involving Roman roads in the previous year. In short, if it involves a Roman road, it will find a home in Itinera. Since our readership is unlikely to duplicate that of most other societies, we are happy to consider papers that have been previously published or submitted for publication elsewhere, subject of course to the agreement of the other publisher.
The remains of the Roman road now usually as Dere Street, near the Golden Potts, on the Otterburn Ranges, Northumberland, can be seen as the central agger mound flanked by the low ditches either side as pictured in the low vegetation and lambing break of Spring 2017.
If your work, research or study has recently involved a Roman road and you feel that can make a contribution to our exciting new project, please contact Itinera‘s Editor, Robert Entwistle. The deadline for submissions is 15th November 2020, but please let us know as soon as possible if you are thinking of submitting a paper.
Further details, including Notes for Contributors, can be found on our website.
Best wishes, and thanks’,
Further digital content from CBA National and others
The number of digitally available and free to all publications from CBA National has increased again. These include a number of the recent Research Reports series with further examples of regionally relevant publications, including The Archaeology of English Battlefields, Cartimandua’s Capital on the 1980s excavations by Durham University at Stanwick and Thornborough henges the location of 1990s fieldwork by Newcastle University amongst others. These can all be found online through the ADS Library, along with much else, including the scanned versions of Archaeologia Aeliana and the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society.
We’ve already sent on the likes to the Arbeia Journal links to their volumes here, whilst other societies proceedings can be found online on other websites including the History of the Berwickshire Naturalists Club and Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. All these societies have been at times been part of the CBA North network, the likes of 1974 boundary changes are as comparatively recent events in the archaeology and history of our region.
Fresh publications continue to appear, also, to be produced with CBA North-land relevant finds, sites and landscapes across the range of period, theme, location and specialist national and international literature. As British Archaeology article readers will have seen Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, appears, as does Whitton Hill, near Milfield in Northumberland, appear in an article on Bronze Age human remains heirlooms (see here for the full Antiquity article), whilst in the forthcoming Britannia, as the almost the horizontal opposite of Stockton and diagonally so from Whitton Hill, appears the rare Roman period Dig Hole Cave burials from near Haverbrack in the Arnside and Silverdale part of Cumbria (which is this). Others are doubtless out there and await finding – though these two are also freely available to all at the moment when other articles in the same issues are behind paywalls…
A Final Word?
…and that perhaps takes us to where we started on the value of local society and group’s events when, and however, they happen. To take an example of just one of our group members two of Northumberland Archaeological Group of earlier lectures publicised to you have been on Early Bronze Age axe-hammers across Northern Britain and burials at Staarvey Farm, on the Isle of Man, have now appeared in recent articles – behind paywalls in the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society here and Antiquity here also.
Whilst there are changes in such pricings at the moment, these prices for an article are often the same and if not more than the subscription to a local society or group for the full year, with all the benefits that these can bring.
When normality returns – whenever and however that is – remember to support your local and regional groups and their activities. As ever let us know your news and views, thoughts and comments. Our next email to members will hopefully be out in early November to you – contributions most welcome at any time! Stay safe!