Tag Archives: Hadrian’s Wall

CBA North: End of August/Start of September news

CBA North News
This issue of CBA North news has been slightly delayed. However, we hope that you find it worth the wait. We have a report of the recent Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage, which happens only one every 10 years, and a round-up of recent years by one of our local group members.

In addition the usual listing of events to come with the change in month soon – the sharp-eyed will notice changes to this and our Events website page as we are told of those changes for September and other months, we also have a further article on archaeological creativity and notice of an event from our sister organisation CBA North West.

We hope you that you enjoy and that you might contribute something, perhaps of your own local group’s activities this summer?, that you think that others might enjoy or should know of for our next issue.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee,
25.08.2019

Remaining August 2019 Events
28 August – The Past Beneath the Lawns; current excavations at Auckland Castle, John Castling and Chris Gerrard [SOCANTS]

September 2019 Events
2 September – Whitby Abbey, Tony Wilmott [BAS]
4 September – The Bowl Hole Cemetery at Bamburgh, Graeme Young [TILLVAS]
14 September – Mapping the Khandaq Shapur: One of the Great Barriers of the Ancient World [ARCH & ARCH]
24 September – title to be announced, Dr Ben Roberts [TAS]
25 September – (Re)Discovering Ava: the Achavanich Beaker Burial project, Maya Hoole [SOCANTS]

The 2019 Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage – done with stile!
It was rather unkindly and harshly said that we know all we need to of Hadrian’s Wall sometime ago. However excavations, surveys and other researches have continued on and at a pace. Sometimes a stock-take is useful and the Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage is one such opportunity. We asked Bill Griffiths to explain all on the pilgrimage, and you will see why there isn’t a typo in the article title. He writes;

‘The first pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall took place in 1849, attended by 24 people under the direction of the Reverend Collingwood Bruce. The second pilgrimage occurred in 1886 when it began a decennial tradition. Since 1949 it has taken place in the last year of the decade.

The 14th Pilgrimage took place over 20th to 28th July 2019 and saw 218 Pilgrims, in four coaches, traverse the wall over eight days, looking in particular at some of the new discoveries and research questions of the last 10 years. The Pilgrims came from across the UK and Europe and as far afield as the USA and China.


The 2019 Pilgrims following a lunchtime reception at South Shields Town Hall, who displayed the flags of the majority of nations represented on the Pilgrimage.

Each coach had a pair of guides, each an acknowledged expert on the Wall. Pilgrims were encouraged to change coach each day to get different perspectives from different guides.


Nick Hodgson, President of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and one of the coach guides, explaining the fort at Chesters.

Organised by the two learned societies of Hadrian’s Wall, the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, the Pilgrimage is five years in the planning. The committee, led by the Chief Pilgrim David Breeze, pores over every detail, from the hotels, to the menus for receptions, to considering whether we will need additional portaloos at key sites.

In the midst of this a handbook has been created for the Pilgrimage, with contributions from experts along the length of the Wall setting out the new advances of the last decade. It has been complied by Dr Rob Collins of Newcastle University and Dr Matt Symonds, editor of Current World Archaeology. Such a volume has been produced for the last three Pilgrimages, beginning with the volume produced in 1999 under Paul Bidwell, and each marks a significant contribution to Hadrian’s Wall studies in its own right. Copies are available from either of the Societies, and can also be found at several of the museum shops along the Wall.


The ‘twin’ compliers of the Pilgrimage handbook Matt and Rob.

The week included on site tours, receptions and walks along sections of the Wall. Much thought goes in to attempting to keep the Pilgrims safe. This year the Pilgrims were granted access to walk a section of the vallum, not usually accessible to the public, between Carrawburgh Roman Fort and Limestone Corner. However, this necessitated getting the Pilgrims across the Military Road at a very fast section of the road. The steering group thought hard about this, with Graeme Stobbs, our lead for Health and Safety, providing the solution. He designed a wooden stile for the event, to get Pilgrims over the field wall opposite Limestone Corner and the two of us, resplendent in hi viz jackets, marshalled the pilgrims to cross the road, with Graeme deploying a green or red flag according to whether the road was clear enough for us to release Pilgrims across it. Anyone who has led a tour knows how hard it is to marshal people to cross roads safely. However, the theatre of the flags worked well, with only a recalcitrant few daring to try and cross under their own initiative! At the end of the day they were all brought across alive – job done.


The Pilgrimage stile, with Graeme Stobbs poised and ready to prevent the Pilgrims throwing themselves in front of cars!

The Pilgrimage is a unique event in every way, not least for the melting pot of people who constitute the Pilgrims, who range from dedicated Wall specialists to curious members of the public who have not visited the frontier before. The discussions held over the week are truly stimulating for all concerned.

So – here’s to the next one in 2029, planning will start in 2024 (gulp!)’.

Bill Griffiths – Pilgrimage Secretary

The Northern Archaeology Group grasps volunteering opportunities
It is a while since we’ve had a local group round-up and heard something from our group member the Northern Archaeology Group, so we asked Phil Carter to review what the group has been up to lately. Here Phil notes how a small group, with its own small projects, has also been engaged with a number of larger ones again. He writes;

‘In addition to our own on-going Roman roads research & fieldwork, and of course our two divers investigating the river crossings and associated votive deposits at Piercebridge, the Northern Archaeology Group also has members who have regularly volunteered on the long-running and prestigious excavations at Vindolanda and Binchester Roman fort sites. They have continued to do that, but with the advent of NLHF funded local community archaeology projects along came the opportunity to look at other, new, initiatives to broaden our field-based experience. Thinking how good that had proved, I thought it might be of interest to CBA North readers to see the extent volunteers from a local group can contribute to archaeological investigations here in the North East of England whilst we aren’t formal group partners in such projects. I have chosen a selection of the community archaeology projects we have worked on in recent years to give you a flavour of what’s out there and what can be achieved.

A few years back a hardy core of us worked on the 3-year Hadrian’s WallQuest community project run by Tyne and Wear Archaeology and Museums. On that we were fortunate enough to excavate on such key sites as the Roman Military Way, vallum & vicus at Benwell, the north defensive ditch of the Wall at Albemarle Barracks and the fort ditch/vicus at Arbeia. We then turned our attention to Wallsend to locate, dig and expose the actual bathhouse remains at Segedunum. And as a final hurrah it was particularly gratifying to re-dig a section of the nearby Wall. It’s fair to say that was a fantastic project to be involved in.

Hadrian’s WallQuest: the (actual) bathhouse remains we helped find at Wallsend.

Following on from that a few of us signed-up to work with the Auckland Castle Trust (now The Auckland Project) community project where with Archaeological Services Durham University (ASDU) we investigated the 18th century walled garden prior to its planned redevelopment. We revealed remains of the early dated pinery & vinery complex created by the Bishops of Durham. It was very different and very interesting. Next we were back at Auckland Castle with a call to excavate an area adjacent to the Scotland Wing in advance of groundworks. ASDU were again the on-site team and supervised the volunteers. We were astonished to find a well-preserved section of the early medieval curtain wall, associated buildings, fine carved window tracery and a Tudor-era kitchen range with three intact hearths. We have since investigated important early chapel remains and more of the curtain wall & service buildings. It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting all of that at all! And continuing work with that Project, this time overseen by Northern Archaeological Associates, we are currently helping to excavate the northeast gate area of Binchester Roman fort, investigating both the early fort rampart there & later fort roadway.


Auckland Castle : a surviving section of the Medieval curtain-wall being revealed.

Closer to home (we are based near Chester-le-Street) something very close to our heart was the Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones community project. The Northern Archaeology Group has long sought to discover Roman Sunderland and we have investigated various sites and evidence for that presence, particularly at Hylton where the Group strongly believe there was some sort of Roman bridge structure in the River Wear. Back in 1999 we published a small booklet and a CD outlining our case and always wanted to undertake some trial trenches there but the opportunity never presented itself. So, it was terrific to learn that Castletown Neighbourhood Action Group was seeking assistance from the then HLF to explore just that. They wanted to investigate the site of where many large ‘briggstones’ were removed from the river bed at Hylton in the 1860s and shipped down to the mouth of the river where a good number can still be seen. Knowing of our keen interest in all this they sought our support from the outset. The project secured the services of Wardell Armstrong to oversee the archaeological investigations. The volunteer workforce did a dig on the river foreshore at South Hylton. This proved challenging as we could only dig at low tide.  We cleaned off a spread of large worked stone blocks & wood, and then put a section through to help establish its construction.  Wardell’s view was that without any material dating evidence, and with a similar build style to a lot of the river quayside, it was probably of 17th or 18th century construction. Later local diver Gary Bankhead was in the water to video some very large worked stone blocks underwater on the river bed close to the opposite bank. They need investigating more. A couple of months later we then moved over to North Hylton to investigate a large parch mark in a pasture field. Excavation found ditches and wall foundations related to a post-medieval farm house. Nothing Roman came to light.


Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones: working on the river foreshore at South Hylton.

Travelling to the south of the region some of us volunteered to help out on the River Tees Re-discovered community archaeology project at two locations. Tees Archaeology were running a dig at Piercebridge village to explore features shown up on a geophysical survey northwest of the roman fort. A number of trenches were opened and investigations concluded they were probably Roman-era trackways. Dalton-on-Tees was the next target, to investigate an extensive earthwork feature that came to light on a Lidar survey. In two trenches the associated ditches of the earthwork were revealed, one having a single piece of Roman mortaria. In a third trench well preserved wall foundations of a Medieval house with evidence of occupation was found sitting on the earthwork mound.


River Tees Rediscovered: wall foundations of a Medieval house come to light.

To summarise; you can see we have been very fortunate to volunteer on a wide range of projects covering different localities and different eras. We have forged valuable relationships with the project leads, the contractor archaeology teams and other volunteer groups. If you want to dig there’s lots out there to get involved in, and CBA North is a great source of information. Local groups and societies don’t have to have their own projects at all’.

Phil Carter, Secretary, Northern Archaeology Group.

Creative Archaeological Continued: Art and Archaeology at Aldborough Roman Town
In one of our earlier emails we had one of our own members describe their creativity inspired by archaeology, and in our earlier emails again Dere Street events and projects have been covered. Rose Ferraby and Rob St. John have combined the two in Soundmarks to find overlaps and resonances between art and archaeology at Aldborough. This is something that is geographically ‘just at the end of the road’, but still running till the end of the month. They write;

‘Beneath the quiet streets and farmland of the North Yorkshire village of Aldborough lies the Roman town of Isurium Brigantum. Recent work by the Aldborough Roman Town Project has revealed that it was a town of great importance in the Roman north; a key trading point and busy hub. It was a busy town with a central forum and basilica, large town houses, warehouses and workshops, an amphitheatre and large suburbs.


Rob and Rose at Aldborough Roman Town, North Yorkshire, pictured by Mario Cruzado.

Visiting Aldborough today, this rich history is not always immediately obvious [as above]. This year, a collaboration spanning art, sound and archaeology has explored and documented Aldborough’s hidden sub-surface landscape, leading to an art exhibition and sound installation and a series of public events in August 2019.


Recording at the Roman amphitheatre above Aldborough, pictured by Mario Cruzado.

Soundmarks is a collaboration between us, funded by Arts Council England. An exhibition of our work will be held at The Shed, Aldborough, between Saturday 24th August and Saturday 31st August.

A free ‘art trail’ will be launched alongside the exhibition, allowing the public to navigate eight ‘soundmark’ sites through the village. Each soundmark is located on an important Roman site – such as the Forum, amphitheatre and river – and will be accessed either using a free interactive mobile app, or using a paper map distributed through the village.


Village Green by Rose Ferraby, Soundmarks 2019.

At each soundmark, visitors can view Rose’s visual work and listen to Rob’s sound work, each interpreting the character and history of the site. The soundmark trail – which takes around an hour to walk in full – is designed to encourage people to explore Aldborough’s unique landscape, and to gain new perspectives on its rich Roman history.

At The Shed, visitors can view Rose’s original visual works and listen to an immersive ambient sound piece created by Rob using the sounds of Aldborough, and produced using compositional cues from archaeological techniques, datasets and maps. Two invited guest speakers – Dr. Lesley McFadyen, an archaeologist from Birkbeck, University of London, and Dr. Jos Smith, an environmental landscape writer from the University of East Anglia – will give talks on Saturday 31st August, alongside an artist Q+A. An artist book documenting the Soundmarks collaboration – containing a download of Rob’s sound installation piece – will be available to purchase’.


This exhibition is funded by the Arts Council with support from the Aldborough Roman Town Project, English Heritage and Friends of Roman Aldborough.

Soundmarks runs to till the 31st August, 10 till 5 during the weekends and Monday, 12 till 5 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at The Shed, Aldborough Manor, Aldborough, York, YO51 9EP. Further information on Soundmarks can be found online on their website.

For booking a place at the talks and Q&A during this week, and other further September workshops, these are free but you will need to book a place through the Eventbrite website page here.

Excavating the Steam Engine
Our sister organisation CBA North West have arranged a conference in Bolton, Lancashire. John Roberts, CBA North West’s Membership Secretary, writes;

‘I am very pleased to inform you that CBA North West in partnership with the Association for Industrial Archaeology and the Centre for Applied Archaeology, University of Salford will be hosting the 39th North West Industrial Archaeology Conference on Friday September 27th. The conference is being held at Bolton Museum. As this year is the 200th anniversary of the death of James Watt the theme is excavating the steam engine. With excellent speakers and a tour of Bolton Steam Museum in the afternoon it promises to be a splendid day. There are discounts for CBA North West and Association for Industrial Archaeology members. Please note that lunch is not provided. Details, programme and booking information available at the Eventbrite page here‘.

This conference includes a talk on the Reel Fitz Pit Engine, of Little Clifton (between Workington and Cockermouth for those who don’t know) in Cumbria, where a short-lived Newcomen engine was of around 1780. There were many early engines in the West Cumbria coalfield during the 18th century. This one, however, was excavated in the 1970s. CBA North members with industrial archaeological interests are welcome at this event.

In the future
In our next issue of CBA North news we would like to hear more of what you have been doing over the summer that you think deserves wider coverage. We hope that our next email to you won’t be as delayed as this one and will be out early September.

There are a number of Committee places to fill in the forthcoming year. If you or your local group would like to become more involved in CBA North, please send us an email or feel free to talk to one of the existing committee for more details.

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CBA North: mid-May newsletter 1

CBA North News
Now into the fresh month of May, we now have some fresh news of events, exhibitions recently launched and publications further freshly issued in this first email of the month. This month is notable for many reasons and in particular for the first event listed here – throughout the many incarnations of CBA North past and present Professor Dame Rosemary Cramp has been a steady and steadfast supporter of our work. A special invitation extended to all for an event coming up on the Friday of this week – please follow the instructions if you would like to attend this.

Professor Cramp whose work has regionally and nationally specialised in the Early Medieval period (with 1960s and 1970s excavations at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow), has also included developing the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture regional studies (the gazetteers now appearing online, with the ever expanding website), representation (not least of her own Durham Department of Archaeology) in many local and national societies, boards and organisations (including that of both CBA North and indeed CBA National itself), and many, many publications (still going into the 2010s), is of particular note.

We are sure that all CBA North Members wish to send on their congratulations and best wishes to Professor Cramp.

Our other news is more varied, but no less important, and criss-crosses CBA North-land in its coverage. As noted another email will be coming your way next week with further news. More content, particularly of events and excavations just past, is always welcome.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
08.05.2019

May Events 2019
1 May – Vikings in Scotland: some close encounters of the museum kind, Trevor Cowie [TILLVAS]
8 May – AGM and From Nursing to Archaeology, Charlotte Roberts [CCA]
8 May – Henge Monuments and the enclosed cosmos, Pete Topping [NAG]
13 May – Lyres and spears: the hunt for poetries of the Northern Iron Age, Dr Graeme Lawson [BAS]
25 May – The Two Brothers, Roger Forshaw [NEAES] 
29 May – Recent fieldwork on Lindisfarne… shedding light on the early Medieval monastery, David Petts and Richard Carlton [SOCANTS]
May – AGM, title and speaker to be announced [ARCH & ARCH]
May – Hidden Monuments, Emma Watson, date and venue to be announced [TAS]

[As noted we continue to keep our Events website page up-to-date with details; please let us know any additions or alterations to that page or indeed this listing. More one-off or annual events can be sent to us at any time, Ed.]

Recent Publications 1: A New Publication on Hadrian’s Wall
Paul Bidwell, formerly of Tyne and Wear Archaeology Museums and also of the Arbeia Society, has written to us with details of their new publication on Hadrian’s Wall. He writes;

‘The Arbeia Society and Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives have published a report on the long series of excavations on Hadrian’s Wall at Wallsend which were carried out intermittently from 1991 to 2015. The report describes not only the building of the Wall and its several rebuildings following successive collapses, but also the distribution system of the fort aqueduct, the defences of the military vicus and ritual deposits of weaponry in the later 3rd century. Other chapters looks at the evidence on which the full-size reconstruction of the Wall was based, at the temples east of the fort and at occupation, including buildings, immediately beyond the Wall. The structural history of the curtain of Hadrian’s Wall as a whole is discussed, and there is a short essay on the problems and opportunities of developer-funded excavations on its line, especially in modern urban areas’.

The details are as follows: Paul Bidwell, Hadrian’s Wall at Wallsend, 262pp and CD, 156 illustrations, ISBN 9781527229969, is £35.00. This can be bought online here or from the shop at Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum.

Arbeia Journal Online
Paul also continues to let us know that;

‘Volumes 1 to 8 of the Arbeia Journal, most of which are now out of print, have been digitised and are available on the Arbeia Society’s website here. Later volumes of the journal and other publications of the Society will appear on the website in due course’.

Though the main focus of the journals contents are on South Shields and Roman matters, there are other articles on Roman sites across the north and CBA North-land, as well as other topics again.

Ice Wall versus Hadrian’s Wall
Frances McIntosh, Collections Curator at English Heritage for Hadrian’s Wall and the Northeast,  has sent us notes of a current exhibition at Housesteads.

She writes: ‘To coincide with the final series of the TV show based on the books by George R R Martin, entitled Game of Thrones, English Heritage wanted to highlight why Hadrian’s Wall was an inspiration for the Ice Wall! Surprisingly, not everyone is interested in history, and so we thought this was a fun way to potentially inspire more people to visit our amazing World Heritage Site.

I have written a blog, which discusses the similarities between the garrison on Hadrian’s Wall, and the Night’s Watch on the Ice Wall, which can be read here. A small case and graphics at Housesteads continues this theme, showcasing everyday items from life on the Roman Wall.

For those visitors who want to know more, a longer article can be found on the History Extra website.

Recent publications 2: The Clayton Collection
Also fairly hot off the press is Frances’ own book The Clayton Collection; An archaeological appraisal of a 19th century collection of Roman artefacts from Hadrian’s Wall has recently been published by BAR Publishing. This analyses the history and formation of this important collection of Roman material from the Central Sector of Hadrian’s Wall. It has case studies on Cilurnum (Chesters Roman Fort) as well as different groups of material showcasing the depth of the collection and its importance for our understanding of Hadrian’s Wall.

The next CBA North news email
The next CBA North news email will be with you soon – we already have a range of content set up for that, but further content – and comment on what we have already covered – is always welcome. If you would like to submit something, please let us know by emailing us at cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org.

CBA North: further events to come

Dear CBA North Members,

The clocks now changed, the weather has also. Summer has ended – but CBA North has been busy. Whilst we put together more news of our own activities, and look forward to carrying your news for others to hear of, CBA North Committee has also been slightly changing. More details in the next email.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 30.10.2018

Further events added to our website
Further regular local society events of our group members, and more, continue to be added to our Events page on the website throughout the year. This lists some events through to May next year; if you would like something added, please feel to get in touch.

Lake District National Park’s Annual Conference
Louise Martin, who spoke at our April 2017 conference, now of the Lake District National Park Authority, has written to us with a poster of the park’s annual conference. Please note the closing date for booking which is close at hand this week.

Arbeia Society Conference
Paul Bidwell, who gave a quick resume of last year’s Carlisle meeting of the Study Group for Roman Pottery, has also sent us a pair of posters for the Arbeia Society’s conference this year.

A quick question to CBA North members
A quick question for you – feedback is always helpful from members and others. Would you like to see more emails at irregular intervals as we become aware of events? Or would you like less emails at more regular intervals?

Your answer will help in the timetabling of the behind the scenes of work of CBA North Committee who, of course, welcome your views at any time. We’ll let you know the results also in our next email.

Events & Exhibitions in May & June across CBA North-land

CBA North News
Apologies for the delay in sending you further news of events across CBA North-land for May and June. As you will see it is something of a bumper issue with many different events coming up soon. Another similarly-sized email is already in preparation with yet more events and announcements to come. Some of these events will bring up-to-date findings from recent research and projects following on from previous emails to you, some deal with new topics different again. For some of these events you will need to book up.

As many of you will know the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will take effect soon. We will be emailing everyone on what GDPR means for us to hold and process your information, and more importantly for you to continue to receive CBA North news and information. Further details for these will appear in time on the CBA North website as well to accord with these regulations. However if you you have any immediate questions, please feel free to let us know of them.

Once again, if you would like to submit anything on your local group’s recent activities or plans for this summer, please let us know. Keep an eye to our Events page on the website for any additions to the regular talks and lectures of various groups across the CBA North region. Additions to this page are made throughout the year as we know of them.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
13.05.2018

Events this week
1) Border Archaeological Society lecture: Finding a Lost Lindisfarne Estate 
There are a number of events coming up this week. These are located in all parts of our region, they start tomorrow night at Berwick with the next of the Border Archaeological Society’s [BAS] lectures. Josie McChrystal, their Secretary, gives us some more details of what promises to be an interesting talk.

Josie informs us that;

“In the early years, the Lindisfarne monastery built up a huge land holding in Northumberland and southern Scotland but in the troubled times of the Viking era some of these lands were taken away from them. Later writers referred to these lands without knowing much about them. We will discover one of these estates in mid-Northumberland on Monday evening.  

The renowned archaeologist Colm O’Brien will be the speaker on this occasion. He has excavated in Northumberland and taught at the universities of Newcastle and Sunderland. He is especially interested in the Age of Bede and now, in retirement, he co-directs the Bernician Studies Group, a community learning group with projects in Northumberland and in County Donegal in Ireland.

As ever, the lecture begins at 7.30 at Berwick Parish Church Hall (Holy Trinity) off The Parade, TD15 1DF. Please tell your family and friends about what promises to be a very interesting evening. All are welcome”.

2) The First World War in the Tees Valley Conference
Dave Errickson, Chair of Teesside Archaeological Society [TAS] one of our group members, has let us know of another event. Members will remember our previous note of our Home Front Legacy workshop in 2015 which highlighted ways groups could look out for and record First World War sites. In contrast to Lindisfarne and the north of our region, this concentrates upon these more modern sites in the south of our region and includes work carried out by the TAS group and others on Teesside recording them. All the talks in this free conference relate to the First World War in some way. The conference is in Middlesbrough and on Saturday this week, but you will need to book places for this. They can be obtained from this Eventbrite page here.

3) North East Ancient Egypt Society lecture: Tell Timai and its Terracotta Figures
Also on Saturday, but in Newcastle, is also the next lecture of the North East Ancient Egypt Society on something different again.

The first Tyne and Wear Archaeology Day
Jennifer Morrison, Tyne and Wear Archaeological Officer, has sent us details of the first Tyne and Wear Archaeology Day which is coming up soon in next month on Saturday, 16 June.

Again you will need to book and again this is a fully packed day. However in this case, whilst all are from the Tyne and Wear area, the talks cover a range of topics including;

– Prehistoric settlements found at East Wideopen and West Shiremoor in North Tyneside
– Roman industrial remains found at Dorcas Avenue in Benwell
– The Roman Wallquest Community Archaeology Project at Benwell, Wallsend (including the newly discovered Roman baths) and South Shields
– Industrial archaeology of the Newcastle Pottery found at Pottery Lane/Forth Banks, Newcastle
– Industrial Archaeology of Ambrose Crowley’s Ironworks at Swalwell in Gateshead
– Crypt Archaeology and human remains found under a former Bethel Chapel in Villiers Street, Sunderland
– World War Two and Cold War Archaeology at Blakelaw and Kenton Bunkers

To book places details are given in the poster or through clicking the link here. In a fully packed day. Jennifer notes that “Most of the archaeological projects which will be discussed have been funded by developers through the planning process, and the aim of the day is to pass on the results of these exciting excavations to local residents”.

Following on from previous emails…
1) The next Dig Deeper talk

Previous CBA North emails have announced talks on forensics and facial reconstruction, as well as osteoarchaeology, for the meetings of various groups. The next Dig Deeper talk at Durham, later this month, will discuss some of the new approaches to looking at and recording old bones – sometimes at a distance to the original samples. 

2) Bodies of Evidence: How science unearthed Durham’s dark secret
Also bone-related our last email carried information about a talk on the Scottish soldiers from the 1650 Battle of Dunbar who had died and been buried at Durham by Richard Annis, once again at Berwick to the Border Archaeological Society in April. Andrew Millard, also of Durham University and involved with the Scottish Soldiers project, has written to us a bit more about the forthcoming exhibition and events associated with that project.

He writes on behalf of the project team in an update to April’s talk with what planned for this summer;

“This exhibition shows how the latest scientific techniques have revealed the soldiers’ story – how they lived, why they died, and what became of those who survived.

Their skeletons were discovered during excavations in Durham in November 2013 and, for the first time, visitors to Palace Green Library will come face to face with a 3D reconstruction of the face of one of these men in the exhibition. The exhibition also tells the story of those survivors who were transported across the Atlantic to the edge of the known world. These men lived to have families and we are proud to have connected with many descendants, and we hope that descendants will be able to visit us and the exhibition in Durham this summer.

Running alongside the exhibition will be a programme of events, including family activities, public lectures, and the new production Woven Bones from Cap-a-Pie theatre company. The play will tell the story of the Scottish soldiers, and will tour venues along the route marched from Dunbar to Durham. Details of the production can be found on the Cap-a-Pie website.

Key highlights of this programme of events so far include:

– 18th June: Evening gallery opening with Professor Chris Gerrard, Project Lead for the Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project
– 30th July: Evening lecture by Dr David Caldwell, President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
– 13th August: Evening lecture by Professor Caroline Wilkinson, Director of Face Lab, Liverpool John Moores University, which produced the facial reconstruction
– 3rd September: Evening lecture by Arran Johnston, Founding Director of the Scottish Battlefields Trust

The Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project Team would be delighted to welcome descendants to the exhibition and would be pleased to arrange private tours with members of the Team, so please do let us know if you are planning a visit by emailing Scottish.soldiers@durham.ac.uk. We recognise that Durham is a long way to travel for many of you, and so we are developing a small sister touring exhibition which will visit venues in the United States. More information about this touring exhibition will be made available in due course.

Further details and more events will be announced soon. Visit our website to find out more about the exhibition.

A book documenting the archaeology of the discovery, the process of analysis, and the history of the Scottish soldiers, including stories of the survivors, has also been produced by the Project Team and will be available in the coming months. Visit Oxbow Books to find out more about the book here.

We hope to see you this summer.

Kind regards,

The Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project Team & Exhibition Curatorial Team”.

Events in December across CBA North

CBA North News
CBA North and the region are full of archaeological busy.

We are in the process of setting up things for 2018, but hope to send out summaries of things that have happened in 2017 later this month as well. If you would like to contribute something, such as to publicise your own group’s events of this year or to come, in our emails to our members and/or for our Events website events, please feel free to send us those details to cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
03.12.2017

December’s Events
Events continue across the CBA North region this month. Here is a quick list of those archaeological ones that we know of still to come.

4 December – Hadrian’s Wall: archaeological site or artistic muse? Lindsay Allason-Jones [BAS]
6 December – Member’s Night: Deserted Medieval Villages; Carham; Football, Maya Style, Allan Colman, Clive Hallam-Baker, Mike Keating [TILLVAS]
13 December – Christmas Event [NAG]
14 December – Digital Archaeology, Jamie Quartermaine [APPLEBY]

Details of the groups, venues and times can be found through our Local Societies and Groups page in case they are unfamiliar to you.

Hadrian’s Wall: an archaeological site or an artistic muse?

Here is the poster and some details of one of those events kindly provided by Josie McChrystal, Secretary of the Border Archaeological Society.

This Christmas miscellany explores Hadrian’s Wall through poetry, films, cartoons, music and literature, discovering how each generation sees the Wall in their own way.  Using archives and her personal involvement in the arts first as Director of Archaeological Museums for Newcastle University and then as Director of its Centre for Interdisciplinary Artefact Studies, Lindsay Allason-Jones will introduce you to some familiar, some unusual and some distinctly odd material, and reveal aspects of the Wall which may surprise you.

The lecture will take place at Berwick Parish (Holy Trinity) Church Hall, off The Parade, Berwick TD15 1DF, commencing at 7.30pm. It is free for BAS members but there is a charge of £2 for visitors.

The latest copy of The Bulletin will be available on the evening, together with the opportunity to renew your BAS membership.

The Willington Waggonway and two conferences – events this week

CBA North News
Events continue thick and fast!

With autumn quickly changing to winter our announcements change to notices and events summarising work carried out of previous projects and this year as well. This week’s events follow that trend, so here is a reminder of two events we’ve previously noticed, as well as a third in Scotland, which might be of interest to you.

We already have details for 2018 events from some of the local groups. If you would like to send round details of your group’s events for what is the most read of our emails at the start of the year for everyone else to see, please feel free to send them on.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
13.11.2017

The Willington Waggonway

The Arbeia Society Conference

Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders Archaeology Conference
Here’s another event also happening on Saturday which might also be of interest.

The programme for this day can be found here. Online bookings can be made here.

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