Tag Archives: TillVAS

CBA North: July edition (Festival of Archaeology and more)

CBA North News

Dear Members and Friends of CBA North,

As we sure you are all well aware and need no reminding these are unprecedented times. International and national events, as well as regional and local ones, have been cancelled and postponed across the CBA North region. We hope that you, yours and your groups all are well, and continue to remain so, as we all are somewhat confined in our actions.

Many practices, procedures and pieces of work have changed and changed again in the current circumstances – several drafts of CBA North email news have been started since the end of March only to be changed and changed again as the situation has changed. Opening hours, hours of work and staff changes, however, have all been thrown into sharp focus for all of us. In a sobering article Marta Alberti of The Vindolanda Trust explains what is happening at Vindolanda in what had been planned as its 50th anniversary year. There are ways that you can help the trust and others again as lockdown arrangements ease.

However other work continues on – just in different forms and often in different locations to normal. The CBA Festival of Archaeology is one such change, with its many digital offerings starting on Saturday for its first appearance this year and details of this are below. Some groups within the CBA North network have started to hold digital lectures, whilst others continue to produce their own normal (and indeed extra) newsletters and emails for members. Quizzes and other digital content has been seen again. Gill Goodfellow of the West Cumbria Archaeology Society has sent an article in linking across to digital content which all can access, whilst CBA National and others have put more (or made more freely available) content online given the general inaccessibility of some libraries and archives.

Some groups are also using the time to plan, as well as revise websites and website pages for the future, for a newer normal. It is heartening to see such activity, productivity and continued interests in archaeology, history and heritage in these unusual times. There is so much digital content online to make choices is invidious, but if something stands out for you or you wish to publicise something please let us know so we all can enjoy it.

CBA North has been full of busy behind the scenes as well – our apologies for not being outwardly busy to you as members. Committee has met twice by email to discuss various matters, new members – including a new group member (TillVAS whose many activities we’ve often publicised in our emails to you) – have joined our number since our last email to you. Queries regarding membership, of and from our previous publications as well as general archaeology been answered for students and home-schoolers. Virtual meetings, updating and work with other regional and national bodies have also been done regarding what happening across the CBA North region with our regional overview.

Please join in us welcoming all our new members. Feel free to circulate this email and its links to non-members, and around your local group’s membership – this can be done through the ‘Forward to a friend’ link in the side bar and/or the website version of this email. Who knows they too may be also interested in joining our number?

Feedback, questions and/or comments most welcome at any time – either direct or through your local group representatives – to us; this is your group after all. A fresh survey, prompted by Covd-19, from CBA National asks what help and support your local groups need. CBA North is also taking stock and considering the future as well for our next five year plan, so we all would be most grateful if you would contribute your thoughts to the survey.

Best wishes – stay safe and well, we’ll be back with some more news soon,

CBA North Committee
10.07.2020

CBA National news
1) Festival of Archaeology 2020

This year’s festival comes in two parts, and the first of those start on Saturday.

Over 100 events and activities over the next 9 days

From 11-19 July 2020, the CBA is trying something new – a digital Festival of Archaeology
 
With live events on hold at the moment, we decided not to cancel our usual summer programme of archaeology events, but instead stage an online festival of interactive talks, competitions, youth activities and other engaging archaeology content.   

We were unsure whether people would be willing to join us in trying something brand new at short notice, but the response has been astonishing. There are now over 100 events listed on the festival website – something for every archaeology lover to enjoy, and lots more for curious minds to discover. 

We would be delighted to see you there. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Launch event – Saturday 11 July

Join the Council for British Archaeology as we launch the 2020 Festival of Archaeology with a day of online activity.

There are four free interactive online sessions – register now! Join Time Team’s Phil Harding as he takes you on a tour of Wessex Archaeology’s environmental laboratory, learn about the domestication of plants, find out how to make amazing 3D models and join our student careers session to discover routes to studying and working in archaeology. 

Alex Langlands: Digitally reconstructing excavations at Old Sarum – 12 July
Frustrated at not being able to get out and excavate this year? So is archaeoogist and TV presenter Alex Langlands. Join Alex as he digitally reconstructs the 1912 and 1913 excavations of Old Sarum’s cathedral site. Register now.

Podcast Sunday Chat – Archaeology and the Climate Change Conundrum – 19 July
Tune in for a chat on the impacts of climate change on archaeology with our hosts Career in Ruins. Guests Caroline Barrie-Smith (CITiZAN), Neil Redfern (CBA), Hannah Fluck (HE) and Rachel Bynoe (University of Southampton) present a fantastic perspective in this discussion on where archaeology stands in the climate change crisis debate. Podcast will appear here.

The campaigns of Septimius Severus in the far north of Britain – 14 July
Dr Simon Elliott, one of the world’s leading experts on the Severan campaigns in modern Scotland looks at the failed campaigns of Septimius Severus in AD 209 and AD 210. Register now.

Bacon Sandwiches and Stonehenge: Connecting Local Youth with Heritage Sites – 16 July
This live discussion will focus on how heritage sites can best support local youth organisations, and examine the ‘Our Stones’ documentary film project led by young people from Durrington Youth at Stonehenge in 2019. Register now.

An Archaeological Safari into No Man’s Sky – 17 July
Find out about the fascinating world of archaeogaming. Join digital archaeologist Dr. Andrew Reinhard (University of York and New York University) on a live-streamed archaeological safari to visit the dusty corners of past human civilizations in video game No Man’s Sky. Watch on Twitch. You can also tour the Mortonia Minecraft server in our other archaeogaming event.

Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology: Archaeology and the Historic Environment – 13 July
Explore the work of Bristol’s Historic Environment Officer and find out about Know Your Place, an interactive digital mapping resource that lets members of the public explore and contribute to layers of history in counties across South West England. Register now.

This is just a snapshot – there are many more talks and lectures on the festival website!

Have you ever wondered what archaeologists really do?  Do they just dig or are there other aspects to their work?

A Day in Archaeology, delivered in conjunction with the Royal Archaeological Institute, showcases “a day in the life” of archaeologists from all over the UK and this year’s event will be taking place on Monday 13 July 2020. Blog posts are uploaded throughout A Day In Archaeology and stay on the Festival website site all year round to form a developing resource for anyone interested in a career in archaeology or wanting to find out more about the range of opportunities to participate. You even have time to add your own!

The 2020 #AskAnArchaeologist Day will be on Wednesday 15 July 2020 – get your questions ready! #AskAnArchaeologist Day is a chance for people from all over the world to ask archaeologists questions, and an opportunity for archaeologists to share their knowledge. Anyone with access to Twitter can ask a question using the #AskAnArchaeologist hashtag and any archaeologist who has an answer is encouraged to respond. Follow the Ask An Archaeologist Day and CBA Twitter accounts to follow the action.
The Council for British Archaeology will be delivering a series of day long events, including the #YouthTakeover, A Day in ArchaeologyAsk an Archaeologist and our Young Archaeologists’ Day. We will be joined by Professor Carenza Lewis (from Time Team) as part of our ongoing Dig School project, Wessex Archaeology will be delivering our Environmental Archaeology Day with careers advice, skills training and a special YAC 3D handling session. Plus you will have the chance to have your artwork turned into a published comic!

This year we have also joined forces with English Heritage to co-create the youth-focused Festival events, as part of the Shout Out Loud project. They are a major partner in this year’s Digital Festival of Archaeology and will be delivering exciting and creative events for audiences aged 11-25. Shout Out Loud is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund through its #KicktheDust programme designed to encourage and involve more young people in heritage. Below you can find out more about the project, our partnership and lots of great events aimed at our younger Festival audience.

There’s still time to enter our Festival competitions

Don’t forget to get your entries in for our #RubbishArt and Archaeology Showreel competitions. 

We’ll be sharing a range of entries via our social media channels and there are some great prizes on offer. What are you waiting for – get your entries in now! 

Both of our competitions are open to entrants of all ages. Please make sure you read the terms and conditions before entering, these can be found by following the competition links above.

Festival feedback

We want to know what you think! It’s really important that we give you the opportunity to let us know what you think of the Festival, what you enjoyed the most, what you’d like to see more of and what you think we might be able to do better. This year it’s even more important that we get your opinions as it’s the first time we have hosted a digital Festival. 

You can share your thoughts with us by completing our feedback survey after you have attended an event. 
You can access the survey here.

If you’re an event organiser you can find all of the evaluation information including survey links and some handy guidance notes in the Organiser section of the Festival website.

Support the Festival! 

The CBA is a small charity, reliant on donations and our membership to keep the festival going. We would be delighted if you would support us with a small donation, or even better, consider joining us – you’ll get six issues a year of British Archaeology magazine and access to our full digital archive if you do! Find our how to support us below. Thank you.

Enjoy the Festival! 

We hope you have a fantastic 9 days discovering all the Festival has to offer and we look forward to seeing you at a digital event soon!

The 50th Anniversary of The Vindolanda Trust
Marta Alberti, of The Vindolanda Trust, has written of what is happening at Vindolanda. This well-known Roman site in Northumberland has many national and international connections, as well as the site of many excavations. 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the trust, in what was going to be a year to remember Marta now describes of further happenings as enforced by the changing CV-19 situation. This article was written at the start of lockdown, and like many places there have been changes again since.

Please consider how you can support such appeals and venues if you can, as well as your local groups activities, in the future.

‘On the 1st of April 2020, the Vindolanda Trust celebrated its 50th anniversary. Established in 1970 with the aim to excavate, research and share with the public the Roman remains in its care, the Vindolanda Trust has spent the last 50 years providing opportunities for amateurs and professionals alike to immerse themselves in history and archaeology. Great plans were afoot to celebrate the last 50 years of discoveries, and get ready for the next 50. However, in an unprecedented event, on 20th March 2020 the Vindolanda Trust had to close its doors to both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum in response to the fight against COVID-19.

Work continues behind the scenes, to ensure that everyone can virtually enjoy the sites and that the Trust can continue in its mission. For example, new home learning resources have been (and will continue to be) updated on the Trust’s website.  The Trust’s social media presence is stronger than ever, with the Communications’ Manager now living on site, and providing all important gorgeous images. Our new excavation HQ is on site, ready to welcome its first volunteers as soon as it is safe to do so.

But to keep this work going, and to make sure that the Trust are there to welcome you when these testing are times are over, we still need everyone’s help.  ALL the Trust’s operating income comes from admissions to our sites, spend in our shops and cafes and from donations. The majority of that has now stopped: to attempt to compensate for this incredible loss, the Trust have launched a survival appeal, in the form of an unusual, online birthday party. Consider helping by donating the equivalent of a pair of warm socks, or a bunch of flowers, or some fizz.

If you would have visited, please purchase the special edition golden ticket, which celebrates the Trust’s anniversary. This will give you unlimited visiting rights until December 2021!  The Trust, just like the CBA, has long been committed to be at the forefront of research, public engagement and participation in history and archaeology, and looks forward to re-opening its doors to you, and to the world, as soon as possible’.

A West Cumbria Archaeology Society (WCAS) update
Gill Campbell has written an update of a recent Cumbrian activities by the WCAS group. This links into events and projects previously carried out by the group which have featured in our emails to you. She writes;

‘As part of the ongoing Holme Cultram Harbour Lottery Funded project, WCAS organised a weekend of experimental Medieval iron smelting led by Dave Watson from Moor Forge near Wigton. The furnace was built in advance with local clay to give it time to dry out. The charcoal was produced in the Lake District and the iron ore was from Florence Mine, Egremont.

Saturday was a trial run, firing the furnace to make sure all was ok. On Sunday morning Dave lit the furnace and attached a jet of air to bring it up to in excess of 1000°C. Due to a shortage of medieval serfs to pump bellows an adapted vacuum cleaner was used throughout the smelt. Once the furnace was up to temperature it was loaded throughout the day with alternate buckets of charcoal and cups of iron ore – a total of approximately 40 over the duration of the process.

During the day slag was tapped from the bottom to avoid the level getting too high and after 4/5 hours the charcoal level was allowed to drop, the final slag was tapped and the furnace dismantled to reveal the lump of bloom in the bottom. The bloom was removed from the kiln, hammered whilst still malleable to consolidate it and then successfully tested with a magnet to show the iron content.

As a result of the project the Society has a good sized piece of bloom for reference as well as a lot of information about the process which will be very useful as we continue to research the industrial processes that went on in the vicinity of Holme Cultram Abbey. We already have plans drawn up for when we are able to get back in the field!

WCAS would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this experiment possible. Big thanks to Dave Watson for hosting and working so hard to make it successful, Darrell for his advice from the USA as well as Terry, Adam and Pete who helped on the day. For more information about the smelting there is a short YouTube video of the day covering all stages of the project. This can be found here.

CBA National news
2) Recharging British Archaeology: your chance to take part

The CBA has recently secured support from Historic England’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for a project to help rebuild public participation in archaeology as we recover from the effects of the pandemic. Cancelled projects, loss of income, worries about volunteer capacity and the need to plan for different ways of working in future are just some of the problems that groups have faced. There are distinct challenges for those working with children and young people, as well as those with an older membership.


Through this project, the CBA will use its knowledge and skills to support as many organisations as possible to help rebuild public participation in archaeology. We will listen to what organisations need so that we can offer small-scale immediate support and – most importantly –  plan a future programme of activity and funding bids which will enable us to help recharge community archaeology over the coming months and years.

The first step is to start a conversation with local and regional societies and groups, including our YAC branches and member organisations, to find out how you have been affected and what help you would welcome from us.

Please take a few minutes to give us your views by completing our survey here.

There is a separate survey for those involved with YAC Groups here.

Based on these conversations, we will be able to plan some immediate support to help the sector recover. This might include online training, toolkits, mentoring or one-to-one advice sessions. We will finalise the details of this offer based on what you tell us you need.

The insight we gain from these conversations will also enable us to undertake detailed planning work for future CBA projects to extend our Youth Engagement work, develop new forms of volunteering, plan a possible future small grants scheme and improve our digital infrastructure.

At the CBA, we know that we need to change the way we work as an organisation in response to the ongoing crisis. This project will help us ensure that we do this in a way which helps as many organisations as possible offer new and continuing opportunities for people to enjoy archaeology.

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.

First week of February events across CBA North

CBA North News
A quick email to update Members and Followers of two events happening during the start of this week. There are other events to come this week alone, and others again to come in February more generally, which we’ll let you know of. CBA North Committee continue full of busy, including further updates to our
Events page on the website; some near 50 events are listed there. We’ll aim to send you some more news later in the week.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee,
05.02.2018

Tonight’s BAS lecture
The lecture series of two of the many local groups within the CBA North region start this month. Tonight Fraser Hunter, Principal Curator of Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology at the National Museum of Scotland, will be talking to the Border Archaeological Society at Berwick on Scotland’s Early Silver – from Roman Silver to Pictish Bling.

This talk will describe how this precious material helped in shaping Scotland, linking in with the current exhibition Scotland’s Early Silver in Edinburgh. The talk is at the Berwick Parish Church Hall, Berwick upon Tweed, at 7.30.

Wednesday’s TillVAS lecture
Also in Northumberland TillVAS hold their second lecture of 2018 on Wednesday, though this time in a different Wooler venue to normal.

Non-members of either group are welcome to attend these meetings. For more details 
of both these local groups see our Local Societies and Groups website page. (Please let us know of any 2018 alterations to this page).

Events in December across CBA North

CBA North News
CBA North and the region are full of archaeological busy.

We are in the process of setting up things for 2018, but hope to send out summaries of things that have happened in 2017 later this month as well. If you would like to contribute something, such as to publicise your own group’s events of this year or to come, in our emails to our members and/or for our Events website events, please feel free to send us those details to cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
03.12.2017

December’s Events
Events continue across the CBA North region this month. Here is a quick list of those archaeological ones that we know of still to come.

4 December – Hadrian’s Wall: archaeological site or artistic muse? Lindsay Allason-Jones [BAS]
6 December – Member’s Night: Deserted Medieval Villages; Carham; Football, Maya Style, Allan Colman, Clive Hallam-Baker, Mike Keating [TILLVAS]
13 December – Christmas Event [NAG]
14 December – Digital Archaeology, Jamie Quartermaine [APPLEBY]

Details of the groups, venues and times can be found through our Local Societies and Groups page in case they are unfamiliar to you.

Hadrian’s Wall: an archaeological site or an artistic muse?

Here is the poster and some details of one of those events kindly provided by Josie McChrystal, Secretary of the Border Archaeological Society.

This Christmas miscellany explores Hadrian’s Wall through poetry, films, cartoons, music and literature, discovering how each generation sees the Wall in their own way.  Using archives and her personal involvement in the arts first as Director of Archaeological Museums for Newcastle University and then as Director of its Centre for Interdisciplinary Artefact Studies, Lindsay Allason-Jones will introduce you to some familiar, some unusual and some distinctly odd material, and reveal aspects of the Wall which may surprise you.

The lecture will take place at Berwick Parish (Holy Trinity) Church Hall, off The Parade, Berwick TD15 1DF, commencing at 7.30pm. It is free for BAS members but there is a charge of £2 for visitors.

The latest copy of The Bulletin will be available on the evening, together with the opportunity to renew your BAS membership.

November news

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
01.11.2017

November News


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

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

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

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

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

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
01.10.2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T’s and U’s for the archaeological alphabet

CBA North News
Our alphabet of archaeology continues with a quick pair of Updates from TillVAS and CITiZAN with news; there are also events listed for this weekend… but we aren’t going to cheat and claim the W just yet!

Our Events page on the website will continue to grow and further events that have come to us from one of our group members to us will be added soon to the page. We’ll gather these up for 2018 (please send us notice of any that you think might of interest to everyone else) and send on all the events that we know of at the start of the year for what is, traditionally, the most widely read and circulated of all our emails.

We hope to send out more news later this week with October’s many events listed.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
26.09.2017

Local group round-up: TillVAS in north Northumberland
Maureen Charlton and Heather Pentland send us another group round-up from the Till Valley Archaeological Society. Excavations have only recently finished at this site, so this – outside of the local parish magazine – is the first news of this excavation outside the area.

They also note the next TillVAS event – to which all are invited – is not long away either.

Events this weekend
This weekend is full of archaeological events – we know of at least six. Here are posters for three.

…and finally, though you’ll have to be quick to book a place for this dayschool.

CITiZAN in CBA North-land during 2017
Megan Clement of the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN) has sent us a brief note of their work this summer as we covered last year. This year the project’s efforts have concentrated, so far, upon Cumbria. She writes;

“Two events were hosted in Cumbria during the Festival of British Archaeology on the 16th and 17th July, led by CITiZAN North in partnership with Morecambe Bay Partnership. These were CITiZAN app workshops which involved a basic guided walk around a local area whilst updating and adding new records to the CITiZAN dataset. The two sites chosen were Roa Island near Barrow-in-Furness and Bardsea near Ulverston. Several new sites were recording including Rampside Navigation Light, a number of shipwrecks at Roa and anti-tank and anti-glider defences were recorded at Bardsea. In all 10 people attended across the two events and were trained in recording the app and identifying archaeology on the coast and in the intertidal zone.

If you are interested in reading more about the workshop at Roa Island, there is a blog which can be found here. We will be returning to Roa Island in November 2017 as some significant new features were identified and need to have a more in-depth survey carried out.”


A volunteer recording a shipwreck at Roa Island causeway (© CITiZAN)

Megan also writes that there are further training events to come if you are interested;

“There is one in Tyneside and one in Cumbria coming up in October. These are:

1. App Workshop and Guided Walk: North Shields
Friday 6th October at 2.00pm – 4.30pm
Venue Old Low Light Heritage Centre

Come join CITiZAN at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, in North Shields (Fish Quay NE30 1JA) for an app workshop in how to rapidly record at risk archaeology on the coast. Join us for a short talk and tutorial on the app, a leisurely walk down the north bank of the Tyne recording archaeology. The event is free but places have to be booked here.

2. Training event: Roa Island
Friday 13th and Saturday 14th October 10.00am-4.00pm
Venue to be confirmed but near Roa Island

Join CITiZAN North and Morecambe Bay Partnership at Roa Island, near Barrow-in-Furness to make a permanent archaeological record the remains of a jetty and slipway identified during a workshop in July. These features appear to be part of the former slipway to access Piel Island and part of Piel pier used for travel to Belfast and Douglas. The event is free but places have to be booked for this also.”

Our CBA North alphabet of archaeology continues: P and Q, R and S

CBA North News
…And so September starts, and is equally full of events as August. Our alphabet of archaeology continues as well – today we have the news for the letters P and Q, R and S. This week also sees the start of events for September with events in the north of our region at Berwick and Crookham of the Border Archaeological Society and Till Valley Archaeological Society this week.

As ever the regular events continue to be listed on our website (we are increasingly getting information for 2018 events), though we have a poster for one of these below. These snippets of news and events include a pair outside our region as well, but we hope they may be of interest nonetheless and worth a day trip during what is left of the summer.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
04.09.2017

Portable Antiquities Scheme Conference: 20 years of Treasure
As CBA North Members who attended our AGM in May will recall from the following talk there are many finds being found, often through metal-detecting, by members of the public. Our speaker Andrew Agate, one of the Finds Liaison Officers that cover our region, gave an introduction to the Portable Antiquities Scheme which this year marks of the commencement of the Treasure Act 1996 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In this time over 11,000 Treasure finds have been reported under the Act, presenting local museums with an opportunity to acquire important objects from all periods of British history. Treasure objects not acquired by museums have a permanent record on the Portable Antiquities Scheme online database.

This conference will consider Treasure now, and look at what has been learnt in the past 20 years. There will be particular focus on discovery, acquisition and interpretation with relevant case-studies. The conference will also look forward, considering the potential of Treasure in the years to come.

Further details of this free conference which is to be held on Wednesday, 11 October 2017, at the Yorkshire Museum, York, can be found online here.

For the hand of a Queen
We have previously noted a number of events in connection with the Battle of Dunbar, also East Lothian, following the excavation and identification of soldiers from that battle at Durham. As CBA North Members and Followers will know – particularly in the northern parts – there were many other battles, skirmishes and general affray on both sides of the Anglo-Scottish Border.

Our letter Q comes from the word Queen – this exhibition deals with the Rough Wooing when the hand of Mary, Queen of Scots, was sought for Edward VI. The 16th century determination of the Scots to remain independent, and increased alliances with France, led to the redevelopment of fortifications at Berwick upon Tweed and Carlisle.

Details of an associated re-enactment of the Battle of Pinkie, in a little under a fortnight’s time, can be found online here.

The Roman bathhouse at Carlisle
Frank Giecco and Fiona Lister of Wardell Armstrong Archaeology have sent us these exciting news of the latest investigations of a Roman bathhouse. In this case this is located at Carlisle in the northwest of our region and at times the very northwest of the Roman Empire.



CBA North Members and Followers who might be interested in learning more are invited to volunteer. Please follow the details of the poster below which gives you details of what this might entail for you.

A Talk on Stones and Other Things
Our final notice also comes from the north of our region; tonight’s Border Archaeological Society talk tonight, as previously listed on our website’s events page, is;


September’s other events

Here is a quick list of some of the archaeological events we know of this month. If you would like us to list or send round the details of others, please let us know.

6 September – Following the Coca shrub throughout the Americas – archaeological evidence for cocaine use, Prof Maria Chester [TILLVAS]
26 September – This Year’s Archaeology: An Interim Statement, Steve Sherlock [TAS]
27 September – Recent work by Newcastle University on the Hadrian’s Wall system, Ian Haynes [SOCANTS]
30 September – Rock art without borders: the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project (NADRAP): legacy and future directions, Kate Sharpe [ARCH & ARCH]

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.