Tag Archives: NEAES

CBA North’s Chair’s Spring message, February and March Events, and news

CBA North Chair’s Spring message
Dear CBA North Members,

I am writing to you for the first time in my capacity as Chair of CBA North to thank you for your continued membership and support. I would also like to highlight some of the work of CBA North, which I hope will be of interest.

Firstly, our regularly updated events page contains details of the date, speaker, title and local society to which the talk is being presented: https://cbanorth.wordpress.com/events/

We try to include details of as many public talks on archaeology and history which take place in the region, though if your group is not represented please let us know and we shall update our list of events. As you can see from the list there is a great range of talks given every week across the region.

The contact information for these groups can be found in the Local Societies and Groups section of our website: https://cbanorth.wordpress.com/local-societies-and-groups/

As with the talks, if the contact details of your group are absent or out of date please let us know.

This year we are exploring new ways in which we can serve our members and we are asking you for suggestions. If there are things you think we could change, information you would like to see passed on, or activities which you think would boost local interest in heritage matters please write to us or email us with your suggestions.

This activity can only take place through the support of our members, and through the volunteered time of the CBA North committee: https://cbanorth.wordpress.com/committee/

If you feel you could contribute to the work of CBA North, and you would like to think of becoming a committee member please get in touch. The committee is for everyone, and you do not need to be a professional archaeologist or historian to be a member. Archaeology for All is the motto of the Council for British Archaeology and we hope our committee represents the diversity of our members.

Thank you again for your continued support.

All the best for 2019,

Don O’Meara
Chair of CBA North
22.02.2019

February and March 2019 Events
We’ve pulled out the February and March 2019 events from our events page and the fuller listing as a whole for you here. There is much happening despite it being within the last full week of February and the first week of March, as well as later in the year accessible through the link above.

February 2019
4 February – The Paxton Waterwheel: restoration of an 18th century water supply system, John Home-Robertson [BAS]
6 February – Operation Nightingale, Alexander Sotheran [TILLVAS]
6 February – AGM and presentations [TYNEDALE]
7 February – The first season’s work at Linbrig, John Nolan [CCA]
11 February – Holy Island lifeboats, Linda Bankier [Lowick Heritage Group]
11 February – Viking age Cumbria, Fiona Edmonds [LUNESDALE]
12 February – Sir William Arrol & Co Ltd, Dr Miles Oglethorpe [NEWCOMEN]
13 February – Archaeobotany and urban environments – cesspits and sanitation in Medieval England, Don O’Meara [NAG]
14 February – Investigating lead tokens from Holm Cultram Abbey, Kate Rennicks [APPLEBY]
23 February – Nationalism and Archaeology: Excavating Romania’s Roman Past, Emily Hamscan [ARCH & ARCH]
26 February – Recent Research on the Bombardment of the Hartlepools, World War I, Mark Simmons [TAS]
27 February – Excavations at Derwentcote: An Analysis of Nineteenth Century Workers’ Housing, Rob Young [SOCANTS]
28 February – Sir Vincent Riden – Last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the North Eastern Railway, Andrew Everett [Tyneside Industrial Archaeology Group]
February – title and speaker to be announced [NEAES]

March 2019
4 March – Animal Bones in Roman Britain (title to be confirmed), Dr Jim Morris [BAS]
6 March – Bronze Age Burials in N.E. England and S.E. Scotland, Dr Chris Fowler [TILLVAS]
11 March – Deserted Medieval Villages of North Northumberland, Allan Colman [Lowick Heritage Group]
11 March – Stone circles, rings and mounds in Cumbria, Tom Clare [LUNESDALE]
13 March – Excavations at Berk Farm round mound, Isle of Man – the story so far, Dr Chris Fowler [NAG]
14 March – The Work of the Cumbria Vernacular Buildings Group, June Hill [APPLEBY]
16 March – AGM and Exploring North Pennine Place Names, Diana Whaley [ALTOGETHER]
16 March – Deir el-Medina revisited: latest work and discoveries from a site thought to be well known, Cedric Gobeil [NEAES]
20 March – Seven hours, a rubber dingy and a shipwreck: the search for Nova Zembla, Matthew Ayre [NAG]
23 March – Cresswell Pele Tower: From Reivers to Ruins to Restoration, Barry Mead [ARCH & ARCH]
26 March – Buildings of the Historic Core of Skelton, Robin Daniels [TAS]
27 March – Public and private in a domestic context: The underground spaces of the House of the Cryptoporticus in Pompeii, Thea Ravasi [SOCANTS]
28 March – Aspects of the industrial infrastructure on Holy Island, Roger Jermy [CCA]
28 March – Kenton Wartime Bunker; Past, Present and Future, John Mabbit & Russ Charnock [Tyneside Industrial Archaeology Group]

Local Group Round-up:
the 2018 activities of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland

Jennifer Morrison, former CBA North Secretary and now Committee member of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland (variously known as the AASDN or even shorter the ‘Arch & Arch’), has written an update of their activities in 2018. Another filled year awaits its members in 2019. She writes;

The Society has had another activity-filled year.

We had five lectures on a selection of wide-ranging topics. Most of the talks were held in our usual venue at Elvet Riverside in Durham. In June Dr Stephanie Piper, Assistant Project Archaeologist with Archaeological Services Durham University and Lithic Specialist, talked to members about the Mesolithic in the Western Isles of Scotland. Our July lecture was given by Dr Sonia O’Connor, Honorary Visiting Fellow, University of York Post-Doctoral Researcher, Archaeological Sciences, part of the AGES Division in the University of Bradford, on the fascinating use of x-rays in archaeological science. Sonia’s lecture was followed by a wine reception at Durham Heritage Centre and Museum. In September Emma Watson of Durham University gave a paper on the ‘forgotten’ and sometimes neglected prehistoric monuments in northern England. Emma will be leading a bus trip for the society to see some of these monuments in 2019. Our autumn lecture was by Peter Ryder, Buildings Historian, on the under-studied nonconformist chapels of the North-East. In November Dr Kayt Armstrong, a Researcher with Durham University, talked about landscapes of the Great Depression in North East England.

The Society’s Annual General Meeting in May was held at Trinity House in Newcastle, with our guided tour led by Grace McCombie, buildings historian. Our December Members Meeting on 1st December was hosted by Ormesby Hall. We had this lovely National Trust property, which was decorated for a 1950s Christmas, all to ourselves for the afternoon. Five short enjoyable informal presentations by members were followed by tea and cake.

AASDN members have been treated to three excursions this year. On 23rd June members enjoyed an informative guided walk around Sunniside Conservation Area in Sunderland, led by John Tumman, co-author of Sunderland Heritage Forum’s town trail A Walk Around Historic Sunderland: The Fawcett and Sunniside Estates. In 1810 the Wearmouth Bridge Commissioners paid the Fawcett family £500 for a road, now Fawcett Street, to be taken across their fields to serve the new bridge, which had been built in 1796. The development of this part of Sunderland then accelerated rapidly. Four storey terraced houses with private gardens were built on Fawcett Street for the middle classes and it became the principal residential street in town.


One of Sunderland’s more unusual buildings:
The Elephant Tea Rooms, 65-66 Fawcett Street, Sunderland

On Saturday 18th August we had an enjoyable trip to the market town of Barnard Castle, led by Caroline Hardie. The town was founded in the twelfth century. We explored the maze of streets and alleyways behind the main street. Amongst the lesser known architectural gems of the town, we saw weavers’ cottages on Thorngate with their characteristic row of windows directly beneath the roof eaves, Thorngate cloth mill, the former Methodist chapel on West View, now converted into apartments and the richly carved chest tomb of George Hopper who died aged 23 in 1725.

Our last excursion of 2018 was to Aldborough. Rose Ferraby and Professor Martin Millett guided us around Roman Isurium, the capital of the Brigantes tribe. Isurium was probably founded in the late first or early second century. The Roman road through Isurium formed a leg of both Dere Street and Watling Street.

The society website has its own website: http://www.aasdn.org.uk/. Membership of AASDN costs only £20 a year and joint membership is £25. Enquiries about membership should be sent to the Membership Secretary, Janet McDougall, who can be emailed here.

Stop Press!
As you will see in the events listed above, the ‘Arch & Arch’ lecture for February is tomorrow afternoon in Durham. Everyone is welcome to hear Emily Hamscan speak on Nationalism and Archaeology: Excavating Romania’s Roman Past on Saturday afternoon at Durham. The time and venue of the lecture can be seen in looking at our Twitter pages for their poster, which can be found here.

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

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

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

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
13.05.2018

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

Josie informs us that;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key highlights of this programme of events so far include:

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

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

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

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

We hope to see you this summer.

Kind regards,

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

Events in 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.

November news

CBA North News
Another quick email with an extended list of the November events we know of. If you know of any others or would like us to publicise others, please let us know the details.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
01.11.2017

November News


8 November – AGM and the Sir Ralph Grey Monument in Chillingham Church, Derek Cutts [NAG]
9 November – Sequencing Ancient British Genomes, Matthew Teasdale [APPLEBY]

25 November – AGM and Annual Study Day: Fieldwork in Egypt: Old, New and Revisited, Angus Graham, Jo Rowland, Penny Wilson and Aurelia Masson-Berghoff [NEAES]
28 November – James Cook: Raising Anchors and Digging for Cottages, Phil Philo [TAS]
29 November – Incendiary letters and Iniquitous practices; Smuggling and Customs Evasion on the North East Coast 1750-1830, Tony Barrow [SOCANTS]

Vindolanda, violence and war; forthcoming events in CBA North-land

CBA North News
Today our email combines our alphabet of archaeology with the letters V and W with a regular update of events across CBA North-land. This month started with the Belief in the North East conference at Durham University today.

Hot on the heels of the conference are three further events for the Bronze Age, Ancient Egyptians and Mary, Queen of Scots, in this week alone. Vindolanda, violence and war all feature in events this and next month; there is plenty for you to take your pick with (as well as more to come this week)!

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
01.10.2017

Local society events this month
Here is a list of events that we know of, so far, this month. Events, however, continue to be added to our website page – please let us know anything that we are missing!

2 October – “Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be broken”: reconstructing Bronze Age fighting styles, Andrea Dolfini [BAS]
7 October – Cobras, Demons and ‘Fighters’: Demonology in Ancient Egypt, Kasia Szpakowska [NEAES]

8 October – Mary, Queen of Scots, Jordan Evans [TILLVAS]

11 October – The Jomon Period Obsidian Mines in the Hoshikuso Pass, Nagawa, Japan, Pete Topping [NAG]
12 October – Medieval Grave Slabs of Cumbria, Peter Ryder [APPLEBY]
13 October – The Archaeology of Early Steam Locomotives, Dr Michael Bailey [Newcomen North East]
14 October – Title to be confirmed, David Mason [ARCH & ARCH]
15 October – David Dippie Dixon Memorial Lectures: The Roman assault on Burnswark Hill and New Views on Roman Scotland, John Reid [CCA]
25 October – Putting the People in the Pageant: Visions of People’s History and the Industrial Revolution in Historical Pageants in Britain, 1905-2016, Alexander Hutton [SOCANTS]
31 October – The River Tees Rediscovered, Robin Daniels [TAS]

Conference review: SGRP at Carlisle
Our region has played host to a number of national conferences this year which we hope to report to all members. Paul Bidwell, formerly Head of Archaeology, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, who retired in 2013, has provided this review of one of those events.

Paul writes “The Study Group for Roman Pottery (SGRP) was established in 1971 and now has a membership of 170 which consists mainly of people working for archaeological contracting organisations and museums, together with a healthy representation of independent researchers. This year its annual conference met at the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle on the weekend of 14–17 July.

Although there was a wide range of papers, the focus was on recent fieldwork and research in northern England. Pottery and burial practices in the Roman cemetery recently investigated at Botchergate, Carlisle were described by Megan Stoakley. Presentations on the material from the excavations in the extra-mural settlements at Brougham were given by Ruth Leary and Gwladys Monteil. One particularly interesting aspect of the pottery at Maryport is the presence of coarse wares imported from Mucking on the Thames estuary in Essex. It is a demonstration of the extent to which Roman military and urban sites in northern England had become dependent on the import of pottery from the Midlands and southern England in the mid-Roman period. Some of the implications of this change from local production in the earlier Roman period were explored by Jerry Evans in his account of pottery from recent excavations at Vindolanda. In the third century imports from continental Europe were in decline but were still of some importance. Most of the wine supplied to the Roman army in the North seems to have been supplied from southern Gaul and the Rhineland in barrels rather than amphorae, but, as Paul Bidwell explained, during the mid- to late third century imports from the famous wine-producing area of Campania in central Italy arrived in large quantities. They were contained in amphorae of distinctive forms and fabrics (see the photographs below).

Two mid-third century wine amphorae from Campania found at South Shields and Wallsend
(© Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums)

The Pottery Group meetings always include a short field trip, and this year an excursion was made to Vindolanda and the stretch of the Wall between Gilsland and Birdoswald. A highlight was the firing of a replica Roman pottery kiln at Vindolanda which was organised by Graham Taylor, a professional potter.

Other very interesting contributions dealt with pottery beyond our region, but mention made of some that described work at Scotch Corner and Catterick on the border with North Yorkshire. Excavations connected with the completion of the A1(M) have been on a huge scale and are likely to transform our understanding of Roman settlement in north-east England when the post-excavation analyses have been completed”.

Looking further ahead
Here is a selection of some of the other events happening in October and November across the CBA North region. If you want to get involved with these, with the exception of the open day next weekend, then you will need to book up. Contact details can be found in each of the posters.

For those that haven’t satisfied their fieldwork needs during the summer yet, Wardell Armstrong have sent us details of a further project examining whether a series of large stones in the Wear are the remains of a Roman structure.

Looking further ahead the Arbeia Society conference in November continues the Roman interests

Our CBA North alphabet of archaeology continues: C and D, E and F

CBA North News
Today we have a range of items of interest for you. Again we continue through the alphabet  of archaeology across our region with C and D, E and F with a mix of Cresswell, Dogs, Egypt and Excavations, notice of a Forum and also of Fieldwork reported. We also look ahead to the Festival of Archaeology as well.

No less important we also remind you below of three other letters – A, G and M. Our AGM is on Saturday 20 May in Newcastle this year. Committee have noted the discussions from our recent Conference/Workshop and this gives us a chance to discuss in more detail our work – past, present and future – for you and your group.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 12.05.2017

CBA North AGM 2017 – a reminder
Our AGM is on Saturday 20 May 2017. If you haven’t booked up, or let us know of your apologies and instructions, please do so as soon as possible. This is your chance to hear of the work that Committee have been involved with on your behalf at local, regional and national meetings, as well as your chance to help in our aims and direction for the future. If you wish to raise anything please do so by the end of this week. We are especially keen that our group members to send representatives along.

We had various comments for a ‘resource bank’ at our conference/workshop in April, as well as more generally, and will look to discuss this and CBA North’s role into the future at this meeting.

The meeting is not all business however. The day gives you the chance to network and update other members of news, as well as hear a talk on the Portable Antiquities Scheme – in its 20th anniversary year – as well as participate in special tours of the Great North Museum: Hancock.

If you have had problems printing or returning the booking form sent through the emails, please let us know (including for any apologies and instructions in your absence) by emailing us at cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org.

The booking form is available on our website home page as a .pdf and also as a .doc file if you find it easier to use those versions. The deadline for any business from the floor to be considered is Saturday.

Cresswell Tower Excavations – an update
Philippa Hunter, formerly Cockburn, of Archaeological Research Services has sent us this update of work whose open-day we publicised earlier this year.

“The Cresswell Pele Tower Project is led by Cresswell Parish Council and the Greater Morpeth Development Trust. The aim of this Heritage Lottery Funded project is to remove the tower (see below) from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register and to provide public access to the tower. This aim will be met while also providing volunteer opportunities and public engagement activities. The programme of archaeological work includes geophysical survey, fieldwalking, archaeological evaluation trenching, building survey, watching brief and archival research.


The pele tower with excavations, and excavators, in the foreground.

 

Cresswell Pele Tower represents a well-preserved example of a border tower house or ‘pele’ and is believed to date to the 14th or 15th century. In the 18th century a large mansion house was constructed adjoining the tower, but was later demolished. The tower now stands on the edge of a caravan park where it has been the target of vandals in recent years.

 

A two-week archaeological evaluation followed geophysical survey and fieldwalking in February 2017. The evaluation was conducted within Fisheries Field, to the east and south of the pele tower, and in the immediate vicinity of the pele tower itself. The evaluation aimed to identify and assess any archaeological features within these areas. A total of nine evaluation trenches were excavated within Fisheries Field and revealed evidence of Mesolithic flint knapping activity, Bronze Age burials and medieval ploughing.


The remains of an earlier building – a wall foundation and cobbled floor surface

A further three, hand-dug trenches were opened up around the tower. These trenches produced important new evidence for buried archaeological remains including an earlier building than the tower consisting of a cobbled floor surface and a rough but substantial wall foundation (see above). Medieval pottery dating from the 12th -14th centuries was also recovered supporting the structural evidence for occupation on the site pre-dating the pele tower”.

Philippa Hunter

Full reports of the work carried out, so far, can be found on the project’s website pages here. These reports include further details of the varied fieldwork, locations around Cresswell and also of the many of the finds recovered.

Further work is planned, as well as a talk on Wednesday 26 July at Cresswell Village Hall by Barry Mead as part of the Festival of Archaeology events across the north and indeed across the country.

The Dogs of Ancient Egypt
Our further letters of the alphabet come from the North East Ancient Egypt Society’s meeting. The cats of Ancient Egypt are well-known generally, but this talk deals with the dogs.

Other Events this weekend
Other events this weekend also include the AGM of our group member the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland at Shildon, near Darlington, the Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum’s second conference at Wallsend Memorial Hall (places are still available from here) for our F which includes details of the CITiZAN project whose fieldwork we covered last year (pictured below), as well as CBA National’s Member’s Weekend which is based on Tyneside this year.

We’ll have more on Festival of Archaeology events in further emails to you. We are particularly keen to promote the work of groups across our region, especially to those unable to make our April event. Please feel free to let us know of your future events.

From Ancient Egypt to local ancient environments

CBA North News
This week has been full of busy – in attending the CIfA Conference, in further preparations for our own meetings and taking in details of other events happening in April and May. We will report back upon those events that we can. Archaeology without borders was one of the CIfA conference themes. In the same vein we alert you to events covering the ground between Ancient Egypt and more local ancient environments to the north today to two weeks in times. We work from the south to north, from ancient times to more recent, as well as drier to wetter sites, in the notices for three events in this email.

We will also be reporting of our own event next weekend through emails, and also discussing that, at our AGM. The details for the latter day in May will be sent out later this week. It is hoped that as many of our members and group members can attend these events as possible – we are the regional group for archaeological groups and individuals. Though across the North and with many interests, groups and sectors across the archaeological and historical world and ourselves, we are all interested in the past.

We have no borders in what we do for you!

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 22.04.2017

Today’s Arch & Arch lecture – Ancient Egypt
Today is a joint lecture of our group member the ‘Arch & Arch’ to hear of on-going PhD research. This is at the usual time and place – Room 140 Elvet Riverside, Durham University, Durham – that the Arch & Arch lectures are held.

However today the subject matter is at more of a distance to our local area. In a joint lecture with the North East Ancient Egypt Society, James Taylor will be talking on ‘Desert wastes, pagan temples and the Nile valley; locating monasteries in Coptic Egypt’.

Next week’s lecture – 18 DLI
Also in Egypt, but during World War One, were many soldiers from across the CBA North region. Next week The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne’s lecture deals some of those soldiers. This lecture will be given by Alistair Fraser on the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. His title is ‘A Battalion on the Learning Curve; 18 DLI in training and in war’.

This lecture will be at the Mining Institute on 26 April at 6 p.m. Further details on The Society can be found online through our website.

The Battalion was garrisoned at Suez guarding the vital canal, so somewhat wetter than the desert alone, and also on the Western Front with the horrific and well-known wetness of that environment.

The next TillVAS lecture – Ancient local environments
Still progressing further north, wetter and more locally, bringing the story up to date, the following – in the first week of May – is next TillVAS lecture.

This lecture will deal with many local wetland environments and what can be gained from their study. Details for TillVAS can also be found through our website pages.

It will also, no doubt, highlight how fluid and changeable the environment has been – not just from pollen cores, but also sediments and volcanic ash. Yesterday, as much reported in today’s papers was the first day that the National Grid did not use any coal, though changes to other sources of power. It seems quite apposite that we send you something on environments on World Earth Day.