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Salon: Issue 359
29 February 2016

Next issue: 14 March 2016

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.

Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor (if you are reading this in an email, do not reply directly as we will not receive your message). 

Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Dark Times for Regional Heritage – What is the Society Doing?

Following the article in the last issue of Salon on the closure of the Lancashire Historic Environment service ("Dark Times for Regional Heritage"), Fellows may be wondering what the Society has been doing about the threat to the provision of archaeological advice within the planning process in England.
As far back as the “View From the Battlements” Conference at Burlington House in 2011, it was clear that the present patch-work system of archaeological provision within local authorities would be under threat. The Society has clear views on this situation and has been making them known.
On 7 October 2013, The Society hosted a debate  at Burlington House on behalf of The Archaeology Forum on local government archaeological provision. Please click here to take a look at the recording on our website.
This debate gave rise to the Redesdale – Howell inquiry into provision of archaeological advice to local government. The briefing documents, along with the Society’s evidence, clearly set out the Society's view that we believe there is an opportunity for radical reform of the entire system and a move toward provision of archaeological advice at a regional level, with a single national Historic Environment Record. As we are seeing in Lancashire and Cumbria (Salon 358), there is already an unplanned and chaotic move toward regionalised provision (or indeed a lack of provision) driven by local government spending cuts rather than a planned transformation.
The Society is represented on The Archaeology Forum (TAF), and TAF has been making representations to Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) about this issue (find out more about this on the TAF website). The Society also attends the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group, where the issue of Local Government archaeology is a standing item on the agenda.

Despite constant pressure, the Redesdale - Howell report has not been published. However, we understand that elements of the report will be included in the forthcoming DCMS White Paper on Culture, which may be published sometime in 2016. Fellows will see that the Society raised the issue of local government archaeological provision, the storage of archaeological archives and public participation in our response to the consultation on the DCMS White Paper on Culture.
In 2014, the President and I attended a Historic England “workshop” on the new National Heritage Protection Plan. You can find the Society’s follow-up letter on our website, which makes our position clear to Historic England.
Fellows will see that the Society has been active for several years in trying to address the problems of local government archaeological provision, and we will continue to do so. Finally, the formation of the Society's Policy Committee in 2015 strengthens our ability to make informed responses to these and other issues by drawing on the  wide range of expertise among Fellowship.

Notice About the Society's Website:

The Society's launched a new website in April 2014, one which has allowed the Society to update the look and feel of its online communications – but many Fellows have reported problems accessing the website, or with pages on the website loading expremely slowly!

We've been working with our web developers for the past few months to investigate the problem. We have fixed a number of bugs on the website and hope that Fellows will return to the website to test it out. We believe that we have fixed the problem of the slow-to-load webpages that some of our Fellows have reported. Please visit and try it out! And don't forget to log in to the Fellows' Area (the login page has some advice for Fellows logging in for the first time).

William Morris Fruitcake Easter Offer


Kelmscott Manor Receives £5.50 for Each Order

Award-winning artisan baker Ursula Evans follows Morris’s fruitcake recipe almost to the letter, soaking the vine fruits in brandy, baking slowly in her AGA. ‘The luxury glace fruits used in the original William Morris fruitcake mixture are used as a topping now’, she says, ‘but otherwise, these are the cakes that the Morris family enjoyed for tea in the 1880s.’
Each order supports the future care and development of Kelmscott Manor, Morris's 'heaven on earth'. Christmas sales of these special cakes raised more than £260 to support conservation at the Manor. This Easter, you can choose between a cake topped with glace fruit (like the Christmas cake) or a festive marzipan topping.

To enjoy a William Morris fruitcake with family and friends this Christmas, please place your order  via the My Cottage Kitchen website.

The Storm Rages Outside

The lights continue to be switched off across the county, as heritage organisations suffer. Perhaps the most poignant recent loss for Fellows is Bede’s World in Northumbria, which closed on 12 February. ‘It is with great regret’, Tweeted the Trustee Board, that it ‘took the decision for Bedes World to cease operation … due to a lack of funds. Steps are being taken to put the company into administration through the appointment of an Insolvency Practitioner. The Trustee Board have made arrangements for the immediate care of the farm animals and the security of the site. The Board would like thank all staff, volunteers and stakeholders for their hard work and dedication to Bedes World.’
This active, imaginative and educational centre of everything Anglo-Saxon traced its origins back to excavations by Dame Rosemary Cramp FSA at Jarrow and Monkwearmouth in the 1960s and '70s (the photo shows a mayoral visit to Jarrow in 1969). Her vision of a place to celebrate the life of the Venerable Bede, and to keep the archaeological collections locally, resulted in the opening of Bede Monastery Museum in 1974. The ambitious Bede’s World opened in 1993, and a new museum in 2000. It was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £311,700 in 2013 to help it improve things for visitors.
Martin Carver FSA wrote to South Tyneside Council, pointing out that the centre represented ‘an outstanding concentration of international assets … of permanent value to a very wide range of people in the world, from USA to Japan, who teach, research, write books and make, watch and listen to television and radio programmes about the beginnings of modern Europe.’ Writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg called the closure ‘depressingly characteristic’ and an example of London giving the North a ‘kick in the teeth’. ‘Again and again,’ he told The Independent, ‘when authorities are in trouble, they take it out on culture, which they see as a soft target.’
The reasons for closure were not immediately clear. A Council spokesperson said, ‘Despite receiving substantial support from South Tyneside Council, Bede’s World … is not currently financially viable’. The administrator, Greg Whitehead, said, ‘Before my appointment, the local council, which owns the land and has provided significant funding to the organisation over a number of years, took control of the site and its contents, including putting 24-hour security in place … the good news as far as I can tell is that the objective is for the site to re-emerge albeit on a more commercial footing.’
Were Britain to leave the European Union after a vote on 23 June, say some, things are unlikely to get better. The Museums Association suggested departure would punish culture. ‘Large chunks of research and project funding come from the EU,’ said Policy Officer Alistair Brown, ‘along with regional development funds which support cultural regeneration in deprived areas. It seems unlikely that the government would invest more in culture if we left the EU, so the risks of leaving seem high.’
Last year a group of British scientists including Sir Paul Nurse, Martin Rees and Philip Campbell, Nature editor-in-chief, wrote to The Times to say that that ‘the EU is a boon to UK science and innovation’. Nurse repeated the claim on 26 February, telling journalists, ‘Being in the EU gives us access to ideas, people and to investment in science.’ The UK, said the BBC, is a net receiver of EU research funding.

Save the Italian Archaeology!

Such problems as above are not uniquely British. Fiona Haarer FSA, Secretary of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, addressed its members last week with news about major changes in the management of cultural heritage in Italy.
‘The Ministry for Cultural Heritage’, she wrote, ‘is radically reforming the system of protecting heritage in Italy. The archaeological superintendencies are to disappear, merging with those dedicated to the territory and artistic heritage. The superintendent from now on is likely to be an architect or a person with only administrative skills and no specialist academic training. The new offices are to be distributed according to a new geographical scheme.
‘The Italian system of protection for Cultural Heritage is already in serious difficulty as a result of recent reforms, which have almost paralyzed many activities. The new reform will deal a final blow to the efficiency and functionality of these important offices for the preservation and promotion of Italian archaeological heritage. Archives, storerooms and offices will be dismembered, every continuity in the work of protection will be interrupted. These reforms have been introduced without proper planning or consultation.’
Sympathetic Fellows may wish to sign a petition protesting at the reforms, on

A Palace at Fishbourne

Local heritage is precious. When researching for my PhD in the 1970s I visited 95 museums across Scotland, Wales and, mostly, England. It took me 16 months, and remains one of my most treasured experiences. Regional museums and galleries, often struggling to cope with collections which had accumulated in inadequate and inappropriate spaces, delivered one astonishing revelation after another. The delights lay as much in the displays, back offices and buildings as the collections. Every journey I’d enter a new repository of local archives, memories and visions, each with its own distinctive, not to say eccentric, character.
I was reminded of this last week when I entered the museum at Fishbourne in West Sussex. It is the most local of local museums. Built above in situ Roman foundations and floor mosaics of an outstanding palatial complex created in the first century AD, it is owned and managed by the Sussex Archaeological Society. As I bought my ticket I was asked if I’d been there before. I had. When was that? I think it was the year after it opened. That would be 1969, said an incredulous-looking lady. Yes, that was it. I have the guidebook in front of me as I write.
I was deeply impressed at the time. Last week I was bowled over, for a different reason. For a schoolboy in 1969 the museum was a strident voice of modernism that spoke to ordinary, young people like me; it was the future. Nearly half a century later, the museum has the same power. The beautiful, sleek lines and spaces of the cover building, the wood, tile and metal, the clear graphics and distinctive fonts, the very selective use of artefacts in the gallery to tell a strong story: all of that remains almost as if new. But now it’s the past, and to be doubly valued as survivor of a unique local vision and a pioneering educational project.
I was surprised to find that while the Roman palace and gardens were listed Grade II* in 1984, the building and museum apparently have no such protection. I asked Roger Bowdler FSA, Director of Listing at Historic England, who confirmed that this seems to be the case; HE is looking into it. To help them along, this is what I think makes Fishbourne special.
It was born in one of those serendipitous moments when everything seemed to come together. After the chance discovery of the remains, a brilliant local archaeologist was given the task of excavating them for the Chichester Civic Society. The then young Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA was not just a good digger, but a persuasive story teller, and fate had handed him a tale that needed telling. Journalist Patricia Connor had taken a course at Bristol University with Cunliffe, and Fishbourne came up in conversation. What was going to happen to the site?
She and Kenneth Pearson, a fellow writer on The Sunday Times, talked to Sir Dennis Hamilton, chief executive of Times Newspapers. Could the paper stump up for a museum? Hamilton’s country house was within walking distance of the site: every weekend, Connor once told me, he would have visitors down and take them for a stroll along the beach and past Fishbourne. He was hooked.
So with the creative force of a great newspaper in its prime – Hamilton launched the UK’s first colour supplement and his writers had extraordinary freedom – a team came together. The site was bought for the Sussex Archaeological Society by Ivan Margary FSA. The Society of Antiquaries was a sponsor. Carden, Godfrey and Macfadyen designed the building (Emil Godfrey’s father was the Sussex architect and antiquary Walter Godfrey FSA). Robin Wade designed the displays. Cunliffe, Connor and Pearson wrote the texts, and The Sunday Times published the guidebook.
The museum is like the former Renault Centre in Swindon (listed Grade II*): a perfect, visionary and contemporary solution to a particular specialist need. Unlike the Renault Centre, the museum continues to serve its original purpose. And it still feels new and exciting. A few minor additions updating the displays can easily be removed (wrong font, wrong graphics): the Sussex Archaeological Society has admirably preserved the site as it was meant to be. A good listing would honour them all.
Many Fellows will have special feelings for regional and specialist museums and galleries. Please tell us about them. Let’s show that local museums are not just irrelevant attempts at doing what London’s well-funded big institutions do better. They are an essential part of the nation’s culture and identity.

Researching Castles

The Castle Studies Trust, of which John Goodall FSA and Edward Impey FSA are patrons, is funding research into what it describes as two important castles. In February it decided on its third round of grants, awarding Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire and Caus Castle, Shropshire.
Pembroke Castle (pictured) is best known for its massive round keep built by William Marshal, ‘the greatest knight of his age’, but little else is known about what was in the castle’s interior. Dyfed Archaeology Trust, assisted by castle expert Neil Ludlow, will use geophysical techniques including ground penetrating radar to try and reveal some of the secrets.
Caus Castle is frequently referenced in medieval research as an example of a Marcher castle and associated failed borough on the Welsh borders, and one of the most important medieval sites in the region. However there has been no proper analysis of the site. This first detailed archaeological study will be conducted by Michael Fradley, following castle surveys at Wallingford, Oxfordshire, Sudeley, Gloucestershire and Newhall, Cheshire, with geophysics specialist Giles Carey. The focus of the project will be on the outer bailey where the medieval borough was situated.
The Trust’s website carries further information about these and other projects. The Trust is reliant on donations for its work. For further details see the website or contact the Chair of Trustees, Jeremy Cunnington at

A New Puzzle from Star Carr

On Friday Nicky Milner FSA led a long list of authors describing an engraved perforated stone found at Star Carr, Yorkshire last year. Their article, ‘A unique engraved shale pendant from the site of Star Carr: the oldest Mesolithic art in Britain’, is published in open access in Internet Archaeology.
The stone was retrieved close to earlier excavations by Grahame Clark FSA between 1949 and 1951, which propelled the site to eternal international fame. The rare preservation of great quantities of wood and antler in lake-edge sediments that remained waterlogged 11,000 years later, and Clark’s vivid imagination of an early hunter-gather community, established Star Carr as a site that continues to inspire research and wonder.
The current excavations are part of a five year, European Research Council funded project based principally at the University of York. Clark was an expert on Mesolithic European art, but found none at Star Carr. ‘It is therefore unfortunate’, say the authors, ‘that the engraved pendant was found less than a metre from the end of Clark's Cutting II, and that he did not have the chance to study this piece.’
The stone has been studied with reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), white light 3D scanning, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence confirmed that it is shale, and micro Raman analysis was used to look for deposits within the grooves (none was found). The photo is an RTI image with specular enhancement to emphasise the engraved lines.
Close analysis allowed the authors to discern as many as 14 different stages in the engraving sequence. They conclude the piece is a bit like other Mesolithic art from Britain, but that ‘it is much more similar to the Danish examples in terms of the barbed line patterning and the object itself’. Dating to about 9000 BC, it is the UK’s oldest known Mesolithic art.
It’s only a guess, but I suspect the lines will launch a new industry of amateur decoding.

Drumclay Rescued

Readers of Current Archaeology magazine voted the controversial Drumclay Crannog site Rescue Dig of the Year, it was announced on 26 February. In the Autumn 2015 edition of The Archaeologist magazine, Philip Macdonald FSA considers the potential impact of a review of the dig conducted by Gabriel Cooney FSA. Cooney, he says, ‘identified a number of systemic weaknesses and errors of human judgment … and the shortcomings of the initial stage of the excavation’. The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment has accepted all the review’s recommendations, says Macdonald, and ‘when implemented, the resulting action plan will make a significant contribution to archaeological practice in Northern Ireland’. Most importantly, he thinks, will be ‘an urgent review into the licensing of archaeological excavations’. All of this ‘brings realising the full potential of archaeology to society in Northern Ireland a significant step closer’.
At the same ceremony Roberta Gilchrist FSA (on left in photo) was announced as Archaeologist of the Year; as the competing candidates were Philip Crummy FSA and Vincent Gaffney FSA, the chances of a Fellow win were strong. Research Project of the Year went to Bristol University's excavations at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire directed by Stuart Prior and Mark Horton FSA (the one with red trousers). The Archaeology of Caves by Marion Dowd was voted Book of the Year and, in an addition to the promoted awards, a shot of Easter Island by Shuo Huang was named Current World Archaeology Photo of the Year.

Study of a Bull 

An astonishing full-size painting, said to be Francis Bacon’s last, was revealed last week. A bull waits in the corner of life’s arena, it seems to say, ready to greet the soul tempted by the crack in the door that leads from light to darkness, from boundedness to unimagined possibilities. Study of a Bull was found by Martin Harrison FSA, appointed editor of a new catalogue raisonné of Bacon’s works in 2005. ‘It was the last painting he finished’, Harrison told The Guardian, ‘and there is no documentation for it and it is far too late for him to have spoken about it in interviews and it has never been shown before.’ ‘A lot of my work over the last ten years has been sleuthing as much as art history,’ he told Salon. ‘When I began there were at least 150 of his paintings listed as “whereabouts unknown”. I only found the Bull a couple of years ago, and it transpired that it was in London all the time!’
Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, edited by Harrison, is to be published by the Estate of Francis Bacon on 28 April. The five-volume boxed set can be pre-ordered from HENI Publishing for £1000. ‘Irrespective of the care taken in documenting his extant oeuvre,’ says the publisher, ‘the great revelation of the catalogue raisonné will be that, for the first time, Bacon’s entire output can be seen and assessed. It will, we believe, have a profound effect on the perception of his paintings.’
Harrison is curating Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture, at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco (2 July–4 September), and then the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (30 September–8 January 2017), where the focus will be on Bacon’s relationship with Spain.
Long before Harrison’s sleuthing began, Bacon’s studio was taken apart by archaeologists, recorded to the tiniest detail, and re-assembled in Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane. The archive includes 100 slashed canvases and 1,300 pages torn from books.

Radiocarbon Dating Fund

Clive Waddington FSA writes with news of a new community fund.
‘Archaeological Research Services Ltd (ARS Ltd) and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) have set up a new Community Archaeology Radiocarbon Dating Fund (CARD Fund) as of January 2016. The scheme is intended to provide support to community groups and projects to acquire radiocarbon dates for their projects. The scheme is open to community-based projects throughout all of the UK with a closing date of 30 September each year, shortly after which a decision will be made on which applications are successful. All the necessary information is available on the Fund’s website with applications via the on-line application form.
‘To keep costs down and ensure that as much resource as possible is spent on funding new dates, all communications are electronic. A total of ten radiocarbon dates will be available in the first year of the fund. Clive Waddington of Archaeological Research Services Ltd said, “I have always felt that it is crucial that archaeologists give back to society and support the amazing work that goes on in the wider community. We have worked with SUERC to establish a radiocarbon dating fund to assist the volunteer sector with obtaining much-needed dating evidence as we saw this as a way we could offer real practical help and maximise our support by making limited resources go as far as possible. We hope that community groups and projects will take advantage of this support and hopefully we can grow it over the coming years”.
‘Gordon Cook from SUERC said “A significant proportion of the money that comes to the radiocarbon laboratory is from commercial archaeology. This is our way of putting a little of that back into the system.”'

News of Fellows

Helen Campbell writes to say her husband Alistair James Peter Campbell FSA died on 27 January. ‘He had many friends within the Society’, she says, ‘and one thing he did enjoy was taking the “Hats” around this part of Cheshire and entertaining them here in our hall one evening.’
Appreciations of former Fellow Stephen Aldhouse-Green, Jennifer O'Reilly FSA, Alan P F Sell FSA and Geoffrey Waywell FSA, who died in February, follow below.

Bruce Boucher FSA, a distinguished architectural historian and museum curator and currently Director of the Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia, will be the next Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum in Holborn, London. He will take up the post in May. Guy Elliott, Chairman of the museum’s Trustees, said, ‘Sir John Soane's Museum continues to be a platform for dialogue and debate on architecture and contemporary culture, with an important role to play nationally and internationally. The Trustees believe that, with his wealth of experience, Bruce is well positioned to lead the Museum into a new phase of development, after the Opening Up the Soane project is completed later this year.’ Boucher first came to the UK from Harvard University as an Oxford University Rhodes Scholar. He obtained his Ph.D at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and then taught at UCL for over 20 years before moving to the Art Institute of Chicago as Curator and Head of European Sculpture, Decorative Arts, and Ancient Art.
Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500, by Jane Roberts FSA, is a new paperback edition from Liverpool University Press of a book originally published by the British Library in 2005. It is an introductory guide to the scripts used in Old and Middle English writing, with plates of sample texts together with full transcripts, commentary and notes. The reader is introduced gradually to vocabulary suitable for the description of script through a range of plates, such as Caedmon’s Hymn (the earliest extant English poem), the Lindisfarne Gospels, the opening page of King Alfred’s first translation, and contrasting manuscripts of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. Roberts is Emerita Professor of English Language and Medieval Literature in the University of London, where she is a Senior Research Fellow in the institute of English Studies.

Jane Portal FSA, Keeper of Asia at the British Museum, welcomed the completion of conservation of the Museum’s Amitābha Buddha, ‘a powerful sculpture’, she said, ‘with a long history in China and a more recent story in the UK’. This colossal 1400-year-old marble Buddha, described as one of the highlights of the British Museum’s collection, is on public display in the centre well of the North Stairs. The challenges of physical accessibility had kept away full conservation treatment for over 25 years. An inscription on the plinth has been read for the first time: it names the original site in Chongguang Temple in Northern China, and 80 members of the Yi-yi, a Buddhist society very popular during the northern dynasties, who originally patronized the building of this Buddha.
Loyd Grossman FSA, Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, has written to the Prime Minister to express concern about a proposal to stop organisations which receive government grants from lobbying Government and Parliament. The Government claims that research by The Institute of Economic Affairs has exposed ‘the practice of taxpayers’ money given to pressure groups being diverted to fund lobbying rather than the good causes or public services’. Grossman told David Cameron the proposal would stifle the voice of ‘independent, responsible civil society organisations' in favour of ‘office-based civil servants without the practical input of external stakeholders’.
Paul Bennett FSA, Gillian Draper FSA, Andrew Richardson FSA and the late Nicholas Brooks FSA are among contributors to the final volume of the Kent History Project, Early Medieval Kent 800–1220, edited by Sheila Sweetinburgh, to be published in June. The opening essay presents an assessment of the kingdom of Kent. Subsequent chapters consider the development of rural and urban society, the impact of the Vikings, pilgrimage and the landscape, literacy and learning, the developing monastic way of life, place-names, and parish church architecture and Norman patronage. The final three chapters develop a multidisciplinary approach to discuss Canterbury as a case study. Boydell & Brewer are offering a discounted pre-order price until 31 May: quote promotional code 16066.
Duncan Wilson FSA, Chief Executive, Historic England, and Henry Russell FSA, Chairman of Spatial Planning Advocacy Group, The Heritage Alliance, advised the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment, whose report is now available. The National Policy Planning Framework, they said, had got it about right in balancing heritage protection and development, though there were ‘sometimes problems regarding the implementation of policy, many of which related to resources and capacity at the local authority level.’ With others, they supported calls for a cut to the rate of VAT charged on repairs to existing buildings.
Somewhat alarmingly, Jorvik has named its campaign to raise funds to revamp the inundated Viking Centre in York, after a king who sat in the sea to prove that even his power could not stop rising waters. The Jorvik Centre was badly damaged by floods last December, and has closed for repairs and the ‘re-imagination’ of its displays. The York Archaeological Trust hopes to raise £2 million with Campaign Canute. ‘Over the last 32 years, we’ve had three major refurbishments’, said Chief Executive David Jennings FSA. ‘Whilst we could simply replicate the pre-flood displays, our mission to educate in an accessible way drives us to plan how we can do it even better than before.’

Ron Baxter FSA, Research Director of the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, has written The Royal Abbey of Reading (Boydell). Reading Abbey was built by Henry I as a great architectural statement and his own mausoleum, as well as a place of resort and a staging point for royal itineraries. From the start it was envisaged as a monastic site with a high degree of independence from the church hierarchy; it was granted enormous holdings of land and major religious relics to attract visitors and pilgrims, and no expense was spared on the church. However, in architectural terms, the abbey has remained enigmatic, mainly because of the efficiency with which it was destroyed at the Reformation. Only recently has it become possible to bring together scattered evidence into a coherent picture. This richly illustrated volume provides the abbey’s first full account, from foundation to dissolution, with a new virtual reconstruction of the church and cloister.

On Radio 4 on 28 February John Curtis FSA, Chief Executive Officer of the Iran Heritage Foundation and former Keeper of the Middle Eastern Department at the British Museum, talked to Simon Schama in his quest for a religious or political motive behind the destruction of archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq. In Simon Schama: The Obliterators (available on iPlayer), to which other contributors included Robert Bewley FSA, Schama learnt that the key factors are politics (to wipe out the memory of previous religions and civilisations, said Curtis), crime and ignorance. In this, said Schama, the destructions of Islamic State have parallels in the iconoclasm of the British Reformation. To save the heritage, said journalist Jeremy Bowen, we need to destroy IS. • Starting on 29 February on Radio 4 at noon, The Museum of Lost Objects will trace the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria. Nigel Tallis FSA and Sarah Collins (British Museum) and Augusta McMahon (University of Cambridge) are consultants.
On 3 March at 9 pm on BBC1, Mary Beard FSA will present a one-off film about Pompeii. Pompeii: New Secrets Revealed will, ‘for the first time ever’, use ‘CT scanning and X-rays to examine the preserved bodies of victims caught in the 79AD eruption.’ Perhaps to avoid a scheduling clash, the fourth series of Digging for Britain, which was to start at the same time on BBC4, has been moved forward a week to begin on 10 March. Several archaeological Fellows are likely to appear in it. Presented by Alice Roberts and Matt Williams, the series visits excavations across the country in 2015, giving cameras to archaeologists to film and talk about their own work.

Lives Remembered

Stephen Aldhouse-Green, who had resigned his Fellowship in 2010 during a long illness, died on 21 February, beloved husband of Miranda, adored father of Elisabeth and grandfather to Lily.
Matt Pope FSA and Rob Dinnis write:
‘Stephen’s name is synonymous with the Palaeolithic of Wales: he was the prime driving force in its systematic study over the last 40 years. Through the Palaeolithic Settlement of Wales project, which he initiated in 1978, his career was to bring to fruition the study and publication of excavations in the caves of Pontnewydd [pictured], Paviland and Coygan. Through a combination of detailed archival analysis, fieldwork and multidisciplinary endeavour, Stephen’s work made sense of Palaeolithic archaeology for a region on the edge of the Pleistocene world. His legacy will be to have documented in detail the record of both Neanderthal and early modern human occupation at its absolute limits.
‘Stephen’s two most recent monographs, Paviland Cave and the Red Lady: A Definitive Report (2000) and Neanderthals in Wales (2012) are testament to his impact on the subject. His spirit of generosity with colleagues and students alike, as well as his passion for the sites and landscapes he worked in, shined through into his work and writing.’
His excavations at Pontnewydd, Denbighshire, for the National Museum of Wales brought international significance to a site long known to antiquarians. Among his finds were animal bones and stone tools, and 17 early Neanderthal teeth from at least five people; they date from around 250,000 years ago.
Aldhouse-Green published a two-volume study of prehistoric British flint arrow points in 1980. Based on his undergraduate dissertation and doctoral thesis at Cardiff University – on which he worked between 1967 and 1976 – it remains one of the most detailed such analyses based on first-hand examination conducted in Europe. In 1996 he left the National Museum, where he had been Keeper of Archaeology and Numismatics, to become Head of Archaeology at the Department of Humanities and Science, University of Wales College, Newport.
The funeral service will be at St Augustine's Church, Penarth CF64 1BA on 3 March at 1.30 pm, with refreshments afterwards in the church. All welcome, colourful ties for men, please. No flowers by request, donations, if desired, to Parkinson's UK (Research).
Jennifer O'Reilly FSA died on 18 February at Cork University Hospital following a short illness, deeply mourned by her husband Terence, sons Michael and Thomas, grandchildren Liam and Elise and her wide circle of family, friends and academic colleagues.
Dr O'Reilly, says University College Cork, where she was Senior Lecturer in History, was ‘interested in the transformation of the inheritance of Late Antiquity in the early medieval West, particularly in Irish and Anglo-Saxon monastic culture, including: ideas of Rome and Jerusalem, the centre and the periphery; the literature of conversion and pilgrimage; patristic and Insular biblical exegesis and hagiography; the work of Adomnán and Bede; the Book of Kells and the art of the Insular Gospel-books. She [was] also interested in issues of text and image and various iconographic themes in Early Christian, medieval and Renaissance art, including: aspects of the Incarnation and Passion; the Tree of Life; Virtues and Vices; symbolic architecture, maps, diagrams and images of divine order and inner journeys; scribal, author and donor portraits.’
A graduate of Nottingham University and the Warburg Institute, London, she played a key role in establishing the BA programme in the history of art in Cork and, since 2001, taught and co-ordinated modules on Medieval art for the new subject area. In 2007 she was enrolled as a member of the Royal Irish Academy in acknowledgement of her work in the field of Insular Studies.
Alan P F Sell FSA died on 7 February, aged 80. The Revd John Proctor, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church, has written this tribute:
‘Alan was one of the United Reformed Church's most acute and distinguished thinkers and writers. He served in our ministry from 1959, starting in pastorate in Westmorland (as it then was) and Worcestershire, and going on to theological teaching posts in the West Midlands, Canada and Aberystwyth, along with some years' service as Theological Secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
‘He published about 30 books, exploring the story of our Reformed tradition, and bringing Christian thought into conversation with some major voices in philosophy. Yet within all this Alan remained deeply committed to the friendships and people of the URC. He was a generous encourager of the many ministers he knew, and a helpful and creative contributor to church debate.
‘Always he remembered – and often reminded us – that the Church is God's work. It rests on God's good news. That same sense of dependence on God sustained Alan through his months of final illness.’
‘In general,’ wrote the University of Chester, where Sell was a Visiting Professor, ‘the Reverend Professor Sell seeks to bring together both ideas and people. Thus, he investigates the relations between philosophical and theological ideas through history and today; he ventures into history when enquiring how far doctrinal convictions influence what happens to church life on the ground: this with special reference to the Reformed and Dissenting traditions; and he explores ways in which the stances of the several Christian traditions may be prevented from obscuring the unity of the one Church, holy, catholic and apostolic. He founded the inter-disciplinary Eighteenth-Century Study Group at the University of Calgary; the Centre for the Study of British Christian Thought at Aberystwyth; and the Association of Denominational Historical Societies and Cognate Libraries. During the period of communist rule, he developed a special interest in Hungarian-speaking churches, which continues to this day.’
A service of thanksgiving will be held at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone, Saxon Gate, Milton Keynes at 2.15 pm on 3 March.

Geoffrey Waywell FSA died on 16 February, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Hugh Bowden, Head of Department of Classics, King’s College London, writes:
‘Waywell joined the Department of Classics at King’s College London in 1968, as Lecturer in Classical Archaeology. He was made Professor of Classical Archaeology in 1987, and he was Head of Department 1989–1993. In 1996 he was appointed Director of the Institute of Classical Studies (ICS). He retired from the ICS and King’s in 2004. He published widely on Classical sculpture and architecture. He will be much missed by his former colleagues and students.’
Greg Woolf, Director of the ICS, says ‘Geoff Waywell’s interests ranged widely across Classical Archaeology, from the sculptures of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus to the excavations of Sparta which he directed with J J Wilkes FSA for the British School at Athens though the 1980s. He also played a key role in documenting collections of classical sculpture in some of the great stately homes of England. During more than 30 years at Kings College London, from which he retired as Professor of Classical Archaeology, he taught and mentored generations of students and colleagues. Many contributed to a volume of essays edited in his honour by Fiona MacFarlane and Catherine Morgan and published in 2010 as Exploring Ancient Sculpture. He gave generously of his time and energy to the ICS, and is remembered with great affection by staff and former visiting scholars.’

An obituary for Christopher Brooke FSA, who died in December, was published in The Telegraph on 18 February. The former Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge, said the paper, ‘was a prolific and wide-ranging medieval historian known for his broad imaginative sympathy, his elegance of expression and his ability to enter the emotional and spiritual world of characters as varied as Hildebrand, Heloise and Wolfram von Eschenbach.’ When he succeeded Geoffrey Barraclough as Professor of Medieval History at Liverpool, ‘at 29 years of age he was one of the youngest professors ever appointed at the university.’ At Cambridge, ‘A kindly looking, rather slight, figure, Brooke was known for his devotion to his college and its traditions and the generosity he showed towards students and colleagues alike. His seminars were relaxed affairs at which students felt free and stimulated to speak.’

The Wisdom of Fellows

Bede’s World (above) charged an adult £5.50 for admission. Perhaps it was not enough. Alastair Maxwell-Irving FSA writes to Salon to suggest that charging for entry would improve many museums’ lot.
‘Councils and other bodies are once again raising the spectre of closing museums to save money,’ he says, ‘a subject that comes up with monotonous regularity. When is Britain going to face facts and start charging for entry to all museums and art galleries, so that they are self-supporting? I know of no other country in Europe that has free admission. Indeed, many museums and art galleries in mainland Europe make a handsome profit. I was in Italy last year, where entry to even the smallest excavation had to be paid for. They abolished free admission some 30 years ago.
‘Serious minded people will always pay for the privilege of visiting the major attractions, while smaller provincial museums and galleries are partly maintained by willing volunteers.
‘The only problem that arises is The Art Fund, who always threaten to remove all items that they have part-funded (sic) if a charge is made. What about the other bodies who have contributed to each and every purchase? The Art Fund should come down to earth and face reality. Where do they stand if the museums and art galleries close? Will they try to take possession of every object to whose purchase they have contributed?’

Recent Ballot Results

We elected 8 new Fellows on 4 February: Marc Christoph Fecker, BA, MA; Stephanie Wynne-Jones, BA, MPhil, PhD; Robin Coningham, BA, PhD; Michael Brett Hockney, MBE, BA; Aleida Tessa ten Harkel, BA, MA, MA, PhD; Emma Slocombe, BA, MA; Helen Mary Lloyd and Ulrich Schädler, Dr.phil.

We elected 8 new Fellows on 11 February: Reuben Thorpe, BA; Mary Brooks, BA, MA, PhD; Rebecca Crozier, MA, MSc, PhD; Therese Martin, BA, PhD; Melanie Giles, BA, MA, PhD; Rupert Goulding, BA, MA, PhD; Jill Hind, BSc, MSt, DPhil, CChem and Simon James Morris, BA, PhD.

We elected 8 new Fellows on 25 February: Adam Stanford; Mark Richard Lewis Tudor Lewis, BSc, MSc, PhD; Ashok Roy, BSc, MSc, PhD; Gregory Duncan Woolf, BA, PhD; Ellen Hambleton, BSc, PhD; Robert Hosfield, BA, MSc, PhD; Robert Frederick Ernest Kenyon, BA, PhD and Jane Richardson, BSc, MSc, PhD.



Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

Unless stated otherwise, tea is served from 16.15 and meetings start at 17.00. Guests are welcome if accompanied by a Fellow. Details of forthcoming meetings and events can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

3 March 2016: 'Motherboards and Motherloads', by Christine Finn, FSA.

10 March 2016: 'Sultan Mehmed II, the Magnus Princeps Bronze Relief and an Imperial Vision', by Christopher Eimer, FSA.

17 March 2016: 'The Dress Detective and the Slow Approach to Seeing', by Ingrid Mida, a Janet Arnold Award recipient.

Details for the full spring programme are available on the website: You can also catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events').

Interested in proposing a lecturer? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer (

Forthcoming Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

22 March 2016: 'Denim: Fashion's Frontier', by Emma McClendon, Janet Arnold Award Recipient (for research into historic dress). A few places are still available! Book now!

There will also be a public tour of Burlington House on this day (booking required).

26 April 2016: 'Royal Gold and Royal Rubbish: Metal-Detecting and the Anglo-Saxon Palace at Rendlesham, Suffolk', by Christopher Scull FSA. This lecture is now fully booked, but we hope to post a recording after the event!

There will also be a public tour of Burlington House on this day (booking required).

Click here for more information on our public lectures.

Society Dates to Remember


Introductory Tours of Burlington House for Fellows

The next in the Society’s regular series of introductory tours will take place on 24 March and 23 June.

Tours are free, but limited to 25 people, so places should be booked in advance. Please contact the Society’s Executive Assistant (call 020 7479 7080 or email Tours start at 11.00, and coffee is served from 10.45. Lunch is available at the end of the tour for £5, but must be ordered in advance. There will be further tours scheduled in the autumn.

Burlington House Closures

The Society's apartments, including it's Library, will be closed during the Easter holiday from Friday to Tuesday, 25 March to 29 March (inclusive), reopening on Wednesday, 30 March. The apartments will also be closed on 2 May, 3 May, and 30 May. Finally, the Society will be closed for its summer conservation and maintenance programme from 1 August to 2 September (inclusive), reopening on Monday, 5 September.

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at:

Welsh Fellows

On Friday, 11 March, the Welsh Regional Fellows Group will hold its St. David's Day lunch, followed by a talk by Fellow John Collis, 'Celts – Ancient and Modern'. Please click here to download a flyer for more information about attending the event. Email Bob Child at with questions.

York Fellows

Thursday, 31 March: Join us for a lecture by Fellow Kevin Leahy (National Adviser, Early Medieval Metalwork, The Portable Antiquities Scheme), 'The Staffordshire Hoard: Six Years On'. The meeting will take place at Bar Convent, York. Send questions or expressions of interest to Stephen Greep, FSA, at

Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at:

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

11–12 March: Crisis or Continuity? Hoarding and Deposition in Iron Age and Roman Britain, and Beyond (London)
A free conference at the British Museum (BM), arising from the work of the Hoarding in Iron Age and Roman Britain Project, a three-year joint research initiative between the BM and the University of Leicester, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The conference will explore the deposition and hoarding of coins and other artefacts in later prehistoric and Roman Britain and Europe, and will critically re-examine the evidence for social, economic and political instability during the third century AD. Speakers include Roger Bland FSA, Kevin Butcher FSA, Adrian Chadwick FSA, Simon Esmonde Cleary FSA, Richard Hobbs FSA and Sam Moorhead FSA. On the evening of 11 March Philip de Jersey will talk on ‘Jersey, Treasure Island: discovering the world's largest hoard of Celtic coins.’ Booking for both events is essential. Details can be found online about both the conference and the hoarding project. There is an exhibition at the BM about hoards until 22 May.
13 March: Mapp and Lucia: The History Behind the Town of Rye (Canterbury)
Gillian Draper FSA leads a day school at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent. Details of this and other courses can be found on the University website.
14 March: Masterpieces of Renaissance Glass: Wine, Women and the glory of Venice (London)
Dora Thornton FSA, Curator of Renaissance Europe and the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum, will talk at the Society of Antiquaries at 6.30 for 6.45 pm. The superb Venetian glasses in the British Museum offer an intriguing glimpse into 16th-century Venetian social mores which would have fascinated early tourists and armchair travellers across Shakespeare's Europe. Depictions of women on these glasses – as virtuous wives or sophisticated courtesans – often appear deliberately ambiguous, opening up a world of tensions and nuance that runs through Shakespeare's Venetian play, Othello. The combined appeal of wondrous new technology and captivating fashion made Venetian glass the envy of the world and Dora's talk will draw on many sources to enable us to fully appreciate these masterpieces. Book through the Venice in Peril website.
17–19 March: Matthew Parker: Archbishop, Scholar, Collector (Cambridge)A conference at the Parker Library and at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities will explore collaborative scholarship, the retrieval of the past, and the history of the book in 16th-century England. The conference is convened by Anthony Grafton, William Sherman and Scott Mandelbrote FSA. Plenary speakers include Debora Shuger, Alexandra Walsham and James Carley FSA. Speakers include Brian Cummings FSA, Arnold Hunt FSA and Elisabeth Leedham-Green FSA. Those wishing to attend should register by applying to Katie Weeks ( early booking is recommended since space in the Parker Library is limited.
22 March: Bleak House? Rich and Poor in Victorian England (Tunbridge Wells)
Gillian Draper FSA leads a study day at University of Kent, Tonbridge Centre. Details of this and other courses can be found on the University website, by emailing or by phoning the Centre on 01732 352316.
22–23 March: Everyday Heritage (Oxford)
Course at Rewley House directed by Stephen Bond FSA, Director, Heritage Places. The vulnerability of everyday heritage has become more widely recognised in recent years, but its significance, its contribution to the character of the historic environment and its pivotal importance to local communities and their cultural memory are still under-explored and undervalued. This is the first in a planned series of linked courses seeking to redress that imbalance, exploring everyday heritage, its importance to communities and the local historic environment, and the issues that affect its conservation and benign use and development. This course will focus on housing and open spaces in towns, and a range of common types of public buildings. For more details and to book see online.
23 March: Souvenirs of the Sepulchre: Devotion to an Empty Tomb at the Time of the First Crusade (Birmingham)
William Purkis will give the first of three public lectures to be held at the Museum of the Order of St John as part of the Bearers of the Cross project at the University of Birmingham. The event is free, but tickets must be booked ahead online.
1–2 April: Finds from Roman York, Brigantia and Beyond (York)
A major conference organised by the Roman Finds Group, at Kings Manor, Department of Archaeology, University of York, 13.00 Friday until 16.30 Saturday. Keynote speaker will be author Lindsey Davis, with a reception at Yorkshire Museum. For further details contact Stephen Greep FSA ( or see the Roman Finds Group website.

1–3 April: Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress: 50 Years of SPMA (Sheffield)
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, founded in 1966, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special congress at the University of Sheffield. A long list of provisional speakers, with a strong international representation, includes Hugh Willmott FSA, Harold Mytum FSA, David Petts FSA, Richard Newman FSA, Michael Nevell FSA and Caron Newman FSA. Details can be found on the conference webpage. The SPMA is keen to hear from Fellows and others with photographs, memorabilia and memories of the society’s foundation, and the 50 years since, for display at the congress and incorporation into an online archive. Please contact the Hon. Secretary Emma Dwyer at

6–8 April: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (Oxford)
Course at Rewley House directed by Henry Russell FSA, Reading University. Condition surveys of historic buildings require an understanding of architectural and construction history, as well as the ability to analyse and prioritise defects. This course aims to give participants an understanding of traditional construction and its defects and to provide the skills to carry out balanced and informed surveys of historic buildings. Speakers include Stephen Bond FSA, Sinclair Johnston, Robyn Pender and Jagjit Singh. For more details and to book see online.
24 September: Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham A Royal Centre of the East Anglian Kingdom (Bury St Edmunds)
A one-day conference to present the results of archaeological investigation at Rendlesham 2008–14, at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Speakers include Chris Scull FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA, and discussions will be led by Martin Carver FSA, Catherine Hills FSA and Leslie Webster FSA. For details see Suffolk Heritage Explorer.
5–6 October: Auricular Style: Frames (London), call for papers
A two-day international conference at the Wallace Collection will be the first dedicated to the Auricular style, centring on one of its most significant manifestations, the picture frame. The conference aims to stimulate awareness and study of this style by bringing together research in fine and decorative art histories. It will consider the origins and development of the style in different materials, together with its dissemination between European centres. Fourteen speakers are anticipated, and currently include Karen Hearn FSA and Jacob Simon FSA. Enquiries and submissions (300–400-word abstracts) to by 29 January, 2016. Convenors Gerry Alabone FSA and Lynn Roberts, in association with the Institute of Conservation (Gilding & Decorative Surfaces Group). 

14–16 October: 1066: Interpreting the Norman Conquest in 2016 (London)
In this 950th anniversary year, a conference on the Norman Conquest is to be held by the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, running from the day of the battle. The conference is intended for a general audience, but the contributions will be delivered by prominent experts, including David Bates FSA, author of a forthcoming biography of William the Conqueror, and Elisabeth van Houts, who has edited and translated several Anglo-Norman chronicles and has published on women and gender in the Middle Ages. Subjects will include the background to the Conquest, arms and armour, architecture, landscape, government, aristocracy, the church, society, the Bayeux Tapestry and the task of studying the period today. To register interest and obtain further information please contact or call 0113 220 1888.


The British Institute at Ankara, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH is calling for applications for the following opportunities:
 â€¢ 5K Project Grants – up to £5000 per year for a maximum of three years
ʉۢ Study grants to allow postdoctoral researchers to carry out periods of study abroad
ʉۢ Scholarships to enable students from Turkey and the Black Sea region to travel in the UK or Ankara
ʉۢ An annual post-doctoral fellowship
ʉۢ The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies Fieldwork award
See online for more information, application forms and procedures to apply.

The Attingham Trust is seeking to appoint a new Director in August 2016 to prepare for the Attingham Summer School 2017. The candidate will succeed Andrew Moore FSA who has held the post since 2011. As this is a part-time position, ideally the candidate should have an established freelance portfolio or an academic position that allows time for additional work. He/she should have a developed interest in the British country house and enjoy teaching. Stamina and a sense of humour are essential for this demanding but very rewarding task. For further details please see the Attingham Trust website. Applications should be sent to Rita Grudzień at by 18 March 2016.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.

Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.


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