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Salon: Issue 315
3 March 2014

Next issue: 17 March 2014

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website. News and feedback for publication in Salon should be addressed to the Editor, Christopher Catling.
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Inside this issue

Forthcoming meetings

Tea is served from 4.15pm, and meetings start at 5pm

6 March 2014: ‘Entering the Lists: writing a history of the tournament in Europe’, by Sydney Anglo, FSA
The word ‘tournament’ is a generic term that, over the centuries, comprised several different modes of contest, on horse and on foot, with lance, sword and poll axe. There has long been a consensus about the general lines of its development — beginning with mock combats scarcely less violent than warfare itself, then a gradual amelioration of violence as the encounters attracted spectators with changes in armour and weaponry (which affected fighting techniques). All this led to the development of widely accepted rules and limitations, safety precautions, easily regulated modes of fighting and a tendency to incorporate combats within romantic, allegorical scenarios.

Few scholars have accepted that serious ‘mock-fighting’ continued long after the death of Henri II in the Paris Tournament of 1559, and even fewer have been sympathetic to the way in which the tournament’s original chivalric content was absorbed within literary, balletic and musical entertainments that increasingly took place within theatres rather than in the lists. Yet the tournament, although a pan-European phenomenon, did not proceed at the same tempo in all countries and did not evolve uniformly. This paper will examine the various ways in which scholars have tried to make sense of all this, and will finally pose the question: ‘is it possible to construct a general history of the tournament?’. (The answer is ‘yes’!)

13 March 2014: ‘Controlling the Carlow Corridor during the Middle Ages’, by Linda Doran, FSA
The Carlow Corridor in the eastern midlands of Ireland contains an important early roadway, the Slígh Culann, along with a number of associated roads and the navigable Barrow and Nore rivers. In addition some of the best agricultural land in the country is in this region. The control of the Corridor, its communication route ways and its agricultural resources, was important to Gaelic Irish lords, the Vikings, who had two longphuirt (defended ports) in the area and to the later Normans. The latter developed a number of commercial towns along the route way, among which was New Ross, founded by William Marshal. This paper, based on a survey funded by the Heritage Council of Ireland, will examine the settlement and control of this Corridor in the Middle Ages, showing that the struggle for the command of this area mirrors the political and military fortunes of the various groups contesting its domination.

20 March 2014: ‘When prehistoric farming begins: new insights from Kingsmead Quarry’, by Alistair Barclay, FSA, and Gareth Chaffey
Investigations at Kingsmead Quarry (Berkshire) have produced new insights into social change and habitation from the fourth to the second millennia BC. Over a period of 2,000 years this landscape was transformed from one of small timber houses — the dwellings of pioneer farmers associated with small-scale agriculture — to one where farming was organised on a grand scale.

The (so far) unique discovery of four early Neolithic houses on a single site provides new information on architecture, households, sequence and connections with other parts of Britain. There is also evidence to suggest overlap with mortuary monuments — houses of the living and the dead. Lasting for perhaps no more than 200 years, these houses, and perhaps this way of life, fade from the known archaeological record. A focus on dwelling is replaced by attention to monument building, occasionally on a grand scale, along with enigmatic pit digging and burial.

During this long period of time the traces of habitation and farming become less tangible. However, the less detectable evidence for investment in the land and its tenure may only be apparent by the sudden large-scale reorganisation of the landscape into a system of farmsteads and farms during the middle centuries of the second millennium, a process that may well have preserved past methods and attitudes to land use, marking and ownership.

27 March 2014: ‘Baroque and later ivories in the Victoria and Albert Museum: how people and objects shaped the collection’, by Marjorie Trusted, FSA
Dozens, if not hundreds, of people have shaped the great collection of baroque and later ivories at the V&A, but two individuals stand out. The first is Dr Walter Leo Hildburgh (1876—1955), a slightly eccentric American, who settled in London in 1912, and generously donated or bequeathed more than seventy baroque ivories to the V&A. The second is Margaret Longhurst (1882—1958), a few years Dr Hildburgh’s junior, who curated the ivories at the V&A from about 1926 onwards and who in 1938 became the first woman keeper at a UK national museum. Her catalogue of the ivories, published in two volumes in 1927 and 1929, provided the bedrock for the speaker’s own, published in 2013. In this lecture Marjorie Trusted will also examine the V&A’s baroque and later ivories more broadly, from the first acquisitions in 1853 into those of the twenty-first century, and look at how taste and understanding developed and broadened over that stretch of 160 years.


Ballot results: 20 February 2014

We welcome the following new Fellows of the Society, elected in the ballot held on 20 February 2014:

Bill Griffiths, Senior Manager and Head of Programmes for Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
Bill Griffiths is responsible for exhibitions and out-reach activities across ten museums and galleries. During the ten years he spent as a field archaeologist, he played an important part in the development of the Segedunum Museum at Wallsend and was its first curator. He is active in local and regional archaeological and heritage societies, and is a council member, trustee or board member of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and a number of other regional societies and trusts. He has also published widely on Roman military equipment and on the public interpretation of Roman military sites.

Lisa Brown, Senior Project Manager in the post-excavation department of Oxford Archaeology South
Lisa has extensive experience of research-led fieldwork projects in Britain, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, where she has been closely involved in survey, excavation and post-excavation analysis; her published works focus upon the analysis of prehistoric pottery, and she has contributed to the publication of such nationally important sites as Danebury, Maiden Castle, Hengistbury Head and Heathrow Terminal 5. She is also a part-time archaeology tutor at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education.

David Hemsoll, Senior Lecturer, Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies, University of Birmingham
David Hemsoll has published widely on sixteenth-century Italian architecture (especially Michelangelo and Sanmicheli), Renaissance painting and sculpture, antiquarian drawings and Roman architecture. He was head of the Department of History of Art at Birmingham University from 2002 to 2010 and serves on the editorial board of Architectural History.

Jesse Ransley, Research Fellow, Southampton University
Jesse has worked in maritime archaeological heritage management in commercial practice and at English Heritage (managing designated wreck sites); she now researches Indian Ocean seafaring and maritime labour and societies. She has published policy papers on the crisis in maritime archaeological archives and maritime archaeological heritage management and has developed a maritime archaeological research agenda for England (People and the Sea, 2012).

Patricia Hughes, Building Historian
Pat Hughes is a documentary historian with a distinguished record of researching sites and buildings for English Heritage and other organisations, making major discoveries at sites such as Llanthony Secunda, Gloucester, and publishing books on the historic buildings of Worcester and Hereford. She is also in demand as an illustrator for academic publications, producing bird’s-eye views and exploded drawings of houses furnished according to inventory evidence.

John Howell, Member of Parliament
Advocate for archaeology in the House of Commons, and a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group. He has conducted fieldwork in south Oxfordshire in advance of gravel extraction and published studies of the introduction and development of the Neolithic in northern France, including Neolithic Northern France, The Late Neolithic of the Paris Basin and Settlement and Economy in Neolithic Northern France; he is co-editor of the English version of Janusz Kruk’s The Earlier Neolithic of Southern Poland.

George Lau, Senior Lecturer (Arts of the Americas), School of World Art Studies and Museology, University of East Anglia
George Lau has conducted significant long-term research projects on the archaeology of the Andes, particularly in the northern highlands of Peru, resulting in a number of publications, including Ancient Alterity in the Andes: a recognition of others; Andean Expressions: art and archaeology of the Recuay culture and Ancient Community and Economy at Chinchawas (Ancash, Peru). He is a co-editor of World Art.

Martin Street, Scientific Researcher at the MONREPOS Archaeological Research centre and Museum for Human behavioural Evolution, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Germany
Martin Street is one of Europe’s leading Palaeolithic archaeologists, specialising in the study of faunal remains. Since 1986 he has co-ordinated fieldwork at the Middle Palaeolithic sites of Plaidter Hummerich, Wannen and Schewinskopf and the late glacial sites of Bedburg, Königshoven and Miesenheim.

Neil William Guy, Architectural Historian
With a lifelong interest in British and European medieval architecture, particularly in British and Irish castles and domestic medieval buildings, Neil Guy has been an active member of the Castles Studies Group since its inception in 1988. His published papers include a biographical essay on the castle historian, Sidney Toy, which led to Toy's substantial archive being deposited with the Society of Antiquaries.

Louis John Frederick Ashdown-Hill, historical researcher and writer
John Ashdown-Hill has published four books and numerous papers on fifteenth-century political and local (Essex) history. His archival work and initiation of the mtDNA project played a major role in the discovery and identification of Richard III’s remains in Leicester.

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Campaign news

The interior of the Coal Exchange in 1912. Photograph: Culturenet Cymru, The National Library of Wales

SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Victorian Society continue to campaign very hard on behalf of us all to prevent the gutting of the Smithfield General Market in favour of a bland office and retail complex: a public inquiry into the future of the market ended on 28 February, and we now wait on tenterhooks for the planning inspector’s decision.

As if they were not busy enough already, the Victorian Society is fighting a similar battle in Cardiff. It is hard to imagine why anyone would want to demolish a building so interesting, and so central to Cardiff’s history and distinctiveness as the Coal Exchange — well, perhaps it is not difficult: put it down to the usual combination of profiteering, indifference and dullard imagination — Philistinism in a word. As our Fellow 'Piloti' put it in Private Eye last week, the Grade II* Coal Exchange, with its sumptuous interior, was considered in 1979 as a possible home for the Welsh Assembly. Now the plan seems to be for an ‘open-plan structure enclosed by three of the existing facades’, which seems to mean in plain English ‘doing a Smithfield’ and gutting the core, while retaining some token facades. ‘Cardiff deserves better’, Piloti concludes. Find out more about the VicSoc’s campaign to prevent this important building from being destroyed by going to the society’s website; you can help them reach their target of 3,500 signatures by adding your name to their petition asking the Culture Minister to intervene.

Then there is the Southampton campaign aiming to prevent the City Council from selling items from the collection of art bequeathed to the city by a number of philanthropists over many years; this is an important test case, because, if Southampton is allowed to sell art that belongs to the public and use the money to fund unrelated council schemes, services and inflated salaries, every local authority in the land will be next. The petitioners want the collections to be transferred to a charitable trust.

Another local authority that stands accused of not exercising due diligence in regard to its historic environment responsibilities is Northamptonshire County Council; it proposes to cut funding for its already underfunded archives and heritage service (which includes the Historic Environment Record and Northamptonshire Record Office) by £75,000 over the next five years, primarily through a reduction in staff numbers. The CBA website has further details.

Finally, Leipzig seems to have contracted the English Philistine disease, according to a petition that is being circulated by those concerned for the future of the Institute of Classical Archaeology and the Collection of Antiquities at Germany’s Leipzig University. On 21 January 2014, the University Rector announced without prior notice that the Institute will close as a cost-cutting measure, and on the grounds that the Leipzig institute is smaller than the Seminar für Klassische Archäologie at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg situated nearby. More than 1,000 scholars, including a number of Fellows, have already signed the petition ‘calling on the Rectorate at Leipzig University in the strongest possible terms to revoke their disastrous decision’.
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Hacksilber hoard found near Ruelzheim, in Rhineland Palatinate

The Daily Mail carried a report last week on a major find in Rhineland Palatinate consisting of a number of broken-up silver bowls, plates, brooches, jewellery from ceremonial robes and ‘silver statuettes and metal fittings of a general’s chair’ dating from late antiquity. It is difficult to make archaeological sense of the story, not least because the reporter is obsessed by the idea that ‘this is the legendary Nibelung hoard’, but the pictures give a sense of what has been found. The state cultural department in Mainz has apparently issued a statement saying that the find was not reported and public prosecutors have ‘begun an inquiry into the man who found the treasure because they suspect he may have sold some of it, possibly to a buyer abroad’. The statement also said that ‘the spot where the find was made was completely destroyed by the improper course of action’.
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Tributes paid to Fellow Beatrice de Cardi

Dan Snow, Michael Wood and Mike Heyworth paid tribute to Beatrice de Cardi, who celebrates her 100th birthday on 5 June 2014, hailing her as ‘the world’s oldest working archaeologist’.
Photograph: Adam Stanford

Dan Snow, President of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), joined Fellow Michael Wood and other leading lights of the heritage sector at the British Academy on 24 February 2014 to pay tribute to our Fellow Beatrice de Cardi, eminent archaeologist and the CBA’s first Secretary, serving for twenty-five years, from 1949 until 1973.

In order to recognise her outstanding contribution to the CBA and to archaeology generally, the CBA inaugurated the Beatrice de Cardi Lecture series in 1976. Beatrice has attended every one of them. This year’s lecture, the thirty-fourth in the series, was given by Michael Wood, who described Beatrice de Cardi as ‘part-Miss Marple and part-Indiana Jones’.

Reflecting on a career spanning eight decades, Michael said that ‘she started as secretary to the legendary archaeologist, Sir Mortimer Wheeler, in the 1930s, moving on to undertake pioneering archaeological fieldwork in areas such as Afghanistan, Beluchistan and the lower Gulf, identifying Indus sites and the remains of civilisations from the stone age to the oil age. Tribal unrest eventually led her to hop across the border to south-eastern Iran only to be pounced on by the Iranian secret police. She went on to lead the Council for British Archaeology in the aftermath of the Second World War, when the bombing of London had alerted everyone to the need for concerted action to bully the government into allowing time for excavations in historic towns.’

Fellow Mike Heyworth, Director of the CBA, said: ‘Beatrice inspired generations of archaeologists in her role as CBA Secretary, putting them in touch with excavations around the country and helping to kick-start their lifelong involvement with archaeology. In her 100th year, and still working, she remains an inspiration to us all in archaeology today.’

For the record: Beatrice de Cardi is our longest lived Fellow, but she is closely followed by Fellow Nancy Sandars, who was born some three weeks after Beatrice, on 29 June 1914. Beatrice was elected a Fellow on 2 March 1950; that makes her our second longest-serving Fellow after the Revd John Erik Scott, elected on 9 March 1944. Joyce Reynolds, elected on 15 January 1953, is the only other living Fellow, apart from John and Beatrice, to have been a Fellow for more than sixty years.

News of Fellows

The Edinburgh Gazette dated 14 February 2014 carried the following notice regarding our Fellow Elizabeth Roads: ‘The Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle: The Queen has been graciously pleased to ask Mrs Christopher Roads LVO OstJ FSA to be Secretary of the Order from 1 February 2014 in room of [meaning 'to replace'] W David H Sellar MVO retired. Signed Chancery of the Order, Court of the Lord Lyon, Edinburgh.’

The Order of the Thistle was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland (James II of England and Ireland); it is the second-most senior order in precedence, after the Most Noble Order of the Garter. The Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen Knights and Ladies of the Thistle, plus ‘extra knights’ (usually members of the Royal Family and foreign monarchs). Jarvis Cocker fans will be amused to know that The Queen changed the rules in 1987 and decreed that ‘common’ women should be allowed to join (Lady Marion Anne Fraser appears to be the only example so far).

To find out more, see Elizabeth Roads’ Wikipedia page and this profile in the Scotsman newspaper.

And the winners of the Current Archaeology Live 2014 awards are ...

As voted for by the magazine's readers:

Archaeologist of the Year (sponsored by Andante Travels): our Fellow Richard Buckley, Project Manager of the investigation that led to the discovery and identification of Richard III’s remains.

Book of the Year (sponsored by Oxbow Books): Shakespeare’s London Theatreland, by Fellow Julian Bowsher, a lively guide to the creative heartland of London in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries based on the excavations of the Theatre, Globe, Rose and Curtain theatres.

Rescue Dig of the Year: the Links of Noltland, a remarkable site, contemporary with the Ness of Brodgar’s religious monuments, that sheds valuable new light on domestic life in prehistoric Orkney, excavated by Historic Scotland and EASE Archaeology.

Research Project of the Year (sponsored by Maney Publishing): return to Star Carr, the Mesolithic settlement, excavated by the Vale of Pickering Research Trust, including Chantal Conneller, Barry Taylor and Fellows Nicky Milner and Tim Schadla-Hall.

Congratulations to all the winners and all those on the shortlists.

Scotland’s First World War heritage revealed by new study

Gun emplacement overlooking the village bay on St Kilda. Photograph: © Crown Copyright, RCAHMS

An audit of sites and structures established for the defence of Scotland in the First World War has revealed the survival of hundreds of previously unrecorded heritage assets, from top-secret anti-invasion defences around Edinburgh to firing ranges, prisoner-of-war camps and seaplane bases. The audit, commissioned by Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and compiled by our Fellow Gordon Barclay, has documented some 900 buildings and places, including 239 hospitals, 64 air stations (seaplane bases, fixed-wing bases and airship stations), 39 prisoner-of-war camps, anti-invasion defences in 39 places (the majority located around Edinburgh and East Lothian), 20 firing ranges, 15 barrack and military accommodation sites and 11 naval dockyards and naval bases.

Previously unknown War Office maps have revealed the extent of the land-based anti-invasion defences that were put in place around Edinburgh and across the Lothians and Fife in order to stop an enemy attack. A detailed study of high-definition aerial photography has revealed surviving elements of the network of trenches and earthworks. The audit has shown that of 350 drill halls that were in use in Scotland during the First World War as training bases for volunteer soldiers, 189 survive, varying in architectural style from grand structures to functional designs. Some of these wartime heritage assets will be designated by Historic Scotland during the centenary period, to recognise and protect their significance for future generations.

Gordon Barclay said: ‘The audit has more than tripled the number of places known to be associated with Scotland’s contribution to the First World War, both military and civilian, and has revealed an extraordinary variety of structures, reflecting Scotland’s importance to the war effort. The audit is only the first step, and other places no doubt remain to be identified, and the wartime role of many other places will certainly come to light during the centenary of the war.’

Allan Kilpatrick of RCAHMS said: ‘Scotland was on the front line during WWI. St Kilda was bombarded by a German U-boat and Edinburgh was bombed by a Zeppelin. The naval bases on the Forth, Cromarty and Scapa Flow were essential to protect Britain’s navy and her shipping. Large parts of the landscape were transformed by structures designed to repel any invasion or attack, and it is remarkable just how many WWI remains can be still be seen today. Having these records online and in one place, provides a perfect starting point for further study.’

All of the records, which feature hundreds of modern and historic photographs of sites, are available to view online on the RCAHMS’s Canmore database, while the Built Heritage of the First World War in Scotland audit can be downloaded using this link.

The Inchinnan airship shed in 1916.
Photograph: © Crown Copyright, RCAHMS (Sir William Arrol Collection)


There is more on Fellow Silke Ackermann’s recent appointment as Director of the Oxford University Museum of the History of Science on the University’s website.

In response to The Times obituary for the Turkish archaeologist Professor Halet Çambel, quoted in Salon 314, Fellow Lisa French writes to say that the obituary omitted key details of her important archaeological career. ‘She was the heart of the department of prehistory at Istanbul University for many years and inspired generations of young scholars. Her work with the Braidwoods at Cayönü formed an very important part of the University of Chicago’s seminal work on early agriculture and she was one of the leading forces behind the first important rescue work on the Euphrates valley — the Keban project. I was given an introduction to her when I first went to Istanbul in 1960 as a young student and will always remember her kindness and the amount of time and attention she gave to me and my research.’

Fellow Norman Hammond adds: ‘for Halet Çambel's work with Braidwood at Cayönü see the website of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago; this site/project is of immense importance in our developing understanding of early farming and early village life.’

Norman Hammond has also produced two articles from his archives published in The Times in 1974 and 1975, which he describes as ‘founder documents’ relating to the formation of what we may now (as of 11 February 2014) call the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Norman’s first article, published on 25 May 1974, said that ‘archaeology is one of the few professions that has never got round to organising itself in a politically effective manner ... there is at present no way in which the concerted judgement of Britain’s professional archaeologists — as highly trained a body of men and women as are lawyers and architects — can be brought to bear on matters of public concern ... we need an Association of Professional Archaeologists, which will represent the men and women who make a living in this field, including not only those in the universities, the civil service, the museums and the local research units, but also the many skilled excavators who have no formal positions, but who work on successive excavations throughout the year on short-term contracts.’

A year later, on 3 May 1975, Norman tried again to get the message out, reporting that: ‘The establishment of a National Registry of Professional Archaeologists to set standards of formal qualification for individuals and of quality for the reports they produce on archaeological excavations and surveys, has been proposed in the United States. The Registry would help to “identify archaeology as a profession rather than a brethren, in the words of Charles McGinsey III, President of the Society for American Archaeology”.’ Norman’s report concludes: ‘It will be interesting to see whether the formal recognition of archaeology as a profession with explicit standards will be thought necessary or desirable in Britain.’

With hindsight we can now report that the Association for the Promotion of Field Archaeologists was eventually founded in the UK four years after Norman’s report, in 1979; this was itself officially replaced by the first council of the Institute of Field Archaeologists on 21 December 1982, with our Fellow Peter Addyman as first Chair and Member No. 1.

Salon 314’s description of the towns of Constance and Kreuzlingen (the latter being the location for PARIS 5: the 5th Conference on the Preservation of Archaeological Remains In Situ) betrayed a lack of familiarity with the region. Fellow Brendan O’Connor, who knows it well, says that Constance / Konstanz is not ‘on the other side of Lake Constance’ from Kreuzlingen; much more interestingly, it forms a German enclave adjacent to, and on the same side of the lake, as Kreuzlingen, on the southern (Swiss) bank of the Rhine. This old heart of Constance / Konstanz is linked by a bridge over the Rhine to the modern suburbs on the northern (German) bank, which is where the excellent modern regional archaeological museum can be found. All becomes clear using Google Maps.

The editor’s lack of attention in Latin class was also on display in the last issue: Fellow Tony Birley points out that the Roman name of Aldborough, the subject of the lecture given at the Society by Fellow Martin Millett and Rose Ferraby on 27 February 2014, is Isurium Brigantum, the genitive of Brigantes being Brigantum, not Brigantium, as given in Salon and on the website (and, it has to be said, on the website of the Aldborough Roman Town Survey itself; the Ordnance Survey and English Heritage nicely avoid the issue by simply calling it Isurium).

More on the fascinating history of those tiles from the Cheshire Cheese

Salon’s memories concerning the publication of the erotic eighteenth-century tiles found boarded up in a room at the Cheshire Cheese pub in Fleet Street in the 1970s has resulted in further reminiscences from those involved in their publication.

First, Fellow Jonathan Coad writes: ‘your report in the last issue of Salon of the (strictly limited) St Valentine’s Day viewing at the Museum of London of the decidedly racy and somewhat risqué tiles from the Cheshire Cheese and the reference to their publication in Post-Medieval Archaeology revived memories. As the then young editor of the journal, the arrival on my desk of this manuscript and photographs caused a degree of editorial pondering, not least as the content was beyond my knowledge, specialist or otherwise. The Editorial Committee was consulted and a senior and very distinguished member opined that the article “broke new ground”, was of “sound academic value” and was “worthy of publication”.

‘With this endorsement, the paper was circulated round the committee who felt we should proceed, with the proviso that the CBA’s legal adviser should first be consulted. In the meantime, news of the article’s existence had spread. A few days later I was stopped by another distinguished archaeologist who asked if the author was aware of a recent issue of Mayfair, which contained an article with photographs that provided a useful modern parallel — hastily adding, after an embarrassed pause, “or so I have been told”.

‘Many weeks later, the typescript came back from the legal consultation, the dog-eared state of the accompanying photographs suggesting wide circulation in the Middle Temple. With these came an “all clear” for publication and a reported comment from the QC that he personally found the illustrations “rather jolly”.

‘At that time, the policy of the editorial committee was to order an additional twenty-five off-prints of published articles for subsequent sale. Convinced that there would be widespread demand for this article, and with an entrepreneurial flair well in advance of its time, the editorial committee decided to order a significantly greater number than usual. When I stepped down as editor a couple of years later, not a single off-print had been sold! Those Fellows who were unable to attend this year’s St Valentine’s Day viewing could always enquire if the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology still holds stock ... .’

As for Salon’s memory that ‘subscribers were warned in advance’, Jonathan adds: ‘From (distant) memory, I think the Society primed members about the forthcoming publication in one of its general circulars relating to society activities. Certainly one member told me that he was under instructions from his wife to retrieve the journal from the doormat ahead of their sons, so some advance notice was clearly given! I am amused that, nearly forty years on, the Museum of London still feels constrained to restrict the tiles to a private viewing!’

Martin Henig, co-author of the tile report, remembers the episode well. He writes: ‘as it happened Fellow Julian Munby’s sister, Katharine, was at that time doing a course which included costume history, so I thought it would be fun to ask her to contribute on the costume itself. I did order up the magazine that Jonathan mentions (actually Penthouse, not Mayfair) to look for comparative material. I was not sure which issue to ask for, so I had the complete run on my desk, exciting comment from staff and other readers at the Bodleian Library. I did eventually find the article in volume IX, and it was helpful. Since then, of course, I have found that there was a lot more I could have written!

‘After the paper’s publication, I was warned never to mention the article to a distinguished post-medievalist who believed that scholarly journals should be fit for family reading and had cut the offending article out of his copy of the journal. And for several years afterwards, plain envelopes would arrive through the post, offering me an array of strange publications and accessories of a kind that most Fellows, I imagine, will have never have encountered.’

Appeal for information regarding the artist Charles Allingham (c 1778—1850)

Georgina Pavia, studying under our Fellow Mario Buhagiar at the University of Malta, is writing her dissertation on the British artist Charles Allingham, who exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts and the British Institute between 1802 and 1812 (his work is to be found in London’s National Portrait Gallery and in the National Gallery of Ireland) before moving to Malta in around 1818; there he established a reputation as a portrait painter and introduced a British artistic sensibility to early nineteenth-century Malta.

Georgina is keen to hear from anyone who might be able to help with information on Charles Allingham and his works in England. She says: ‘I am especially interested in his training, from where and when he acquired it’.

English Heritage Research News

Fellow John Catell writes to say: ‘some Fellows will be aware of Research News, the English Heritage magazine that reports on current or recently completed applied historic environment research projects. The latest issue (no. 20) has been produced as an e-magazine in entirely digital format, allowing for improved access to visual material and links to our research reports and publications. There is more information on the aims and scope of the e-magazine in the introduction to Issue 20, which can be accessed by clicking on this link, where you can subscribe to be emailed links to subsequent online issues, and also access the back catalogue of pdfs of earlier issues.’

Lives remembered: Henry Paget, 7th Marquess of Anglesey

The family of our late Fellow Henry, 7th Marquess of Anglesey would like Fellows to know that a Memorial Service will be held in his honour at 3pm on Saturday 14 June 2014 in Bangor Cathedral, Bangor L57 1LH.

Lives remembered: Frank Greenaway, FSA

Our Fellow Frank Greenaway (9 July 1917—16 June 2013) was the subject of an obituary in the Guardian, by our Fellow Robert Anderson, which Salon missed at the time, but which can be seen on the newspaper’s website.

Frank Greenaway was Keeper of Chemistry at the Science Museum in London for much of his career, as well as being a leading historian of science. He is credited with transforming the museum from a ‘well-nigh desperate’ position (according to the 1948 report of the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries) into an updated representation of science, technology and medicine of the later twentieth century. Frank achieved this through working tirelessly to build up new displays, and transform the way the museum looked and the stories it told. He persuaded a museum that had never spent much money on acquisitions to buy important artefacts, including some remarkable and rare early Islamic glass distillation vessels, acquired at Sotheby’s at a considerable price. He also displayed Crick and Watson’s DNA model; after its construction in 1953, it had been dismantled and the pieces dispersed. It was the enthusiasm of Frank and his staff that brought the original elements back together.

Frank also brought an international and scholarly dimension to the Science Museum, becoming secretary general of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science under the presidency of the great Sinologist, Joseph Needham. He was deeply involved in other external bodies, including the Royal Institution, where he was honorary reader in the history of science, and the Royal Philharmonic Society, where he indulged his deep love of music.

Frank Greenaway putting the final touches to the reconstruction of a medieval assaying laboratory in the new chemistry galleries in 1964.
Photograph: Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

Lives remembered: Nicholas P Brooks, FSA

Fellows will also be saddened to learn of the death of Nicholas Brooks (14 January 1941—2 February 2014) at the age of seventy-three, following an operation.

Nicholas Brooks was Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Birmingham, having been Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of St Andrews from 1964 to 1985 before moving to Birmingham as Professor of Medieval History in 1985. At Birmingham he served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1992—5 and Associate Dean in 1996—7. He was elected a Fellow of our Society on 7 March 1974 and of the British Academy in 1989: the Academy published his two-volume work on the Anglo-Saxon Charters of Christ Church Canterbury as recently as September 2013.

Kent and Canterbury in the Anglo-Saxon period were the focus of much of his research, and as well as studying the historical sources, he was a key member of the steering committee of the Lyminge Archaeological Project. The Project’s Director, our Fellow Gabor Thomas, said: ‘his detailed knowledge of the history of the Anglo-Saxon monastery at Lyminge was invaluable, and he always delighted in giving impromptu lectures to our students and volunteers on site, which were universally enjoyed.’

Nicholas speaks to the Lyminge volunteers on his visit to the dig in 2013.
Photograph: from the Lyminge Project blog

Calls for Papers

26—28 September 2014: Conflict in Context: archaeologies of war 1618—1918, the Society for Post-Medieval Society conference, Liverpool Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool. This conference provides an archaeological perspective on warfare and its impact from the seventeenth century to the First World War, covering all of Europe, including maritime conflict. The intended range of topics are: warfare and armaments (artefacts, fortifications); warfare and tactics (battlefields); military lifeways (barracks, diet); the impact on civilians. Offers of papers examining any of these themes should be sent to our Fellow Harold Mytum by 28 March 2014.

1—7 September 2014: XVII Congress of the International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP), Burgos (Spain). Fellow Margarita Díaz-Andreu is helping to organise a session on ‘International relations in the history of archaeology’ as part of the research project ‘Without Frontiers’. Papers are welcomed that reflect on the global flux of ideas, on the ways in which international contacts have fostered change in relation to new archaeological theories and as regards to techniques, methods and practices. Proposals for papers should be sent to the main session organiser, Víctor M Fernández, and the information included on the conference website by 30 April 2014 (session number and title: B71: International Relations in the History of Archaeology).

Our Fellow Colin Renfrew is organising a session at the same conference (A4a: The Revolution of the Sixties in Prehistory and Protohistory). Another session of potential interest to Fellows is A8: Lobbying for Archaeology: innovative alliances in the establishment of the archaeological discipline (eighteenth to twenty-first centuries).


5 March 2014: The Present and Future of Vesuvian Research. This research seminar series, presented by the Department of Classics at the University of Leeds in conjunction with The Leverhulme Trust, started in February, so we have missed Peter Kruschwitz (University of Reading) on ‘Aufidius was here. (Really? And where exactly?)’ and Fellow Rick Jones (University of Leeds) on ‘Future oriented archaeology in Pompeii’, but still to come are Fellow Richard Hobbs (British Museum) speaking on 5 March on ‘Coins and Mediterranean connections in early Pompeii’; Fellow Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (Cambridge University) on 19 March on ‘Herculaneum: new discoveries, new problems’; Anne-Marie Leander (Touati University of Lund) on 26 March on ‘Approaches to innovation in the study of insula V 1, Pompeii’; and Virginia Campbell (University of Leeds) on 26 March on ‘Sex degrees of separation’. The seminars take place from 3pm in the Clothworkers’ Building LT 03; for further information contact Virginia Campbell.

8 March 2014: Richard III Study Day, 10am to 4pm, Building 65, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF. Three Fellows (Anne Curry, William Davies and Sonia Zakrzewski) have organised this study day, bringing together a number of experts on Richard III. Participants will look at Richard from the Shakespearean perspective, the rebellions of his reign, which culminated in the battle of Bosworth, his relationship with the Woodvilles and the significance of the finds at Leicester in 2012. History, literature and medicine will come together in an attempt to uncover the man behind the myth. For further information, see the Southampton University Lifelong Learning website.

17 March 2014: Joan Breton Connelly, classical archaeologist and Professor of Classics and Art History at New York University, will be launching her new book, The Parthenon Enigma (Head of Zeus), at the Society of Antiquaries from 6.30pm. The book is billed as ‘a radical new interpretation of the meaning and purposes of one of the world’s most iconic buildings’. If you would like to attend, please inform Becke Parker.

25 March 2014: ‘From Pall Mall to Burlington House: the Royal Academy and its architectural settings’, 7pm, Lord Mayor’s Reception Rooms, 18th Floor, Westminster City Hall, Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP. Tickets are £10 on the door and include a glass of wine; organised by the Westminster History Club, the event helps to raise funds for scholarly research into the history of Westminster by the Victoria County History. If you would attend, please contact Fellow Elizabeth Williamson to reserve a place.

Fellow Caroline Knight, a contributor to the forthcoming publication about the RA, will discuss the various locations and buildings that have housed the Academy since the eighteenth century, the many contributors to the RA’s fortunes and the roles they played in the creation of the organisation we know today.

25 March 2014: ‘Pendlebury at Amarna’: film screening and discussion with Chris Naunton and John J Johnston (Egypt Exploration Society) at 5pm, Room G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology. John Pendlebury was appointed director of the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at Tell el-Amarna, Egypt, for the 1930—1 season. Pendlebury embraced the idea of filming his dig in order to raise awareness of the importance of the work, and a film record of excavations at Tell el-Amarna was subsequently made over the course of three seasons, from 1930 to 1933. The Lucy Gura Archive at the Egypt Exploration Society now holds the footage from these excavations, capturing the life and work of this fascinating man and his team at a pivotal moment in the history of the site. Could anyone wishing to attend please inform Amara Thornton in advance.

27—30 March 2014: RAC2014 Roman Archaeology Conference: the biennial meeting of the Roman Society and the Theoretical Roman Archaeology group takes place at the University of Reading. With more than 160 presentations in five to six parallel sessions there promises to be something for everyone interested in the Roman world. Alongside the theoretical sessions there will be particular emphases on zooarchaeology, Pompeii and Italy and the value of developer-funded archaeology in understanding the Romano-British countryside. For further information, see the conference website.

16—20 July 2014: Islands in a Global Context: the 7th International Insular Art Conference, Galway. The provisional timetable, including speakers and presentation topics, is now available on the conference website, with a strong team of Fellows in the line-up.

Silbury Hill

In 2010, Fellows Jim Leary and David Field gave us their Story of Silbury Hill, an account of the excavations and fieldwork necessitated by the collapse of earlier tunnels into the mound. This volume, edited by the same authors plus Gill Campbell, presents the detailed results of the Silbury Hill Project. About half of the report is taken up with detailed analyses of the landscape setting and geology, the finds, the carbon dates and the environmental data. Then the authors present several ways of understanding Silbury Hill as a prehistoric monument, before turning to the place of the monument in the wider landscape and the subsequent history of that landscape in the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romano-British and early medieval periods. Last but not least, the volume includes three lavish fold-outs, bound into the back of the book, opening out to provide 1m-long coloured sections through the Hill, plus plans and geophysics plots of the immensely crowded landscape around the Hill and for up to 3km in each direction. In fact, the production standards of the entire book are superb — quite the opposite of the mean approach of some of our leading university presses (about which see more below).

In discussing why Silbury Hill exists at all, the authors take the increasingly mainstream view that we concentrate too much on the final form of the monument and should perhaps think that the significance for those who built it lay as much in the making of the monument over a prolonged period, with a number of different construction phases. This involves a discussion of such notions as performance, rhythm, repetition, wrapping, concealment and materiality (the physical and symbolic qualities of the materials used in the construction, or deposited within the mound), all of which leads to the broad conclusion that we shouldn’t expect any prehistoric monument to have a single all-embracing function or convey a simple symbolic message: think instead of a collage of meanings and relationships (an idea nicely illustrated by an actual collage on the theme of Silbury Hill created by the artists Judith Dobie and John Vallender).

One aspect of Silbury Hill cannot be explained away in abstract terms, however, and that is its location: that is a concrete absolute that we can cling on to as a raft in a sea of poetic words about the possible meanings of the monument. Why is it here and nowhere else in this landscape; the authors argue that the site is as sacred as the mound, and what makes it sacred is water: the springs and brooks at the head of the Avon river system. Citing Fellow Richard Bradley’s book, An Archaeology of Natural Places (2000), they say ‘despite the innovative signal posted by Bradley in highlighting the importance of certain natural features in the landscape, until recently, no spring has been targeted for excavation, and little is known of their ritual use. David Jacques, of the Open University, has, however, undertaken excavation at a spring near Stonehenge, and has encountered the largest Mesolithic site in Wiltshire’. That sounds like a clarion call for the setting up of a major multi-period, multi-national, multi-disciplinary research project (and provided one made some kind of link to modern concerns with climate change, it sounds just the sort of thing the AHRC and the European Union would fund).

Silbury Hill: the largest prehistoric mound in Europe, edited by Jim Leary, David Field and Gill Campbell; ISBN 9781848020450; English Heritage, 2013

The History of Archaeology: an introduction

Edited by Fellow Paul Bahn, this book is a pleasure to read, even if you are already familiar with the broad outlines of the subject. Breaking away from the conventional idea that Britain invented everything, it dares to give proper due to the study of ancient things as it developed independently in other parts of the world, including Russia, China, Africa and Australia, as well as in different European and Asian countries. According to Paul, the anglophone world did not even invent the term ‘archaeology’; he gives the credit for that to the Lyons-based seventeenth-century doctor and antiquary, Jacques Spon. Among the delights of the book are the informative but far from hagiographical biographies of key figures: Henri Breuil (1877—1961), for example, is characterised as ‘the Pope of Prehistory’, an ‘irascible and egotistical man’ who considered himself ‘virtually infallible’; so tight was his grip on the study of cave art that ‘it is only in recent years that it has become possible in France openly to criticise and re-examine his work’.

The book tells many such tales of strong characters with a dominant influence on the subject, of ideas held to be incontrovertible, but later revised, of the influence of spectacular discoveries but also of methodological advances based on painstaking study. The book ends with Fellow Colin Renfrew’s horizon-scanning essay on the future of archaeology: he says that scientific techniques such as DNA analysis will give us a much richer world history, but he sets this against the impoverishing impact on archaeology of looting for private gain, which he sees as a bigger threat to the subject even than war, religiously motivated destruction or commercial threats to the historic environment: whilst dismissing Marxism as having ‘perhaps now run its course’, he sounds suspiciously like a fellow-traveller in arguing that heritage is a resource that belongs to us all, a birthright, not to be exploited for personal profit!

The History of Archaeology: an introduction, edited by Paul Bahn; ISBN 9780415841726; Routledge, 2014

Early Mainland Southeast Asia: from first humans to Angkor

Too many archaeology monographs these days (including Paul Bahn’s book, it has to be said) are woefully illustrated, partly because publishers increasingly force impoverished authors to bear the costs, partly because they are not interested in production, and always scrimp on printing quality, and partly because many of these books are now printed on demand to reduce the costs of warehousing and illustrations (especially colour figures) are not well suited to PoD paper or printing technology.

But this book, by Fellow Charles Higham, is in an altogether different category, with informative colour pictures on every page, almost all of them consisting of photographs taken by the author, the fruit of many decades spent working and travelling in that fascinating part of the world that is now made up of several nations — including Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines — but that really makes much more sense, as Charles shows, when viewed without borders (these only begin to feature about two-thirds of the way through the book, with the formation of states bonded by religion and culture, such as Angkor).

Prior to that, Charles takes us on a 1.8 million-year journey, starting with the arrival of Homo erectus in south-east Asia, out of Africa, a story whose pace picks up with the subsequent arrival of anatomically modern human beings about 60,000 years ago, creating settled communities in three main environments — cave mouths, coastal sites (especially old raised beaches) and inland river plains. Farmers migrated from China bring rice cultivation from 5000 BC, after which the Three Age model seems to fit this part of the world as readily as it does northern Europe, with a distinctive south-east Asian bronze age from 1000 BC and an iron age from 400 BC, followed soon after by urbanisation and the beginnings of long-distance trade (securely stratified Roman coins have been found in Vietnam and China) and the beginning of powerful chiefdoms. Put like that, it all sounds rather mechanistic: what Salon's account lacks is Charles’s lucid drawing together of all the evidence, and the pictures that bring it all to life.

Early Mainland Southeast Asia: from first humans to Angkor, by Charles Higham; ISBN 9786167339443; River Books, 2014


Wakefield Court Roll 1812—13

Edited by our Fellow John Hargreaves, the sixteenth volume in the current series of Wakefield Manor Court Rolls has just been published by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. The book provides an edited and richly annotated digest of the proceedings in the courts of the Baron of the Manor of Wakefield from 19 October 1812 to 15 October 1813.

1812 has been described as the worst year to date of British history on account of the commercial dislocation caused by the protracted French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. More locally, it saw the destructive activities of the Luddites, as well as unemployment and bankruptcies (notably that of the Wakefield woolstapler Michael Bentley) due, in part, to technological change. Yet, as the records show, life as reflected in the transfer of copyhold property and in the twenty-one wills summarised here, seems to have continued much as normal.

The volume will be of interest to economic and social historians and to those interested more specifically in family or local history. There are many references to mills, equipment and the textile industry; to engineers, steam engines and water mills; to rights of access to sources of water and for rights of way to turnpike and other roads. Many of the references are to women — either as property owners in their own right or as widows and daughters inheriting property.

The Wakefield collection of court rolls, now in the possession of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, exist in an almost unbroken run from 1274 to the 1920s. Comparatively few have ever been published because the costs of conservation have to be met before a roll can be transcribed and edited by the few scholars with the time and skill to do the work. Dr Hargreaves’ new book is believed to be the first to make any manorial court roll of the nineteenth century available for study.

Wakefield Court Roll 1812—13, edited by John Hargreaves; Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 2014


University of London, School of Advanced Study: Director of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR)
Professorial salary, by negotiation; closing date 6 March 2014

The post is offered either as a secondment or as a permanent appointment. See the University of London website.

University of London: Director/General Editor of the Victoria County History
From £48,534; closing date 6 March 2014

See the University of London School of Advanced Study website.

The British School at Rome: Assistant Director, Humanities
£23,000 plus relocation expenses, free board and lodging; closing date 7 March 2014

Two-year contract, beginning 1 October 2014. Requirements include a completed doctorate on an area of study related to Italy from AD 600 to 1800. See the BSR website for further details.

The British School at Athens: Assistant Director
Up to €25,000, including health insurance and rent-free housing; closing date 21 March 2014

Five-year position, available from 1 July 2014. See the BSA website.

Newcastle University: Head of School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Professorial salary, by negotiation; closing date 21 March 2014

See the Newcastle University website.

Propose a lecture

Please email 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 5pm) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 1pm).

We welcome papers based on new research on themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past.

You can view our current lecture programme in the News and Events section of our website.


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