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Salon: Issue 415
16 October 2018

Next issue: 30 October

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

Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon EditorSalon doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.

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

From the Desk of the General Secretary

A History of England in 100 Places 

In 2018, Kelmscott Manor was chosen by public nomination as one of the ten sites in Historic England's Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 places Art, Architecture and Sculpture section. This campaign became an award-winning podcast series and a beautifully illustrated book of all 100 places which has just been published and is available in all good bookshops. It is an honour to be featured alongside so many other amazing places. Find out more:

As the season draws to a close at Kelmscott, we are delighted to report that we have been busy with approximately 21,000 visitors enjoying the manor this year. Our family events have been well received, with a diverse audience engaging with our history. This year we took part in the national Campaign for Drawing (The Big Draw) and had a fantastic turn out on the day. The hot summer sunshine helped visitors enjoy the surrounding gardens and meadows although, by the end of August, the lawns were looking very parched.
This year’s exhibition on the Scott-Snells ‘Only There is Life’ has been well received by visitors’, adding more interest to the history of the Manor. 

Digisation Project 

As part of its strong commitment to supporting research, the Society is continuing with its drive to digitise its extensive backlist of research reports and other monographs, and making these available as Open Access. Included among these are reports on iconic excavations and special conferences held at the Society. You may have already viewed via OAPEN Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeological Investigations 190479 by Fellows Roberta Gilchrist & Cheryl Green (, which will also be available via ADS from next month. More titles are in preparation, but the Society needs your help to complete this important project.
Do you have any duplicate copies of volumes from SoA’s Research Reports or Occasional Publications? Are you planning to move in the near future and wish to downsize your library? Are you having trouble finding the space to store all your SoA titles? Please consider donating your books to the SoA’s digitisation project and help to make key research available as Open Access.
Titles of particular interest include the following volumes from the SoA Research Reports series:
  • VI: First report on the excavation of the Roman Fort at Richborough, Kent by J P Bushe-Fox (1926)
  • VII: Second report on the excavation of the Roman Fort at Richborough, Kent by J P Bushe-Fox (1928)
  • XI: Verulamium: a Belgic and two Roman cities by R E M Wheeler & T V Wheeler (1936)
  • XXXVII: Mount Pleasant, Dorset, by G J Wainright (1979)
The Society needs copies in good condition, i.e. with pages clean and intact, though some yellowing would be acceptable. The books are stripped of their covers and their pages individually fed into a scanning machine to produce searchable PDFs so they would not be returnable.
If you have some books that might be of interest and would be happy to support the Society and this project by donating them, in the first instance please contact the Publications Manager Lavinia Porter (, with details of what books you have. The Society would be happy to reimburse postage and packing.

We are excited to announce that the Society’s very first monographs to be online as Open Access are now available via OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks). The first two titles selected for this are:
Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeological Investigations 1904-79 by Roberta Gilchrist & Cheryl Green
Sherborne Old Castle, Dorset: Archaeological Investigations 1930-90 by Peter White & Alan Cook
Early next year we will be putting more monographs online this way as Open Access, with a view to eventually publishing all the Society’s monographs this way. Fellows will be notified through SALON as and when these titles are available online.

The Late Glacial Palaeolithic 

Conference 26 November 2018

The Late Glacial Palaeolithic: Open Air Sites and Their Landscapes (£20)
Organised by Prof Nicholas Barton, FSA

Archaeological research into the Later Upper Palaeolithic in Britain has often focused on caves and rock shelter sites – from major fieldwork surveys in karstic areas to renewed investigation of known sites that has led to some new discoveries such as the first British example of Palaeolithic rock art at Creswell Crags. Coupled with these studies has been a comprehensive programme of radiocarbon dating of human and animal bone remains from cave sites that have provided one of the best chronological records for the Late Glacial period anywhere in Europe.  According to archaeological survey data from adjacent areas of the continent, Later Upper Palaeolithic open-air sites should be preserved in lowland Britain. But there are only rare occurrences of such examples here and their potential has largely been overlooked. This conference will refocus attention on the broad use of Late Glacial landscapes and open-air sites by mobile groups of early hunter-gatherers. Book online at

Part of New-Found Sun Chariot Displayed at Stonehenge


A temporary exhibition at Stonehenge which represents the first collaboration between English Heritage and the British Museum uses a handful of iconic artefacts to tell a story of varying links between the British Isles and the rest of Europe. An important ‘sun disc’ gets its first showing in modern times.
Among the displayed objects are a copper alloy axe blade and dagger, chosen to match famous carvings on one of the stones at Stonehenge, identified by Richard Atkinson FSA in 1953 (seen on the eve of the exhibition above). The axe is from a hoard found on Arreton Down on the Isle of Wight in 1735, reported then to the Society of Antiquaries and ever since a pivotal find in the study of UK prehistoric metallurgy. In 1986 Stuart Needham FSA showed in the Antiquaries Journal how the contents of the Arreton hoard had become confused over the centuries, and listed a definitive 16 pieces. Only two years later the exhibited axe, also from the hoard, was acquired by the British Museum from the late Lord Alistair McAlpine. The dagger was acquired by the BM in 1882, having been dredged from the River Thames.
The sun disc (left) is displayed for the first time in living memory. Dating to around 1500–1300 BC, its fixings and decoration suggest it is the wheel of a chariot thought to have something to do with celestial observation and ceremonies. Sun chariots are found across continental Europe, but this disc is the first evidence of the idea in the British Isles. Acquired by the British Museum from an Irish dealer, it was compared to the wheels of a chariot from Trundholm in National Museum Denmark by BM curators in the 1920s, but was then mysteriously forgotten about. Florent Mathias, a PhD student in Paris, saw early descriptions and tracked it down in London. His research continues into what promises to be a transforming discovery and one that, though small and easy to miss in the show, will be of particular interest to prehistorians.
The exhibition argues that in the late Neolithic, the time of Stonehenge, communities were insular: people travelled widely and exchanged ideas within Britain, but turned their backs on continental Europe. Before and after, however, ‘mass migrations’ occurred, with objects, styles and religious beliefs shared widely with the continent. In the Early Neolithic artefacts such as the illustrated jadeitite axe blade (from ‘Canterbury’), from the French-Italian Alps, show distant connections. In the Early Bronze Age, the arrival of metalworking occurred during a migration ‘that almost completely replaced the communities of the British Isles in the course of a few centuries.’
Making Connections: Stonehenge in its Prehistoric World is curated by Susan Greaney FSA (English Heritage) and Neil Wilkin FSA (British Museum), and is at the Stonehenge visitor centre until 21 April 2019.


BM Director Says Universities Should Teach More About Finds

On the day the Stonehenge exhibition opened on 12 October, British Museum Director Hartwig Fischer FSA launched a conference in London to celebrate 15 years of a nationwide Portable Antiquities Scheme, an internationally famous partnership project that engages directly with thousands of people in England and Wales.
On 4 October BBC Radio 3 broadcast a discussion between Michael Govan, Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA, Sabine Haag, Director, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna and Hartwig Fischer. Chaired by Anne McElvoy, it was recorded at the Royal Institution in London as part of the 2018 Frieze London Art Fair.
The British Museum, quips Fischer, presents ‘two million years of contemporary art’. ‘It is meant to do experiments,’ he says, ‘to bring together different disciplines that work together in this museum to create new knowledge.’ As well as welcoming large numbers of overseas visitors in London, he added, ‘It‘s extremely active across the country working with institutions big and small through all regions and nations, with loans, travelling exhibitions, skill sharing, training and so forth. And it works globally: the museum is active on all continents … It’s a global hub at the centre of London reaching out across the nation with absolutely unequalled collections, and a lot of excitement.’
The Portable Antiquities Scheme is housed with core staff at the British Museum, but most of the field work is done by a team of Finds Liaison Officers based at local institutions across England and Wales. Opening the symposium in London, Fischer thanked local partners, the metal-detecting community and PAS staff ‘for belief in what the scheme is trying to deliver.’ There is a need for more finds training, he added, ‘not least in universities’.

Other speakers and panellists at the symposium included Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA, Kevin Leahy FSA, Tim Pestell FSA, Julia Farley FSA, Adam Daubney FSA, Carenza Lewis FSA, Mike Heyworth FSA, Helen Geake FSA and Gail Boyle FSA.

Dorset Roman Mosaic Sold to Unknown Buyer

An unusual and rarely seen mosaic from a Roman villa in Dorset has been sold to an unknown buyer for £30,000. The floor fragment features a leopard with its teeth in the back of a leaping Dorcas gazelle, a north African scene hinting at the cosmopolitan nature of the villa’s owners.
The mosaic first came to light in 1740, when a storm uprooted a tree. The late Bill Putnam FSA began excavations at the site in Dewlish in 1969, as a teaching exercise for students at the History Department of Weymouth College of Education. A mosaic pavement was revealed in the first trench, and work continued until 1979 by when parts of a significant villa and outbuildings, including a possible temple, had been exposed. Interim reports were published in the Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society. However, with inadequate planning for funding and managing post-excavation (not uncommon at the time), Putnam was unable to complete a definitive study of the project. Some of the finds and records have yet to be traced.
In 2010 the Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, decided to analyse its earliest archaeological projects, among which the largest was the Dewlish villa. ‘The situation was critical,’ wrote Iain Hewitt and Tilia Cammegh in ARA News (2015), ‘because the excavation archive had been removed from the University in order to facilitate Bill Putnam's own post-excavation project… There was much that needed to be done.’ Reports were commissioned from a long list of archaeologists, among them several Fellows: Denise Allen FSA (glass), Stephen Cosh FSA (mosaics), James Gerrard FSA (coins), and Ellen Hambleton FSA and Mark Maltby FSA (animal bones).
‘Much of the necessary post-excavation work is complete,’ concluded Hewitt and Cammegh in 2015, ‘but, in the absence of plans and section drawings for Building 1 (Rooms 31 to 39), there is some work to be done in making good the overall site plan. One box of environmental samples has been salvaged from a barn and its contents need to be fully assessed and tested as appropriate. As part of the current project, a partial geophysical survey was carried out on the Dewlish villa site. This revealed that the complex is more extensive than previously supposed.’
On 16 September Iain Hewitt posted a report on Facebook, where he has been chronicling the continuing progress of the Dewlish project, with news of ‘a sad event’. Duke's of Dorchester, he wrote, had sold the leopard mosaic fragment on 6 September.
The panel had been the most complete of several Roman mosaic pavements, three of which were notable. Two were in the bath house, and one, the leopard, was in Room 11, ‘the grand axial chamber, arguably the seat of administration and justice on the villa estate… the mosaic had suffered extensive damage in the past, but it was possible to infer that each of the component panels had depicted a hunting scene of some sort.’
It was decided to lift this mosaic, wrote Hewitt, ‘and the two remaining floor fragments from the bath house. Legally, all three floors belonged to the land owners, but the two bath house floors were made available to the Dorset County Museum as loan items, whilst the Leopard and Dorcas motif was hung in Dewlish House. Few people will have seen the Leopard and Dorcas panel because access to Dewlish House has been limited, just one day each year apparently. Recently, the owners decided to sell the panel.’
The photo at the top shows the panel in the ground during excavation (from Hewitt’s Facebook page), and that above as illustrated by Duke’s. Thanks to the Durotriges Project @Durotrigesdig.

Sussex Medieval Paintings Linked to Shropshire Church

Roger Rosewell FSA, author of Medieval Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches, writes with news of an important discovery that throws new light on the church of St Mary Magdalene, Quatford, Shropshire, and some Medieval wall paintings in Sussex:
‘Late last year my attention was drawn to a previously unknown watercolour from the 1730s depicting some now lost wall paintings in Quatford church (above).
‘To my amazement the depicted scheme was extremely similar to a group of internationally important c 1100 Medieval wall paintings in Sussex, at Hardham, Clayton, Coombes, Plumpton and Westmeston, collectively known as the “Lewes Group” after early 20th-century scholars had suggested that they may have been commissioned or influenced in some way by Lewes Priory. Hardham (below) is the most complete Romanesque scheme in Britain; by contrast the paintings at Westmeston are known only via drawings made before their destruction in the 19th century.

‘Most books/articles etc about Medieval wall paintings (including my own) have repeated the early 20th century suggestion about the Sussex paintings being associated in some way with Lewes Priory, while offering an alternative explanation that they may instead have been commissioned by a wealthy lay patron. As long ago as 1984 David Park FSA suggested that one of these patrons could have been the Lord of Arundel Rape.
‘The discovery of the Quatford scheme transforms this discussion. The paintings are similar in subject and, as far as one can tell from the watercolour, in style and colour to the Sussex group. Significantly Roger de Montgomery, the Lord of Arundel Rape, was also the first Earl of Shrewsbury and founded Quatford church in the 1080s. He was succeeded by his son, who died without issue in 1098. The “Lewes Group” needs renaming!
‘Having discussed the paintings with David Park – who discovered the watercolour as part of a wider project – I have co-authored an article about the Quatford paintings which will appear in the forthcoming journal of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society.’
Church photo from Geograph by Geoff Pick.

When did lemurs first see humans?

How people found and settled Madagascar is one of the most extraordinary stories in the spread of humans around the globe. And now it’s being contested.
Hominins evolved over millions of years in Africa. Various species left the continent and colonised Asia and Europe, with modern humans entering Europe 45,000 years ago and reaching north America, on present understanding, perhaps 15,000 years ago.
Yet, though some of the most iconic early human fossil sites are relatively close to Madagascar across the Mozambique Channel in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, there were no people on the great island until much more recently, traditionally said to be from shortly after the birth of Christ. And they came first not from Africa, but Indonesia, crossing the Indian Ocean or working their way around the coast in outrigger canoes. Others soon arrived from African and Middle Eastern countries, so that from an early date Madagascan culture, represented by language, religious practices, crafts, music and more, has been a unique blend of otherwise separate traditions.
The late arrival of people also partly accounts, in the traditional telling, for Madagascar’s wildlife, which evolved in the absence of large carnivores. This narrative has been questioned, however, with evidence proposed for settlement dating back to 5,000 years ago. Most recently, in September, a group of scientists published research suggesting a further doubling of this timeline. They described bones of the island’s unique extinct elephant birds Aepyornis and Mullerornis which bore human butchery marks, and dated from 10,500 years ago. As well as ‘changing our understanding of the history of human colonization of Madagascar,’ wrote James Hanford and colleagues in the journal Science Advances, ‘This revision of Madagascar’s prehistory suggests prolonged human-faunal coexistence with limited biodiversity loss.’

Within weeks, however, other scientists published an article, in PLOS One (10 October), arguing that none of the evidence for settlement before 1,500 years ago stands up to scrutiny. A team led by Atholl Anderson FSA and including Geoffrey Clark FSA studied large samples of newly excavated bone from sites previously claimed to show human butchery more than 2,000 years ago. They couldn’t see it, and suggested that other claims to have found it are based on debatable identifications in inadequate samples, and confusion about the age of bones. ‘Human occupation in Madagascar,’ they write, ‘cannot be inferred convincingly before ~1350 cal BP [c AD 600]’.
The most recent claim for settlement as much as 10,500 years ago was published too late to be considered by the PLOS One article. However comments by Anderson in Cosmos (11 October) are dismissive. ‘Standard methodologies aren't reliable enough in distinguishing what might be anthropogenic from what might be natural damage,’ he says. ‘It's a long-standing problem in archaeology,’ adding, ‘Three bones is ridiculous.’

• The image at the top shows a wonderful wooden carving, which would now be over 70 years old, as it looked when I photographed it in the 1990s. On top of a post at a cemetery, it commemorates a tragic canoeing accident off southern Madagascar, and was made by a highly talented sculptor named Fesira.

‘Treat Heritage Workers Like Seasonal Agricultural Staff’

The Government’s Migration Advisory Committee published its final report on European Economic Area (EEA) migration on 18 September. Heritage professionals say the committee ignored evidence for the potential impact of Brexit on the sector.
The report was commissioned by the Home Secretary to inform a new migration system for the UK after 1 January 2021. It says the effect of EEA migration on the British economy has been exaggerated by those claiming both damages and benefits – the fall in the value of the pound after the referendum vote to leave the EU, it says, had a larger impact than all EEA migration since 2004. Six detailed external reports all find immigration having minimal impacts or bringing benefits: EEA migrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, for example, and contribute ‘much more’ to health services and social care than they consume; children with English as an additional language on average do better than native speakers. Considering ‘community impacts’, the report finds a growing proportion of people saying they like their neighbourhood, and a continuing fall in crime levels. It finds no evidence that migration has reduced a sense of well-being in the UK. The only significant negative effect reported seems to be a sudden increase in hate crime after the EU referendum.
The MAC recommended that preferential access for EU citizens be dropped, and that higher-skilled migration (nominally identified as filling jobs with salaries above £30,000) should be enabled at the expense of lower-skilled.
Early in its work, the MAC called for evidence. Among those who offered detailed evidence was the Heritage Alliance, but, it says in a comment published on 3 October (scroll down for second report), ‘despite the size and significance of our sector, there is no reference to the impacts of their proposals on our predominantly highly skilled but low paid heritage sector.’ ‘Our research,’ writes Lizzie Glithero-West FSA, Chief Executive of the Alliance, ‘shows that this £30k [minimum salary for visas] would exclude many essential professional skilled roles in areas such as conservation, archaeology and academia. We have skills gaps in this country and these are filled by colleagues from abroad (mainly Europe)… If reciprocally our experts cannot travel, we will lose our edge as world leading experts.’
‘Overall,’ she adds, ‘the proposals within the MAC report suggest a highly negative impact on heritage related migration from the EEA to the UK. There would appear to be a distinct lack of appreciation that skill and salary are not always proportional which is especially true in the heritage sector.’ Accordingly, ‘We consider it crucial that some form of exemption is applied for heritage workers along the lines of the seasonal agricultural scheme, or exemptions from a salary threshold as with teachers and wonder whether a good solution might be to apply exemptions for those sectors captured by the cooperative accords.’

Military Team Will Protect Monuments

Lt Colonel Tim Purbrick has taken up command of a new UK Cultural Property Protection Unit. The 15-strong group will recruit from members of the Army, Navy, RAF and Royal Marines. ‘We’re looking for experts in the fields of art, archaeology and art crime investigation,’ Purbrick told the Telegraph (11 October).
In answer to a question in Parliament in April 2016, the Secretary of State for Defence, then Michael Fallon, confirmed that such a unit would follow after the UK had ratified the Hague Convention. In December 2016 UNESCO launched a manual, Protection of Cultural Property Military, to help military forces engage with the protection of cultural heritage in situations of conflict, and specifically to assist military forces with the implementation of the Hague 1954 Convention and its 1999 Second Protocol.
The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017 received Royal Assent in February 2017. In July this year Purbrick tweeted a photo of himself (above, @TimPurbrick) with the comment, ‘Cultural Property Protection Unit. Hague Convention Blue Shield worn for the first time… The emblem will be worn as an enamelled shield on a black leather button fob on the upper right pocket of Blues and No 2 Dress.’ ‘Approval to wear’, he added, came from the Garter Principal King of Arms, Thomas Woodcock FSA.
The British team will be based at the headquarters of the 77th Brigade, said the Telegraph, in Hermitage, near Newbury. Purbrick proposed the unit while a reservist in the army’s Concept Branch, said the Times (12 October). ‘He was inspired by an article written by Peter Stone FSA, a Newcastle University heritage expert who advised Nato forces on how to avoid wiping out Roman ruins during its bombing of Libya in 2011. “The resurrection of the Monuments Men is fantastic news and I hope what they do will be taught at Sandhurst,” Professor Stone told The Times.’

• The Government’s White Paper on the relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit proposes ‘a new UK-EU culture and education accord’ that, among other things, would support ‘the restitution of cultural objects where these have been unlawfully removed’. ‘The current EU regime,’ says the paper, ‘allows Member States to circulate details of cultural objects that are unlawfully removed and ask for assistance from fellow Member States for return of the objects. The UK proposes continued affiliation with the cultural object restitution regime system to underpin efforts to prevent the illicit removal and trading of cultural objects.’

Fellows (and Friends)

Fellows Remembered below contains further notices on the late John Ashdown-Hill FSA, the late Rick Turner FSA and the late Henry Cleere FSA.

Ten new Fellows were elected on 11 October:
Philip De Jersey (Channel Islands archaeology and the academic and practical study of numismatics)
Simon Timberlake (Bronze Age metal mining and extraction in Britain, and experimental reconstruction of ore smelting methods)
Diane Abrams (Archaeology and planning in London and the South-East, especially post-Medieval cemeteries within Saxon Lundenwic)
Kieran McCarthy (Carl Faberge's work, and antique jewellery)
David Skinner (Historical musicology, musical institutions, manuscripts and composers of 16th-century Europe, especially music and the Reformation in England)
John Phillips (Masons' marks at Beverley Minster and other major churches)
Natasha Powers (Archaeology and osteology, with a particular focus on London, and forensic guidance)
Katie Hemer (Bioarchaeology, human skeletal remains, focussing on early Medieval populations from Wales and the Isle of Man, and the involvement of children in migration)
Jennifer Wexler (Archaeology, European prehistory and digital heritage)
Hannah Parham (Historic buildings)
For details see Ballot Results. Further details can be seen in the Ballot Archive (Fellows only).

Matthew P Canepa FSA (right) has joined the University of California, Irvine as the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran. Canepa’s appointment is within the UCI School of Humanities’ Department of Art History and PhD Program in Visual Studies, and affiliated with the UCI Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

Curtis Runnels FSA, Professor of Archaeology at Boston University (left), has been awarded the Archaeological Institute of America’s Gold Medal. There will be a session on the Earliest Prehistory of the Aegean at the AIA’s annual meeting on 4 January 2019, to honour his legacy to archaeology. Ian Hodder FSA, writes Norman Hammond FSA, received the 2018 medal, and earlier winners include Gordon R Willey FSA and Clemency Coggins FSA. Hammond himself has been elected a Member of the Academia Europaea.

Roman Dead, a free exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands, has two weeks to run before closing on October 28. It’s a sensitive, thoughtful and well displayed show with a lot of bones (‘This exhibition contains human remains of Roman adults and children,’ warns the museum), but it is less about death than the lives of people who created London. Excavation has found no significant pre-Roman settlement, so Londinium was by definition a migrant city: quite what a mixed, cosmopolitan place it was is only beginning to become clear from work of the kind illustrated here. Jackie Keily FSA and Becky Redfern FSA are among the curators, with input from John Pearce FSA from Kings College London. As Keily, Redfern and co-curator Meriel Jeater write in the current edition of British Archaeology, much thought went into how to present human remains to modern Londoners. One of the benefits will be public feedback. ‘We’ve discussed infant mortality,’ said a years 5 and 6 Latin teacher about the skeleton of a new-born baby, ‘so it’s easier, they know about it – it’s not like seeing themselves as a skeleton.’
Another Pevsner, more Fellows. Hampshire: South, a companion to Hampshire: Winchester and the North, started life as part of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, by Nikolaus Pevsner FSA and David W Lloyd (1967). In this new book Bruce Bailey FSA has covered the New Forest area and Charles O'Brien the rest, with further contributions from Simon Bradley FSA and Barry Cunliffe FSA. It features the woodland and heath of the New Forest to the cities along the Solent, and Saxon churches to Modernist seaside villas. The original text has been fully revised to include new research and 130 specially commissioned colour photos.

Sushma Jansari, Project Curator of the Asian Ethnographic and South Asia Collections at the British Museum, told the Guardian she had devised a talk series in response to Alice Procter’s Uncomfortable Art Tours, which claimed to expose the role of colonialism in building museum collections. Called Collecting Histories, the monthly free lunchtime lectures will include Southeast Asia, by Alexandra Green (9 November) and European Renaissance Ceramics, by Eloise Donnelly (14 December).
Alison Stones FSA has published a two-volume collection of articles, Studies in Arthurian Illustration. She has updated her papers on Arthurian manuscript illustration, says the blurb, ‘one of her continuing passions’. The essays explore the iconography of the romances of Chrétien de Troyes in French verse, the lengthy Lancelot-Grail romance in French prose, and other versions of the chivalrous exploits of King Arthur’s knights – ‘the best-sellers of the Middle Ages.’ Illustrated copies are common from the early 13th century through to the beginnings of print, and both text and pictures were enjoyed throughout the French-speaking world. Of special interest is the cultural context in which scribes and artists worked, and in which their patrons collected wide-ranging secular, liturgical and devotional books.

Archaeologists have been awarded a £360,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to help them ‘share the important scientific findings, technology and history behind the project’ to excavate HMS Invincible. Built by the French in 1744 and captured by the Royal Navy in 1747, Invincible sank in the Solent in 1758. Her design and 74-gun capacity were copied to become the backbone of the Royal Navy’s fleet until the beginning of the age of steam. In 2016 the Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust, which has been working with Bournemouth University, was awarded a LIBOR grant – funded by fines levied on the banking industry for manipulating the LIBOR rate – of £2,027,334 towards excavation and conservation of the wreck. The new grant will support finds conservation and study, and exhibitions. ‘Seeing the technologies which the project’s archaeologists and dive team use to understand this amazing wreck has been fascinating,’ Matthew Sheldon FSA, Director of Heritage, The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said in a statement. ‘– almost better than being there.’

On 4 October the Court of Appeal ruled that ministers should publish reasons for call-in decisions on planning applications, regardless of whether or not an application is called in. In his judgement Lord Justice Coulson said that such action had previously been promised by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and could not be rescinded without a further pubilc announcement. Referring to a controversial proposal for the Paddington Cube, Coulson said, ‘Of course, this did not happen here because no-one in the Department knew that they were changing a promised policy (because they had forgotten about it).’ ‘In recent years,’ said Marcus Binney FSA, Executive President of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, in a statement, ‘it has become increasingly hard to secure public inquiries into even the most controversial schemes which … are often approved by councils in complete disregard of their own planning policies – as in this case. The ringing judgment, calling ministers and civil servants to account, and criticising a major Whitehall blunder, will resonate through the planning system.’

Bob Geldof, an Irish musician, wrote an open letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, asking her to ‘Imagine Britain without its music.’ That, he suggested, could be an effect of Brexit, which ‘will impact every aspect of the music industry,’ not least the freedom of movement enjoyed by British musicians. Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, an ardent supporter of Brexit, commented that ‘Handel did not need the free movement of people to come to England and compose the Messiah’. Nicholas Hytner, former Director of the National Theatre, pointed out that in the 18th and 19th centuries, people did not need a passport to travel around Europe. But Parliament had to pass a naturalisation act specifically for Handel to teach music to the King’s children. ‘Why are we surrounded,’ asked Hytner, ‘by so many people who tell us in a very posh fashion that things are true without even bothering to check whether they are true or not?’

Nicholas Orme FSA has written Medieval Pilgrimage: With a Survey of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Bristol. Pilgrimage was popular throughout Medieval England, says the blurb, until it was suppressed at the Reformation. This book explains how it originated, what it involved, and what it meant to those who practised it. Most pilgrimages were short, made to hundreds of local shrines and images. This study breaks new ground by exploring the subject through such journeys, proceeding to a detailed survey of the west of England, listing over 80 sites.

‘Britain has a great ability to churn out people who can spread sweetness and light,’ writes Bagehot in the Economist (11 October), reviewing Melvyn Bragg’s achievements as a cultural broadcaster. ‘Today’s champions of the form include Neil MacGregor FSA, Simon Schama and Mary Beard FSA. They stand in a long line that includes Jacob Bronowski, A J P Taylor and Bertrand Russell.’
Richard Jones FSA and colleagues have written Sweet Waste: A View from the Mediterranean and from the 2002 Excavations at the Tawahin es-Sukkar (Safi), Jordan. The book reports on the excavation of a Medieval sugar refinery south of the Dead Sea in Jordan, by the Archaeology Department at the University of Glasgow working with the Museum of London Specialist Services, UCL Institute of Archaeology, University of Adelaide, the Ashmolean Museum, Cardiff University and Liverpool University. It was possible to explore many of the steps in the production process, from milling/crushing of the cane and purifying the crude juice, to crystallisation. The book’s title refers to the industrial waste whose study shed light on those steps. Ceramic sugar vessels receive much attention for the light they can shed on the poorly understood relationship between sugar’s primary production centres, refining, storage and consumption centres. The book includes a full account of the excavation and its finds, as well as a review of Medieval sugar production elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

Ivory continues to make news. In July John Lewis, a former Chairman of the Wallace Collection and Chairman of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association and the Attingham Trust for the Study of Historic Houses and Collections, argued in the Times against an ivory sales ban. ‘The criminalisation of all purchases and sales of such articles,’ he claimed, ‘which have an intrinsic relationship with our history, seeks to sever a relationship with our past and chimes with those who sought to pull down the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford.’ On 20 September Anna Somers Cocks FSA reported in the Art Newspaper that under the ban ‘Civilians will be allowed to enter your house, break open containers and use “reasonable force”.’ On 5 October Donald Allison, described as an antiques dealer, was jailed for attempting to board a flight to China with two rhino horns stolen from an abattoir after a rhino died in Colchester Zoo. An Ivory Bill passed its second sitting in the House of Lords on 12 September. It will prevent trade in modern carvings falsely claimed to pre-date 1947, which under current regulations would make them exempt from restrictions. Some exemptions would still remain, including for pianos, furniture and museum pieces.
Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Antonine Wall in southern Scotland have both received National Lottery grants. £980,600 will help address the lack of public awareness of the Antonine Wall (pictured), particularly among young people. £1.17m goes to Newcastle University to work with community volunteers to help protect, preserve and interpret Hadrian's Wall. ‘We will be able to better understand the position of the Wall in the current working landscape,’ said Rob Collins FSA, ‘and ensure that the monument will be enjoyed by future generations of local communities and visitors.’

Fellows Remembered

John Ashdown-Hill FSA, who died in May, was among those profiled by Matthew Bannister on BBC Radio 4’s Last Word on 3 June (opening the programme). ‘John was a very quiet, gentle man,’ says his colleague in the search for Richard III’s grave, Philippa Langley. He spent two or three years tracking down a living descendant of the king’s line, which Turi King FSA, who analysed ancient DNA from the excavated remain, says was a ‘fantastic start’.

Rick Turner FSA
, who died in June, has also been profiled by Matthew Bannister on Last Word (30 September, just after 18 minutes in). Bannister spoke to Rachel Pugh, a local journalist who set out for Lindow Bog on her mountain bike after hearing of the discovery of human remains. Turner helped to build a box filled with polyurethane foam around a body he suspected to be ancient, explains Pugh, which stopped an immediate autopsy and saved the remains for proper archaeological study: the coroner was 'extremely angry’. ‘Rick was a gentle, quirky, relaxed man,’ says Pugh. ‘But he also had a poetic streak.’ And she reads from a poem he’d written about Lindow Man.

Henry Cleere FSA, who died in August, is headlined in a Times obituary (3 October) as ‘Prickly but animated Director of the Council for British Archaeology who fought to impose controls on the use of metal detectors.’ He would divide their users into three groups: ‘a small but troublesome minority who plunder protected monuments and sell their finds illegally; members of clubs and societies who treat their hobby seriously and conscientiously; and an unknown number who occasionally take metal detectors on family outings. The former occupied much of Cleere’s time as Director of the Council for British Archaeology. In 1980 he led the council’s campaign to curtail their activities, saying that at least twice it had been necessary to mount a rescue excavation at great cost because sites were being ravaged by treasure hunters.’
He was, says the Times, ‘An entertaining raconteur who enjoyed a drink,’ and ‘renowned for his animated style of delivery.’ ‘Eventually,’ it adds, ‘he concluded that not all metal detectorists were bad and some may even be good.’

Memorials to Fellows 

1918 – 1984.
On the centenary of the birth of Tony Brewster FSA, the East Riding Archaeological Research Trust hopes to sponsor a headstone for his grave in Winteringham Churchyard, where it is currently unmarked. The trust is appealing for the support of those who personally knew him, of local societies at which he lectured, and of researchers who have made use of his excavation results. The trust has prepared this statement:
‘T C M Brewster, known as Tony, was Yorkshire’s most productive archaeological excavator of the second half of the 20th century. Born in Bridlington in September 1918, he was the youngest son of an East Riding farming family. In his teens he became a member of the Scarborough Philosophical and Archaeological Society, participating in their local archaeological excavations, as well as those at the Rudston Roman Villa.
‘After his Second World War army service Tony trained as a teacher, and returned to work in East Riding schools. He began excavating in 1947 with local site rescues at weekends and during school holidays, at first single-handed then aided by friends, leading to research excavations on major sites, notably at the Howe Iron Age settlement of Staple (1951–56), and at the Potter Brompton and Staxton Medieval pottery kilns. He set up the East Riding Archaeology Research Committee to promote research and excavation in the region, and many digs followed.
‘During the 1960s Tony became a full-time excavation director for the Ministry of Public Building and Works, investigating a range of sites across eastern Yorkshire including Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, Iron Age cemeteries, Romano-British settlements, Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, Medieval manor houses and deserted villages. His most extensive project was the multi-period landscape excavation in Garton and Wetwang Slacks (1965–75). Sites ranged from Neolithic to Romano-British, and included an Iron Age chariot burial, the first to be excavated in modern times.
‘As an educator, Tony was a tutor for WEA evening courses at various centres, notably Driffield and Sledmere. In the 1960s he led annual archaeology weekends at Wrea Head, the former North Riding Adult Education College. Thus Tony inspired a generation’s interest in the archaeology, complementing those trained on his excavations in scientific techniques. 
‘He died from a heart attack in 1984.’

The Wisdom of Fellows 

‘I wonder if any Fellows can help me identify this sitter?’ asks Paul Holden FSA. ‘The painting is by Richard Jack (1866–1952) and is dated 1915. Whist in this country Jack painted various gentry portraits and went on to paint King George V and Queen Mary, paintings that now hang in the east corridor of Buckingham Palace. This particular painting was completed shortly before he became Canada’s official war artist. Any help on this much appreciated.’

Born in Sunderland, County Durham, Jack died in Montreal.


Mark Samuel FSA thanks Fellows who helped him find the source of an illustration of a Roman garden at Herculaneum:
Sir Barry Cunliffe FSA (for whom Fishbourne must be rather as Blowing in the Wind is for Bob Dylan) kindly discussed the matter of the “bedding trenches”, and I think they are still a remarkable enough discovery to undergo some re-assessment from time to time, if only that they (and the “palace”) illustrate that Britain was then a lot warmer! Sussex Archaeological Society please note: is it time for a more adventurous reconstruction (complete with peacocks?)?’

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

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

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

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

Introductory Tours for 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 staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House. 

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

Please note the library will be closed on Friday October 19th to facilitate the Postgraduate Open Day. 

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
  • 23 October - 'The Prittlewell Prince: Life, Death and Belief in Anglo-Saxon England at the Time of St Augustine', lecture by Ian Blair & Prof Christopher Scull FSA
  • 6 November - 'Seeing Milton's Voice, or Illustrations to Paradise Lost; a social history of Great Britain', lecture by Prof Howard JM Hanley FSA

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Events are not currently being organised, but you can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.

Welsh Fellows

  • 19 October 2018: Weekend visit to the Hereford area, staying in the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford and visiting places of historical and archaeological interest in the area. 
  • 18 January 2019: The Davies Family of Llandinam with its Burry Dock connection, by David Jenkins FSA
  • 11-13 October 2019: Weekend visit to the Pembrokeshire area. Programme to be arranged.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.

York Fellows

  • 29 November 2018: 'Surveying Shakespeare's Guildhall: a public building in pre-modern England' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in York). Find out more online.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.

York Antiquaries Christmas Lunch: Saturday, Dec 8th 2018

As we approach the Festive Season, Fellows and their guests are again most cordially invited to a pre-Christmas lunch in the McLeod Suite at the Dean Court Hotel, Duncombe Place, York on Saturday, December 8th, 12.30 for 1.00pm. The cost this year is a very attractive £23.50 per head for a three-course lunch, excluding drinks, and bookings should be made using this form. Confirmation of receipt of payment will be sent by email. Any queries, please contact the Hon Steward (Jim) at Bookings by Nov 19th please. As usual, we invite Fellows to bring objects, documents, photos etc. of antiquarian interest for the purposes of post-prandial entertainment and erudition.
We plan to follow the lunch with the usual informal short presentations and briefings and Fellows are invited to bring exhibits (advance notification would be helpful but is not essential).

Other Heritage Events

18 October: The Broch and the Empire: Re-assessing the Work at Leckie, Stirlingshire, in the 1970s (Glasgow)
Euan MacKie will talk about brochs and the Roman Empire at the Glasgow Archaeological Society. Details online.
20 October: Design and Destiny: Arts and Crafts of the Iron Age (Lewes)
A conference organised by the Sussex Archaeological Society to explore the Iron Age through its artefacts. Speakers will bring varied perspectives on artefact research to enlarge our understanding of social influences and the economics of trade and exchange in this period. Speakers will include Jody Joy FSA, Julia Farley FSA, Melanie Giles FSA, Jaime Kaminski FSA and John Creighton FSA. Details online, or contact the organiser, Lorna Gartside,
22 October: The 15C Booktrade Project – Printing R-Evolution (London)
The results of the ambitious ERC-funded 15CBooktrade Project are so unexpected that they will be shared in an innovative exhibition at the Museo Correr from 1 September. This talk at the Society of Antiquaries by Cristina Dondi FSA and Geri della Rocca de Candal will introduce the findings of the Oxford-based project, the exhibition in Venice and a new charity that will provide emergency conservation for small libraries, starting with that from the Venetian monastery of San Michele in Isola, currently held at San Francesco della Vigna in Venice. Details online.

23 October: From Pearls to Unicorns: Myth and Magic in Jewellery (London)
Geoffrey Munn (familiar to viewers of The Antiques Roadshow) will talk about funerary jewellery, with exhibits, at the Dissenters' Chapel, Kensal Green Cemetery. Details online.
23 October: Handmade in Hammersmith: Embroidery Workshop (London)
An all-day embroidery workshop in the Coach House at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith (former home of William Morris FSA). Learn to embroider in the art needlework style pioneered by Morris and his family. Sally Roberson will show examples of embroidery from the William Morris Society’s collections and introduce a variety of needlework stitches, and you will choose and begin to work a design inspired by an original May Morris embroidery. Details online.

23 October: ‘A man of stomach’: Matthew Parker's reputation (London)
David Crankshaw speaks at an event held at Lambeth Palace in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500–1800. Crankshaw, co-author of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury (1504–75), is an expert on the English Reformation and the Elizabethan Church. Details online.
24 October: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will provide expert guidance on how key artefacts and ecofacts can contribute to interpretation of archaeological sites, and good practice in sampling and collection. The course is designed for supervisors, project officers and junior managers with responsibility for running excavations, and those new to specialist artefact and ecofact roles. Details online.
25 October: Matters Overlooked: Straightening out the Story of the Reformation (London)
A lecture by Diarmaid MacCulloch FSA to mark the third year of the AHRC-funded project Remembering the Reformation, a collaboration between historians and literary scholars which aims to investigate how the Reformations were remembered, forgotten, contested and re-invented. The project’s digital exhibition includes some of the many treasures of the Cambridge University Library, York Minster Library and Lambeth Palace Library. Some of the Lambeth items that feature in this exhibition will be on display, together with associated material relating to the Reformation. Details online.
27 October: Engaging with Policy in the UK: Responding to Changes in Planning, Heritage and the Arts (London)
The AHRC Heritage Priority Area and RESCUE: The British Archaeological Trust are holding a one-day conference at UCL Institute of Archaeology. This is one of a series of activities drawing together academics, civil servants, private and professional bodies, and civil society organisations to address challenges and uncertainty from changing policies. The aim is to connect researchers, practitioners and policy-makers involved in the arts, culture, heritage and the natural/historic environment around key areas of shared concern. Confirmed speakers include Duncan McCallum FSA, Gail Boyle FSA, Gill Chitty FSA, Jude Plouviez FSA and Taryn Nixon FSA. Details online.
29 October: The Last Great Demidoff Sale of Paintings (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Alexandre Tissot Demidoff (Independent scholar) will speak about the last great Demidoff sale. Details online.
30 October: Long before Brexit: Reflections on Cross-Channel Connections between the Fifth and Second Millennia BC (Bournemouth)
The Second Annual Pitt Rivers Lecture held In association with the Prehistoric Society will be given by Alison Sheridan FSA at the Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University, on the subject of cross-channel relations between Britain and France during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Details online.
30 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Details online.
3 November: Dawn: From our Earliest Ancestors to the Hunter-Gatherers of the Mesolithic (Southampton)
The Council for British Archaeology Wessex's 60th Anniversary Conference is to be co-hosted with the University of Southampton’s Department of Archaeology in collaboration with the Prehistoric Society, and will be held at the Highfield Campus. Speakers include Nick Ashton FSA, Vince Gaffney FSA, Steve Mithen FSA, Beccy Scott FSA, Julian Richards FSA, Roland Smith FSA and Chris Stringer FSA. Phil Harding FSA will chair a session, and Alice Roberts will give the keynote lecture. Details online.

5 November: Gothic Histories: Howard Carter and The Tomb of Tut-ankh-Amun (London)
A talk by Eleanor Dobson, Lecturer in Nineteenth Century Literature, University of Birmingham, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
5–6 November: Assertive Archaeology: The Power of Positive Action (London)
The Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Conference 2018 will be held at UCL Institute of Archaeology. How can we make archaeology sustainable for the future? How are we showing resilience in what we do? Who are we benefiting and how? Those who take positive action become more confident, get more done, demonstrate persistence and understand how to articulate the value in what they do to those that matter the most. How have you taken positive action to improve the world of museums and archaeology? Speakers include Gail Boyle FSA and Daniel Miles FSA. Details online.
6 November: Archaeologists and Treasure Hunters on the Tigris (London)
Gül Pulhan will give a British Institute at Ankara talk at the British Academy. She leads a salvage excavation in the province of Batman, and will describe the efforts of the Batman, Mardin and Diyarbakır regional archaeology museums to protect archaeological heritage by conducting scientific excavations, producing exhibitions, raising awareness and undertaking educational programmes for children and adults. Details online.
10 November: Structured Deposits: Definitions, Developments and Debates (Chertsey)
A conference organised jointly by CBA South-East and the Surrey Archaeological Society will examine how our understanding and uses of the concept of ‘structured deposition’ have developed during the last 30 years, resulting in a perceived tendency for over-use and ‘ritual’ interpretations in analysis. Research from prehistoric to Medieval times will be considered, revealing new discoveries from southern England. Speakers will include Jon Cotton FSA, Mike Fulford FSA and Sam Moorhead FSA. Details online, or contact the organiser, Anne Sassin,

12 November: Spencer House and the Birth of the Neo-Classical Interior (London)
Presented by Adriano Aymonino FSA, Director of Undergraduate Programmes in the Department of History of Art at the University of Buckingham, this lecture at Spencer House, St James’s Place, will focus on the birth of the Neo-Classical interior through the work of James ‘Athenian’ Stuart at Spencer House, and will offer visitors a rare glimpse into this impressive venue. Details online.
15 November: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce standard published reports produced by archaeologists, and how a report is planned. It will then focus on stratigraphic narrative and discussion, with a critical review of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements of writing in a professional and academic context. Details online.

17 November: Medieval Archaeology and History in England: Reflections and New Perspectives (Southampton)
A day conference in honor of David Hinton FSA will be held at the University of Southampton. Speakers include Martin Biddle FSA, Helena Hamerow FSA, Barbara Yorke FSA, Chris Woolgar FSA, Maureen Mellor FSA, Richard Hodges FSA and Duncan Brown FSA. Details online.

24 November: Heritage and Resources in Southeast England (Lewes)
An interdisciplinary conference involving aspects of geology, archaeology and local history. Speakers will include Danielle Schreve FSA and David Rudling FSA. For details contact the organiser Anthony Brook,

25–26 November: Lives in Book Trade History: Changing Contours of Research over 40 Years (London)
In celebration of the 40th year of the Annual Conference on Book Trade History, this year's event at Stationers’ Hall will explore some of the most important themes and developments in this field through the eyes and experience of some of its most widely respected exponents. Leading authorities will discuss their engagement with book trade history, looking back over their own work to identify the significant influences upon them and changes in focus and research methods over time. Speakers include MIrjam Foot FSA, Christopher de Hamel FSA, David McKitterick FSA, Robin Myers FSA and Dennis Rhodes FSA. Details online.
26 November: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Catrin Jones (Curator of Decorative Arts, Holburne Museum, Bath) will speak on Piecing Together a Collection: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts. Details online.
28–30 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is a practical workshop designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study, with training for potential witnesses. Details online.

3 December: Ancient Sculpture and the Narrative of Collecting: Legacy and Identity in Museum Display (London)
A talk by Nicole Cochrane, PhD Student, University of Hull, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
6 December: Commissioning Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is designed for non-archaeologists who need to work with archaeology within the design and construction process, including architects, surveyors, engineers and other design professionals, planners, and project managers and developers. Details online.

10 December: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Robert Wenley (Deputy Director, Head of Collections, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham) will speak on ‘Rare and Most Magnificent’: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (1809-1878). Details online.

13–14 December: Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (London)
The British Library is hosting an international conference with 22 leading experts in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts to coincide with its Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition (19 October–19 February 2019). Keynote lectures will be given by Lawrence Nees FSA, University of Delaware, and Julia Crick, King’s College London. Confirmed speakers include Catherine Karkov FSA, Simon Keynes FSA, Rosamond McKitterick FSA, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Susan Rankin FSA, Joanna Story FSA, Elaine Treharne FSA and Tessa Webber FSA. Details online.

14–15 December: Interpreting and Preserving the Cultural Heritage (York)
A conference in honour of David Park FSA’s contribution to the study and preservation of Medieval art, at King’s Manor, University of York. Christopher Norton FSA and Sharon Cather FSA are keynote speakers, and other speakers include Jessica Barker FSA, Michael Carter FSA, Anna Eavis, Eric Fernie FSA, Sandy Heslop FSA, Francesca Piqué, Stephen Rickerby, Lisa Shekede, Géraldine Victoir, Paul Williamson FSA and Christopher Wilson FSA. Details online.

19 January 2019: New Insights into 16th-and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The ninth meeting of the New Insights series takes place at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly. Organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, the conference has the themes of Architecture on the Celtic Fringe, Timber, Plaster and Paint, Inigo Jones and Recreating the Antique, and Documents and Recovery. Speakers include Gerry Alabone FSA, Hentie Louw FSA, Nicholas Cooper FSA and Edward Town FSA. Details online.

28 January 2019: Domenico Brucciani and the Formation of Museums of Classical Archaeology (London)
A talk by Rebecca Wade, Assistant Curator for Sculpture, Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
18 February 2019: Plaster Casts, Restoration, and the Interpretation of Classical Sculpture (London)
A talk by Emma Payne, King's College London, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
March 2019 (date TBC): Museums and Decolonisation (London)
A talk by Alice Procter, Independent Tour Guide, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
April 2019 (date TBC): Scripting Spadework: Publishing Archaeology in the Late 19th and early 20th Centuries (London)
A talk by Amara Thornton FSA, Honorary Research Associate, UCL, the last in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.

Call for Papers

A Matter of Access – Collections and their Availability to a Public (Toronto)
Adriana Turpin FSA and Susan Bracken FSA have been organising monthly research seminars since 2004 on the subject of collecting and display. They are proposing the topic of A Matter of Access – Collections and their Availability to a Public, for the Renaissance Society of America Conference in Toronto in March 2019. If you would like to give a paper, please contact for full details.


Antiquarian ‘Science’ in the Scholarly Society (Society of Antiquaries, London)
This is workshop two of the AHRC International Networking Grant: Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the early modern academy which will be led by Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln) and Vera Keller (Oregon) in April 2019.

They will explore how ‘antiquarian science’ informed collecting in the early modern scholarly academy, as many members of these societies like astronomer Martin Folkes FSA (1690-1754) also were connoisseurs and antiquaries. We welcome papers of 25 minutes duration from established and early career scholars on the themes above. Please send an abstract of 200 words to Anna Marie Roos ( by 30 November 2018.


Bursary Scheme

The Society for Renaissance Studies is offering a bursary scheme to enable scholars to develop advanced research in the history of art (and related disciplines) in and out their country of residence. Preference may be given to subjects growing out of a current museum project with a cross-disciplinary approach, to subjects related to the making and collecting of works of art during the period of the Renaissance (c. 1700).

The closing date for receipt of applications is 1 December.  Full details here


The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust is seeking a Chair. Deadline for applications 31 October 2018.
The new Chair will provide leadership to the Board of Trustees in developing the strategic direction of the Trust to ensure that it can continue to deliver its object effectively at a time of potential challenge and change. GGAT is a charitable company with the object of educating the public in archaeology. It provides strategic and development control advice to 12 unitary local authorities in south Wales, advises other statutory bodies, maintains the area's Historic Environment Record, conducts outreach in the communities of south Wales, and undertakes archaeological work under contract. Details online.

The British Museum is seeking a Curator of European Renaissance to 17th Century and Waddesdon Bequest. Deadline for applications 16 November 2018.
The appointee will research, document, display and augment the museum’s collections of objects from Renaissance and 17th-century Europe, and interpret their significance for the public. Key areas of responsibility include leading new research and major permanent display projects, documenting the collections, and acting as a beacon of good practice across the Museum. The post was vacated by Dora Thornton FSA when she joined the Goldsmiths’ Company in February. Details online.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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

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