Is this email not looking the way it should? Click here to view it in your browser.

Salon: Issue 432
30 July 2019

Next issue: 02 September

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 EditorSalon doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.

Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this, and an online archive where new editions are posted. You can also unsubscribe at any point, by following this link.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary


It is with great regret that we have to inform Fellows that an ex Custodian of Kelmscott Manor, Don Chapman, died suddenly at the Manor on Wednesday 24th July.
Don and his wife Pat were custodians of the Manor from 1991 to 1998 and instigated a lot of changes including introducing a tearoom as well as a small shop from the Brewhouse in the back courtyard. Don also worked with our Gardener, Celia James and Groundman, Clive Davies to reintroduce the roses outside the front door of the Manor.
Don and his wife had retired in a care home in Harrogate and he had recently been informed that he had a terminal illness. One of his wishes was to see the Manor before he died, and his friends had brought him to fulfil this wish. He had spent the previous day walking around the village and visiting the church and, on Wednesday morning, had just had a conversation with the Property Manager, Gavin Williams and Heritage Manager, Kathy Haslam. He was about the enter the Manor when he collapsed from a heart attack in the front garden and, despite medical assistance being administered, he unfortunately passed away.
While we are all sorry to hear of his passing, we are all comforted by the fact that he had managed to get to the Manor that so obviously meant a lot to him. We have passed on our condolences to his family and friends.
I would like to thank our wonderful staff and volunteers who all behaved with great professionalism, skill, care and respect in dealing with such an upsetting and sad incident.

Back to the beginning of the report

Another successful Research Showcase 


We would like to thank all the participants who took part in our research showcase on Friday July 19th. We had over 700 visitors throughout the event and received extremely positive feedback. Visitors got the chance to hear from our grant recipients and learn more about their projects.

Each year we are delighted to be able to fund so many worthwhile projects and it is fantastic to be able to showcase some of the work our grants contribute to. The various projects generated much discussion and it was a delight to see such a varied audience enjoying the Society. Attendees were able to learn about archaeology, book collecting, embroidery and early Greek houses, some even had a go at making their own LEGO houses (see image of Professor Chris Scull FSA (Director) creating his own). 


Thank you also to staff, officers and volunteers who helped to make the event such a success. 

For more information on our recent grant awards or to find out more information on our upcoming grant deadlines visit our website 

Back to the beginning of the report

Staff outing to Stonehenge  



Thank you to our Honorary Secretary Dr Heather Sebire FSA for facilitating a staff tour of Stonehenge.

We were delighted to have a day out of the office in the glorious sunshine to visit a site that is so synonymous with the Society. Antiquarians have been visiting and researching Stonehenge since the Society was established and we are glad to be carrying on that tradition. 

Did you know that in a recent evaluation of our lecture series it was noted that Stonehenge was the most popular topic! 

Back to the beginning of the report

William & Jane Morris Conservation Grants

The deadline for the next round of William and Jane Morris Church Conservation Grants is approaching: 31st August 2019.

The Morris Fund was formed in 1939 following a bequest to the Society from May Morris, the younger daughter of William and Jane Morris.These grants are awarded to churches, chapels and other places of worship in the United Kingdom for the conservation of decorative features and monuments, but not for structural repairs. Awards range from £500 to £5,000. 

Further details, eligibility criteria and an application form please see our website

Back to the beginning of the report

Last chance to see Kelmscott Manor 

The Manor will close on August 31st this year 

The Open Season at Kelmscott Manor is into it’s final six weeks before the major restoration and improvement works, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, begin. The last day of the season is Saturday 31st August. The Manor is open to the public every Wednesday and Saturday from 11am to 5pm.
This will be the last chance to visit the Manor before the works start. The first stage of the works will involve the barns and will include the improvement of public toilet facilities, enlargement of the tearoom kitchen and major structural works to all. The new thatched education building will also be erected. We do hope to have limiter opening next year while work continues on the Manor house and will inform Fellows of our open days closer once these have been finalised.
This is an exciting time for the Manor and will give us the ability to reach a wider audience and inform our visitors about more of the history of the estate and surrounding area.

Back to the beginning of the report

Fundraisers contribute £530 towards commissioning replica wallpaper inside Kelmscott Manor

Christina Hardyment (centre with the dog), author of Writing the Thames and Literary Trails and Richard Mayon-White (left), an accredited walk leader and author of Exploring the Thames Wilderness are organising a second fundraising walk on Friday 6th September to raise funds for conservation works inside the Manor house.   Numbers are limited to 15 and will include a last chance to see the collections before contractors begin major conservation works onsite.  The tour will be followed by lunch and a circular walk along the Thames Path to Buscot Church to see the Burne-Jones stained glass windows made at the Morris factory.

If you have any fundraising suggestions for Kelmscott Manor we would love to hear from you.  Contact Dominic Wallis, Head of Development, 020 7479 7092

Back to the beginning of the report

Unexploded Bombs: is Pompeii Safe?


Following an article in Il Fatto Quotidiano, the British media reported, in the words of the Guardian (7 July), that ‘at least 10 unexploded bombs dropped by the allies during the second world war are hidden within the foundations of the archaeological site of Pompeii’. For a moment I wondered if my father, who saw action over southern Italy in the war as a rear gunner in American-made bombers, might have been responsible for some of them (I have reproduced below the front of a guide he kept, issued by the Allied Control Commission, telling him not to damage works of art). Pleasingly, it turned out, the dates of the Pompeii bombing were wrong for the activities of my father’s squadron. Chris Going, who describes himself as a former colleague of Paul Drury FSA at the Chelmsford Archaeological Trust and who knows a thing or two about unexploded ordnance (UXO), has written interestingly to Salon on the subject:
‘Having worked at Pompeii briefly nearly 40 years ago as an archaeologist on a trench between the Porto Marina and the forum with Paul Arthur FSA and, rather more relevantly, reported on residual UXO risk on numerous transportation targets and oil refinery sites resulting from several hundreds of air attacks throughout Italy, I feel I might be able to comment on the risk.
‘The figure cited in the newspapers is ten unexploded bombs. Where did this number come from and how stable are these bombs now? Had we been in any real danger? A quick search in the UK National Archives Treasury papers Subcommission for Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Final Report on Apulia, Calabria and Lucania (Ref: TNA; T/209/18/2) reveals in Appendix 1 a short report on Pompeii with a site plan compiled in 1943 which shows 165 known impacts (reproduced at top). This piqued my interest, as the trench I was working on ran through the most densely bombed part of the site, close to the forum.
‘A report by Kiona N Smith on Ars Technica (8 July) reveals the origin of the estimate. It credits the Italian EOD engineers at Mantua (Ordini Ingegneri Mantova) with establishing an 8–10% air-dropped bomb failure rate. As several bombs have been already found at Pompeii (including at least one “low order” detonation, the results of which can be seen online, one in 1986, and one in 2017, a figure of about ten is a base estimate.
‘But this may be too low. Already in 1945 the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) established that the Second World War Allied bomb failure rate could be as high as one in six, and thus, if the map above shows all impacts, we may estimate 16–20 “failed to go off as intended”.
‘But knowing rough numbers is not enough. In ordnance disposal circles what is now causing most disquiet is the behaviour of failed bombs with time-delay chemical fuses (particularly the British type 37 pistol and the American AN-M 124). There is now about one spontaneous explosion a year in Germany and Austria involving duds with suspected chemical time-delay fuses (as last month near Limburg) and following tragedies during defusing events at Salzburg and Göttingen, the current method of disposal is explosion in situ: as demonstrated rather dramatically in Munich in 2012.

‘Most, if not all of the Pompeii bombs will have been dropped during the month between 24 August 1943, when according to the Giornale d’Italia (No 205, 27 August 1943), 30 bombs hit the site, and a few days before the area was over-run by Allied ground troops on 29 September.
‘The military purpose of these attacks was to relieve the Allies of German pressure in the wake of the landings at Salerno when RAF, RCAF and USAAF units interdicted road and rail targets across the region, including carrying out at least 11 attacks in the Pompeii/Torre Annunziata area – but not targeting the Pompeii ruins in pursuit of German armour as some contemporary reports claim.
‘So would any of the bombs which fell on the ruins have been provided with chemical long-delay fuses? The bomb calibres and fusing used by the various theatre Air Units will have been chosen with transportation targets in mind, and of these a quick look at 12th USAAF munitions expenditure reports for the period indicates for the most part, nose and tail fuse (NT) combinations of one hundredth, and one fortieth of a second (abbreviated to NT.01/.025) with the occasional 45-second delay (probably the M 106 tail).
‘Today I doubt that the trench I was recording in 1981 had been inspected for UXO risk, and the experience of Antoninio De Simone in 1986 when a bomb was excavated suggests the risk mitigation practices now carried out are light years away from the carefree 1980s. From wartime ordnance expenditure and other reports its clear that archaeologists are most unlikely to encounter chemical time-delay fused bombs at Pompeii, and if in doubt they can check the work carried out in advance by the Soprintendenza, which should include fuse research as a matter of course.

'All ground interventions in areas fought over or bombed from the air should be treated as of “above background risk”. So ironically it is while idly watching high-tech screw piling machinery in the development site outside the main railway station in many large continental cities that the average tourist is probably most at risk (my photo, left, shows a drill being positioned on an estimated impact point to locate a suspected Blindganger at the former Hermann Göring tank works in Linz, Austria). It’s at these targets that much late war ordnance – including long-delay fuses – was aimed.’

Locking up Russian Medieval History

Heinrich Härke FSA, on his way to a fieldwork season in Kazakhstan, writes from Moscow with another of his typically unsettling letters to Salon:
‘On 26 June I heard an intriguing item on Ekho Moskvy, one of the few semi-independent radio stations left in Putin’s Russia: a book on Russian medieval history is to be taken from open shelves in all libraries across Russia, to be deleted in electronic catalogues and to be moved to locked shelves (spetskhran), with monitored access only on demand and for declared good reason. The book is a scholarly monograph, Categories of Russian Medieval Culture (Moscow 1998). The author, Andrej Yurganov, is professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) in Moscow, one of the most respected specialists on Russian medieval history.
‘It is not entirely unprecedented that some academic books end up under lock and key. My own Institute of Pre- and Protohistory at Göttingen University had a locked case, dubbed the Giftschrank (poison locker), the key to which was kept by the professor himself. Some of his own books were reputedly in there, together with publications on racial theory, Aryan symbolism and other unsavoury stuff published in Nazi Germany.
‘But the recent Russian case is a different kettle of fish. The declared reason for effectively banning the book is not the contents, but the foundation supporting the publication. The Soros Foundation was declared a “foreign agent” in 2015, seven years after the publication of Yurganov’s book – and it has turned out in the meantime that all books ever published by the Soros Foundation are getting the same treatment in Russia. But why should that include a book on medieval history?
‘A new publication by Golineh Atai, TV correspondent in Moscow from 2013 to 2018, provides the clue as to the motives: “The ‘correct’ use, and the very usefulness, of Russian history are – according to the national security strategy – a matter of national interest” (Die Wahrheit ist der Feind [Truth is the Enemy], Berlin 2019). In other words: the attitude of Putin’s regime towards history mirrors exactly that of the Nazis and of other authoritarian regimes.
‘There is another intriguing angle to this case. The Russian Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinskij, is a trained historian who has written two theses on Russian medieval history. His kandidat thesis (equivalent to PhD) was, according to the platform Dissernet, largely plagiarised; and his subsequent Doktor nauk thesis (equivalent to the Habilitation and other higher doctorates) has been judged by a scrutiny committee of established scholars to be of “no scholarly value”. Perhaps Medinskij, an ardent supporter of Putin’s cultural policies, is now taking his revenge on the discipline.’



Mudlarking is gaining new attention. It is an old profession, a term applied especially to people who once lurked on the banks of the Thames in London searching for things they could sell, washed up on the tide or rising from the mud and sewage; the sketch of young mudlarkers below is from The Headington Magazine in 1871 (Wikimedia). The poor became less visible and scavengers faded away, but more recently detectorists and collectors have returned to the river, for the thrill and fascination of discovery and contact with people from the past.
Modern mudlarkers need a three-year permit, issued by the Port of London Authority (PLA) for £80, and must report all their finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Finds Liaison Officer at the Museum of London. The Thames foreshore is owned by the PLA or the Crown Estate. You also need a permit to search on Crown Estate land elsewhere, mostly beaches, says Michael Lewis FSA, Head of the PAS, again with a requirement to report to the PAS, but across England and Wales such reporting is normally voluntary.

A Standard mudlarking permit will allow you to dig down no more than 7.5 cm (3 inches), unless you are a member of the Thames Mudlark Society – which you can join if you can show you’ve held a 7.5 cm permit for two years, and that you report all your finds to the Museum of London – in which case you can obtain a full-blown Mudlark permit for £85 and dig a challenging 1.2 metres (4 feet). It’s not all cakes and ale. Things to look out for, according to the PLA, include not just a fast, cold tide rising and falling by over 7 m twice a day, but hazards such as raw sewage, broken glass, hypodermic needles, failing walls and Weil’s Disease (spread by rats’ urine). Standard permit holders are not allowed to work the north bank between Westminster and Tower Bridge, and no one should think about going near the Houses of Parliament.
Lara Maiklem is more communicative about mudlarking than many practitioners. She has tens of thousands of followers on social media, where she posts striking photos of her finds (often to be left where they are – Instagram is made for determined mudlarkers) and has written a book, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames: though not be released until 22 August, on Amazon it is already at no 1 in ‘Urban & rural planning’ and no 7 in ‘Social science human geography’. It will be Radio 4 Book of the Week from 12 August. And now there is to be an exhibition.
For five days, writes Karen Hearn FSA, Foragers of the Foreshore will be at the Bargehouse on Bankside (25–29 September), part of a Totally Thames festival. Curated by Florence Evans, says the blurb, this will be ‘the most expansive exhibition on Mudlarking that has ever taken place’. It will feature new art, photographic portraits of mudlarkers taken by Hannah Smiles and ‘a chance to meet Mudlarker in Residence Nicola White’. Museum of London Archaeology’s Thames Discovery Programme, Thames21 and Unruly Heritage will explain inter-tidal archaeology. Maiklem is among event speakers.
The photos at the top, of a Roman vessel, are by Lara Maiklem who tweets as @LondonMudlark. The artefacts below (all photos Portable Antiquities Scheme, and all reported in July) are a piece of Roman flue-tile (AD150–200), a copper-alloy seal matrix (AD 1600–1700) and a pewter spoon marked by Samuel Quissen-Borough, who was active in London AD 1673–1693.


All Change in Westminster


‘@BorisJohnson can deliver Brexit’, tweeted Chris Skidmore MP FSA (@CSkidmoreUK) on 6 July, ‘but crucially also defeat the disastrous prospect of a Corbyn government. To do this, we need to be a modern, future facing party that embraces global opportunity, invests in knowledge and regional growth.’
Just over a fortnight later, Johnson assumed office as the UK’s Prime Minister. Early in the campaign, Skidmore had supported Sajid Javid as the future leader; they were both at school in Bristol, and, Skidmore told me, had long known each other. When Johnson addressed Conservative Party members after the announcement of his victory (he received two thirds of the 138, 809 votes cast), Skidmore and Javid were seated together in the front row opposite Johnson (the clip above from Channel 4 News shows them, first and second from left respectively, as Johnson attempted a joke about 'dude'). Javid is now Chancellor of the Exchequer, the most powerful Cabinet position after the PM.
While some Members of Parliament (notably Ed Vaizey MP) continue to promote the value of arts and sciences to the economy and national culture, with the urgent focus on Brexit these issues seem low priority for the Government. Nicky Morgan MP is the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, her name near the end of the new Cabinet list, after the Leader of the House of Lords and ahead only of the Secretary of State for International Development and the Party Chair. At the DCMS Nigel Adams MP and Baroness Barran are Under Secretaries of State, Nigel Adams MP is Minister of State and Rebecca Pow MP is Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism.
‘Boris Johnson’s brutal cabinet reshuffle broke Westminster records,’ said the Evening Standard – edited by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer before the public EU Referendum vote – in an editorial on 26 July, ‘after the new prime minister sacked 11 ministers and six others resigned.’ Morgan, said the Standard, is ‘Known as one of the most powerful and influential female politicians in Parliament.’ Skidmore, who had previously been Minister of State jointly at the Department for Education (for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is now Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Festival of Archaeology 2019

Having skipped 2018, the two-week Festival of Archaeology returned this year on 13 July with an ambitious launch day at the British Museum. Mike Heyworth FSA, Director of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), opened with a speech from inside the Sae Wylfing, a half-size replica of the Sutton Hoo ship (left). While Roman gladiators entertained on one side of the museum’s south entrance courtyard, on the other James Dilley demonstrated flint knapping and bronze casting and John Gater FSA led a geophysical survey on the lawn (below). Inside the Great Court, stalls and events continued the archaeological theme, and after lunch four members of Channel 4’s Time Team, Stewart Ainsworth FSA, John Gater FSA, Phil Harding FSA and Carenza Lewis FSA talked about the TV show and what’s happening in archaeology today. During the course of the Festival, Michael Lewis FSA and Sam Moorhead FSA were among lunchtime speakers at the museum.
The Festival featured events hosted by hundreds of organisations across the UK. The CBA partnered with English Heritage for three free events for 14-25 year-olds, with test-pitting (small trial excavations) at Conisbrough Castle, 3D artefact modelling at the British Museum, and identifying the remains of medieval children in Barton on Humber. Three winners of an #ArchaeoCake competition included William Kent (aged 17) who created an Iron Age house on an artificial island (a crannog), photographed at the Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay (below). Salisbury Museum’s fourth festival saw, among other events, Richard Osgood FSA talking to broadcaster Kate Adie about Operation Nightingale.
As part of the Festival, 17 July was Ask an Archaeologist Day (on Twitter at @AskAnArchDay), when archaeologists around the world tried to answers questions online about their field, and 22 July was A Day in Archaeology, when they blogged about their work.

Photographs Adam Stanford.


Fellows (and Friends)

David M Butler FSA, Quaker historian, died in April.
Simon Bendall FSA, Byzantine coin specialist, died in June
Leo Aoi Hosoya FSA, archaeobotanist, died in July.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below.

Jane Hubert, a social anthropologist who worked at what was then the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS) in the 1970s, has died aged 84. Born in London and graduating in psychology and philosophy from St Anne’s College, Oxford, she returned to England with her new partner, former Principal of the AIAS, Peter Ucko FSA, when they took up posts at Southampton University. In an obituary in the Guardian (22 July), Peter Stone FSA and Sheila Hollins write that Hubert ‘broke down academic barriers and championed the causes of people marginalised by mainstream society. In Britain, they included those institutionalised on various medical pretexts, and abroad she was committed to the rights of indigenous peoples.’ Ucko was famous for founding the World Archaeological Congress (WAC) in 1986, initially as a response to the International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences’ failure to boycott conference participants from South Africa and Namibia. However, write Stone and Hollins, Hubert ‘played a key, though largely unsung, role in the establishment of WAC … [which] simply would not have happened without her. WAC, now the primary international archaeological organisation, is as much Jane’s legacy as Peter’s.’

Sir Fergus Millar, ‘one of the greatest contemporary historians of the ancient world,’ writes Fitzroy Morrissey in the Article (18 July), has died aged 84. ‘His field-defining contributions extended to many areas of ancient history,’ continues Morrissey, ‘including the politics of the Roman republic, Roman imperial history, the Roman Near East, Roman political thought and its later reception, the history of the Jews, and even the background to the rise of Islam.’ From 1964 he was a Fellow at Queen's College University of Oxford, then Professor of Ancient History, UCL and finally Camden Professor of Ancient History, University of Oxford, from where he retired in 2002. He was a Fellow of the British Academy, of which he was Publications Secretary; and Vice-President, Hon Vice President and President of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, for which he edited the Journal of Roman Studies. In her Don’s Life blog (17 July) Mary Beard FSA writes that she remembers Millar most for the controversy around his book The Emperor in the Roman World (1977). ‘He wrote more books and even more articles before and after,’ says Beard, ‘but this was for some time his trademark … Amazingly, no one before had looked hard at just what the emperor did.’

Sir David Cannadine FSA, President of the British Academy, launched 76 new Fellows on 19 July, saying, ‘This year we have elected a particularly multi-skilled and versatile cohort of Fellows whose research crosses conventional academic boundaries.’ Among them (from left, above) are Nicky Milner FSA, Professor and Head of Department, Department of Archaeology, University of York; Alison Sheridan FSA, Principal Archaeological Research Curator, Department of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland; and Ian Wood FSA, Emeritus Professor of Early Medieval History, University of Leeds. Corresponding Fellows include Lyn Wadley, Honorary Professor of Archaeology, Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.

Helen Mclagan and Kate Pugh FSA, with Moira Nash and Matthew Rabagliati, have written Cultural Heritage Innovation: Opportunities for International Development, a policy brief for the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Reviewing ‘37 projects which demonstrate novel techniques and innovative models which could be used to help promote sustainable development in ODA eligible countries and contribute to UK government priorities,’ they make 15 recommendations under five headings, from Profile to Sharing information. Chris Skidmore MP FSA and Rebecca Pow MP, as Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, respectively (and no longer and recently appointed, respectively) have written an encouraging Foreword: ‘Just as this report highlights the broad spread of excellence and innovation across the entire UK in the heritage sector’, they conclude, ‘it also raises important recommendations on how the introduction of more innovative practices can be advanced and supported to enhance the impact of these efforts for international development and the strength of the UK sector. It is now up to us to realise this potential.’

Robert Bewley FSA, Project Director and Co-Founder of Eamena, has talked about the Imperial War Museum’s Culture Under Attack, which I reviewed in Salon 430. ‘It’s about identity, it’s about where we came from,’ he tells Showcase on TRT World when asked why it is important to preserve heritage in conflict and peacetime. There are two types of destruction in wartime, he says, accidental and, 'as we’ve seen recently', deliberate damage, designed to deny people their memories. ‘Usually, the opposite happens, and people realise just how important their identity is to them, and therefore they want to see their heritage preserved, and restored afterwards.’ But we have to be careful, he adds, about how we do the reconstruction, without causing more damage.
One of the last projects worked on by Jenny Price FSA, who died in May, was to identify a small fragment of coloured glass, excavated by the National Trust at Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire. It took two years. With help from other specialists, Price found a match in a fish-shaped bottle at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York: the Chedworth glass had come from the tail of a similar bottle. Only one instance of such a Roman bottle with a known context was known before the Chedworth piece was found. A complete, but broken, fish was found in a second-century burial in the Crimea in 1903, at Chersonesus on the Black Sea. The Chedworth glass is shown with an artist’s reconstruction of the bottle.

Michael J Lewis FSA and Ian Richardson have written Inscribed Vervels: A Corpus and Discussion of Late Medieval and Renaissance Hawking Rings Found in Britain, a corpus of inscribed vervels reported Treasure via the Portable Antiquities Scheme over the last 20 years. Since vervels are normally inscribed with information about their owners, they constitute an important social and archaeological record. These data reveal the rings were owned predominantly by men of status, particularly in the Stuart period, and many are found in the vicinity of estates owned by the named individuals. Also included is a discussion of hawking and the use of vervels, and analysis of their form, function and dating, as well as variations in design.
In 1925 R P Bedford FSA, Keeper of Sculpture in the V&A, oversaw the acquisition of ‘an oak figure of the Virgin and Child … said to have come from Langham church, near Colchester’; according to Fr Michael Rear and Francis Young (Catholic Herald, 25 July) it cost £2 10s from a St James saleroom. ‘English medieval figure sculpture in wood excluding effigies and misericords,’ says the V&A, is ‘of utmost rarity’, and the piece retains ‘recognisable 12th-century features while looking forward to the stylistic advances of the 13th century’. Rear and Young, however, see yet greater significance in the ‘Langham Madonna’: it is, they claim, the original Our Lady of Walsingham, having survived the dissolution of Walsingham Priory in 1539. A mistake occurred, they say, because of a ‘probable error in the provenance’, confusing Langham Hall with Langham church. As evidence they quote a letter to the Tablet in 1931, in which a priest proposed (‘may we think?’) that the figure found ‘in an old house near Walsingham’ might have been the original Lady, hidden for safety and replaced with a copy ‘for the purposes of satisfying [Cromwell’s] desecrators’.

 ‘The Horniman is not yet as green as it could and should be,’ said Nick Merriman FSA, the museum and garden’s Chief Executive, on 29 July, ‘and we know there is more that we, as an organisation and as individuals, must do.’ The museum pledged to ‘place carbon reduction and environmental issues at the heart of its work’. ‘As the only museum in London in which nature and culture can be viewed together,’ added Merriman, ‘the Horniman has long been concerned with environmental issues, and the impact of human activity on our world. Declaring an ecological and climate emergency is a consolidation of existing work and a commitment to renewed ambitions to reduce our own environmental and pollution footprint, increase biodiversity, and inspire others to do so.’ • Merriman was appointed in May 2018 with a mandate to develop a 10-year development plan. The Horniman, which opened a new World Gallery last year, is growing. The museum building expanded in 2002, and a predicted 250,0000 visitors has ballooned to 942,000 in the year 2018/19. Proposals are being discussed to improve facilities for visitors and raise opportunities to generate income, with new spaces and works in the gardens and galleries.

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire opens A Rothschild Treasury, a new permanent gallery, on 7 September. The gallery houses more than 300 objects made from rare and precious materials, many on display for the first time, including a first-century cameo of Augustus Caesar’s grandson Gaius, astronomical clocks (one of them the earliest known piece by Jeremias Metzger, 1563) and objects bearing Nazi inventory numbers – all celebrating the Rothschild family as collectors and as creators and carers of Waddesdon. The Rothschilds were, and continue to be, active in sponsoring archaeological excavations.
Chris Stringer FSA has made a short video with the Financial Times, in their FT Weekend Magazine's Masters of Science series (26 July; as I write, it is the first of four films in Editor’s Choice, ahead of two about Boris Johnson, and a third about scooters). ‘I've been researching on human evolution for about 50 years,’ says Stringer. ‘And even ten or 15 years ago, we had the view that human evolution in the last 500,000 years was a relatively simple process, that we had a gradual change of species through time.’ No more, as new fossils and ancient DNA are changing everything, and making the story more complex.
Banbury's People in the Eighteenth Century, From Records and Accounts of the Overseers of the Poor 1708-1797 and other lists and sources, is transcribed and edited by Jeremy Gibson FSA. It is, says Gibson, ‘the 36th volume published under my general editorship for the Banbury Historical Society in the past 60 years – and, as I'll shortly be 85, almost certainly my last! My distinguished colleague but not unbiased and friend (and Fellow) Barrie Trinder FSA has initially commented: “It's marvellous to have so much material available in print, and it will certainly be of immense value to future historians of the town.”’ In the photo are Gibson (left) and Trinder (right) with Lord Saye and Sele, BHS President.

Fellows Remembered

David M Butler FSA died on 6 April aged 89. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1984.
David Merton Butler FSA was a Quaker, and his great work was a record of Quaker meeting houses and burial grounds across Britain and Ireland. The Quaker Meeting Houses of Britain: An Account of the Some 1,300 Meeting Houses and 900 Burial Grounds in England, Wales and Scotland, from the Start of the Movement in 1652 to the Present Time, and Research Guide to Sources, was published as two volumes in 1999. The Quaker Meeting Houses of Ireland: An Account of the Some 150 Meeting Houses and 100 Burial Grounds in Ireland, from the Arrival of the Movement in 1654 to the Present Time, followed in 2004. His memorial was held at Penrith Quaker Meeting House in May.
Simon Bendall FSA died on 26 June aged 82. Described as ‘Probably the best known connoisseur of Byzantine coinage’ by MuenzenWoche, the German Coins Weekly (the English version dropped the ‘probably’), he was elected a Fellow of the Society in November 1985.
After finding a Roman coin while at school at Cheltenham College (1945–56), Simon Bendall dedicated his spare time over two decades collecting coins and working on archaeological excavations; from 1962 to 1965 he studied part time at the Institute of Archaeology in London.
After military service in Germany (1956–58) and a spell at H J Heinz in London, he began his career as an antique coin specialist with Spink & Son's, moving to A H Baldwin & Sons in 1967. In 1987 he went to Los Angeles to work for two years for Numismatic Fine Arts. He wrote the catalogue for the first auction of Byzantine gold coins from the Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection for Sotheby's, New York (1998). Returning to London in 2000, he re-joined Spink’s in 2006, retiring in 2010.
He advised auction houses, collectors and museums about late Byzantine coins, and wrote more than 200 articles on coins, military history and jewellery. His books include The Later Palaeologan Coinage, 1282­–1453 (with P J Donald, 1979) and An Introduction to the Coinage of the Empire of Trebizond (2015). He was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society (2010).
In 2018 all his Byzantine coins, as well as a large number of medals, tokens and antiquities, were stolen from his home in central London. In a blog Jonathan Jarrett (27 July) says Bendall told him that the theft of his collection ‘saved him the pain of disposing of it. He had once hoped to give it to a museum, he explained, but since it had all been acquired in trade, no UK museum would now touch it; though the thieves had obviously deprived him of one of his life’s works, it did at least mean the collection had not had to be broken up and auctioned as would otherwise have happened.’

Leo Aoi Hosoya FSA died on 10 July aged 51. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in June 2010, and surrendered her Fellowship in 2014. Dorian Q Fuller FSA, a colleague at the University of Cambridge, has written a blog In Memoriam, from which I have taken most of the information in what follows.
After her first degrees at Ochanomizu University, Bunkyō-ku, Leo Aoi Hosoya FSA came to Cambridge in 1992, where she studied for an MPhil and a PhD (2002), focusing on crop processing of rice and millets during the Yayoi period in Japan (1000 BC–AD 300). She was, says Fuller, was one of the first archaeobotanists to identify rice spikelet bases in archaeological botanical samples, which became key for understanding the domestication of rice. With a knowledge of ancient and recent Japanese plant foods, she saw crop processing and agriculture in a context of wider symbolic and social patterns in past societies.
As a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (Chikyukan) in Kyoto (2007–12) she joined the projects Agriculture and Environment Interactions in Eurasia – A 10,000 Year History, and NEOMAP, comparing Neolithic traditions across north-eastern Asia. She collaborated with the Zhejiang Institute on the Neolithic archaeobotany of Tianluoshan, discovered in the Lower Yangtze region in 2004, identifying rice still undergoing domestication; her research on this was published in Science in 2009, in an article on which she and Fuller were co-authors.
In 2009 she came to London on a British Academy Darwin researcher's award, to conduct preliminary research on the processing and detoxification of peach and apricot seeds, potential foods in Neolithic China. She took a lead role in bringing together academics with perspectives on archaeobotany, genetics and ethnography, with meetings first on rice (Kyoto, 2009), and later on millets (Tokyo, 2012, when she was a Research Fellow at Kyoto University), both of which resulted in her editing special journal issues.
She returned to Ochanomizu University in 2013, where she was a Lecturer and Associate Professor. Her interest in rice continued, with a study of storage on Bali. Later she was a sub-project leader on a major Japanese-led project on Integrated Studies on Rice-based civilisation, focusing on how cooking pots reflected the course of rice intensification in Japan, in the Lower Yangtze Neolithic and the Yayoi.
‘While primarily training as an archaeobotanist,’ wrote Martin K Jones FSA in a tribute on the website of the George Pitt-Rivers Laboratory for Bioarchaeology in Cambridge, ‘Leo also drew enthusiastically from the lectures of Gina Barnes, Ian Hodder and others. From this base, like so many of her Pitt-Rivers Laboratory colleagues, she imaginatively embedded her archaeological science within a critical social historical approach. Leo combined a keen and imaginative intellect, a shrewd understanding of both Japanese and British culture, and a wicked sense of humour. When Prince Charles visited the lab, he was rather taken aback to find Leo working at her microscope in full kimono, hair elaborately coiffured. I am still not entirely sure how much Leo’s gesture was tongue-in-cheek.’
‘She worked with us in the Yaeyama Islands project’, commented Atholl Anderson FSA on Fuller’s blog, ‘and Rosanne and I had spent a wonderful day with Leo and her parents at their family home, a large and extraordinary country house designed around massive tree trunks and with internal bamboo water piping.’
Photo from Martin Jones' tribute noted above.

Memorials to Fellows 


‘We happened to be in Gosport researching one of Jane Austen’s naval brothers’, writes Roy Adkins FSA (who with his wife Lesley Adkins FSA wrote Jane Austen’s England, 2014), ‘and came across a lone grave slab in the otherwise cleared churchyard of the Church of the Holy Trinity at Trinity Green, Gosport. It seems to mark the family vault of the Reverend William Luke Nichols FSA (1802–89) and we presume that it was spared in the clearance because he funded the separate bell-tower erected on the north side of the church. The inscription on the visible side of the grave slab (above) reads:

‘The inscription on the other side of the slab, not visible in the picture, reads:
‘The first edition DNB says that William Luke Nichols was born at Gosport in 1802, graduated from Oxford and was then ordained, serving as a minister in various places, such as Bath, Bedminster, Ottery St Mary and Buckland Monachorum. His final home was at Woodlands House in the Quantocks, but he also travelled widely in Spain, Italy, Greece and Palestine. He died at Woodlands House, but was buried in the family vault in Gosport churchyard and left in his will money to complete the building of the bell tower of Holy Trinity church. He was elected a Fellow on 2 February 1865.’

• This copy (right) of Nichols’ The Quantocks and Their Associations. A Paper Read Before the Members of the Bath Literary Club on the 11th December 1871 (1873), inscribed by the author to the Rev Calvert R Jones, can be bought from Burns Bizarre for $325.

The Wisdom of Fellows 

‘Thank you for your perceptive piece in the last Salon, writes David Caldwell FSA, ‘on the ivory chessman recently sold by Sotheby’s. I had some responsibility over 38 years for curating the Lewis Chessmen in the National Museum of Scotland, and the British Museum generously gave me access to theirs. It will come as no surprise that I have taken considerable interest in this newly reported discovery, and I am most grateful to Alexander Kader FSA of Sotheby’s for allowing me to handle it. A suggestion I think it is worth making about it at this stage is that it appears to have been deliberately damaged in antiquity. The left eye has been gouged out and the sword hand neatly removed. The head may also have been deliberately battered (other defects may have been in the tusk before it was carved). So mutilated and then buried – is there a story there worthy of further exploration?’

Tim Knox FSA has ‘an idle query’ for Fellows. ‘I recently acquired this pair of plaster casts of ferocious lions’, he writes, ‘devouring the upper and lower part of a man respectively, 45 cm x 75 cm. Do any Antiquaries recognise them? I thought Italian 13th century, perhaps Lombardy? But presumably the originals – on some Duomo somewhere - are quite famous or well known, as 19th-century casts have been made of them! Any suggestions from Salon readers gratefully received.’

‘Dear Salon,’ writes Catherine Hills FSA after reading my piece about a new Partnership between Butser Ancient Farm and UCL. ‘In the early 80s I interviewed Peter Reynolds FSA at Butser, as part of the Channel 4 series Blood of the British, which I wrote and presented. I have most of the programmes, not always in good condition, on disc, snippets of film of assorted archaeologists younger than they are now, including myself, on assorted sites. If anyone is interested, eg UCL in the Butser section, I'd be happy to discuss copying the relevant bits.’

Summer Closure

The Society apartments and library will be closed from Monday 29 July to Monday 2 September.

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager (

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

  • 21 September: Open House London Join us for Open House London. We participate in this city-wide event every year, welcoming visitors into our apartments in Burlington House to learn about the architecture. 
  • 25 October: Postgraduate Open Day Spend the day learning about our collections and resources that can help you with your research. Hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their fields. Network with other postgraduate students and early-career researchers. Spend time in the Library, exploring our collections.
  • 26 October: New Researchers Conference This conference is on the history of collecting and the role of the antiquary. The conference is part of our public outreach programme with a specific focus on engaging with ‘new’ researchers, postgraduate and early career academics. Key note speaker: Professor Arthur McGregor FSA
  • 1 November: Publishing The Staffordshire Treasure: Impacts and Implications, organised by Prof Leslie Webster FSA, Dr Sam Lucy FSA & Dr Tania Dickinson FSA 
  • 29 November: Respect and Protect: fulfilling the obligation to safeguard cultural property in the military context organised by Dr Clive Cheesman FSA (College of Arms) & Dr Helen Forde FSA

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.

Welsh Fellows

The Welsh Regional Fellows’ Group of the Society is holding a one-day symposium on Raglan Castle, Gwent (Monmouthshire), in the Beaufort Arms, Raglan.

The meeting is being organized in honour of the late Rick Turner OBE, FSA, formerly of CADW, who died in June 2018. It will report on a new project of research into the castle and grounds of the exceptional very late medieval and Renaissance-period castle at Raglan and its role as a cultural and political centre, which Rick himself had been involved in planning.

We shall have a programme of papers and reports from leading specialists in the field from 9.45 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and propose to discuss future prospects for research and publication, including the aspiration to bring together a comprehensive volume of the scope and quality of Rick Turner’s own co-edited volume on Chepstow Castle (with Andy Johnson, Logaston Press, 2006). The cost for the day will include coffee/tea morning and afternoon and a buffet lunch. You can book tickets through the Society website here

Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.

York Fellows

Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (, the Society's Communications Manager, 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 Danielle Wilson Higgins (, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.

Presently we are scheduled approximately a year in advance. 

Reduced Library Services 

Temporary reduced library services

Rebecca Loughead & Barbara Canepa have joined the Library team as Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian and User Services Librarian respectively. We will be continue to operate with reduced library services until October, when the new Head of Library and Collections is expected to take up their post.
Research visits: Research visits by Fellows will continue as usual during the Library’s normal opening times (Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm). Fellows wishing to consult material that needs retrieving by staff (manuscripts, archives, prints and drawings, and printed items on closed access) are asked to order material in advance.
External researcher visits will be limited to no more than 2 researchers per day and will be strictly by appointment only. Our Guidelines for Researchers give information on how to make an appointment.
Image services: Our image services are suspended, and we will not be accepting requests for images and licences from the library and museum collections.
This does not affect the photocopying service.
Other library services to Fellows will operate as normal (book loans and electronic resources service)
Please check our website at for dates of planned closures.

Other Heritage Events

• Entries new to this Salon are marked by The Veil of Time, the keystone over the entrance to the Society’s premises in Burlington House

19–23 August: Prehistoric Skills Camp (Tylwch, Llanidloes)
A week of experimental archaeology will feature in the Wilderness Trust’s and Cambrian Archaeological Projects’ first summer camp, with sessions on bone and antler working, flint knapping and hafting, fish and deer skin tanning, bronze casting, Neolithic pottery making and turf-kiln firing, building a Neolithic house, cordage and nets, prehistoric rock art and painting. Contact Kevin Blockley FSA at Details online.
14 September: Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians (d 911) and his Deerhurst Connections (Deerhurst)
Barbara Yorke FSA will give the Annual Deerhurst Lecture in St Mary's Church, Deerhurst, Gloucestershire. Details online.
18 September: James I: The Court at Play (London)
First in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. Before he became King of England in 1603 James I had never set foot in an English royal palace. His response on doing so was to create an entirely new sort of country residence devoted to hunting, reading and relaxation with his male favourites. James’s remarkable, architecturally incoherent country houses tell us a huge amount about the man and the dawn of the Stuart age. Details online.
18 September: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce recent guidance to PX, and review the essential components of assessment and updated project design. In the afternoon we will review examples from current practice and consider how far they meet their purpose and justify funding decisions. The course is designed for those in supervisory, junior management or specialist roles who will be compiling and contributing to PX assessments, and those in consultancy and curatorial roles who commission and evaluate them. Course Director: Leo Webley, Head of Post-Excavation, Oxford Archaeology South. Tutors: Edward Biddulph, Senior Project Manager and Roman pottery specialist, Oxford Archaeology South; Sarah Wyles, Senior Environmental Officer, Cotswold Archaeology. Details online.

21 September: Church Monuments Study Day (London)
The Church Monuments Society will celebrate its 40th birthday and AGM with a day of free lectures at the St Alban’s Centre, Holborn. Speakers include Roger Bowdler FSA, David Carrington FSA and Adam White FSA. Details online.
21 September: Suffolk by the Sea (Southwold)
The 5th Wheeler Conference of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History will consider the impact of the coast on Suffolk’s heritage from prehistory to medieval times. Topics include exploring Doggerland, crossing the North Sea and Scandinavian ships, Medieval trade, underwater archaeology at Dunwich, and Southwold museum (Museum of the Year 2017). Speakers include Brian Ayers FSA, Paul Constantine, Vince Gaffney FSA, David Sear and Simon Loftus. Details online.
23 September: Adam Lowe and Charlotte Skene Catling in Conversation with Jonathan Jones (London)
Adam Lowe founder of Factum Foundation and exhibition designer Charlotte Skene Catling, will be in conversation with Jonathan Jones, who writes on art for the Guardian, about how technology is being used to enhance our understanding of art history, enabling masterpieces which have been victims of circumstance or history to be seen as they were once intended. This talk at Spencer House coincides with the exhibition Madame de Pompadour in the Frame at Waddesdon which runs until 27 October. Details online.
25–27 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. Significance assessment is a key part of management and of development within the historic environment. This course will introduce the process, show you what is involved in preparing assessments of significance, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore the ways in which they can be used. Open to all, but of particular interest to heritage asset managers and advisers, planners, historic environment professionals and architects, surveyors and others who do not specialise in heritage but may need to understand assessments and their value in guiding change. Course Director: Stephen Bond, Director of Heritage Places and joint author of Managing Built Heritage. Course Co-Director: Henry Russell, Course Director of the programme in Conservation of the Historic Environment, Reading University. Details online.

27 September: Maritime Archaeology (Chatham)
This will be Chatham Historic Dockyard’s first course, with three morning talks covering themes on the history and work of the dockyard at Chatham, the built heritage and conservation of maritime architecture at Portsmouth dockyard, and marine archaeology across east Kent. Lunch will be provided, followed by a guided tour of the dockyard, introduced by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and led by Peter Kendall FSA of Historic England. Details online.
28 September: ‘Embroidered with Dust and Mortar’: Women and Architecture 1660–1840 (London)
The Georgian Group presents a symposium at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, exploring how women contributed to and interacted with architecture between 1660 and 1840. Drawing on recent research, the symposium will reassess, and throw new light upon, female architectural achievement and the significance this has upon our understanding of architecture from this period. Speakers include Sue Berry FSA, Caroline Stanford FSA and Rosemary Baird Andreae FSA. Details online.

30 September: ‘The Aura of Popularity’: The Rise and Fall of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in the Nineteenth-Century British Art Market (London)
Isabelle Kent, Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Assistant, The Wallace Collection, speaks in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

5 October: One Thousand Years of Ceramic Innovation (London)
This conference organised by the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology and the Medieval Pottery Research Group, will focus on a wide range of technological, stylistic and functional advances in ceramics that have taken place from medieval times to the present. These are manifested in innovative developments in methods of manufacture, ceramic fabrics, new and increasingly specialised forms, decorative styles and techniques, and their collective effect on the place and role of ceramics within society. The conference will bring together speakers covering a diversity of topics, and will also offer opportunities to visit the Museum of London’s Ceramics and Glass Collection. Details from Lorraine Mepham FSA, at or 01722 326867, and online.
5 October: Walking Tour of Churches (Stamford)
The Church Monuments Society continues its series of Walking Tours with a visit to medieval churches in Stamford, Lincolnshire, with a galaxy of monuments from all periods. Not for the faint-hearted, we shall be visiting five churches in five hours, each with a good 20–30 minute walk between, so please wear suitable shoes. Details online.
10 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The course will be of interest to all those who are currently (or hope to be) involved in the commissioning or production of desk-based assessments. It is targeted towards new entrants to the profession and those who would like to develop skills in this area. Course Directors: Jill Hind (formerly Senior Project Mgr Oxford Archaeology) and Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, County Archaeologist for Wiltshire. Details online.

16 October : Faith and Place: A Future for the Isolated, Rural Church (Norwich)
Booking is open for the annual County Churches Trust conference to be held at Norwich Cathedral. Speakers include John Inge, Bishop of Worcester; Trevor Cooper, Chair of the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance; John Goodall FSA, Architectural Editor of Country Life, and Diana Evans from Historic England. There will also be experienced representatives from community projects involved with rural churches. Details online.

28 October: Architectural Salvage from Cairo to London: The Pivotal Role of the Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 (London)
Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, and Mercedes Volait, Research Professor at CNRS, based at InVisu, INHA, Paris, speak in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

29 October: Fire: Friend or Fiend in Human History? (Bournemouth)
The Third Annual Pitt Rivers Lecture at Bournemouth University will be given by the internationally renowned anthropologist Ruth Tringham (University of California at Berkeley). She will explore how archaeologists can and do act as arson investigators centuries or millennia after the event, focusing on the burned houses of Neolithic Southeast Europe, and earlier examples in Neolithic Anatolia (Çatalhöyük, Turkey), in order to consider how fire has been managed and controlled, and why fire is chosen as a means of destroying places, urban or rural, public or domestic. Details online.
31 October: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce the standard types of published reports currently produced by archaeologists, and how the scope and content of a report is planned. The course will then focus on two key components, the stratigraphic narrative and the discussion, and the most effective and successful ways of approaching the planning, writing and illustration of these. This will include a critical review of a number of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements that apply to writing in a professional and academic context. The course will involve some preparatory reading before the training day. Course Director: Elizabeth Popescu, Post-Excavation and Publications Manager, Oxford Archaeology East. Details online.

6 November: Charles I: The Court at War (London)
Second in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. During the Civil War Charles I’s court, denied access to its country residences, set itself up in makeshift locations. Oxford, and other temporary ‘palaces’, had to be both elegant court centres and efficient military headquarters. These unusual royal houses cast new light on the key protagonists in England’s Civil War. Details online.

9 November: Sunrise Over the Stones: Recent Research into Neolithic and Chalcolithic Wessex (Bournemouth)
The CBA Wessex 2019 Annual Conference will be held at Bournemouth University. Roland Smith FSA will give the welcome address, and other speakers include Tim Darvill FSA, Mike Parker Pearson FSA, Josh Pollard FSA, Julian Richards FSA, Miles Russell FSA, Alison Sheridan FSA and Ann Woodward FSA. Details online.
11 November: Animals and the Rise of the Georgian West End (London)
In this Spencer House Lecture Tom Almeroth-Williams, author of the recently published City of Beasts: How Animals Shaped Georgian London, will explore the dramatic role played by horses, livestock and dogs in West End life in the Georgian period. Details online.
14–15 November: Collecting and Collections: Digital Lives and Afterlives Workshop (London)
The Collective Wisdom project, funded by an AHRC International Networking Grant, explores how and why members of the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Leopoldina (in Halle, Germany) collected specimens of the natural world, art, and archaeology in the 17th and 18th centuries. Three international workshops at Carlton House Terrace will analyse the connections between these scholarly organisations, natural philosophy, and antiquarianism, and to what extent these networks shaped the formation of early museums and their categorisation of knowledge. Details online.
15 November: Curating Decay (Waltham Abbey)
This will be Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills’ first course, with three morning talks covering a range of issues in the management of vulnerable heritage sites, and reimagining how we might adopt an ethical stance that allows us to collaborate with natural processes and decay, rather than fighting against them. Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills exhibition and a guided tour of the site led by Wayne Cocroft FSA. Details online.
25 November: A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883-1961), Dealer and Curator (London)
Barbara Lasic, Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.

27–29 November: Art of the Lost Conference (Canterbury)
Over three days curators, conservators, scientists, historians, archaeologists and artists from the UK, Europe and the USA will gather at Canterbury Cathedral and look at how, and why art is defaced, destroyed or lost within architectural settings. With a particular focus on art within the context of cathedrals and other places of worship, the conference considers changing ideologies, iconoclasm, war, fashion and symbolism. It will discuss art from the sixth century to the present. Delegates will have exclusive access to the Cathedral’s collections, with behind-the-scene tours of conservation in action, and wall paintings and graffiti. Speakers include Gerry Alabone FSA, Paul Bennett FSA, Kate Giles FSA, Tessa Murdoch FSA, Sandy Nairne FSA and David Rundle FSA. Details online.

27–29 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
A short course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is a practical workshop carefully designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called upon to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. It will present the terms of procedure, the roles of the participants and the general feel of a Public Inquiry. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study. Training for potential witnesses will be given in how to prepare evidence for a Public Inquiry, how to produce proofs of evidence, and to experience them being given and tested under realistic conditions. You will be allocated a role to play in the Inquiry and asked to prepare a proof of evidence to fit this role. Active participation limited to 14 participants. There will also be a limited number of places available for observers. Course Directors: Roger M Thomas, Barrister and Archaeologist; George Lambrick, Independent Archaeology and Heritage Consultant. Planning Inspector: Richard Tamplin. Advocates: David Woolley QC and Allan Ledden, Solicitor. Details online.

18 March 2020: Charles II: The Court in Exile (London)
Third in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. For a decade after the execution of Charles I the Stuart courts were based in the Low Countries and France. Determined to maintain splendour and dignity, though short of money, Charles II used rented mansions as headquarters for the exiled monarchy. In these hitherto unknown royal ‘palaces’ the king and his courtiers developed tastes that were to fundamentally fashion the art and architecture of Restoration England. Details online.
10 June 2020: William and Mary: The Court Divided (London)
Fourth in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. Like James I, King William III was unhappy with the formality of England’s vast crumbling royal estate. But unlike James, who virtually abandoned Edinburgh, William maintained a second court, and a parallel suite of royal houses, in the Netherlands. Mostly ignored by English historians, these houses are the key to understanding the style that we now know as William and Mary, and its impact on England. Details online.

Call for Papers

16–18 December: Archaeology and the Camera Truelle (London)
Papers are invited for a session at the 41st annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at UCL Institute of Archaeology on theorising archaeology through the moving image. By 2022 it is predicted that video will account for 82% of global internet provider traffic: the moving image is set to become humanity’s dominant form of internet communication. Is archaeology ready for this? Can we use filmmaking practices to do more than function as illustration, record or PR? Archaeologists and aligned heritage and media practitioners are invited to discuss, screen and share works that generate and construct archaeological knowledge and theories. Email title, 250 words abstract, name and affiliation to Angela Piccini, Kate Rogers or Tanya Freke by 2 September. Details online.


Follow the Society of Antiquaries on Twitter for news and event updates: @SocAntiquaries

Share with a friend

Like Salon: Issue 432 on Facebook


You are receiving Salon because you are a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries or because you have asked to be put on the circulation list.

Subscribe to Salon, our fortnightly e-newsletter.
Unsubscribe (WARNING: You will no longer receive Salon nor any other e-communication from the Society).
Forward this e-newsletter to a friend.

SAL logo

The Society cannot guarantee the accuracy of, or accept any responsibility for, the contents of Salon. Readers who wish to use or quote from items in Salon should always check the accuracy and current position with the source.

© 2017 Society of Antiquaries of London | Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7479 7080 | Website: