Salon: Issue 372
4 October 2016
Next issue: 18 October 2016
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor.
Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
Get Ready for the Next Volume of The Inventory of Henry VIII
Professor Maria Hayward, FSA
, and Dr Philip Ward have delivered to the Society of Antiquaries the manuscript for the third volume of The Inventory of King Henry VIII
. This specific volume focuses on arms, armour and ordnance, and includes, among others, essays by experts on cartography and Henry VIII’s navy. The series, under the general editorship of Dr David Starkey, FSA
, is a key work for evaluating the successes and failures of the Tudor monarchy.
On receiving the manuscript, Lavinia Porter, the Society’s Publications Manager, said: ‘I am very much looking forward to publishing the next of the Inventory
in 2017. It is a real honour and a privilege to have this opportunity to edit the third volume of such a significant series on the Tudor monarchy. This will undoubtedly help to inform and inspire scholars in a key area of history for years to come, and is a prime example of the important research that the Society of Antiquaries supports.’
Volume I, edited by Dr David Starkey, FSA, was published in 1998 and comprises the complete transcript of Henry VIII’s inventory. Volume II
, edited by Professor Maria Hayward, FSA, and Dr Philip Ward, focuses on Henry VIII’s collection of textiles and tapestries – in 2014 the volume was awarded the British Art Book Prize
by the Historians of British Art. A fourth and final volume on decorative arts and everyday objects is also planned for publication (2019–20). Find out more about The Inventory of Henry VIII
on the Society's website
Updates to Library Loans and the Online Catalogue
As part of our improvements to the Library services, books that are checked out are now recorded on the Library Catalogue as being on loan; researchers are then able to see if a volume is currently available in the Library when searching the online catalogue
The Library is currently undergoing an audit of its collections. One of the stages is to complete an assessment of all items that are recorded as being on loan. We will be contacting Fellows who are in possession of any books that have been on loan to them longer than the stamped three month loan period to ask if you wish to return or renew the loans. In the future, we will be regularly sending reminders about books on loan to help ensure prompt access to Library resources for Fellows and other researchers, as well as to improve collections security. If you would like to return or renew items the Library team can be contacted by email at email@example.com
Fellow Honoured with Ashmolean Gift
This remarkable gilt-bronze writing casket from Renaissance Italy, has been presented by Daniel Katz Ltd to the Ashmolean Museum through the new Cultural Gifts Scheme in honour of Jeremy Warren FSA, Honorary Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries and Honorary Curator of Sculpture at the Museum. Dora Thornton FSA, Curator of Renaissance Europe and Curator of the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum, describes the casket:
‘Made in the Grandi workshop in Padua around 1540–50, the casket is designed for use on a scholar’s desk and includes designated spaces for an inkwell, a sander to scatter sand over freshly inked writing, quill pens, and pen knives. The classical form and ornament, as well as the herm which serves as a handle on the lid, can be closely compared with other bronzes from the Grandi workshop. This makes it especially appropriate as a gift in honour of Jeremy’s monumental catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, which was published in three volumes in 2014 and won the Apollo Magazine Art Book of the Year award. The casket is now on display with the superb Fortnum collection of Renaissance bronzes at the Ashmolean Museum.’
The gift is the first in the scheme to be made by a company. It enables UK taxpayers to donate important works of art and other heritage objects to be held for the benefit of the public or the nation. In return, donors receive a tax reduction based on a set percentage of the value of the donated item.
Unusually for a Victorian woman, Amelia Edwards led an adventurous and independent life, writing novels, short stories and poetry, travelling and lecturing, and serving as vice-president of the Society for the Promotion of Women's Suffrage. She is best known for her interest in ancient Egypt, about which she published a travelogue, illustrated with her own sketches. She co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) and campaigned for the preservation of Egyptian remains. The UCL Petrie Museum, some say, should really be known as the Amelia Edwards Museum – her bequest to the college established Britain’s first Egyptology chair, and her collection and library started the museum off.
Even more unusually, it seems to many of us now, she was not entirely private about her long-term relationship with another woman, Ellen Braysher. They lived together, and when they died – both of them in 1892 – they were buried and commemorated together. The grave, which also contains the remains of Braysher’s daughter, who died before them in 1864, is an impressive affair at St Mary's church, Henbury, Bristol, with a stone obelisk and, flat on the ground, a large stone ankh, the Egyptian life symbol.
Historic England listed the grave on 23 September as Grade II, saying it has architectural, historic and social interest, the latter ‘as a poignant memorial to Amelia Edwards and her beloved companion Ellen Braysher, with their relationship unusually described in the inscription’ (Braysher, it reads, was ‘for more than thirty years the beloved friend’ of Edwards; it also records the name of Braysher’s late husband).
The grave’s listing is the latest achievement of Pride of Place
, a Historic England (HE) initiative led by historians at Leeds Beckett University's Centre for Culture and the Arts. The project is identifying locations and landscapes associated with England's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) heritage. HE says it is ‘committed to bringing greater attention to the histories of marginalised, under-researched and under-represented groups, whose contribution to making our history has not yet been properly acknowledged.’
Four other places have been ‘relisted’ and one upgraded, ‘to recognise their untold queer histories’. They are the homes of Oscar Wilde, Anne Lister and Benjamin Britten; the house which Gerald Schlesinger and Christopher Tunnard ‘masterfully designed so that the couple’s bedroom could be split into two separate rooms meaning they could preserve their privacy’; and the Burdett-Coutts memorial in St Pancras Gardens, London, upgraded to II*, which remembers among others 18th-century French spy Chevalier d’Eon, ‘who in today's terms might be understood as transgender.’
‘Historic Buildings and Places are witnesses to events that have shaped our society’, said Duncan Wilson FSA
, Chief Executive of Historic England, in a press release
. ‘Too often, the influence of men and women who helped build our nation has been ignored, underestimated or is simply unknown, because they belonged to minority groups. Our Pride of Place project is one step on the road to better understanding just what a diverse nation we are, and have been for many centuries. The impact of the historic environment on England’s culture must not be underestimated.’
Photo above shows Shibden Hall, Halifax, home to Anne Lister, ‘the first modern lesbian’ (Historic England). At top is Amelia Edwards and her grave (Bristol Post
/portrait Egypt Exploration Society).
Becket's Bloodied Psalter
Writing in The Guardian on 1 October
, Christopher de Hamel FSA
reflects on researching his new book, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts.
He deciphered a long-erased inscription in The Copenhagen Psalter
, he says, and realised ‘with a flash of clarity that it belonged to Valdemar the Great’ (king of Denmark 1157–1182).
He thinks he has ‘established the origins of the enormous and mysterious Lambeth Palace Bible
, and that it was commissioned by Stephen, king of England from 1135 to 1154, for presentation to Faversham Abbey, which Stephen founded.’
Text corrections to the early eighth-century Codex Amiatinus
‘may be in the handwriting of the Venerable Bede himself’. ‘I defy anyone’, he adds, ‘to turn the pages of this incomparable manuscript in its 16th-century library in Florence, designed by Michelangelo no less, without a shiver of excitement.’
He suggests that Adam Pinkhurst, who wrote out the Hengwrt manuscript of The Canterbury Tales
, probably the oldest surviving copy, was employed by Geoffrey Chaucer himself. ‘If so, this brings us close to the actual presence of the author, which is enormously important for proving the authenticity of this particular version of the text… Peer closely at the volume in Aberystwyth, going back and forth across its pages, and the whole sequence of production falls into place. To anyone able to see and touch the original manuscript, this is almost as intimate an experience as interviewing the author in person, leapfrogging 600 years of history.’
And finally, with a dramatic flourish, de Hamel describes the moment when he first encountered evidence that an Anglo-Saxon psalter now in the Parker Library in Cambridge, had earlier been preserved as a relic at the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. The psalter, he says, dates from the very early 11th century, and was made in Canterbury, perhaps for Archbishop Alphege (or Ælfheah). Becket would have found it, and kept it as a personal relic of his martyred predecessor; perhaps he holds the very book in his depiction in a stained-glass window in Trinity Chapel, Canterbury. ‘Nothing else imaginable’ writes de Hamel, ‘has such personal intimacy.’
‘There’s certainly no blood on the manuscript,’ de Hamel tells The Guardian in a linked piece
, ‘but I don’t think there’s any doubt that moments after [Becket’s] death, they swept it up and said this is the most personal possession of the martyr. He would have had it on his person: it was his talisman of the divine.’
The image at top shows pages from the Canterbury psalter (The Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge/Guardian).
Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts
was published on 22 September to immediate praise. In The Sunday Times
(25 September, subscription), Peter Thonemann wrote that ‘Six hundred pages on medieval illuminated manuscripts might sound daunting. But fear not: de Hamel carries it off with an enviable lightness of touch.’ He enjoyed ‘his wry pen-portraits of the libraries in which the manuscripts are now located’ (the book includes photos of libraries, books and bindings as well as illuminations), and his ‘understated prose [which] makes the occasional bursts of light all the more dramatic when they occur’; the ‘remarkable’ of the title, says Thonemann, was the publisher’s choice, not the author’s. ‘If I could walk you to your nearest bookshop,’ he concludes, ‘take £30 from your wallet, and place this wonderful book in your hands, I would.’ In The Observer
Ian Thomson wrote of de Hamel’s ‘Sumptuously illustrated … delightful, absorbing book’, which is ‘scholarly but unfailingly readable, [and] the beginning of wisdom in all things scribal and scriptural.’ The publisher fields further powerful encomia, from Neil MacGregor FSA
(‘An endlessly fascinating and enjoyable book'), Tom Stoppard ('Full of delights'), and others.
• Reading around manuscripts, I discovered that in January 2015 my predecessor Christopher Catling had quoted an article
in The Art Newspaper
describing Winchester Cathedral’s hunt for eight Medieval illuminations. These had been cut out of the 12th-century Winchester Bible at some time in the past 150 years. The book, said Christopher de Hamel, is ‘the finest English illuminated manuscript outside the British Library’. Our cutting shows Mary and a new-born Jesus watched over by Joseph, photographed by John Crook FSA
(compare fabric in Opus Anglicanum, below
). In the newspaper, Martin Bailey says
the missing fragments feature the initials E, H, P, S and O (two initials, one cut in a circular form); an illumination of Jonah, probably emerging from the whale; and one unknown initial. These letters can be arranged to make the name Joseph. A clue to where they might be, perhaps? None of the missing initials from the Bible has yet been found, de Hamel tells me, ‘since the one recovered in 1948, despite much searching.’ If they actually do spell out Joseph, he adds, that ‘would be extraordinarily interesting.’
Fighting Extremism with Culture
On 27 September the International Criminal Court in The Hague sentenced Ahmad Al-Faqi Al-Mahdi to nine years in prison
. He had pleaded guilty to war crimes for directing attacks in Mali on nine mausolea and a doorway in the 15th-century Sidi Yahia mosque (the UNESCO photo above shows the latter being restored), most of them in the Timbuktu World Heritage Site. The shrines, said judge Raul Cano Pangalangan, were ‘the heart of Mali’s cultural heritage [and] were of great importance to people of Timbuktu… Their destruction does not just affect the direct victims of the crimes, but people throughout Mali and the international community.’
In an article published in The Guardian
, Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, said posterity will remember the conviction ‘as the day impunity for the destruction of heritage finally came to an end, and as a turning point for justice in Mali and beyond.’ ‘This goes beyond Mali,’ she continued: ‘humanity itself is targeted; we are all concerned. The war against extremism must therefore be fought also on the battlefield of culture, education and the media. No military arsenal is strong enough to defeat an ideology that fuels violence.’
She suggests ‘the battle of ideas’ can be won by ‘teaching about the history of religions. By fostering dialogue between cultures.’ ‘The UN security council’, she adds, ‘has acknowledged the link between culture and security, and the contribution of illicit trafficking to the financing of criminal activities.’ Following the reconstruction of the damaged sites in Mali, she saw ‘the joy of people reclaiming their heritage, and I am more convinced than ever of the role of culture in healing the wounds of war, and as a building block of sustainable peace.’
Don Brothwell: Faith in Science
Don Brothwell, who died in September in his early 80s, was not a Fellow, but will have been known to many, as a teacher, colleague or friend, or the author of research into human remains and much else.
‘Don was one of the pioneers in the field of archaeological science,’ writes Terry O’Connor FSA
in his blog, ‘trained as an anthropologist but with an ability to turn his mind to whatever ideas and techniques might help to answer questions about the past and present of humanity… Don was a hobby artist, an atheist, a pacifist and a humanitarian, someone who really cared about people and what the world did to them, individually and collectively. His forensic work in the former Yugoslavia grew out of that concern, as did his willingness to explain the reprehensible behaviour of others as a consequence of the pressures on them rather than something inherent in the person themselves… I recall what he said on several occasions regarding his own funeral: “When I go, just put me out with the bins”.’
Julie Eklund interviewed him
for Papers from the Institute of Archaeology
in 2003 (14, 24–41). Brothwell discussed his work at the British Museum of Natural History (1962–74, now the Natural History Museum), at the Institute of Archaeology (1974–93, now UCL), and at York University, from which he retired in 1999.
His interests had been described by Graeme Barker FSA
, opened Eklund, as ‘very broadly, the field of environmental archaeology: bones, both fossil and recent; bodies, both human and animal; rats, bugs, and unpleasant diseases; the dental hygiene or final bowel movements of some poor casualty of history.’ Was this right? Probably, yes, replied Brothwell: but don’t forget human evolution, and art (‘I am an art school dropout … but this is an area that still intrigues me. I’m particularly interested in the question of how you evaluate it in a precise and comparative way. To what extent, as anthropologists or archaeologists, should we be trying to evaluate it in a cold, scientific way?’). He was interested in food and cuisines, too.
Keith Dobney wrote a ‘biographical sketch’ for The Global History of Paleopathology
(2012). ‘Brothwell’, he said, ‘was perhaps one of the most influential and productive scholars in the field of bioarchaeology. In fact, his research interests and expertise transcend these fields and, as such, it would be fair to say that he represents a true polymath – a pioneer who was one of the first to truly see and apply the potential of combining a plethora of scientific approaches to the discipline of archaeology.’
Brothwell himself recently wrote a personal memoir, A Faith in Archaeological Science: Reflections on a Life
, published by Archaeopress. It’s a sometimes eccentric jumble of reminiscences, judgments and scientific insights, shot through with the author’s humanity and grumpy humour. ‘It is difficult not to feel coldly sober and doubtful about the future of our species’, says his blurb. ‘But we are not extinct yet! Beginning life as a traumatised baby and school failure, Don retired as Emeritus Professor of Archaeological Science in the University of York.’
Photo on the left is from the University of Manchester
, taken for its Lindow Man exhibition in 2008. At the top, from the University of York archive of Philip Rahtz FSA
, we see Brothwell at a dig. It was posted by York’s BioArCh lab on its Twitter account last year; O’Connor thought it might have been taken around 1970. ‘The following media’, Twitter told me before allowing me to see the shot, ‘may contain sensitive material.’
James Campbell FSA
, distinguished Oxford historian of Anglo-Saxon England, died last May
. John Blair FSA
, himself no mean historian and archaeologist of the era at Oxford, has found this drawing among Campbell’s books. It features a large baroque wall monument, and looks contemporary, says Blair. It seems possible that it is a preliminary design, he adds, but there is nothing to identify it apart from the heraldry. Blair would be most grateful if anyone can help: please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org (and Salon
would be interested, too).
3 Million Years of Cobbles
Being shown entirely natural stones that fit well in the hand or look like a face, is something archaeologists and museum curators learn to respond to without, on a good day, overly disappointing hopeful members of the public. Imaginatively interpreted rocks, however, are rarely seen heading up exhibitions in major museums as if they were landmark art. But that, according to Martin Bailey writing in The Art Newspaper
, is what (nearly) happened at the British Museum.
South Africa: The Art of a Nation
opens on 27 October (in Room 35, the raised gallery at the back of the Reading Room). It will be, says the BM’s press release, ‘the first major UK exhibition on South African art that explores a 100,000 history through archaeological, historic and contemporary artworks, which look at the long and rich artistic heritage of the country.’ Objects from the museum’s collections will be displayed with contemporary acquisitions and significant loans, including pieces coming to the UK for the first time.
The release emphasises recent centuries, and the country’s ‘dynamic contemporary art scene with a rapidly growing global reputation.’ When first announced, however, at the launch of the BM’s annual review in July, the show was billed as South Africa: 3 Million Years of Art.
This is the title of an accompanying book by the exhibition’s curators, John Giblin and Chris Spring (Head of the African Collection, and Curator of the Contemporary African Art and the Eastern and Southern African Collection, respectively), to be published by Thames & Hudson. It is (or was, sometimes with a '?') the title of planned lectures and meetings in and beyond London.
According to Bailey, the change in title arose because of questions about whether the object which inspired the ‘3 million years’ line is in fact ‘art’. Known as the Makapansgat Pebble and never previously exhibited, the stone was excavated from a group of caves by school-teacher Wilfred Eitzman in 1925, and a few years later shown to Raymond Dart. Dart, whose controversial ideas about hominin fossils found in the same caves were later brought to a wide public by Robert Ardrey, did nothing with the pebble for nearly 50 years, until he published an article about it in the South African Journal of Science
(1974). It was said to show three faces resembling the supposed physiognomy of an Australopithecus
Robert Bednarik examined the stone in 1997, and published his conclusions in the South African Archaeological Bulletin
(1998). Technically, he says, it is a cobble rather than a pebble, and its appearance is entirely natural. The claim for it to be ‘art’ rests on Dart’s observation that the nearest known source for such red cobbles is 32km from the caves (or possibly closer, say others): it must have been picked up by a hominin, who saw the faces, and took the stone home. ‘It is therefore justifiable’, says Bednarik, ‘to describe it as the earliest “palaeoart” object (in the broadest sense of the word) we have found to date’.
Disagreement, says Bailey, stems from whether or not it can be assumed that the creature saw the faces, even if it had collected the stone. There is another possible explanation, however: ostriches. Bednarik thought the stone was ‘much too large to have been in the gut of some bird’. However Chris Stringer FSA
, Merit Researcher at the Natural History Museum, tells Salon
that he thinks that may be how it reached the caves – in an ostrich gizzard. Ostrich remains were also found in the caves, and the hominin bones, he says, are likely to have got there in carnivore kills rather than because the creatures lived there.
Ostriches grind their food with the aid of swallowed stones: a 1929 press report claimed that ‘a fortune in diamonds’ had been found in the gizzards of two such birds in southwest Africa. David Butler (Zoogeomorphology: Animals as Geomorphic Agents
) says a study of southern-African ostrich gizzards revealed ‘gastroliths’ to weigh on average about 65 gm; other studies found stones up to 2.5 cm long. These figures would seem to confirm Bednarik’s point, however: the Makapansgat cobble is 8.3 cm long and weighs 260 gm.
Nonetheless, many archaeologists would still find it quite a leap to claim that hominins would have seen faces in the stone, and because of that picked it up – even if Dart's claim about the stone's provenance can be proven correct. The main point, suggests Stringer, is the lack of evidence that australopiths ever lived in the caves, against signs that they had been dragged there and eaten. Photo shows two views of the cobble, from Bednarik’s article.
Britain Tightens up on Ivory Trade
I wrote here in May about trade in ivory artefacts
, after Fellows had expressed fears about stringent import regulations in the US, and reports of customs officers ordering the dismantling of antiques. The UK government now plans to approve stricter rules, by making the present ban on the sale of ivory artefacts less than 70 years old subject to proof; any object alleged to be older needs to be supported by documentary or scientific evidence.
Those concerned primarily with live elephants welcomed the move, promised by Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom, and fulfilling a 2010 Conservative manifesto pledge. ‘Not before time,’ said a Times Leader
, ‘Britain is to impose a near-total ban on ivory sales’ (in May another Times Leader
had been less supportive, saying that ‘Any antique containing ivory was, by definition, made a considerable time before the imposition in 1989 of an international ban on its trade’). Some felt the proposal did not go far enough. The Zoological Society of London said it fell short of the total ban on sales promised in Conservative manifestos. Action for Elephants UK
sent an open letter to Theresa May, Prime Minister, asking for a complete sales ban. The 124 signatories included Jane Goodall, founder, the Jane Goodall Institute, Richard Leakey, founder, Kenya Wildlife Service, Richard Dawkins, geneticist, Alice Roberts, biological anthropologist and Adam Rutherford, geneticist.
Others, focussed more on art and antiques, sought to distinguish between artefacts and animals. Martin Levy FSA
, Director of H Blairman & Sons, London, responded to Action for Elephants UK in a letter to The Guardian
(27 September). ‘The entire community of art historians, curators, connoisseurs and collectors’, he wrote, ‘unequivocally supports the preservation of endangered species. But by the same token it can be said with confidence that bona fide, pre-1947 works of art documented by Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) made of or incorporating ivory have no impact whatsoever on the thirst for modern tusks and trinkets: these are two utterly separate issues.’
‘In welcoming the government’s reinforced stance against poaching and trafficking,’ he continued, ‘it is to be hoped that the UK will stand squarely with the EU delegation at the upcoming Cites conference in Johannesburg, and formally acknowledge the distinction between works created over millennia that are part of our shared cultural inheritance, and the meretricious byproducts of illicit trade in illegally slaughtered elephants.’
Simon Jenkins FSA
favoured a legal market in ivory. The adjustment, he wrote in The Guardian
, ‘would be painful – as with drugs it would appear to reward criminals. But allowing people in Africa to benefit from protecting endangered species is the only way to secure the future of those species.’
Not so, reported The Times’s
African Correspondent, Jerome Starkey. Conservationists, he said, warned that proposals for the licensed sale of rhino horn and elephant ivory are ‘naive in the extreme’, and would consign both species to extinction in the wild.
The Art Newspaper
reported that three dealers had been arrested in New York for selling ivory works of art without a license. Undercover investigators bought a $2000 mammoth-tusk statuette which turned out to be African ivory. Their shop was raided, and 126 objects priced at $4.5 m were seized (photo at top). They will be destroyed on World Elephant Day next year.
Nigel Brown FSA
made an unexpected discovery, he tells me, when reading a new biography of Maynard Keynes:
‘I was amazed to learn whilst reading Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes
, by Richard Davenport-Hines (2015) that Stonehenge had been the venue for a dahlia show. The show was held in 1841 by John Keynes, the economist’s grandfather, and one of 19th-century Britain’s most successful nurserymen. Evidently it was a major event which thousands of people visited. Stonehenge full of dahlias must have been quite a sight. Who knows what the people who built and used it would have thought, but maybe they’d have liked seeing the stone circle full of colourful flowers? Since dahlias are generally at their best in early autumn, perhaps there’s a marketing opportunity for English Heritage: a joint event with the RHS to mark the autumn equinox, a combination of exotic blooms and Druids would surely be a winner.’
According to an uncredited piece
in the Western Daily Press
in 2014, Keynes was Honorary Secretary of the Salisbury Plain Dahlia Society (and later Mayor of Salisbury), which held an annual show at the Crown at Everleigh. In 1842 (sic), when Sir Edmund Antrobus, the owner of Stonehenge, was the Society’s President Elect, he hosted ‘the largest ever attendance at an annual dahlia show’ adjacent to the stones. The public flocked to see floral sculptures described as ‘devices’: at the first show Keynes exhibited ‘the Antrobus Arms’, and the following year ‘Queen and Constitution’, each made entirely of dahlias. In 1843 and in 1844 (when the Gardeners’ Chronicle
advertised ‘The finest self-coloured Dahlia in the world! Gained the 1st class prizes at Stonehenge, Windsor…’) Keynes issued a notice that ‘no vehicles, booths, or standing pitches’ should be positioned within 50 yards of the stones, to allow uninterrupted access.
Earlier I researched some photos
taken of a musical event which attracted many people to Stonehenge in 1896. 1841 would be very early for a photo, but perhaps there is a press or publicity drawing? Can any Fellows throw more light on this megalithic dahlia episode? Photo shows a plate from the Stonehenge range
by Midwinter, in the Blue Dahlia pattern (apologies).
Fellows (and Friends)
John Mulvaney FSA, ‘the Father of Australian Archaeology’, died in September. An appreciation appears in Lives Remembered below. There is also a further note about Luke Herrmann FSA.
Mike Heyworth FSA, Director of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), asks if anyone who would like to speak at a celebration of the life of Beatrice de Cardi FSA, could please contact him as soon as possible at mikeheyworth@archaeologyUK.org, or phone 01904 671417. Since 1976 the CBA has been hosting an annual Beatrice de Cardi Lecture at the British Academy in London, following its AGM. This year’s talk will be by Mark Knight, on the subject of the excavations he has directed at Must Farm, Cambridgeshire, which have now ended in the field with the dismantling of a large cover-warehouse. Following her death in July, the day will also be celebrating de Cardi. The afternoon will begin with a series of presentations on her life and achievements from a range of organisations, including the Society of Antiquaries of London and the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia. See 'Other Forthcoming Events' below, and the CBA website.
Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery, opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum on 1 October. Co-curated by Clare Browne FSA and Glyn Davies FSA, with consultant curator Michael A Michael FSA, the show presents fabrics from museums and cathedrals in Europe and north America. Mark Hudson in The Telegraph says it focusses on ‘this fascinating, but neglected area… of gothic hyper-bling’, giving it four stars, as does Time Out. In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones gives three stars for a ‘groundbreaking yet obscurantist exhibition’: ‘where [the curators] have gone wrong is to separate [the fabrics] from all the other arts that made up the medieval religious experience.’ In the same paper, Maev Kennedy FSA quotes Glyn Davies. The last major exhibition of Opus Anglicanum, or ‘English work’, says Kennedy, was more than 50 years ago. ‘The term is too often used,’ Davies tells her, ‘but this truly is a once in a lifetime experience.’ Davies and Browne spoke about the show to Front Row presenter John Wilson on BBC Radio 4 on 30 September. The photos above show Edward the Confessor (left), apparently immune to the antics of a jester, from the Museo de Tapices y Textiles at Toledo Cathedral (1320–30); and right, a scene from the Life of the Virgin from the V&A’s collection (1335–45).
Thames & Hudson, in conjunction with the British Library, has published The Art of the Bible: Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World, by Scot McKendrick FSA and Kathleen Doyle. ‘This extensively illustrated new book,’ says the blurb, ‘transports readers, by way of 45 featured manuscripts, across the globe and through 1,000 years of history. Passing chronologically through many of the major centres of the Christian world, from Constantinople and imperial Aachen to Canterbury, Mozarabic Spain, Crusader Jerusalem, northern Iraq, Paris, London, Bologna, and Rome, [the authors] shed light on some of the finest but least-known paintings from the Middle Ages, and on the development of art, literature, and civilization as we know it.’
The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 was published on 27 September. A subject ranking (‘based on student opinion on teaching quality and their wider university experience, combined with the outcomes of the 2014 research assessments, graduate job prospects and course entry standards’) suggests many future Fellows are likely to be Cambridge graduates. The university was ranked top in 31 subjects, including Anthropology, Archaeology and forensic science, Celtic studies, Classics and ancient history, East and south Asian studies, History, and History of art, architecture and design. Other relevant subjects listed were Librarianship and information management (Loughborough top), and, perhaps, Creative writing (Warwick).
Jill Franklin FSA sends this photo of herself with Michelle Brown FSA, whom she sought out ‘in deepest Cornwall. We’re standing near one of the granite lintels in her house,’ writes Franklin, ‘having just swapped copies of our recent publications. Michelle gave me Art of the Islands (2016), hot off the press, and I gave Michelle a copy of the Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of the Society of Antiquaries (2015), which I co-wrote with Pamela Tudor-Craig FSA and Bernard Nurse FSA.
Aidan Dodson FSA has written The Royal Tombs of Ancient Egypt (Pen and Sword). The tombs, says the blurb, ‘include some of the most stupendous monuments of all time, containing some of the greatest treasures to survive from the ancient world.’ Dodson tells the history of the burial places of Egypt’s rulers, ‘from the very dawn of history down to and beyond the country’s absorption into the Roman Empire, three millennia later. During this time, the tombs ranged from mudbrick-lined pits in the desert, through pyramid-topped labyrinths to superbly decorated galleries penetrating deep into the rock of the Valley of the Kings.’
In The Times on 30 September Richard Morrison found the mission of Emma Rice, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, to bring new life to the plays, at odds with Sam Wanamaker’s vision for the recreated Elizabethan theatre. Morrison saw a production of Cymbeline (‘renamed and reclaimed’ as Imogen). Had he seen the show anywhere else, he says, ‘I would have enjoyed its demotic rudeness and physical energy. What I found alarming … was the perversity, incongruity and disrespect of mounting it at the Globe. This wonderful theatre – built with such scholarly attention to shape, materials and decor – has been clobbered with swathes of industrial plastic sheeting, giant loudspeakers and a lighting rig more befitting a rock arena. And most of the actors are miked up. Professor Michael Dobson, the director of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham, declares that such pop-musical technologies are “completely in violation of the mission statement of the whole project” – and I agree.’
Tille Höyük 3.2, The Iron Age: Pottery, Objects and Conclusions, by Stuart Blaylock FSA, is published by the British Institute at Ankara. Tille Höyük, a mound at a crossing point of the River Euphrates in South-East Turkey, was excavated between 1979 and 1990 as a part of the Atatürk Dam salvage project, and was flooded in 1991. It is the only such site with a near-complete stratigraphic sequence to be published in detail to date. Lying on the margins of the Mesopotamian world, and with contacts with North Syria, North Mesopotamia, and the Levant, rather than with Anatolia or the Mediterranean, Tille provides vivid insights into the Iron Age cultural history of the region, spanning the 11th century to the 6th–4th centuries BC. Tille Höyük 3.1 was published in 2009 (introductory, architecture and stratification).
Kate Pugh has retired after 13 years as Chief Executive of The Heritage Alliance (HA). Before joining HA, she had worked for, among others, the Victorian Society, ICOMOS UK and SAVE Britain’s Heritage. ‘Kate’s OBE in last year’s New Year’s Honours list’, said HA, ‘was a thoroughly well-deserved recognition of a career devoted to heritage in all its forms.’ • The next Heritage Alliance Heritage Debate, on Heritage & Research: Bridging the Gap, is on 26 October in the Waldorf Hilton, London. Chairman Loyd Grossman FSA will introduce Ros Kerslake, Heritage Lottery Fund Chief Executive, who will chair a panel of speakers. ‘The debate’, says the HA, ‘will hear from experts with academic, property and political perspectives on how the transfer mechanisms work in practice and what might be done to strengthen them.’ See online for details.
James Stourton FSA, art historian and former Chair of Sotheby’s UK, has written Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation, a biography of Kenneth Clark, Lord Clark of Saltwood. ‘In Stourton’s view’, says Peter Conrad in The Guardian, Clark, best known for a TV series he presented in 1969 called Civilisation, ‘was shy not smug, a populist not a snob, and his abiding sense of being an outsider made him prefer the homespun company of artists to that of the air-headed socialites and Tory nitwits who courted him.’ ‘Stourton astutely analyses Clark’s emotional and intellectual contradictions,’ continues Conrad. In the same paper, Mary Beard FSA is less enamoured with one aspect of Stourton’s wider analysis. ‘There is little room for independent women’, she writes, ‘in Stourton’s version of Clark’s life.’ In The Times (subscription), Michael Prodger writes of ‘Stourton’s superb biography’, which even manages to render ‘his unglamorous committee work… interesting’. Stourton, he concludes, ‘is the ideal choice for Clark’s official biographer and has produced an accomplished book that is scholarly, entertaining, beautifully written and sympathetic, while far from uncritical.’ Country Life made it its Book of the week (‘exemplary biography’). The Economist (subscription), quoting Neil MacGregor FSA (Clark ‘was the most brilliant cultural populist of the 20th century’), says Stourton’s ‘delightfully readable and authoritative biography is absorbing on the rise and rise of a gilded, lucky young man in a hurry.’
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, advised by Historic England, has scheduled the sites of Elizabethan playhouses in London, including The Theatre in Hackney, The Hope in Bankside, and three bear-baiting pits also in Southwark. Five buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon have been relisted to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.
Memorial, filmed by Helen Selka during the 2014 memorial for Thurstan Shaw FSA, received its premiere screening at the Brighton Film Festival on 1 October. In a trailer, Pamela Jane Smith FSA introduces him as a ‘peaceful, gentle and elegant man… [with] a beautiful face’.
Has art ‘the strength to face up to the challenges of Trump and Trumpism, the failings of capitalism and the disaster the West has done so much to create in the Middle East, or was it always a fatuous, hubristic illusion that it could make much of a difference?’ The question is asked by Anna Somers Cocks FSA, introducing a 25th anniversary survey by The Art Newspaper. Answers to ‘What is art for?’ online.
Max Donnelly FSA has researched some remarkable bookcases designed by the architect Charles Forster Hayward FSA (1831–1905). The four carved oak Gothic Revival pieces (c 1858–63) were made for a small antiquarian library formed by the collector John Jones. Donnelly discusses two of them in an article in the October Burlington Magazine. They were decorated, he writes, by Edward John Poynter and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. A cache of documents discovered among Hayward's papers 'reveals their surprisingly complex and fraught genesis, which involved disputes, subterfuge, theft, fire and a maritime drama.' Donnelly also discusses Hayward's designs, and 'touches on his enduring friendship with Jones who, in 1882, bequeathed three of the bookcases, his library, and his extensive collection of largely 17th- and 18th-century French fine and decorative arts to what became the V&A.' Photo Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The roundel features a portrait of Agnes (‘Aggie’) Manetti, one of Rossetti’s models, as Fructus.
Roger Bland FSA was one of four to receive a President’s Medal from the British Academy on 27 September, in recognition of outstanding service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences. ‘I am humbled to have been honoured with this prestigious award,’ said Bland in a release from the University of Leicester (where he is Visiting Professor at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History). ‘Mainly because it recognises the success of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) in harnessing the efforts of amateur searchers for archaeological objects who use metal detectors in transforming our knowledge of our archaeological heritage.’ Bland, who is also an Honorary Lecturer at UCL and a Senior Fellow at the McDonald Institute, Cambridge, resigned from the British Museum last year, where he had been Head of Britain, Europe and Prehistory at the former Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure. In his acceptance speech, he noted that ‘it was always a struggle to maintain the funding for the [PAS] … and its national service is by no means secure…I do hope the British Museum appreciates what an important responsibility it bears for the future.’
The Dean and Chapter of Carlisle Cathedral are seeking a Consultant Archaeologist, on the retirement of Mike McCarthy FSA (details at end). Honorary Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Bradford, McCarthy says he has been involved in archaeology since childhood, ‘taking part in a wide range of excavations across the UK supported by time begged and borrowed from a variety of jobs including chef, nurse, clerk, gravedigger and many others.’ Recently, says his university page, his research ‘has been focused on Carlisle and northern England, in particular the emergence of urban life under the Romans in a frontier zone, the role of the early church, the importance of location, and the re-growth of urban life in the medieval period.’
Jill Franklin FSA sends this photo of herself with Michelle Brown FSA, whom she sought out ‘in deepest Cornwall. We’re standing near one of the granite lintels in her house,’ writes Franklin, ‘having just swapped copies of our recent publications. Michelle gave me Art of the Islands, hot off the press, and I gave Michelle a copy of the Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of the Society of Antiquaries (2015), which I co-wrote with Pamela Tudor-Craig FSA and Bernard Nurse FSA.' Published by the University of Chicago Press, Art of the Islands, says the blurb, presents an extensively illustrated art historical overview of a formative period in history – that of ‘the Celtic, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking peoples who inhabited the British Isles and Ireland from late prehistory to the Normal Conquest. Describing the interactions between the region’s inhabitants, Brown also explores the formation of national and regional identities, and considers the impact of the art of this period upon the history of art in general, exploring how it has influenced many movements since, from the Carolingian Renaissance and the Romanesque style to the 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement.’
On 30 September The Times (subscription) carried an obituary for Luke Herrmann FSA; elected a Fellow in November 1975, he died on 9 September. The prominent feature leads with Herrmann’s claim to have coined the phrase ’sex kitten’ to describe Brigitte Bardot (‘That may or may not have been the case, but his role editing the film page for Illustrated London News, from 1956 to 1967, underlined his appreciation of the visual form’). He published several important books on JMW Turner. His Turner Prints (1990) surveyed more than 800 prints based on the artist’s paintings, watercolours and drawings, and placed them in the context of his wider output, a task, says The Times, ‘which he achieved magnificently and which led to a revival of interest in Turner’s engravings.'
Herrmann was born in 1932 in Berlin. His mother’s family were bankers; Curt Herrmann, his paternal grandfather, was a neo-impressionist painter. In 1937 the family moved to Hampstead Garden Suburb. He went to Westminster School in Herefordshire, did National Service in the Royal Artillery, and went up to Oxford in 1952. There, as president of the University Art Club, he organised the first exhibition of drawings from the recently arrived Pissarro Gift.
He married Georgina Thompson in 1965, who as Georgina Herrmann FSA joined the Institute of Archaeology (now UCL) in 1985 as Lecturer, and went on to become Reader in the Archaeology of Western Asia (now Emeritus).
‘He was as generous in sharing his ideas with students and colleagues’, says the paper, ‘as he was in opening his collections to them and to institutions. Each summer Herrmann and his colleagues would hold a fête champêtre for degree finalists in settings such as Chatsworth, one of which was memorably enhanced by the skills of a student who also happened to be a cordon bleu cook.’
John Mulvaney FSA, an Australian archaeologist who defined the 20th-century profession’s agenda for the continent, died on 21 September, aged 90. ‘Eminent archaeologist,’ his family posted in The Canberra Times, ‘historian, heritage advocate and, above all, devoted family man,’ he was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 2010. His life will be celebrated at University House, Australian National University, at 2 pm on 5 October.
Obituaries and appreciations, among others, can be read online at the Australian National University (ANU), the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the National Museum of Australia, Cricket Australia (which ‘acknowledges his life, and in particular his contribution to the history of cricket in Australia. He devoted a part of his life’s work to a detailed account of Australia’s first cricket tour of England’), the University of Cambridge, and The Times (subscription). His autobiography, described by Tom Griffiths as a ‘humble and compelling memoir’ of ‘Australia’s most celebrated archaeologist’, was published in 2011 as Digging up a Past. An earlier study, Prehistory to Politics: John Mulvaney, the Humanities and the Public Intellectual, edited by Tim Bonyhady and Tom Griffiths (1992), set out his contributions to public debate and policy about world heritage, archaeological and conservation practice, museums and the humanities, as an intellectual and campaigner.
In 2013 Mulvaney was interviewed and filmed at ANU by Kathleen Jackson, when he talked (aged 87) about his career, with his characteristic smile and in great detail, for 40 minutes. He described two fieldworking highlights.
The first was the morning in 1962 when his team obtained a Pleistocene ice age date at Kenniff Cave, Queensland, proving human occupation at the site nearly 20,000 years ago. He had taken the radiocarbon samples with him to England on study leave, he explained, and had them dated in Cambridge without charge, at a time when he was running a three-year project on a $3000 grant. This pushed Aboriginal antiquity back far beyond anything then countenanced, and opened up the possibility, if not certainty, of a history of changing cultures, rather than a brief occupation with little to say for itself. This discovery began, in his words, with ‘chance, linked with a hunch’. Soon Aboriginal history was taken further back; on the day Mulvaney died, the most comprehensive genomic study of Indigenous Australians to date claimed to support the arrival of modern humans on the continent some 50,000 years ago, with significant subsequent diversification. But dating Kenniff Cave was a landmark moment.
His second highlight was in 1965, in Arnhem Land, when he had gone out to look for Makassar sites. Early explorers talked about people visiting from Sulawesi, but they had not been much researched. His first find was a ‘spindly little tamarind tree’, and all around were broken ceramics that were not Australian, but Indonesian – ‘a tremendously exciting voyage of discovery’.
He left school aged 16, he told Pamela Jane Smith FSA in 2000, and during the war enlisted in the Royal Australian Air force ‘to get away from it all’. He was trained in Canada as a navigator, and then in England, where the training was not quite complete before the war ended. ‘I mention this’, he says, ‘because it is vital to my background.’
Back in Australia he studied British history and archaeology, returning to England for a postgraduate archaeology degree, working with Charles McBurney, Grahame Clark FSA and Glyn Daniel FSA. He became a Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Melbourne. He joined ANU in 1965 and was Foundation Professor of Prehistory from 1971 until taking early retirement in 1985. He was a Visiting Professor at Cambridge 1976–77, and held the Chair of Australian studies at Harvard 1984–85. He was appointed CMG in 1982, fellow of the British Academy in 1983 and Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991. The British Academy awarded him the Grahame Clark Medal in 1999, and the Australian Archaeological Association the Rhys Jones Medal in 2004.
Salon asked Fellows and former colleagues who knew Mulvaney to add their own impressions of a remarkable man.
Robin Derricourt FSA says ‘It is hard to over-estimate John’s role as the founding father of professional and academic archaeology in Australia.’ Derricourt signed up his autobiography shortly before leaving UNSW Press. ‘While written with modesty’, he says, ‘it does serve as a reminder of John’s role as “the first university-trained prehistorian to make Australia his subject” – Gordon Childe FSA, of course, having been interested in other parts of the world only. Last year I passed John Mulvaney’s photo hanging in the corridor of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra, of which Mulvaney was a former chairman (and for 18 years a council member), and a junior staff member mentioned she was often seeing him in the library – though I doubt she knew he was still working around the age of 90.’
‘I visited John two weeks ago,’ says Matthew Spriggs FSA. ‘He was weak but still alert, and entertained me with stories about being lectured at Cambridge by Dorothy Garrod FSA in her last year as Disney Professor. In turn I told him about recent advances in radiocarbon dating that may allow dates to the single year, recalling John's own pioneering article about the then-new technique of radiocarbon, which he published I believe in 1952. Strangely paralleling Gordon Childe's publication career, John's first academic publication in 1949 was on the history of the Australian Labor Party. Childe's first book was of course titled How Labour Governs (1923).’
‘I think two matters should be stressed about John’s significance’, says Peter Bellwood, ‘apart from the obvious one of contribution to Australian archaeology. One is that he founded the Department of Prehistory in the former (and awfully named!) “School of General Studies” in ANU in 1972, in which I was a foundation appointment in 1973 with Wilfred Shawcross and Andree Rosenfeld. John’s original department took on Anthony Forge as Professor of Social Anthropology in 1974, together with Isabel McBryde in Archaeology and Colin Groves as Foundation Lecturer in Biological Anthropology in the same year. That original department is nowadays the more aptly named School of Archaeology and Anthropology in the College of Arts and Social Sciences in ANU.
‘The second point to note is that John undertook research with R.P. Soejono in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the late 1960s. This was very important for me, and no doubt led to my appointment in 1973. It thereby led to a regular presence of Southeast Asian archaeology in the university beyond the existing focus on Australian and Pacific archaeology. It also led to a steady stream of graduate students from Asian countries into the department led by John and his successors.
‘John was always very supportive of his staff and had little time for unnecessary bureaucracy. He was a person who could always see the wood beyond the trees.’
‘It was John’, says Colin Groves, ‘who decided that his new Department of Prehistory should become not only a Department of Prehistory and Anthropology, but should follow the British three-field model. To this end, he converted a new post in archaeology which he had been allocated into a lectureship in Biological Anthropology, to which I was appointed. He is therefore responsible for my presence here in ANU!
‘When I was convalescing from a critical illness last year, I got a phone call from him. “I want to come to see you,” he said. And he came, and we chatted for quite a while. At 89, he was healthy and chirpy – in fact, at that time I wondered whether he would outlive me! As an indication of what a popular lecturer he was, I like to quote something written on one of the student assessments a couple of years before he retired: MULVANEY MUST NOT BE PERMITTED TO RETIRE!’
‘I do believe in the common humanity’, he told Pamela Jane Smith in 2000. He was concerned about Aboriginal assertions of being separate from the rest of the world. ‘If, in fact, there were a totally separate creation, the whole thing about rules, about United Nations and how you treat… we are all one human race. Slavery is wrong. When the Southern States were defending slavery, they ran the line that Negroes were a separate creation. They had no relation to white society. They were subhuman, and we get back to that unless we accept the rule of a common humanity, and that the best way we can handle it is through the UN; and if you are an archaeologist or interested in history, the best way to do that is through bodies such as UNESCO with its concept of world heritage.’
And finally, a reflection from Mike Smith FSA, whose The Archaeology of Australia’s Deserts won the John Mulvaney Book Award in 2013.
‘I first met John Mulvaney in 1971, as a schoolboy archaeologist working on the Roonka dig for the South Australian Museum. He visited our workroom in Adelaide one evening, neatly dressed in a conservative jacket and tie. At first, I took him for a civil servant or government official. However, within 18 months, I was writing to John at the Australian National University for career advice.
‘In 1974, I made the long bus trip to Canberra, with a backpack, to study in his department. At that time, the ANU was the only Australian university to offer a major in prehistoric archaeology. John held the Foundation Chair in Prehistory at the ANU, and it was through his advocacy that prehistoric archaeology had become part of the tertiary curriculum. Arriving during O-Week, I called in to see Professor Mulvaney. “There's no future in archaeology you know,” he warned, then added “but I suppose there's no point in telling you that.” There were, in fact, few jobs for archaeologists in the 70s. John argued that archaeology was worth studying simply because it was “a good general education, probably the best you could get.”
‘Nevertheless, he trained a generation of Australian archaeologists, many of whom went on to have distinguished careers themselves. At the ANU, those who made it into the Honours stream did extra courses to equip them for research, with instruction in the analysis of stone tools, animal bone, human osteology, surveying, archaeological illustration and photography. The course on stone tool analysis was particularly daunting, as part of the final exam involved a one-on-one interview with the “god professor” in his office, where he would present you with a series of artefacts and ask, “What can you tell me about these?” To my cohort of students, he was known as “Mullers”. I was 30 – and a professional archaeologist myself – before I could bring myself to call him “John”. On the phone, I had the strong urge to click my heels and salute. But there was nothing imperious about John, he was just formal and socially reserved. As we both got older, respect broadened into friendship. I found him to be a man of absolute integrity. Never self-seeking, he rarely allowed himself any flamboyance, and he was careful in his judgements, never overegging his results or assessment of an issue. This invariably gave his statements extra weight.
‘Although I worked on the Lake Mungo digs in the 1970s, I was too late to see John in action in the field. I came to know “John the field archaeologist” through his publications. He was a fine excavator, and his sites were masterpieces of analytical digging. Amongst his many other achievements, John fundamentally changed the way archaeological fieldwork was practiced in Australia, producing the first guide in 1968 (Australian Archaeology: A Guide to Field and Laboratory Techniques). This was a book I had pored over as a schoolboy enthusiast. His digging had coincided with the development of radiocarbon dating, and he was quick to appreciate the new opportunities for exploring Australia’s hunter-gatherer past.
‘By the time I arrived at ANU, John was moving from 20 years as a pioneering field archaeologist to public administration and advocacy. This shift was accelerated by what he felt was the self-righteous attitude of the “new archaeology”, and its dismissal of humanism. For John, archaeology was primarily a science-based humanity: the proper study was “prehistory”, archaeology was the method but not the subject. He encouraged his students to roam widely in their studies, incorporating social anthropology, geomorphology, biogeography and historical linguistics.
‘In his new role, John made fundamental contributions to The Australian Academy of the Humanities, The Australian Heritage Commission, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and the National Museum of Australia. He didn’t go in for loud lobbying in the press: his inclination was to write directly to the Minister. He had a wry sense of humour, and once said that his proudest achievement, given that he had a large family, was when he wrote to the newspapers and managed “to bring down the price of cornflakes in Canberra.”
‘As a curator at the National Museum I had to work on a broader canvas than archaeology alone – and I have come to a better understanding of how john’s fieldwork, advocacy and writings, changed the historical imagination of a nation. His 1969 book The Prehistory of Australia, opened with a memorable statement: “The discoverers, explorers and colonists of the three million square miles which are Australia, were its Aborigines.” After the Lake Mungo discoveries, the notion of an immensely long and vivid Indigenous past was generally acknowledged, and quickly became a fundamental part of the way Australian history is viewed. This seems so self-evident today that it is hard to imagine that it was not always so.’
Photos show Mulvaney (above, at right), in the early 1970s at a key archaeological site at Lake Mungo, where human remains were found dated to around 50,000 years ago (National Archives of Australia), and in 2013 (top, ANU).
The Wisdom of Fellows
In the last Salon I wrote about the Conditional Exemption Tax Incentive scheme, which offers tax breaks for owners of nationally significant heritage. The aim is to help preserve heritage for public benefit, but some argue the scheme can be exploited for private gain. It had been defended, I wrote, by Richard Compton, President of the Historic Houses Association (HHA). Ben Cowell FSA, Director General of the HHA and Deputy Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, wrote this helpful piece to put right what he sees as ‘a few inaccuracies’ in my text.
‘Conditional Exemption’, says Cowell, ‘has been a feature of the UK tax system since 1896. It was introduced to prevent important works of art from being sold off in order to meet Estate Duty bills. In 1976 an important change occurred when the Labour government of the time enabled buildings and landscapes to be exempted against capital taxation in the same way, and gave the option of establishing Heritage Maintenance Funds for individual houses.
‘Conditional exemption does not remove a tax liability. It is a deferral of tax, for as long as the owner is living and meets certain conditions (such as in relation to maintenance and public access). When the owner dies, or if the owner decides to sell the property, the tax bill is payable in full. Successors can apply to have property re-exempted on inheritance.
‘The Historic Houses Association, established in 1973 to represent private owners of historic houses, helps to promote access to these houses. Our website carries a comprehensive list of our member houses that are open for public access. We are very proud to have Kelmscott Manor as a Member of the HHA.
‘Becoming a Friend of the HHA (of whom there are now nearly 50,000) entitles you to a Pocket Guide. This serves the function of the guidebook that you suggested would be useful. Becoming a Friend of the HHA is very reasonable indeed [eg double adult at same address £72 by direct debit, Ed], and National Trust and English Heritage members get a discount in their first year. Kelmscott Manor is one of the houses free to enter for HHA Friends.
‘HHA houses welcomed 24 million visits in 2014, which is more than the National Trust received to its mansion properties last year (22 million). These visits generated over £1 billion for the UK economy. HHA houses collectively employ 41,000 people, often in rural parts of the country where employment opportunities are much needed. HHA Members face repair bills of £1.37 billion in total, of which £500 million can be described as “urgent”.
‘The tax concessions that are currently in place therefore help to promote a vital part of our heritage. They also help to raise income for the government through the tax received from the economic activity they help to promote. Many houses came to the National Trust as a result of tax agreements with private owners, such as through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme. However, it would be impossible for the National Trust, or Government itself, to take on responsibility for the maintenance of the 1,600+ houses that are members of the HHA. A far more sustainable solution therefore is for these houses to remain in private ownership, but for their repair to be incentivised through the tax system.’
Cowell wrote about the background to the Exemption Scheme in the November issue of History Today. ‘The tax burden on country house owners,’ he writes, ‘has been ratcheted up over the last two decades. Often this is an unintended side-effect of government policy: otherwise laudable, highly publicised clamp-downs on tax avoidance schemes (some involving celebrity investors) has restricted the ability of complex rural estates to diversify their activities. The imposition of full-rate VAT on the alteration of listed buildings, alongside their repair and maintenance, does little to incentivise the re-use of older properties.’
The last Salon briefly noted the involvement of John Hunter FSA in a Swindon murder and court case. Hunter writes to say that his third book on forensic archaeology was published in 2013 (Forensic Approaches to Buried Remains, written with Barrie Simpson and Caroline Sturdy-Colls), after which he ‘had hoped to slide back into the long forensic grass. However, for various reasons this particular murder case took five years to gestate, and I was reluctantly pulled back into the maelstrom of the courtroom. I had moved on to less stressful pastures – a whopping book with Ann Woodward, Ritual in Early Bronze Age Grave Goods – and renewed fieldwork in the Scottish Islands where I cut my archaeological teeth in the 1970s. Fellows (or at least those with Scottish interests) may be interested in my recent volume The Small Isles (published by Historic Environment Scotland last June) which looks at the history, archaeology and landscapes of the islands of Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum, illustrated by some superb photographs and plans undertaken by RCAHMS surveyors since the 1920s.’
‘Just to put the record straight’, adds Hunter, ‘I am an Honorary Research Fellow at Edinburgh, and Emeritus Professor at Birmingham where I held the Chair of Ancient History and Archaeology for 15 years and had been developing forensic archaeology for much longer.’
‘Thank you for the interesting paragraph on the two Permoser statuettes which have been put under a temporary export ban,’ writes Jörn Schuster FSA. ‘In it you mentioned that if the necessary funds cannot be raised, the “statuettes will to the private buyer, the Herzog Anton-Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig.” Being no expert at all in the subject of the fine art of the period in question, I merely wanted to point out that the Herzog Anton-Ulrich Museum is by no means a private individual but part of the state museums of Lower Saxony and thus a public institution which would most likely be very keen to put the objects in question on public display.’
‘Thanks very much’, writes Nicholas Stanley-Price FSA, ‘for featuring the exhibition At the Foot of the Pyramid in Salon, and for continuing to list it under 'Other forthcoming heritage events.’ This publicity has helped substantially to make the exhibition more widely known. It opened last week and has been very well received by the Rome art community and others who came from abroad specially for the event.’
The exhibition catalogue, At the Foot of the Pyramid: 300 Years of the Cemetery for Foreigners in Rome, by Nicholas Stanley-Price, Mary K McGuigan and John F McGuigan Jr, is now available, in English, Italian or German.
Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Unless indicated otherwise, tea will be served at 16.15, and the Meeting will commence at 17.00 precisely. Online ballots close at noon at the date of the scheduled ballot. At Ordinary Meetings, ballots open at 16.00 and close at 16.20. The results are read at the beginning of the Meeting.
6 October: 'Pictures in the Notitia Dignitatum', by Dr Stephen Johnson FSA (Treasurer)
13 October: 'The Red and the Dead: Reconstructing the Political Life, Activities and Networks of Vere Gordon Childe', by Dr Katie Meheux
20 October: 'Christian Symbolism on the Ardagh Chalice, an Early Medieval Masterpiece from Ireland', by Dr Niamh Whitfield, FSA
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer (email@example.com).
Forthcoming Public Events
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.
18 October: 'The Relics of Battle Abbey', by Dr Michael Carter FSA (English Heritage).
22 November: 'Motherboards and Motherloads: The Evolving Excavation of the Digital Age', by Dr Christine Finn FSA.
31 January: 'From the Dungheap to the Stars: The History of Early Gunpowder', by Kay Smith, FSA.
14 February: 'Revealing Verulamium: Community Heritage, Geophysics and the Archaeology of a Roman Town,' by Dr Kris Lockyear, FSA, and Dr Ellen Shlasko.
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.
The Society of Antiquaries of London has the largest antiquarian library in the country, with a collection spanning items from the 10th century to present day, reflecting 300 years of research and scholarship into the history and material remains of Great Britain and other countries. Our second annual Postgraduate Open Day is focused on helping students learn about the resources that can available for their postgraduate studies (aimed at students beginning or currently undertaking postgraduate study).
Postgraduate Open Day (14 October)
Find out more and reserve your place via our website (this is a FREE event, but space is limited and reservations are required).
Society Dates to Remember
The Society's Fellows' Room will be closed for the afternoon (from 14.00) on Tuesday, 4 October, and Friday, 7 October, to accommodate special meetings. We apologise for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
Burlington House Closures
The Society's apartments (including the Library and Fellows' Room) will be closed for the Christmas holidays 24 December to 2 January (inclusive).
The Society's Library will be closed on Friday, 14 October, for its second annual Postgraduate Open Day.
14 October: Postgraduate Open Day
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
2 March 2017: Archaeology at Rendlesham, Suffolk: An East Anglian Royal Settlement of the Time of Sutton Hoo by Prof Christopher Scull, FSA, a joint lecture with the Department of Archaeology of University of Exeter (14.30-15.30 at University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Laver Building, Lecture Theater 3).
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
14–16 October: The Annual Field Weekend is in Usk this year. The programme includes visits to castles at Hay-on-Wye and Usk, Llanthony Abbey, Clytha House and Gardens and other historic houses and sites in the area. For more information on this event, please contact Bob Child, FSA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at email@example.com.
18 October: Yorkshire's lost Sebastopol Trophies by Ruth Brown, FSA (18.00 at the Bar Convent, York).
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
See end for 'Call for Papers'
5–6 October: Auricular Style: Frames (London)
An international conference at the Wallace Collection will be the first dedicated to the Auricular style, centring on one of its most significant manifestations, the picture frame. Speakers currently include Karen Hearn FSA, Christopher Rowell FSA and Jacob Simon FSA. Displays to run simultaneously with the conference are planned with the Guildhall Art Gallery, and Ham House, London. Relevant topics include connections between countries, the Van Vianens, Fontainebleau, the grotesque. ‘Medici’ frames. the influence of prints, Auricular settings, craftsmanship, the style’s decline and its revivals, and more. Enquiries and submissions (300–400-word abstracts) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 29 January, 2016. Convenors Gerry Alabone FSA and Lynn Roberts, in association with the Institute of Conservation (Gilding & Decorative Surfaces Group). Early bird registration (after which prices rise) ends on 30 June.
5–16 October: Exhibition: William Stukeley Drawings (Spalding)
The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society presents an important exhibition at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, Spalding. The drawings have recently been cleaned, conserved and mounted under a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is the first time they have ever been displayed in public. They are beautiful in their own right, examples of a skill that used to be common before photography was invented. The drawings are important for several reasons, not least for the light they shed on Stukeley's role in shaping the evolution of garden design in 18th-century Britain.
• On 7 October John F H Smith FSA will lecture at Spalding Grammar School, on New Discoveries on William Stukeley's Houses and Gardens. The drawings are personal, and depict Stukeley's homes at Holbeach, Grantham, Stamford and Kentish Town, and include family portraits. They were acquired in the 19th century by Sir Thomas Phillipps, but then disappeared and were thought lost. Recent research has shown that they came to Spalding in 1910 and were bequeathed to the Gentlemen’s Society about 1950.
7–8 October: Sir Walter Scott the Antiquary (Edinburgh/Melrose)
* This event has been cancelled, and will be rescheduled for a later date in 2017.
8 October: Environment and Society in the First Millennium A.D. (London)
A conference in the Society of Antiquaries Meeting Room, Burlington House (09.15–18.00) taking a Mediterranean-wide approach, setting climate or pollen data into the wider first millennium A.D., greening the countryside and so making rural surveys meaningful. A panel of international speakers includes Stephen Rippon FSA. To register write to M.Mulryan@kent.ac.uk before 5 October.
8 October: Church Visits: Autumn Study Day (Essex)
Essex historian Christopher Starr FSA will be in situ to talk about four Medieval churches in central Essex: St Mary & St Lawrence, Great Waltham; St Martin, Little Waltham; St John the Evangelist, Little Leighs; and St Mary, Great Leighs. Contact Susan Clark-Starr, Friends of Essex Churches Trust, phone 01787 242121 or 07956 463628, or email email@example.com. See online for details.
10/11 October: Sometimes all that Glitters is Gold: The Tomb of the Griffin Warrior at Pylos (Cambridge and London)
The Tomb of the Griffin Warrior, Pylos, Greece, is a spectacular find that matches contemporary graves such as those Heinrich Schliemann dug at Mycenae, while helping to explain the Cretan connections with the south-west Peloponnese and the rise of the site that later hosted the Mycenaean palace. The Faculty of Classics and McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, are delighted to announce the first full presentation in the UK of this remarkable discovery. Jack Davis FSA and Sharon Stocker (Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati) will speak on 10 October at 5 pm at the Faculty of Classics, to be followed by a reception. This is anticipated to be a popular lecture. To reserve your place please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 3 October. The speakers will deliver a similar fund-raising address in London, on 11 October, at the Hellenic Centre, 16–18 Paddington Street, for the Anglo-Hellenic League. See online for tickets.
14–16 October: 1066: Interpreting the Norman Conquest in 2016 (London)
In this 950th anniversary year, a conference on the Norman Conquest is to be held by the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, running from the day of the battle. The conference is intended for a general audience, but the contributions will be delivered by prominent experts, including David Bates FSA, author of a forthcoming biography of William the Conqueror, and Elisabeth van Houts, who has edited and translated several Anglo-Norman chronicles and has published on women and gender in the Middle Ages. Subjects will include the background to the Conquest, arms and armour, architecture, landscape, government, aristocracy, the church, society, the Bayeux Tapestry and the task of studying the period today. To register interest and obtain further information please contact email@example.com or call 0113 220 1888.
15 October: 1066 Battle of Hastings (Southampton)
The University of Southampton is holding a 1066 Battle of Hastings Lifelong Learning study day. Speakers will include David Hinton FSA, Leonie Hicks, Catherine Clarke, Nicholas Karn FSA and Dan Spencer. Full details can be found on online.
15 October: The Age of Luxury: the Georgian Country House c 1700-1820 (Lewes)
Between 1700 and 1820 old houses were transformed and new ones built, some on a spectacular scale by owners who would now be regarded as multi-millionaires. The influence of the Grand Tour on country house owners was considerable, not least as many of them travelled abroad themselves, seeing European fashions at first hand. This Saturday conference chaired by Maurice Howard FSA address such aspects of the Georgian country house. Speakers include Sally Jeffery FSA on the influences on early Georgian garden design, Geoffrey Tyack FSA on architecture and planning, Susan Bracken FSA on interiors and Jonathan Yarker of Lowell Libson on the Grand Tour. Other topics include servants, guidebooks and how such spending was paid for.
The Age of Luxury is part of a series of day conferences organised by Sue Berry for the Sussex Archaeological Society at Lewes. New ideas from Fellows are welcomed (and she is seeking an expert on the impact of the Reformation on the English Parish Church). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Speakers are paid a fee and expenses and can bring a friend free. The watercolour by J. Lambert of Lewes (1780, detail) shows Newick Place near Lewes, the home of Lady Vernon (Sussex Archaeological Society).
19 October: The Power behind the Throne: William, Lord Hastings (d 1483) and his Chantry (Windsor)
This year’s Maurice and Shelagh Bond Memorial Lecture will be delivered by John Goodall FSA, and will commence at 7pm in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Attendance will be free, but is by named ticket only. Applications for tickets should be made to The Chapter Office, Windsor Castle, Berkshire SL4 1NJ, listing the names of all those requesting tickets and enclosing a stamped addressed envelope, by Friday 7 October 2016. Tickets and photographic ID will be required to gain entry to the lecture.
19 October: Shakespeare, the Earls of Derby & the North West (Prescot)
Knowsley Hall is hosting an international symposium in association with Liverpool John Moores University and Shakespeare North, organised by Stephen Lloyd FSA. Leading scholars of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre culture will mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, and reveal new research and interpretation about the deep involvement of the Earls of Derby and other members of the Stanley family in the world of Shakespearean theatre, especially in the north-west. See online for details.
21–23 October: The Neolithic of Northern England (Carlisle)
This conference at Tullie House Museum hopes to bring much new and exciting work in the North of England into the mainstream of Neolithic studies. An outstanding group of speakers includes Richard Bradley FSA, Alison Sheridan FSA, Clive Waddington FSA, Gill Hey FSA, Alex Gibson FSA and Andrew Fitzpatrick FSA. See the Royal Archaeological Institute’s website for details.
26 October: Wigber Low (Ashbourne, Derbyshire)
John Collis FSA will give a lecture on the Bronze Age and early Medieval burial mound at Wigber Low, Derbyshire, at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, DE6 1EP. Professor Collis led excavations at the site in the 1970s and made an award-winning film there on excavation techniques. The talk is part of Ashbourne Treasures, a community project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. See online for tickets and details.
26 October: The Arundel Choirbook and Tudor Polyphony (London)
A concert in the Great Hall, Lambeth Palace, followed by a reception. Created in 1525, the Arundel Choirbook is one of very few part-books to have survived the Reformation. It reveals a wealth of extraordinary music and is one of the jewels of the collection of Lambeth Palace Library. In a rare performance, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen will perform pieces by Ludford and Fayrfax, complemented with works by Sheppard, a younger contemporary of Fayrfax. For tickets (£60) phone 01904 651485, email email@example.com or see online for full details.
29 October: Romans and Natives in Central Britain (Grassington, N Yorks)
This one day conference at the Devonshire Institute will review the evidence, in the highlands on either side of Hadrian’s Wall, for interaction between native groups and their Roman conquerors. Contributors include Fraser Hunter FSA, Pete Wilson FSA, Tony Wilmott FSA, Dave Went FSA, Richard Tipping, Sonia O’Connor FSA and John Cruse FSA. See online for details.
7 November: Beatrice de Cardi Lecture (London)
This annual event will take place at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, this year preceded by a celebration of the life of Beatrice de Cardi FSA, at 2.30–4 pm. Following the CBA's Annual General Meeting for 2016, the presentation of the Marsh Archaeology Awards and a drinks reception, at 6.30 pm Mark Knight, Must Farm Site Director from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, will talk about the ongoing exciting discoveries at Must Farm. Details and booking online.
November 2016–June 2017: Lectures on the History of English Architecture (London)
Simon Thurley FSA is giving a series of free lectures in his capacity as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, a positon created in 2009 for his continuing lectures on the history of English architecture. They will take place at the Museum of London, and will be accessible to the general public on a first come first served basis, beginning promptly at 6pm. The lectures are:
2 November 2016: Saving the Twentieth Century
How far can experimental buildings of the 1960s and '70s be altered for new uses? Should there be new rules for a new era of conservation?
7 December 2016: Tough Choices: Heritage or Housing?
The one built environment issue on which there is political consensus is an urgent need to build more houses. Housebuilding and heritage can be reconciled, but at the moment far too few local authorities know how to do it.
1 February 2017: Perfection or Pastiche? New Buildings in Old Places
The blight of the concrete municipal buildings of the 1960s and 70s in the historic centres of our cathedral cities is all too familiar. Everyone wants to avoid the same mistakes being made again, but can we reconcile old and new in our historic cities?
8 March 2017: The Value of Heritage and the Heritage of Value
There was a time when old places were valued simply for their beauty and interest, but now this is not enough. Are calculations of the financial contribution of our history adding to the value of our heritage or have they fundamentally devalued it?
7 June 2017: Fifty Years of Conservation Areas (Simon Thurley and Desmond Fitzpatrick FSA)
The first Conservation Areas were designated in 1967, today at the golden anniversary there are some 10,000 sites. The presentation will explore the origins, variety and some challenges for the future.
26 November: Romantic Antiquarianism: A Conference Celebrating Scott's The Antiquary (London)
A day conference organised by Fiona Robertson and Peter Lindfield at the Georgian Group, 6 Fitzroy Square, celebrates the bicentenary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Antiquary, by looking at the multi-faceted nature of antiquarianism in Georgian Britain. Leading scholars from across the UK will gather to present new and engaging material on the topic, including Rosemary Sweet FSA. See online for details.
26 November: ‘What the Romans built for us’ in Kent (Canterbury)
The importance of Roman villas in the landscape and history of Kent will be the theme of a one-day conference sponsored by the Kent Archaeological Society (KAS) in association with the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies, University of Kent, to be held at Rutherford College. Speakers include Edward Biddulph FSA and Keith Parfitt FSA. Application form on the KAS News & Events page.
27–28 November: The Destruction Of Books (London)
This year’s 38th Annual Conference on Book Trade History, at Stationers' Hall, Ave Maria Lane, is concerned with the attrition and loss of books and manuscripts. Speakers will explore misfortunes that can befall books, ranging from accidental or wilful destruction of books to the cutting up and re-use of text and pictures. The impact of book-trade practices and changing fashions in collecting, with the recycling of paper and parchment and the rebinding of books, will form another major theme. Speakers include Brian Cummings FSA, John Goldfinch FSA, Christopher de Hamel FSA, Giles Mandelbrote FSA and Nicholas Pickwoad FSA. See online for full details.
12 December: ‘Business as Usual’: The Great War and the Ceramics Trade (London)
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology’s Geoff Egan Memorial Lecture 2016 will be given by David Barker, at the Society of Antiquaries, Piccadilly, at 7pm. The lecture considers the impact of events of 1914–1919 on British manufacturing industries. The pottery industry was not alone in feeling the effects of labour shortages – and the need to fill male roles with women workers – and it suffered from the closure of markets, shortages of raw materials and difficulties in pursuing the all-important export trade. The lecture will be preceded by the SPMA’s AGM at 5.30pm and a wine reception at 6pm. See online for details.
12 January 2017: Grave Disturbance in Early Medieval Europe (Stockholm)
An international symposium to be held at the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, organised by Alison Klevnäs, who won the Kent Archaeological Society's Hasted Prize in 2011 for her Cambridge PhD on the symposium’s theme. One of the most intriguing chapters in early Medieval archaeology is an outbreak of grave disturbance from Hungary to England, peaking in the seventh century. Thousands of recent burials were reopened and rifled, with grave goods and human remains removed or scattered. This will be the first conference on Merovingian-period grave disturbance since 1977. Substantive new research is being carried out into this phenomenon in England, Germany, France, the Low Countries, and Austria. See online for more information.
21 January 2017: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The programme and booking form for the seventh in this conference series are available. The conference will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, and many of the speakers are Fellows. For more information, please contact Paula Henderson FSA (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Claire Gapper FSA (email@example.com).
18 February 2017: The Man who Collected Oxfordshire (Oxford)
A day school at Rewley House, exploring the life and collections of Percy Manning (1870–1917). Manning amassed an enormous wealth of materials covering the whole county, which he gave to Oxford University, where they are held by the Bodleian Libraries and the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums. His collections range from prehistoric to modern times, from Stone-age implements and truncheons to historical records, plans and drawings. Kate Tiller FSA will chair a panel of five speakers. See online for details.
Call for Papers
3–4 November: Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Conference 2016 (Worcester)
The Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Conference will take place at The Hive, offering an opportunity to network with colleagues while hearing about and discussing the latest developments in the field. This year’s theme is ‘A World of Archaeology: from local to global’. Have you worked on projects with international partners? Do you work on a World Heritage Site? Do you engage overseas audiences online? Or do you concentrate on working with local communities, and use imaginative approaches to open up the world? Gail Boyle FSA, Chair of the Society, says they would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to share the innovative ways they work with archaeological collections. Please send proposals or queries to the Society’s Secretary Kat Baxter at firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 July.
21 January 2017: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
This seventh conference in a series will be held at the Society of Antiquaries. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for 30-minute long papers. While the emphasis remains on new developments in architecture, we welcome proposals on related themes, such as decorative arts, gardens, sculpture and monuments. The proposals should be submitted by mid-August and the final programme will be announced in September. For further information, please contact Fellows Paula Henderson FSA (email@example.com) or Claire Gapper FSA (firstname.lastname@example.org).
31 March–2 April 2017: Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress 2017 (Hull)
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology is building on the success of its 50th Anniversary Congress in Sheffield with a similar event in Hull as it celebrates being UK City of Culture. The event is open to all researchers at any stage of their career, whether academics, students, commercial or community archaeologists, to report recent research on any aspect of post-medieval/historical archaeology. We encourage contributors to offer 15-minute papers or poster displays which will be grouped by the organisers into themed sessions. Please send offers of papers (title and abstract of up to 150 words) to Harold Mytum FSA by 1 December, at email@example.com. Further information about the conference is available online.
19–21 April 2017: Archaeology: A Global Profession (Newcastle)
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists’ annual conference and training event will be hosted at the University of Newcastle next year. The three broad themes are professionalism, protection and discovery. Archaeology should be without borders, and professional archaeology must be without borders. We hope the conference will provide an opportunity to report on some of the progress made and to explore both the opportunities and difficulties of professionalising across borders. Deadline for proposals 14 October 2016. See online for further details.
May 17–18 2017: Archaeology and History of Lydia from Early Lydian Period to the Late Antiquity (Izmir, Turkey)
This symposium will take place at the Dokuz Eylul University. Lydia was an ancient region, located in inner western Anatolia, and compared to the coastline of western Asia Minor its archaeology is not well known. We warmly invite contributions by scholars and graduate students from a variety of disciplines of ancient classical studies related to this region. The aim of the symposium is to report on the state of research concerning Lydia between the 8th century BC and 6th century AD. See online for details.
Project Manager: Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future
Invitation to submit an offer for Project Management Services for a major conservation-led development project at Kelmscott Manor.
The Society of Antiquaries of London has been awarded a first-round pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), offering a development grant as contribution toward Phase 1 work for the scheme to explore the history of Kelmscott through the eyes of William Morris. The Society wishes to appoint a Project Manager to manage Phase 1 (November 2016 to December 2017), the development stage, as well as preparation and assembly of the second round application to HLF. The role of the Project Manager will be generally to manage and co-ordinate the overall project on behalf of and in the best interests of the Society, liaising as necessary with third parties involved with project delivery.
You should have experience in project management of complex heritage projects.
How to Apply: Visit the Society's website and download and read the Project Manager Brief and supporting materials, and submit your offer for Project Management Services to John Lewis, General Secretary before 17.00 on Monday, 17 October 2016. Interviews will be held 1 November and 2 November 2016.
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is appointing three Commissioners, to help us deliver the best possible historic environment services for the people of Wales. Closing date 12 October 2016.
The Commission is the unique, independent national archive and investigation service for Wales, dedicated to the authoritative recording and interpretation of our rich historic environment. Founded by Royal Warrant in 1908, we now receive our principal funding from the Welsh Government. We’re now looking to grow and develop our organisation for the future, with people to join our Board of Commissioners who are prepared to help direct, challenge and constructively review our work. We’re committed to strengthening and diversifying our board, and so are looking for new members who have direct experience or expertise at a senior and/or strategic level in one or more of these areas: development of IT strategies; archaeology, particularly industrial archaeology; and working with communities, particularly hard-to-reach groups.
See online for further details, or contact the Shared Service Helpdesk on 029 2082 5454 or at SharedServiceHelpdesk@wales.gsi.gov.uk.
Carlisle Cathedral wishes to appoint a Cathedral Archaeologist. Closing Date for expressions of interest 24 October 2016.
The appointee will be responsible for this statutory role for the 4.5 acre Cathedral precinct, which contains seven Grade I and four II* Listed Buildings, and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. For full details see online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.