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Salon: Issue 366
20 June 2016

Next issue: 4 July 2016 

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

Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor (if you are reading this in an email, do not reply directly as we will not receive your message). 

Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

In the last issue of Salon, we reported that Carol Evans was now employed at the Society on a freelance basis only. We are sad to announce that we have now said goodbye to both Ortrun Peyn (Head of Library Cataloguing), who joined the Library team in 1983, and Jo Carter (Assistant Librarian, Cataloguing), who joined the team in 2007.

Many Fellows contributed to a goodbye gift for the LIbrary staff members. Both Carol and Jo wanted Fellows to know how very appreciated and unexpected such generosity was! Additionally, Ortrun wanted to share the following:

'I am very touched and grateful for all the messages of support from the Fellowship and their generous gift. The gift will enable me to have an exhibition catalogue fund, and I intend to mark every catalogue purchased with their gift so that I will forever know it's the leaving present from the Society's Fellows'.

Our longest-serving member of staff, Adrian James, has also left his role as Assistant Librarian (a post he has held since 1981). However, Adrian will now be helping the Society with a special project to audit the Library collections until September.

The Society would like to thank Carol, Ortrun, Jo and Adrian for their many years of exceptional service to Fellows, other researchers and to their coworkers. Their efforts in the Library have helped to improve the catalogue records, support research into the collections, and launch the Society's first annual Postgraduate Open Day (last October), to name just a few accomplishments. We wish each of them the very best for the future.

Burlington House Lease Renewal Update June 2016

Fellows may recall that in the January 2015 issue of Fellowship News, I  set out the Society’s position with regards our tenure of Burlington House. Our President, Gill Andrews, also discussed this issue in her annual Address at the Anniversary Meeting in April 2016. For the benefit of new Fellows or Fellows who did not attend the anniversary meeting, the following is a summary of the present position.

Fellows may recall that in 2005 our landlords (in the shape of John Prescott’s Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) engaged the five Courtyard Societies in a lengthy process of legal action and arbitration that resulted in a 10-year lease, which was to be renewable a further seven times, giving the Society an 80-year period of tenure at the end of which our rent would have reached market value. However, in recognition of our history and charitable status, we understood that our rent would remain very low for the first 50 years, but rise significantly thereafter. 

From 2013 to 2015 the Courtyard Societies attempted to engage with our landlord (now the Department for Communities and Local Government, DCLG) to renew our leases for a further 10 years. Unfortunately, this process was unproductive: Our existing lease expired on 31 January 2015 and is being “held over” pending resolution of issues over the landlord’s agents re-valuation of Burlington House. The re-valuation has resulted in a significant increase in the landlord’s rent demands – as can be seen in our annual accounts for the past three years.  In January 2015 (Fellowship News, Issue 41) I reported that the Courtyard Societies acted in unison and engaged professional and legal assistance to help to resolve this within the terms and mechanisms set out in our leases. Since October 2015 I have chaired the Courtyard Executive Secretary’s Group, and in this capacity I have been coordinating the team of professional and legal advisers on behalf of all five Courtyard Societies.

I have kept our Council of Trustees and the Finance Committee fully briefed on the progress of these issues. However, our legal team has advised that nothing concerning the process that we are engaged in with our landlords should be discussed in the public domain as it would be likely to prejudice our position. Whilst Council and I would have liked to be able to keep Fellows more fully informed, it is only right that we follow legal advice and do nothing that could possibly prejudice the outcome of this process. Fellows can be assured that we will update you as soon as we possibly can, and I hope that I may have further news to report in the July 2016 issue of Fellowship News. This has been, and continues to be, a particularly challenging issue as it has an impact on all that we do. 

I am conscious of the fact that the resolution of this issue could have a profound effect on the future of the Society. Looking forward, the intention is to collaborate with the other Courtyard Societies and develop a collective vision for our continued tenure, based on the concept of all the Societies working together for public benefit as part of a Cultural Hub, an idea that was promoted following the signing of the lease back in 2005. It is just such a vision of course that led to the Societies being housed together here in the 1870s.

I am therefore particularly pleased that all the Courtyard Societies are taking part in the “Burlington House Courtyard Lates” this summer. These events have been planned by a team of Society staff consisting of Katy Drake (Head of Finance & Operations), Heather Rowland (Head of Library & Collections), Anooshka Rawden (Collections Manager), and Renee LaDue (Communications Officer), Jola Zdunek (Executive Assistant) and Stephen Papworth (Security). We can only hold these public events and exhibitions if we secure funding from external sources.  I am therefore very pleased that our Head of Development, Dominic Wallis, has once again secured support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable us to invite the public into our apartments this summer. Several Fellows and volunteers, including President Gill Andrews and members of Council are taking part, and I hope that as many Fellows as possible will come along to these events and tell the public about the work of the Society and the importance of caring for and researching our past. It is clear to Council that the Society’s future will depend on achieving greater public recognition and support than we have enjoyed previously.

In the meantime, I would appreciate the continued patience and support of the Fellowship as the process of resolving the issue of our rent nears a conclusion.


Defending World Heritage

The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill was read in the Lords a second time on 6 June. ‘My Lords’, said Baroness Neville-Rolfe moving the Bill, ‘it has been a long wait for the legislation’. In a long, informed debate, Members expressed strong support for the Bill, acknowledging in particular ‘the much-mentioned’ Peter Stone FSA, ‘someone we all recognise and admire' (Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury).
Colin Renfrew FSA emphasised the importance of the UK ratifying the second protocol, with its significant sanction of up to 30 years’ imprisonment for breaches. He addressed the looting of the Mosul museum, and ‘the fanatical vandalism by ISIS at the Nergal gate at Nineveh and the destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin at Palmyra. No doubt these outrages, and those at Hatra, have encouraged the introduction of the Bill, but is it not an irony that these episodes, and the looting that has accompanied them, do not fall within the scope of the convention or the Bill? … Will [the Minister] confirm that in international law occupied territory results only when one state occupies the territory of another, and that the Taliban and ISIS, whatever their aspirations, are not recognised as states?’
Noting that Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, had described the deliberate destruction of heritage as a war crime, Renfrew referred to traditional shrines and images ‘being deliberately destroyed by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Does the Minister see a way for this or other legislation to view the destruction of heritage as a war crime and as subject to the application of international law?’
‘I fully support the Bill, concluded Renfrew, ‘but perhaps some additional subsequent measures would be in order.’
Rupert Redesdale FSA observed that the Bill was on the first agenda of the All-Party Group on Archaeology 15 years ago.
‘One of the greatest sources of finance for Daesh’, he said, ‘has been illegal excavations and the selling of artefacts to the art market. That is one reason why the MoD is so interested in forming the “monuments men” – which of course I will immediately volunteer for, although I might be getting slightly too old for that.’
Such finance would not be available, he continued, ‘if there was not a ready and willing market for stolen items… Most museums and art dealers should understand the provenance of the articles they are dealing with. If they do not, should they be dealing in those articles at all?’
Baroness Young of Hornsey, a Commissioner with Historic England, said HE particularly welcomed ‘the potential to prosecute those who loot cultural treasures from other countries and attempt to gain financial benefit from stolen goods. The Minister has said that this legislation will not operate retrospectively, thus calming the nerves of those British institutions that have inherited stolen goods in their collections… I simply ask noble Lords and, indeed, the institutions concerned to think about the significance we are attaching to these contemporary crimes of cultural destruction when peoples from across the world make the case for repatriation of cultural objects.’
Baroness Wheatcroft, Deputy Chairman of the British Museum, thought that ratifying the Hague Convention and its two protocols ‘enables us also to protect our own cultural heritage and lift it to the enhanced protection level.’
Noting a recent protest at the Museum, she said, ‘I support the right to protest, but I do not support the right of any group, however strongly they might feel, to force a site of cultural heritage to close its doors to the public.’ She concluded by quoting Jonathan Tubb FSA: “Thanks to DCMS [through the Cultural Protection Fund] we can at last do more than monitor from afar the relentless assault on Iraq’s cultural heritage.”
Responding, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said she did not share Renfrew’s view that the Bill was ‘a little too narrow and that we should be more ambitious.’
‘We are fortunate to have in [Lord Renfrew] one of the world’s leading experts in archaeological theory and paleolinguistics, who has already done so much valuable work relating to the looting of archaeological sites. We are also lucky to have the input of the all-party ​parliamentary groups and committees on archaeology, culture and the arts. These grace this House and I am grateful to all noble Lords who contribute to their proceedings.’
While Renfrew and others were right – the UK does not recognise Daesh or the Taliban as a state – ‘Sanctions already exist for cultural property illegally exported from Syria and Iraq since March 2011 and August 1990 respectively. These sanctions prohibit, among other things, the importing, exporting and trading in such objects, and breaching these prohibitions is already a criminal offence under UK law.’
‘Ratifying the Hague Convention would be a strong public statement of the UK’s commitment to international humanitarian law and cultural heritage and will further strengthen the UK’s international leadership on this subject. Taken together with the other government initiatives, passage of the Bill will demonstrate that we condemn all instances of cultural destruction and illicit trade in antiquities.’
The full debate can be read in Hansard. The Bill will begin detailed examination in the Committee stage on 28 June.

The Incredible Shrinking Man

Rainer Grün FSA, at the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, and the Research Centre of Human Evolution, Griffith University, Nathan, was among 23 authors to describe a significant new human fossil find on 9 June.
Excavations in 2014, at Mata Menge in the So’a Basin of central Flores, Indonesia, yielded hominin fossils dated by geological techniques, and uranium-series and electron spin resonance analysis of the fossils themselves, to around 700,000 years ago. Simple stone tools were also found. What makes this so significant is the tiny size of the remains, said to represent at least three individuals.
Another small hominin, Homo floresiensis (dubbed the hobbit by the media) had previously been identified at only one site, Liang Bua on the same island of Flores, in a more recent context of 100–60,000 years ago. H floresiensis is extremely small: so much so that a few anthropologists could not bring themselves to accept it as a true species as opposed to a curious pathology, shrinking heads to give a brain size half that of much older hominin species, and total height to little more than a metre.
The new find (which consists only of teeth and skull fragments) should see off any lingering sceptics. But more importantly, it appears to take H floresiensis’ history back long beyond the origins of Homo sapiens, with whom the previous finds were contemporary. The scientists suggest the Mata Menge fossils are ancestral to H floresiensis, and are more closely related to H erectus than the still older, and smaller, H habilis, both species with African origins. If they are right, H floresiensis would have come about from a rapid (over a few hundred thousand years) and dramatic fall in size from a larger hominin. Dwarfism, as it’s known, is not uncommon among animals on isolated islands; famously Madagascar had a species of pygmy hippo. But the idea that humans could follow the same route is not one that had previously troubled creatures who walk tall and think of themselves as the ultimate branch of an evolutionary tree.
Grün co-authored ‘Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores’, in Nature 534. The finds are described in a companion article. Both are free access.

Krishna in the Garden of Assam

Richard Blurton FSA, Head, South and Southeast Asia Section at the British Museum, writes with news about a free exhibition, open in Room 91 until 15 August:
‘Krishna in the Garden of Assam: the cultural context of an Indian textile, is built around a single spectacular piece in the BM collection, known today as the Vrindavani Vastra or the cloth of Vrindavan. It consists of 12 strips of silk woven in the lampas technique, featuring scenes from the story of Krishna along with other Vaishnava imagery (Krishna is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu). It is over 9 metres long, and one of the most important Indian textiles in the museum’s collections.
‘Originally the 12 strips, woven separately (each is about 80 cm across), may have been used to wrap manuscripts. They probably date to about 1680, though the chronology is still somewhat uncertain. Later at an unknown time they were all taken to southern Tibet where they were stitched together and made into a single hanging. This was used in a monastery in Gobshi near the town in Gyantse where, during the disturbances around the military expedition sent to Lhasa by the British Indian government in 1903–04 (the Younghusband Expedition), it ‘left’ the monastery. The following year it was presented to the BM by the newspaper correspondent Perceval Landon, who reported on the expedition for The Times.
‘It is now displayed in its entirety for the first time, along with related material such as illustrated manuscript leaves loaned by the British Library. A very remarkable example of 18th-century nabob costume, a banyan or informal man’s gown, made of Chinese silk (exterior) and cut-up pieces from a similar Assam-origin Vrindavana Vastra-type textile (interior lining), has generously been loaned by Chepstow Museum, in whose collections it has been for the last 50 years, though this is the first time it has been displayed.’
Blurton has written a book to accompany the exhibition, Krishna in the Garden of Assam. There will be a linked conference at the BM in July: see Other Forthcoming Heritage Events below. Photo above shows a dance mask of the crane-demon Bakasura, made in the workshop of Hem Chandra Goswami, Chamaguri monastery, Majuli island, Assam, in 2015.

Skara Brae Figurine Rediscovered

David Clarke FSA, former Keeper of Archaeology in National Museums Scotland, has found a rare neolithic figurine in Orkney. Only one other complete such figurine is known, excavated in 2009. Clarke’s discovery, however, was made in the collections of Stromness Museum where it had been stored unrecognised since the 1930s, having been excavated in the 1860s.
‘Amazingly,’ said Clarke in a press release, ‘we found it in the last box of the day,’ while he was undertaking research on Skara Brae funded by Historic Environment Scotland. ‘I’ve always thought this figurine to be lost forever so seeing it staring back at me from its bed of tissue paper was completely unexpected and very exciting.’
The figure is carved from a piece of whalebone and is 9.5cm high. Holes for eyes and a mouth are cut into the face, and the body has a navel but is otherwise unmarked. Natural holes passing right through the head and body may have been used for suspension, but there is apparently no sign of wear. Radiocarbon analyses date the context to 2900–2400 BC.
The piece was originally discovered by William G Watt, the local laird, when excavating a stone bed compartment in House 3 of the Neolithic village at Skara Brae. It was briefly described at the time as an ‘idol’ or ‘fetish’, but was otherwise known only by a sketch made in 1867 by George Petrie, an antiquarian, and had largely been forgotten.
A contemporary sandstone figure with a similar blocky shape and about 4cm high was excavated at the Links of Noltland on Westray in 2009, also in Orkney, described as unique at the time. Alison Sheridan FSA noted ‘striking similarities’ between the figure’s eyes and designs pecked into a stone at a nearby burial chamber, and engraved on three chalk drums from a grave at Folkton, Yorkshire, almost the only other clear representations of the human face from the British Neolithic. In 2010 a comparable, but broken, baked clay figurine was also found at the Links of Noltland, and there are one or two other possible fragmentary pieces from Orkney.
The Skara Brae figure was given to Stromness Museum in the 1930s as part of a large collection from a private museum in Skaill House, without information on its provenance. Now named the ‘Skara Brae Buddo’ (friend in Orcadian dialect), it is on display in the museum in Rediscovered, which features a selection of previously unseen artefacts from Skara Brae. Hugo Anderson-Whymark has made a digital 3D model of the figurine, which can be viewed online.

National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool

Since its formation in 2009, says a press release, the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) has become the third most visited attraction in the UK outside London. This is an attraction with several sites: museums include HMS Victory in Portsmouth, HMS Caroline in Belfast (‘physically and intellectually open to all for the first time in June 2016’), and Europe’s largest collection of naval aircraft at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset. The NMRN has now added a museum in Hartlepool, County Durham to its portfolio, by taking on Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience and HMS Trincomalee (a frigate in Nelson’s Navy built in Mumbai in 1817), previously run by Hartlepool Borough Council.
Dominic Tweddle FSA, Director General of the NMRN, is excited about the development. ‘Together, the Maritime Experience and the Trincomalee Trust, which we already own, offer a unique and intriguing experience which cannot be offered anywhere else. The NMRN’, he continued, ‘will add considerable value to the tourism offer and boost the area’s economy.
‘We are very committed to Hartlepool. Initially we will focus on refreshing the site and the visitor experience, adding more daily events and variety. Now it is part of a national museum, we have the marketing strength to reach a much wider audience. This will increase visitor numbers, who will spend longer at the museum and in the area.
‘In the longer term we will draw upon our vast experience – and success – of securing larger investment to build the museum into a must-visit destination in the region. We will draw on the area’s rich naval tradition and tell the broad Royal Navy story enriching it with some of our big objects such as aircraft and guns from our museums. A temporary exhibition programme complemented by events and a strong corporate offer will mean that visitors have many reasons to visit and revisit.’
Photo National Historic Ships UK.

The Great Southern Archaeological Meeting

The 2017 UISPP Congress (Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques) will be co-hosted with the Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) 2017 Conference in Melbourne. It will, say the organisers, be the largest archaeological meeting ever held in the southern hemisphere. ‘It will attract leading researchers from across the globe from a diverse range of fields. The meeting will provide an ideal opportunity for everyone in the Australian, New Zealand and Southeast Asian regions to showcase their research to an international audience.’
For the UISPP, Tim Denham FSA, Associate Professor at the Australian National University ( or David Frankel FSA, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at La Trobe University (, and Andy Herries for the AAA (, invite session proposals from anyone with an interest in the prehistoric and proto-historic sciences, ‘that is,’ they say, ‘with an interest in human activities in the past. We are especially encouraging people to propose sessions that are co-organised by members of a UISPP Scientific Commission with colleagues from Southeast Asia, Australia or the Pacific. Similarly, we are encouraging members of the AAA to reach out and organise sessions with colleagues from other countries. However, we also welcome proposals from within UISPP’s Scientific Commissions, solely from AAA members, as well as from archaeologists across the globe.’ Sessions will run for 90 minutes, and comprise at least six 15-minute papers.
The conference will take place on 4–7 September 2017, with the title Making Connections: Global Archaeological Perspectives.

Rings False

Martin Bailey reports in the Art Newspaper (9 June) that a finger ring said to have belonged to Joan of Arc and taken from London to France after it was auctioned in February, was returned – behind Gallic bluster rubbishing the notion – while an export licence was applied for. The committee did not believe the historical association, and quickly packed the ring back off to France.
The ring’s medieval celebrity status dates back to a study by Frederick Oates FSA, who reported in 1917 a ‘belief’ that it had once belonged to the Maid of Orleans. At the time of the sale, the Art Newspaper was swayed by the case, but the Economist was not, finding an American academic to rubbish it. It worked for the former owner and the auctioneer: the ring went for nearly £300,000, 20 times its higher estimate.

Old Floors

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) launched History at Your Feet on 7 June, a campaign to encourage people to look down (#lookdown). Floors, say SPAB, ‘are the “downtrodden” Cinderella of building conservation. Throughout the summer and autumn of 2016 we want the public to look at what’s underfoot when visiting old and interesting buildings in the UK and to share what they find on social media.’ To start things off, they have featured floors on their blog, some chosen by ‘well known building conservationists’.
Loyd Grossman FSA, outgoing chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust, selects a floor in All Saints’ church, Icklingham, Suffolk, looked after by the Trust (pictured). ‘All Saints’ is a Medieval church’, he writes, ‘and areas of the chancel and sanctuary floors contain a large and very rare collection of early 14th-century encaustic tiles. Although now worn, you can see they form patterns with a variety of designs, including cinquefoils in circles, foliage, lions’ faces, pairs of little birds and a few human faces.’
Bignor’s Roman mosaics appear, as described by David Rudling FSA and Miles Russell FSA in their book, Bignor Roman Villa.

SPAB Director Matthew Slocombe FSA nominates a medieval bridge at Barton Farm, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, over which he used to walk daily to school. ‘The bridge is a wonderful ancient structure’, he says, ‘which formed part of a packhorse route over the river Avon and up the steep hillside nearby. Part of the bridge was paved with beautiful, undulating stone setts, but other parts were nastily tarmaced. This was remedied when SPAB Craft Fellow Andrew Ziminski and his firm replaced the tarmac with a lime concrete – a bold and experimental move at the time. The floor has performed extremely well, providing an attractive, durable and sympathetic surface, which is also safe and comfortable for pedestrians to use.’
Inspired by the idea, and remembering that historic floors were an interest of the late Jane Fawcett FSA, I wrote a blog about Boris Anrep’s mosaics in the National Gallery (right).

Queens’s Speech Pledge not so Strong

The Government says it will not sweep away British archaeology. An e-petition concerned with the proposed Neighbourhood and Infrastructure Bill, which some had interpreted as a threat to the planning system that grants archaeologists access to development sites, passed the 10,000 signatures required for a response. The latter came on 8 June, from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
‘The proposed power’, it said, ‘is to help address the urgent need to tackle the overuse of “pre-commencement” conditions which prevent development, including new homes, from starting until the local planning authority has approved certain details. The measure will not restrict the ability of local planning authorities to propose conditions that are necessary…
‘The National Planning Policy Framework remains unchanged in that it requires “developers to record and advance understanding of the significance of any heritage assets to be lost (wholly or in part) in a manner proportionate to their importance and the impact, and to make this evidence (and any archive generated) publicly accessible.”’
The Government promises to ‘continue to engage fully with the sector during the passage of the Bill and beyond’. The full response can be seen online.

Free to Good Homes

Alison Taylor FSA writes to say that due to Library reorganisations, the Cambridge Antiquarian Society urgently needs to clear space, and offers the following octavo and quarto monographs. Please contact Postage, if necessary, will be charged at cost.
Journal of a Tour through Part of Flanders and France, by J Essex 1773, ed WM Fawcett 1888.
Christ Church, Canterbury: The Chronicle of John Stone, Monk of Christ’s Church 1415-1471, and Lists of the Deans, Priors and Monks of Christ Church Monastery (Latin), by WG Searle 1902.
The Annals of Gonville and Caius College (Latin and English), by J Caius 1563, ed J Venn 1904.
Notes on Bodleian Manuscripts Relating to Cambridge, by F Madan and WM Palmer 1931.
John Layer (1586-1640) of Shepreth, Cambridgeshire, a Seventeenth-Century Local Historian, by WM Palmer 1935.
Some Sessions of the Peace in the Fourteenth Century, 1340, 1380-83 (Latin and English), by MM Taylor 1942.
King’s Hostel, Trinity College, Cambridge (with plans and illustrations), by WD Caroe 1909.
The School of Pythagoras (Merton Hall) Cambridge, JM Gray 1932.
A Cemetery at Shudy Camps Cambridgeshire: Report of the Excavation of a Cemetery of the Christian Anglo-Saxon Period in 1933, TC Lethbridge 1936.

News of Fellows

John Rowlands FSA died on 11 May. A specialist in late Medieval and Renaissance German, Swiss and central European art, he wrote and edited many books, including The Graphic Work of Albrecht Durer (1971) and Rubens: Drawings and Sketches (1977), both exhibition catalogues for the British Museum; The Garden of Earthly Delights: Hieronymus Bosch (Phaidon 1979); German Drawings from a Private Collection, and Master Drawings and Watercolours in the British Museum (BM 1984); Holbein: The Paintings of Hans Holbein the Younger (Phaidon 1985); The Age of Dürer and Holbein: German Drawings 1400–1550 (BM 1988); and Drawings by German Artists in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: The 15th Century, and the 16th Century by Artists Born Before 1530 (2 Vols, BM 1993). The British Museum’s catalogue notes that a sketch of the Farnese bull by Rubens, ‘according to a letter from J. K. Rowlands to Peter Ustinov’, was exhibited in Amsterdam in 1933; the BM would like to know more.
James Campbell FSA, distinguished Anglo-Saxon historian, died in May.
John Casey FSA, leading specialist in Roman coins, died in June.
Appreciations appear below.

Four Fellows featured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list published on 10 June, on the occasion of Her Majesty’s official 90th birthday. This year’s honours, says a Government press release, are the most diverse since the Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917 with the greatest ever number of recipients coming from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background; 47% are women. In total 1,149 people received an award. Honoured Fellows are: Paul Williamson FSA, lately Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass, V&A, OBE for services to Medieval art; Frances Lynch-Llewellyn FSA, MBE for services to archaeology and heritage in Wales; and Rowan Whimster FSA, MBE for services to heritage and conservation. Dorothy Watts FSA receives a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for significant service to tertiary education, particularly the study of ancient history, as an administrator, academic and author.

David Gill FSA writes to say that the Department of Transport (DfT) has awarded his research unit at University Campus Suffolk, Heritage Futures, £51,320 to develop a heritage tourism project. Working with Ian Baxter FSA, Travel Back in Time with King Raedwald will create a digital prompt to encourage visitors to the British Museum’s Sutton Hoo displays to take a train journey to visit the burial ground in Suffolk. The project is part of a larger Saxon Shore initiative celebrating the transformation of East Anglia from late Roman times to Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, promoting tourism to the Roman fort at Burgh Castle, the Anglo-Saxon church (on the site of a Roman fort) at Bradwell on Sea, and West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. The DfT’s Heritage and Community Rail-Related Tourism winners were announced on 25 May, when £1 million was given to a variety of schemes to ‘create great new opportunities for UK and overseas tourists to enjoy the hidden gems of the country’s heritage and community railways.’
Rye: a History of a Sussex Cinque Port to 1660 (Phillimore 2009), by Gillian Draper FSA, was republished as a paperback on 3 June by the History Press. Caroline Barron FSA described the hardback as 'not only an attractively presented book, it is also a careful and scholarly account of Rye which will prove to be the authoritative work on the history of the town for the foreseeable future'. Draper will be running a day school based on her book at Canterbury Christ Church University on 26 November. See online or phone 01227 863451.​

Sally Badham FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA have proposed that Shakespeare’s awareness of contemporary funerary architecture is made apparent in Romeo and Juliet. Montague says he will raise a statue for Juliet in pure gold, to which Capulet replies, ‘As rich shall Romeo’s by his lady’s lie.’ This, say Badham and Oosterwijk in Church Monuments 30 (reported by Norman Hammond FSA in The Times, 4 June), suggests Shakespeare had in mind tomb effigies. Shakespeare referred to monumental brasses in Henry V.
David Clarke FSA celebrated his 70th birthday not only with a historic discovery (see above), but also the presentation of a book, Ancient Lives: Object, People and Place in Early Scotland. The book is edited by former museum colleagues Alison Sheridan FSA, Principal Curator of Early Prehistory, and Fraser Hunter FSA Principal Curator, Iron Age and Roman Collections, and contains several contributions by Fellows. Mark Jones FSA writes on ‘Museums and their collections’, Stephen Driscoll FSA on ‘Reading Govan Old’, Alan Saville FSA on Mary Boyle (1881-1974), Hugh Cheape FSA on ‘Utility for protohistory and archaeology in Thomas the Rhymer legends’, Sally Foster FSA on ‘the later biography of the St Andrews Sarcophagus’, Sheridan on Scottish Neolithic pottery in 2016, Richard Bradley FSA and colleagues on ‘The earlier prehistoric collections from the Culbin Sands, northern Scotland’, David Breeze FSA on ‘Roman law on the frontier’, Hunter on Early Medieval coal money from Portpatrick, Susan Youngs FSA on ‘Silver handpins from the West Country to Scotland’, and Mark Hall FSA on ‘chess and other playing pieces of jet and jet-like materials from Britain’. Ancient Lives is available at a pre-publication discount from Sidestone Press.
In 2012 Neil MacGregor FSA presented a series of 20 15-minute programmes on Radio 4, using a selection of objects from the British Museum and collections across the UK to tell stories about Shakespeare's times. Shakespeare's Restless World is being broadcast again, weekdays at 1.45pm, and can be downloaded as podcasts.
Chris Pickford FSA has produced a full revision of Pevsner’s Buildings of England Guide to Warwickshire (Yale, 28 June), 50 years after Nikolaus Pevsner's original was published by Penguin. Now in semi-retirement, says the cover blurb, Pickford ‘has re-explored his native county to revise the volume he so greatly treasured in his youth.’ Highlights of the new guide ‘are the magnificent medieval fortresses of Warwick and Kenilworth Castles, but this county is also home to some of the most significant developments of England's post-war modern architecture, notably the rebuilt city centre of Coventry destroyed in the Blitz. Leamington Spa has fine terraces of the Regency period but most famous of all is the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon where William Shakespeare was born and educated and the houses associated with his family are preserved. Also featured are the area's greatest country houses, from Tudor Compton Wynyates and the moated Baddesley Clinton to Baroque Stoneleigh, Palladian Ragley, and Arbury Hall, one of the finest mansions of the Gothic Revival.’
Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Treasures from the Sicilian Seas, opens at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, on 21 June, overlapping with Sicily: Culture and Conquest currently at the British Museum. The Ashmolean show, says a press release, explores the legacy of ‘the remarkable British woman’ who was one of ‘the earliest pioneers of underwater archaeology’: the late Honor Frost FSA. I hope to visit next week and will report in the next Salon.

‘I’ll make no bones about it,’ says Dominic Cavendish in The Telegraph: ‘this isn’t one of the “great” Richards, not yet.’ June 16 was press night at the London Almeida Theatre’s new production of Shakespeare's Richard III, with Ralph Fiennes in the title role. The excavation led by Richard Buckley FSA, at the instigation of Philippa Langley and John Ashdown-Hill FSA, which found the king’s remains in 2012, now, literally, takes centre stage. As the audience arrives, workers in hard hats and hi-vis jackets surround a hole in the floor. A skull and a spine (‘crooked as a snake’, Times) are passed out. Richard proceeds on his murderous path, and skulls accumulate on the wall behind. The cast take chairs on glass screens over the excavated grave as it now looks in the visitor centre. At the end the king staggers horseless on the battlefield, and falls towards the now open grave. Does it work? ‘It reminds us’, says Quentin Letts in The Daily Mail, ‘that Richard was real, even if Shakespeare’s king is a hyped-up villain’. While Rupert Goold’s production ‘drives the action forward,’ says Michael Billington in The Guardian, ‘the references to Richard’s disinterment, which bookend the evening, strike me as a red herring. The Richard of history and Shakespeare’s play are entirely different entities.’ Photo Independent.
Damian Evans, research fellow at the École Française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris, reports on his continuing airborne laser survey of archaeological remains in Cambodia, in Journal of Archaeological Science, 13 June (free access). Claiming the most extensive survey of its kind ever conducted, Evans describes previously undocumented ancient cities in the wider landscape around Angkor. Charles Higham FSA is impressed. ‘I have been to all the sites described and at a stroke, they spring into life,’ he told the Observer. ‘It is as if a bright light has been switched on to illuminate the previous dark veil that covered these great sites. Personally, it is wonderful to be alive as these new discoveries are being made. Emotionally, I am stunned. Intellectually, I am stimulated.’
‘Iraq has historically been a diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-religious society, rich in its wealth of cultural heritage,’ says Roger Matthews FSA, recently appointed President of RASHID International (Research Assessment and Safeguarding the Heritage of Iraq in Danger), in a press release from the organisation. ‘Some of the most important archaeological and historical sites in the world are in Iraq. In the past few years many of them have been severely damaged or are threatened with imminent harm. We cannot stand by and let ignorance and prejudice succeed over tolerance and mutual respect. It is time for heritage professionals across the world to unite and to bring our capabilities together for the benefit of Iraq.’ Matthews (pictured, in white shirt) has co-authored a report to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Karima Bennoune, highlighting the city of Mosul and the destruction of medieval monuments carried out by Daesh (ISIS). Matthews, former Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq and Chairman of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, is now Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading.
Jeremy Sabloff FSA has been selected by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to receive its 2016 Alfred Vincent Kidder Award for Eminence in the Field of American Archaeology. ‘The core of Jerry Sabloff’s work exemplifies a rare intellectual commitment to the balancing of science and humanism,’ says the citation. ‘In addition to profound contributions to the study of the rise and fall of ancient Maya civilization, Mesoamerican urbanism, and new theoretical and methodological approaches, Sabloff’s impact on anthropological archaeology in the Americas transcends the geographical area where his work has had such a profound scholarly and ethical impact.’ The award committee also notes his concern that archaeologists need to engage with the public, and ‘his service as a scientist, humanist, activist, and public intellectual.’ The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the AAA in Minneapolis in November.
Salon offers Beatrice de Cardi FSA belated greetings on her 102nd birthday on 5 June, and wishes her well in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for her recovery from a fall.

Lives Remembered

James Campbell FSA, distinguished and influential historian of Anglo-Saxon England, died on 31 May, aged 81. He retired and became an Emeritus Fellow in 2002, having spent the previous 45 years as Tutorial Fellow in Medieval History at Worcester College, Oxford. The Anglo-Saxons (1982), which he co-edited and to which he contributed chapters covering the end of Roman Britain to the age of Bede and Aethelbald, is still in print.
In referring to a late Anglo-Saxon kingdom as a ‘nation state’, writes Charles Insley in History Today, he made ‘his greatest and most enduring contribution to Anglo-Saxon and, indeed, Medieval, history. In a series of groundbreaking articles, collected together in 2000 in The Anglo-Saxon State, Campbell argued that the English kingdom created by Alfred the Great and his successors in the 10th century was highly organised and capable of impressive – not to say oppressive – feats of government, such as the large-scale reorganisation of the coinage under King Edgar (957–75) or the raising of huge sums of money to pay the Danes during the reign of Aethelred II (978–1016). Moreover, he argued persuasively that aspects of English royal government that come into sharp relief in the historical record in the 12th and 13th centuries had their origins in the late Anglo-Saxon period, and that much of the structure of English government, especially at a local level, was in place by the end of the 11th century.’
Alan Thacker FSA has written a tribute, from which the edited text below has been extracted by Salon. The full version can be read on the Worcester College website.
‘James Campbell’s most abiding love was the history of Anglo-Saxon England, its economy, institutions, and its great historian, Bede. James was a polymath, with an astonishing knowledge of an extraordinary range of subjects and a taste for the recondite and bizarre. He had such a penchant for questioning change, and a strong instinct to ask the subversive question, that he had been heard to wonder how he could explain the emergence of such new-fangled things as railways or the water-closet. A shy man, he was nevertheless a great talker and controversialist. Unfettered by a desire for consistency, he summoned his formidable learning to the aid of the most unlikely causes. He constantly surprised and stimulated.
‘James was brought up by his maternal grandparents who came from Norwich and settled in Lowestoft. This East Anglian background meant much to him, and he made distinguished contributions to the region’s history, especially that of the early Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the east-coast herring trade, and Medieval Norwich. Ineligible for military service due to poor eyesight, he went up to Oxford in 1952, to Magdalen College. HIs postgraduate research was on the Scottish borders in the late 14th century. In 1956 he became a Junior Research Fellow at Merton, and in 1957, a Tutorial Fellow of Worcester, aged only 22. There he remained for his professional career, serving as Fellow Librarian (1977–2002), Senior Tutor (1989–93), and Professorial Reader (1990–96). He was Senior Proctor in 1973–74, a year notable for student unrest, which James and his colleague Gary Bennett handled firmly and adroitly, even with a certain relish. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1984.
‘James’s publications, especially articles, were substantial, and he left more in manuscript. Two famous papers of the 1960s established Bede as a man of his time with complex agenda. The publisher intended The Anglo-Saxons for the general reader, but it became the standard work for undergraduates and scholars. His views on the early English state – and the complexity, sophistication, and exceptional longevity of its institutions – reached a definitive expression in his Ford lectures, ‘The Origin of the English State’, as yet unpublished. He also had an abiding interest in English shires and topography.
‘A great and inspiring teacher, James was at his best with the most committed. In the days when undergraduates read essays at tutorials, he appeared not to be listening – leaving the room, fiddling with his pipe and smoking paraphernalia – before disconcertingly offering a summing up which did far more than justice to what had been offered. He elicited great affection and loyalty from his pupils.
‘James was devoted to Worcester College, where he lived with a succession of cats. His later years were enriched by Bärbel Brodt, who came to Worcester in 1987 as a postgraduate from Münster to research medieval East Anglia; they married in 2006. Latterly, he was dogged by serious ill-health, which, with Bärbel’s devoted help, he faced with enormous courage and determination, sustained by his increasingly strong links with his local Anglican church at Cogges. His powers of conversation and argument remained unimpaired, and he continued to research and write; at the time of his death he had almost completed a book on Edward the Confessor. Bärbel died in 2015.’
Matthew Reisz has written an obituary for The Times Higher Education Supplement, under the heading, ‘A penetrating and highly original historian of Anglo-Saxon England’.
Alan Macfarlane talked to Campbell in 2009 for Film Interviews with Leading Thinkers. The two-hour interview (from which the photo derives) can be watched online.


John Casey FSA died on 10 June after a short illness. He was 80. He taught at Durham University for 29 years, excavating and reporting on Roman sites and researching and writing about coins and the Roman Empire. The former included the Roman forts of Brecon Gaer and Segontium, the town of Venta Silurum (Caerwent), the temple at Lydney, Gloucestershire and the Greta Bridge vicus in County Durham. Among his books were Coins and the Archaeologist (1974, conference proceedings edited with Richard Reece FSA, with a second edition in 1988), The End of Roman Britain (1978, another edited conference proceedings), Roman Coinage in Britain (1980), Understanding Ancient Coins (1986), and Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers (1994), as well as co-edited and -authored excavation monographs. He focused minds on how coins relate to the places where they were used and are found, and how complex methodological issues need to be addressed if their considerable potential for understanding ancient societies is to be fully realised.
Christopher Catling FSA, Secretary of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, has written this tribute for Salon:
‘John was a stalwart at the Society's weekly meetings; it was a rare occasion on which he did not ask a pertinent question of the speaker based on his own empire-wide knowledge of the Greco-Roman and Byzantine worlds. His numismatic knowledge was encyclopaedic, and he was able to combine this with a thorough understanding of archaeology gained through fieldwork at such sites as Segontium, Caerleon, Brecon Gaer and Lydney – as well as others in Turkey and south-west Asia. He is perhaps best known for Coins and the Archaeologist (the fourth British Archaeological Report), whose statistical approach changed forever the ways in which archaeologists analyse and understand hoards and patterns of coin loss. His Carausius and Allectus cleverly pieced together the literary, archaeological and numismatic evidence for Britain's bid for independence based upon the strength of its naval power. The story was told with the same enthusiasm that appealed to his students: he taught Roman archaeology and numismatics at Durham University, from 1972 until his retirement as Reader in Archaeology in 2000, inspiring several of today's leading archaeologists to specialise in numismatics. John asked for a private funeral; friends hope to organise a memorial event in the autumn.’
The photo is from Durham University.

On 14 June The Times published an obituary for Kenneth Painter FSA, who died in May, headlined ‘Cautious expert on Roman treasure who [was] the driving force behind the British Museum’s blockbuster shows’ (subscription needed). ‘A stickler for detail,’ says the paper, ‘authoritative and a master of several languages, [Painter] was a consummate historian, and well read in even the most obscure of sources. He was also the expert behind the success of two of the museum’s most spectacular exhibitions in the Seventies and Eighties. Most notably, he helped to organise the 1977 Wealth of the Ancient [sic] World, which brought together for the first time major hoards of silver plate from the late Roman and early Byzantine periods. It was a blockbuster show that attracted big queues and won rave reviews.’
Preparation for the exhibition was ‘fraught with difficulty,’ says The Times, ‘especially on a trip to the Soviet Union. “We went to the Hermitage for 15 objects and came back with 15,” he said, “but they were horrified when they saw our list because it did not coincide with theirs.” He had to change 11 objects on the spot although he insisted they were all “absolutely top quality”. A colleague recalled that on connecting flights between Moscow and St Petersburg … his suitcase went astray, which was highly tedious for such a thorough man. The errant bag turned up before he returned to London.’
‘The exhibition’, claims the paper, ‘marked the first occasion on which charges were introduced for entrance. This was prompted by the cost of staging the show: some £100,000 (about £560,000 at today’s prices).’
His father, Jack, was a bus driver in Bristol and then a sub-Post Office master, and his mother, Ivy, a teacher. He went to Bristol Grammar School and had his first taste of archaeology helping to excavate a Roman temple outside Bath.
The Oxford Mail published an obituary on 16 June (the day of his funeral), with a photo of Painter showing The Queen an exhibit in the BM’s Glass of the Caesars exhibition in 1987. ‘Described as gentle and encouraging, the father-of-one moved to Abingdon in 1996 with his wife Barbara, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Not one for a quiet retirement, Dr Painter still worked from home with his main fields of study being Roman glass, Roman silver and archaeology of the early church.’
Photo from The Times, Painter on left.

Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows and Other Exclusive Fellows' Events

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). The next meeting will be Thursday, 6 October 2016.

Interested in proposing a lecturer? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer (

Forthcoming Public Events

Burlington House Courtyard Lates

Explore 300 years of learning and discover at the Society of Antiquaries of London! Discover what's behind the doors at the six learned societies at Burlington House. Visitors will be welcome to enjoy a variety of activities at different societies around the courtyard on three nights this summer: 24 June, 15 July and 26 August (18.00 - 21.00).

To find out more, visit


Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

23 August: 'Armour and the Afterlife: Knightly Effigies in England and Wales', by Dr Tobias Capwell FSA

20 September: 'A Copy of a Copy: Leek's Replica of the Bayeux Tapestry', by Dr Brenda King, Chair of the Textile Society.

18 October: 'The Relics of Battle Abbey', by Dr Michael Carter FSA (English Heritage).

22 November: 'Motherboards and Motherloads: The Evolving Excavation of the Digital Age', by Christine Finn FSA.

Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.

Filming Antiquity

The Filming Antiquity project was funded in spring 2014 to digitise, research and present the home movies of the British archaeologist Gerald Lankester Harding FSA. Harding began his career in archaeology with Flinders Petrie in 1926 at Tell Jemmah, in what was then British Mandate Palestine. The footage currently being researched by Filming Antiquity dates to the late 1920s and early 1930s, when Harding was working on the sites of Tell Fara, Tell Ajjul and Tell ed-Duweir.

23 September (17.30-19.30): In this presentation Amara Thornton FSA and Michael McCluskey (University College London) will discuss the life and work of Harding as captured on screen, setting the footage in the context of interwar excavations and the history of cinema. The presentation will include screening of footage rarely seen since the 1930s, as well as fascinating materials from Harding’s archive showing his experiences on these digs.

For more information, including booking (£5 per person), please visit the website.

Forthcoming Events at Kelmscott Manor

23 July 2016: Make Your Own Miniature Book Family Activity Day (12.00-16.00). No need to book. Included in cost of admission to the Manor. Create your very own miniature folding book, inspired by the Kelmscott Manor garden and William Morris's own designs. med at 3 to 83 year-old visitors, the sessions will run on a drop-in basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Society Dates to Remember


Introductory Tours of Burlington House for Fellows

The next in the Society’s regular series of introductory tours will take place on 23 June. More will be scheduled for the autumn (watch this space).

Tours are free, but limited to 25 people, so places should be booked in advance. Please contact the Society’s Executive Assistant (call 020 7479 7080 or email Tours start at 11.00, and coffee is served from 10.45. Lunch is available at the end of the tour for £5, but must be ordered in advance. There will be further tours scheduled in the autumn.

Burlington House Closures

The Society's apartments, including it's Library, will be closed for its summer conservation and maintenance programme from 1 August to 2 September (inclusive), reopening on Monday, 5 September.

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at:

Welsh Fellows

Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at

York Fellows

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

21 and 29 June: Living Heritage: Buildings, Crafts and Communities (London)
ICOMOS-UK is hosting a Summer Talks Season as part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture, at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross St, EC1M 6EJ. On 21 June, Matthew McKeague and Isabel Assaly (Churches Conservation Trust) speak on ‘Creative Reuse of Historic Churches’. On 29 June Trevor Marchand (School of Oriental & African Studies) speaks on ‘Crafting Communities of Knowledge: Masons and Woodworkers in Yemen, Mali, and the UK’. Book online or contact ICOMOS-UK at or 020 7566 0031
24 June: Challenges in UK Archaeological Capacity: Opportunities for Sustainable Growth (York)
The Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME) will hold their annual day forum this year at The Merchant Adventurers Hall. Speakers will come from across the UK, Ireland and the US to consider the scale of challenges, and options organisations have to make the most of the opportunities. The meeting is open to non members for £85. See online or contact Direct bookings can be made at Eventbrite.
24 June: Russian Arts and Crafts and Enamels (London)
An afternoon seminar in the Clore Seminar Room in the British Galleries of the V&A, chaired by Max Donnelly FSA. Rosalind Blakesley will speak on Russian Arts and Crafts and lead a visit to the Europe and America Galleries 1800–1900. Cynthia Sparke will introduce Russian enamelling, focusing on the 19th-century revival of earlier styles and techniques, in particular the work of Feodor Rückert, supplier to Fabergé. There will be an opportunity to view work currently in storage from the V&A and Gilbert Collections.

28 June–2 July: WARP 30th Anniversary Meeting (Bradford)
The University of Bradford is hosting a celebratory meeting and conference for WARP (Wetland Archaeology Research Project), established in 1986 by Bryony Coles FSA and John Coles FSA at the University of Exeter, arising from their interest in wetland archaeology and their research on the archaeology of the Somerset Levels, notably the Sweet Track. WARP has held conferences at locations including Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Florida, London, Silkeborg and Washington State, often in association with other organisations. Speakers in Bradford include both the Coles, Malcolm Lillie FSA, Tony G. Brown FSA, Vince Gaffney FSA, Adrian Olivier FSA and Henry Chapman FSA. For more information visit the conference website.
7 July: Van Dyck in London (London)
The Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck lived and worked in London during the 1630s. Supported by his studio, he produced many remarkable portraits. In this lunchtime talk at the National Gallery, Karen Hearn FSA, Tate’s former Curator of 16th and 17th-century British Art, considers some of Van Dyck's British works, and examines the influence on them of his art collection.

8–9 July: Assam: Textile Transmission and the Performance of Dance (London)
A conference at the British Museum featuring textile history and technique, and the Hindu monastic dance of Assam, which is still practised and which is closely linked to the imagery on the Vrindavani Vastra textile displayed in Room 91 (see above). At the end of the first day there will be a performance by a troupe of monastic dancers in the Museum’s Great Court which will be open to the public. The conference will be introduced by Hartwig Fischer, Director, British Museum, and concluded by Richard Blurton FSA, with speakers from Assam, Texas, Paris and the UK and the dancing monks of Uttar Kamalabari monastery, Majuli Island. Booking online.
17 July: Handel at Boughton (Kettering)
Burlington House (Handel's home for three years) features in a day among the gardens and 18th-centruy collections of Boughton, hosted by the Duke of Buccleuch to celebrate the composer. Paris dance company Les Corps Eloquents, with counter-tenor James Laing, will recreate scenes from Handel operas (the Duke of Montagu’s collection of original choreographies survives in Boughton). Book at 01832 274734 or on the house’s website.
19–22 July: The Great Household 1000–1500 (Harlaxton)
The theme of the 2016 Symposium convened by Chris Woolgar FSA is the medieval great household, from the 11th to the early 16th century, with a focus on elite contexts in the British Isles. Delegates will be given a guided tour of Harlaxton Manor and the afternoon outing will be to Gainsborough Old Hall, one of the finest and best-preserved 15th-century manor houses in England. The conference banquet will feature food inspired by medieval cuisine. The keynote will be delivered by Chris Dyer FSA, University of Leicester. See website for details.
9–11 September: Capability Brown: Perception and Response in a Global Context (Bath)The influence of Capability Brown and the naturalistic landscape design style on landscapes across the world will be presented at a major ICOMOS-UK conference at the University of Bath, as part of the first-ever national Capability Brown Festival. Speakers include David Thackray FSA, President of ICOMOS-UK and Megan Aldrich FSA. For more information see the ICOMOS website.
12 September: Objects & Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World 1200–1800 – call for papers
Chris Woolgar FSA is organising a conference at the University of Southampton, 3-6 April 2017, to focus on objects and possessions between AD1200 and 1800 across Europe and its overseas colonies, the connections and relationships facilitated by the exchange of goods, the importance and interpretation of the inheritance of goods and objects, and the ways in which goods brokered relations between Europe and the wider world. He invites proposals for single papers and whole sessions (three papers). Abstracts (maximum 200 words) to Keynote speakers include Chris Briggs (Cambridge), Giorgio Riello (Warwick) and James Walvin (York).

24 September: Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham A Royal Centre of the East Anglian Kingdom (Bury St Edmunds)
A one-day conference to present the results of archaeological investigation at Rendlesham 2008–14, at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Speakers include Chris Scull FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA, and discussions will be led by Martin Carver FSA, Catherine Hills FSA and Leslie Webster FSA. For details see Suffolk Heritage Explorer.
5–6 October: Auricular Style: Frames (London)
An international conference at the Wallace Collection will be the first dedicated to the Auricular style, centring on one of its most significant manifestations, the picture frame. Speakers currently include Karen Hearn FSA, Christopher Rowell FSA and Jacob Simon FSA. Displays to run simultaneously with the conference are planned with the Guildhall Art Gallery, and Ham House, London. Relevant topics include connections between countries, the Van Vianens, Fontainebleau, the grotesque. ‘Medici’ frames. the influence of prints, Auricular settings, craftsmanship, the style’s decline and its revivals, and more. Enquiries and submissions (300–400-word abstracts) to by 29 January, 2016. Convenors Gerry Alabone FSA and Lynn Roberts, in association with the Institute of Conservation (Gilding & Decorative Surfaces Group). Early bird registration (after which prices rise) ends on 30 June.
14–16 October: 1066: Interpreting the Norman Conquest in 2016 (London)
In this 950th anniversary year, a conference on the Norman Conquest is to be held by the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, running from the day of the battle. The conference is intended for a general audience, but the contributions will be delivered by prominent experts, including David Bates FSA, author of a forthcoming biography of William the Conqueror, and Elisabeth van Houts, who has edited and translated several Anglo-Norman chronicles and has published on women and gender in the Middle Ages. Subjects will include the background to the Conquest, arms and armour, architecture, landscape, government, aristocracy, the church, society, the Bayeux Tapestry and the task of studying the period today. To register interest and obtain further information please contact or call 0113 220 1888.

15 October: The Age of Luxury: the Georgian Country House c 1700-1820 (Lewes)
Between 1700 and 1820 old houses were transformed and new ones built, some on a spectacular scale by owners who would now be regarded as multi-millionaires. The influence of the Grand Tour on country house owners was considerable, not least as many of them travelled abroad themselves, seeing European fashions at first hand. This Saturday conference chaired by Maurice Howard FSA address such aspects of the Georgian country house. Speakers include Sally Jeffrey FSA on the influences on early Georgian garden design, Geoffrey Tyack FSA on architecture and planning, Susan Bracken FSA on interiors and Jonathan Yarker of Lowell Libson on the Grand Tour. Other topics include servants, guidebooks and how such spending was paid for.
The Age of Luxury is part of a series of day conferences organised by Sue Berry for the Sussex Archaeological Society at Lewes. New ideas from Fellows are welcomed (and she is seeking an expert on the impact of the Reformation on the English Parish Church). Please contact Speakers are paid a fee and expenses and can bring a friend free. The watercolour by J. Lambert of Lewes (1780, detail) shows Newick Place near Lewes, the home of Lady Vernon (Sussex Archaeological Society).

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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