Tag Archives: fieldwork

Wear-based archaeology next week

CBA North News
Today quick news of two events which may be of particular interest to those in the Sunderland and County Durham area.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
20.10.2017

North Hylton Community Archaeology Dig
This is an opportunity for both adults and children to take part in fieldwalking, trial trenching (small test pits for children) and finds washing. No experience is necessary, training will be provided by professional archaeologists from Wardell Armstrong and all equipment will be provided.

The purpose of the work is to investigate the cropmark visible above on aerial photographs. This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The archaeological work will run from Monday 23rd October until 3rd November. Volunteers can attend for as few or as many days as they wish, but they do need to book a place. If you are interested please contact;

Frank Giecco     fgiecco@wardell-armstrong.com

Norman Kirtlan     sunderlandsforgottenstones@gmail.com

Further information on the project can be found at Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones website here.

The Durham River Wear Assemblage Project
Also next week is a lecture on finds from the Durham River Wear Assemblage Project.

Further information on the project can be found on here in the pages of the Department of Archaeology, Durham University.

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Vindolanda, violence and war; forthcoming events in CBA North-land

CBA North News
Today our email combines our alphabet of archaeology with the letters V and W with a regular update of events across CBA North-land. This month started with the Belief in the North East conference at Durham University today.

Hot on the heels of the conference are three further events for the Bronze Age, Ancient Egyptians and Mary, Queen of Scots, in this week alone. Vindolanda, violence and war all feature in events this and next month; there is plenty for you to take your pick with (as well as more to come this week)!

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
01.10.2017

Local society events this month
Here is a list of events that we know of, so far, this month. Events, however, continue to be added to our website page – please let us know anything that we are missing!

2 October – “Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be broken”: reconstructing Bronze Age fighting styles, Andrea Dolfini [BAS]
7 October – Cobras, Demons and ‘Fighters’: Demonology in Ancient Egypt, Kasia Szpakowska [NEAES]

8 October – Mary, Queen of Scots, Jordan Evans [TILLVAS]

11 October – The Jomon Period Obsidian Mines in the Hoshikuso Pass, Nagawa, Japan, Pete Topping [NAG]
12 October – Medieval Grave Slabs of Cumbria, Peter Ryder [APPLEBY]
13 October – The Archaeology of Early Steam Locomotives, Dr Michael Bailey [Newcomen North East]
14 October – Title to be confirmed, David Mason [ARCH & ARCH]
15 October – David Dippie Dixon Memorial Lectures: The Roman assault on Burnswark Hill and New Views on Roman Scotland, John Reid [CCA]
25 October – Putting the People in the Pageant: Visions of People’s History and the Industrial Revolution in Historical Pageants in Britain, 1905-2016, Alexander Hutton [SOCANTS]
31 October – The River Tees Rediscovered, Robin Daniels [TAS]

Conference review: SGRP at Carlisle
Our region has played host to a number of national conferences this year which we hope to report to all members. Paul Bidwell, formerly Head of Archaeology, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, who retired in 2013, has provided this review of one of those events.

Paul writes “The Study Group for Roman Pottery (SGRP) was established in 1971 and now has a membership of 170 which consists mainly of people working for archaeological contracting organisations and museums, together with a healthy representation of independent researchers. This year its annual conference met at the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle on the weekend of 14–17 July.

Although there was a wide range of papers, the focus was on recent fieldwork and research in northern England. Pottery and burial practices in the Roman cemetery recently investigated at Botchergate, Carlisle were described by Megan Stoakley. Presentations on the material from the excavations in the extra-mural settlements at Brougham were given by Ruth Leary and Gwladys Monteil. One particularly interesting aspect of the pottery at Maryport is the presence of coarse wares imported from Mucking on the Thames estuary in Essex. It is a demonstration of the extent to which Roman military and urban sites in northern England had become dependent on the import of pottery from the Midlands and southern England in the mid-Roman period. Some of the implications of this change from local production in the earlier Roman period were explored by Jerry Evans in his account of pottery from recent excavations at Vindolanda. In the third century imports from continental Europe were in decline but were still of some importance. Most of the wine supplied to the Roman army in the North seems to have been supplied from southern Gaul and the Rhineland in barrels rather than amphorae, but, as Paul Bidwell explained, during the mid- to late third century imports from the famous wine-producing area of Campania in central Italy arrived in large quantities. They were contained in amphorae of distinctive forms and fabrics (see the photographs below).

Two mid-third century wine amphorae from Campania found at South Shields and Wallsend
(© Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums)

The Pottery Group meetings always include a short field trip, and this year an excursion was made to Vindolanda and the stretch of the Wall between Gilsland and Birdoswald. A highlight was the firing of a replica Roman pottery kiln at Vindolanda which was organised by Graham Taylor, a professional potter.

Other very interesting contributions dealt with pottery beyond our region, but mention made of some that described work at Scotch Corner and Catterick on the border with North Yorkshire. Excavations connected with the completion of the A1(M) have been on a huge scale and are likely to transform our understanding of Roman settlement in north-east England when the post-excavation analyses have been completed”.

Looking further ahead
Here is a selection of some of the other events happening in October and November across the CBA North region. If you want to get involved with these, with the exception of the open day next weekend, then you will need to book up. Contact details can be found in each of the posters.

For those that haven’t satisfied their fieldwork needs during the summer yet, Wardell Armstrong have sent us details of a further project examining whether a series of large stones in the Wear are the remains of a Roman structure.

Looking further ahead the Arbeia Society conference in November continues the Roman interests

T’s and U’s for the archaeological alphabet

CBA North News
Our alphabet of archaeology continues with a quick pair of Updates from TillVAS and CITiZAN with news; there are also events listed for this weekend… but we aren’t going to cheat and claim the W just yet!

Our Events page on the website will continue to grow and further events that have come to us from one of our group members to us will be added soon to the page. We’ll gather these up for 2018 (please send us notice of any that you think might of interest to everyone else) and send on all the events that we know of at the start of the year for what is, traditionally, the most widely read and circulated of all our emails.

We hope to send out more news later this week with October’s many events listed.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
26.09.2017

Local group round-up: TillVAS in north Northumberland
Maureen Charlton and Heather Pentland send us another group round-up from the Till Valley Archaeological Society. Excavations have only recently finished at this site, so this – outside of the local parish magazine – is the first news of this excavation outside the area.

They also note the next TillVAS event – to which all are invited – is not long away either.

Events this weekend
This weekend is full of archaeological events – we know of at least six. Here are posters for three.

…and finally, though you’ll have to be quick to book a place for this dayschool.

CITiZAN in CBA North-land during 2017
Megan Clement of the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN) has sent us a brief note of their work this summer as we covered last year. This year the project’s efforts have concentrated, so far, upon Cumbria. She writes;

“Two events were hosted in Cumbria during the Festival of British Archaeology on the 16th and 17th July, led by CITiZAN North in partnership with Morecambe Bay Partnership. These were CITiZAN app workshops which involved a basic guided walk around a local area whilst updating and adding new records to the CITiZAN dataset. The two sites chosen were Roa Island near Barrow-in-Furness and Bardsea near Ulverston. Several new sites were recording including Rampside Navigation Light, a number of shipwrecks at Roa and anti-tank and anti-glider defences were recorded at Bardsea. In all 10 people attended across the two events and were trained in recording the app and identifying archaeology on the coast and in the intertidal zone.

If you are interested in reading more about the workshop at Roa Island, there is a blog which can be found here. We will be returning to Roa Island in November 2017 as some significant new features were identified and need to have a more in-depth survey carried out.”


A volunteer recording a shipwreck at Roa Island causeway (© CITiZAN)

Megan also writes that there are further training events to come if you are interested;

“There is one in Tyneside and one in Cumbria coming up in October. These are:

1. App Workshop and Guided Walk: North Shields
Friday 6th October at 2.00pm – 4.30pm
Venue Old Low Light Heritage Centre

Come join CITiZAN at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, in North Shields (Fish Quay NE30 1JA) for an app workshop in how to rapidly record at risk archaeology on the coast. Join us for a short talk and tutorial on the app, a leisurely walk down the north bank of the Tyne recording archaeology. The event is free but places have to be booked here.

2. Training event: Roa Island
Friday 13th and Saturday 14th October 10.00am-4.00pm
Venue to be confirmed but near Roa Island

Join CITiZAN North and Morecambe Bay Partnership at Roa Island, near Barrow-in-Furness to make a permanent archaeological record the remains of a jetty and slipway identified during a workshop in July. These features appear to be part of the former slipway to access Piel Island and part of Piel pier used for travel to Belfast and Douglas. The event is free but places have to be booked for this also.”

Our CBA North alphabet of archaeology continues: K to M

CBA North News
Our alphabet of archaeology is back covering letters K to M – with a series of M’s we have to hand. Again we cover as much of the CBA North region we can for news of interest to all Members and Followers. We start with the killing of a bull – Taurean readers “may wish to look away now” as the news sports reports start, have a quick announcement on the Lake District in case anyone missed it and also notice a further Festival of Archaeology event that covers the Mesolithic to the Medieval.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 18.07.2017

Mithras: Roman Religion from the Thames to Tyne
At the Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle, Members will recall we had our AGM this year – indeed seeing specially loaned exhibits associated with the Roman cavalry Turma project. Members interested in the Roman period now have another reason to visit the museum to see further specially loaned exhibits associated with the sun god Mithras, appropriate as we are now finally into the summer perhaps. Jonathan Loach of Tyne and Wear Museums has kindly provided us with both the press release and pictures detailing this exhibition.

“This exhibition runs from Saturday 1 July to Sunday 27 August. It brings together for the first time objects found in the 1950s during excavations of two important temples to the god Mithras, at Carrawburgh on Hadrian’s Wall and Walbrook in London.


The three main altars from the Carrawburgh Mithraeum © Tyne and Wear Museums

The Carrawburgh finds – owned by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and on show in the Great North Museum: Hancock – include three altars to Mithras as well as sculptures and religious utensils. They are joined by three exquisite marble heads of Mithras, Minerva and Serapis found at Walbrook [see at the base of today’s articles],…


Profile of a Roman marble head of Mithras © Museum of London

…and a sketch reconstruction of the interior of Carrawburgh temple by artist Alan Sorrell.

Reconstruction by Alan Sorrell of the interior of the Temple to Mithras © Museum of London

Caroline McDonald, Manager at the Great North Museum: Hancock, said:
“This is a once in a lifetime chance for anyone interested in archaeology to see these two internationally important Roman Mithras collections side by side. It’s never happened before and is not to be missed.
“I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to work with the Museum of London, my home for many years, on making this display a reality.”

Mithras was an ancient Persian god adopted in the Roman Empire as the main deity of a mystery religion that flourished in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The religion was open only to men and some scholars believe its worshippers were highly secretive about their rituals and beliefs.

Mithras was both a sun god and a creator god. Iconography found in his temples often focuses on the act of creation in which Mithras kills a bull and life – in the form of ears of wheat – emerges from the slain animal’s tail. The god is frequently depicted as being born of a rock or egg, and the Great North Museum: Hancock holds a unique carving found at Housesteads Roman Fort showing the birth of Mithras from the cosmic egg.


The unique stone from Housesteads described above © Tyne and Wear Museums

Andrew Parkin, Keeper of Archaeology at the Great North Museum: Hancock, said:
“This exhibition provides us with the unique opportunity to tell the story of the worship of Mithras in Roman Britain from two different perspectives. As a god worshipped both in the provincial capital of London and on the northern frontier of Hadrian’s Wall.”

The excavations of the Mithraic temples at Carrawburgh and Walbrook in the 1950s captured the public imagination and stimulated interest in Mithras and the cult-like religion bearing his name.

The London temple was discovered during building work in 1954 and revealed the fine marble sculptures of Mithras, Minerva and Serapis. Around 400,000 visitors came to see the temple in just a fortnight and a campaign to save it was started. Even then Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was involved in discussions about its preservation. The eventual outcome saw the temple moved to a nearby location where the public could see it.

Roy Stephenson, Head of Archaeological Collections at the Museum of London, said:
“We are delighted to be able to share these incredible sculptures with the people of the north-east of England, more especially as the collection at the Great North Museum: Hancock made such a formative impression on me as a child. I encourage everyone to go and see these important artefacts together while they can.”


The marble head of Serapis as found carefully buried under one of the floor levels of the Walbrook Mithraeum © Museum of London

By the 4th century AD, Roman Mithraism was in decline as Christianity spread across the Empire. The discovery of the heads of Mithras and Serapis at Walbrook – carefully hidden, buried underneath the temple flooring – may attest to the fact that the temple switched its worship to the god Bacchus”.

A pair of events will take place on this Friday, 21 July, at the museum in connection with this exhibition. At 12.30 there will be a gallery talk Why do Museums create imitation Mithraea? and at 17.30 there will be a public talk Staging religious experience in the Mithraeum: Mystagogues and Meanings both by Professor Richard Gordon of Erfurt University. Further details can be found here.

Additionally there is also another gallery tour on Friday, 28 July, as part of this exhibition whose details can be found here.

The Lake District as a World Heritage Site
Members and Followers will have doubtless heard or seen the news that the Lake District National Park is Britain’s newest (and 31st) World Heritage Site. Details on this can be found on the pages of the National Park here.

This now means that there are four World Heritage Sites within the CBA North region. Uniquely, at the moment, this also means that Ravenglass Roman fort and bath house are located in two World Heritage Sites. There are also four National Parks and four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well – there is much happening in all of these areas. We hope to report upon something from these soon.

The Mesolithic to Medieval at Cresswell: another Festival of Archaeology Event
Members and Followers will recall that we publicised something on the fieldwork around the village and tower at Cresswell, Northumberland, earlier in the year.


Excavations underway at Cresswell Tower earlier in the year

Next week sees a talk, as another within the Festival of Archaeology, which will summarise the findings – thus far – of the project. In a surfeit of M’s for our alphabet will be present with finds from the Mesolithic to the Medieval recorded, by a further M. Barry Mead will describe all in his talk on Wednesday, 26 July, at Cresswell village hall. Details for this event are on the Festival of Archaeology pages here.

Our CBA North alphabet of archaeology continues: C and D, E and F

CBA North News
Today we have a range of items of interest for you. Again we continue through the alphabet  of archaeology across our region with C and D, E and F with a mix of Cresswell, Dogs, Egypt and Excavations, notice of a Forum and also of Fieldwork reported. We also look ahead to the Festival of Archaeology as well.

No less important we also remind you below of three other letters – A, G and M. Our AGM is on Saturday 20 May in Newcastle this year. Committee have noted the discussions from our recent Conference/Workshop and this gives us a chance to discuss in more detail our work – past, present and future – for you and your group.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 12.05.2017

CBA North AGM 2017 – a reminder
Our AGM is on Saturday 20 May 2017. If you haven’t booked up, or let us know of your apologies and instructions, please do so as soon as possible. This is your chance to hear of the work that Committee have been involved with on your behalf at local, regional and national meetings, as well as your chance to help in our aims and direction for the future. If you wish to raise anything please do so by the end of this week. We are especially keen that our group members to send representatives along.

We had various comments for a ‘resource bank’ at our conference/workshop in April, as well as more generally, and will look to discuss this and CBA North’s role into the future at this meeting.

The meeting is not all business however. The day gives you the chance to network and update other members of news, as well as hear a talk on the Portable Antiquities Scheme – in its 20th anniversary year – as well as participate in special tours of the Great North Museum: Hancock.

If you have had problems printing or returning the booking form sent through the emails, please let us know (including for any apologies and instructions in your absence) by emailing us at cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org.

The booking form is available on our website home page as a .pdf and also as a .doc file if you find it easier to use those versions. The deadline for any business from the floor to be considered is Saturday.

Cresswell Tower Excavations – an update
Philippa Hunter, formerly Cockburn, of Archaeological Research Services has sent us this update of work whose open-day we publicised earlier this year.

“The Cresswell Pele Tower Project is led by Cresswell Parish Council and the Greater Morpeth Development Trust. The aim of this Heritage Lottery Funded project is to remove the tower (see below) from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register and to provide public access to the tower. This aim will be met while also providing volunteer opportunities and public engagement activities. The programme of archaeological work includes geophysical survey, fieldwalking, archaeological evaluation trenching, building survey, watching brief and archival research.


The pele tower with excavations, and excavators, in the foreground.

 

Cresswell Pele Tower represents a well-preserved example of a border tower house or ‘pele’ and is believed to date to the 14th or 15th century. In the 18th century a large mansion house was constructed adjoining the tower, but was later demolished. The tower now stands on the edge of a caravan park where it has been the target of vandals in recent years.

 

A two-week archaeological evaluation followed geophysical survey and fieldwalking in February 2017. The evaluation was conducted within Fisheries Field, to the east and south of the pele tower, and in the immediate vicinity of the pele tower itself. The evaluation aimed to identify and assess any archaeological features within these areas. A total of nine evaluation trenches were excavated within Fisheries Field and revealed evidence of Mesolithic flint knapping activity, Bronze Age burials and medieval ploughing.


The remains of an earlier building – a wall foundation and cobbled floor surface

A further three, hand-dug trenches were opened up around the tower. These trenches produced important new evidence for buried archaeological remains including an earlier building than the tower consisting of a cobbled floor surface and a rough but substantial wall foundation (see above). Medieval pottery dating from the 12th -14th centuries was also recovered supporting the structural evidence for occupation on the site pre-dating the pele tower”.

Philippa Hunter

Full reports of the work carried out, so far, can be found on the project’s website pages here. These reports include further details of the varied fieldwork, locations around Cresswell and also of the many of the finds recovered.

Further work is planned, as well as a talk on Wednesday 26 July at Cresswell Village Hall by Barry Mead as part of the Festival of Archaeology events across the north and indeed across the country.

The Dogs of Ancient Egypt
Our further letters of the alphabet come from the North East Ancient Egypt Society’s meeting. The cats of Ancient Egypt are well-known generally, but this talk deals with the dogs.

Other Events this weekend
Other events this weekend also include the AGM of our group member the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland at Shildon, near Darlington, the Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum’s second conference at Wallsend Memorial Hall (places are still available from here) for our F which includes details of the CITiZAN project whose fieldwork we covered last year (pictured below), as well as CBA National’s Member’s Weekend which is based on Tyneside this year.

We’ll have more on Festival of Archaeology events in further emails to you. We are particularly keen to promote the work of groups across our region, especially to those unable to make our April event. Please feel free to let us know of your future events.

Hot off the press archaeological news

CBA North News

Today we have some events and notices hot off the press – we’ve notice of an open day in south-east Northumberland tomorrow, as well as the programme and notice for the opening of bookings of the ever popular annual Durham Archaeology Day on Monday. The regular events of local groups across the region, however, also continue on; Wednesday sees the next of The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne’s series. This, and others, can be found listed in our Events page of our website.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 18.02.2017

Cresswell Community Archaeology Open-Day
Barry Mead and Archaeological Research Services write to us giving information of an open day tomorrow (Sunday) if you are in the Cresswell area of Northumberland. These excavations, whilst concentrating in the area of the Medieval pele, have revealed a range of evidence from the Mesolithic to the Modern. Details are given in the poster below.

County Durham Archaeology Day: Saturday 11 March 2017
David Mason and Tracey Donnelly of Durham County Council have provided these details of this year’s annual archaeology day in three weeks time. As ever this will be in the the Council Chamber and Durham Room, at County Hall in Durham. This year’s fascinating talks include:

– The Main Walled Garden at Auckland Castle: Repairs and Conservation.
Harry Beamish

– A Round House and a Counting House: Two Recent Historic Building Projects
Richard Annis

– Historic Building Recording at The Gates, Durham City
Tom Addyman

– Recent Archaeological Investigations in the North Pennines
Paul Frodsham

– The Balneum of Concangis: A Roman ‘villa’ Rediscovered at Chester-le-Street
David Mason

Time:             9:45am – 4:15pm

Cost:              £14.00 which includes buffet lunch, teas & coffees; £12.00 for full-time students, please let us know if you have any dietary requirements, or require a vegetarian lunch.

Tickets sell out very quickly so book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets will go on sale from 9.00am Monday 20th February.

To book and pay for a place online follow the link here and click Archaeology Day from the services listed or contact 03000 260000 if you wish to book and pay over the phone.

There will be displays by local societies and archaeological contractors as well as bookstalls in the adjacent Durham Room.

Events listed on the CBA North website
Our Events page continues to list further regular events throughout 2017. We’ll be sending out other news and notices of others events in our next email, if we can, next week.

CBA North news – the archaeological year is not yet out!

CBA North News

Our latest installment once again spans the variety of the CBA North region and of what various groups are up to across the region. We look at what has happened this year with the Dig Appleby project of the Appleby Archaeology Group, happening the now with events this week of the Teesside Archaeological Society and others, as well as announcing events that will be happening in December further north in Sunderland and yet further north again in lectures of the Border Archaeological Society and Till Valley Archaeological Society in the following week as well.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
29.11.2016

Local group round-up; DigAppleby 2016!
[We hope this is the first update from the local groups across our region describing their activities in 2016. As Members will recall we were given a foretaste of the project in our AGM; here you can find out what happened, Ed.]

DigAppleby got off to a splendid start on 8th July when around 30 volunteers signed up for duty at the Launch Meeting in the Market Hall’s Supper Room. Since then, many more people have come forward to offer their gardens for “archaeological investigation” or to enroll on our various training events.

We chose the allotment area behind St Anne’s Almshouses for our first foray. This is a large, open, grassed area that had the advantage that we could spread ourselves about without bothering anybody. Moreover it was thought that, given the nature of its historical use, there was a good chance that deeply-buried medieval remains might remain undisturbed.

The first weekend saw volunteers producing detailed geophysical and topographic surveys of the site. We used both earth resistivity and magnetometry surveying equipment. This sounds rather technical but was actually very easy to operate and, once the results had been fed into Martin Railton’s computer, our first peek into Appleby’s past was quickly revealed.

After due consideration of the results, two test-pit sites were selected and a second weekend session was scheduled. There was no shortage of volunteers and, further encouraged by some excellent weather (the Almshouses really are a delightful place to work) the pits were duly dug and our first finds began to appear. The first pit revealed a crude cobbled surface, identical to one found previously at the top of Boroughgate and which we believe to be medieval in date. Fragments of pottery were recovered including some medieval pottery, and later wares, also some hand-made nails, some animal bone and glass. In the second test pit we found a deep deposit of rubble. Associated finds indicated this was 19th century and we believe that this is probably the demolished remains of a buildings shown in this location on the 1861 Ordnance Survey map. This confirmed the results of the geophysical survey, which indicated the presence of a high-resistance area.

More test pit excavations were planned for our “Big Dig weekend” between Friday end of 16th and Sunday 18th September. See applebyarchaeology.org.uk/digapplebyblog for details of these.

Elsewhere, and specially tailored for armchair archaeologists, we held a training session to provide an introduction to the arcane art of medieval document transcription. This proved so popular that we had to schedule a second session. The documents proved to be remarkably tricky to decipher and some of us came away with severe headaches and a renewed interest in the delights of using trowels. But it was all very interesting and gave a surprising insight into the medieval mind.

There’s still a long way to go, of course, before we get anywhere near the objectives we have set for DigAppleby, but we feel we have made a jolly good start!

Martin Joyce
Appleby Archaeology Group

[The first Appleby Archaeology Group event of 2017 will give a progress report on these investigations as well in talks by a number of contributors].

Teesside Archaeological Society events
This week sees a pair of events with the Teesside Archaeological Society across the Pennines from Appleby. A bigger piece of archaeological work is reviewed tonight with the last of the society’s own lectures on the excavations associated with the current A1 upgrading between Leeming and Barton by Helen Maclean of AECOM at Stockton Central Library, Stockton, at 7.30 p.m. to which everyone is welcome.

On Thursday there is a second chance to attend the First World War Building Recording Project of the society which we have covered earlier. This workshop will train you in how to undertake building recording, research methodologies, and identify First World War built structures. This knowledge can then be utilized in your involvement undertaking of building recording within the area. The information obtained in this process, will be published and made publicly available to people around the world for a better understanding of these important structures.

As before this will be at Sir William Gray House at Hartlepool; no previous experience is required. This free workshop will take place on Thursday 1st December. If you would like a form, or to book a place, please contact the Teesside Archaeological Society through the links of our website.

The Frank Elgee Memorial Lecture 2016
Also on Teesside this week also sees the Frank Elgee Memorial Lecture in Middlesbrough on Saturday morning. This annual memorial lecture is named after Frank Elgee who was a noted assistant curator and curator of the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough, between 1904 and 1932 and author of many articles and books concentrating on the Teesside and North Yorkshire Moors covering the archaeology, folklore, geology as well as the flora and fauna of the area. Further details on Elgee can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Elgee.

Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones
Whilst some events look back to what has happened in 2016, some events look forward to events and projects happening in the future. One of these meetings is detailed below to which all interested in the project are invited to attend by Denny Wilson below for us.

There is to be a public meeting for this project with the archaeologists at the Billy Hardy Centre, Castletown, SR5 3EQ, 7pm on Wednesday, December the 7th.

The local volunteer group Castletown Neighbourhood Action Group (CNAG) based in Sunderland, have been awarded £93,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for this project.

In a specification written up by Tyne and Wear County Archaeologist and professionally supervised by accredited archaeologists local volunteers and schools, supported by Sunderland City Council, will investigate several interlinked sites around the city to try and identify the origin of an ancient stone structure that once spanned the River Wear between North and South Hylton.

For centuries historians have long debated the origins of this mysterious stone structure but a definitive answer has yet to be found to various questions;

– Was it a bridge, dam, causeway or weir?
– Why was it built?
– When was it built?
– Who would have had the motive, wealth, manpower and skills to construct such a massive piece of civil engineering?

This project will bring together many people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities to try and find the answer. To kick-start the project there is to be a public meeting with archaeologists from Wardell Armstrong at the Billy Hardy Centre, Castletown, 7pm, on Wednesday 7th December.

The archaeologists will give an outline of the project and anyone interested in being involved is invited to attend. Feel free to circulate and let’s look forward to a productive and enjoyable experience!

Regards
Denny

December Events
Meanwhile the north of CBA North’s region is not to be outdone either. Next week there are a pair of lectures at Berwick and Crookham with the Border Archaeological Society and Till Valley Archaeological Society respectively.