Tag Archives: Museum

CBA North: mid-June newsletter

CBA North News

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

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

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
19.06.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Cretan Krater

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

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

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

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

Lorraine at the Whitley Castle mole-hill survey

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

CBA North: mid-May newsletter 1

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

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

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

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
08.05.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forthcoming lectures tonight and this week across CBA North

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
09.04.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archaeology and the small finds of North-East England

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

Military archaeology lectures this weekend in CBA North

CBA North News

A short email to let you know of two military archaeology lectures this weekend. These include the first of the reschedulings down to the weather at the end of last month/start of this month, and also span from the Roman period (at least?) to the Modern. You’ll have to go along to find out more.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
16.03.2018

Dere Street: the archaeology of a Border Road
Those members and followers of CBA North who were at our April conference last year will remember the presentation by Chris Butterworth and David Jones of our group member Coquetdale Community Archaeology. This lecture will deal in more detail with the Borders Roads Project, and in particular Dere Street.

The excavations of the Catterick and A1 section of this route beyond our region’s southern boundarues have been covered by previous talks and events which we have sent you notice of – this lecture will look at the northern edges of our region.

A Blyth Battery talk
Members with a longer memory will remember our CBA North tour of Blyth Battery with Chris Burgess back in 2010. If you weren’t there, but are keen to learn more about this site there is a lecture in Belford on Sunday.

Further news
We’ll aim to send some more news of things past at next week from around the region. If you would like to submit anything, or indeed for the next CBA North Committee, please feel free to do so. The contributions and thoughts of all Members and Followers are most welcome at any time.

Other March events
There are still some other March events to come that we know of. These are;

17 March – Altogether Archaeology AGM and AA’s 2017 investigation of the Well Head settlement at Holwick, Upper Teesdale and Scandinavian influences in the Tees Valley, Martin Green and others, as well as Liz Ryan [ALTOGETHER]
17 March – Late Palaeolithic Rock Art at Qurta in Egypt & The Old Kingdom Settlement at El-Kab: recent excavation and fieldwork, Dr Dirk Huyge & Dr Walter Claes [NEAES]
28 March – A frontier and community in transition: the Tungrian Vindolanda, Andrew Birley [SOCANTS]

Further details are through our website pages for the groups, the times and venues of these meetings.

Wear-based archaeology next week

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
20.10.2017

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

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

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

Frank Giecco     fgiecco@wardell-armstrong.com

Norman Kirtlan     sunderlandsforgottenstones@gmail.com

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

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

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

Last minute announcement of TAS talk tonight

CBA North News
A quick posting to our Members and Followers to notice that the Teesside Archaeological Society’s lecture tonight – only announced last night – will be Durham’s Museum of Archaeology and its Collections by Gemma Lewis, at Stockton Central Library as per normal for the group. Details for the group can be found in our Local Societies and Groups webpage.


Part of the exhibition and activity space at the Durham Museum of Archaeology

Details of other events to come, as normal are on our own website’s pages, whilst another five days remain of the Festival of Archaeology this year. We would be interested to hear what our Members and Followers are up to over this period – both from organisers of events, as well as in what others have visited. As ever feel free to get in contact with your archaeological news. for others to hear of.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
25.07.2017

Archaeology is ACE across CBA North

CBA North News
Archaeology is ACE across CBA North! – but that, of course, is hardly news to our Members and Followers.

In this issue, however, we spell that out quite literally in an update from the Appleby Archaeology Group, a further notice of Coniston Copper with other Cumbrian Events as a first email to you with details of Festival of Archaeology events, as well as something in of a major event devoted to a single Exceptional Exhibit to be displayed at the Durham Museum of Archaeology. All are updates to pieces of work or follow-up’s on topics we have covered earlier in some way – whether in our emails or events – so perhaps this email should be titled ‘Archaeology is AAGCCCEEEE!’, but that would be a bit of a mouthful.

It is always the way perhaps? Nothing happens and then everything does, but we hope that is no bad thing. We hope that this is the first of other emails that we are going to send in quick succession and to report other news. There is so much happening at the moment across CBA North-land and if you think we should be covering something feel free to let us know what. The pictures at the bottom give you a hint of what is yet to come. Thoughts in advance for how we complete our alphabet of archaeology across CBA North for the Q, U, W, X, Y and Z gratefully received – we are working on it!

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 13.07.2017

DigAppleby: breaking the ground
Martin Joyce, Chair of the Appleby Archaeology Group, Members will recall gave us a talk at last year’s AGM in Corbridge of the group’s plans for fieldwork in 2016. Here he provides for us a 2017 update; the pictures come from the brochure mentioned below. The link for this brochure, at the bottom of the update, will take you to the full version if you would like to print a copy which can be folded up as a leaflet.

“Appleby Archaeology has just completed the first year of its multi-phase investigation into the history of Appleby. To mark the occasion we mounted an exhibition in the Tourist Information Centre in Appleby Town Hall. This has been a community project so we were keen to show the results and to feature pictures of all our volunteers in action.

The exhibition is timed to coincide with the Festival of Archaeology and will run until the end of July.

The project was very successful in capturing interest and support. Quite a few households proved keen to offer their back-gardens as test-pit sites. Our palaeography courses also proved very popular and we were lucky to be able to gain access to a variety of documents that revealed life in Medieval Appleby in a surprisingly vivid and immediate way.

A full report on the first year is available on our website at DigAppleby – Breaking the Ground.

This is a bit technical so we also produced a small colour brochure introducing and describing the work in more popular terms, that could be given away free by the Tourist Information Centre”.

DigAppleby’s project blog, including pictures of the display, can be found online here, and details of the Appleby Archaeology Group more generally through our own CBA North website pages.

Coniston Copper and other Cumbrian Events
Saturday sees the launch of this year’s Festival of Archaeology events all across the country and across CBA North-land as well from 15 to 30 July this year. There are a number of events covering topics that we’ve previous carried notice of – you will doubtless recall the picture below that we sent to you earlier in the year of the Coniston Copper mines sent to us by Penny Middleton of Northern Archaeological Associates.

If you didn’t get involved in the fieldwork project an event, as part of the Festival of Archaeology, is being held on Saturday 15 July at the Coniston Boating Centre between 11.00 and 15.30 as part of a mining heritage day. Further details can be found online here where further opportunities to get involved in fieldwork are also listed.

Other Cumbrian events can for the Festival of Archaeology can be found on this page, as well as for elsewhere.

The Lanchester Diploma: Britain’s first named sailor
Durham’s Museum of Archaeology also leads the charge of events for this year’s Festival of Archaeology. For those of you that weren’t at our AGM this year to hear about the Portable Antiquities Scheme, you have a chance to learn some more of the scheme – perhaps also have any of your finds identified as well – on Saturday with this event.

Such a find, indeed an exceptional one, which was reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme is the Lanchester diploma. Gemma Lewis of the Durham Museum of Archaeology has sent us details of an event relating this new exhibit for the museum. There are a few finds that really change what we know beyond their immediate surroundings  – this is one of them, and on first hearing of this the word “Blimey!” came to mind.

If you would like to attend the event on Thursday 20 July then please email archaeology.museum@durham.ac.uk.

A further event will also be held at the Museum on Saturday 29 July as well when the Roma Antiqua re-enactment group will be present between 11.00 and 15.00 to demonstrate the lives and skills of Roman soldiers. Further details on this event can be found here.