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Salon: Issue 408
5 June 2018

Next issue: 19 June

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.

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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

General Data Protection Regulations and SALON

In order to comply with the recently introduced General Data Protection Regulations, the Society of Antiquaries has recently undertaken an audit of our email communications with both Fellows and the General Public. As a result of this, we have ensured that all inactive subscribers to both SALON and our e-bulletins have been removed from our lists. We would remind readers that you are able to unsubscribe at any time, by following the link at the bottom of every email. You also can sign-up to our communications (including e-bulletins and Regional Fellows Groups) here.

Summer Miscellany of Papers and Summer Soirée

Last Thursday saw our annual Summer Miscellany of Papers, with a fascinating talk and accompanying exhibition by Dr David Neal FSA and Professor Warwick Rodwell OBE FSA, titled "Westminster Abbey: The 13th century Cosmati Mosaics and their Context".

Westminster Abbey contains a suite of royal monuments decorated with Cosmatesque mosaics of the 1260s and 1270s, the only known examples outside Italy. Since 2012, the speakers have been engaged on the first-ever detailed study of the assemblage, which followed a major conservation programme on the sanctuary pavement. Warwick Rodwell presented an account of these intriguing monuments, with David Neal subsequently presenting and discussing his incredibly detailed and beautiful watercolour drawings.

A recording of the lecture is available on our YouTube channel >

What did Corbyn say about the Parthenon Marbles?

On 2 June online media reported that the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, would return the Elgin Marbles to Greece if he became Prime Minister. What did he say?
The source of the story was an interview in London for a Greek newspaper, Ta Nea, by Yannis Andritsopoulos. Corbyn was asked several questions, to all of which he gave familiar, carefully worded political answers. When asked how he intended to achieve a ‘fairer society’ he repeated the question as a statement and added nothing. How did he respond to accusations of anti-Semitism? ‘I have been fighting all my life and I am still fighting every form of racism. The same applies to anti-Semitism.’
Andritsopoulos asked Corbyn whether, if he was elected Prime Minister, he would stick by past commitments to return the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens? ‘What is your attitude towards this issue today?’
‘For me,’ replied Corbyn, ‘it is clear that the Parthenon Sculptures belong to Greece. They were made in Greece and have been there for many centuries until Lord Elgin took them. As with anything stolen or removed from a country that was under occupation or was a colony – including objects looted from other countries in the past – we should also begin constructive talks with the Greek government on the return of the Sculptures.’
Corbyn made a similar comment in Parliament in 2014. Speaking after an oral answer to a question about the sculptures put to the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Corbyn said:
‘Can the Minister be a bit more specific about when the constructive engagement will come to a conclusion? The point made by the hon. Gentleman [Andrew George] was that those items were stolen from the people of Greece, and there are very strong feelings in Greece about that. Perhaps our relationship with Greece would be improved if we constructively engaged with it with a view to returning some, if not all, of these items.’
‘Constructive engagement’ referred to a phrase used by Helen Grant, Under-Secretary of State, in connection with Government discussions on the matter with UNESCO.
We will know Corbyn's actual words to Andritsopoulos (the above is rendered from the Greek with help from Google Translate) only if someone publishes the original English interview. Whether we would be any the wiser when it comes to policy, some or all, is an open question.
Photos Wikipedia: Rwendland (Corbyn) and Marie-Lan Nguyen (Dionysos).

Power of Speech and the Pacific: a New Royal Arms

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on 19 May. It was announced that immediately before, the Prince was granted the titles Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel, and that on marriage Markle became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
A week later Kensington Palace said in a statement that Her Majesty The Queen and Thomas Woodcock FSA, who is the Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England (and former Norroy and Ulster King of Arms), ‘agreed and approved’ a design for a new Coat of Arms created for the Duchess of Sussex (above). Unsure what this meant, I asked Woodcock. This is his helpful response:
‘Normally arms are designed by an officer of arms (ie a King of Arms, Herald or Pursuivant) in conjunction with the person receiving the grant, and one of the College artists known as Herald Painters produces a rough sketch for approval by the grantee. This then has to be approved by Garter King of Arms and whichever other Kings of Arms are making the grant. For personal grants this is Clarenceux for those living south of the River Trent, and Norroy and Ulster King of Arms for those living north of the Trent or in Northern Ireland. All three Kings of Arms sign grants to corporate bodies.
‘Nearly all grants are made by letters patent of the Kings of Arms under authority delegated to them by the Sovereign since the 15th century in their patents of appointment. In this case the precedent of arms granted to the present Duchess of Gloucester, who is Danish, is being followed, and the arms are being granted by Royal Warrant signed by the Queen after the marriage to the grantee as Duchess of Sussex. There will therefore be no grant by letters patent of the Kings of Arms.
‘Ms Markle, as she then was, came to see me and spent over an hour discussing a design. I then had a rough sketch prepared by Robert Parsons who is one of the senior Herald Painters at the College of Arms. It is his initials, for Robert John Parsons, that are on the finished painting which will be incorporated into the Royal Warrant. As the arms will be in a Royal Warrant, the Queen has to approve the design, which she has done. Royal Warrants are the normal way in which arms are assigned to members of the Royal Family.’
• The arms of a married woman are shown with those of her husband – they are impaled, meaning placed side by side in the same shield – with the wife’s on the sinister side (the right as you look at it). Members of the Royal Family have one of their husband’s Supporters (figures holding up the shield) and one of their own.
The blue background represents the Pacific Ocean, crossed by two golden rays symbolic of California, the sunshine state and the Duchess's home. Three quills are for writing and the power of words: the then ‘Suits star Meghan Markle’ wrote in ELLE Magazine in 2015, ‘I'm an actress, a writer, the Editor-in-Chief of my lifestyle brand The Tig [a blog], a pretty good cook and a firm believer in handwritten notes.' Early in her acting career she worked in a paper shop and taught a calligraphy class.
The Supporter is a songbird with an open beak and wings elevated as if flying. The Coronet (two crosses patée, four fleurs-de-lys and two strawberry leaves) was laid down by a Royal Warrant of 1917 for the sons and daughters of the Heir Apparent. On the grass below are golden poppies, California's state flower, and wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace.
‘Good heraldic design,’ said Woodcock in Kensington Palace’s statement, ‘is nearly always simple, and the Arms of the Duchess of Sussex stand well beside the historic beauty of the quartered British Royal Arms. Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost 900 years and is associated with both individual people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London.’ About 130 new arms are designed a year, he told me.
The photo of Woodcock (above, Wikipedia/Philip Allfrey) shows him in procession to St George's Chapel for the annual service of the Order of the Garter in 2006.


Ivor Noël Hume’s Library to be Auctioned

Ivor Noël Hume FSA, who died in February last year, was a leading figure in historical archaeology, a field he did much to define and champion. He was best known as Chief Archaeologist at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, but he made his mark before leaving England excavating in London as head of the Guildhall Museum (see Salon 380 and 384).
On 22 June Jeffrey S Evans & Associates will sell his research library, described as one of the finest of its kind in private hands. Robert Hunter FSA will present a tribute to Noel Hume ahead of the sale.
At the time of writing a full catalogue has not been published, but the library is said to feature volumes ranging from the 17th to the 21st centuries, and include works by Noël Hume himself (top), other archaeological publications and research materials related to his work on Virginia and Jamestown, and ceramics reference works including auction catalogues from shipwreck sales. Among antiquarian books and manuscripts are a 1792 copy of James Lind's An Essay on Diseases Incidental to Europeans in Hot Climates, an 18th-century printing of Britannia Depicta or Ogilby Improved (above), and a 1668 copy of A Blow at Modern Sadducism in Some Philosophical Considerations about Witchcraft.

The two-day Semi-Annual Americana & Fine Antiques Auction will also feature a selection of over 100 antiquarian maps and prints deaccessioned by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, with proceeds to benefit the Collections and Acquisitions Funds.

Details online.

Internet Archaeology Marks 50 Issues with Food and Drink

Internet Archaeology, a pioneering open-access e-journal, has been publishing online since 1996. According to the site’s statistics, in the past year the three top cities represented by its readers were London, York and Las Vegas. Edited and produced by Judith Winters, supported by Co-directors Julian D Richards FSA and Mike Heyworth FSA, it is hosted by the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, and digitally archived by the Archaeology Data Service. Its 50th edition is a substantial consideration of Roman tablewares.
Big Data on the Roman Table: New Approaches to Tablewares in the Roman World, edited by Penelope Allison FSA, Martin Pitts and Sarah Colley FSA, introduces and describes a research network – Big Data on the Roman Table – which was an international forum on Roman tablewares ‘for agenda-changing, consumption-orientated approaches to this rich archaeological record from the early Roman Empire’. The project ran from June 2015 until November 2016, and brought together some 50 archaeologists and scientists.
Despite millions of artefacts associated with eating and drinking recorded by archaeologists since the 18th century (the main 'big data' component from the Roman world), says Allison, students of Roman food and drink are more likely to rely on texts for their evidence, such as Plutarch's Table Talk. ‘Studies of architectural remains,’ adds Allison, ‘have also focused, somewhat selectively, on remains that might serve to demonstrate the elite foodways recorded in the written evidence.’ If we want to know about the consumption habits of everyone but a select few, she says, we need to look into their cups.
Contributors include Geoffrey Dannell FSA (South Gaulish terra sigillata), Edward Biddulph FSA (table settings in Roman Britain from funerary evidence), Fiona Seeley FSA et al ('spot-dating' level pottery records from Roman London), Nicholas J Cooper FSA et al (pottery consumption patterns in Roman Leicester), Allard Mees FSA (the difference between Roman 'civil' and 'military' Samian), Steven Willis FSA (the Roman dining table), Allison et al on automated pottery identification (Arch-I-Scan), Allison et al on an ontology of tablewares using 'legacy data', and Colley et al on big data analyses. There is much more in similar vein.
Photo at top (Oxford Archaeology) shows a Roman grave with pottery that had been arranged on a table, excavated during the A2 Pepperhill to Cobham road-widening scheme in Kent. The photo below (Soprintendenza Speciale Roma) was taken in the ‘Tomb of the Athlete’ in Case Rosse in Rome’s outskirts, during recent archaeological investigations ahead of works for the Castell'Arcione–Salone aqueduct. The tomb held the remains of three men and a woman, with dishes containing evidence for rabbit, chicken and goat.


Early Hunter-Gatherers in the Limelight

Large excavation monographs devoted to single Mesolithic sites in the UK are rare: Three Ways Wharf, Uxbridge, by John Lewis FSA, the Society’s General Secretary, and James Rackham (featuring a site that was excavated in the 1980s) is a distinguished example. Now within a month of the publication of a monograph on Blick Mead, Wiltshire (by David Jacques FSA, Tom Phillips and Tom Lyons, noted in Salon 403), comes another, on Star Carr, Yorkshire – or rather two, with a combined total of 1,000 pages. As well as describing the results of important excavations, the Star Carr team, led by Nicky Milner FSA, Chantal Conneller FSA and Barry Taylor, have ambitions to inspire new thinking about the subject in general.
Blick Mead and Star Carr are both Mesolithic, but they are not contemporary. Archaeologists split the Mesolithic in Britain into two eras, early (9500–8000 BC) and late (8000–4000 BC). Star Carr is Early Mesolithic – in fact very early, people were there from 11,300 years ago, close to the end of the Ice Age. On current evidence (excavation continues, and so far has been on a small scale) Blick Mead is exclusively Late Mesolithic. It has been in the news a lot largely because it’s not far from Stonehenge, though the two ancient worlds were quite separate. Star Carr has been more reticent, so that the many significant discoveries reported in the books come as a surprise.
Star Carr was put on the map by Grahame Clark FSA, after excavations between 1948 and 1951. It has been one of Europe’s most famous archaeological sites ever since, hotly debated, its finds re-studied and its landscape revisited by survey and excavation; several other Fellows contributed to this research, including Tim Schadla-Hall FSA and Paul Mellars FSA.
Clark chose to dig there because it promised organic remains preserved by waterlogged peat. He found a large quantity of artefacts, broken hunting kit, butchery waste and tool-making debris discarded among a mass of trees and branches, which he interpreted as a camp where a few families of deer hunters over-wintered on the edge of a lake. Already unique, the site was further distinguished by an extraordinary collection of 21 red deer skull caps, many with antlers still attached, hollowed out and perforated with pairs of holes. Even now, though the practice of making deer ‘frontlets’ seems to have occurred across northern Europe at the time, we know of no more than six or seven other examples, not all accepted by every archaeologist, and scattered across several sites. The new publication raises the Star Carr total to 33.
Milner, Conneller and Taylor launched a project at Star Carr in 2004 with surveys and small excavations, but between 2013 and 2015 – supported by major grants from the European Research Council and Historic England, as well as help from other backers – they opened up an area of unprecedented size. In this they found five successive, deliberately laid platforms of split timbers and branches, reaching out into the former lake; remains of three or four houses on dry land, and suggestions of several other hearths; new artefacts including a small willow bow, digging sticks, a scrap of board, a bit of mat made from birch bark, and a small bark cup or bowl (an engraved stone pendant had been previously published). One of the more significant findings is that the lake shore was a scene of activity on and off for some eight centuries – Clark had thought 25 years, and later archaeologists had discerned 200.
Ironically, another significant outcome of the project has been to emphasise how unusual Clark’s discoveries were. He argued that Star Carr was exceptional only because of what had been preserved by the water; otherwise it was, he said, a typical hunter-gatherer campsite, when they are usually represented by little more than flint tools. However, Milner and colleagues think the wood that Clark recorded was not a built platform, but timber washed up on the lake shore. The artefacts, they say, which now even more stand out for their impressive range of material and sheer quantity, are no sign of a camp, but rather the result of a determined act of disposal that might have occurred almost simultaneously. We are now much better informed about Star Carr – but far from having solved all its mysteries.
Star Carr Volume 1: A Persistent Place in a Changing World, and Star Carr Volume 2: Studies in Technology, Subsistence and Environment, both by Milner, Conneller and Taylor, are the first works to be published by a new venture from White Rose University Press, run jointly by the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. They are available to buy as hardback books, but can also be downloaded as (satisfyingly large) digital files for free.
The Star Carr team are working hard to bring the site to a wide public. An exhibition, A Survival Story – Prehistoric Life at Star Carr, opens at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge, on June 20, lasting until the end of next year. Other displays can be seen at the Yorkshire Museum, York, the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough (until 31 December 2018), and the British Museum. Star Carr will feature at the Council for British Archaeology’s AGM in November, at the Department of Archaeology, University of York (details online).

Photo at top shows excavation in 2014, looking north over peat deposits in the former lake and dry land beyond (Star Carr Project CC BY-NC 4.0).

The Summer Beckons

‘Why can’t we have better pay and conditions? Why are known sexual predators free to maintain positions of power and personal arenas for captive prey? Why is there no real end market for the skills we’re supposed to be teaching students at university?’
These strident questions are asked by an archaeologist. In a blog titled Notes from the Unemployable (18 April), Lisa Westcott Wilkins puts these and other problems down to ‘a lack of leadership’. ‘Our infrastructure is not fit for purpose,’ she adds, ‘and it’s getting us nowhere.’
Westcott Wilkins is Co-founder and Managing Director of DigVentures, which claims to put archaeology ‘In Your Hands’. It supports and delivers crowdfunded and crowdsourced archaeology projects around the world, launching the first such excavation at Flag Fen, Cambridgeshire, in 2012. Carole Souter FSA and Tim Schadla-Hall FSA are on its Advisory Board, David Gilbert (former Managing Director of Currys Ltd and Waterstones Booksellers) is Chair, and Sir Tony Robinson is Patron.
DigVentures has drawn up a Learning Agreement for students. Under a heading Safety and Dignity at Work and On Site, it says ‘DV operates a zero tolerance policy for aggressive, harassing or threatening behaviour’, elaborating on behaviour, speech and socialising.
Sara Perry, an archaeologist and Senior Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Management at the University of York, was inspired by Westcott Wilkins’ post to update her own guidelines, which she has published as Six Fieldwork Expectations (1 June). Described in detail, these are about working as a team, putting host communities first, committing to project directors’ expectations, representing the profession, recognising the stresses of fieldwork, and behaving respectfully to others.
Are agreements of this type now becoming common? Are they necessary? How do Fellows manage complex field projects often in remote location with teams never assembled before? What has your experience been (now or in the distant past)? Let Salon now.

Fellows (and Friends)

John Ashdown-Hill FSA, historian, died in May.
An appreciation appears in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains further notices on the late Vera Evison FSA, the late Iain Bain FSA and the late Alan Bell FSA.
Louie Kamookak, Inuit historian and teacher and a senior hunter of Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada, died on 22 March aged 58. He played a vital role in the discovery of the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. The fate of the ships lost in an expedition which left England in 1845 led by Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin had seemed an unsolvable mystery. As a child Kamookak heard stories of strange artefacts and people lost in the ice and mist, and spent his life collecting oral history and researching texts in attempts to trace the sites of the wrecks and Franklin’s grave.

Three archaeologists and their driver were caught up in an explosion on 2 June in the Benisar area in the eastern part of Kabul, Afghanistan. One of the archaeologists was killed when their car hit a landmine, and the driver and the two other pasengers were injured. They were said to be on their way to Logar Province. Large-scale international excavations have been taking place at Mes Aynak, Logar Province, under armed guard ahead of copper mining, but at the time of writing there was no reason to associate the dead and injured with that site. No further details were available.
Ten new Fellows were elected on 31 May:
Josephine Atkinson (methods and materials of Western European painting)
Peter Bogucki (early farming societies in European pre-history, particularly Neolithic sites in Poland)
Judie English (landscape archaeology and history of Surrey)
Seren Griffiths (scientific dating of prehistoric archaeology)
Anne Haour (material expression of identity in West Africa)
Richard Madgwick (osteoarchaeology, feasting in the past)
Marc Meltonville (history of English Royal kitchens)
Charlene Murphy (plant domestication in India and the Roman world)
Charlotte Newman (public welfare institutions, archaeology curation)
Eliott Wragg (London’s nautical archaeology)
For details see Ballot Results. Further details can be seen in the Ballot Archive (Fellows only).

Martin Jones FSA, retiring George Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science at the University of Cambridge, has been honoured with a beer – not just a pint, but an entire brew. Cerealia, a 4.2% ABV Festbier, was created with Jones and some of his colleagues at Milton Brewery, and was launched at the Cambridge Beer Festival on 21 May. It is named for the Roman festival Cerealia in honour of the goddess of agriculture and fertility. Jones's career, says the university’s tribute, has been dedicated to the study of food in prehistory. Beer is known as a drink of barley and wheat, but he noted different traditions in China. Recognising this, the brewery employed the Chinese tradition of wu-gu, or Five Grains, to further add oats, a special type of rice and millet. Hops are sourced from Five Nations: the UK, United States, Slovenia, New Zealand and South Africa. The photo by Milton Brewery shows ‘the archaeological team behind Cerealia’.
More than 6,000 people enjoyed a birthday party in the sun for Charles, Prince of Wales (he will be 70 in November) at Buckingham Palace on 22 May, among them Mike Heyworth FSA, Ken Smith FSA, Kate Pretty FSA, Fiona Gale FSA and Cassie Bradshaw (Director, Chair, former Chair and Trustee of the Council for British Archaeology, and Young Archaeologist of the year 2017, respectively). The garden party was held by the Prince and Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, to honour the achievements of HRH’s patronages, military affiliations, the charities he supports and others involved in public service. The day also marked the first public engagement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since their wedding. The photo tweeted by Mike Heyworth shows him (on left), Cassie Bradshaw and Ken Smith.

The Burlington Magazine, edited since May last year by Michael Hall FSA, has a new front cover design. The June 2018 edition incudes an article by Tessa Murdoch FSA about a set of silver-gilt waiters made in 1698–99 by Benjamin Pyne and now divided between four collections; and a review by Peyton Skipwith FSA of Carrington’s Letters: Dora Carrington, Her Art, Her Loves, Her Friendships, edited by Anne Chisholm. At the time of his appointment, Hall said, ‘I greatly admire [the magazine’s] empirical, object-based outlook, which is bracingly based on facts rather than theory, and much enjoy its sharp and wide-ranging reviews. I’m looking forward to working with its distinguished trustees and highly experienced editorial and commercial team to enhance and develop its content, both in print and online, in a way that will reach out to new audiences while preserving the Burlington’s impressive traditions.’
Naturalists in the Field: Collecting, Recording and Preserving the Natural World from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century, the second in a series on the emergence of natural history, is edited by Arthur MacGregor FSA. Between the natural world and our encounter with it in literature, imagery and the museum, says the blurb, lie the choices of naturalists. ‘The factors that weigh at every stage are here dissected, analysed and set within a historical narrative that spans more than five centuries. During that era, every aspect evolved and changed, as engagement with nature moved from a speculative pursuit heavily influenced by classical scholarship to a systematic science, drawing on advanced theory and technology.’ The process of representing nature was fraught with constraint and compromise. Sir David Attenborough FSA contributes a foreword.
As part of the Government’s ‘trailblazer’ process, 50-odd organisations, led by Historic England, have got together as the Historic Environment Trailblazer. They have been designing new apprenticeships in archaeology, conservation and heritage management, which would be equivalent to A Level up to postgraduate degree levels They are now conducting a wider consultation to see standards are appropriate and fit for purpose, starting with Archaeological Specialist Level 7 which aims to lead to a Masters qualification in a variety of specialist areas such as osteoarchaeology, finds officer or aerial investigation. There is a consultation event on 6 June (details online), and an online survey which is now live. The consultation ends on 25 June.
Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon, Medieval and Later Suburbs: Excavations 1971–1986, by Patrick Ottaway FSA and Ken Qualmann, is the sixth of a series of reports on excavations by Winchester Museums in the 1970s and 80s. It describes excavations undertaken in Winchester’s historic suburbs, which produced evidence for their character, development and buildings over some 1,600 years from the end of the Roman era to the 19th century. Included are specialist reports on human remains and iron coffin-fittings from a Medieval Jewish cemetery, and on an early 19th-century pipe kiln and important assemblage of clay pipes made by a well-documented local entrepreneur.

A small piece of oak from HMS Victory was displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show (22–26 May), on the Animal and Plant Health Agency's Action Oak stand. The wood had been removed in an earlier restoration project, and was chosen to symbolise the challenges faced by a historic ship. It shows 'the damage small, inconspicuous insects and pests can do to a piece of oak,’ said Arabella Roberts, Historic Ships Manager from the National Museum of the Royal Navy, in a release. ‘The National Museum’s conservators are developing new methods for understanding and reducing the impact these pests have on historic timbers.’ The stand won a gold medal in the Great Pavilion awards.
Is Elizabeth I due for a Richard III-style makeover? Helen Hackett and Karen Hearn FSA were due to give a talk about the Queen on 4 June, as part of UCL’s 2018 Festival of Culture. ‘In modern screen representations,’ they say, ‘the older Elizabeth is usually in a grotesque state of physical decay, with flaking white make-up, black teeth, and a garish orange wig. However, the visual and written evidence from the early 1590s is far richer and more complex than this.’ To consider this they look at portraits, literature and contemporary accounts: what was Elizabeth like at 60? On History Extra, Hearn quotes the secretary to Count Frederick of Wurttemberg and Mompelgard, who visited Elizabeth in 1592: ‘seeing that she was chosen Queen on the 16th of November, 1558, in the 33rd year of her age [he erroneously thinks she is 67], and has thus borne the heavy burthen of ruling a kingdom thirty-four years, she need not indeed – to judge both from her person and appearance – yield much to a young girl of sixteen. She has a very dignified, serious and royal look, and rules her kingdom with great discretion.’ Hearn calls an Isaac Oliver miniature watercolour of 1590–92 (right, photo V&A) ‘the grand image for our talk’.
Mary Beard FSA, Bettany Hughes FSA and Lucy Worsley FSA met in Richard Brooks’ Sunday Times Culture column on 3 June. ‘Can Lucy Worsley ever stop dressing up for the cameras?’ asked Brooks. ‘Tomorrow, the joint chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces presents a 90-minute documentary about the suffragettes on BBC1. And, of course, she puts on the clothes of the period to front the show, just as she has done in programmes such as Six Wives with Lucy Worsley (yes, those spouses of Henry VIII), Nights at the Opera, A Very British Romance, Dancing Cheek to Cheek et al. The trouble is that such antics distract from the subject matter. You don’t get Professor Mary Beard dressed as a vestal virgin for one of her shows on the Romans, even if she did put on her sparkly trainers for Civilisations. Nor will Bettany Hughes prance about in the garb of Cleopatra when she presents her next television series on Egypt and the Nile.’ Photo BBC.
Herbert R Broderick FSA has published Moses the Egyptian in the Illustrated Old English Hexateuch (London, British Library Cotton MS Claudius B.iv). The book analyses the iconography of Moses in a famous illuminated 11th-century manuscript known as the Illustrated Old English Hexateuch. A translation into Old English of the first six books of the Bible, the manuscript contains over 390 images, of which 127 depict Moses. Broderick proposes that the varied motifs, says the blurb, in particular the image of the horned Moses, have a Hellenistic Egyptian origin. He argues that the visual construct of Moses may have been based on a Late Antique, no longer extant, prototype influenced by works of Hellenistic Egyptian Jewish exegetes, who ascribed to Moses the characteristics of an Egyptian-Hellenistic king, military commander, priest, prophet, and scribe. These Jewish writings were utilized in turn by early Christian apologists such as Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea. Broderick’s analysis of this Moses imagery ranges widely across religious divides, art-historical religious themes, and classical and early Jewish and Christian sources.

Warwick Ball, former Director of the now defunct British Institute of Afghan Studies in Kabul, has launched a journal devoted to the country ‘where Near Eastern, Central Asian and South Asian studies overlap’. Afghanistan, sponsored by the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies in Boston, is published by Edinburgh University Press. The first issue, writes Norman Hammond FSA in the Times (2 June), features excavations at the Buddhist monastery of Qol-e-Tut near Kabul, Alexander the Great, Victorian Britain’s indirect rule as a bulwark for the Raj, and modern Afghan leaders’ conceptualisation of the state. The last academic journal devoted to Afghanistan was Afghan Studies (1976–79), of which Hammond was Founding Editor, and he will be on the editorial board of Afghanistan. Ball and Hammond are editing the second edition of The Archaeology of Afghanistan from Earliest Times to the Timurid Period, to appear in 2019.

Fellows Remembered

John Ashdown-Hill FSA died on 18 May aged 69. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in February 2014. His name is closely linked to the discovery of Richard III’s grave in a Leicester car park, but he will be remembered more widely as a leading historian of the Yorkist dynasty and a writer of popular books.
On 22 March 2015 John Ashdown-Hill looked smart and elegant in a white suit as he sat beside Philippa Langley, listening to a eulogy in Leicester Cathedral on the occasion of Richard III's reinterment. Around him was a packed invited congregation, among them the Duke of Gloucester, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and the Duke of Norfolk, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Leicester, the University Chancellor, actors Benedict Cumberbatch (there to read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy) and Robert Lindsay, descendants of Richard III’s sister, historians, archaeologists, journalists and more. The coffin holding the King’s remains lay on trestles under a black pall, whose decorations included a depiction of Ashdown-Hill holding his book about Richard III. On top was a crown supplied by Ashdown-Hill. Inside was a rosary, given by Ashdown-Hill.
The eulogy, given by Gordon Campbell FSA, Fellow in Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester, was broadcast live on television. Towards the end, with the camera on Ashdown-Hill, he was seen to shake his head, look across to his companion and raise his eyes into the roof, sighing theatrically. The press, picking up on immediate negative comments on social media, would later run stories about the ‘rude historian’ peeved not to have been named in the speech. The reality was more complex. There would have been no reburial of a King of England, a unique event in modern times, without Philippa Langley and Ashdown-Hill. He had reason to tut-tut, though when communication between the many parties involved in the Richard III project failed, there was rarely a single cause.
Anyway, this was not Ashdown-Hill’s moment. That had come three years before, on the day Jo Appleby FSA had excavated the skeleton in September 2012. As the sun was going down and the then anonymous bones had been packed, Langley asked if she could cover them with Richard III’s standard. Richard Buckley FSA, in charge of the operation, gave his approval. The task fell to Ashdown-Hill. He wrapped the flag around the box and carried it to the archaeologists’ van. It would take years of scientific studies for the archaeologists to prove the remains to be the King’s. But Ashdown-Hill and Langley already knew. ‘He was absolutely thrilled,’ she said of the occasion on BBC Radio 4’s obituary programme Last Word (1 June).
Born in London, Ashdown-Hill read History and French at the University of East Anglia. He obtained an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Essex, and in 2004, also at Essex, he began a PhD on Sir John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who died at the Battle of Bosworth with his cousin, Richard III. The university awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2014. He taught languages and classical civilisation, here and overseas, but remained a professionally independent historian (‘some would say maverick,’ says his Telegraph obituary, 26 May).
He was a founder-member of the Looking For Richard Project, assembled by Philippa Langley to track down the King’s grave. Langley was inspired by little more than a mystic hunch, but found that Ashdown-Hill already had his suspicions. He had rejected the common assumption that Richard III’s body had been dug up and cast into the river Soar during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In a quest to support a theory that remains found in Belgium were those of Margaret of York, Richard III’s sister, he had traced a living descendant of Richard Ill's mother in Canada; this offered the prospect of a DNA test if remains suspected to be Richard III’s were found.
With this and his support, Langley had the confidence to proceed, and the pair were eventually able to persuade Leicester University archaeologists to excavate near the cathedral. For the former, finding the King’s grave was the only goal. The latter believed this impossible and of minor concern, but the search necessitated first locating and mapping the lost Greyfriars Friary, of considerable interest to the history of Leicester.
The parties set out on an extraordinary project that caught the imagination of the world. In the event, both goals were achieved in spectacular style. Ashdown-Hill’s reaction in the Service of Reinterment was fuelled by a sense that he, Langley and the Richard III Society were not fully credited by professional scientists and archaeologists for their contributions. In fact, one of his enduring gifts may be a recognition by academia that they do not own a monopoly on valid questions about the past.
One of Ashdown-Hill’s most successful books was Eleanor the Secret Queen (2010), which argued that Eleanor Talbot was the first wife of Edward IV. The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of his DNA (2010), later re-issued with the subtitle, The Book that Inspired the Dig, was inevitably a best seller. Among a long list of other books are Royal Marriage Secrets: Consorts & Concubines, Bigamists & Bastards (2013), The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother and The Wars of the Roses (2015), The Mythology of Richard III (2016) and Cecily Neville: Mother of Richard III (2018). The Mythology of the 'Princes in the Tower' is due in July. A book on Elizabeth Woodville is expected to be published in 2019.
In a tribute from the Department of History at Essex University, Alison Rowlands FSA wrote, ‘John was a prolific author, a leading historian of the Yorkist dynasty, and a real gentleman, who combined a genuine gentleness of manner with an immense enthusiasm for the solving of historical mysteries.’ ‘With his death,’ she added, ‘we have lost not only a leading scholar of the House of York but also a longstanding friend of our Department of History. He will be greatly missed.’
He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to historical research and the exhumation and identification of Richard III. Among his many public, and very popular lectures was one he gave at the Society of Antiquaries in 2015 on the 'Princes in the Tower', and he helped with informal gallery talks in 2014.
Ashdown-Hill, says the Telegraph, was a ‘quiet, gentle and unassuming man, [and] a lover of wildlife. At home in Manningtree, Essex, he kept chickens rescued from battery farms, although being vegetarian he would only eat their eggs. He would often take himself to a nearby beach where he could process his thoughts while sitting on the sand and staring out to sea.’ He published The Poetry of John Ashdown-Hill this year.

The photo of Ashdown-Hill at the top, receiving his MBE at Buckingham Palace, is from his blog. The other photo (M Pitts) shows him on the day of Richard III’s reinterment, being interviewed for the Guardian by Maev Kennedy FSA.

Catherine Hills FSA and Leslie Webster FSA have written a long obituary of Vera Evison FSA, who died in March, for the Guardian (1 June). Evison ‘expanded knowledge,’ they say, ‘of the crucial period in British history that saw the transition from Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England, the fifth to seventh centuries AD. She did this by pioneering the introduction of continental methods to develop the systematic study of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries.’ ‘Her excavation at the large, richly furnished Buckland Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Dover (1951–53),’ they add, ‘marked a turning point in the recognition of the strong element of Frankish material culture in Kent.’
She was born in Lewisham, south-east London, the youngest of five children of Francis Evison, a cabinetmaker and woodwork teacher, and his wife Emily (nee Scott), a specialist dry cleaner and restorer of fine textiles and furs. She lived all her life in London.
‘She kept herself fit through tennis and swimming. Taped on the mirror in her office at Birkbeck was a large notice which informed her students that smoking was not allowed in the room, at a time when smoking was ubiquitous and allowed in most places. She never took the lift, and preferred walking to travelling by bus.
‘She respected people prepared to defend their position, and would be prepared to concede the point if robustly argued; but she had no time for those who did not.’ Her ‘stated aim when she was 95 years old was to reach 100, which she duly achieved.’

Jack Davidson has written a substantial obituary of Iain Bain FSA, who died in April, for the Herald Scotland, headed, ‘athlete and art historian‘ (11 May). Bain was ‘an outstanding Scottish hammer thrower,’ writes Davidson, ‘who later enjoyed a successful career in publishing and was recognised internationally as a distinguished British printing historian.’
Bain was Scottish hammer champion in 1956, 57 and 59, and represented Scotland and Great Britain internationally. He set a British Junior record while a pupil at Fettes College, and twice won the British Junior title as well as the Scottish Junior title. At Oxford he won the British Universities’ title with a record throw, and in 1957 competed in the World University Games in Paris. ‘He was the youngest of a golden generation of Scottish hammer throwers of the era,’ says Davidson.
Leaving athletics, Bain moved to publishing and became a leading expert on both historical printing techniques and Thomas Bewick. He was Head of Publications at the Tate Gallery from 1972 till retirement in 1994.
His English studies at Oxford University were interrupted by National Service in the Seaforth Highlanders. He saw action during the Mau Mau troubles in Kenya while seconded to the Black Watch, and was later involved in the Suez crisis for which he was awarded a campaign medal.
He was, says Davidson, a ‘man of considerable personal charm and grace. He was genuinely interested in everyone he met and mixed well in all types of company.’


Alan Bell FSA, who died in April, ‘Brought the London Library into the age of the computer,’ headlines a Telegraph obituary (1 Jun). He was ‘a dignified figure typically clad in a three-piece suit, and his preference was to communicate in an elegant hand or through the spoken word. But he showed enthusiasm for progress… He never batted an eyelid on a visit to The Daily Telegraph when a secretary in the obituaries department addressed him as “mate”, and remained neutral when members campaigned for the installation of a coffee room at the Library (though everyone assumed he was opposed).’
Born in Sunderland, Bell went to Ashville College, Harrogate, and Selwyn College, Cambridge. He worked at the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts and the National Library of Scotland before becoming Librarian at Rhodes House, Oxford. He left the London Library in 2002.
He edited the works of ‘several neglected 19th-century authors’, says the Telegraph. These included Sir Leslie Stephen's Mausoleum Book, two works on the Scots judge and memoirist Lord Cockburn, and ‘the almost totally incomprehensible manuscripts of the critic George Saintsbury, which Bell described as “a challenge to paleographic ingenuity”.’ His own one full-length biography was of the ‘witty Anglican clergyman’, the Reverend Sydney Smith (1980). Learning that ‘his book was short on humour, Bell eventually published The Sayings of Sydney Smith’ (1993).

Memorials to Fellows

Above is the grave of John Evan Thomas FSA (1810–73), in Brompton Cemetery, London. More of a commemoration than a memorial, a plaque featuring Thomas in Wales is definitely worth a mention. Andrew Pike FSA writes:
‘In the square in the centre of Brecon, opposite the appropriately named Wellington Hotel, is a large bronze statue of the Duke of Wellington on a stone plinth. The inscription on it reads:
‘This statue, modelled from life by the late John Evan Thomas FSA, JP Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of the County of Brecknock, was presented by him to his native town in the year 1856.
‘On the sides of the plinth are bronze panels depicting the Peninsula War and Waterloo, and Picton MDCCCXV and Wellington MDCCCLII.
‘Thomas was a prolific sculptor: two of his statues adorn the House of Lords. Though he had a studio in Pimlico, he spent much of time in his native Wales.’
Statue photo Aberdare Blog, grave Wikipedia/Stephencdickson.

The Wisdom of Fellows 

In the last Salon we featured a watercolour of a church which Roger Smith FSA thought was probably done in the late 18th century, but was unable to identify (above). Others have.
‘The painting is of the remains of Beauchief Abbey, in Derbyshire (until 1936 when transferred to the City of Sheffield),’ says Max Craven FSA, ‘which are still extant, having been incorporated into the church after the Dissolution. When Mick Stanley and I did an off-puttingly hefty two-volume tome (2001) on the country houses of Derbyshire, we felt impelled to include those parts of the county which had been seized by predatory surrounding authorities, so we could cover the historical county. No mention of late 17th-century and Regency Beauchief Hall (pronounced locally as “Beecheef”) would have been complete without this eye-catcher in its grounds!’
Craven sent this engraving of a similar view by Paul Sandby (right). Diarmaid MacCulloch FSA also recognised Beauchief Abbey, and Dan Slatcher (Director at RPS Planning & Development, Leeds) spotted the match with the Sandby view. But who painted Roger Smith’s work?
Mark Samuel FSA has an idea. ‘I suspect from the naive mannerisms,’ he writes, ‘that this is a work by a minor but prolific topographical artist called Daniel Grose (c 1766–1838).’ Grose was author of The Antiquities of Ireland: A Supplement to Francis Grose. If it was him, suggests Samuel, ‘Do not regard it as anything like an exact record!’
Another comparable view was sold by Thomas Watson, Darlington, in 2015, described as ‘Circle of Paul Sandby’ (left).


‘Thank you for another informative and amusing issue of Salon,’ writes John Hemming FSA (and thank you). ‘However…’
‘I do not feel that the Google doodle and accompanying message begins to do justice to the late Maria Reiche.’ I had briefly mentioned that Reiche, on the 115th anniversary of her birth on 15 May, had appeared in Google’s daily masthead.
‘She was a handsome, ramrod-straight lady,’ continues Hemming, ‘tanned from all her fieldwork, and speaking English with a Prussian accent. She single-handedly rescued the great World Heritage site of the Nazca Lines – which was going to be irrigated and become a huge sugar plantation. She is now highly honoured in Peru for having saved one of its most important archaeological sites. There are hundreds of lines, some zoomorphic, others geometric, others kilometres long, made in the oxidised pebbles lying on the desert sand, by the Nazca people who flourished in the first millennium AD.
‘I first met Maria Reiche in 1960 when she lived camped on the lines – to save them. She studied them from a high step-ladder or fastened under fixed-wing planes, and some Peruvians regarded her as an eccentric bruja. Decades later, when she was famous, she had tea with me in the Royal Geographical Society and I took her to give a lecture at the Institute of Contemporary Art. There was a large audience, including some of the hippy beards-and-sandals brigade. Her lecture was serious, even though her theory that many of the lines related to astronomical phenomena is not now accepted. After the talk, she was asked whether she would accept questions. She replied, with Germanic authority: “Yes. I will accept any question that does not contain the word ‘extraterrestrial’!” Many of the audience's faces fell.’

‘The Country Life “article in question” was also written by a Fellow,’ writes Huon Mallalieu FSA. I had summarised a piece in the magazine which featured the sale of two military-themed collections, both owned by Fellows (The Art of Collecting Memories), but I had not mentioned its authorship (the copy I had was missing that important detail). Apologies.

‘Thanks for your excellent pieces on Windrush and records,’ writes Anna Gannon FSA. ‘Let alone personal heartbreaks and stories, politics and the shame of it all, as far as research of any sort goes, this is tragic. My late husband was of Irish descent but born in India, a son of the Empire and railway-building management. He became interested in the genealogical work of FIBIS and for a number of years he contributed to the recording of “births, marriages and deaths” and arrival/departure ship lists.’ The latest of this work can be seen on Twitter.
Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land has opened at the British Library (until 21 October): ‘Welcomed by some as “Sons of Empire.” Vilified by those spreading fears of a “black invasion.” 70 years since the Empire Windrush carried hundreds of migrants to London, hear the Caribbean voices behind the 1940s headlines. Why did people come? What did they leave behind? And how did they shape Britain?’ The photo shows arrivals from the Caribbean via Southampton at London's Victoria Station.


Steve Sherlock FSA writes about a piece in the last Salon headed National Planning Policy Stitch-up. I had illustrated a discussion of proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework with photos of archaeological works on the A14 by MOLA Headland Infrastructure. ‘Whilst the road scheme is not mentioned in the text,’ says Sherlock, ‘three people have commented to me about a link being drawn between the images of our sites and your text.’ I’m happy to emphasise that the photos (one of them taken by me on a site visit) were chosen to show a prime example of what the present planning system can achieve – arrangements that archaeologists say are endangered by the changes to the NPPF suggested by the Government.


Gifts to the Library

The Society is very grateful to the donors of the following books, given to the Library by Fellows in 2017 and early 2018. These books are, or will shortly be, available in the Library, with full records on the online catalogue

From Peter Barber FSA, Rome measured and imagined (Early Modern maps of the Eternal City) / by Jessica Maier (2015)
From the author, Jerome Bertram FSA:
  • Travels in Poland (2018)
  • Travels in north-east Europe (2018)
From Pippa Bradley FSA, Along prehistoric lines : neolithic, iron age and romano-british activity at the former MOD headquarters, Durrington, Wiltshire / by Steve Thompson and Andrew B. Powell (2018)
From the author, Roger L. Brown FSA, A social history of the Welsh clergy circa 1662 1939 Part One, volumes 1, 2, and 3 (2017)
From the co-authors, Andrew Burnett FSA and Richard Simpson FSA, Roman coins, money, and society in Elizabethan England: Sir Thomas Smith's On the wages of the Roman footsoldier. Numismatic Studies, 36 (2017)
From the co-author, Helen Clarke FSA, Helgo revisited: a new look at the excavated evidence for Helgo, central Sweden (2017)
From the author, Christine Finn FSA:
  • Artefacts: an archaeologist's year in Silicon Valley (2001)
  • Past poetic: archaeology in the poetry of W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney (2004)
From Andrew Fitzpatrick FSA,
  • Les celtes dans la Marne, 1
  • La Tene : die Untersuchung, die Fragen, die Antworten (2007)
  • Die Funde aus La Tene im Bernischen Historischen Museum / by Felix Muller and Regine Stapfer (2013)
  • La Tene, un site, un mythe,  1: chronique en images (1857-1923). Archeologie neuchateloise, 39 (2007)
  • Le site de la Tene : bilan des connaissances - etat de la question. Archeologie neuchateloise, 43 (2009)
  • La Tene: la collection Schwab (Bienne, Suisse). La Tene, un site, un mythe, 3. Tome 1: Texte / by Thierry Lejars. Cahiers d'archeologie romande, 141 (2013)
  • La Tene: la collection Schwab (Bienne, Suisse). La Tene, un site, un mythe, 3. Tome 2: Documents, catalogue et planches / by Thierry Lejars. Cahiers d'archeologie romande, 140 (2013)
From the editor, Ruurd Binnert Halbertsma FSA, The Canino connections : the history and restoration of ancient Greek vases from the excavations of Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino (1775-1840)
From Mark Hall FSA, Divina moneta : coins in religion and ritual / edited by Nanouschka Myrberg Burstrom and Gitte Tarnow Ingvardson (2018)
From Richard Harrison FSA:
  • O tempo do Risco : carta arqueologica de Sesimbra (2009)
  • Estudio tipologico-arquitectónico de los sepulcros del neolitico y calcolítico de la cuenca media del Ebro / Teresa Andrew Ruperez (1978)
  • La grotta di Filiestru a Bonu Ighinu, Mara / David H. Trump (Quaderni, 13, 1983)
  • Salt and the eastern North American Indian: and archaeological study / Ian W. Brown (Lower Mississippi Survey, Bulletin no. 6, 1980)
  • Early hydraulic civilisation in Egypt: a study in cultural ecology / Karl W. Butzer (1976)
  • Zimbabwe excavations 1958 (Occasional papers of the National Museums of Southern Rhodesia, no. 23A, 1961)
  • Notizie archeologiche bergomensi, volumes 12 (2004), 17-20 (2009-2012), 22-23 (2014-2015)
From the co-editor, Paula Henderson FSA, Architect, patron and craftsman in Tudor and early Stuart England: essays for Malcolm Airs / edited by P. S. Barnwell and Paula Henderson (2017)
From the authors, Robert (Bob) Higham FSA and Neil Guy FSA, Shell-keeps re-visited: the bailey on the motte? (2018)
From the co-author, Fraser Hunter FSA, Scotland's early silver: transforming Roman pay-offs to Pictish treasures / by Alice Blackwell, Martin Goldberg and Fraser Hunter (2017)
From J V S Megaw FSA:
  • Under the volcano: proceedings of the International Symposium on the Metallurgy of the European Iron Age … / edited by Ernst Pernika and Roland Schwab (2014)
  • Art and communication: centralization processes in European societies in the 1st millennium BC / Christopher Pare (2012)
  • Nemcice: ein Macht-, Industrie- und Handelszentrum der Latenezeit in Mahren und Siedlungen am ihren Rande / Eva Kolnikova (2012)
From the author, David Mitchell FSA, Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London (2017)
From David Rundle FSA,
  • Humanism in fifteenth-century Europe edited by David Rundle (2012)
  • A descriptive catalogue of the western manuscripts, to c.1600, in Christ Church, Oxford / by Ralph Hanna and David Rundle (2017)
From Jörn Schuster FSA, The monumental cemeteries of prehistoric Europe / by Magdalena S. Midgley (2005)
From Revd Geoffrey Scott FSA, Catalogus librorum bibliothecae benedictinorum anglorum sancti Edmundi Parisiis MDCCII / compiled by Benet Weldon, edited by Frans Blom, Jos Blom, Frans Korsten and Geoffrey Scott (2017)
From Paul Sutherland FSA, Banners of the bold / by Peter Drummond-Murray and Anthony Lombardo Delarue (2018)
From the author, Revd Canon John Toy FSA, The cult of St Olaf in England (The Kirkdale Lecture 2015)
From the author, Robert Turner FSA, An account of the medieval arms of Westminster Abbey to be found in the quire and nave aisles: their origins and their place in the society of 13th century England (2018)

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 Amelia Carruthers, Communications Manager (

The next Ordinary Meeting of Fellows will take place after the summer break, on Thursday 4 October 2018. 

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

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place. Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of the building (£10) preceding the lectures above.

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? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at:

Welsh Fellows

  • 23 June 2018: 'Neath Abbey and the Ironworks' - a one day visit, led by Bill Zajac FSA with David Robinson FSA also in attendance at the Abbey. Lunch will be in-between visits at the Miners Arms.
  • July (TBC): An opportunity to visit the new excavations at Cosmeston by John Hinds FSA
  • 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 events or receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at

York Fellows

  • 26 June 2018: 'Writing Yorkshire' by Professor Richard Morris - discussing his recent highly acclaimed book Yorkshire. Please email if you'd like to attend.
  • 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, you can subscribe online at:

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

5 June: ‘Who is my Neighbour?’: Stories of Alms-seeking in Early Modern England’ (Cambridge)
‘Who is my neighbour?’ is a question with ethical, social and political valency to which stories of caritas (Christian charity) found in the archives, literature and drama of early-modern England respond. In this talk at the Wolfson College Humanities Society, Rebecca Tomlin, the Society’s Governance Officer, will explore the church and playhouse as spaces in which the affective qualities of neighbourliness and charity might be imaginatively experienced and evaluated, and the identities of alms-seeker and alms-giver mutually constituted through the rhetoric and performance. Details online.
5 June: New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries (London)
This event at Lambeth Palace Library will showcase some recent research on library formation, public and private, in the 17th century. Three short talks, among them Jacqueline Glomski FSA on ‘Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century’, will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in 17th-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research and the application of digital methods. In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. Details online, or email

7 June: In Conversation: Contemporary Collecting and Making (London)
Adrian Sassoon, gallery director and Trustee of the Silver Trust, talks to Junko Mori, one of the UK’s leading silversmiths, at the Wallace Collection. Originally trained as a blacksmith in Japan, Mori distils observations of the natural world and works with the repetition of multiple silver units, creating pieces of great complexity. One of a series of meetings held by the Art Fund with the support of the Silver Society. Details online.
8 June: Delivering Public Benefit through 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 looks at planning projects to deliver public benefit, how to communicate that benefit, and how to evaluate the impact. It is designed for those responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work that aim to deliver public benefit. Details online.
11 June: Sites of Sabotage: a History of Protest (London)
A panel discussion at the Royal Academy, organised in partnership with Historic England as part of the London Festival of Architecture, will explore whether there is historic value in sites that have witnessed political and social protest. Speakers including Emily Gee FSA will debate the topic in the light of Historic England’s forthcoming Suffrage Centenary listings, part of its HerStories campaign to enrich the national record of listed sites with women’s history. Details online.
12 June: The Silver Caesars: A Renaissance Mystery (Aylesbury)
A Study Visit to the exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which brings together for the first time in more than 150 years some of the most extraordinary and enigmatic treasures of the Renaissance, a set of 12 European silver-gilt standing cups known as the ‘Aldobrandini Tazze’. Each tazza includes a portrait of one of the Caesars, with four episodes from his life on the supporting dish. The day will consist of three short presentations, and opportunities to view the exhibition with its curator, Julia Siemon, and the rest of the Manor. Speakers include James Rothwell FSA and Dora Thornton FSA. Contact Waddesdon Booking Office 01296 820414.

14 June: In Conversation: Fashioning Silver – Past and Present (London)
In a meeting at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tessa Murdoch FSA, Head of Metalwork at the V&A, introduces a selection of silver from the national collection, ranging from Medieval to present day. She discusses its potential to inspire contemporary British silversmiths with Juliette Bigley and Miriam Hanid, whose work has recently been acquired by the museum, and Eric Turner, curator of 20th-century and contemporary metalwork. One of a series of events held by the Art Fund, with the support of the Silver Society. Details online.
15 June: 2000 Years of History: The World’s Cultural Capital (London)
For over 2000 years London has been settled by traders, exiles and adventurers from overseas. Their achievements are reflected in the city’s buildings and monuments. Their craftsmen and artists underpin much of what we appreciate in London’s vibrancy today. This conference held at the Society of Antiquaries by the Heritage of London Trust looks at the role of international heritage in perceptions of London as a great world city. It explores our understanding of London’s past, its global appeal, the value of heritage in rooting communities and its potential for strengthening the city’s future. Speakers include Linda Monckton FSA, Philip Davies FSA and Emily Gee FSA. Details online.

20 June: The Works of Decimus Burton (London)
Philip Whitbourn FSA will give a lecture on the works of Decimus Burton (1800–81) at the Dissenter's Chapel at Kensal Green Cemetery, where Burton is buried in a tapering sarcophagus of grey Cornish granite. One of the foremost 19th-century architects and a leading exponent of the Greek Revival, Regency and Classical styles of his time, Burton designed the Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall, the Arch and Screen at Hyde Park Corner, the Hothouse (Palm) in Kew Gardens and buildings in St Leonards-on-Sea. Details online.
23 June: Prehistoric and Early Historic Tracks on the Downland and Weald (Lewes)
A talk by Martin Bell FSA based on a case study from a forthcoming book, Making ones Way in the World. He will take a critical look at the evidence for early patterns of movement on the Downs and in the Weald. He will consider to what extent the ridgeways such as the South Downs Way served as prehistoric routes, and argue that there is better evidence for the early origins of routes at right angles to the escarpments, marked in places by hollow ways, connecting contrasting environments and topographies. Details online.
25 June: 'Sèvres-mania'? (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, Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth FSA (PhD Candidate and History of Art Tutor, University of Leeds) will speak about 'Sèvres-mania'? The History of Collecting Sèvres Porcelain in Britain in the Later 19th century. Details online.
27 June: Godsbody: The Roman Crucifix from its Beginnings to the Cinquecento (Rome)
Anthony Cutler FSA, Penn State University, will talk at the Università degli Studi “La Sapienza” di Roma. The long history of the crucifix in Italian art rests on the story that the mosaic of the suffering Christ at S Croce in Gerusalemme was made by Gregory the Great from the bones of martyrs. From this early medieval beginning the image came to dominate patterns of both commission and display. Over the last 20 years the evolution of the great crucifixes painted on wood has been amply explored, but comparable works in ivory have been neglected. This lecture considers the fragment by Giovanni Pisano in the V&A and the same sculptor's versions in wood. Details online.

27 June: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Therese Martin FSA (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid) talks about Re-opening the Treasury: Meaning in Materials at San Isidoro de León, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
28 June: Annual Ecclesiastical History Colloquium (Oxford)
The 2018 Ecclesiastical History Colloquium will be held at the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History in association with BYU London Centre & BYU Wheatley Institution, at Oxford Brookes University with speakers from Brigham Young University, University of California, Berkeley, Ohio University and Oxford Brookes. There is no charge, but confirm attendance by 1 June to the Administrator of the OCMCH, at or 01865 488455. See online for location.
29 June: HistBEKE Project Seminar Day (London)
An opportunity to hear more about the HistBEKE project and how the framework will work, including recommendations for the knowledge exchange and research agenda, at the University of Liverpool in London. The future of the project will also be discussed, as well as how it can be used and further developed by everyone in the sector. Details online, or contact Stella Jackson at
6 July: Churches: History, Significance and Use (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 provides a firm foundation of the history of church architecture and furnishings, and provides skills to draft statements of significance, aimed particularly at those actively involved in management of church buildings. Details online.
17–20 July: Performance, Ceremony and Display in Late Medieval Britain (Harlaxton)
The 2018 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium in Grantham, Lincolnshire, aims to explore many dimensions of performance. As well as talks on musical and dramatic performance, it will include papers on aspects of display and associated ceremonies and rituals, on oral performance in a variety of ecclesiastical and social contexts, and on the performative potential of spaces, and of manuscripts and other physical objects. Speakers include Jerome Bertram FSAClive Burgess FSA, Pamela King FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA, Matthew Payne FSA, Ellie Pridgeon FSA, Nigel Ramsay FSA and Anne F Sutton FSA. There will be an excursion to St Mary’s church, Higham Ferrers and to St Peter’s church at Raunds. Details online.
30 July: J C Robinson's Collection at Auction (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, Elizabeth Pergam (Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, NY) will speak about Paris over London: Victorian Curator J C Robinson's Collection at Auction. Details online.
6–9 September: Recent Archaeological Research in the Channel Islands and nearby France (St Helier, Jersey)
Building on the successful Channel Islands History Conference of 2016, this event hosted by the Société Jersiaise Archaeology Section showcases the best and up-to-date archaeological research. Speakers include Chantel Conneller FSA, Barry Cunliffe FSA, Heather Sebire FSA and Robert Waterhouse FSA. On the fourth day, if there is sufficient interest, it is proposed to run two minibus trips to significant archaeological sites in Jersey. Details online.
11–15 September: Understanding Historic Buildings (Oxford)
Historic England is running a four-day course at St Anne’s College, which will teach key skills in building investigation, interpretation and recording. Tutors Adam Menuge FSA and Allan Adams FSA will demonstrate how to observe, analyse, hand-measure, draw and photograph historic buildings. Details online.
14-16 September: The Monuments of Hereford and Herefordshire (Hereford)
The Church Monuments Society Bi-Annual Symposium 2018 will be held at the Green Dragon Hotel opposite the cathedral. The focus will be on monuments in the cathedral and surrounding Herefordshire countryside, with an optional visit to the Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi, chained library and after evening dinner lecture on the Mappa Mundi. Speakers include Tobias Capwell FSA, Jerome Bertram FSA, Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA and Moira Gittos FSA, David Lepine FSA, Jon Bayliss FSA, Holly Trusted FSA and Roger Bowdler FSA. Details online.
15 September: Deerhurst, Pershore and Westminster Abbey (Deerhurst)
The 2018 Annual Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm in St Mary's Church, Deerhurst and will be given by Richard Mortimer FSA (former archivist to Westminster Abbey). Details online.

19–20 September: Photographing Historic Buildings (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 aimed at those who are not professional photographers but wish to photograph historic buildings for the record using a digital camera. By the end students will be expected to know how to choose viewpoint and lighting conditions, correctly set up cameras to capture suitable images and how to post-produce images in software ready for the archive. Details online.
24 September: Dr Christopher Dresser, the South Kensington Museum and their 1877 Gift to Tokyo National Museum (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. Chris Morley will speak in one of a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA. Please note that this is a change of the previously advertised programme. Details online.
26–28 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. Chris Morley ill speak in one of a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA. Please note that this is a change of the previously advertised programme. Details online.

29 September: Georgian Group Symposium: The Architecture of James Gibbs (London)
James Gibbs (1682–1754), born in Scotland and trained in Rome, was one of the most important British architects of the 18th century, responsible for the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London and the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, and many other commissions throughout Britain. He published one of the most influential of 18th-century architectural pattern books, which spread his influence throughout the worldwide British diaspora. This symposium at the Society of Antiquaries and led by Geoffrey Tyack FSA, editor of the Georgian Group Journal, will reassess Gibbs’ achievement and its significance for the understanding of Georgian architecture. Speakers include Charles Hind FSA and Pete Smith FSA. Details online.

4 October: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (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 recent guidance, and review the essential components of assessment and updated project design. In the afternoon we will review examples from current practice and consider how far they meet their purpose and justify funding decisions. Details online.
13 October: Castle Studies: Current Research and the Future (London)
A conference organised by the Castle Studies Group to be held at the Society of Antiquaries will honour Derek Renn FSA, author of Norman Castles in Britain (1969/1973), and launch a Festschrift, Castles: History, Archaeology, Landscape and Architecture, edited by Neil Guy FSA. Speakers include Oliver Creighton FSA, Bob Higham FSA, Brian Kerr FSA, Neil Ludlow FSA and Pamela Marshall FSA. For details contact John R Kenyon FSA, 140 Fairwater Grove East, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2JW, before 31 July.

15 October: Finds for the Dead in Roman London and Beyond (London)
A conference jointly organised by the Museum of London, Museum of London Archaeology and the Roman Finds Group will be held at the Museum of the London Docklands, currently featuring The Roman Dead exhibition. Twelve speakers will describe finds from the city and cemeteries of Roman London, as well as important objects from funerary contexts elsewhere in Britain. Details online, or contact Stephen Greep FSA at
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,
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.
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: 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.
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,

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.

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,

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.

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.

Call for Papers

14 July: Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research (Welwyn)
The Welwyn Archaeological Society and the Rhodes Museum, Bishops Stortford are pleased to announce the third recent research conference, to be held at the Museum. We are seeking 25-minute papers on all aspects of archaeology in Hertfordshire – very broadly defined – from prehistoric to post-Medieval, including updated work on older projects. If you would like to present at the conference, please send a short abstract to Kris Lockyear at Indicate if you would be willing to present a poster should your paper not be one of ten chosen. Details online.

15 September: Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 43 (2019)
The DAS journal for 2019 will celebrate cross-cultural influences between British and Continental European designers and makers of decorative art, as well as exchange with designers further afield. The Society’s remit is 1850 to the present, and typical journal articles take an object-focussed approach. The journal audience is knowledgeable and well-informed, but not necessarily academic. Authors are invited to submit proposals of around 750–1,000 words by 15 September 2018, for articles between around 2,500–6,000 words, plus notes, illustrations and captions. Send proposals to the Editor, Megan Aldrich FSA, at

March 2019: 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.


The Council of the Church Monuments Society offers a biennial prize of £250 called the Church Monuments Essay Prize, to be awarded with a certificate for the best essay submitted in the relevant year. The aim of the competition is to stimulate people, particularly those who may be writing on church monuments for the first time, to submit material for the peer-reviewed international CMS journal Church Monuments. Therefore, the competition is open only to those who have not previously published an article in Church Monuments. Closing date for applications 31 December 2018. Details online.


The Heritage Alliance is looking for a new Chair. Closing date for applications: 11 June.
The Chair, to be appointed at the Alliance’s Heritage Day and AGM in December 2018, will be responsible for overseeing the work of the charity, and for convening meetings of the board of trustees. They will be a dynamic ambassador for the independent heritage sector, being a vocal advocate for the cause of the Alliance’s diverse membership of 126 separate heritage organisations. They will take the lead in driving the next phase of the Alliance’s development and ensuring its sustainability as one of England’s most prominent and recognisable advocates for heritage. The current Chair, Loyd Grossman FSA, will step down after serving three successful three-year terms. Details online, or contact Ben Cowell, Deputy Chair, on 020 7259 5685688 or at

Communications Manager with the Society of Antiquaries
Closing date for applications: 24 June.

The Society of Antiquaries is seeking to appoint a new Communications Manager to continue and strengthen its public-facing and membership communications and event programming. The post-holder will be responsible for managing public relations, marketing, website, and membership communication and event programmes at its headquarters at Burlington House (London) as well as supporting communications for its historic property, Kelmscott Manor (Oxon). For further information, please see our website >

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers (, 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 Amelia Carruthers (, 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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