Salon: Issue 441
31 January 2020
Next issue: 11 February 2020
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor. Salon doesn't review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal.
Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this, and an online archive where new editions are posted. You can also unsubscribe at any point, by following this link.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
As reported in the latest Fellowship News, Council discussed at their meeting in December 2019 how to deliver reform of the Society’s governance mechanisms in respect of disciplinary matters relating to the Fellowship. Stephen Johnson, no longer a member of Council, but who helped to facilitate the 2015 revision of the Charters, Statutes and Orders, has agreed to help take this work forward, consulting with a small drafting group and with our lawyers, Stone King.
I can now provide a further update on progress.
Council decided that it would not be appropriate in future to subject disciplinary matters of some sensitivity to a vote of the full fellowship at an Extraordinary General Meeting, by post or by e-voting. Their preferred way forward, following the example of other Societies, Professional Bodies and Charities, would be to institute new procedures, independent of Council, to deal with aspects of the conduct of Fellows which might be harmful to the interests and welfare of the Society. Council therefore proposes to adopt a Code of Behaviours that would support our existing Statement of Values, including “hard triggers” that could or would lead to disciplinary action against Fellows.
A rough first draft of the changes to the Statutes Orders has been produced and is presently being examined by our solicitors. The proposed revisions would enable Council to appoint an independent Disciplinary Panel composed of Fellows and others to oversee this process. The Panel’s role would be to investigate cases of infringement of the Code of Behaviours, or complaints about the behaviour of Fellows. Its members would be able to examine sensitive information in confidence, to interview Fellows and complainants where necessary, and to apply any sanction (including suspension of membership or amoval) it deems proportional to the seriousness of the infringement. There would also need to be a final process of appeal to a further independent body.
The next step is to notify the Charity Commission and the Privy Council Office about the proposals and invite their comments. We do not know how long these organisations will take to comment on the proposals, but it is expected to take several weeks.
Once the Charity Commission and Privy Council Office have provided their comments, Council will be able to draw up a detailed timetable for enacting the changes, and this will of course be communicated to the Fellowship. The process and timetable are determined by the Statutes, Chapter 18 https://www.sal.org.uk/about-us/governance/. The process will involve circulating the proposals to the Fellowship in order that Fellows may propose amendments (Statues 18.2 and 18.3). Council will then circulate a final draft containing the collated amendments for Fellows to vote on at a General Meeting (18.4.2). Please note that in this instance, postal and electronic voting will be available to Fellows who are unable to attend the meeting in person (Order 2.2).
Because of the necessary period of notification to the Charity Commission, the Privy Council Office and consultation with the Fellowship, Council may not be able to have this finalised in time for the Anniversary Meeting in April 2020. However, Council are hoping to see this work completed, and the proposed reforms put to Fellows for a vote (in person, by post and online) as soon after that date as possible.
The Upgraded Fellows’ IT Platform, Balloting and SALON
Some Fellows have received an email from the email address email@example.com, dated 3 January 2020, welcoming them to the Society. This email also addresses Fellows by their first and second names.
The email was sent by the Society and was an invitation to sign up to our new Fellows' platform as part of our extensive IT upgrade. Regrettably the text of the email was automatically generated by the secure IT platform but was unfortunately sent without the proper scrutiny.
We apologise for the wording of the email which was both inappropriate and unnecessarily informal. We are working as hard as possible to correct these teething issues and will do our utmost to ensure that this does not happen again. However, once the new system and website are operating, we are sure Fellows will see a marked improvement over the present arrangements.
The reasons for the upgrade are two-fold. Firstly, the advancement of technology has forced us to upgrade our systems to ensure that they remain functional and secure. Secondly, the upgrade has assisted us to comply with the change in the law regarding personal data and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The new Fellows’ platform gives Fellows control over their own data, ensuring it is up to date and correct. Fellows can update their privacy settings, choosing the data they would like to share with others, and also allows them to choose their communication preferences with the Society.
We have already had a third of the Fellowship register on the new platform and make use of its advantages. The new system includes a much better search function: Fellows are now able to search by profession or area of expertise which can facilitate networking and research within our Fellowship. Another advantage is that Fellows can check the status of their Fellowship subscription via the platform with the ability to pay online, which many Fellows have been requesting and are already making use of. We are also able to accept American Express payments which gives another payment option to Fellows.
We are confident in the new platform and what it offers the Society. We do understand that, as with all new systems, some teething issues can happen but we are working hard through this initial period to make the platform as easy to use and as useful as possible to all Fellows. We are reading all feedback to ascertain what features can be changed, removed or added to make the system work for all its users so please feel free to use the feedback link on the platform.
To register on the system for the first time, you will need to click on a link sent to you in an invitation email. This email will be sent from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The email has been emailed to all Fellows, however if you think that you have not received this and wish to register then please contact us at this email address and we can send out an invitation link to you.
Please note that the new web address for the Fellows Platform is https://www.connect.sal.org.uk
The new platform has replaced the Fellows Area completely and should be used from now on to make changes to your profile, search the Fellows’ directory, pay your subscription online and so on.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the upgrade, Fellows are asked to sign in separately to the balloting area of the website and the new platform.
If you wish to take part in elections and the balloting process, including nominating possible future Fellows, you will need to sign in to the balloting area of the website to take part in these activities. This remains on our website and can be accessed as before. https://www.sal.org.uk/balloting-area/
We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause but our balloting system is very complex and we have been unable to move it to the new platform at present although we hope that this can be achieved in future. In the meantime, you will need to retain your old login details as well as your new ones for each system; however you may choose to use the same details for both should you wish.
We understand and appreciate that some of our Fellows may not wish to use the new platform and make use of the advantages mentioned above. If this is the case, we request that any changes to your personal details be sent to us via email or post so that these are kept up to date. We currently offer a range of payment methods for Fellowship fees to ensure that all are able to make use of the method that is most convenience for them.
Finally, many Fellows have contacted us regarding their SALON subscription. If you believe that you have not received SALON for quite a while, then it is probable that you were removed from the mailing list in order for us to comply with GDPR. All Fellows were contacted about this in June 2018. We had no choice but to follow protocol and remove those who did not respond. Please note that SALON is unaffected by the present upgrade as it is sent through a different online mailing provider which is not linked to the new platform. If you are not receiving SALON, please check the details on our website which outlines the steps you may need to take to solve this. If you wish to re-register to receive SALON you can do so here sal.org.uk/salon/
If you have any questions or queries, please contact us using the details below.
John Hopkins Medal
We were delighted to be presented, at our Christmas Miscellany, with the Society’s Silver Medal that had been awarded to former Librarian John Hopkins FSA. The medal was presented to our President by John’s children Tim and Mary Hopkins. During the presentation they spoke of John’s love for the Society and how they felt he would have wanted his medal to return home.
John Hopkins FSA joined the Society’s staff at the age of 15 in 1933. He was at first a general clerk or factotum, but after the war he became assistant in the Library to the Librarian, Dr C.V. Deane. In 1964 John was appointed Librarian, a post he held until retirement at the age of 68 in 1986. Widely loved for his helpfulness and affability, he was for many years the genial ‘public’ face of the Society in the Library, usually to be found sitting behind a rising cloud of pipe-smoke with his eye on incoming visitors. He took a keen personal interest in Fellows’ research in the Library, often suggesting books or lines of enquiry which might be helpful to them.
In 1983, having spent fifty years in the Society’s service, he was elected a Fellow and received the Society’s Silver Medal, the only person in the Society’s history to have been awarded such an honour. A bronze bust of John by David Neal FSA has long held pride of place over the old subject card catalogue in the Library.
*Image from L-R: Bernard Nurse FSA (former Head of Library), Heather Rowland (former Head of Library and Collections), Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros (Head of Library and Collections), Tim Hopkins, Mary Hopkins and Paul Drury PSA.
‘A house that I love’: William Morris and Kelmscott Manor
We are extremely grateful to Fellows and supporters who have chosen to sponsor an object in our William Morris and Kelmscott Manor exhibition, at Burlington House from 9th July – 21st August 2020. We have so far raised £14,000 towards the costs of conservation, display cases and mounting of selected objects.
If you would like to help us by sponsoring one of the 60 selected objects, ranging from £100 to £2,500, your contribution would make an enormous difference to the success of the exhibition. A successful exhibition is needed to raise the profile of the work we are doing at Kelmscott Manor. We would be delighted to acknowledge your support alongside the sponsored object during exhibition, as well as permanent recognition at Kelmscott Manor when it opens in 2021.
The Exhibition Object list can be found here.
100 years of female Fellows
Monday 09 March
Seminar organised with support from Amara Thornton FSA
This year the Society celebrates 100 years since we elected female Fellows. To mark this momentous occasion we are holding a seminar to highlight the role of female Fellows in the Society and in particular the first female Antiquaries and their legacy.
This is a free event and booking is available through our website.
A full programme will be publicised in the next edition of SALON.
Birds, snakes and sexual sins
Fellows have advised that export bars should be placed on four hand-finished volumes, which Helen Whately MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, has placed to allow potential UK buyers to raise funds. For all the works, 18th-century albums containing what are said to be among the finest botanical drawings in existence and a commonplace book featuring birds, and a 15th-century guide for would-be female hermits, the list price totals over £2,500,000.
The Commonplace Book belonged to Peter Collinson (1694–1768), a patron, gardener and plant collector, and key figure in British natural history. It contains 75 original drawings and prints by Mark Catesby, William Bartram, Georg Ehret and George Edwards, among them exceptional early depictions of flora and fauna from around the world, some of them in the collection of Sir Hans Sloane.
This is joined by Collinson’s first edition set of The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, published in two volumes in 1731 and 1743. Plants, birds and other animals are described in printed text and hand-coloured etched plates. Uniquely, the illustrations include a frontispiece, illustrations and watercolours by Bartram and Ehret, one of the most influential botanical artists of all time. Collinson was given the books by Catesby, in gratitude for his support.
‘Peter Collinson was a key member of the circle around Sir Hans Sloane, the founder of the British Museum, British Library and Natural History Museum,' says Peter Barber FSA. 'He was himself a figure of European importance and the patron of Mark Catesby, whose Natural History was the most important work of natural history produced in early 18th-century Britain… [The volumes] constitute the defining icons of the group of people responsible for some of the greatest and most enduring cultural achievements of British civilisation.’ They had not before been easily accessible, adds Barber, anticipating new insights on relationships within Sir Hans Sloane’s circle.
The group is priced at £2,500,000. The decision on the export licence application will be deferred until 16 April, which may be extended until 16 August if a serious intention to raise funds for purchase is made. Offers from public bodies for less than the recommended price may also be considered.
The hermit manual, The Myrowr of Recluses, is thought to have been written in the early 1400s in London, and is a translation of the Speculum Inclusorum, a Latin rule. It answers questions on why you might have wanted to become an anchorite, what you could look forward to in this world – prayer, meditation, reading, and sex on pain of eternal banishment – and the next. Only one other version is known to exist, an incomplete mid-15th century manuscript in the British Library, and the manuscript at risk of export contains previously unseen sections.
‘Unknown to scholarship until recently,’ says Leslie Webster FSA, ‘this handsomely decorated copy of a guide to the austere life of an anchorite offers a rich new avenue of exploration into the nature of women’s religious education in the early 15th century, and how such texts were circulated. Almost certainly written for female anchorites, the text seems to be linked to the Benedictine nuns at Barking Abbey, a foundation dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, and in the 15th century, renowned as a house of educated women, inspired by its Abbess, Sybil de Felton.’
The text, she says, gives a precise date for the start of its composition – Wednesday 10 October 1414.
The decision on its export licence application will be deferred until 13 April, extendable until 13 August if a serious intention to raise funds for its purchase is made at the recommended price of £168,750.
New Year Honours 2020
The New Year Honours list for 2020 recognised several people who have made public contributions to our heritage and culture. Among them was Fiona Gale FSA, not only – and I stand to be corrected on both of these claims! – the only Fellow in the list, but the only archaeologist.
Fiona Elizabeth Gale. For services to heritage in Wales:
She had been appointed MBE, reported BBC News, ‘for her “tireless work” preserving and promoting the heritage of Denbighshire and the surrounding area. A former county archaeologist for Denbighshire before retiring in 2018, Ms Gale has led a number of major conservation projects. These include the £2m Heritage Lottery-funded Heather and Hillforts Landscape Partnership, which saw conservation and access works on the Clwydian range Iron Age hillforts.
‘Ms Gale, 65, was also heavily involved with conservation work at Castell Dinas Bran in Llangollen, and Clive Engine House at Meliden, Prestatyn.
‘“To be honest with you it all feels a bit surreal, lovely, but surreal,” said Ms Gale. I'm one of those lucky, infuriating, people whose profession is also their passion. Even though I've retired I have no plans to slow down and hang up my trowel, as there's always so much more to discover about our local history.”’
She ‘was instrumental in the successful HLF project bid in support of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site’, said the Denbighshire Free Press, ‘and is currently a trustee of both the Clywd-Powys and Gwynedd Archaeological Trusts, a trustee of the Cambrian Archaeological Society, a trustee of the Council for British Archaeology and an active member of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site Conservation Group.’
Other recipients included:
COMPANION OF HONOUR
Sir Keith Vivian Thomas FBA. For services to the study of history:
‘Keith Thomas has played a significant role in the academic, cultural and public life of the nation as an outstandingly productive and continually innovative historian, an academic leader, and an influential member of many of Britain’s greatest cultural institutions. An exceptional scholar, he writes with extraordinary erudition, crossing academic boundaries, while remaining accessible to the general reader. His 1971 work, Religion and the Decline of Magic was cited as transforming scholarship by bringing together history and anthropology, disciplines that had drifted apart. At Oxford University he was President of Corpus Christi College (1986-2000) and a transformative figure at Oxford University Press, where he was responsible for the complete relaunch of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (60 volumes, 2004). He was one of the first winners of the Wolfson History Prize and its chair from 1996 to 2015. As President of the British Academy (1993-1997), he injected a new vitality into the intellectual life of the UK’s premier body for the humanities and social sciences. He has also been a trustee of the National Gallery and of the British Museum, and a founding member of the Learned Society of Wales.’
Dr Kevin John Fewster. For services to museums and maritime history:
Kevin Fewster was Director at Royal Museums Greenwich (2007–19), retiring after the completion of the museum’s Endeavour Masterplan Project, with the opening of four new galleries and the move of collections into the new Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre in Kidbrooke. A summary of his career at Greenwich can be seen on the Royal Museums Greenwich website.
Before coming to London he had worked in museums in Australia: as inaugural Director of the South Australian Maritime Museum, Port Adelaide (1984–89), inaugural Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney (1989–99), and Director of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney (2000–07). He has been President of the International Congress of Maritime Museums (1996–99) and Chairman of the Council of Australasian Museum Directors (2004–07).
Ann Colette Gallagher. For services to museums and contemporary art (Greater London, E2).
Elaine Christine Griffiths MBE DL. For services to heritage and charity (Cheshire).
Lesley Mary Samuel Knox. Lately Chair, V&A Dundee. For services to culture (Greater London, N6).
Philip Long. For services to heritage and culture (Dundee).
Mohamed Ashraf Ali. Head of Projects, British Muslim Heritage Centre. For services to community relations (Greater Manchester).
Peter Kenneth Burke. Voluntary Education Adviser, Historic Houses. For services to heritage education (Gloucestershire).
Raymond Michael Burrows. For services to the Ulster Aviation Society, heritage sector and to the community in Northern Ireland (Co. Down).
Councillor Philip Michael Davis. Heritage Champion, Birmingham City Council. For services to heritage (West Midlands).
Alison Kentuck. Receiver of Wreck, Maritime and Coastguard Agency. For services to salvage and underwater heritage (Hampshire).
Alexander May. For services to the Doric language, culture and heritage in north-east Scotland (Aberdeenshire).
Marilyn Joy Scott. For services to arts, culture and heritage in Woking, Surrey (Surrey).
Richard Douglas Tuffrey. For services to heritage (Derbyshire).
David Chattan Tross Youle. For services to local history (Devon).
British Empire Medal
Michael McGarvie. For services to local history in Frome, Somerset (Somerset).
Penelope Ann Woodley. Volunteer, Timespan. For services to art, heritage and the community in Helmsdale, Sutherland (Sutherland).
K Mil: George III’s military maps online
On 29 January, the 200th anniversary of George III’s death, the King’s collection of more than 3,000 military maps, views and prints in the Royal Collection was published online. It offers ‘an extraordinary insight into the art of warfare and mapping,’ the Royal Collection Trust tells Salon:
‘The culmination of ten years of research by Yolande Hodson FSA to catalogue one of George III’s most prized collections, the new website makes these important documents publicly available for the first time and allows them to be explored in minute detail. The digital catalogue presents a diverse range of material from the 16th to 18th centuries, from highly finished presentation maps of sieges, battles and marches, to rough sketches drawn in the field, depictions of uniforms and fortification plans, providing a vivid contemporary account of major theatres of war in Britain, Europe and America. It also includes rare examples of maps by William Roy FSA, the founder of the Ordnance Survey (1726–90).’
The international interest of the collection can be shown by the map of featured locations (above), with a detail inset of a small part of Europe. Illustrations range from the disposition of Charles V's armies at Vienna (1532) to the Battle of Waterloo (1815). Most notable, says the website, are the military maps, prints and drawings collected by George III’s uncle, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721–65), particularly during his period as Captain General of the British army during the War of the Austrian Succession (1743–48) and the Seven Years War (1756–63).
The second major collection, bought by George III in 1763, contained military prints collected by the Italian art patron, Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588–1657). In addition to these, George III acquired hundreds of maps of contemporary conflicts, such as the American War of Independence (1775–83), and the French and Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815).
At his death on 29 January 1820, George III left more than 55,000 maps, topographical and maritime prints, drawings and charts. These had been kept in his library in three divisions: the General Atlas, the Maritime Atlas and the Military Plans – known today as the King’s Topographical Collection (K Top), the King’s Maritime Collection (K Mar) and the King’s Military Collection (K Mil). George IV gave the first two to the British Museum (now the British Library) in 1823, but kept the military plans for his own use, and they remain in the Royal Collection to this day.
The maps, which can be viewed in high resolution in detailed object viewer, have great interest for their topographical information even apart from military history. They can be browsed by conflict, there is a word search or you can click on the locations on the Google map. It truly is a remarkable, and extremely well documented resource. Just three examples.
Above is a detail of a map of Vellore, Tamil Nadu in 1761, ‘besieged by the British from 13 October, and taken on 26 December 1761. Seven Years War (1756-63).’
Here is a detail from a view of the British ships Arathusa, Anson, Latone, and Fisguard in the harbour of Curaçao, on the morning of 1 January 1807, when the island was captured from the Dutch during the Napoleonic Wars.
And finally Winchester. A map of encampments around this Hampshire city in 1756–62 (during the Seven Years War, above) includes intricate details of settlements, roads and fields (below). The facing page in this album lists regiments for the camps, all transcribed. There are, you will remember, more than 3,000 images of this type on the website. Now, can you resist?
A Journey into London’s Lapidary History
Justin K Prim, who describes himself as ‘a modern-day renaissance man, a jack of all trades’, is a gemcutter, buyer, seller, and jewellery designer based in Bangkok. In 2019 he received a research grant from the Society, and he has kindly written about his experience for Salon:
‘My intention was to come to London for two months to study Britain’s oldest gemcutters, but little did I know that I was embarking on a historical treasure hunt that would take me all over Britain as well as through the centuries of London’s past. I flew to London in May and my adventure started immediately. I had two goals in mind: to preserve gemcutting techniques that had been handed down from master to apprentice since the 17th century, and to document the entire history of British lapidary from the Middle Ages until now.
‘I oriented myself in the London gem trade’s most important neighbourhoods: Hatton Garden and Cheapside. Several times a week I met up with London’s last apprenticed gemcutters, Peter and John from Chas Matthews Lapidaries, who are both in their 70s. I spent countless mornings in the British Library and countless afternoons in every museum in London. I met every single gemcutter in London and discovered how diverse the community is: Hatton Garden is home to cutters from Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Italy, and of course England.
‘Thanks to the grant and my ability to survive on cheap sandwiches from M&S, I was able to visit several important regional cutting centres. I met the majority of Britain’s gemcutters, and was able to present lectures to two different groups of the UK Facet Cutters Guild. I discovered the lost secrets of jet polishing in Whitby, I descended into a Blue John Cavern underneath Castleton, and I made friends with nearly the entire British gem trade.
‘The trip was amazing but the important part was the results. Not only did I spend hours documenting the apprentice-less master cutters of London, I discovered another old master who resides in Ipswich and cuts in the traditional British style. I recorded the traditions and techniques of both companies through interviews, videos, and articles. I was able to finish the epic history of gemcutting in London, which offers a detailed look at the techniques used in different eras, from Tudor until now. A 55-page article will be published in early 2020. I also made a series of videos documenting different lapidary techniques from around Britain.
‘I have to thank the Society of Antiquaries for the grant that made all of this research possible. Thanks to new connections, I have a project planned for 2020 which documents a nearly forgotten gemstone polishing technique that only survives through one old master cutter in Ipswich.’
Prim’s photo at the top shows London's oldest gemcutters at Chas Matthews Lapidaries, Hatton Garden.
A New Dawn for Eurasian Archaeology in Moscow
This upbeat headline opens a piece sent to Salon by Heinrich Härke FSA on Christmas day. The photo shows him with Irina Arzhantseva (a colleague and site director at excavations at Dzhankent, an early medieval town east of the Aral Sea) at an International Congress in St Petersburg. It was published by the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) in December, with an interview on the occasion of him joining the Moscow Higher School of Economics as a Professor at the recently formed Centre for Classical and Oriental Archaeology (‘I am an amateur astronomer,’ he says of his new home, ‘but in the glare of Moscow lights, the best you can hope for is an occasional glance at the moon’). Here are his first, fascinating personal impressions:
‘For historical reasons, Oriental and Eurasian archaeology have long been strongly represented in Moscow. Foreigners will associate this strength primarily with the Musej Vostoka (Museum of the East, often called Museum of Oriental Art). It is home to some of the most distinguished specialists on Central Asian and Caucasian art and archaeology.
‘The other key research centre in this field used to be the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology (IEA) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN). It was founded in the 1940s by Sergej Tolstov, the Soviet answer to Indiana Jones: a charismatic expedition leader and innovative field archaeologist who revolutionised Central Asian archaeology between the 1940s and 1960s. His legacy had been run down by the last two directors of the IEA, by first shutting down their institute’s Centre for Eurasian Archaeology, and then by wholesale corruption facilitated by Putin’s 2015 “reorganisation” of the Academy of Sciences, which gives directors of institutes complete, and completely intransparent, control over financial management.
‘The last director awarded herself a salary (including a “research productivity bonus”) 30 (!) times that of a senior researcher in her institute. Total and permanent disaster was averted by a “people’s revolution” this spring when the members of the institute, called to elect a new director, rejected the internal establishment candidate and voted by an overwhelming majority for the external opponent. This new director, Dmitrij Funk (of Russian-German stock) is an ethnologist specialising in northern Siberia, but he has vowed to keep and re-invigorate Eurasian archaeological research in the IEA.
‘Teaching of Eurasian and Central Asian archaeology has been through similar ups and downs, also with a happy outcome this year, and here with the involvement of a Fellow. For many years, Central Asian and Caucasian archaeology had been taught in option courses by part-time teachers in the Russian State University of Humanities (RGGU). Last year, it was agreed to move all staff and facilities for teaching and research of Oriental culture lock, stock and barrel to the Moscow Higher School of Economics (HSE). While this may sound an unlikely place for studying languages and history of the ancient east, HSE (rated the leading Russian university in social and economic disciplines) is now expanding its fledgling Faculty of Humanities. This appears to be happening in direct competition with Moscow State University (MGU, considered to be Russia’s leading humanities university), where since 2015 Putin's daughter, Katerina Trikhonova, has held a senior position controlling a $1.7 billion development project to create a science innovation centre.
‘The Director of the new HSE Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, Professor Ilya S Smirnov (a renowned expert on Chinese literature and culture), used the opportunity to create in his institute a Centre of Classical and Oriental Archaeology with permanent staff of international standing. In September 2019, two professors (Askold Ivanchik and Heinrich Härke FSA) and three lecturers (associate professors Irina Arzhantseva, Valentina Mordvintseva and Roman Stoyanov) started teaching their first intake of 19 postgraduate students on a two-year MA course covering Eurasian archaeology from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages, supported by a research fellow (Michele Minardi) and a full-time administrator. Plans for the future include fieldwork in the Caucasus and Central Asia (continuing existing staff projects), and cooperation with Kazakh and Chinese institutions so as to cover the length of the Silk Road.’
‘I raise you Avebury, older and eerier’
Full marks to Danny Kruger MP, one of many new arrivals in Westminster after the general election in December (disclosure: he is my MP), for his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 29 January: it must have been one of few to put ancient monuments on the stage.
‘I represent the corner of the country which is not only the most beautiful in the land,’ he said of his Devizes Constituency in Wiltshire, ‘but also in a sense the oldest: it is the ancient heart of England.’ He proceeded to list its jewels: his Honourable Friend the Member for Salisbury 'could boast all he liked about Stonehenge', but in north Wiltshire they have ‘Silbury, the largest prehistoric structure in Europe … built for reasons we will never know on a bend of the A40’, Avebury (‘not only much bigger, but much older than Stonehenge’), tombs, barrows and white horses.
‘I was so sorry to miss this yesterday, Danny,’ tweeted John Glen, MP for Salisbury, the next day (@JohnGlenUK), ‘but I was stuck in ministerial meetings. Not sure I agree with everything you said though. I’ve been visiting Silbury Hill since I was a boy in the 1980s – it’s not bad but it’s not a patch on Stonehenge!’
‘I see your Stonehenge’, replied @danny__kruger, ‘and I raise you Avebury... bigger, older, eerier.’
For the record, Silbury Hill is on the A4, not the A40. But there’s plenty of time to catch up with the present. (My photo shows Silbury on Christmas day: the springs have never been higher, it feels.)
Fellows (and Friends)
Alexander Cambitoglou FSA
, classical archaeologist, died in November.
Paul Crossley FSA
, historian of medieval art and architecture, died in December.
Grant G Simpson FSA
, Scottish medievalist, died in December.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below, along with ones for Michael Thompson FSA
and Stuart Laidlaw FSA
, whose deaths have been announced previously.
Bob Child FSA
, conservator, died in December. An appreciation will follow in a future Salon
Congratulations to 10 new Fellows who were elected on 12 December:
Charlotte Bolland, Senior Curator for 16th-century collections at the National Portrait Gallery, who has worked on Tudor projects and written essays in various publications.
James Conolly, Professor of Archaeology at Trent University, Canada, working on the archaeology of complex hunter-gatherer and early agricultural communities, an editor of World Archaeology and director of the Ontario Archaeological Society.
Johanna Enqvist, Research Coordinator at the Helsinki Term Bank with broad experience in Finnish heritage management, currently working on archaeological categorisations and concept.
Daryl Green, Librarian and Curator of Special Collections at Magdalen College, Oxford, organiser of numerous exhibitions and currently involved in the Thinking 3D research project.
Caradoc Peters, HE Programme Leader of Archaeology at Truro College, has published widely on digital heritage and the archaeology of Cornwall and is a member of University Archaeology UK and the Archaeological Archives Forum UK.
Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis, Lecturer in Classics at the University of St Andrews, working on the cultural history of objects and spaces, and the reception of Classical material in Europe c 1760–1830.
John Poulter, retired systems analyst who has made an important contribution to understanding the planning of Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall, publishing journal articles on the topic and writing two British Archaeological Reports
Francesca Scoones, previously Curator of Records at the National Trust, has worked on topics and projects related to the history and presentation of country houses.
Hanna Snellman, Professor of Ethnology at the University of Helsinki, researching contemporary and historic migration within and from the Arctic with some 100 academic publications.
Alice Stevenson, Associate Professor of Museum Studies at UCL Institute of Archaeology, previously Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, researching the professional practices and ethics of archaeology, anthropology and museums.
For details see Ballot Results. Further details can be seen in the Ballot Archive (Fellows only).
As always, I'm particularly keen to hear about the activities of new Fellows, please email Salon
Phil Andrews FSA, Jonathan Last FSA, Richard Osgood FSA
and Nick Stoodley FSA
have written A Prehistoric Burial Mound and Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Barrow Clump, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire: English Heritage and Operation Nightingale excavations 2003–14
. The well-illustrated book describes a large Early Bronze Age burial mound (within which was an earlier Beaker funerary monument), which had preserved a yet earlier Neolithic land surface, and much later became the focus of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, most of 70 graves dating to the sixth century AD. The publication of these excavations in the centre of the Salisbury Plain Military Training Area, Pippa Bradley FSA
(she is Senior Publications Manager at Wessex Archaeology) mark the end of a project ‘that has had life changing consequences for many of its participants. Work in 2012−14 was made possible by the participation of Operation Nightingale (Exercise Beowulf), an innovative military initiative to involve injured service personnel in archaeology to aid their recovery. The publication includes moving testament from some of the participants which describes the positive impact of the project on them.’
John Kenyon FSA
, Head Server at Llandaff Cathedral, has written a souvenir guidebook. It reveals, says publisher Scala Arts and Heritage’s blurb, ‘the undulating history of Llandaff Cathedral through an engagingly written, accessible text.’ It was commissioned by the Dean as part of marking the ninth centenary of the founding of the Norman cathedral under the Welsh bishop, Urban, in 1120. There will be events marking the occasion throughout the year, beginning with a service in the afternoon on St Teilo’s Day, 9 February.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded £517,300 for a large, community archaeological project in the Deben valley in south-east Suffolk; the grant will bring in at least a further £200,000 in match funding. Rendlesham Revealed: Anglo-Saxon Life in South-East Suffolk hopes to connect the stories of the princely burials of Sutton Hoo with a royal palace at Rendlesham. There will be opportunities for local people to take part in the fieldwork, which will occur in the summers of 2020–23. The project is led by Suffolk County Council’s Archaeological Service, of which Faye Minter FSA
is Senior Archaeological Officer. Christopher Scull FSA
, academic lead, and Tom Williamson, academic advisor, are key partners. ‘The support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund’, said Scull in a statement, ‘will allow the people of Suffolk to investigate, understand and protect fragile archaeology of international importance. Setting Rendlesham and Sutton Hoo in their wider landscape promises new understandings of the early East Anglian kingdom, its people and its rulers, and the wider English and North Sea worlds of which they were a part.’ A pilot project (2008–2017), of survey and small-scale excavation, identified the Anglo-Saxon royal settlement, first recorded by Bede in the eighth century.
Sacred Heritage: Monastic Archaeology, Identities, Beliefs
is based on the 2017 Rhind Lectures given by Roberta Gilchrist FSA
. ‘There is a strong Scottish inflection’, she tells Salon
, ‘plus new thoughts on Glastonbury Abbey, medieval magic, healing and memory.’ ‘Drawing on global perspectives from heritage studies, archaeology, museology, anthropology and architectural history,’ says the blurb, ‘Gilchrist examines the multiple values of medieval Christian heritage. She investigates monastic archaeology through the lens of the material study of religion and reveals the sensory experience of religion through case studies including Glastonbury Abbey and Scottish monasticism.’ The book is being made available by Cambridge University Press on open access, and the chapters can be downloaded free as pdfs
As many Fellows have noticed (as indeed did Salon
when the novel first came out last September), Robert Harris’s The Second Sleep
features a striking scene in the library of Father Lacy, in which Fairfax, protagonist and priest, comes across The Proceedings and Papers of the Society of Antiquaries
. Fairfax ‘recognised the name at once, even though he had been but a boy at the time of the trials. The organisation had been declared heretical, its officers imprisoned, its publications confiscated and publicly burned, the very word “antiquarian” forbidden from use. He recalled the priests in the seminary lighting a bonfire in the middle of Exeter.’ There was more. ‘He noted monographs on burial sites, on artefacts, on inscriptions, on monuments. It amazed him that the old priest had displayed them so brazenly … There was a thick volume on the ruins of England entitled Antiquis Anglia
by a Dr Nicholas Shadwell, “President of the Society of Antiquaries”.’ Then he finds a display cabinet, and his eyes, like the reader’s, begin to widen… You can now listen to a reading of The Second Sleep on BBC Sounds
, which started on 27 January. Be warned. The Society appears in the first instalment.
Nat Alcock FSA, Paul Barnwell FSA
and Martin Cherry FSA
have edited Cruck Building: A Survey
. Crucks are principal timbers spanning from the ground to the roof apex; more than 4,000 such buildings survive in Britain today, with dates ranging from 1262 to 1742. Evolved from a conference at Rewley House, Oxford in 2017 which reviewed cruck construction for the first time since 1981, says the blurb, the book covers Britain with further references to crucks in Ireland and mainland Europe. It is ‘heavily illustrated with over 400 photographs, fantastic technical diagrams, and revelatory distribution maps’. Other contributors include Mark Gardiner FSA, Nick Hill FSA, Bob Meeson FSA, Daniel Miles FSA, Martin Roberts FSA
and Richard Suggett FSA
‘In the 1960s’ says a BBC Radio 4 blurb, ‘a teenage local history enthusiast, David Taylor FSA
, read about [Painshill] and rediscovered it one dramatic night. He wrote an article for the local paper urging an effort to chart what was there before it was lost entirely. His words inspired a stronger momentum and the land was bought by the council, and work began to research the original vision and recreate Hamilton's Painshill Park.’ Painshill in Surrey – Lost and Found
was broadcast on 12 December in the Open Country
series, and can be heard on BBC Sounds
. Charles Hamilton created Painshill in the 18th century, says the BBC, with a circuit garden with buildings inspired by his grand tours and plants brought by traders. But the land was later sold and buildings crumbled. Presenter Helen Mark talks to people restoring and researching the place, among them archaeologist Lesley Howes and David Taylor, who describes his discoveries – and who finds his central role in the story ‘slightly embarrassing'.
Barry Joyce FSA
, Vice Chairman of the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, writes to say that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded development funding of £137,000 towards the restoration of Wingfield Station, Derbyshire. Although the railway line is still in use (and close by, a complicating factor), the station was closed in 1967 and the platform removed. The two station buildings are in an advanced state of disrepair, and extensive work is needed to return them to a sound condition. Amber Valley Borough Council compulsorily purchased the grade II* listed building, and on 10 December the Trust took over ownership. The route from Derby to Chesterfield and onwards to Rotherham and Leeds was surveyed by George Stephenson in 1835. Wingfield Station was built in 1839–40, to a design by Francis Thompson, as part of the North Midland Railway. Thompson designed 24 stations along the line from Derby to Leeds, forming a notable sequence of picturesque buildings, but Wingfield is the only one to survive. Photo Peter Barr, geograph.org.uk.
Michael Welman Thompson FSA
died on 13 November aged 91. He was a Lifetime Fellow of the Society, having been elected in March 1962. John R Kenyon FSA
has kindly written this tribute for Salon
‘Michael Thompson’s name will be extremely familiar to castellologists through his books, guidebooks and a number of papers, and an analysis of his work on castles will appear in the next volume of the Castle Studies Group’s Journal
, prepared by Neil Guy FSA
‘However, it was not his work on castles that brought his name to my attention when I was working in the Antiquaries’ Library in the early 1970s, but two major translations of work on Russian archaeology. These were Novgorod the Great
(1967) and Frozen Tombs of Siberia
(1970), books that were much in demand by Fellows.
‘As I began to get involved in castle studies, I became aware of Michael’s work, stemming from the time that he had joined the Ministry of Works, in 1954. Initially his work involved a number of rescue excavations, such as the fortified hall of Hutton Colswain near Malton, North Yorkshire, but from 1958 he became an Inspector within the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate, the year in which his ministry guidebook to Pickering Castle appeared. One of his important papers was co-authored with Peter Curnow FSA
, a report on the excavations undertaken in the early 1960s at Richard’s Castle on the Herefordshire/Shropshire border. Another key paper was a result of his work on Farnham Castle’s keep.
‘Although I may have come across Michael when I was at the Society, my first memory of meeting him was in the early 1980s when my then colleague at the National Museum of Wales, the late John M Lewis FSA
, took me down to see the excavations at Laugharne Castle directed by Richard Avent FSA
, and Michael Thompson was there to see for himself the work of that season that had just been completed. Michael at this time was Head of the Ancient Monuments Branch in Cardiff, having moved there in 1974, and he retired in 1984, at the time that Cadw was formed.
‘Michael retired to near Cambridge, his love of the area stemming from his time at Pembroke College from 1946 into the early 1950s, apart from a period of National Service 1946–48. We must have remained in touch, as he contributed a chapter to the Festschrift
for David Cathcart King FSA
that Richard Avent and I edited (Castles in Wales and the Marches
, 1987). In the 1990s, he contacted me about the history of the noun “keep” with reference to the main tower of a castle of fort. This led to a short paper in Medieval Archaeology
‘Apart from articles in the journal Fortress
, established by Andrew Saunders FSA
, Michael wrote two major books on castles that should be on the shelf of every castellologist. His Rise of the Castle
(1991) is a useful overview of the development of the castle, but his earlier book, The Decline of the Castle
(1987) is arguably his best book on the subject, although some would argue that “decline” is not the best word to use in describing the later medieval castle. Nevertheless, the two books do represent a very useful two-part history of the castle.
‘He also fired a shot across the bows of a review article by David Stocker FSA
in the Archaeological Journal
(1992, 149, 415–20), when he wrote “The military interpretation of castles” in a later volume of the same journal (1994, 151, 439–45).
‘Michael also wrote several other books, all of which find a place on my groaning shelves. These include Ruins: Their Preservation and Display
(1981), The Medieval Hall
(1995), Medieval Bishops’ Houses in England and Wales
(1998) and Ruins Reused
(2006). In 2012, he had an autobiographical essay published (Reading, Writing and Archaeology
), and in this 78-page book one will find a list in the appendices of his other books, guidebooks and papers.
‘Michael had a long connection with the Society for Medieval Archaeology and was its President from 1993 to 1995.’
• The Times published an obituary in its Readers’ Lives
(11 January). Thompson spent his early years in Calcutta, it says, where his father was a director of a jute business. At boarding school in Devon he holidayed with his grandparents, and saw his parents every three years. In 1964 he married Ann Crockatt, a musician, whom he had met on a boat on the way to a Prehistoric Society conference in Denmark.
He also translated Archaeology in the USSR
by Aleksandr Mongait (1961), and Prehistoric Technology
by S A Semenov (1970), a pioneering study of stone and bone tool use using microscopy that was highly influential in its field. Among his other books was General Pitt-Rivers
(1977), the first biography of a pioneering archaeologist and collector. He was Vice-President of the Prehistoric Society (his PhD was on Mesolithic Spain and antler working) and President of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society.
Stuart James Alexander Laidlaw FSA
died in November aged 63. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in April 2015.
Stuart Laidlaw worked at the Institute of Archaeology UCL for 40 years, and at the time of his death was known there, and to others beyond who benefited from his skills and courtesy, as the Institute’s photographer. UCL has posted a tribute online
, and what follows is mostly an edited summary of that.
From the start, the Institute set pioneering standards for photography, with Sir Mortimer Wheeler FSA
’s appointment of Maurice Cookson, whose excavation photos remain among the best ever taken, to run the world’s first photographic laboratory dedicated to archaeology. Laidlaw joined the Institute in 1979, first working with Peter Dorrell and, after Dorrell’s retirement, teaching archaeological photography and illustration as Lecturer in Archaeological Photography. He received a UCLU Student Choice award for Outstanding Support for Teaching in 2013/14, an award both defined and made by students.
He curated the Institute’s archives, sorting and identifying equipment, negatives, prints and slides, and expending ‘huge amounts of energy digitizing this record for posterity‘. He was central to the refurbishment of the Institute’s photographic facilities, and won (with Sandra Bond) a UCL Sustainability Gold Award for the photography studio.
His own photography ranged from staff and student portraits - an estimated 8,000 shots - to excavation work in Libya, Greece, Belize and Russia. In the early 2000s he went to Jericho to record and match current archaeology and places with the 1950 archives of Kathleen Kenyon FSA
. He published books with Georgina Herrmann FSA
on the ivories of Nimrud, and was working on the final, eighth volume of the series, contributing to a documentation of Iraqi heritage that has suffered much destruction.
Beyond the Institute he ran short courses on Digital Photography for the International Association of Photographers for 25 years, in London and in places such as Sri Lanka and Tenerife, and at UCL-Qatar. He also worked with the National Trust, the Museum of London and the British Library.
Speaking at his funeral, Sue Hamilton FSA
, Director of UCL Institute of Archaeology, said that ‘Stuart was one of the most generously-spirited people, liked by all and always available to assist everyone who sought out his expertise and skill. We will greatly miss his optimism, cheerfulness, and latterly his dogged determined to keep on going and come in to ‘his lab”.’
Alexander Cambitoglou FSA
died on 29 November aged 97. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1973. The Australian Academy of the Humanities
issued a tribute, from which most of what follows has been edited:
Alexander Cambitoglou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he took his first degree at the University of Thessaloniki, having had private school-tuition in Ancient Greek, Latin, French, German, English and piano. He followed this with an MA at the University of Manchester and doctorates at the universities of London and Oxford.
He was Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Mississippi (1954–56), and at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania (1956–61). He then joined the University of Sydney for the rest of his career, becoming Professor of Classical Archaeology in 1963 and in the same year Curator of the Nicholson Museum. He became the Arthur and Renee George Professor of Classical Archaeology in 1978, from which he retired in 1989, becoming Emeritus Professor. He established the Australian Archaeological Institute in Athens (AAIA) in 1980. He continued as Curator of the Nicholson Museum until December 2000, and he was in his 90s when retired as AAIA Director in 2016.
He began excavations at a Geometric settlement at Zagora on Andros in 1967, and led the Australian expedition to Torone in Chalkidiki in the mid-70s. His particular interest was the pottery of the Greek colonies of south Italy, publishing many works on the subject with Arthur D Trendall FSA
He was a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (on which he served as a member of Council, 1974–76). He also served on the Councils of the Council of Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, and the International Scientific Committee for the Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum. He was made Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions to archaeology and international cultural relations in Australia in 1987. He was the fourth person to receive the University of Sydney's Doctor of the University (1991), and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for his services to Australian society through his work as a classical archaeologist. Greece awarded him Commander of the Order of the Phoenix (1998). He was also a Fellow of the Athens Archaeological Society.
Asked by the Greek City Times
in 2018 what had influenced him in his work, he replied:
‘I was a post-graduate student for six years in Great Britain, working under the tutorship of great classicists in the country such as the late T B L Webster FSA
, the late Martin Robertson and, above all, the late Sir John Beazley at Oxford. The most important achievement for me', he added, 'is the creation of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, through which Australia joined another 18 foreign schools or institutes in the Greek capital.' And he was inspired by ‘the great Australian scholar, the late Professor Arthur D Trendall FSA
, who [he] first met as a student at Oxford and later on became his co-author of a big and important book on the Greek vases of Apulia in South Italy [The Red-Figured Vases of Apulia
, 1978 and 1982, with supplements in 1983 and 1991–92]'.
Photo Greek City Times
Bernard Paul Crossley FSA
died on 11 December aged 74. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1988. The Courtauld Institute, where he was Emeritus Professor of the History of Art, posted a tribute in December
, from which most of what follows is edited:
Paul Crossley studied Law at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of the Union, but switched to History of Art, graduating in 1967. He studied medieval architecture in Poland for his PhD, for which he was co-supervised by Peter Kidson FSA
from a distance at the Courtauld (1976). Here too he met George Zarnecki FSA
, with whom he travelled in Poland in the year Solidarity was founded, and for whom he a wrote a long memoir for the British Academy
on Zarnecki’s death in 2008. His thesis was eventually published in Cracow in Polish and English as Gothic Architecture in the Reign of Kasimir the Great: Church Architecture in Lesser Poland, 1320–1380
(1985), of which one reviewer said it ‘not only contributes valuable insight into the buildings themselves; it also leads us to question our previous understanding of the structure of late medieval society in central Europe’.
Crossley taught at Manchester University (1971–90) before joining the Courtauld to teach medieval architecture, where he remained until retirement having become Professor of the History of Art in 2002. ‘His range of expertise was extraordinary,’ says the Courtauld. ‘Through his teaching and publications on the architecture of Kazimir the Great in Poland, English influence on the Baltic region, and Charles IV in Prague, he single-handedly transformed understanding of medieval architecture in the Anglophone world from a predominantly Anglo-French to a pan-European perspective.’ Crossley’s introduction to his revised version of Paul Frankl’s Gothic Architecture
(2000) confirmed his status ‘as the most insightful writer on the historiography of Gothic architecture’. ‘Alert to the dangers of holistic interpretations of the Gothic cathedral,’ continues the Courtauld, ‘Paul nonetheless showed how the “sacred topography” of buildings could be reconstructed through attention to architecture, liturgy, sculpture, stained glass and painting, offering fundamental insights into the relationship between different media in the Middle Ages.’
Paul Crossley was Vice-President of the British Archaeological Association, Visiting Professor at Leipzig University (2000) and Slade Professor at Cambridge University (2012). He was also a Fellow of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy. Zoe Opačić and Achim Timmermann, two of his former students, edited Architecture, Liturgy and Identity: Liber Amicorum Paul Crossley
for his retirement in 2011.
He was ‘a great scholar and a brilliant teacher’, but also ‘much, much more than this,’ concludes the Courtauld. ‘A fine pianist, he was an enthusiast of cricket, watercolours and especially music. He read widely in philosophy and poetry. He was a truly inspirational lecturer, extraordinarily eloquent and yet self-effacing; concerned with the details, but capable of elevating Gothic architecture to a higher aesthetic and spiritual plane. He was a great gossip and he made friends across the Courtauld Institute and beyond. He was much loved as quiz master for the Student Union and was a brilliant mimic: his imitations of Pevsner, Brian Sewell, and PK [Peter Kidson] were almost better than the real thing.’
Grant Gray Simpson FSA
died on 14 December aged 89. He was a Lifetime Fellow of the Society, having been elected in May 1967.
Grant G Simpson was for 15 years an Assistant Keeper in the Scottish Record Office in Edinburgh, before taking up a lectureship in the Department of History at the University of Aberdeen in 1969. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Scottish History and then Reader, before retirement in 1995.
Terry Brotherstone and David Ditchburn edited Freedom and Authority. Scotland c 1050–1650: Historical and Historiographical Essays Presented to Grant G Simpson
(2000), saying he was ‘widely regarded as one of the leading Scottish medievalists of his generation, and the affection in which he is held is second to none’. He was ‘the steam behind the spectacles’, using his palaeographical skills acquired as an archivist to present opportunities for other historians.
His Scottish Handwriting, 1150-1650: An Introduction to the Reading of Documents
was aimed at anyone trying to tread his path. ‘The principal aim’, says the blurb, ‘is to assist research students, local historians, genealogists and calligraphers in their studies; but this work also recovers a lost chapter in the history of Scottish studies.’ It went through five editions – first published in 1973, it was reprinted by Aberdeen University Press and reached its final form in 2009 under John Donald Publishers.
His publications include important record sources, among them Edward I and the Throne of Scotland, 1290–1296
(1978, with E L G Stones), Bain’s Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland Preserved in the Public Record Office and the British Library, AD 1108–1516
(1986, edited with James D Galbraith) and The Acts of Alexander III
(2012, edited with Cynthia Neville). He edited three studies of Scots abroad: Scotland and Scandinavia 800–1800
(1990), The Scottish Soldier Abroad, 1247–1967
(1992) and Scotland and the Low Countries, 1124–1994
He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was the last surviving founder and a former Chair of the Society for Scottish Medieval and Renaissance Studies (usually known as the Scottish Medievalists
), which posted a tribute on Facebook from which the career information above, and the photo showing him with Cynthia Neville in 2012, are taken.
Memorials to Fellows
David R Clark FSA
‘John Stockdale Hardy FSA
(1793–1849) was born in Leicester and became registrar to a number of ecclesiastical courts in the diocese. He was elected to the Fellowship in 1826, and his posthumous publication, The Literary Remains of John Stockdale Hardy
, has essays on antiquarian topics such as 'A Roman pavement found at Leicester 1831' and 'Norman piscina and sedilia in St Mary's church, Leicester.' There are also transcriptions of 'ancient inventories' (late C16 and early C17) in the diocesan registry. The book is available in reprints and the text is free online
‘He is buried, with his wife Elizabeth who predeceased him, in St Mary de Castro in Leicester – part of the Norman castle complex. The memorial is on the north chancel wall. Most of it relates to his wife, but the last few lines are devoted to him.’
The Wisdom of Fellows
John Collis FSA
, an archaeologist who has written much about Iron Age archaeology, Celts and the use of this term (not least in The Celts: Origins, Myths & Inventions
, 2003), is impressed by a new find of a decorated copper-alloy shield in Yorkshire, illustrated in the last Salon
. He is not, however, enamoured of the common use of the word “Celtic” to describe it (as also in Salon
). He writes (in what I suspect is a tiny breath compared to the hurricane to come when ancient DNA research in progress is published):
‘After Battersea, the shield from Pocklington is a good contender for the second best shield from Britain (and so of Europe, where shield bosses tend to be of plain iron), and for once from a dateable context. Despite the problems of using the word “Celtic” in a British context, prehistorians and the media stick to the term, though in early medieval art history people tend to avoid ethnic terms, and prefer the geographical term “Insular Art”.
‘I have published a couple of articles discussing how the term “Celtic Art” came to be adopted and its changing definition, one in the Festschrift
for Vincent Megaw FSA
, and a more recent update and with a wider chronological context in the Festschrift
for Natalie Venclová (Stories that Made the Iron Age
, edited by Jan Kysela, Alžběta Danielisová and Jiří Militký, 2017). In fact it is a British invention, indeed mainly by Fellows of the Society. The first use is by Daniel Wilson FSA
in 1851, followed by John Obadiah Westwood, John Kemble, Augustus Wollaston Franks FSA, Arthur Evans, FSA J Romilly Allen FSA
and Reginald Smith FSA
‘Though in publishing the finds from La Tène, Switzerland, Ferdinand Keller FSA
referred to Kemble and Franks, the term was not used on the continent; the Celts were thought to be Bronze Age, replaced by Gauls in the Iron Age, while the main publisher of the La Tène-type burials from southern Germany, the elder Ludwig Lindenschmit FSA
, attacked the British nomenclature as chauvinistic: he considered that all the metalwork was imported from Italy and that no metal objects were made north of the Alps until after the Roman conquest!
‘It was not until 1914 that the British terminology was accepted on the continent, by Joseph Déchelette in his Manuel d’Archéologie
. But there are still mysteries, like why Paul Jacobsthal FSA
started calling what was termed “Late Keltic Art” in the 19th century, “Early Celtic Art” in 1944. The problem becomes important in the conflation of La Tène Art styles with the ethnic group; the often reproduced maps of the “origin and spread of the Celts” from southern Germany by Pierre-Marie Duval and by Vincent and Ruth Megaw FSA
, are a reasonable representation of the spread of the art styles. But La Tène is too late for the spread of the Celtic language group, and probably the ethnic group. The term “Celtic Art” is best avoided.’
Max Craven FSA
started the new year cataloguing for Bamfords, his local auction house in Derby, and came across a 19th-century Fellow whose grateful gift to his doctor will be auctioned in a fine art sale in March
. ‘I estimated it conservatively at £150–200’, he tells Salon
‘It is not a post-mortem inscription, but rather the opposite, being a silver cup, 7.5in tall, marked London 1876 and was presented by Joseph Mayer FSA
(Newcastle-under-Lyme 23 February 1803 – Bebington, Cheshire 19 January 1886) to his doctor, for pulling him through a bad illness. Mayer was an important Liverpool-based collector (by profession a goldsmith) whose accumulations were presented by him to his adopted city in 1867 and formed the basis for the Liverpool Museums. He lived latterly at Pennant House, Bebington.
‘The cup's inscription reads:
William Main MD
as an offering of gratitude
and in acknowledgement of
his knowledge, skill and attention
during a severe illness
by which I was enabled
to celebrate my
this 23rd day of February 1879
Joseph Mayer FSA
‘The doctor clearly did a good job, for Joseph lived almost another seven years!’
‘Please note that a biography of a past Fellow appears in the latest issue of Vidimus
,’ writes Roger Rosewell FSA
, ‘the free on-line magazine about medieval stained glass published by the GB committee of the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi. Bernard Rackham CB FSA
(1876–1964) was Head of the Department of Glass and Ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1918–38. The article concentrates on his contributions to improving the museum's collection of stained glass and his numerous books and articles. Part 2 – a bibliography of his publications – will appear in a later issue.’
Rosewell has written a long, well-illustrated piece. As well as publishing often for peer-reviewed journals, a guide to the museum’s holdings (1936), and a substantial volume on the ancient glass at Canterbury Cathedral (1949), ‘by a combination of gift and purchase Rackham transformed the museum’s already strong collection of stained glass into the largest and most comprehensive in the world, doubling the size of the collection and adding many examples of great rarity and beauty.’ Among his siblings, Arthur (1867–1939) ‘enjoyed considerable (and lasting) fame as a book illustrator’ and Harris (1868–1944) ‘became a distinguished classicist at Christ’s College, Cambridge’.
Peter Saunders FSA
gives me an excuse to reproduce those Rapa Nui figures again:
‘You quoted Jeremy Coote in the last Salon’
, he writes, ‘saying, when retired, he hoped “to continue to be able to write annoying emails to people pointing out errors in pieces about Pitt-Rivers”. I can vouch that he won’t be alone in this: I’ve been doing it since retiring a decade ago, all primarily on the basis of knowledge and interest acquired from moving the General’s Wessex collection from his former museum at Farnham, Dorset to Salisbury Museum in 1975. My eye was drawn to Fellows’ unravelling in the last Salon
Bonham’s mix-up concerning wooden figures from Rapa Nui, formerly in Pitt-Rivers’ collection: hence this hopefully helpful rather than annoying, email. Of the eight figures featured in the digitised Cambridge catalogue, you say: “One is thought to have gone to Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum”. I would certainly have remembered had this been so: the objects were meticulously inventoried and, apart from three obsidian tools, nothing came from Easter Island. I am afraid to say that this is a false trail; nor can I throw any light on its whereabouts.’
Many apologies to Paul Pettitt FSA
, whose name fell victim to my bad typing in the last Salon
, in a piece about some very early paintings identified in Sulawesi
by Maxime Aubert and Adam Brumm FSA
, and published in the journal Nature
. Pettitt’s main concern was to say that he disagreed with the interpretation placed on the art – namely, in my words, that it had been created ‘at least 44,000 years ago … [which] would make it the earliest known hunting scene found anywhere in the world – around twice the age of comparable scenes in Europe.’ ‘Such claims,’ writes Pettitt, ‘made by the authors and supported by you are fanciful, and reflect an increasingly sensationalist and intellectually sloppy approach to palaeoanthropological research. While the Indonesian data could be said to provide the oldest minimum age for figurative art as yet known,’ he adds (which is what I said), ‘it does not necessarily follow that the underlying art is the earliest, except when these results are read in terms of the sensationalist gloss that Nature
sadly excels in these days.’
Much of the art in the cave, named Leang Bulu’ Sipong 4, is overlain by mineral deposits which can be dated – the art itself cannot, but it can only be older than the mineral flows, if by an unknown amount. Four of these flows were dated to between 43,900 and 35,100 years ago. Aubert, Brumm and colleagues argue that the art is all contemporary – it has a distinctive style, and appears to be arranged in scenes – which would make all the figures older than 43,900 years.
‘For the record,’ writes Pettitt, ‘there are three areas of question for the Sulawesi art’:
First: ‘are the dates reliable and do they suggest that it’s the world’s oldest figurative art? My answer is yes [they] are, and at present I’ve no problem accepting that they provide this evidence. The authors are to be congratulated for this achievement.’
Second: ‘does it represent a “scene”? Scenes are remarkably rare in Palaeolithic art anywhere. We know from hard research – of numerous specialists that you [Salon
editor] ignore – that a number of European “decorated” caves contain several phases of art, each separated by several thousand years … that we might be forgiven for assuming belonged together in a compositional whole. How do we know that the Sulawesi images were all created at the same time to be viewed together as a scene? The answer is that on the basis of the rather hurried publication we don’t. One basic way to strengthen such a notion is to undertake geochemical analysis of each image; if the results are similar this would add considerable weight to the view that they are contemporary. This is basic science, yet it is absent in this study. ‘
Third: ‘are these odd images really depicting humans, and if so, are they hunting? They are varied in form – they are not all the same despite the fact that the authors misleadingly treat them as such – and several of them resemble quadrupeds. Did you really take a look at the pictures? Take the “spears”, for example; two very long lines, neither of which are held in hands of the “hunters”. While we can’t rule out the possibility that these are badly drawn humans, or humanlike “therianthropes” (a virtually meaningless term I wish we’d consign to history) we certainly can’t support it with any confidence.’
Pettitt also addresses Salon
1. ‘A critical reading of the available data for the emergence of figurative art in Palaeolithic Europe suggests that it appeared in several regions and several forms in the 37th millennium BP, not 40,000 years ago as you suggest.’
2. ‘The specific examples you cite are debatable’:
• ‘the Hohlenstein-Stadel “lion man” comes from an ambiguous stratigraphic context from an old excavation, and many of us believe it to be half the age that you cite.’
• ‘Where did you obtain the “dates” for the art of Chauvet Cave at 37,500 BP? As with the lion man it is probably half the age the Chauvet Team claim, and you do not pay attention to the several specialists – two of them FSAs – who have provided a robust critique of the dogmatic age. You say that our critiques of Chauvet’s art are “unconvincing” to your mind. Are you an expert?’
3. ‘You also do a disservice to the team of … specialists – including myself – who provided the minimum ages of 64ka BP for non-figurative art in three Spanish caves, noting only that we have had several critics. We indeed have; the most vociferous of which is the lead author on the Sulawesi paper. Had you bothered to contact one of our team, or performed even a rudimentary online search you could have seen exactly how we have refuted point by point the quite specious yet oft repeated claims of our critics.’
4. ‘Instead of pompously grandstanding I suggest you either do your research or stick to editing. Your opinion is unimportant and misleading.’ Salon
’s editor is ‘a biased, uninformed and self-important judge of specialists in a field you clearly have little knowledge of’.
I have two comments to make. First, my piece in Salon
was about the discovery and dating of art in Sulawesi. It was not about art in Europe, and while I chose to highlight work with which Pettitt has been involved, that was my choice, and it was my choice not to enter complex debate – and it is complex – about early European art.
Secondly, I am an archaeologist who has directed research and excavations, published peer-reviewed articles and written books about archaeology. But Salon
is not an academic journal: it is a newsletter, reporting the doings of others, often to readers with no specialist knowledge of the topic. And, in my biased, uninformed, self-important, pompous, unimportant and misleading way, I think that is something worth trying to do.
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager (email@example.com). We are currently scheduled a year in advance for our Ordinary Meeting Lectures.
Ordinary Meetings are held from 17.00 to 18.00 on Thursdays. Open to Fellows and their invited guests. There are an additional 20 places available for non-Fellows to book. These places are £5 and can be booked through our website.
6 Feb: More town than house: archaeology and discovery at Knole in Kent by Nathalie Cohen FSA
13 Feb: The Hypogée des Dunes, Poitiers: Faith and Science in Nineteenth-Century France by Professor Bonnie Effros
20 Feb: Anatomy of a Lithic Scatter: The contribution of the Grieve Collection to understanding of the site at Nethermills, Banchory, Aberdeenshire. by Caroline Wickham-Jones FSA
27 Feb: ‘Unpicking the Morton ‘cope’ by Dr Mary Brooks FSA & Dr Sonia O'Connor FSA
Forthcoming Public Events
One day conference on which will explore the wide range of images and text displayed by seals and how this can be interpreted to reveal social identities, both normal and exceptional, across medieval and early modern Britain. Different identities will be explored, including: urban and rural; learned and unlearned; craft and communal. It will also explore links with personal and family names, inherited symbols, and how far family relationships influence seals.
Conferences and Seminars
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
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? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, sign-up here.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (email@example.com), if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.
Presently we are scheduled approximately a year in advance.
Other Heritage Events
• Entries new to this Salon are marked by The Veil of Time, the keystone over the entrance to the Society’s premises in Burlington House
1 and 2 February: Printmaking: Abstract Floral Motifs (London)
The William Morris Society is holding two printing workshops using William Morris FSA’s own Albion Press at Kelmscott House, London. Participants will have the opportunity to explore abstract floral motif making use of letterpress typography to create their own cards. Expert printmaker Jenny Bell will show how to look beyond the function of the letters, to make words and to take inspiration from Morris’s own observation and translation of organic forms into flat repeat patterns. All materials included, no previous experience necessary. Details online, 1 February and 2 February.
8 February: Belonging and Not Belonging – An Art History Day School (Bristol)
Peter Wakelin FSA, Curator of Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art at the Royal West of England Academy of Art, Bristol (14 December–1 March 2020), will lead a tour and discussion of an exhibition that explores the influence of 1930s and 40s émigrés from eastern and central Europe, examining how they were perceived by their peers in Britain and the extent to which their influence excited or inspired new art. Details online.
10 February: Archaeology in Anatolia (London)
The Royal Anthropological Institute, SOAS, the Anglo-Turkish Society and the British Institute at Ankara are holding a symposium at the Brunei Lecture Theatre, to explore outstanding recent work in the archaeology and prehistory of Anatolia. Speakers include Ian Hodder (Çatalhöyük), Lee Clare (Göbekli Tepe), Douglas Baird (Boncuklu), Işılay Gürsu (public archaeology) and Scott Redford (medieval Anatolia). Details online.
13 February: Princes, Parkland and Politics: The Legacy of Muskauer Park and its Modern Revalorization (London)
Brian Dix will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. Later owners largely adhered to Prince Pückler’s vision for the park that he began building at Muskau (Saxony) in the early 19th century. Its area was split between Germany and Poland after the Second World War, followed by neglect and losses which are now being restored through exemplary transnational co-operation. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07817 128147, and see online.
19 February: Craig Ellwood and the Betterment of Johnnie Burke (Oxford)
Neil Jackson FSA will give the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain’s President’s Lecture 2020 in Rewley House. Few architects did more than Craig Ellwood to create the image or life-style of post-war Los Angeles. Although he was feted world-wide in the architectural press, his rise from humble beginnings to architectural stardom was as much the product of single-minded self-promotion as it was of any real design skill or architectural ability. Details online.
24 February: The Mystery of Redwares in Princely Collections (London)
Errol Manners FSA, dealer in historic ceramics, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
26 February: Beth Chatto: A Life in Plants (London)
Catherine Horwood, social historian and author, will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. Dr Horwood worked with Beth Chatto for several years on her archives before being asked to write her biography. Her talk will draw on Chatto’s amazing life from her childhood seed patch to her rise to fame and the creation of one of the most influential gardens of the 20th century. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: email@example.com or 07817 128147, and see online.
27 February: An Introduction to GIS for Archaeologists (Oxford)
This course will provide participants with a working knowledge of GIS software and its practical applications for use in archaeology and is aimed at those working in fieldwork or in the office within development-led archaeology, acting in supervisory or project officer roles. It is recommended that participants should have some prior understanding of how archaeological projects are usually carried out and a basic understanding of key GIS concepts prior to their attendance. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
5 March: Law and the Historic Environment (Oxford)
This course provides an introduction for all who need to gain a broad understanding of the main legislative, regulatory and policy regimes for the historic environment, the ways in which those regimes are being applied at present, and the implications in practice for those working in the area. It is designed for those responsible for the supervision and conduct of historic environment investigations, whether in the professional or voluntary sectors. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
11 March: Re-visioning the High Line, New York – “two guys with a logo” (London)
Jill Raggett, Emeritus Reader in Gardens and Designed Landscapes, will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. The world's cities are housing more of us and are having to work harder to re-vision existing spaces. Future designers will be the keepers of such vital places. With the help of an Essex Gardens Trust Travel Bursary, Raggett visited the successful High Line in New York City, to see how we can re-imagine spaces. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07817 128147, and see online.
16–18 March: Short Course in Radiocarbon Dating and Bayesian Chronological Analysis (Oxford)
Hosted by NERC Radiocarbon Facility and Oxford NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, this course is aimed at researchers using radiocarbon and other techniques, including Quaternary geologists, palaeobiologists, archaeologists and marine geoscientists. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
18 March: Charles II: The Court in Exile (London)
Third in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. For a decade after the execution of Charles I the Stuart courts were based in the Low Countries and France. Determined to maintain splendour and dignity, though short of money, Charles II used rented mansions as headquarters for the exiled monarchy. In these hitherto unknown royal ‘palaces’ the king and his courtiers developed tastes that were to fundamentally fashion the art and architecture of Restoration England. Details online.
23–27 March: Histories of Archaeology (Canberra)
The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific (CBAP) Australian Research Council Laureate Project, led by Matthew Spriggs FSA, will be hosting this conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, airing new ideas on the history of archaeology worldwide. Invited keynote speakers include Margarita Diaz-Andreu FSA, Stephanie Moser FSA, Tim Murray FSA, Lynette Russell and Nathan Schlanger. The conference launches the CBAP-linked international museum exhibitions under the title of Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania, which will take place at approximately 40 museums and cultural institutions worldwide. Enquiries to email@example.com, details online.
25 March: Economies of Destruction? Creating Value by Destroying Valuables (Reading)
Professor David Fontijn, University of Leiden will give the inaugural Richard Bradley Lecture in the Ditchburn Lecture Theatre, hosted by the Department of Archaeology. Economies of Destruction is the title of a book by the speaker (2019), which asks why people destroy objects and materials that are important to them? The book focuses on a time when such destructive behaviour reached unseen heights and complexity: the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in Europe (2300–500 BC). Details online.
30 March: The Gilded Age in Canada: Reconstructing the Life and Afterlife of the Sir William Van Horne Collection (London)
Janet M Brooke, independent scholar, Montreal, Canada, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
2–4 April: Tintagel in Late Antiquity - Recent Excavations and Research (Truro)
This conference organised by English Heritage at Truro College will draw together the results of a major four-year research project, which included the first excavations since those by Glasgow University in the 1990s. Results of the Tintagel Castle Archaeological Research Project focus on the evidence for trading links in Late Antiquity with the Mediterranean. Speakers include Alex Bayliss FSA, Mark Bowden FSA, Michelle Brown FSA (paper to be read on her behalf), Nick Holder FSA and Jacky Nowakowski FSA. Details online.
4 April: DARGANFOD – DISCOVERY: A Celebration of New Archaeological Research in Wales (Cardiff)
This is the first of a new series of biennial conferences which will showcase work supported by the Cambrian Archaeological Association Research Fund, organised in association with Cardiff University. Speakers include Jeffrey L Davies FSA, Toby Driver FSA, Adam Gwilt FSA, Alan Lane FSA, Gary Lock FSA and Mike Parker Pearson FSA. Details online.
24–25 April: Celebrating Roman West Cumbria: The Senhouse Roman Museum 30th Anniversary Conference (Maryport)
2020 is the 30th anniversary of the Senhouse Roman Museum opening to the public. Events and exhibitions are planned throughout the year, of which this conference is part. Speakers include Lindsay Allason-Jones FSA, Ian Haynes FSA, Rachel Newman FSA, Sebastian Sommer FSA and Tony Wilmott FSA. David Breeze FSA, Patron of the Museum, former Trustee and previous Chair of Trustees, will be guest of honour. Details online.
27 April: The Dutch King Willem II (1792–1849) as Collector and Source of some Important Pictures in the Wallace Collection (London)
Ellinoor Bergvelt, guest researcher University of Amsterdam/Research Fellow, Dulwich Picture Gallery, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
30 April: Stratigraphic Analysis in Archaeology (Oxford)
This course is designed to develop your skills in post-excavation stratigraphic analysis. Starting with a review of first principles, we will look at how sites form through a combination of natural processes and human interventions. It is designed for those who are familiar with the processes of excavation and stratigraphic recording, and are looking to develop their skills in the post-excavation stages of analysis, dating, and interpretation. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
1–3 May: The Great House in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford)
The popularity of the great house for the hereditary aristocracy, aspiring owners and the visiting public has continued to blossom in the present century. A weekend (not the May bank holiday weekend) at Rewley House will provide an opportunity to explore some of the themes about the great house which have emerged since the turn of the millennium. It will cover new and established houses and their garden settings, and will examine the ways in which houses are managed and presented to the public. Speakers include Malcolm Airs FSA, Tarnya Cooper FSA, Ben Cowell FSA, Jeremy Musson FSA and Alan Powers FSA. Details online.
6–7 May: The Setting of Heritage Assets and Places (Oxford)
The course will be of particular interest to those involved with heritage issues in planning decisions, especially major developments affecting sensitive locations. Such involvement could be as planning or heritage consultants; planning officers; agency regulators; historic environment curators; or representatives of amenity societies or other voluntary bodies. It will also be of use to those who commission studies such as conservation plans, heritage assessments or specialist studies for strategic and project scale environmental assessments. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
13 May: Heritage Research: Skills and Sources (Oxford)
This course aims to introduce you to the research sources available online, in archives, museums and libraries, and help you develop the skills needed to work with these sources. It will also introduce the types of information that you can collect from simple field surveys, and how scientific methods can aid heritage research projects. The course will be useful to anyone engaged professionally with heritage assets including students engaged in heritage-related research projects. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
18 May: Marvels in Lucknow: ‘Ajab and Asaf al-Dawla’s Collection of Curiosities (London)
Arthur Bijl, Assistant Curator of Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Asian Arms and Armour, the Wallace Collection, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
23 May: New Thinking about Medieval Furniture (London)
The Regional Furniture Society’s themed Research in Progress event 2020 will be on 16th-century furniture and the regional chair, reporting on the latest research and drawing on both furniture history and history of art approaches. Speakers include Martin Bridge FSA and Nick Humphrey FSA. Details online.
27–28 May: Churches: History, Significance and Use (Oxford)
The course provides a firm foundation of the history of church architecture and furnishings, and provides the skills to draft statements of significance. This will enable participants to analyse and evaluate proposals for change. The course is aimed particularly at those who are actively involved in the management of church buildings. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
10 June: William and Mary: The Court Divided (London)
Fourth in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. Like James I, King William III was unhappy with the formality of England’s vast crumbling royal estate. But unlike James, who virtually abandoned Edinburgh, William maintained a second court, and a parallel suite of royal houses, in the Netherlands. Mostly ignored by English historians, these houses are the key to understanding the style that we now know as William and Mary, and its impact on England. Details online.
26 June: Delivering Public Benefit through Archaeology (Oxford)
The public value of the historic environment is recognised in planning policy across the UK, professional bodies require their members to work in the public interest, funding bodies expect the public to benefit from publicly funded archaeological work. The course is aimed at all archaeologists/historic environment professionals responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work which aim to deliver public benefit. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
29 June: The ‘Primo Costo’ Inventory of Count Saverio Marchese (1757–1833): Mapping the Print Market in Malta and its European Connections (London)
Krystle Attard Trevisan, PhD candidate, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
1–3 July: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (Oxford)
This course aims to give participants an understanding of traditional construction and its defects and to provide the skills to carry out balanced and informed surveys of historic buildings. It is designed for built environment professionals who are responsible for the repair, maintenance and management of heritage assets, public sector planning and conservation professionals, and owners of heritage. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
3–4 July: 'Our Aelred': Friendship, Leadership and Sainthood at Rievaulx Abbey (Leeds)
This major conference hosted by English Heritage is timed to coincide with the Leeds International Medieval Conference. Aelred, abbot of Rievaulx 1147–67, was one of the most important monastic leaders of the Middle Ages, and remains an inspirational figure. The conference is an opportunity to examine his impact on the architectural development of Rievaulx, his role in the Cistercian settlement of northern England, his activities as an author and his impact in the wider monastic world and his legacy. The event also features a round-table discussion focused on debates about Aelred’s sexuality. An international panel of speakers includes Janet Burton FSA, Michael Carter FSA, Peter Fergusson FSA, Alexandra Gajewski FSA and Stuart Harrison FSA. Details online.
27 July: Descriptions of Collections and their Display at the Stuart Court in 1669 in a Manuscript Account of Prince George of Denmark's Grand Tour (1668-1670) (London)
Sara Ayres, independent scholar, London, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
14–18 September: From College Library to Country House (Cambridge)
This residential course directed by Andrew Moore FSA for the Attingham Trust at Clare College, University of Cambridge, focuses on iconic libraries. These include the historic libraries of Houghton Hall (created by Robert Walpole) and Holkham Hall (home to one of Britain’s greatest private manuscript and printed book collections); the library designed by James Gibbs for Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford at Wimpole Hall, and Anglesey Abbey, created by the Anglo-American oil magnate Huttleton Broughton, first Lord Fairhaven (both now owned by the National Trust); the barely known and privately owned Narford Hall, Norfolk (Sir Andrew Fountaine’s library, built after his return from Europe in 1718); the Old Libraries of St John’s College and Queens’ College; the Wren Library, Trinity; the Pepys Library, Magdalene College; the Parker Library at Corpus Christi; the Founder’s Library at the Fitzwilliam Museum; and historic book collections in the University Library designed by Giles Gilbert Scott. Lecturers include James Campbell FSA, David McKitterick FSA, David Pearson FSA and Mark Purcell FSA. Details online.
16–17 September: Photographing Historic Buildings (Oxford)
Digital cameras have greatly changed the way we record our architectural history, simplifying the process and reducing the cost of image capture, thereby encouraging a scatter-gun method of photography. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
23–25 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
Significance is now a core concept within our planning process. Its assessment is a key part of management and development within the historic environment. This course will introduce the process, show you what is involved in preparing assessments of significance, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore the ways in which they can be used. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online
28 September: Germanic and Gentle? The Foundation and Early Collections of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg (London)
Heike Zech FSA, Head of Decorative Arts before 1800 and History of Craft, Germanisches NationalMuseum, Nuremberg, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
8 October: Project Management in Archaeology: An Introduction (Oxford)
Project management has become a core function for those working at senior levels within the historic environment sector, but many historic environment professionals still progress into management roles with little or no formal management training. This course is designed for those who are new to the project management role and will draw on the extensive experience of the tutors in development-led archaeology. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
26 October: The Paintings by Horace Vernet in Louis-Philippe's Private Collection: Commission, Purpose, Display and Destination (London)
Valérie M C Bajou, Chief Curator, Versailles Palace, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
25–27 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
This course introduces potential witnesses and advocates to the techniques and procedures of public inquiries dealing with the historic environment, including preparing proofs of evidence. A mock inquiry will be staged. An Oxford University Department of Continuing Education course at Rewley House. Details online.
30 November: Creating a Market: Dealers, Auctioneers and the Passion for Riesener Furniture, 1800–1882 (London)
Helen Jacobsen, Senior Curator, the Wallace Collection, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
Calls for Papers
20–22 June: Pottery and Religion (Durham)
Religion was an integral part of daily life in the medieval and post-medieval periods, and it would be surprising if we could see no evidence of its impact in the ceramic record. That impact could have taken various forms: in the types and functions of pottery used on religious sites (did this really differ from secular consumer sites?), and in the stimulus to the establishment of ceramic industries to service religious establishments. Religious messages could be transmitted in various ways on vessels, or more subtly through the incorporation of religious symbols in ceramic design. The pots themselves also featured as symbols in religious iconography. High quality ceramics are often found on religious sites, but is this a general pattern, and is it always a straightforward reflection of higher social status? Can religious change be seen in the ceramic record? What were the impacts of religions other than Christianity? The Medieval Pottery Research Group invites papers of up to 30 minutes addressing any aspect of the links between pottery and religion in the medieval and post-medieval periods. Please submit an abstract of no more than 150 words to Lorraine Mepham, MPRG Meetings Secretary, by 1 March, at L.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01722 326867.
24 June: Gowers at 70 (Oxford)
Historic Houses and University of Oxford – with generous support from the Historic Houses Foundation – will be running a symposium to mark the 70th anniversary of the publication of the Gowers Report on the future of Britain’s buildings of ‘outstanding historic or architectural interest’ (1950). This conference will consider the report’s legacy for the conservation and use of historic houses, owned both independently and by organisations such as the National Trust and English Heritage. Researchers and heritage professionals are invited to contribute 20-minute papers on themes that include the post-war landscape of built heritage preservation, government policy towards country house preservation, how country houses have fared in relation to other types of heritage asset, international comparisons to preservation policy, and country houses in popular culture. Please email a 300-word abstract and 100-word biography to email@example.com by 17 February. For further information contact Elena Porter (University of Oxford & Historic Houses DPhil researcher) or Emma Robinson (Director of Policy & Public Affairs at Historic Houses) via firstname.lastname@example.org, and see online.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) seeks a Chair for the Treasure Valuation Committee. Closing date for applications 24 February.
The Committee provides independent advice to the Secretary of State on the fair market value of declared Treasure finds from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which museums wish to acquire. The next few years will be an exciting time for the treasure process. In 2018 DCMS held a public consultation on the Treasure Act 1996. The new Chair will play an important role in seeing through any changes over the next few years.
Essential characteristics for candidates include relevant experience with high-level committees, a leader able to build confidence and trust, familiarity with the legal issues related to Treasure, an understanding of the wider political and administrative environment and a clear commitment to the delivery of the Committee’s remit.
Current Committee Members include Professor Lord Colin Renfrew FSA (Chair), Marian Campbell FSA, Roger Bland FSA and Gail Boyle FSA.
Full details online.
The DCMS seeks a Board Member for the Treasure Valuation Committee. Closing date for applications 24 February.
All candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge of Early Medieval, Medieval and Post-Medieval coins found in Britain, a general understanding of Treasure issues, an ability to assess objectively the value of Treasure finds, and experience of working as a member of a committee or in a similar collegiate situation.
Full details online.
• Neither of these posts is salaried, but reasonable travel and subsistence is paid.