Tag Archives: Teesside

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’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.

CBA North’s joint April Conference: Archaeology and the small finds of North-East England

CBA North News
We are delighted to announce the first of the ‘big’ conferences in CBA North region to you as Archaeology and the small finds of North-East England. This is one that we are jointly supporting with the Finds Research Group, our group member the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland as well as Durham University.

Below are details of the programme which covers all periods between the Anglo-Saxon and the 19th century, across much of our region from Coquetdale to Teesside (and just over into Yarm) where specifically named and more besides, this conference promises to be a most interesting and fully packed day. Details on how to book a discounted place as a CBA North member are given below, clicking on the posters will take you to the online booking page.

In case you would like to forward this information onto others, please use the links in the left-hand portion of this email or you can send on the link http://www.aasdn.org.uk/NEarch18.htm.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
03.04.2018

Archaeology and the small finds of North-East England

Various CBA North Committee members will be there, with various discounted books for sale from £2 to £20 on various topics as well, so feel free to have a word with us or at any other time.

Further details on our co-partners for this conference can be found through the various links below;

The Finds Research Group promotes  the study of artefacts from archaeological sites dating from the post-Roman period onwards. It is well-known, even outside finds circles, for producing many datasheets summarising particular classes of objects – some of which can now be downloaded from their website.

– Durham University, and indeed its archaeology department, is no stranger to appearing in CBA North’s materials over many years. Current information on the department can be found online here.

– our group member the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland will be already familiar to you as we’ve announced their various lectures in the past. As a follow-on from the conference on the following day their regular meeting is also given over to a finds-based theme; Dr Eleanor Standley will be giving the lecture Spinning yarns and skinning rabbits in the later Medieval period: new contributions to the archaeology of religion, sexuality and daily life.

CBA National’s Community Archaeology Survey
Readers will recall our last email carried the news of, and link to, a survey of community archaeology. The deadline for this survey has now been extended to Sunday 8 April 2018. Here is the link again in case you have yet to fill in the survey, or can send it to someone else,  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CBA_Community_archaeology_2018. Please fill in this survey if you have the time!

X, Y and Z for our final alphabet email of 2017

CBA North News
This is the last email to our Members and Followers of 2017; we also complete our long-running alphabet of archaeology in this email as well with the letters X, Y and Z.

For both the X and Z we’ve a hint of things to come in 2018 and a note for when to expect our first email of 2018 as CBA North has a bit of a break for New Year. Our Y’s note some recent happenings for Yorkshire – one of our CBA regions to our south, but also (through various interests) overlapping also with our own.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 31.12.2017

X’s in CBA North: a hint of things to come
We’ve a list of at least XLIX local archaeological group meetings across the CBA North region (for those that don’t do Roman numerals this is 49). In the list we have X’s in a lecture dealing with DNA in X (and Y) chromosomes as well as mystery X’s as well with dates decided by groups, but topics and speakers to be confirmed later. As ever it looks to be a fascinating set of events.

Yorkshire news and organisations
The CBA North region as you all know is a huge area which covers all of Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham, as well as the districts that made up the previous Cleveland as well as Tyne and Wear areas. In our Constitution these areas are fully defined as they now are and include portions of the two Yorkshire-based National Parks. Members will likely remember, perhaps more than most, of previous boundary changes. Indeed much pre-1974 was in the North and West Ridings of Yorkshire.

As such we have there are a number of pieces of Yorkshire-based news.

Members with friends and families in the southeast of our region may be interested to know of the launch of a Moors & Valleys Young Archaeologists Club in February 2018. This will be based at The Moors National Park Centre, Danby, and is going to run activities across North Yorkshire and Teesside.

The club is going to be open to everyone aged from 8 to 16 and looking to get involved in all sorts of activities, including demonstrations, activities, visiting and investigating sites in the future.

If you are interested in further details, please contact Maria-Elena Calderon on 01439 772 700 or email her through this link.

Other developments for Yorkshire, perhaps of particular interest to members south of the Tees, now include the recent work of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Like many societies they have scanned all their older volumes of the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. These can be found online, freely available to all, on this page of the society.

Z’s: a break for CBA North emails
CBA North emails will be having a short break – albeit till the 2nd January. We’ll be sending you our Chair’s message for 2018 and details of local group meetings all across our region. If you’ve any last minute additions for that list – let us know!

CBA North Committee are full of busy behind the scenes for later in 2018, though we’ll also be catching up on sleep so ZZZs end our alphabet of archaeology for 2017!