Tag Archives: Medieval

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.

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Events in the forthcoming week (and our Events list updated)

CBA North News
CBA North Committee work continues full of busy – this has included bringing our Events page up to date with recent changes. Please feel free to bring to our attention any further events that you know of to send round everyone else. Apologies for the lateness in the email – there is so much happening across the CBA North region and much else we are doing for you behind the scenes.

CBA North Committee,
20.01.2018

Arch & Arch Society lecture – this afternoon
The lecture series of many of the local groups within the CBA North network started near the start of the month. Here’s a poster for something happening this afternoon if you are in the area of Durham.

Arch & Arch Society Annual Research Grant
The ‘Arch & Arch’, more officially the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, have written to us of their Annual Research Grant. Jo Shoebridge, their Secretary, writes that the society;

“The Society was founded in 1861 and has, since that time, pursued an active programme of lectures, field trips and publications. Based in Durham, but with interests throughout the region, it aims to provide an opportunity for all those interested in archaeology and architectural history to find out more, visit places of interest and experience hands on activities. 

Annual Research Grant
The application process is open for our annual research grant, which welcomes applications for a maximum of £250 for projects based within the North-East of England.

See http://www.aasdn.org.uk/news.htm to read more about the award and how to apply. Please note that the closure date for applications has been extended to the 31st January 2018″.

Further events to come this week
Next week is another busy week to come with lectures. In Durham on Wednesday is this;
…whilst on Thursday is the first 2018 event of our group member the Teesside Archaeological Society* where Professor Tim Thompson will be speaking on Bodies of Evidence (for more on this lecture see here) at Teesside, and on the Saturday in Newcastle is the first 2018 event of the North East Ancient Egypt Society*…

…and that of Tynedale Archaeology* in Hexham that afternoon as well.

As per 2017 there is plenty to get involved in.

*Details of each local group can be found in our Local Societies and Groups website page. (Please let us know of any 2018 alterations to this page).

Our Events page updated
In case you have not already seen our Events on our website, we’ve listed something like 50 archaeological group meetings all across the CBA North region.

In case you have already looked at this page, please take a glance for the new additions from the Northumberland Archaeological Group, Teesside Archaeological Society, Tynedale Archaeology and others besides. This information is up to date as far as we know and includes the changes that we have been told of.

Please feel free to circulate this email, through the links above or through the website page, to anyone that you think might be interested in these events.

Season’s Greetings for 2017 from CBA North Committee

CBA North News
This is the one of the last emails to our Members and Followers of 2017; we hope that you have been able to attend and take part in the many events and activities that we have covered this year. We already have some material ready to go for 2018, but please feel to contribute things.

Season’s Greetings from CBA North Committee
As this is our last email before Christmas, as in previous years, send you a seasonal picture of a historical nature. This year’s picture – kindly provided by courtesy of Northumberland National Park – is the stone carving of the three kings attending Christ which is located in Kirknewton Church in north Northumberland and is thought 12th century in date.

Contributions are welcome for such a picture this time next year if you would like to submit something. Nonetheless we send to all CBA North’s Members and Followers our seasonal greetings and our best wishes for 2018! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as you see fit!

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
22.12.2017

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.

Our CBA North alphabet of archaeology continues: N and O

CBA North News
Today our CBA North alphabet of archaeology continues with the letters N and O. Taking the N’s we have a pair of articles describing recent work by CBA National on their projects the Local Heritage Engagement Network (LHEN) and Home Front Legacy (HFL) with which we have been involved. We also have brief notices of other open days – one tomorrow – for the First Linthaugh excavations, near Ford in Northumberland, which we also noted last year, as well as of others at Dilston Castle, which we’ve previously covered.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
18.08.2017

Local Heritage Engagement Network





More on the LHEN project can be found online here.

Open Day 1: First Linthaugh excavations
Members and Followers will recall we covered Dr Edwards talk at the Kirknewton Archaeology Festival on the Neolithic of the Milfield Basin last year. This year his excavations have continued at the north of the area at an adjacent enclosure. Here is a poster giving you a taster of what has been found so far.

The site is just to the south of Ford Bridge and the junction to Crookham on the B6354 and will be signposted.   Parking is permitted in the Fisherman’s Car Park  and on the grass verges, close to the track through to the dig on the opposite side of the road.   Please park sensibly and take care when crossing the road.

Home Front Legacy
It was back in August 2015 that we worked with CBA National to provide a training day for this national project in Durham, whilst readers may have also heard of the recent listing of the Stockton eavesdropping wireless station and many of the World War One war memorials across our region. Here is some news on what is happening in August for the project.





More details on this project can be found here.

Open Day 2: Dilston Castle and Chapel
Members and Followers may also be interested to take up this offer to visit Dilston Castle the seat of the ill-fated Jacobite Derwentwater family.

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.

A pair of lectures this week

CBA North News
A short email to say that we haven’t forgotten about CBA North’s Member and Followers over the summer. Committee Members, as ever, have been full of busy gathering news and talking with contacts on behalf of the group and you our members.

Whilst some groups have stopped their lectures for a summer break or perhaps fieldwork, we have continued to add information to our Events pages as they have become known to us. Please let us know of your events at any time so we can publicise to others – if you would like to submit something we’ve some draft technical notes for contributors which outline what our various communication methods will and will not allow (and guinea-pigs for these are sought) Increasingly we are hearing of 2018 events, but there are plenty 2017 events yet to come – indeed, there are two this week as it is.

At Stockton tonight and Newcastle tomorrow are two lectures we’ve publicised earlier in that Events page. These are Pons Aelius to Pandon by Jennifer Morrison as the Teesside Archaeological Society lecture and Romano-British glass bangles: a reappraisal as The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne lecture by Tatiana Ivleva respectively.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 27.06.2017