Tag Archives: Roman

CBA North: February news

CBA North News

Dear Members and Friends of CBA North,

The first month of the year, indeed of this decade, has now gone. With February’s start a number of other group start their 2020 programmes – indeed with a meeting tonight at Berwick of the Border Archaeological Society – and there are 12 events that we have now listed in our website’s pages to go with the 70 or so that we sent you earlier.

CBA National have been working hard with the results from the survey carried out at the end of 2018 and workshops across the country – such as we invited you to at Newcastle in March – last year. There is now another survey for how the CBA National website might be changed; your views are important for what you want from us as part of a regional and national family of individuals and groups interested in archaeology, history and heritage. James Rose, from CBA National, explains more below on the survey.

Whilst it was not planned that this issue mainly covers Hadrian’s Wall, it turns out that two of our items this month relate to that monument that almost literally divides out CBA North region in half. This includes the poster for the Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum to come, as well as a chance to revisit (or re-hear?) something heard on the radio last month. Would you like further newsletter emails focussed to a period, topic or theme? Or would you like a mix? Feel free to let us know your thoughts.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
03.02.2020

2020 Local Society and Group Events – new additions
As noted above some 12 further events have been added to our list of local society and group events that we issued at the start of the year – the first of these additions was sent to us by Gill Goodfellow of the West of Cumbria Archaeological Society for their 14 February lecture. Other events, and dates, have come through the course of January for other groups again.

There are now something like 80 events listed. Please continue to let us know any additions and/or alterations for the Events as well as any changes in the details for the Local societies and groups page.

For those that may have printed out a copy of the Events list, here is a consolidated block of those ‘new’ dates, organised by date, which you can also print and ‘patch’ over your earlier printout.

5 February – AGM and presentations [TYNEDALE]
14 February – A Review of Salt-making in Cumberland, Andrew Fielding [WCAS]
22 February – Finding Crin’s Fremlington, Perry Gardner [ARCH & ARCH]
March – date and title to be announced [ARCH & ARCH]
15 April – Patterns of Movement: prehistoric rock art in the Cumbrian fells, Kate Sharpe [NAG]
18 April – Medieval Pottery Project, Tony Metcalfe [ARCH & ARCH]
16 May – Mini study day on Tutankhamun, Penny Wilson [NEAES]
May – AGM, date and title of follow lecture to be announced [ARCH & ARCH]
30 May – The Friendly Desert; Recording the Landscape of the Hatnub Alabaster Quarries, Hannah Pethen [NEAES]
11 July – The Princesses’ Burial; New Research in the Valley of the Kings KV63, Prof Susanne Bickel [NEAES]
18 July – Festival of Archaeology lecture, details to be announced [ARCH & ARCH]
10 October – Function and use of terracotta and other figurines in the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods in Egypt, Ross Thomas [NEAES]

Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum
This year is a leap year – a relatively unusual occurrence, as is the appearance of the Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum in February.

This is the Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum held over from last year. However, as ever, this looks an interesting series of talks dealing with the sites and finds of this well-known monument. The poster includes contacts details and ticket prices – early booking is advised!

CBA National’s Communication and Participation in Archaeology Survey

James Rose, CBA National’s Communications and Marketing Manager, writes to us with details of CBA National’s current survey. He notes;

‘The Council for British Archaeology has ambitious plans to ensure that more people have the opportunity to discover archaeological heritage. As part of this, we are preparing an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to enable us to develop new resources and new ways of engaging with people interested in archaeology.

We think a new website with different kinds of content will be an important part of this, but we want to make sure that our plans meet the need of the widest possible audience. We are hoping that, should we receive funding, there will be a real opportunity to give regional groups and their members more ways to communicate and participate.

The survey takes around five minutes to complete, and once you have completed it you have the chance to be entered into a prize draw for a £25 Love2Shop voucher, accepted at over 200,000 high street stores.’

To take part in the survey, please click this link. The survey should only take about five minutes to complete. As ever please feel free to contact CBA North Committee with your views as necessary; our own contact details are unchanged as cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org.

Archaeological and forensic palynology: an interview with Pat Wiltshire
One of the ways we know so much of Hadrian’s Wall is through study of its contemporary landscape, its structures and natural materials utilised (such as the turf wall, as well as raw materials for man and/as well as beast, whether for artefact or not).

As such Hadrian’s Wall briefly featured on The Life Scientific when Pat Wiltshire was interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili on 7 January 2020. In an interesting interview the use of pollen to reconstruct archaeological landscapes was outlined, and latterly its use in criminal investigations, was described.

One of those sites investigated by Wiltshire for archaeological purposes include the well-known Cumbrian fort of Birdoswald for the 1987-92 excavations within the fort, which can be found here. This may not be a listen suitable for everyone (more so especially for the forensic aspects) – it was broadcast after the watershed – but is still available to listen to from the programme’s pages on the BBC Radio 4 website here.

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

CBA North’s Chair’s New Year Message

Dear Members and Friends of CBA North,

Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Best wishes,

Keith Elliott
Acting CBA North Chair and Secretary/01.01.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gardening in Roman Britain and Border Roads Project talks – tonight!

Tonight CBA North’s members have a difficult choice to make; we’ve had short notice of this talk tonight in case you are in the Berwick area…

…but if your interests are more in the hills, however, you might want to get along to the Till Valley Archaeological Society meeting which is on the Border Roads Project, which is at Crookham.

Are these our pre-Christmas choices to be made?

CBA North: End of August/Start of September news

CBA North News
This issue of CBA North news has been slightly delayed. However, we hope that you find it worth the wait. We have a report of the recent Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage, which happens only one every 10 years, and a round-up of recent years by one of our local group members.

In addition the usual listing of events to come with the change in month soon – the sharp-eyed will notice changes to this and our Events website page as we are told of those changes for September and other months, we also have a further article on archaeological creativity and notice of an event from our sister organisation CBA North West.

We hope you that you enjoy and that you might contribute something, perhaps of your own local group’s activities this summer?, that you think that others might enjoy or should know of for our next issue.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee,
25.08.2019

Remaining August 2019 Events
28 August – The Past Beneath the Lawns; current excavations at Auckland Castle, John Castling and Chris Gerrard [SOCANTS]

September 2019 Events
2 September – Whitby Abbey, Tony Wilmott [BAS]
4 September – The Bowl Hole Cemetery at Bamburgh, Graeme Young [TILLVAS]
14 September – Mapping the Khandaq Shapur: One of the Great Barriers of the Ancient World [ARCH & ARCH]
24 September – title to be announced, Dr Ben Roberts [TAS]
25 September – (Re)Discovering Ava: the Achavanich Beaker Burial project, Maya Hoole [SOCANTS]

The 2019 Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage – done with stile!
It was rather unkindly and harshly said that we know all we need to of Hadrian’s Wall sometime ago. However excavations, surveys and other researches have continued on and at a pace. Sometimes a stock-take is useful and the Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage is one such opportunity. We asked Bill Griffiths to explain all on the pilgrimage, and you will see why there isn’t a typo in the article title. He writes;

‘The first pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall took place in 1849, attended by 24 people under the direction of the Reverend Collingwood Bruce. The second pilgrimage occurred in 1886 when it began a decennial tradition. Since 1949 it has taken place in the last year of the decade.

The 14th Pilgrimage took place over 20th to 28th July 2019 and saw 218 Pilgrims, in four coaches, traverse the wall over eight days, looking in particular at some of the new discoveries and research questions of the last 10 years. The Pilgrims came from across the UK and Europe and as far afield as the USA and China.


The 2019 Pilgrims following a lunchtime reception at South Shields Town Hall, who displayed the flags of the majority of nations represented on the Pilgrimage.

Each coach had a pair of guides, each an acknowledged expert on the Wall. Pilgrims were encouraged to change coach each day to get different perspectives from different guides.


Nick Hodgson, President of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and one of the coach guides, explaining the fort at Chesters.

Organised by the two learned societies of Hadrian’s Wall, the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, the Pilgrimage is five years in the planning. The committee, led by the Chief Pilgrim David Breeze, pores over every detail, from the hotels, to the menus for receptions, to considering whether we will need additional portaloos at key sites.

In the midst of this a handbook has been created for the Pilgrimage, with contributions from experts along the length of the Wall setting out the new advances of the last decade. It has been complied by Dr Rob Collins of Newcastle University and Dr Matt Symonds, editor of Current World Archaeology. Such a volume has been produced for the last three Pilgrimages, beginning with the volume produced in 1999 under Paul Bidwell, and each marks a significant contribution to Hadrian’s Wall studies in its own right. Copies are available from either of the Societies, and can also be found at several of the museum shops along the Wall.


The ‘twin’ compliers of the Pilgrimage handbook Matt and Rob.

The week included on site tours, receptions and walks along sections of the Wall. Much thought goes in to attempting to keep the Pilgrims safe. This year the Pilgrims were granted access to walk a section of the vallum, not usually accessible to the public, between Carrawburgh Roman Fort and Limestone Corner. However, this necessitated getting the Pilgrims across the Military Road at a very fast section of the road. The steering group thought hard about this, with Graeme Stobbs, our lead for Health and Safety, providing the solution. He designed a wooden stile for the event, to get Pilgrims over the field wall opposite Limestone Corner and the two of us, resplendent in hi viz jackets, marshalled the pilgrims to cross the road, with Graeme deploying a green or red flag according to whether the road was clear enough for us to release Pilgrims across it. Anyone who has led a tour knows how hard it is to marshal people to cross roads safely. However, the theatre of the flags worked well, with only a recalcitrant few daring to try and cross under their own initiative! At the end of the day they were all brought across alive – job done.


The Pilgrimage stile, with Graeme Stobbs poised and ready to prevent the Pilgrims throwing themselves in front of cars!

The Pilgrimage is a unique event in every way, not least for the melting pot of people who constitute the Pilgrims, who range from dedicated Wall specialists to curious members of the public who have not visited the frontier before. The discussions held over the week are truly stimulating for all concerned.

So – here’s to the next one in 2029, planning will start in 2024 (gulp!)’.

Bill Griffiths – Pilgrimage Secretary

The Northern Archaeology Group grasps volunteering opportunities
It is a while since we’ve had a local group round-up and heard something from our group member the Northern Archaeology Group, so we asked Phil Carter to review what the group has been up to lately. Here Phil notes how a small group, with its own small projects, has also been engaged with a number of larger ones again. He writes;

‘In addition to our own on-going Roman roads research & fieldwork, and of course our two divers investigating the river crossings and associated votive deposits at Piercebridge, the Northern Archaeology Group also has members who have regularly volunteered on the long-running and prestigious excavations at Vindolanda and Binchester Roman fort sites. They have continued to do that, but with the advent of NLHF funded local community archaeology projects along came the opportunity to look at other, new, initiatives to broaden our field-based experience. Thinking how good that had proved, I thought it might be of interest to CBA North readers to see the extent volunteers from a local group can contribute to archaeological investigations here in the North East of England whilst we aren’t formal group partners in such projects. I have chosen a selection of the community archaeology projects we have worked on in recent years to give you a flavour of what’s out there and what can be achieved.

A few years back a hardy core of us worked on the 3-year Hadrian’s WallQuest community project run by Tyne and Wear Archaeology and Museums. On that we were fortunate enough to excavate on such key sites as the Roman Military Way, vallum & vicus at Benwell, the north defensive ditch of the Wall at Albemarle Barracks and the fort ditch/vicus at Arbeia. We then turned our attention to Wallsend to locate, dig and expose the actual bathhouse remains at Segedunum. And as a final hurrah it was particularly gratifying to re-dig a section of the nearby Wall. It’s fair to say that was a fantastic project to be involved in.

Hadrian’s WallQuest: the (actual) bathhouse remains we helped find at Wallsend.

Following on from that a few of us signed-up to work with the Auckland Castle Trust (now The Auckland Project) community project where with Archaeological Services Durham University (ASDU) we investigated the 18th century walled garden prior to its planned redevelopment. We revealed remains of the early dated pinery & vinery complex created by the Bishops of Durham. It was very different and very interesting. Next we were back at Auckland Castle with a call to excavate an area adjacent to the Scotland Wing in advance of groundworks. ASDU were again the on-site team and supervised the volunteers. We were astonished to find a well-preserved section of the early medieval curtain wall, associated buildings, fine carved window tracery and a Tudor-era kitchen range with three intact hearths. We have since investigated important early chapel remains and more of the curtain wall & service buildings. It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting all of that at all! And continuing work with that Project, this time overseen by Northern Archaeological Associates, we are currently helping to excavate the northeast gate area of Binchester Roman fort, investigating both the early fort rampart there & later fort roadway.


Auckland Castle : a surviving section of the Medieval curtain-wall being revealed.

Closer to home (we are based near Chester-le-Street) something very close to our heart was the Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones community project. The Northern Archaeology Group has long sought to discover Roman Sunderland and we have investigated various sites and evidence for that presence, particularly at Hylton where the Group strongly believe there was some sort of Roman bridge structure in the River Wear. Back in 1999 we published a small booklet and a CD outlining our case and always wanted to undertake some trial trenches there but the opportunity never presented itself. So, it was terrific to learn that Castletown Neighbourhood Action Group was seeking assistance from the then HLF to explore just that. They wanted to investigate the site of where many large ‘briggstones’ were removed from the river bed at Hylton in the 1860s and shipped down to the mouth of the river where a good number can still be seen. Knowing of our keen interest in all this they sought our support from the outset. The project secured the services of Wardell Armstrong to oversee the archaeological investigations. The volunteer workforce did a dig on the river foreshore at South Hylton. This proved challenging as we could only dig at low tide.  We cleaned off a spread of large worked stone blocks & wood, and then put a section through to help establish its construction.  Wardell’s view was that without any material dating evidence, and with a similar build style to a lot of the river quayside, it was probably of 17th or 18th century construction. Later local diver Gary Bankhead was in the water to video some very large worked stone blocks underwater on the river bed close to the opposite bank. They need investigating more. A couple of months later we then moved over to North Hylton to investigate a large parch mark in a pasture field. Excavation found ditches and wall foundations related to a post-medieval farm house. Nothing Roman came to light.


Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones: working on the river foreshore at South Hylton.

Travelling to the south of the region some of us volunteered to help out on the River Tees Re-discovered community archaeology project at two locations. Tees Archaeology were running a dig at Piercebridge village to explore features shown up on a geophysical survey northwest of the roman fort. A number of trenches were opened and investigations concluded they were probably Roman-era trackways. Dalton-on-Tees was the next target, to investigate an extensive earthwork feature that came to light on a Lidar survey. In two trenches the associated ditches of the earthwork were revealed, one having a single piece of Roman mortaria. In a third trench well preserved wall foundations of a Medieval house with evidence of occupation was found sitting on the earthwork mound.


River Tees Rediscovered: wall foundations of a Medieval house come to light.

To summarise; you can see we have been very fortunate to volunteer on a wide range of projects covering different localities and different eras. We have forged valuable relationships with the project leads, the contractor archaeology teams and other volunteer groups. If you want to dig there’s lots out there to get involved in, and CBA North is a great source of information. Local groups and societies don’t have to have their own projects at all’.

Phil Carter, Secretary, Northern Archaeology Group.

Creative Archaeological Continued: Art and Archaeology at Aldborough Roman Town
In one of our earlier emails we had one of our own members describe their creativity inspired by archaeology, and in our earlier emails again Dere Street events and projects have been covered. Rose Ferraby and Rob St. John have combined the two in Soundmarks to find overlaps and resonances between art and archaeology at Aldborough. This is something that is geographically ‘just at the end of the road’, but still running till the end of the month. They write;

‘Beneath the quiet streets and farmland of the North Yorkshire village of Aldborough lies the Roman town of Isurium Brigantum. Recent work by the Aldborough Roman Town Project has revealed that it was a town of great importance in the Roman north; a key trading point and busy hub. It was a busy town with a central forum and basilica, large town houses, warehouses and workshops, an amphitheatre and large suburbs.


Rob and Rose at Aldborough Roman Town, North Yorkshire, pictured by Mario Cruzado.

Visiting Aldborough today, this rich history is not always immediately obvious [as above]. This year, a collaboration spanning art, sound and archaeology has explored and documented Aldborough’s hidden sub-surface landscape, leading to an art exhibition and sound installation and a series of public events in August 2019.


Recording at the Roman amphitheatre above Aldborough, pictured by Mario Cruzado.

Soundmarks is a collaboration between us, funded by Arts Council England. An exhibition of our work will be held at The Shed, Aldborough, between Saturday 24th August and Saturday 31st August.

A free ‘art trail’ will be launched alongside the exhibition, allowing the public to navigate eight ‘soundmark’ sites through the village. Each soundmark is located on an important Roman site – such as the Forum, amphitheatre and river – and will be accessed either using a free interactive mobile app, or using a paper map distributed through the village.


Village Green by Rose Ferraby, Soundmarks 2019.

At each soundmark, visitors can view Rose’s visual work and listen to Rob’s sound work, each interpreting the character and history of the site. The soundmark trail – which takes around an hour to walk in full – is designed to encourage people to explore Aldborough’s unique landscape, and to gain new perspectives on its rich Roman history.

At The Shed, visitors can view Rose’s original visual works and listen to an immersive ambient sound piece created by Rob using the sounds of Aldborough, and produced using compositional cues from archaeological techniques, datasets and maps. Two invited guest speakers – Dr. Lesley McFadyen, an archaeologist from Birkbeck, University of London, and Dr. Jos Smith, an environmental landscape writer from the University of East Anglia – will give talks on Saturday 31st August, alongside an artist Q+A. An artist book documenting the Soundmarks collaboration – containing a download of Rob’s sound installation piece – will be available to purchase’.


This exhibition is funded by the Arts Council with support from the Aldborough Roman Town Project, English Heritage and Friends of Roman Aldborough.

Soundmarks runs to till the 31st August, 10 till 5 during the weekends and Monday, 12 till 5 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at The Shed, Aldborough Manor, Aldborough, York, YO51 9EP. Further information on Soundmarks can be found online on their website.

For booking a place at the talks and Q&A during this week, and other further September workshops, these are free but you will need to book a place through the Eventbrite website page here.

Excavating the Steam Engine
Our sister organisation CBA North West have arranged a conference in Bolton, Lancashire. John Roberts, CBA North West’s Membership Secretary, writes;

‘I am very pleased to inform you that CBA North West in partnership with the Association for Industrial Archaeology and the Centre for Applied Archaeology, University of Salford will be hosting the 39th North West Industrial Archaeology Conference on Friday September 27th. The conference is being held at Bolton Museum. As this year is the 200th anniversary of the death of James Watt the theme is excavating the steam engine. With excellent speakers and a tour of Bolton Steam Museum in the afternoon it promises to be a splendid day. There are discounts for CBA North West and Association for Industrial Archaeology members. Please note that lunch is not provided. Details, programme and booking information available at the Eventbrite page here‘.

This conference includes a talk on the Reel Fitz Pit Engine, of Little Clifton (between Workington and Cockermouth for those who don’t know) in Cumbria, where a short-lived Newcomen engine was of around 1780. There were many early engines in the West Cumbria coalfield during the 18th century. This one, however, was excavated in the 1970s. CBA North members with industrial archaeological interests are welcome at this event.

In the future
In our next issue of CBA North news we would like to hear more of what you have been doing over the summer that you think deserves wider coverage. We hope that our next email to you won’t be as delayed as this one and will be out early September.

There are a number of Committee places to fill in the forthcoming year. If you or your local group would like to become more involved in CBA North, please send us an email or feel free to talk to one of the existing committee for more details.

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.

Further March Events – this weekend and next week

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

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

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
06.03.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards,
Emma
Emma Shirtcliffe”

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