Tag Archives: Medieval

CBA North: July edition (Festival of Archaeology and more)

CBA North News

Dear Members and Friends of CBA North,

As we sure you are all well aware and need no reminding these are unprecedented times. International and national events, as well as regional and local ones, have been cancelled and postponed across the CBA North region. We hope that you, yours and your groups all are well, and continue to remain so, as we all are somewhat confined in our actions.

Many practices, procedures and pieces of work have changed and changed again in the current circumstances – several drafts of CBA North email news have been started since the end of March only to be changed and changed again as the situation has changed. Opening hours, hours of work and staff changes, however, have all been thrown into sharp focus for all of us. In a sobering article Marta Alberti of The Vindolanda Trust explains what is happening at Vindolanda in what had been planned as its 50th anniversary year. There are ways that you can help the trust and others again as lockdown arrangements ease.

However other work continues on – just in different forms and often in different locations to normal. The CBA Festival of Archaeology is one such change, with its many digital offerings starting on Saturday for its first appearance this year and details of this are below. Some groups within the CBA North network have started to hold digital lectures, whilst others continue to produce their own normal (and indeed extra) newsletters and emails for members. Quizzes and other digital content has been seen again. Gill Goodfellow of the West Cumbria Archaeology Society has sent an article in linking across to digital content which all can access, whilst CBA National and others have put more (or made more freely available) content online given the general inaccessibility of some libraries and archives.

Some groups are also using the time to plan, as well as revise websites and website pages for the future, for a newer normal. It is heartening to see such activity, productivity and continued interests in archaeology, history and heritage in these unusual times. There is so much digital content online to make choices is invidious, but if something stands out for you or you wish to publicise something please let us know so we all can enjoy it.

CBA North has been full of busy behind the scenes as well – our apologies for not being outwardly busy to you as members. Committee has met twice by email to discuss various matters, new members – including a new group member (TillVAS whose many activities we’ve often publicised in our emails to you) – have joined our number since our last email to you. Queries regarding membership, of and from our previous publications as well as general archaeology been answered for students and home-schoolers. Virtual meetings, updating and work with other regional and national bodies have also been done regarding what happening across the CBA North region with our regional overview.

Please join in us welcoming all our new members. Feel free to circulate this email and its links to non-members, and around your local group’s membership – this can be done through the ‘Forward to a friend’ link in the side bar and/or the website version of this email. Who knows they too may be also interested in joining our number?

Feedback, questions and/or comments most welcome at any time – either direct or through your local group representatives – to us; this is your group after all. A fresh survey, prompted by Covd-19, from CBA National asks what help and support your local groups need. CBA North is also taking stock and considering the future as well for our next five year plan, so we all would be most grateful if you would contribute your thoughts to the survey.

Best wishes – stay safe and well, we’ll be back with some more news soon,

CBA North Committee
10.07.2020

CBA National news
1) Festival of Archaeology 2020

This year’s festival comes in two parts, and the first of those start on Saturday.

Over 100 events and activities over the next 9 days

From 11-19 July 2020, the CBA is trying something new – a digital Festival of Archaeology
 
With live events on hold at the moment, we decided not to cancel our usual summer programme of archaeology events, but instead stage an online festival of interactive talks, competitions, youth activities and other engaging archaeology content.   

We were unsure whether people would be willing to join us in trying something brand new at short notice, but the response has been astonishing. There are now over 100 events listed on the festival website – something for every archaeology lover to enjoy, and lots more for curious minds to discover. 

We would be delighted to see you there. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Launch event – Saturday 11 July

Join the Council for British Archaeology as we launch the 2020 Festival of Archaeology with a day of online activity.

There are four free interactive online sessions – register now! Join Time Team’s Phil Harding as he takes you on a tour of Wessex Archaeology’s environmental laboratory, learn about the domestication of plants, find out how to make amazing 3D models and join our student careers session to discover routes to studying and working in archaeology. 

Alex Langlands: Digitally reconstructing excavations at Old Sarum – 12 July
Frustrated at not being able to get out and excavate this year? So is archaeoogist and TV presenter Alex Langlands. Join Alex as he digitally reconstructs the 1912 and 1913 excavations of Old Sarum’s cathedral site. Register now.

Podcast Sunday Chat – Archaeology and the Climate Change Conundrum – 19 July
Tune in for a chat on the impacts of climate change on archaeology with our hosts Career in Ruins. Guests Caroline Barrie-Smith (CITiZAN), Neil Redfern (CBA), Hannah Fluck (HE) and Rachel Bynoe (University of Southampton) present a fantastic perspective in this discussion on where archaeology stands in the climate change crisis debate. Podcast will appear here.

The campaigns of Septimius Severus in the far north of Britain – 14 July
Dr Simon Elliott, one of the world’s leading experts on the Severan campaigns in modern Scotland looks at the failed campaigns of Septimius Severus in AD 209 and AD 210. Register now.

Bacon Sandwiches and Stonehenge: Connecting Local Youth with Heritage Sites – 16 July
This live discussion will focus on how heritage sites can best support local youth organisations, and examine the ‘Our Stones’ documentary film project led by young people from Durrington Youth at Stonehenge in 2019. Register now.

An Archaeological Safari into No Man’s Sky – 17 July
Find out about the fascinating world of archaeogaming. Join digital archaeologist Dr. Andrew Reinhard (University of York and New York University) on a live-streamed archaeological safari to visit the dusty corners of past human civilizations in video game No Man’s Sky. Watch on Twitch. You can also tour the Mortonia Minecraft server in our other archaeogaming event.

Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology: Archaeology and the Historic Environment – 13 July
Explore the work of Bristol’s Historic Environment Officer and find out about Know Your Place, an interactive digital mapping resource that lets members of the public explore and contribute to layers of history in counties across South West England. Register now.

This is just a snapshot – there are many more talks and lectures on the festival website!

Have you ever wondered what archaeologists really do?  Do they just dig or are there other aspects to their work?

A Day in Archaeology, delivered in conjunction with the Royal Archaeological Institute, showcases “a day in the life” of archaeologists from all over the UK and this year’s event will be taking place on Monday 13 July 2020. Blog posts are uploaded throughout A Day In Archaeology and stay on the Festival website site all year round to form a developing resource for anyone interested in a career in archaeology or wanting to find out more about the range of opportunities to participate. You even have time to add your own!

The 2020 #AskAnArchaeologist Day will be on Wednesday 15 July 2020 – get your questions ready! #AskAnArchaeologist Day is a chance for people from all over the world to ask archaeologists questions, and an opportunity for archaeologists to share their knowledge. Anyone with access to Twitter can ask a question using the #AskAnArchaeologist hashtag and any archaeologist who has an answer is encouraged to respond. Follow the Ask An Archaeologist Day and CBA Twitter accounts to follow the action.
The Council for British Archaeology will be delivering a series of day long events, including the #YouthTakeover, A Day in ArchaeologyAsk an Archaeologist and our Young Archaeologists’ Day. We will be joined by Professor Carenza Lewis (from Time Team) as part of our ongoing Dig School project, Wessex Archaeology will be delivering our Environmental Archaeology Day with careers advice, skills training and a special YAC 3D handling session. Plus you will have the chance to have your artwork turned into a published comic!

This year we have also joined forces with English Heritage to co-create the youth-focused Festival events, as part of the Shout Out Loud project. They are a major partner in this year’s Digital Festival of Archaeology and will be delivering exciting and creative events for audiences aged 11-25. Shout Out Loud is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund through its #KicktheDust programme designed to encourage and involve more young people in heritage. Below you can find out more about the project, our partnership and lots of great events aimed at our younger Festival audience.

There’s still time to enter our Festival competitions

Don’t forget to get your entries in for our #RubbishArt and Archaeology Showreel competitions. 

We’ll be sharing a range of entries via our social media channels and there are some great prizes on offer. What are you waiting for – get your entries in now! 

Both of our competitions are open to entrants of all ages. Please make sure you read the terms and conditions before entering, these can be found by following the competition links above.

Festival feedback

We want to know what you think! It’s really important that we give you the opportunity to let us know what you think of the Festival, what you enjoyed the most, what you’d like to see more of and what you think we might be able to do better. This year it’s even more important that we get your opinions as it’s the first time we have hosted a digital Festival. 

You can share your thoughts with us by completing our feedback survey after you have attended an event. 
You can access the survey here.

If you’re an event organiser you can find all of the evaluation information including survey links and some handy guidance notes in the Organiser section of the Festival website.

Support the Festival! 

The CBA is a small charity, reliant on donations and our membership to keep the festival going. We would be delighted if you would support us with a small donation, or even better, consider joining us – you’ll get six issues a year of British Archaeology magazine and access to our full digital archive if you do! Find our how to support us below. Thank you.

Enjoy the Festival! 

We hope you have a fantastic 9 days discovering all the Festival has to offer and we look forward to seeing you at a digital event soon!

The 50th Anniversary of The Vindolanda Trust
Marta Alberti, of The Vindolanda Trust, has written of what is happening at Vindolanda. This well-known Roman site in Northumberland has many national and international connections, as well as the site of many excavations. 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the trust, in what was going to be a year to remember Marta now describes of further happenings as enforced by the changing CV-19 situation. This article was written at the start of lockdown, and like many places there have been changes again since.

Please consider how you can support such appeals and venues if you can, as well as your local groups activities, in the future.

‘On the 1st of April 2020, the Vindolanda Trust celebrated its 50th anniversary. Established in 1970 with the aim to excavate, research and share with the public the Roman remains in its care, the Vindolanda Trust has spent the last 50 years providing opportunities for amateurs and professionals alike to immerse themselves in history and archaeology. Great plans were afoot to celebrate the last 50 years of discoveries, and get ready for the next 50. However, in an unprecedented event, on 20th March 2020 the Vindolanda Trust had to close its doors to both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum in response to the fight against COVID-19.

Work continues behind the scenes, to ensure that everyone can virtually enjoy the sites and that the Trust can continue in its mission. For example, new home learning resources have been (and will continue to be) updated on the Trust’s website.  The Trust’s social media presence is stronger than ever, with the Communications’ Manager now living on site, and providing all important gorgeous images. Our new excavation HQ is on site, ready to welcome its first volunteers as soon as it is safe to do so.

But to keep this work going, and to make sure that the Trust are there to welcome you when these testing are times are over, we still need everyone’s help.  ALL the Trust’s operating income comes from admissions to our sites, spend in our shops and cafes and from donations. The majority of that has now stopped: to attempt to compensate for this incredible loss, the Trust have launched a survival appeal, in the form of an unusual, online birthday party. Consider helping by donating the equivalent of a pair of warm socks, or a bunch of flowers, or some fizz.

If you would have visited, please purchase the special edition golden ticket, which celebrates the Trust’s anniversary. This will give you unlimited visiting rights until December 2021!  The Trust, just like the CBA, has long been committed to be at the forefront of research, public engagement and participation in history and archaeology, and looks forward to re-opening its doors to you, and to the world, as soon as possible’.

A West Cumbria Archaeology Society (WCAS) update
Gill Campbell has written an update of a recent Cumbrian activities by the WCAS group. This links into events and projects previously carried out by the group which have featured in our emails to you. She writes;

‘As part of the ongoing Holme Cultram Harbour Lottery Funded project, WCAS organised a weekend of experimental Medieval iron smelting led by Dave Watson from Moor Forge near Wigton. The furnace was built in advance with local clay to give it time to dry out. The charcoal was produced in the Lake District and the iron ore was from Florence Mine, Egremont.

Saturday was a trial run, firing the furnace to make sure all was ok. On Sunday morning Dave lit the furnace and attached a jet of air to bring it up to in excess of 1000°C. Due to a shortage of medieval serfs to pump bellows an adapted vacuum cleaner was used throughout the smelt. Once the furnace was up to temperature it was loaded throughout the day with alternate buckets of charcoal and cups of iron ore – a total of approximately 40 over the duration of the process.

During the day slag was tapped from the bottom to avoid the level getting too high and after 4/5 hours the charcoal level was allowed to drop, the final slag was tapped and the furnace dismantled to reveal the lump of bloom in the bottom. The bloom was removed from the kiln, hammered whilst still malleable to consolidate it and then successfully tested with a magnet to show the iron content.

As a result of the project the Society has a good sized piece of bloom for reference as well as a lot of information about the process which will be very useful as we continue to research the industrial processes that went on in the vicinity of Holme Cultram Abbey. We already have plans drawn up for when we are able to get back in the field!

WCAS would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this experiment possible. Big thanks to Dave Watson for hosting and working so hard to make it successful, Darrell for his advice from the USA as well as Terry, Adam and Pete who helped on the day. For more information about the smelting there is a short YouTube video of the day covering all stages of the project. This can be found here.

CBA National news
2) Recharging British Archaeology: your chance to take part

The CBA has recently secured support from Historic England’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for a project to help rebuild public participation in archaeology as we recover from the effects of the pandemic. Cancelled projects, loss of income, worries about volunteer capacity and the need to plan for different ways of working in future are just some of the problems that groups have faced. There are distinct challenges for those working with children and young people, as well as those with an older membership.


Through this project, the CBA will use its knowledge and skills to support as many organisations as possible to help rebuild public participation in archaeology. We will listen to what organisations need so that we can offer small-scale immediate support and – most importantly –  plan a future programme of activity and funding bids which will enable us to help recharge community archaeology over the coming months and years.

The first step is to start a conversation with local and regional societies and groups, including our YAC branches and member organisations, to find out how you have been affected and what help you would welcome from us.

Please take a few minutes to give us your views by completing our survey here.

There is a separate survey for those involved with YAC Groups here.

Based on these conversations, we will be able to plan some immediate support to help the sector recover. This might include online training, toolkits, mentoring or one-to-one advice sessions. We will finalise the details of this offer based on what you tell us you need.

The insight we gain from these conversations will also enable us to undertake detailed planning work for future CBA projects to extend our Youth Engagement work, develop new forms of volunteering, plan a possible future small grants scheme and improve our digital infrastructure.

At the CBA, we know that we need to change the way we work as an organisation in response to the ongoing crisis. This project will help us ensure that we do this in a way which helps as many organisations as possible offer new and continuing opportunities for people to enjoy archaeology.

CBA North’s Chair’s New Year Message and 2020 events listing

CBA North’s Chair’s New Year Message

Dear Members and Friends of CBA North,

Happy New Year!

I unexpectedly find myself writing the CBA North New Year Chair’s message to all members this year. This always gives an opportunity to look both back on what has happened and forward to what is to happen. There has been plenty, and there is plenty yet to come as well (see the events listing below). We may be looking and heading in different directions, but if you are reading this email, we are all interested in the history, heritage and archaeology.

Over the past year CBA North membership numbers have continued to grow as now over 210 members, as do our social media followers as well, across (and beyond) the CBA North region. (The number of our group members, however, remains unchanged). For events we have helped fund and further an October regional prehistory conference in Carlisle, had a display stall and books to sell there and in March’s Durham Archaeology Day, as well as hosted a workshop for CBA National’s future strategy in Newcastle. This has been together with bringing you your emails with news, details of new publications (some with special offers), the details of events, exhibitions and more again also from all across (and beyond once again) the CBA North region throughout the year. CBA North remains a regional archaeological group that exists for the region and also as a means to get all news out.

For the ‘what is to come’ 2020 already looks busy with some near 70 events listed below happening all across the CBA North region from our own group members and other groups. These are the events we know about so far – there are others yet to be included – with their varied topics, locations and host groups. If there are any additions or alterations to this listing, or for the details of your own local groups and your representatives to CBA North, please let us know. This is your chance to get your news out and promote it to everyone else of the membership!

The new year sees challenges of course. CBA North is no different from other local groups; our geographical region remains large, our membership is a thin scatter across the region, the archaeological scene is also varied, we hear little of some groups for their news, but there are now so many different websites and social media feeds to keep track of, as well as what the opportunities and challenges are from CBA National’s new strategy for the future. Committee are stretched in time and place, as well as lacking for some sectors of the CBA North archaeological scene overall.


As the above plot shows I think we aren’t doing too badly at the moment, but could be doing better again and regardless of what I think, what do you think?


Like the strands of coloured smoke in this artistic recreation of the lime kilns of the past coming together, CBA North remains committed to being a regional archaeological group guided by the region and its membership of both individuals and groups for the benefit of all. I would urge all of you to be in contact with your group representatives (who will have hopefully circulated this email to you or the link to our Events website page https://wp.me/P45Irp-27), CBA North Committee and/or myself to let us know what you think and get more involved in the group, for example our news does not have to be just for forthcoming events, but also that present or just past.

If you would like to contribute something for the email news or be more involved with the Committee, please feel free to contact me. Our own CBA North contact details at cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org remain unchanged for all comments.

Nevertheless I thank you most sincerely for your support of CBA North during 2019 whether made individually or on behalf of your group; your support makes our work for you all the more appreciated and purposeful. I am sure that you similarly wish to join me in thanking our out-going committee members for their 2019 work. My best wishes to them and all of you as CBA North members for 2020.

Best wishes,

Keith Elliott
Acting CBA North Chair and Secretary/01.01.2020

2020 Local Society and Group Events
Here is a list of all the local society and group events that we know of to date. There are over 70 events included below, but there are some events yet to come. Please let us know any additions for the Events as well as any changes in the details for the Local societies and groups page and for any of your representatives who receive the CBA North emails.

January 2020
6 January – The Glories of the Mine: Whitehaven and Perceptions of Cumbria’s ‘Energy’ Coast in the 1700s, Christopher Donaldson [KENDAL CWAAS]
8 January – William Cowe & Son, the home of the Berwick Cockle, Cameron Robertson [TILLVAS]
9 January – AGM, Member’s Evening and an update on Dig Appleby!, Martin Railton, Trish Shaw, Kevin Mouncey and Sue Thompson [APPLEBY]
13 January – Jet Mines in the North Yorkshire Moors, Chris Twigg [Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society]
13 January – The Lowick Heritage Trails, John Daniels and Philip Hanson [Lowick Heritage Group]
15 January – The Durham River Wear Assemblage, Gary Bankhead [NAG]
17 January – Carrock Mine; Before, During and After the First World War, Warren Allison [CARLISLE CWAAS]
18 January – Cesspits, Sewers and Sanitation: Waste Treatment in the Medieval Urban Townscape, Don O’Meara [ARCH & ARCH]
25 January – Investigations around rock art panels at Carr Edge Farm, near Fourstones, Hexham, Rock art in context, Ravensheugh Crags and Rock art in the Canary Islands, Andy Curtis, Phil Bowyer and Paul Frodsham respectively [ALTOGETHER]
25 January – Colossal Egyptian Statues, Daniel Elcoat [NEAES]
28 January – AGM and The Auckland Project: Bishop Auckland and excavations at Auckland Castle, John Castling [TAS]
29 January – Anniversary Meeting: John William Chater and the Song of the Carrion Chro [sic]: Satire in mid-Victorian Newcastle, Derek Cutts [SOCANTS]

February 2020
3 February – The King’s High Castle, David Silk [BAS]
3 February – Hadrian’s Wall: Bruce, Clayton, Richardson and the creation of the modern wall, David Breeze [KENDAL CWAAS]
5 February – Old Melrose, Margaret Collin [TILLVAS]
10 February – “Peace, Hoo – Bally Ray”: Low Flying along the Tees from Redcar and Marske Airfields 1909-19, Phil Philo [Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society]
10 February – Twixt Thistle and Rose: Uncovering Berwick Borough Archives, Linda Bankier [Lowick Heritage Group]
10 February – The North Pennines in the Early Middle Ages, David Petts [LUNESDALE]
11 February – title and speaker to be confirmed [NEWCOMEN]
12 February – Defending Brancepeth, Penny Middleton [NAG]
13 February – A Medieval Bloomery at Loch Awe, Richard McGregor [APPLEBY]
14 February – The Roman Lanes; Excavations in Carlisle, John Zant [CARLISLE CWAAS]
20 February – The 2019 Season at Linbrig, John Nolan [CCA]
22 February – A Grand Tour of Roman Scotland, Andrew Tibbs [ALTOGETHER]
25 February – A Grand Tour of Roman Scotland, Andrew Tibbs [TAS]
26 February – A history of the walled garden at Alnwick Castle, Jenny Proctor [SOCANTS]

March 2020
2 March – Whitby Abbey, Tony Wilmott [BAS]
2 March – Copt Howe: excavating Neolithic rock art in Great Langdale, Aaron Watson [KENDAL CWAAS]
4 March – A Policeman’s Lot, 1750 to 1950, Ian Roberts [TILLVAS]
7 March – A Ptolemaic Lady of Montrose, Espionage and Robert Burns, Daniel Potter [NEAES]
9 March – Cleveland during the Second World War, Stuart McMillan [Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society]
9 March – Whisky and Gin Smuggling in the Cheviots and Borders, Graeme Watson [Lowick Heritage Group]
9 March – Investigation of the Rusland Charcoal Industry, Rebecca Cadbury-Simmons [LUNESDALE]
11 March – Hidden in Plain Sight – Revealing the forgotten monuments of northern England, Emma Watson [NAG]
12 March – Copt Howe Excavation, Great Langdale, Aaron Watson [APPLEBY]
13 March – St Michael’s Church, Workington: Excavation of an Early Medieval Cemetery, Adam Parsons [CARLISLE CWAAS]
18 March – A road through time – the Archaeology of the A1 upgrade scheme in North Yorkshire, Johnnie Shipley [CCA]
21 March – Technology and home, and Old Melrose, Andy Curtis and Margaret Collin respectively [ALTOGETHER]
25 March – The discovery and excavation of the Roman baths at Wallsend (Segedunum) in 2014-15, Nick Hodgson [SOCANTS]
31 March – Archaeology and the environment on Teesside, Jenny Morrison [TAS]

April 2020
6 April – title to be confirmed, Alison Sheridan [BAS]
6 April – Neighbours and Neighbourhoods 1900-1940, Elizabeth Watson [KENDAL CWAAS]
9 April – The Prehistory of Dumfries and Galloway, Warren Baillie [APPLEBY]
17 April – Henry Hobhouse’s Tour Through Cumbria in 1774, Christopher Donaldson [CARLISLE CWAAS]
20 April – Two Hundred Years of Lowick Lime, 1680s-1890s, Julie Gibbs [Lowick Heritage Group]
20 April – AGM and Review of the High Carlingill Excavations [LUNESDALE]
21 April – Learning through Archaeology: Killingworth ‘Billy’, Michael Bailey and Peter Davidson [NEWCOMEN]
23 April – The Bamburgh Ossuary, Jessica Turner [CCA]
27 April – AGM and Member’s Evening [Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society]
28 April – Altogether Archaeology, Tony Metcalfe [TAS]
29 April – Landscapes of the Great Depression in the North East, Ronan O’Donnell [SOCANTS]
Date to be announced – AGM [TILLVAS]

May 2020
4 May – The Sound of Early Medieval Music, Graeme Lawson [BAS]
6 May – The Salcombe Shipwreck, Dr Ben Roberts [TILLVAS]
7 May – AGM and the Rev. A Scott of Rothbury, Adam Welfare [CCA]
13 May – Travels in Egypt, Peter Topping [NAG]
26 May – Bronze Age metals and mobility in Northeast England, Ben Roberts [TAS]
27 May – The way of the sword: New insights into Bronze Age fighting practices, Andrea Dolfini [SOCANTS]

June 2020
1 June – Lumps, Bumps & Fairy Tales – the Joys of Field Archaeology, Dugald McInnes [BAS]
3 June – Doon Hill Revisited, Prof Ian Ralston [TILLVAS]
24 June – Putting the prehistory of the Northern Pennines on the map: discoveries made during English Heritage’s Miner-Farmer Landscapes Projects, Alastair Oswald [SOCANTS]
30 June – County Durham: a round-up of recent archaeological work, David Mason [TAS]

July 2020
29 July – The Trench Art Some Crosses of the Durham Light Infantry – a case study in memorialisation, Andrew Marriott [SOCANTS]

August 2020
26 August – Airy citadels, tyrannous cacti, Mycenae’s astonishing stones: Belsay Hall and Sir Charles Monck’s travel diaries, Susanna Phillippo [SOCANTS]

September 2020
7 September – Dere Street – one of the Border Roads, David Jones [BAS]
14 September – A general approach to the Yorkshire Lead Smelting Mills, Richard Lamb [Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society]
30 September – In defence of Brancepeth: the medieval origins of Brancepeth Castle, Penny Middleton [SOCANTS]

October 2020
5 October – Inscriptions & Sculptures in the Quarries of Hadrian’s Wall, Jon Allison [BAS]
10 October – David Dippie Dixon lectures: titles to be confirmed, Nick Card [CCA]
28 October – ‘The Crack in the Ice’, Women and Property and the making of the Married Woman’s Property Act 1870, Bob Morris [SOCANTS]

November 2020
2 November – Questions of Identity – some recent case studies on the Vikings in Scotland, including the warrior from Auldhame, East Lothian, Caroline Paterson [BAS]
7 November – The Station in The Hills and The Eastern End of the Stanhope and Tyne Railway, Brian Page and Peter Leech respectively [ALTOGETHER]
21 November – Annual Study Day and AGM [NEAES]
25 November – The Geology of Newcastle Cathedral, Derek Teasdale [SOCANTS]

December 2020
7 December – Relics, Sophie Moore [BAS]

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.

Further March Events – this weekend and next week

CBA North News
In this issue we have a number of announcements for events this weekend and next week. As some are happening soon you will need to book up. More news of projects and publications that have recently been completed or been published will be coming your way soon!

As we noted last time, we have updated our Local Societies and Groups section of our website. It now has the details of one of our local groups – the Northern Archaeology Group – so please continue to let us know any further changes. It is to your benefit to keep us abreast of changes.

Please feel free to circulate our news around your own contacts, especially your local group if you are one of our group member reps. Even if you yourself cannot attend the meetings listed someone else might. As noted in our last email to you we are especially interested in your views and news! We have a number of news items from Cumbria, mid-Northumberland and Durham to come in our next issue.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
06.03.2019

County Durham Archaeology Day 2019
David Mason, Principal Archaeologist at Durham County Council, has sent us details of this year’s County Durham Archaeology Day which is this Saturday. There is still some time to book your tickets if you would like to attend; clicking on the poster will take you to the online page.

CBA North will be having a stall there with a few publications for sale from £2 to £17 on a range of topics – feel free to say hello to the committee members there and let us know how we are doing as a regional group for you. Our group members the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, as well as Teesside Archaeological Society, will also be having stalls there.

Eastern Borders History Gathering
For those that may be more interested in the northern parts of the CBA North region you may be more interested in the Eastern Borders History Gathering to be also held on Saturday. In this case the focus is on north Northumberland and the adjoining Berwickshire part of the Scottish Borders.

Some members may well remember previous discussions about the size of the CBA North region. On looking back through the CBA North archive some members suggested expanding the size of the region to include southern Scotland!

A CBA National event in our region
Your views are particularly welcome at two events next week as well. The results of the survey carried out by CBA National last year, whose link we carried in the December email to you, have now been compiled. We and CBA National are keen to hear your further views to develop your membership and what you would like to do in the future.

All members of CBA North by whatever permutation of National-to-North, North-only, individual, joint, family, group and student category that you come under are welcome to take part in the following two events on Monday and Tuesday, 11th and 12th March.

Claire Shirtcliffe of Tricolor Associates writes;
“We are working with the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) to develop their audiences and help them understand what they can do to break down the barriers to people learning more about archaeology.

I am delighted to invite to you to a focus group session on 12th March  2019 at The Bridge Hotel, Castle Square, Newcastle at 6:30pm. If you would like to attend this session, please pre-register your attendance by emailing cba@tricolorassociates.co.uk with the following details: Your Name, Contact Number, Session slot and location (Newcastle).

If you can’t make the session, but would still love to be involved, we are organising an online webinar: “How to Make Archaeology Accessible for Different People” on 11th March 2019 at 7:30pm. Please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3188015670057516556 to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We would be delighted if you were able to join us on the 12th March 2019 and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Emma
Emma Shirtcliffe”

Once again CBA North Committee members will also be there to hear your views as we are the regional group within the local-regional-national group structure of CBA, but feel free to let us know your views at any other time.

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 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.