Salon: Issue 395
31 October 2017
Next issue: 14 November 2017
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor.
Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this here, but failing all else there is an online archive where new editions go live at the same time as the mailing. Every Salon lists the publication date of the next edition at the top.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
Postgraduate Open Day (2017)
The Library and Museum Collections team, with the help of Fellows and other staff members, hosted the Society's third annual Postgraduate Open Day on Friday, 20 October. Students and early-career researchers from all corners of the country attended, and were given the opportunity to learn more about how our collections can be used as research resources for their projects. Additionally, they had rare access to some of the foremost experts of certain academic areas while attending small break-sessions led by Fellows of the Society: Dr Amara Thornton presented on 'Getting Started in Your Research', Dr Elizabeth New delivered a session on 'Seals as a Resource', our Honorary Secretary Dr Jeremy Warren ran 'History of Collecting', our Director Prof Christopher Scull led a session on 'Historical Archaeology Resources', Dr Adrian Ailes one on 'Heraldry and Heraldic Resources', Dr Ann Benson on 'Prints & Drawings as a Resource for Designed Landscape and Estate History', Prof Stephen Church presented 'Medieval History Resources', past-President Prof Maurice Howard led the 'Art History Resources' session, and former assistant librarian Adrian James presented on 'The Society of Antiquaries' Archives'.
Each Postgraduate Open Day has resulted in attendees returning to use our collections for research, signing up for our e-newsletter and events e-bulletins, or submitting applications to our grant awards. The date of the next Postgraduate Open Day will be Friday, 19 October 2018.
Farewell and Best Wishes to our Communications Manager
I am sad to inform Fellows that Renée LaDue, our Communications Manager, will be leaving us in mid-January to take up the post of Membership and Communications Manager at the Clothworkers Company in the City of London. Renée has been with the Society since September 2012, and in that time, has revolutionised how we communicate with Fellows and the public. She has overseen the complete re-design of our website, made our lectures available online and started from scratch our social media presence. Renée has been a key part in the success of our three public exhibitions and our 2016 summer 'Late' events, including coordinating the other Courtyard Societies in our Burlington House 'Late' last August. Renée been fantastic at organising our events and lectures and helping speakers set up their presentations, as well as editing Fellowship News
and the Society’s Annual Review. Renée has been a wonderful, hard-working, dynamic and unfailingly polite and professional colleague with a great sense of humour and all of us – staff, Officers and Fellows at Burlington House and Kelmscott Manor – will miss her very much. Thank you, Renée, and all the very best in your exciting new job.
We have begun recruiting for the next Communications Manager (see 'Vacancies
More News of the Antiquaries Journal
The forthcoming volume (97) of the Antiquaries Journal
will publish in November 2017. If you cannot wait until then, you can access the latest papers now in FirstView
via the Fellows’ Area of the Society’s website
Meanwhile, in the latest paper to be published online, Fellow Matthew Payne looks at the mortuary roll of John Islip (1464–1532), Abbot of Westminster. In February 1742, at an Ordinary Meeting of the Fellows of the Society (at the Mitre Tavern on Fleet Street), William Oldys presented for inspection: ‘an old drawing upon vellum, with a pen, about 5 feet long, and one foot broad, made in honour of John Islip …’. This aroused great interest among the gathered antiquarians, especially the herald John Anstis, who, it transpired, had an original colour version of parts of the same roll. Although this colour version appears to have been lost, the Society’s official engraver, George Vertue, made a copy of the panels, and these have recently been discovered at the Bodleian. The drawings on the surviving roll, which may have been drawn up as a presentation copy (possibly by Gerard Horenbout), afford the only views of the interior of Westminster Abbey before the Dissolution. The discovery of 18th-century copies of an unknown, coloured version of this roll provides important new evidence for both the circumstances of the production and the later history of both rolls. It also provides, for the first time, an authentic colour view of the interior of Westminster Abbey in the late medieval period, and new information on its decoration – so this paper will be of especial interest to medievalists, church historians and architectural historians.
In February 2016, Matthew Payne presented some of his research to Fellows at an Ordinary Meeting, which you can watch online
Borrowed Books from the Library
The Library is very grateful to those Fellows who have responded to the letters we sent in September regarding books borrowed from the Library before 2016. Thank you to all those who have already returned books to us. If you have received a letter from us, please do get in touch with the Library team
if you have not already done so, even if you think you have already returned your books, or cannot locate them, so that we can update our records accordingly.
The Library has also instituted a regular reminders service for books borrowed from 2016 onwards, so you may have also received an email or a letter regarding your recent loans. This is intended to help Fellows, as well as Library staff, to keep track of what has been borrowed, so that Library staff can maintain accurate and up-to-date records. This will benefit all users of the Library. Fellows who are resident in the UK are able to borrow up to eight books for three months and, for those unable to visit the Library in person, books can also be posted.
Symbolic Codes From Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos
A Public Symposium by the Society of Antiquaries of London (6 November)
This conference will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. The opening address will be delivered by Dr Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada. In this 150th anniversary year of the nation’s confederation, Dr Boudreau will explore how Canada has integrated imperial, European, and native emblems to help establish its own visual symbolic identity. Dr Boudreau will also discuss the challenges facing the Canadian Heraldic Authority with regard to competing forms of symbolic identity in the 21st century. The formal part of the proceedings will end with a round-table discussion (including Elizabeth Roads, Snawdoun Herald at the Court of the Lord Lyon) on 'Branding or Blazon? Examining the Role of Heraldry in a Corporate World Dominated by Logos'.
There will be an opportunity to view a special display of the Society of Antiquaries of London’s rare heraldic manuscripts and to buy some of its heraldic publications. Lunch will be provided and the day will end with a wine reception.
More information, including booking, is available on our website: www.sal.org.uk/events.
Galloway Viking Hoard Finds its Home
National Museums Scotland has acquired the Galloway Hoard, a remarkable collection of art and precious metal thought to have been buried in the early 900s AD. Though described as a Viking hoard, the pieces in it, concealed in four ‘packages’, include Anglo-Saxon jewellery, silver arm-rings normally found in Ireland, silk fabric and a small rock-crystal flask that may have been made in the Islamic world. An ornate silver-gilt lidded vessel (bottom) is the only example of its type from Britain and Ireland.
Martin Goldberg, Curator for the Early Medieval and Viking collections, talks about the hoard to writer Michael Hirst in a video on the NMS website. Runes on the armrings, he suggests, tell us that four different people were involved in at least that part of the hoard’s assembly. The photo above shows a pair of unique Anglo-Saxon brooches which, says Goldberg, appear to illustrate the two senses of hearing and sight. The hoard has more gold than any other Viking Age hoard in Britain or Ireland, he adds.
Just as contributions by the people of the English Midlands tipped the balance that allowed museums in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent to buy the Staffordshire hoard (for £3.285 million), so the Scottish public have added to cash from major organisations to raise the necessary £1.98 million within a limited time. The sites of the two hoards, both found by a man with a metal detector, were both excavated by archaeologists. In Staffordshire they found only more gold, but in Galloway structures were revealed suggesting the hoard there had been buried inside a standing building.
Having been displayed at National Museums Scotland, the hoard will now be conserved. Photos Historic Environment Scotland/National Museums Scotland.
Rosa Wallis and Another Galloway Hoard
Another group of Viking metalwork will be discussed by James Graham-Campbell FSA at a Society meeting in Burlington House on 1 February next year. The Society possesses three watercolour drawings by Rosa Wallis, dated 1883, showing finds displayed in London that year (at the International Fisheries Exhibition) recovered by Malcolm McNeill and later himself, from a Viking boat-burial at Kiloran Bay, Colonsay. Scottish architect and antiquary William Galloway gave two unpublished papers about the burial to the Society of Antiquaries of London (May 1883 and June 1885). A copy of his second text is preserved by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Watercolours by Rosa Wallis (1857–1946) occasionally turn up at auctions for a few hundred pounds or less, showing her fondness for flowers in gardens and landscapes. Her father was George Wallis, Keeper at the South Kensington Museum (V&A). These two posters can be bought from Across-Style.
Loyd Grossman FSA and Lizzie Glithero-West FSA, Chairman and Chief Executive respectively of the Heritage Alliance (right), have had what they call a positive meeting with Environment Secretary Michael Gove. They discussed items from the HA’s Heritage Manifesto, Brexit Briefing Paper and Rural Heritage Under Threat: Looking After Our Landscapes Post-Brexit. ‘We were encouraged’, the HA said in a statement, ‘to hear [Gove] describe heritage as the glue which binds together our brand Britain.’ The HA also met Treasury officials to discuss how VAT regulations could be changed to benefit heritage.
Ben Cowell FSA, Deputy Chairman, introduced the Heritage Alliance’s debate in London on 2 October, Is Heritage Good for your Health?. It can now be listened to online. We know why heritage matters, says Cowell, but how do we convince everyone else? Among panellists was Richard Osgood FSA, Senior Archaeologist, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, who spoke about Operation Nightingale (now trademarked to the Ministry of Defence, he announces proudly). Op Nightingale is working with wounded, injured and sick soldiers to assist in their recovery and perhaps transition to new careers, while they bring their skills to archaeological excavations. He describes a soldier who, hit with a mortar in Afghanistan, was saved from killing himself – he was going to jump off the Severn Bridge – by watching Time Team programmes on Channel 4.
Heritage Day 2017 will be held on 5 December at the Royal Society of Arts, London, when speakers will include Loyd Grossman and John Glen MP, Under Secretary for Arts, Heritage and Tourism. See Other Events below.
Recording Anglo-Saxon Sculpture
The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, a long-term project to record every surviving fragment of English sculpture made between the seventh and 11th centuries AD, has won £956,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for its final stage. The grant will fund Worked in Stone (2018–20), which will publish sculptures from the remaining counties, and see what light the entire corpus can throw on the religious and political scene of mid-late Anglo-Saxon England.
The corpus project, which began 40 years ago, is led by Rosemary Cramp FSA (below left). Assisted by Derek Craig, the project researcher, she has been reading, editing and bringing the many reports to print. Sarah Semple FSA (below right) and Sarah Price have been working on the catalogues’ online publication. Volumes I (County Durham and Northumberland, 1984) to VI (Northern Yorkshire) are currently available online for free as simulacra of the printed works. The most recent report is number XII: Nottinghamshire (2016), and Volume XIII: Derbyshire and Staffordshire, by Hawkes and Philip C Sidebottom, is due this November.
From the outset, the goal has been to deliver comprehensive analysis, in a consistent format, on monument form, stone type, decoration and style, location and date. The catalogues are backed by contextual chapters and thousands of additional, freely available images.
Cramp and Semple will lead Worked in Stone, joined by Jane Hawkes FSA and Julian D Richards FSA (University of York), Jo Story FSA (Leicester University) and Helen Gittos (University of Oxford). They promise three new British Academy Corpus volumes, an overview and synthesis of the complete data set, and a major conference with proceedings.
It is becoming common for scientific research articles to be released openly online ahead of their peer review. Feedback from academic colleagues, as well as typically anonymous reviewers, helps improve an article’s content before it is formally published. The downside is that journalists may get hold of the work, add their own misunderstanding to any errors it might contain, and splash misleading stories. The first the original researchers (and worse, peers and colleagues) know about the reporting is when they see the headlines.
What to do? A recent example is a paper titled ‘Positive sexual imprinting for human eye colour’, whose lead author is Lisa DeBruine at the University of Glasgow. It was first posted on bioRxiv in May, and a revised version went up on 23 August. Not entirely fast off the mark, on 27 October the Times reported it under the headline, 'Freud was right: lovers only have eyes for mum or dad’, and the Mail led with ‘Freud was right after all: We fancy people who have the same colour eyes as our PARENTS.’
Academics are not impressed. ‘As 1st author’, tweeted DeBruine about the Mail piece, ‘I can say all these bullet points are wrong or misleading.’ Ben Jones (a co-author) noted the Times’ ‘gratuitous Freud reference’. The Economist, which actually contacted DeBruine before going to press, presented a more sensible analysis, but even this unsettled some on Twitter. ‘So the Economist journalist essentially misled you into talking about it and when you said you'd rather not they wrote it?’ said one. ‘Nice ethical journalism from the Economist’, tweeted Becky Wragg Sykes FSA. ‘Why not just wait?’
What do Fellows think? Have you had any experience of pre-print publishing, as author or consumer, that caused you concern? A major study of copper age human DNA in Britain and Europe, posted on bioRxiv in May and still to be peer-review-published, has several Fellows among its many authors. As both occasional journalist and writer of peer-reviewed research, I believe I’d be failing in my job if I ignored such pre-prints – and I would always contact some of the authors (and did so when reporting the DNA study). Am I right? Let Salon know.
Former Salon Editor Voted onto National Trust Council
The National Trust held its AGM in Swindon on 21 October. You could watch proceedings live online, and the meeting can now be viewed on the AGM website. Members had proposed two resolutions: one for a cessation of trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on trust land; and one about the proposed Stonehenge road tunnel.
Before these debates, Chris Catling FSA had been asked for his views on the two proposals, having put himself up for election to the Trust’s Council. He wrote:
‘I know nothing about hunting. If elected to the National Trust Council, I will look for advice from those who know more about this issue, but in general I will be prepared to vote for whatever is best for wildlife.
‘As an archaeologist, I do know a great deal about Stonehenge. Every inch of the soil around Stonehenge is packed with evidence about the human past, and so a major intervention such as the tunnel has the potential to be very destructive or very informative – it all depends on whether adequate time and funding will be made available by the government for a comprehensive programme of archaeological work prior to the start of the road works. I will be working hard to ensure that everyone wins from the road tunnel and that the government does fund the delicate and time-consuming archaeological work that is needed.’
This clear statement, his general ‘aim in life … to inspire people to engage with the natural and the cultural heritage’, and perhaps also being one of six recommended candidates, led to his successful election – with the second largest number of votes across 19 candidates.
Catling edited Salon before me, and is now the Chief Executive of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Candidates were asked other questions, among them, ‘How should the National Trust promote local distinctiveness at properties?’ ‘This is a very important issue,’ replied Catling. ‘I am … very keen to encourage people to “adopt” their local National Trust property and treat it not as belonging to some remote charity, but as a local asset – I would say to people “get involved as a volunteer and make it your own”. And wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if every school in the land treated their nearest National Trust property as a resource on which to base their teaching about science, maths or history.’
Introducing the hunting debate, the Chair, Tim Parker, asked for concise contributions from the floor, and advised that noise and speaking out of turn were unlikely to help a cause. ‘In my experience,’ he said, ‘demos, shouting etc are usually for the benefit of fellow supporters rather than the people in the room as a whole.’ Passionately expressed views were politely applauded.
The Stonehenge resolution, with supporting statement, was 1,000 words long, which, I think, can be fairly summarised as an objection to the proposed ‘short’ tunnel in favour of a longer tunnel, if one should be built, which begins and ends outside the world heritage site. It was proposed by archaeologist Kate Fielden and seconded by Tom Holland (left). Holland suggested the Trust was ‘being used as a fig leaf for some highly powerful vested interests’ – the government (shoring up marginal constituencies), the haulage industry, and ‘the large number of companies that can smell the blood of archaeology and want to make a profit from it’.
Discussion from the floor occasionally seemed to be confused about whether the vote to support the proposal meant supporting or objecting to the tunnel, but at the vote, despite some potent rhetoric – and the chair pleading for anyone to speak up for the tunnel in the face of continuous opposition – members voted against the resolution, with 21,903 for and 30,013 against, a majority of 8,110 against (ie in favour of the Trust continuing to negotiate over the proposed works).
Fellows (and Friends)
Phil Clarke FSA
, archaeologist, died in August.
Jane Laughton FSA
, historian, died in October.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains a further notice on the late Stephen Croad FSA
The funeral of Robert Thompson FSA
, who died in September
, will be on Friday 17 November at 2.45 pm, at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip HA4 7SJ.
The Turner Society News
(126, Autumn 2016, 2–3), has published an obituary by Martin Butlin of Luke Herrmann FSA
, who died in September last year
Jill Cook FSA
opened Living With The Gods
on 23 October, a BBC Radio 4 series presented by Neil MacGregor FSA
that will be broadcast
every weekday for a total of 30 15-minute parts. ‘This isn’t a human being wearing a mask,’ says Cook of a 40,000-year-old ivory carving, ‘this is a creature, a being, that doesn’t exist in nature.’ MacGregor takes us to the cave where the carving was found in Germany in 1939; the fragments were not fitted together for decades, when eventually emerged a lion-man standing on two feet. ‘The thing which really singles out ourselves,’ says Clive Gamble FSA
, ‘and whoever sculpted the lion-man, is this ability to go beyond, to go beyond the here and now, what’s in front of us, seeing into the future and into the past.'
George Cunningham FSA
has received an honorary doctorate (D Litt) from the University of Limerick, ‘for his outstanding career of scholarship, heritage preservation and community activism, and for his invaluable contribution to the University.’ He is seen in the photo with the University Chancellor, the Hon John Murray (former Irish Chief Justice) attended by UL’s President Des Fitzgerald and the University Librarian Gobnait O’Riordan. The citation describes him as ‘a scholar, educator, community advocate, antiquarian, historian, conservationist, naturalist, environmentalist, author, editor, publisher, bibliophile and philanthropist’, and notes his election in 2008 as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (‘a rare honour for an Irishman’) and the award in 2012 of an honorary Master of Arts by the National University of Ireland, Galway.
The Friaries of Medieval London: From Foundation to Dissolution
, by Nick Holder, is an illustrated account of the buildings of the friars between the 13th and 16th centuries. The most important orders were the Dominican Black friars and the Franciscan Grey friars, but London also had houses of Augustine, Carmelite and Crossed friars, and, in the 13th century, Sack and Pied friars. The book combines archaeological, documentary, cartographic and architectural evidence to reconstruct the layout and organisation of nine priories. Mark Samuel FSA
writes about friary architecture, Ian Betts on decorated floor tiles, Jens Röhrkasten on spiritual life and education, and Christian Steer FSA
on burial and commemoration.
After years of delay, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open on 11 November. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, also delayed and described by Guggenheim as 'currently in development', has no opening date. These two museums are lavish, ambitious representations of their respective Paris and New York namesakes; the opening temporary exhibition at the Louvre Abu Dhabi will be about the Louvre’s pre-revolutionary origins. The British Museum has also been working with Abu Dhabi on a new museum. Called the Zayed National Museum, this is not a BM outpost, but a partnership bringing advice, training and substantial loans to Abu Dhabi. Now Martin Bailey reports (Art Newspaper
28 October) that the arrangement between the two museums has stalled. ‘We understand that the 2009 agreement is no longer operational,’ writes Bailey, ‘although it has not been cancelled. It was originally envisaged that long-term co-operative relations would continue beyond 2019, but this is now uncertain.’
Miles Russell FSA
, Senior Lecturer in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology at Bournemouth University, has written Arthur and the Kings of Britain
. The blurb calls it an ‘important new work’ which ‘establishes Geoffrey of Monmouth [author of Historia Regum Britanniae
, 1136] as 'no mere peddler of historical fiction, but as the man who preserved the earliest foundation myths of Britain.’ Russell explains how elements of the Historia
can be traced back to the first century BC, creating King Arthur, ‘a composite character whose real origins and context are explained here.’ The book was published earlier in the year, but on 7 October the author addressed the BBC History Magazine festival in Winchester, and publicity followed. ‘LEGEND OF THE SWORD King Arthur did NOT EXIST and was created as a “Celtic superhero” mixture of real warlords, archaeologist claims’, said the Sun
. Russell himself talks about it in a university video here
Simon Jenkins FSA
used his Evening Standard
column on 17 October to defend conservation areas – specifically, in London. ‘London’s conservation areas have collapsed into absurdity,’ he writes. ‘Those who live in these areas are barely allowed to repaint a front door without pernickety permission. If they try to overlook their neighbours with a new bathroom window, forget it. But if they want to overlook them with a 20-storey tower for Hong Kong investors they will have no problem. The planner hopes for a job with the developer.’ In the past conservation areas – 62 in Lambeth, 56 in Westminster and 58 in Tower Hamlets – have protected the city’s streetscapes. Now they are being ignored, whether it’s in Notting Hill (a proposed ‘8-storey luxury tower of egregious ugliness’), Paddington (‘an obscene 19-storey glass cube’, above) or his ‘beloved Camden … under siege on all sides’. • SAVE Britain's Heritage is fundraising
for a judicial review into the Paddington Cube, reaching its target on 25 October. ‘Proposals such as the Paddington Cube must be subject to full open scrutiny and discussion at a public inquiry,’ says Marcus Binney FSA
, President of SAVE. ‘Instead they were decided by a cabal of just four councillors.’
Grimsby has created a new conservation area for the town's historic fishing docks, known as the Kasbah, a network of warehouses, smoke houses and shops from the days when Grimsby was the greatest fishing port in the world. ‘We are delighted’, said SAVE Britain's Heritage in a press release, ‘that the new status opens up potential funding opportunities from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Many of the buildings in the Kasbah have suffered from years of neglect and are in a bad state of repair.’ ‘Just across the Humber’, said Marcus Binney, ‘the City of Hull has achieved a renaissance of city architecture during its year as city of culture. Grimsby must follow suit and help revive the smokeries which make the Kasbah such a special place.’ Photo shows the Grade II* Grimsby Ice Factory, which is outside the new conservation area (Council for British Archaeology).
Andrew Burnett FSA
, Richard Simpson FSA
and Deborah Thorpe have written Roman Coins, Money, and Society in Elizabethan England: Sir Thomas Smith’s On the Wages of the Roman Footsoldier
. The 500th anniversary of Smith’s On the Wages of the Roman Footsoldier
was celebrated at a conference at the Society of Antiquaries in December 2013
marking Smith’s birth, and the idea for this book was born. Although, says the blurb, Smith was one of the most important politicians and intellectuals of his day, and his book the first original work written in England to use the evidence of ancient coins, it has played no part in the history of numismatics. It throws new light on the ‘Cambridge circle’, academics-turned-politicians who played a crucial role in the smooth accession of Elizabeth I. It reveals the humanistic interest in numismatics, and the importance of the Roman precedent in influencing contemporary thought and politics. Fellows can hear more from the authors during an Ordinary Meeting of Fellows on 1 March 2018
Mary Beard FSA
presented Front Row on BBC 2
on 28 October. This long-standing Radio 4 arts programme is experimenting with its first TV series. It launched with an unexpected presenter and drew some scathing reviews, but Beard’s popular mix of scholarship, savviness and wry humour makes this one (which might have been called The Mary Beard Show
) among those worth the watch. She begins at Sir John Soane's Museum with a gifted draughtsman and architectural designer, Adam Nathaniel Furman. He describes his shiny, brightly coloured 3-D printed models of Roman buildings in The Roman Singularity
exhibition, as ‘architecture in drag’. ‘The past should be as instantly accessible as a dancing Chihuahua on YouTube’, he enthuses. We see Jean-René Lemoine’s reimagining of Medea, translated into English and directed by Neil Bartlett. We see Beard talking to David Gilmour about his film of the Live at Pompeii concert. And more.
Mary Beard has also appeared on Radio 4, with an essay in A Point of View
(22 October). ‘Fifty years ago,’ she says. ‘when I was at high school, we spent many hours learning how to write a letter, at different levels of formality.’ Yet no one today seems to be teaching the art of writing emails. In ‘I hope this email finds you well...’ she decries this use of the unmeant greeting, only to realise ancient Romans did something very similar. ‘The old clichés are the best, I suppose’, she concludes.
We're not quite done. Beard has written Women & Power: A Manifesto
. ‘Britain's best-known classicist’, says the blurb, ‘is also a committed and vocal feminist.’ She shows how history has treated powerful women, with examples ranging from the classical world to the present, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton and ending, she says, with a comparison between Diane Abbott and Boris Johnson. She explores the culture of misogyny, considers the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women's relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being packaged into a male template. As I write, it is Amazon’s number 1 in Books > Gay & Lesbian > Critical Theory, five days before it has been published.
Martin Carver FSA
is among 12 authors of an article about the York Gospels in Royal Society Open Science
, reporting on a pioneering biomolecular study of the early Medieval manuscript. Bioarchaeologists at the University of York and geneticists at Trinity College Dublin found a ‘vast array of biological information contained within a single codex’, recovering DNA and proteins from the dry eraser waste of skins produced with a common conservation technique. Analysis considered both the raw materials of the codex (skins selected from flocks and herds), and the microorganisms on it (reflecting use history and conservation risk). The original gospels are seen to be of calfskin (except for one bifolium made of sheepskin), and 14th-century additions are exclusively sheepskin. Four of the five reliably typed animals in the original Gospels were female. The Gospels are thought to have been written in Canterbury around AD 990.
With strong feelings in Brexit Britain on both sides of the divide – to leave or remain in the EU – we’ve had some curious things said about universities in the past week. Chris Heaton-Harris, A Conservative Member of Parliament and a Government Whip, wrote to universities asking how Brexit was being taught and who was teaching it. Elsewhere he had stated that ‘There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to re-join it through the back door and no second referendum.' Universities dismissed his request, but the Daily Mail
, a pro-Brexit newspaper, turned accusation into attack. Its front
page on 26 October proclaimed ‘a troubling insight into our remainer Universities’, and inside it asked its readers to shop ‘anti-Brexit bias’. Another Conservative MP told the Daily Telegraph
that universities were full of ‘left-wing lecturers forcing their opinions on their students’. A Cambridge University Student Union’s women’s officer called Lola Olufemi, reported the paper on its front page, was said to have demanded that English teaching be ‘decolonised’, forcing white authors to be replaced on the curriculum with black ones; the next day it published a note saying it had got it wrong. On 28 October it printed another story, saying that ‘Students from across the country have alleged that free debate on Brexit is being “shut down” by pro-Remain lecturers at some of Britain’s top universities.’ Have you been doing this? Have you been stigmatised for supporting Brexit? Let Salon
The Rise of Rome: From the Iron Age to the Punic Wars (1000 BC – 264 BC),
by Kathryn Lomas FSA
, explores the development of Rome during this period and the nature of its control over Italy, considering why and how the Romans achieved their spectacular dominance. In the late Iron Age, says the blurb, Rome was a small collection of huts arranged over a few hills. By the third century BC it had become a large and powerful city, with monumental temples, public buildings and grand houses. It had conquered the whole of Italy and was poised to establish an empire. From its complex forms of government, to its innovative connections with other states, Lomas shows what set Rome apart.
The state of Government structures in Westminster continues to be in the news. On 19 October stone fell from the Grade I-listed Norman Shaw North building, which houses offices for Members of Parliament and their staff, onto the windscreen of a parked car belonging to Andrea Leadsom’s deputy. Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, is responsible for the renovation of the parliamentary estate. ‘Evidence of why Parliament needs urgent repair,’ tweeted Will Quince MP. On 24 October the lead editorial in the Evening Standard
addressed Westminster Palace, ‘the much-loved symbol of our nation, our most famous landmark, a destination for countless school visits, the backdrop to a million tourist selfies and also the daily home of a complex modern democracy’. Make a decision about the restoration project, concludes the paper, ‘accept it is going to cost billions of pounds and give that democracy a home fit for purpose.’ A feature by Esther Webber for BBC News
(12 October) is headed, ‘Fires, floods and mice: What it's like to work in a crumbling Parliament’.
English Heritage’s new temporary exhibition at Stonehenge is about neolithic eating. Drawing on recent research into finds from excavations at Durrington Walls – including nearly 40,000 animal bones – it is suggested that people gathered there for feasts at midwinter, when spring piglets were slaughtered and roasted over open fires with profligate waste. Did people do this, asks English Heritage, ‘before processing to witness the midwinter sunset at Stonehenge?’ The exhibition launch promotion included a live video presentation
from the visitor centre, where, among others, Mike Parker Pearson FSA
answered questions from a reconstructed neolithic house. It seemed popular, if not always very focused: comments included ‘ooh. I like Mike's shirt’, ‘hi from Dubai’ and ‘I’m making a crumble’. Feast! Food at Stonehenge
runs until September 2018.
Andrew Cormack FSA
has written, and published, ‘These Meritorious Objects of the Royal Bounty': The Chelsea Out-Pensioners in the Early Eighteenth Century
. It is, he tells Salon
, a new study of an old problem: what measure of relief did the State owe, if anything, to old discharged soldiers? The rise of the concept of the State's indebtedness to its servants, and the provision that the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, put in place to support those whom it could not accommodate has been meticulously researched from the Hospital's records. The result is a view of the 18th century British Army’s Other Ranks unlike anything published before, as their acceptance onto the Royal Bounty permits them to be examined as individuals. The author can supply sewn hardback copies for £38 inc P&P, at email@example.com.
For anyone dubious about the merits of social media, a series of Facebook live videos from the British Museum showed what can be done with an enthusiastic, knowledgeable curator and some very nice objects, but no hype or fuss. On 18 October Beccy Scott FSA
(right) stood in an east London store-room for half an hour and talked about stone tools. Neil Wilkin showed us Bronze Age metalwork (19 October), and Julia Farley FSA
talked about the Iron Age (20 October). When you watch the videos now, typed comments appear as they were made live. If mostly of the ‘Hello from Norway’ and ‘Fascinating! Watching from Ohio’ type, they reflected a large engaged audience. After a few days each video had more than 50,000 views and 2,000 likes; as I write, Farley’s has close to 60,000 views. To find them you need to go to the BM’s Facebook page
and scroll down to the right date.
Constable and Brighton
, edited by Shan Lancaster, began as a catalogue for an exhibition of the same title at Brighton Museum and morphed into a series of new essays about the artist. These cover Constable’s French commissions on which he worked in Brighton and his success in France, by Anne Lyles. Ian Warell compares the work of Constable and Turner in Brighton, in particular their paintings of the Chain Pier. Sue Berry FSA
introduces the Brighton that Constable would have known, along the shore and inland where he painted his views. ‘The standard of the colour reproduction of Constable’s works and the prints and other images used is very good,’ Berry tells Salon
. ‘The publishers, Scala took great care with it.’
The Lithic Studies Society toured Stoke Newington on 27 October in search of the haunts of Worthington George Smith, who died in 1917. Smith was a creative eccentric whose earned his money as an illustrator and a journalist, but is known to archaeologists today as a perceptive pioneer collector of Ice Age flint artefacts during the early suburbanisation of London. The photo by Matt Pope FSA
shows attendees just inside the main gates of Abney Park Cemetery. The excursion’s leaders were Nick Ashton FSA
(fourth from left), Simon Lewis (fifth from left) and Peter Hoare (sixth). The couple in front on the right are Peter and Felicity White; Peter is a great-great-nephew of W G Smith.
Robert Waterhouse FSA
has written The Tavistock Canal: Its History and Archaeology
. Its publication by the Trevithick Society marks the bicentenary of the canal’s opening. As well as telling the canal’s story, the book contains detailed archaeological drawings of the canal’s structures; it also covers civil engineering, wharfs and ports, the mines, foundries and other industries which it served, and the plateway and railway systems in the vicinity. The blurb calls the book ‘the most important piece of research on industrial archaeology and history in Devon and Cornwall for 50 years.’ It is to be launched at Tavistock Museum on 11 November.
Mark Harrison FSA,
Head of Heritage Crime & Policing Advice at Historic England, writes to say that he has ‘discovered a shipwreck on the north Kent coast at Tankerton’. The wreck had first been noticed in 1996, but little of it showed until a few months ago when the Timescapes team returned for a survey. Mark Dunkley FSA
has given the site a preliminary evaluation for Historic England, and Nigel Nayling FSA
is working on dendrochronology of the timbers. Worldwide, Nayling tells the BBC
, post-Medieval boats are very rare in the condition of the new find.
Written in Stone: Papers on the Function, Form, and Provenancing of Prehistoric Stone Objects in Memory of Fiona Roe
, edited by Ruth Shaffrey, honours Fiona Roe FSA
(1939–2015). Its 15 chapters reflect three aspects of her work, which focused on stone tools and other artefacts from prehistoric Britain not made from flint. Axeheads, maceheads, battle axes and felsite tools are discussed in 'Implement Petrology and Typology'. 'Prehistoric Querns' considers their form, function and dating. 'Other Uses of Stone' covers bracers, loomweights, jet jewellery, polissoirs and stone sources. The book’s 25 contributors, writes John Cruse FSA
, include many Fellows.
Tim Loughton FSA
has made a splash in the media. ‘I spend up to an hour in the bath every morning,’ he told a Westminster meeting, ‘just thinking about things.’ Loughton, who is Member of Parliament for East Worthing and Shoreham, will be known to many Fellows as a co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group. He also co-chairs the APPG on Mindfulness, and was addressing an international conference he had co-hosted on meditation, self-awareness and politics. The press’s response to revelations of his morning routine was such that he was drawn to explain in a piece in the Times
(20 October). ‘Most of us have stressful lives,’ he said, ‘but just taking a few minutes out to put down the mobile phone, switch off the emails, stop stressing about what happened yesterday or is coming up tomorrow, and focus on the here and now and the things around you, can set you up well for the day.’ He wrote of the challenges presented by an ‘epidemic of mental illness in the UK’.
I mentioned On the Ocean: The Mediterranean and the Atlantic from Prehistory to AD 1500
, by Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA
, in the last Salon
. His publisher, Oxford University Press, has put a series of video clips in a blog
in which Cunliffe talks about themes from the book. In the September issue of the Literary Review
, Felipe Fernández-Armesto FSA
says Cunliffe sets out on ‘the daunting but vital job of showing how the two economies [of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic] interlocked’. ‘Overall,’ he concludes, ‘the total effect of On the Ocean
is to encourage a new way of looking at European history using a maritime perspective. I hope it changes the way people think: it is good enough to do so.’
Michael Danti FSA
and Carolyn Guile (right) organised a conference at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, to answer questions about current threats to cultural property in times of conflict (18–20 October). According to the Cultural Heritage Lawyer
, who has summarised proceedings, Danti called the art market the world's ‘largest lawful unregulated business’. ‘Complicit experts take advantage of it’, he said. Sales have fallen since 2014 because ‘collectors may be aware that their purchases may be related to terrorism and other activity.’ He warned, however, that most antiquities looted from the Middle East today won't reach the market 'for maybe five or ten years'.
Philip (Phil) Clarke FSA
died on 31 August aged 64. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in February 2009. Theresa Clarke tells Salon
that her late husband was passionate about archaeology, and hoped that his work will continue to benefit others; he was, she says, very proud to be a Fellow.
Paul Gilman FSA
, who retired from Essex County Council in 2016, remembers a colleague of many years:
‘Phil graduated in Archaeology and Religious Studies from Lancaster University in 1977, and subsequently joined Essex County Council’s Archaeology Section. He was appointed Principal Archaeologist of the newly formed Field Archaeology Unit in 1992. Phil oversaw the development of the unit as it adapted to the new regime of contract archaeology, following the introduction of Planning Policy Guidance Note 16 in 1990.
‘During his career in Essex, Phil directed a number of large-scale excavation, survey and other projects. Two of these were published as monographs in the East Anglian Archaeology (EAA) series: Excavations to the South of Chignall Roman Villa, Essex 1977–81
, by C P Clarke (EAA 83, 1998), and An Early Neolithic Ring-ditch and Middle Bronze Age Cemetery: Excavation and Survey at Brightlingsea, Essex
, by C P Clarke and N J Lavender (EAA 126, 2008). Many other sites were published in Essex Archaeology and History
, the transactions of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History. He was also heavily involved in securing English Heritage funding for the major excavations of the Romano-British ‘small town’ at Elms Farm, near Maldon.
‘Phil left Essex County Council in 2003, and moved to Dorset, where he began a self-funded doctoral research project into large area rural archaeological survey and public participation, which was one of his great passions. In 2006 he set up Arrowhead Archaeology offering consultancy and field archaeology services. Most recently Phil worked extensively on behalf of Dorchester Town Council, writing management plans and obtaining Scheduled Monument Consent through Historic England for Maumbury Rings, The Walks and Borough Gardens in Dorchester.
‘He had been a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists since 1995.’
Jane Laughton FSA
died on 15 October aged 78. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in October 2010. Her husband, Antony Laughton, says she was greatly honoured to have been made a Fellow, and enjoyed her occasional visits to Burlington House and its library.
Jane Laughton was an independent historical researcher and consultant with a special interest in Medieval towns. She studied Chester for her PhD thesis at Cambridge University (1994), which remained a particular focus for her. She collaborated with historians and archaeologists on English Heritage’s Chester Rows Research Project (published in 1999) and the Victoria County History, A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5, Part 1: The City of Chester
(2003). Her monograph Life in a Late Medieval City: Chester 1275–1520
(2008) was praised by reviewers.
An obituary for Stephen Croad FSA
, who died in September
, was published in the Guardian
on 23 October. ‘His was one of the great enabling contributions to English architectural history and public life,’ writes John Bold FSA
Memorials to Fellows
Andrew Oddy FSA visited Great Malvern Priory and noticed two memorials to Fellows. He has transcribed them thus:
On a brass plate on the wall in the north chancel aisle:
IN MEMORY OF
GORDON McNEIL RUSHFORTH
BY WHOSE RARE KNOWLEDGE
AND SKILFUL DIRECTION
THE ANCIENT WINDOWS
OF THIS CHURCH
On a wooden tablet on the organ casing:
THIS ORGAN-LOFT IS ERECTED
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
in memory of
LOUIS ARTHUR HAMAND
DMUS (OXON) FRCO FSA
ORGANIST and CHOIRMASTER
During these years he was
responsible for the rebuilding of
the organ and for the safe
keeping and replacement of the
15th century glass in
the 1939-1945 war.
Choristers, the Oratorio Choir
and many friends remember him
with affection and gratitude.
Gordon McNeil Rushforth FSA (1862–1938) was, as T P Wiseman’s article in Papers of the British School at Rome 49 (1981), 144–63 is titled, ‘The first Director of the British School’. Wiseman describes Rushworth’s book, Medieval Christian Imagery as Illustrated by the Painted Windows of Great Malvern Priory Church, Worcestershire (1936) as ‘a magnificent achievement’. The photo of Rushforth in 1937 is from Vidimus, in a feature about his life.
Louis Arthur Hamand FSA (1873–1955) also published a book about the priory glass, The Ancient Windows of Gt. Malvern Priory Church (1947), along with a variety of guides and An Organist Remembers: An Autobiography (1949–50).
The Wisdom of Fellows
‘The new film Breathe,’ writes Norman Hammond FSA, ‘has a substantial part for the friend of the hero, Robin Cavendish, who helps to develop the portable iron-lung-in-a-wheelchair. This friend was Edward T Hall FSA (Teddy to everybody), who died on 11 August 2001, the co-founder with the late Martin Aitken FSA of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford University.’
Breathe tells the story of Cavendish's determination to survive polio. Mark Kermode describes it in the Observer (where he gave the film four out of five stars) thus: ‘Part exuberant love story, part great escape adventure, this is an old-fashioned tale of triumph over adversity that refuses – like its protagonists – to succumb to confinement. Comparisons with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Theory of Everything are perhaps inevitable, but I was reminded more of the warmth and wit of the lovely 2014 Edwyn Collins documentary The Possibilities Are Endless. I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed and cried so much at the same movie.’
Teddy Hall (played by Hugh Bonneville) is an ‘eccentric professor who develops a Heath Robinson-style contraption combining a wheelchair with a respirator. Utilising a bicycle chain and a set of Sturmey-Archer gears, the device reignites Robin’s wanderlust, challenging the restrictive expectations placed on his condition by medicine – and by society at large.’
Have you seen the film? Let us know what you thought of it, and of Taylor’s depiction – especially if you knew him.
Writing in the Monumental Brass Society Bulletin (136, page 716) under the heading, ‘A plea for help’, George McHardy FSA describes a memorial to John Britton FSA (1771–1857) in Salisbury Cathedral; his photos are reproduced here. McHardy noticed ‘what I cannot remember ever having before seen in a 19th-century brass’, small roundels in the bottom corners of the slab, ‘so skilfully inlaid that it must almost seem that the slab is not of marble or stone and that the white infill material was some soft, even liquid-like, compound.’ The right-hand monogram, says McHardy, can be read as ‘J H & Co’, for the engraver John Hardman & Co. The other is ‘both difficult to read and … difficult to interpret.’ Can readers of the MBS Bulletin help, he asks? Can any Fellows help, wonders Norman Hammond (and Salon)?
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Our programme of Ordinary Meetings will resume in October.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
2 November: 'Keeping the National Heritage List for England', by Dr Deborah Mays (Head of Listing and Advice, English Heritage), on behalf of Dr Roger Bowdler FSA (Please note: This lecture was originally promoted for 5 October, to be given by Roger Bowdler. Please forgive change in schedule.)
9 November: 'Thomas Rickman, FSA (1776–1841) and the Rickman Research Project', by Dr Megan Aldrich FSA and Dr Alexandrina Buchanan.
16 November: 'The South Wiltshire Temple: An Unusual Late Roman Temple and its Landscape Context', by Dr David Roberts, Richard Henry and Steve Roskams.
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that lecture programmes are planned between 6 and 12 months in advance.
Conferences and Seminars
6 November: Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos
This conference will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. Tickets are £15 each.
Introductory Tours for Fellows
Not just for newly-elected Fellows! If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's professional staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House. Coffee is served at 10.45; tours begin at 11.00.
1 February: Tours are free, but booking is required.
19 April: Tours are free, but booking is required.
28 June: Tours are free, but booking is required.
Forthcoming Public Events
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.
28 November: 'Will Van Gogh's Sunflowers Ever Wilt?', by Ashok Roy FSA.
16 January: 'Chinese Art for Western Interiors, c. 1650-1850', by Colin Sheaf FSA.
27 February: 'The Domestication of the Dromedary Camel', by Peter Magee FSA.
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at email@example.com.
30 November: the Society of Antiquaries of London will hold a meeting for York Fellows with a lecture by Dr Hannah Russ, 'Understanding Life in the Roman Town'. Save the date; more information on the Society's website at www.sal.org.uk/events.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
31 October: Pitt Rivers: Pioneer (Bournemouth)
The first Annual Pitt River Lecture will be given by Richard Bradley FSA in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University at 7 pm. Pitt Rivers, widely known as ‘The General’, was a distinguished British soldier, anthropologist and archaeologist who is often considered to be the ‘father of scientific archaeology’. The lecture launches the celebration of 50 years of archaeological and anthropological teaching and research at Bournemouth University and its predecessor intuitions, and has been organised by staff and students connected to the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology. Details online.
2 November: Portraits, Authenticity, and Copies in the 17th and 18th Centuries (London)
Horace Walpole’s collection at Strawberry Hill was famously full of portraits. Formed at a period when there was much less emphasis on the ‘original‘ than there is today, it included many copies, both specially commissioned and unrecognised, as well as misdescriptions and deliberate fakes. This study day will focus on meaning and authenticity in portraits in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been prompted by the installation in the Holbein Chamber of digital facsimiles, made by Factum Arte, of George Vertue’s accurate copies, made in 1743, of 33 of Holbein’s famous drawings of the court of Henry VIII. Speakers include Stephen Lloyd FSA and Michael Snodin FSA, covering the whole practise of portrait copying, from the legacy of Holbein to the work of the Harding family into the early 19th century. Details online, or email Claire Leighton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 November: Glass: Archaeology, History and Practice (London)
Glass is an extraordinary material, with its properties of translucence and transparency, strength and fragility, versatility and beauty, its recyclability and practicality, and its special relationship with heat – all lending themselves to comparative exploration. History, process and conservation, and the variety of uses of glass, will be addressed at the British School at Rome’s first Interdisciplinary Workshop around materials, organised by its two Research Faculties (advisory bodies) for the arts and the humanities. It will be held in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre at the British Museum. Speakers include John Shepherd FSA and John Mitchell FSA. Details online.
2 November: Remote Sensing and Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture by Robert Bewley FSA in the British Museum. The Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project is discovering, documenting and assessing threats to archaeological sites using satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The paper will present the approach, results and future strategies for the project. Details online.
4–5 November: Small is Beautiful – Miniature Objects and Why We Love Them (London)
This course at the Victoria and Albert Museum will look at a range of beautifully crafted miniature objects from the renaissance to the present day. You will be offered the opportunity to handle them and to consider how we form relationships with objects, mentally and physically. The course will also explore how these small-scale masterpieces were made and how this contributes to their appeal. From the complex chemistry behind the steadfast colour of enamel miniatures, to the mind-bogglingly intricate construction of micromosaics, the technical mastery behind each object will be revealed. Details online.
6 November: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos (London)
Adrian Ailes FSA (Bristol University), Clive Cheesman FSA (Richmond Herald), Marcus Meer (Durham University) and Fiona Robertson FSA (Durham University) have organised this symposium at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. It will consider visible ways in which identity has been expressed since 1100, principally in heraldry. The opening address will be delivered by Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada, followed by Torsten Hiltmann of Münster University. The Society's Head of Library and Collections Heather Rowland and Publications Manager Lavinia Porter, and Elizabeth Roads FSA, are among other speakers. Details online.
6 November: 2017 CBA Archaeology Day and AGM (London)
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) presents a series of linked events starting at 14.30, with plenty of opportunity to meet people with a passion for archaeology and hear about some of the latest issues facing the sector. The event is open to all. There will be a panel debate on Archaeology and the Public Image, at which Sarah May, Janet Miller FSA and David Jennings FSA will discuss how archaeologists can work together to improve archaeology’s image. The 2017 Beatrice de Cardi Lecture will be given by Christopher Dobbs FSA, Head of Interpretation and Maritime Archaeology, and Alexzandra Hildred FSA, Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance and Human Remains, at the Mary Rose Museum. In the 35th anniversary year of the raising of the wreck, they will speak on Presenting Maritime Archaeology to the Public: The Mary Rose. Finally, in addition to the CBA’s AGM, the 2017 winners of the three Marsh Archaeology Awards – for Community Archaeologist of the Year, Young Archaeologist of the Year, and the Marsh Award for Community Archaeology – will be announced, with presentations made. Details online.
The Heritage Practice Training Programme, a three-year Continuing Professional Development (CPD) partnership between Historic England and the University of Leicester, ends soon. The last few courses, delivered by expert staff from Historic England, the University of Leicester and other organisations, are being held in Leicester. See online details for each course, or contact Pete Alfano at email@example.com.
7 November: The Next Life of Pliny the Younger (London)
Roy Gibson will give a lecture for the Roman Society at Senate House. Details online.
6–7 November: The Conservation and Management of Rural Buildings
8 November: Built Heritage and our Digital Legacy
10 November: Managing, preserving and displaying community archives
17–19 November: Arras 200 – Celebrating the Iron Age (York)
This year’s Royal Archaeological Institute conference is in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Museum. The conference will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first excavations on the Middle Iron Age cemetery at Arras in East Yorkshire, and will coincide with a special exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum displaying artefacts from those excavations. Twelve speakers will discuss recent excavations and other current research. There will be an optional field visit to the site of the Arras cemetery and Hull and East Riding Museum, which holds finds from other important Middle Iron Age ‘square barrow’ cemeteries. Details online.
29 November: Nihon to Seiyō: Japan and the West (London)
Neil Jackson FSA will give the 2017 Annual Lecture of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, at the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House. He will look at the influence of Japanese architecture in the West, and of Western architecture upon Japan, over the last 150 years. Following sakoku, Japan's self-enforced seclusion from the 1630s, the opening up of the country in the 19th century led to the rapid westernisation of many aspects of Japanese culture, not least its architecture. Meanwhile, in the West, Japan became suddenly fashionable and western architecture responded accordingly. Jackson will examine five examples of the architectural 'dialogue'. Details online.
5 December: Heritage Day 2017 (London)
The Heritage Alliance’s annual Heritage Day (‘the biggest event in the heritage calendar’) will be held in the Grade-I listed Royal Society of Arts house built by the Adam brothers in 1774. Speakers will include Chairman Loyd Grossman FSA and John Glen MP, Heritage Minister. This popular event offers delegates the chance to meet a wide range of colleagues from across the sector, and hear eminent speakers address the latest issues affecting the future of our heritage. There will be a presentation of the Heritage Alliance's Ecclesiastical's Heritage Heroes Awards, a series of HEDx presentations from Alliance members, and the annual launch of Heritage Counts. Details online.
6 December: House, Shop and Wardrobe in London’s Merchant Community (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Merchants, Money and Megalomania, he will unearth the lost mercantile buildings of medieval London and show how influential they were. Details online.
7 December: Byzantine Routes And Frontiers in Eastern Pontus (London)
Jim Crow FSA will speak at the British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, in a British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara event in memory of Anthony Bryer FSA, who died last October. Byzantine Trebizond (Trabzon) has a rich collection of written sources up to 1461. This lecture will combine new archaeological evidence from the miracle tales of St Eugenios, with fieldwork carried out at east Trabzon at the monastery at Buzluca. It is possible to reconstruct routes and journeys across the Pontic mountains and identify Byzantine border lands around Bayburt and beyond. Details online.
7 December: The Sunbeam Struck the Roof – a journey of Discovery in Jerusalem (London)
Archie Walls FSA will give the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Evans Memorial Lecture at the British Museum. During a night-time visit to the Haram, by chance he turned west towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the sun rose over the Mount of Olives. Sunbeams struck the roof of the Rotunda of the Church, and illuminated the tops of two nearby minarets. As Architect to the British School of Archaeology (1968–75) and in his spare time architect to the Armenians in the Church, Walls knew these buildings well, but this was a surprise. The lecture will present the case for a conscious relationship made in stone between the three monuments, and will draw an unconventional conclusion as to how it should be interpreted. Details online.
17 January 2018: London Merchants and Their Residences (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. This is the second of two lectures with the theme Merchants, Money and Megalomania. Details online.
20 January 2018: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The eighth conference in its series, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, takes place at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Speakers include Paul Holden FSA (the Lanhydrock Atlas 1696), Pete Smith FSA (the English Country House and the Civil War) and Adam White FSA (the Banqueting House and Grotto at Skipton Castle). Details online.
2–4 February 2018: Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland 1990–2020 (Oxford)
This is the last in an annual series of chronologically arranged weekends at Rewley House on Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland. Starting in the 1990s, when members of many of the more recently arrived faiths and Christian denominations began to build permanent, purpose-designed, places of worship, contributors will discuss the proliferation of buildings, discussing their distinctive features, and the ways in which they are used for worship. An overall picture will emerge of how religious diversity is reflected in physical reality and in the contemporary landscape. Speakers include Sharman Kadish FSA and the Director of Studies is Paul Barnwell FSA. Details online.
19 February 2018: The Forests of Essex (London)
This day conference at Gilwell Park, held in memory of Oliver Rackham FSA, will explore the cultural and natural heritage of the forests of Essex, and issues of the understanding, management and future of trees, woods and forests in the county. The conference will include a keynote session by Tom Williamson and contributions from Charles Watkins FSA. Details online.
7 March 2018: St James’s and the Birth of the West End (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks into the ingredients that went into making a court quarter there and the way it formed a blueprint for the new West End of London. Details online.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.
18 April 2018: The Birth of Modern Theatreland: Covent Garden and the Two Theatres Royal (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the second of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks at the significance and impact of theatres on the development of London. Details online.
28 April 2018: Ancient to Modern: The Changing Landscape of Sussex (Lewes)
A day conference offering a broad overview of the changing relationship between the Sussex landscape and the people who lived there, from the earliest arrivals. The emphasis will be on how new ideas resulted in significant changes in the use of the Sussex landscape. Speakers, specialists in their periods, include Sue Berry FSA, John Manley FSA, David Martin FSA and Matt Pope FSA. Details online.
Call for Papers
7–8 February 2018: Celebrating Ten Years of New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach (Aberystwyth)
Organised by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Digital Past is a two-day conference which showcases innovative digital technologies for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of heritage sites and artefacts. As this year marks Digital Past’s 10th anniversary, we will reflect on the exciting developments over ten years of digital heritage, the lessons learnt, and the opportunities and challenges for the sector in the decade ahead. We are seeking submissions from those working on innovative projects in research or operational capacity, who may contribute made through formal presentations or workshops, or more informally through the ‘unconference’ session or a show stand, in Welsh, English, or bilingually. Details online.
The Society of Antiquaries is currently recruiting for a Communications Manager. This is a full-time, permanent role for an individual with experience working in an arts or heritage organisation and with a strong background in membership communications, marketing, public relations, and project management. Find out more via our website.
The Department for Continuing Education, Central Oxford, seeks a Departmental Lecturer in Architectural History. Deadline for applications noon 24 November.
The Society is also recruiting volunteers for our Journal Collection Review. The project will be of particular interest to students and recent graduates of Library and Information Studies, as well as subjects relating to History, Archaeology and the History of Art. This project is long-term, offering long- and short-term volunteering opportunities. More information is available on the website.
The appointee will contribute to the teaching, supervision, examining and organisation of the Architectural History Programme. Sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge will be required in the architectural history of England to be able to teach the broad-ranging syllabus, and to supervise dissertations in both architectural history (following a humanities-based tradition) and historic conservation (a social-science model). Details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, 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 Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.