Tag Archives: Iron Age

CBA North: mid-June newsletter

CBA North News

Our email to you this time is another mixture of content – from a number of sources also – and from around the CBA North region.

Following our usual events listing for the remains of June, we’ve a contribution from a member on how archaeology has inspired their artistic work and studies, something looking ahead to a conference in October (not that we are wishing summer away already), notes on recent publications, posters for events (including one happening on Saturday) and throughout the summer, as well as a book sale. There is so much yet to come in the intervening months, such as July’s Festival of Archaeology no less!

As ever we continue to keep our Events website page up-to-date with details – three further talks have been added, as well as the title of another now confirmed, on that page since our last email to you. Please let us know any additions or alterations to that page or indeed the listing below.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
19.06.2019

June and July Events 2019
June 2019
3 June – Gods and heroes: public and private in Pompeian houses, Dr Thea Ravesi [BAS]
5 June – Riding West: Roman Cavalry Tombstones at Hexham & Beyond, Lindsay Allason-Jones [TILLVAS]
25 June – The Yarm Helmet, Chris Caple [TAS]
26 June – Paints and Pigments in the Past: colouring in the Roman Frontiers, Louisa Campbell [SOCANTS]

July 2019
13 July – Work in Thebes, Jose Manuel Galan [NEAES]
20 July – The Archaeology of Domestic Innovation in the Country House, Prof Marilyn Palmer [ARCH & ARCH]
31 July – From Women’s Rights to Human Rights: How the Struggle for the Vote Changed the World, Rosie Serdiville [SOCANTS]

Archaeology, Pots and back again (twice): a member explains all
Lorraine Clay, both a member of Tynedale Archaeology and CBA North groups, as well as potter has sent us this short article on how archaeology inspires her artistic work. She writes;

‘I’m a ceramic artist who draws inspiration from archaeology, this is ponderings on archaeology and pottery.

I’ve always been interested in Archaeology since Dad took us to The Wall when children and finding rock art with Mum as a teenager. When I studied A Level Archaeology in 1990 for something to do after work, I couldn’t have imagined the path that it would take. The A Level was so disorganised that I swore I would never do another qualification and looked for a leisure evening class: woodwork was daytime so I plumped for pottery.

One of my first pieces was directly inspired by Scottish Celtic crosses, then direct influences came from visiting Minoan sites in Greece: these included the 6’ tall storage jars in Malia with coils as thick as an arm, and the curious kernos vessels in Heraklion Museum. You can learn a lot from copying something – such as the challenges the potter faced – one Greek pot I was having trouble with the handles, I put my mind in the place of a hot tired potter who wanted to drink Raki in the shade, and there it was! The simplest and quickest method looked just right.

A Cretan Krater

As I approached 13 years with the Civil Service I took the plunge to devote myself to becoming a full-time potter. I began studies at Newcastle College and for four years sold work in galleries and exhibitions and ran evening classes. In 2006 I commenced the Contemporary Ceramics degree at Newcastle and was accepted to be the pottery tutor for Ashmore House, an NHS mental health daycentre. Newcastle gave me the impetus to be more experimental and I began weathering clay, a technique I still practice today.

Weathering is inspired by mortality: a fingerprint survives on a Minoan storage jar, a Neolithic vessel is patterned with nail impressions but the potter is long gone. A cat’s paw-print on a Roman roof tile…

Like ceramics we believe we are immortal, living for tomorrow we stay in unsatisfying jobs until walking home in a gale a dislodged gargoyle takes us out. (I heard this story many years ago on the radio of a man dying this way after gales in Scotland; googling it now I find a US woman died in 2014 from a falling gargoyle – maybe it’s not rare at all!).

We are more like unfired clay, endangered by random circumstances, wind and rain.  I think this is why I joined Altogether Archaeology: too many years had gone by without digging, I couldn’t resist any more: my knees were in remission. On my first molehill survey I found a jet bead and was hooked again. And it seemed natural to get permission to take a little of the clay we dug up home!

Lorraine at the Whitley Castle mole-hill survey

In 2016 I took a chance and applied to the Ness of Brodgar and was euphoric when I was accepted!

Weathered bowl before firing (above), weathering and wood-fired (below left and right respectively)

Sometimes I use archive materials and clay from archaeological sites. For an exhibition at the Durham Oriental Museum I morphed cuneiform envelopes into curvaceous “promise boxes” using Forest Hall clay following their ancient Middle East counterparts.

For a second exhibition I was delighted with a label just bearing the name Petrie on one vase: I made pieces celebrating the people, including Flinders Petrie, in the chain that had brought the artefact to Durham using clay from digs. William Thacker, who set up the Oriental Museum, is shown by the transfer print which on smoke-fired Low Hauxley clay.


When the daycentre closed it didn’t take long to become bored. I heard you didn’t need an archaeology degree to do an Archaeology postgraduate course, so I contacted Antonia Thomas at UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands), who told me she was starting an Art and Archaeology module the following week!

3 Orkney clays: Back row – unfired with shell: unfired without shell
Front row – fired with shell: unfired without shell.

I enjoyed it so much I applied to UHI and Durham to do an MA in Archaeology, focusing especially on the British Neolithic. Deciding between the two was one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make! Two terms in and I find myself writing about ceramics not rock art – in Dolni Vestonice, Gravettian finger fluting, materials analysis: before I knew it, I was suggesting Clay in the Palaeolithic for my dissertation! Watch this space!…….’ 

[Many thanks to Lorraine for writing this article; if this has inspired you or you want to share your own archaeological inspiration, perhaps in different ways, please feel free to send us a short article to us at cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org for our next issue].

Tullie House Conference
Elsa Price of Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, and Kate Sharpe of Durham University have sent us the poster below on a busy October weekend they are planning on the prehistory of the Cumbrian area. If you are interested in the day, read on and follow up through the contact details given – contributions from all are most welcome!

(Fairly recent) Tees Archaeology publications
From recent the River Tees Rediscovered Landscape Partnership, Tees Archaeology have fairly recently published a pair of short booklets The First Great Civil War in the Tees Valley and Industry in the Tees Valley. These short well-illustrated freely-available booklets give introductions to the many sites of particular note for their respective subjects.


Whilst many other Civil War battlefields and sieges are known across CBA North’s region, the first of these highlights many of the smaller skirmishes that rarely figure in the national literature. This booklet was written by Robin Daniels and Phil Philo. A further leaflet for the Piercebridge encounter described is also available further down the website page mentioned below.

Industry upon Teesside, however, needs no introduction. However sites familiar and unfamiliar are dealt with in the booklet by Alan Betteney, for the whole variety of Teesside industries, though this is a rather larger file to download. Nevertheless both of these are freely available as downloads from the Tees Archaeology website Downloads page.

TillVAS’ Iron Age Day
Equally industriously in the north of Northumberland, this Saturday sees the Till Valley Archaeology Society hold an Iron Age Day. The poster below gives details of what you can expect, inside and out, at Etal Village Hall to give more of a background and context to their recent excavations at nearby Mardon Farm.

CBA National’s June Booksale
CBA North members might be interested to know that CBA National is having a Spring Sale on publications. They have reduced prices on more than 75 books including many of our recent Research Reports and Practical Handbooks. Their online shop can be visited here. The sale ends on 30 June 2019 so ideal for finding some holiday reading and/or post-exam relaxation.

Prehistoric Pioneers: an Exhibition and Events
Charley Robson, of Durham University’s Prehistoric Pioneers Education and Outreach Team, has written to let us know of this exhibition. She writes;

‘The Prehistoric Pioneers exhibition is now open to the public at the Durham Museum of Archaeology, Palace Green, Durham, until 24 November 2019. The exhibition explores life in ancient Britain, from warfare to rituals, and the way Bronze Age people buried weapons and treasure in hidden hoards. Curated by the Durham’s MA Museum and Artefact Studies students, this exhibition gives a face to prehistoric people and challenges the idea that these were primitive cultures. 
 
To coincide with the exhibition, a pair of talks have been planned to take place on the 20 and 24 June and which are detailed in the poster below. Some more details on these events are given below for those who might be interested to attend. Booking information is given through the poster and places can be booked in emailing archaeology.museum@durham.ac.uk. Further information on the exhibition, including that available who cannot get to Durham themselves, as a series of podcasts is available here‘.

Forthcoming lectures tonight and this week across CBA North

CBA North News
This week sees a number of events across the CBA North region. There are events in Berwick (this evening), Newcastle and Appleby (Wednesday and Thursday evenings respectively) on a range of project and sites inside and outside of our area, from groups inside and outside of our network. There is plenty to take your choice from, and more again to come soon as news to you. If you would like to submit anything of your local groups recent activities or plans for the summer please let us know.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
09.04.2018

Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the stories of the Scottish soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650
Richard Annis, Senior Archaeologist at Archaeological Services Durham University, writes to us giving us a foretaste of his Berwick lecture to the Border Archaeological Society [BAS in our events listing] tonight and whose results will appear in a forthcoming book and exhibition on these soldiers.

Janet at work; a photo by North News for Durham University

Richard writes;
“In November 2013, human bones were found during building work at Durham’s Palace Green. The excavation that followed found the skeletons of 28 young men in two mass graves. A long and painstaking archaeological project showed that they were some of over 1600 Scottish prisoners who lost their lives at Durham after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.

“A new book, to be published this June, tells their story; their lives before the battle, how they came to Durham, how they died, and how they came to have disappeared from view for over 360 years. These were ordinary people, caught up in extraordinary events. As a result of the project, we know more about them than any comparable group from 17th-century Scotland. The story also looks at some of their fellow prisoners; men who survived their captivity and regained their freedom. Some went on to new lives, unimaginable to them before the battle that changed everything, in new landscapes on the edge of the known world.

“The exhibition Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret will be told in a major exhibition at Palace Green Library. This will run from 9th June to 7th October 2018, and covers the history, the archaeology and the science that underpinned the project”.

For further information on this multifaceted project, Members and Followers can read more on the Scottish Soldiers blog and see recent facial reconstruction work, putting the practices as also described in a previous BAS talk, a Youtube video.

Wednesday and Thursday’s lectures
On Wednesday, the 11th, our group member the Northumberland Archaeological Group will hear an update on The Peregrini Project: Excavations on Lindisfarne from Richard Carlton of The Archaeological Practice in their monthly Newcastle meeting.

On Thursday, the 12th, in Appleby our group the Appleby Archaeology Group will also hear of The Late Iron Age royal site at Stanwick, North Yorkshire: new perspectives by Professor Colin Haselgrove of Leicester University. At both meetings visitors are most welcome to attend. Details as to the venues and times of all these meetings can be found online through our Local Societies and Groups page of our website here.

Archaeology and the small finds of North-East England

A quick reminder that there is still time to book a place at this conference covered in our last email to you. If you would like to attend please follow this link or see  http://www.aasdn.org.uk/NEarch18.htm for further details.

Another open day – Morley Hill enclosures tomorrow!

CBA North News
We covered an open day for the Roman bath house at Carlisle earlier in the month, here is some last minute news of an open day on a prehistoric site in North Tyneside tomorrow for you!

More news to come next week.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
27.10.2017

Morley Hill enclosures excavation open day

Further events this weekend

CBA North News
Some last minute news of further events this weekend that might interest you. If you would like to attend the events organised by the Northumberland National Park on Saturday and Sunday, then you’ll need to book up today.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
13.10.2017

Northumberland National Park events
Northumberland National Park are running a pair of events this weekend. These are;

…and on Sunday there is a guided walk of Lordenshaw and Simonside. Again you will need to book up for this which you can do following this link.

The English Renaissance Herbal and its European Antecedents

On Saturday morning there is another lecture to be held by the Natural History Society of Northumbria. Marie Addyman will talk at 1030 at the Clore Suite, the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle, upon at the centuries of European and English precedents which local man William Turner of Morpeth, the ‘Father of English Botany’, drew upon in his A New Herball of 1551 to 1568.

Turner’s work is considered to be the first herbal in English to give accurate descriptions of the plants listed as well as their medical uses, but he did not invent the genre. This event includes a lecture and exhibition of materials held by the society.

A reminder about Saturday’s Arch & Arch lecture
In case you missed our earlier email with the change in details for the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland’s lecture, a quick reminder with the poster below for the change in details of Saturday afternoon’s lecture is below.

The Lake District, Japanese mines and more besides

CBA North News
Fieldwork may have slowed for the summer, if not stopped. Events, however, continue apace across the CBA North region. Last week saw the start of the Border Archaeological Society’s fresh season of lectures, this week sees other regular lecture series from the Appleby Archaeological Group, Northumberland Archaeological Group and Coquetdale Community Archaeology.

This week, and indeed the weekend, alone the very range of local events with topics ranging from prehistoric Japanese obsidian mines to Roman Scotland in the east of our region, whilst another talk and conferences look at more local matters in the northwest on Medieval grave slabs and recent archaeological work in the Lake District. Before all those listings, however, we’ve a short article upon the CARD Fund which might be of use to some of you if your fieldwork has now finished.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
11.10.2017

The CARD Fund
Clive Waddington, Director of Archaeological Research Services Ltd, writes on the CARD Fund which his organisation administers. He writes:

“The Community Archaeology Radiocarbon Dating (CARD) Fund was established in 2016 and is funded by Archaeological Research Services Ltd and the SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory. The fund supports the full cost of radiocarbon dates for community archaeology groups or projects. The fund is not open to universities, students, professional archaeological organisations or large national charities. It is directed specifically at community groups and volunteer projects seeking to obtain radiocarbon dates on key samples from sites they have investigated. For 2017 we will fund 10 to 20 radiocarbon dates. The application is straightforward and is all undertaken on-line. Please visit www.cardfund.org for more information and to apply. In 2016 the fund supported 7 projects and funded a total of 14 radiocarbon dates. The fund is open to applicants from across all of the UK and the closing date for applications each year is strictly 30th November. An applicant does not have to pay for the dates themselves as this is all done by ARS Ltd when we receive the dating samples.

‘I have always felt that it is crucial that archaeologists give back to society and support the amazing work that goes on in the wider community. We have worked with SUERC to establish a radiocarbon dating fund to assist the volunteer sector with obtaining much-needed dating evidence as we saw this as a way we could offer real practical help and maximise our support by making limited resources go as far as possible. We hope that community groups and projects will take advantage of this support and hopefully we can grow it over the coming years.’

SUERC’s Gordon Cook adds ‘A significant proportion of the money that comes to the radiocarbon laboratory is from commercial archaeology. This is our way of putting a little of that back into the system.’

Two recent projects helped by the fund range from Chewton Mendip, Somerset, where Anglo-Saxon industrial activities dated and the Rosemarkie Caves on the Black Isle, on the Moray Firth, Highland.


Blacksmith’s Cave where evidence for Early Medieval metalworking was uncovered

Here also the fund was used to date metal-working activities in the caves, as well as a 6th to 7th century (Pictish) burial. As yet, Clive notes, nowhere in the CBA North region has featured in applications to the fund.

Lake District National Park Archaeology Conference
The next summary of archaeological events this year takes place for the Lake District National Park. This year has seen a number of changes – not least of all World Heritage Site status for the area, as well as staff changes also. The conference at Keswick this year includes a varied set of talks with a summaries of the Lake District’s archaeology over the past year as well as since the appointment of the first park archaeologist, accounts of recent survey and excavations of Medieval longhouses as well as recent re-evaluation and radiocarbon dates for the area and county more generally.

The full programme, as well as details for tickets can be found in this webpage.

Other events this week
Here’s a list of the other events happening this week – indeed starting tonight!

Details as to venues and times can be found on the Local Societies and Groups page of our website.

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 – New Insights into Iron Age and Roman County Durham, 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]

Please feel free to know us any additions to our Events page (increasingly we are hearing of 2018 events which we are gathering up for the start of the year) and for any groups that you know that wish to be included in our listing.

Regular archaeological events for May

REGULAR EVENTS FOR MAY

Here is a list of local archaeology group meetings across CBA North’s area that we know of for this month. We range from hunting in whales in The Arctic with TILLVAS this week to Ancient Egypt with NEAES later in the month.

Along the way there are talks on the Romans – from the large-scale economy with BAS to the personal on glass bangles with NAG – to the lime kilns and lead industry of the North Pennines from APPLEBY and SANT respectively as well as other talks again.

4 May – Whaling in the North-East, Tony Barrow [TILLVAS]
9 May – The Economy of the Roman Empire: dynamic or stagnant?, Jeremy Paterson [BAS]
10 May – Evening Walk to the Smardale Lime Kilns, Carol Doughtery [APPLEBY]
11 May – Art connects people: Iron Age and Roman period glass bangles in Continental Europe and Britain, Tatiana Ivleva, Newcastle University [NAG]
14 May – AGM at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle, with a talk on the Scottish Soldiers Project, Dr Andrew Millard [ARCH & ARCH]
21 May – The Mummy Pits of Ancient Egypt, Tessa Baber [NEAES]
25 May – Owners and Agents; managing a large lead business in the 18th century northeast, Greg Finch [SANT]
31 May – Community Archaeology: Getting Involved in Research, Dr Jon Kenny [TAS]
Date to be confirmed: May – Annual General Meeting [CCA]

For the further details of the relevant societies, their venues and meeting times see their links from our CBA North website. These can be found in the Events as well as Local Societies and Groups pages.

There are doubtless other events happening this month – please let us know if you would like us to publicise your groups to a large, and archaeologically interested, audience across Northern England and beyond. This can be done at our AGM in June or through emails to our Members and Followers.

If you have been sent this email and you aren’t a CBA North member or group why not consider joining us? Details for joining us can be found on our website.

Coach trip to see the Celts

The newest group member of CBA North – the Northumberland Archaeological Group – has sent us details of their planned coach trip to Edinburgh on Saturday, 21st May, to see the Celts Exhibition at the National Museum for which there are spaces still available.

This will leave Newcastle at 8.30am and return by about 6.30 pm. Details and costs etc. are to be confirmed. Those interested in attending should contact Caroline Allott, tel: 01670 513365, or e-mail: cballott@aol.com. Be sure to give your contact details and whether you are entitled to concessionary entrance to the museum. You can also write to 75, Low Stobhill, Morpeth NE61 2SQ, but be sure to give phone number and enclose an SAE.

Please respond to Caroline if you are interested in attending by Monday, 11th April at the latest. Further details on NAG and their programme can be found in our webpages here, and also in our Local Societies and Groups page.