Monthly Archives: January 2015

OASIS Development Demo

OASIS Development Demo

This follows on from the OASIS redevelopment survey over the summer. The Archaeological Data Service have now produced a selection of scenarios which reflect the survey responses. We will be making the survey responses available in due course.

The mock up is divided into different scenarios for different types of user:
Contractor, HER, Museum etc and each page has a comment area at the bottom. Please use the comments area to leave any feedback you have, positive or negative, as if we don’t know your thoughts now we cannot accommodate them in the final design. We would appreciate your comments even if you are not a user of the current system.
The mock up will be open for comments until Sunday 8th February.

Providing feedback will give you a real opportunity to influence the redevelopment of OASIS.

If you have any questions about this, or the project in general, please contact the
ADS via Jo Gilham on or 01904 323937.

History of Beavers in the UK -Great North Museum 13/02/2015

History of Beavers in the UK by Prof Bryony Coles
Natural History Society of Northumbria lecture
Friday 13th February 2015, 7-8pm

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle

After an introduction to European Beavers and their activities, this talk will outline the types of evidence which can be used to identify their presence in former times, and their history in Britain from the end of the last Ice Age to the probable time of their extinction, including recent evidence found in Northumberland. People hunted Beavers from early times, for food and fur and medicine, and questions to consider will include the extent of human contribution to their
extinction. With the trial release of Beavers and their establishment in Scotland the pros and cons of reintroducing this native species throughout Britain will also be considered.

Bryony Coles, Emeritus Professor at Exeter University, is an archaeologist with particular
interests in prehistory, wetland archaeology and the long-term interactions between humans and their environment. In 2004 she won the Earth Watch Balloon Debate at the Natural History Museum in London as advocate for Beavers, and in 2006 she published Beavers in Britain’s

The Natural History Society of Northumbria’s lectures are usually held every Friday evening, starting at 7pm, in the learning suite on the ground floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock. The museum is closed to the public at this time, so entry is via both side entrances. Entry is from 6.20pm and tea, coffee and biscuits are available and the opportunity to socialise. Speakers give an illustrated presentation for 45mins-1 hour and then open the floor for
questions and discussions.

Non-members are very welcome to attend but we ask that they kindly make a donation on the night to support these lectures.

Rievaulx landscapes project-Saturday 28 February 2015

Come and find out about the work currently underway to understand Rievaulx Abbey and its landscapes, and how you could take part

The complex history, beautiful setting and well-preserved architecture of Rievaulx Abbey have made it an iconic part of the North York landscape for nearly 900 years.

Many of the 100,000 people who visit the site each year may not realise how relatively little we still know about this important place:

  •  There are gaps in the historic record, as part of the abbey’s archive was destroyed by fire.
  • Previous scholarly attention has focussed on the above-ground remains of the monastic centre, with less attention paid to the wider landscape which supported the abbey.
  • Archaeological evidence may have been destroyed when the monastic centre was “cleared” in the early 20th century, and what remains cannot now be excavated.

So there is much we still don’t know about how the abbey operated in practical terms, such as its relationship with the wide network of places and activities which enabled its upkeep. These were as varied as mining interests in West Yorkshire, farming across the North York Moors, fisheries at Teesmouth and major landscape reclamation in the Vale of Pickering.

Traditional excavation won’t be possible in most of these areas. New archaeological techniques are needed, which can interpret the data produced by modern non-intrusive sensing technology. One key stage can be carried out by volunteers. It depends more on observation, an enquiring, open mind, and the ability to work methodically than on existing archaeological or technical knowledge. It can be carried out from home, with just a computer and internet access, after a short amount of interpretation training which will be provided.

Come and find out, without obligation, about current work underway by English Heritage, Durham University and others, and how you can help to study the fascinating Rievaulx landscape.

Workshop venue: Schoolroom at Rievaulx Abbey, near Helmsley YO62 5LB

Day: Saturday 28 February 2015. Time: 1-3pm. Refreshments provided.

Free, but places are limited. Pre-booking is essential to

Please do not contact the English Heritage team at Rievaulx Abbey about this event. The event is being organised offsite, so the Abbey team will have no more information than is in this notice, and cannot take bookings. General enquiries may be sent to or by post to Freya Horsfield, Rievaulx Landscapes Project, University of Durham, Department of Archaeology, Dawson Building, South Street, Durham DH1 3LE

Catterick Archaeology Day 24th January 2015

February 2015 Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland Lecture

Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland Lecture

“We dusted them off good” The German Army at Beaumont Hamel, 1914–16″

To be given by Alastair Fraser on Saturday 14 February at our usual venue of Elvet Riverside Room 140 at 2.30pm.

Archaeology through the ages- Archaeology Course in Sunderland

Archaeology through the ages:  

We still have some spaces on an 11 week Archaeology course which has just started on Friday 16th January.  The course is at Monkwearmouth Station Museum  North Bridge Street, Sunderland, SR5 1AP between 10.15am  and 12.15pm on Fridays.

 Fee: £53 or FREE if you are in receipt of a means tested benefits.  Online enrolment and course information is available via or come along to the class on the 23rd January.  For further information contact Donna Utterson email: or  07887821462 or 0191 2126100    

Bede’s World 2015

Bede’s World Saturday Talks

The Saturday Talks programme for 2015 starts on Saturday 31st January when we will welcome Franklin Harkins from the University of Durham to speak on, ‘Bede and the Bible’.

A couple of points to note, the museum is closed in January and so there will be no café facilities for this first talk we will, however, have tea and coffee available in the conference room. Also, our second talk of the year, due to take place on 28th February has been postponed by a week and the new date is Saturday 7th March. This talk will be given by Adam Parson from Oxford Archaeology on ‘Shadows in the sand: discovery, excavation and analysis of a Viking age cemetery.’

Flodden Metal Detecting Training 31st January and 1st February

Following requests from several interested parties this two day course will take place in January 31st and February 1st (Saturday and Sunday) and will be based in Norham. The aim of the course will be to look at the basics of archaeological metal detecting, how the project’s standard machines work, how we use them as archaeologists and how to recover finds identified through metal detecting.

The first part of the day (31st January) 0900-1300 will be based in doors at Norham Village Hall. The course will them move out doors to examine a field currently under grass in the vicinity of the Norham at Ladykirk on the Scottish side. This practical experience is the best way to learn metal detecting with the support of the project’s metal detecting expert Ian Glendinning.

Day two will be to provide a further opportunity to practice (and will for those who missed it on day one provide an opportunity to hear Ian’s indoor talk again).

 This course is aimed at those with no or limited experience.

There will be 10 places per day. Priority on day 2 will be given to those who attend day 1.

 For any questions or bookings please contact Chris on

 If you want to take part you will need to be a fieldwork member of TillVAS (£2 for a year’s cover – you can pay Ian on the day. If you have already paid in the last 12 months you are already covered)

The recent archaeology of Dere Street and its environs- Saturday 7th February

The recent archaeology of Dere Street and its environs

 Dr Stephen Sherlock will give the sixth in a series of talks on The Roman Roads of North Yorkshire at Thornton le Street Village Hall between Thirsk and Northallerton on Saturday 7th February 2015 at 2.00 pm. Admission will be £2 at the door, but prior booking is advised. This programme is designed to both report on recent activity and to encourage future research within a professional framework.

 Stephen is a distinguished locally based Archaeologist, Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries and the Society of Antiquities (Scotland), who has undertaken a series of major excavations across North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley. Whilst working for Cleveland County Council in the 1980s he directed the excavation of the region’s largest Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Norton on Tees and assisted in other major excavations including those at Eston Nab hillfort and the Iron Age settlement at Thorpe Thewles. Since then Stephen has undertaken and published on a wide rage of commercial projects. He has recently led important fieldwork projects around Loftus at Street House and elsewhere in East Cleveland examining Late Prehistoric to Early Medieval sites – two volumes of the results are published as Tees Archaeology monographs.

 He has been employed since 2009 as Clerk of Works on the A1 road improvements between Dishforth and Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire. This role involves assessing the scope of works required in advance of the road construction and liaising between the archaeological contractors and Carillion-Morgan Sindall who are building the road on behalf of the Highways Agency. He will report on the on-going programme of archaeological excavation undertaken by the Northern Archaeological Associates, including further evidence of Dere Street and associated fortifications and settlements along its route.

Bookings can be made with John Sheehan: 01609 771878 or email, from whom further information can be obtained.