Tag Archives: Prehistoric

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‘.

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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 & 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”.

Another open day – Morley Hill enclosures tomorrow!

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

More news to come next week.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
27.10.2017

Morley Hill enclosures excavation open day

Further events this weekend

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
13.10.2017

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

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

The English Renaissance Herbal and its European Antecedents

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

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

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

The Lake District, Japanese mines and more besides

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

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
11.10.2017

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

11 October – The Jomon Period Obsidian Mines in the Hoshikuso Pass, Nagawa, Japan, Pete Topping [NAG]
12 October – Medieval Grave Slabs of Cumbria, Peter Ryder [APPLEBY]
13 October – The Archaeology of Early Steam Locomotives, Dr Michael Bailey [Newcomen North East]
14 October – New Insights into Iron Age and Roman County Durham, David Mason [ARCH & ARCH]
15 October – David Dippie Dixon Memorial Lectures: The Roman assault on Burnswark Hill and New Views on Roman Scotland, John Reid [CCA]

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

On Salt and Scottish soldiers: a pair of lectures this week

CBA North News
Today’s email title sounds like the cabbages and kings of the walrus in Lewis Carroll’s The Jabberwocky, but it is so this week. There are a pair of two lectures that we know about this week – both at the northern edge of our CBA North region. But both have stories to tell beyond their immediate area and internationally so.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 05.06.2017

Salt
The next lecture of the Border Archaeological Society lecture is tonight at 7.30pm at Berwick Parish Church Hall, Berwick, on The Needles Eye Enclosure: salt production in the Late Iron Age by Jenny Proctor. This important site was partly excavated to reveal an extensive, and well dated, settlement dating from the late 4th century BC to the Romano-British period.

The arch of Needles Eye north of Berwick
Photo © Phil Catterall (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The site takes its name from the Needles Eye rock arch in the cliffs shown above. The excavation of this site currently provides the most northerly evidence of salt production in prehistoric Britain, but more regional links with the Cheviots are also hinted at. All will be explained tonight.

Scottish Soldiers
Also this week is the next lecture of the Till Valley Archaeological Society which is also at 7.30pm at Crookham Village Hall, though this is on the Wednesday night.

This talk will also highlight further national – and indeed international – links of events that happened in our local area. We’ve covered earlier some of the earlier events on these soldiers at Durham. Further information on this project, and the range of work carried out, can now also be found here.

Details for both groups can be found through the Local Societies and Groups page of our website.