Is this email not looking the way it should? Click here to view it in your browser.

Salon: Issue 416
30 October 2018

Next issue: 13 November

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

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

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

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future

The Society receive £4.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards Kelmscott Manor. 

As described in detail in previous editions of Salon, in June the Society submitted its Stage 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £4.3 million to support the delivery of our Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present & Future project.
In August the Society secured planning permission and Listed Building Consent for our proposals. I am now delighted to inform Fellows that the Society has been successful in securing an award of £4.3 million from Heritage Lottery Fund to support the delivery of our Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present & Future project. The grant, together with over £700,000 raised through donations by Fellows, supporters and funders will secure Kelmscott Manor its internationally important collections for future generations.  This represents the largest single injection of funding into the Society in its history.
In brief, the project will enable:
  • urgent repairs to the fabric of the Manor itself and our barns and outbuildings
  • Improvements to visitor parking and facilities such as ticketing, café and toilets
  • The use of the South Road Barn as the new visitor welcome building where people can purchase their tickets and be introduced to the deeper history of the Manor
  • The construction of a new thatched learning building which will provide us with, for the first time, the facilities to reach out to school and community groups and engage them with the Society’s mission to conserve and explore the remains of the past
  • Improved display and interpretation around the estate and in the house, including an expanded exhibition room and archive storage and research room
  • Improved environmental conditions for our displays and collections in the Manor
  • A three-year community archaeology programme to explore the ancient history of our estate and the landscape around Kelmscott
  • Support for three key new staff for three years to deliver the activities, manage visitors and volunteers and develop financial sustainability.
We will shortly embark on a three-year programme of works and activities, starting in January 2019 with improvements to our car park. The repairs to the outbuildings, visitor facilities and the construction of the learning centre will be completed in 2020 and works to the Manor House itself will be finished in May 2021; an auspicious date as it marks the 150th anniversary of William Morris first arriving at Kelmscott Manor. During the period of the works we intend to continue to welcome visitors during our open seasons so that they can learn about the history of the buildings, the way they are constructed, and the techniques used in modern conservation and repair.
The project has been a true collaboration of many staff, Fellows, volunteers, supporters and specialist consultant over the last eight years. In particular I would like to thank the efforts of our staff at Kelmscott, particularly our Property Manager Gavin Williams and Heritage Manager Kathy Haslam. Our Head of Development, Dominic Wallis, has worked tirelessly to raise the funding for the project and without his efforts none of this would have been possible.
John Maddison FSA and Merlin Waterson FSA produced a ground-breaking conservation plan which moved the project forward and our Honorary Curator Peter Cormack FSA has been integral to the development of our thinking about Kelmscott. Our Project Board, consisting of Fellows and staff steered the project through the Design phase of the project with great skill. The project has now spanned the terms of three Presidents. Maurice Howard FSA was a tower of strength and support in the early days of planning the project and in improving the normal operation of the Manor. Gill Andrews FSA's contribution to developing the project and our successful application to HLF can not be overstated and it is doubtful if we would have been successful without her contribution. Our current President, Paul Drury FSA will officiate over the challenges of implementing the main phase of the project, and I, as chair of the Project Board, will continue to oversee the work of our excellent specialist team of consultants, architects and designers.
The Society is extremely grateful to all the many Fellows and Supporters who have helped us begin this journey, from the fundraising Auction for Kelsmcott Manor in 2014 to ongoing the fundraising Campaign which began in May 2017. 
Our special thanks goes to the Kelmscott Manor Campaign Group: Geoffrey Bond OBE DL FSA, Peter Cormack MBE FSA, Claire Donovan FRSA FSA, Philippa Glanville OBE FSA, Jack Hanbury-Tenison DL FSA, Martin Levy FSA (Chairman), Alan Lovell DL FSA, Janie Money, Sandy Nairne CBE FSA, Cherry Peurifoy, Heather Sebire FSA and Jeremy Warren FSA for their continued support in helping us raise funds for Kelmscott Manor’s future. The Campaign Group and Dominic Wallis will be continuing their efforts in order to raise the last £800,000 we need to meet our target.
Looking forward, the project provides the Society with a unique opportunity to showcase the disciplines which are at the core of our Society and to be able to engage the public with a love of the past in all its forms; a love that is central to the Society of Antiquaries and which was pivotal to William Morris as one of our Fellows.
John S.C. Lewis FSA
General Secretary

Our General Secretary spoke to Mark Brown at the Guardian & Kirsty Lang at BBC Front Row about our Heritage Lottery funding news. You can read the Guardian article here & listen to the Front Row interview here (24minutes in)

Back to the beginning of the report

Digisation Project 

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

New Exhibition at Burlington House 

A new display from the Library and Museum collections has been installed in the Council Room at Burlington House. Over the following months we will be displaying cartoons from the collection of forty-four drawings of the 14th century stained-glass windows in the quire clerestory of Tewkesbury Abbey. They form part of the documentation of the 1923 restoration project, undertaken by the firm Kempe & Co. and led by Walter Ernest Tower FSA.

As part of ongoing conservation, the drawings will be removed from their non-archival backing and repacked.



The Late Glacial Palaeolithic 

Conference 26 November 2018

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

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

Intact Ancient Greek Shipwreck Found in Black Sea


The world’s ‘oldest intact shipwreck’ – a 23m long Greek trading vessel, recognisable from designs on ancient pottery – has been identified on the bed of the Black Sea. The ship is in deep water where it is anoxic (oxygen free) and offers good conditions for the survival of timber and other organic materials. Wood from the wreck has been radiocarbon dated to around 400 BC.
‘A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible,’ said Jon Adams FSA, Director of the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton in a press statement. ‘This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.’
Adams was a Deputy Director of the Mary Rose Project, and leads the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project with Lyudmil Vagalinsky of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Kalin Dimitrov of the Centre of Underwater Archaeology in Sozopol, Bulgaria. During the course of surveying over 2,000 sq km, the project has found some 60 shipwrecks, including a 17th-century Cossack raiding fleet and Roman trading vessels with cargoes of amphorae, as well as a Bronze Age settlement inundated by rising seas. Fieldwork concluded in September last year, and was designed to investigate environmental history, including the impact of sea-level change following the last glacial cycle. Adams has described the wrecks as a ‘bonus’.
Shipwreck discoveries are often followed by appeals to raise large sums for excavation and recovery. Much can be learned from wrecks about shipping and contemporary life, and as has been shown by the raising of the Mary Rose (which won Volunteer Led Visitor Experience of the Year in August) conserved wrecks appeal to the public. Such projects are extraordinarily expensive, however, and as decades pass it’s become apparent that the challenges of ship conservation can continue indefinitely.
Less happily, commercial salvagers looking to profit from sales of wreck artefacts often cause untold damage, and claims of getting rich and public benefit can both seem difficult to support. In July Royal Museums Greenwich, National Museums Northern Ireland, Titanic Belfast and Titanic Foundation Limited announced that they had joined in a consortium to buy 5,500 artefacts raised from the wreck of the Titanic between 1987 and 2004. The hope was that the artefacts could be researched and displayed in the UK, but in September it emerged that three hedge funds had made an opening bid of $19.5 million; a judge ruled that an auction will go ahead only if a rival bid raises the offer by $2 million. This would not have happened had the company that raised the artefacts not gone bankrupt.
Against such a background, many archaeologists will see one of the delights of the Black Sea project to be that conditions make wreck retrieval all but impossible. Rapidly developing technologies are making remote analysis and imaging ever more productive. The sites could remain intact for generations, available for study and sampling – and remote wonder.

A Century at Stonehenge

Stonehenge was given to the nation on 26 October 1918, a hundred years ago last Saturday. The gift included a triangle of downland that remains an island of public property within what is now the National Trust’s Stonehenge estate. Over the past century Stonehenge’s custodians have often been criticised for their management of the site, but who knows what would have occurred had it remained in private hands? For better or worse, the gift shaped the future of one of the world’s most famous antiquities.

Cecil Chubb had acquired the stones at auction three years before for £6,600 (he had no plans to do so, he told a journalist afterwards, ‘But while I was in the room, I thought a Salisbury man ought to buy it, and that is how it was done’). The donors were Mary Chubb and her husband, and their signatures were witnessed by George Engleheart FSA. The site’s previous owners had done their best to keep archaeologists out. Now a booklet by Frank Stevens FSA and illustrated by Heywood Sumner FSA instantly became the official guide. Within months megaliths were being concreted into place and William Hawley FSA (centre, above) began excavations on behalf of the Society which continued until 1926, the most significant ever done at Stonehenge.
Over the weekend English Heritage turned Stonehenge into a celebration of the Chubbs’ munificence. As well they should, the cynical might say: entrance fees from visitors, who last year exceeded one and a half million, having passed a million in 2010, subsidise EH’s responsibilities to other English monuments (it’s a standard business model, Kate Mavor, EH Chief Executive told me, comparing the stones’ contribution to Harry Potter helping Bloomsbury publish a wide range of titles). Cynics be damned. This was a welcoming, at times entertainingly chaotic, festival, with much to offer including new art and music commissions. Everyone I met was clearly enjoying themselves, and for the first time I can remember Stonehenge really did seem like a place for all.
Friday was Jeremy Deller’s day. It dawned, literally, with a premiere commissioned by English Heritage, a collaboration between Deller, Matt Rogers and the London Sinfonietta. Londoners may have encountered Rogers on the Underground in 2016, when the Sinfonietta performed his Displaced Duets at Victoria Line stations. The location for Of the Wonderful Nature of Air was as different as could be, the players corralled inside the stones within the open space of Salisbury Plain, under heavy, cold rain for the first performance, a brass and gong swelling of wind and emerging light. (On 7 December they will be performing another premiere, Sapiens by Mark Bowden, a saxophone concerto inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s book of the same name.)
The musicians gamely repeated their Stonehenge performance throughout the day, marching through the crowd from the Heelstone into the circle. Fortunately it was dry and clear, with bright sunshine and skies fought over by huge rolling storms that almost never quite broke. Public celebrations began with cups of tea and slices of cake – said to be 2,300 of them – dispensed for free from a marquee by the stones. The cake was cut by 100-year-old Reenie Boyce, who moved from Sussex to nearby Durrington a decade ago to be with family.
Two new plays commissioned for the event, with a touch of Horrible Histories and no B-list actors in sight, were performed beside the stones by the energetic Time Will Tell (above). Down at the visitor centre Deller’s Sacrilege found a good site for its first encounter with Salisbury Plain. The Stonehenge recreational bouncer was originally commissioned for the London 2012 Festival, when it toured the UK having been launched in Glasgow. It then went round the world, meeting its Waterloo in Australia where it was wrecked by extreme weather. Last weekend’s bouncer was privately commissioned, Deller told me, and this was its first public outing. It showed, all gleaming new with its painted lichens and swaying megaliths catching the sun against dark skies.

Deller (left) created a print series for the occasion, featuring a photo taken by Henry James in 1867, one of a set he made when he was Director General of the Ordnance Survey – the original Stonehenge photoshoot. Last June TimePix announced that it had unearthed these ‘Incredible Never-Before-Seen’ photos, hitherto ‘lost in the archives of the UK's national mapping agency’; it was privileged to be able to sell new prints licensed by the OS ‘for the very first time.’
The photos are in fact well known, and good prints can be purchased (for half TimePix’s price) from the likes of the Royal Society or the V&A. James’ image has been reborn in the hands of Deller and Fraser Muggeridge, with a nod to Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, as 100 hand water-coloured screen-prints, each slightly different: a snapshot of a celebrity that, as Heather Sebire FSA told ITV’s Robert Murphey, ‘means so many different things to so many different people.’ Deller and Muggeridge’s image was also printed on napkins that wrapped slices of cake, the mugs that served the tea and the entrance tickets to the monument. Signed screen-prints (below) can be bought online.
2018 is also a turning point for Stonehenge’s future. After much debate and consultation, Highways England has applied for a development consent order to build a 3km road tunnel under the World Heritage Site. That will play out next year, when the first of four promised monographs from the Stonehenge Riverside Project is due to appear, a century after Hawley started his excavations. Stonehenge for the Ancestors. Part 1: Landscape and Monuments, by Mike Parker Pearson FSA, Josh Pollard FSA, Colin Richards, Julian Thomas FSA, Chris Tilley and Kate Welham FSA, will reveal a mass of data that lay behind a decade of press stories. The Stonehenge discussion, as always, will move on.

Friday's photos are by me.

Celebrating Rapa Nui History and Culture

Archaeologists are celebrating another megalithic anniversary of a rather different kind. A hundred and fifty years ago on 1 November, HMS Topaze anchored off Hanga Roa, the one small settlement on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). She left the following week bearing two large stone statues, Hoa Hakananai’a and Moai Hava. A year later they arrived at the British Museum, which has them both in its collection. The anniversary is drawing fresh attention to the statues, not least from some on Rapa Nui who would like at least one of them back on the island.
Topaze, a Royal Navy 51-gun wooden screw frigate, was launched in Devonport Dockyard in 1858. Early in 1866 she left Plymouth Sound for Valparaiso. She travelled along the Chilean coast, went out to the Marquesas and Tahiti, and in October 1868 left Talcahuano for Rapa Nui. Stopping at the Juan Fernandez and Ascension Islands on the return journey, she arrived in Plymouth on 16 August 1869, where, noted Lt Colin Dundas, the weather was ‘very fine, but very warm’.
The Topaze was broken up in Greenwich in 1884, but her figurehead was saved, and is now in the collection of Plymouth City Council, loaned by the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The great carving is one of the first to be treated by Orbis Conservation in a project to conserve all 14 historic figureheads that will hang in the entrance hall to The Box, opening in Plymouth in 2020. There turned out to be little wood left of Topaze (seen here before conservation), though Orbis has been able to save most of the carved outer shell.
For over a century Hoa Hakananai’a, one of the 100 objects with which Neil MacGregor FSA told a history of the world, was more noted by artists and writers than archaeologists. This changed when Jo Anne Van Tilburg published a monograph about HMS Topaze and Rapa Nui statues in 1992. More recently I worked with James Miles, Hembo Pagi and Graeme Earl FSA to digitally model the statue for a detailed consideration of its carvings (‘Hoa Hakananai’a: a new study of an Easter Island statue in the British Museum,’ Antiquaries Journal 94, 2014). Our research continues.
This summer Miles supplied data to make possible a full-scale physical replica of the statue (in progress, right), which was made in California for an exhibition in Hawai’i, Rapa Nui: the Untold Stories of Easter Island. Opening in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, on 3 November, this is the museum’s first showing of its extensive ethnology and archival collections from Rapa Nui, made during the later 19th and early 20th centuries. A complementary exhibit Ka U‘i: Contemporary Art from Rapa Nui will feature works by eight Rapa Nui-based artists who explore Rapanui identity, politics, the environment and ancient art through contemporary media. And two new books are being published, one about the Alfred Métraux Photographic Collection from Rapa Nui (1934–35), and the other a fully illustrated catalogue of the Rapa Nui Ethnology Collections, by Mara Mulrooney and Mokomae Tumatauenga Araki.
Meanwhile on Rapa Nui itself a concurrent exhibit, Hare Tao‘a, Hare Taŋata, will open at the Museo Antropológico Padre Sebastián Englert, from 13 November until February 2019. After the Bishop Museum exhibition closes on 5 May 2019, the model of Hoa Hakananai’a is to be given to Ma'u Henua (a community organisation which manages the Rao Nui National Park), and it is expected to be placed in the visitor centre at 'Orongo.
There has been considerable interest in Chilean media in the idea that the British Museum might be persuaded to return Hoa Hakananai’a to Rapa Nui. A delegation from the island met the Minister of Culture in Santiago, and was scheduled to visit the museum in London. I wrote a brief background blog for Apollo, noting that there are several off-island statues around the world, of which Hoa Hakananai’a is the largest, including examples in the Smithsonian Institution, the Musée de l’Homme and the Natural History Museum, Santiago. For now at least, I wrote, what is needed is dialogue: ‘Museums and collectors must research their Rapa Nui artefacts, talk to each other and especially to islanders, to break down barriers and pool expertise and curiosity.’

• Photo at top shows the crew of HMS Topaze. Commodore R A Powell (with beard, standing in white trousers, foreground left of centre) led the ship on her journey from England to the Pacific and back in 1866–69 (courtesy of Peter Klein).

Landmark Trust’s 200 ‘History Albums’ Online

The Landmark Trust has opened its 200th building (Llwyn Celyn in Monmouthshire, a 15th-century house on the lands of Llanthony Priory, sleeps 8, 4 nights from £909). To mark the occasion it has made its research reports (‘History Albums’) available online as free PDFs.
Caroline Stanford FSA, Landmark Historian, and her predecessor Charlotte Haslam had together built a library of green-bound albums documenting the character and history of each property. They are substantial studies, with typically some 100 illustrated pages of archival, archaeological, genealogical, social and economic research, as well as descriptions of restoration work.
The online archive is arranged alphabetically by house name, which, with the likes of ‘Manor Farm’ or ‘Georgian House’, can make searching tricky if you’re looking for something thematic or a house at a particular location. That can be addressed, however, and the albums emphasise the care and attention that the trust has brought to its properties, which almost by definition are of great intrinsic interest – the trust was founded in 1965 by John and Christian Smith to save smaller historic buildings below the radar of the National Trust and similar bodies.
Stanford answers questions about her research in a blog (‘Where and how do you tend to start the process?’ ‘How long does each one take?’). The albums are ‘living documents’, she says, and are often updated when new information comes to light. ‘Many of the early albums were researched and written long before the internet, so they are particularly susceptible to updates.’ Coming projects include Voysey’s Winsford Cottage Hospital and a Napoleonic-era semaphore tower.

Pictish Script was Equivalent to Ogham and Runes

The Picts enter history as annoying people on the far northern edge of the Roman empire, but otherwise pinning them down has challenged both archaeologists and historians. Place-names and historical texts nonetheless suggest a ‘Pictland’, write Gordon Noble, Martin Goldberg and Derek Hamilton FSA in the latest Antiquity, covering Scotland north of a line between Edinburgh and Oban.
Within this area are some 200 stones bearing twirly incised images, of animals – fish, eagles, bulls – and linear designs. Thirty-odd ‘core symbols’ have long attracted theories of a graphic, but apparently indecipherable, script, of which the least improbable seems to be a system of names.
The stones are traditionally said to have been made between the seventh and tenth centuries AD, but as Noble, Goldberg and Hamilton say, the chronology was largely based on ‘art-historical analysis rather than absolute or contextual dating’.
They set out to improve this with radiocarbon dating and Bayesian (statistical) modelling, especially from an enclosure complex at Rhynie in Aberdeenshire, where Noble directed five years of research excavations. The result makes the stones older, and supports a new typology being developed by Goldberg: relatively simple, small and less standardised carvings began in the third century AD, and larger standing stones were raised from the late fourth century and on into the early sixth.
This inverts the old view, in which the most complex designs were said to have been the first, generated by a mythical ‘master carver’. Taking their origins back into the 200s makes the earliest contemporary with a literary world, both Mediterranean and northern, with early runic script in Scandinavia and possibly ogham in Ireland – inventions, suggest the authors, responding to Roman literacy. The meanings of the Picts’ ‘symbolic script’, however, remain elusive.
Photo shows a stone at Aberlemno (Catfish Jim/the soapdish, Wikipedia).

V&A Photography Centre is Open

The V&A Photography Centre opened on 12 October. Designed by David Kohn Architects, phase one of the centre more than doubles the V&A’s space dedicated to photography.
In one of the commissions marking the event, Thomas Ruff, a German photographer, has created a series of images inspired by Linnaeus Tripe’s 1850s paper negatives of India and Burma, held in the V&A’s collection. The major opening display is Collecting Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital, which explores photography, says a press release, as a way of ‘collecting the world’, from the medium’s invention in the 19th century to the present. Over 600 objects made in Europe, the US, Africa, the Middle East and Asia have been brought together, with prints from the likes of Isabel Agnes Cowper and Eadweard Muybridge, to Bill Brandt, Cindy Sherman and Martin Parr. Films can be viewed in the Dark Tent.
The development opens up three 19th-century picture galleries in the V&A’s North East Quarter. A second phase, planned to open in 2022, will include a teaching and research space, a browsing library and a studio and darkroom for photographers’ residencies.
The V&A holds the National Collection of the Art of Photography. It has collected photographs since its foundation in 1852, but its holdings were dramatically augmented when the Royal Photographic Society collection was transferred by the Science Museum Group in 2017, and acquired with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund.
• Hawkhurst Church, Kent (right), an albumen print from paper negative, was photographed by Benjamin Brecknell Turner (1815–94). When it was exhibited at the Royal Society of Arts in 1852, he titled it A Photographic Truth. Known for his photos of rural England, Turner was one of the first, says the V&A, and remains one of the greatest, of all British photographers. Between 1852 and 1854 he compiled 60 of his photos under the title Photographic Views from Nature.

Shuffling Around in a Fog to Brexit

‘Losing EU funding would mean that British archaeology would shrink,’ Chris Gosden FSA told the Guardian (16 October). ‘Our discipline has had a great 50 years. It is really sad to think that in 10 years it could be much smaller.’ Gosden is Director of the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford. The Institute has been awarded 10 major European Research Council grants since 2007, he told Anna Fazackerley, allowing researchers to work on an otherwise impossible scale ‘We are all desperately hoping it will sort out,’ he said, ‘but we haven’t got a plan B.’
‘How hard can it be,’ asked Clive Gamble FSA, in a letter to the Guardian responding as President of the Prehistoric Society (18 October), ‘for the government to stop its Brexit dithering for a moment and remove the planning blight surrounding EU research funding? … the crisis looming in two years’ time threatens to sweep away our status as a world leader in deep history.’
‘The value of our EU funding is not just monetary,’ continued Gamble. ‘In its explicit support for blue-skies research, it is a rare funding resource. It encourages archaeologists to explore the potential of cutting-edge technologies applied to new evidence from the field and museum archives, and all driven by original questions about who we are and where we came from. The results of this deep human history point to the binding power of connections across continents.’
Similar pleas came from a wider field of scientists. On 22 October Beth Thompson, the Wellcome Trust’s head of UK and EU policy, claimed that the international movement of researchers is key to science. ‘After Brexit, the government needs to consider how to deal with the movement of researchers because it is such a fundamental factor in the way good science works and is so important to retaining the UK’s strength.’
That was the day 29 UK and other European Nobel-prizewinning scientists asked for the “closest possible cooperation” on science after Brexit, warning governments that barriers to research collaboration would hurt the whole of the EU.
In a compelling interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, Sir Paul Nurse, one of the Nobel-winning signatories, said the ‘increasing chaos around Brexit negotiations is causing huge concern among scientists.’ They face increasing difficulties travelling into and out of Britain, he said, and despite encouraging words from the Government, nothing is being done. He pushed Sam Gyimah, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, to explain where a promised £1bn help would come from. Gyimah was unable to say.

‘Britain had a leadership role because we are the best scientific nation after America,’ Nurse told the Times (27 October), ‘and we spend much less than America. So through Europe, we had a major impact on science throughout the world. We will lose that because we’ll be disconnected from the way decisions are made.’ ‘It’s our responsibility to say this is a mess,’ he added, ‘and let’s stop trying to pretend we’re 95 per cent there and it’s fine. This is an absolute mess. And if we can get rational, reasonable, moderate people together? Maybe we can work our way out of it.’
'A lot of academics feel we should have done more to fight this,' Gosden told the Guardian. 'But when you don’t know what’s going on, it’s hard to oppose. We are shuffling around in a fog.'

Photo of Chris Gosden at top is by Alecsandra Dragoi for the Guardian.

‘Racism on the Floor of the [British] Museum’

In the House of Lords on 11 October, Lord Blagg moved a motion that they takes note of Brexit’s impact on the arts. ‘From every corner comes hard evidence that Brexit will do great damage,’ he said, ‘yet we are told that the referendum cannot be challenged… It was conceived as a cynical short-term fix and executed with embarrassing ineptitude. Its begetter, David Cameron, … just scuttled off. He should not be forgiven. But why should we follow his pusillanimous example?’
Members discussed the wide benefits of the arts to the UK’s economy, culture and life, giving many informed examples of people working in the cultural and creative industries who greatly fear Brexit. Baroness Wheatcroft, until recently a Trustee of the British Museum, spoke movingly about her ‘concerns for that institution and others like it’. ‘The British Museum,’ she said, ‘employs people from all around the world. It is a museum of the world for the world, but after the Brexit vote those people encountered racism on the floor of the museum for the first time. I have spoken to people from all over the world working there who now feel less comfortable being in this country than they did and they are seriously considering whether they really want to be here.’
Viscount Younger of Leckie, whose job as a Lord in Waiting is to promote and defend Government departmental policy, emphasised that ‘this Government will never accept a second referendum. The British people voted to leave the EU and we will leave on 29 March 2019.’ Concluding, Lord Blagg noted the end of ‘a beautifully one-sided debate that leaves no room whatever for doubt’ – the speakers thought Brexit will fail the arts, and most would welcome a second vote: ‘As for the referendum being final and unassailable, nothing in a democracy cannot be reversed.’
That is what protesters thought in London on 20 October. A People’s Vote march, organised by Open Britain and the Independent newspaper, was expected to muster 100,000. The sun came out, and so did an estimated 670,00 people: the numbers meant it was more of a huge immobile crowd than a march, distinguished by thousands of hand-made signs indicating how far across the UK and often elsewhere in Europe they had come. Fellows were among them. The photo at top, taken by Andrew Gardner FSA, shows a group of past and present staff and students from UCL Institute of Archaeology, including Matt Pope FSA (on left in striped top), Steve Shennan FSA (left of Union Jack) and Peter Guest FSA and Jonathan Williams FSA (far right). ‘Happy to break out my protest sign again for today's #PeoplesVote,’ tweeted Jennifer Wexler FSA @JWexlerBM (above). Were you there? Do you support or object to the idea of a People’s Vote? Let Salon know.

• The Society does not support any particular position on Brexit, nor does it seek a second vote. See statement from July 2016.

St Fagans National Museum of History Redeveloped 

Some Fellows will remember the earlier years of the Welsh Folk Museum, set up in St Fagans, Cardiff by Iorwerth Peate FSA, encouraged by archaeologist Sir Cyril Fox FSA. Inspired by Scandinavian open-air museums, it opened in 1948, itself acting as a model for other outdoor museums in the UK such as the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex. The latter has grown into an important collection of artefacts and more than 50 historic buildings (there were three and a half when I first worked there as a schoolboy volunteer). St Fagans has recently taken a different route.
It had a similar number of buildings to the Sussex museum, including a ‘Celtic Village’ created from archaeological evidence which opened in 1992. Now, after a £30 million development, the new St Fagans National Museum of History has added facilities for visitors and schools and extended its field back into deep prehistory. ‘Apart from a few items supporting the display of Art and the Evolution of Wales at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Cardiff,’ writes Mark Redknap FSA, Head of Collections and Research at Cardiff’s Department of History and Archaeology, ‘most of our collections on display will be at St Fagans and the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon.’
The new galleries at St Fagans opened on 18 October. Wales is… displays Neanderthal remains excavated from Pontnewydd Cave by the late Stephen Aldhouse-Green FSA. Bronze Age Barrow is an experiment working with local secondary school pupils, recreating a burial monument. The decayed Celtic Village has been replaced by two roundhouses (right), based on evidence from Bryn Eryr Iron Age farmstead, with 3.4 hectares of arable fields.

‘I have been heavily involved in researching, reinterpreting and designing elements for our re-creation of Llywelyn Fawr's hall at Llys Rhosyr on Anglesey,’ says Redknap. ‘Called Llys Llywelyn, the interpretation is set in the 1230s, and gives a stunning impression of what a Welsh Medieval court may have looked like. I will be editing a popular book on how it was created, from archaeology to Guédelon-style reconstruction (albeit with a different visual quality).’ The re-creation (above) is based on archaeological excavations on Anglesey, and school parties will be able to stay overnight beneath its thatched roof.
‘We see this not as a project,’ says David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales in a press statement, ‘but as a way of working for the whole organisation, based on social justice and participation, which we will sustain and develop in the years ahead. It is the beginning of a new era at St Fagans and all of Wales’ national museums.’

Fellows (and Friends)

A further notice on the late Robin Birley FSA appears below in Fellows Remembered.

Colin Renfrew FSA invited Ben Okri, a novelist and poet, to Dhaskalio on Keros, an island in the Aegean, where he has been co-directing an archaeological excavation with Michael Boyd of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. The project has been revealing monumental architecture and technological sophistication at the dawn of the Cycladic Bronze Age. ‘Every dig is existential,’ wrote Okri in the Financial Times (19 October). ‘Excavation is simultaneously an act of destruction and revelation. Archaeologists do not always know what they have discovered. They might search for one thing and uncover something that seems insignificant now, but that future generations might recognise as important. Current knowledge is also current limitation. To save interpretable evidence for the future is wisdom.’
Luke Syson, currently the Iris and B Gerald Chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is to be the new Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. He will succeed Tim Knox FSA, who is now Director of the Royal Collection.

Four years ago there were more protected phone boxes in England than war memorials. During the First World War centenary period, Historic England, working with the War Memorials Trust, IWM, Civic Voice and volunteers, has listed some 2,600 memorials, 21 of them as Grade I. Unusual examples include a memorial to 108 people who died in an accident at the Explosives Loading Company in Kent; a commemorative water trough in Cornwall; a moorland rock in Cumbria engraved with the names of fleeing conscientious objectors; and the Promenade de Verdun in Purley, Greater London, a Lombardy poplar-lined road leading to a granite obelisk with views of five counties (pictured). ‘Over a million Britons lost their lives during the war,’ said Duncan Wilson FSA, Chief Executive of Historic England, ‘and it’s important that their sacrifice and struggle is not forgotten. By protecting and repairing war memorials we are ensuring that we remember them for years to come.’
An export licence has been issued for An Academy by Lamplight by Joseph Wright of Derby, sold to an overseas buyer for £6.3 million (£7.26 million with commission). A temporary export bar had been placed on it, but no serious intention was expressed to raise the funds.

Drawing Somerset's Past: An Illustrated Journey through History features illustrations by Victor Ambrus, with text by Steve Minnitt FSA and a forward by Tony Robinson. The book tells the story of the county’s archaeology and history from earliest times up to the 20th century, with 100 of Ambrus’s drawings, and photos of locations and archaeological objects. Ambrus, who settled in England as a Hungarian refugee in 1956, is a prolific illustrator of history, folk tales and children’s books, and appeared regularly on Channel 4’s Time Team, sketching on site during their excavations.
The Saving Treasures; Telling Stories project, a five-year partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, the Portable Antiquities Scheme Cymru and the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, has acquired its 100th object. It is a gold ring (left), engraved I LYKE MY CHOYS, found in Llangunllo Community, Powys, by Alun Crichton in 2014. In a press statement Mark Redknap FSA, Head of Collections and Research (History and Archaeology) at AC-NMW, said the ring ‘provides an important addition to our growing database of inscriptions on 17th-century posy rings, many of which were associated with marriage.’ The numbers of finds declared legally as treasure has been significantly increasing in recent years, said Adam Gwilt FSA, Principal Curator of Prehistoric Archaeology at AC-NMW, and the Saving Treasures Project Manager.

Mary Beard FSA earned herself a Press Association story and a Guardian editorial (28 October) for her Voice of the Listener and Viewer lecture about ‘what makes a good history [TV] programme’. Her answer was ‘a good argument,’ but her dismissal of ‘excruciating’ historical reconstructions featuring ‘B-list actors dressed up in sheets’ caught wider attention (she was careful to exclude ‘the excellent Lucy WorsleyFSA from her ire). The Guardian defended her point, arguing that a reconstruction can show only one view of the past, when that can often ‘be brought to life in a myriad different ways.’ Even monuments change, it says, noting Sir Arthur Evans FSA’s rebuilding at Knossos (recently highlighted by Charlotte Higgins FSA) and the re-erection of a trilithon at Stonehenge,
The Salvator Mundi, a portrait of Christ sold in 1900 by Sir John Charles Robinson FSA to Sir Francis Cook FSA and now widely accepted as the work of Leonardo da Vinci, continues to make news. It sold last winter for $450 million and was to be unveiled by the Louvre Abu Dhabi this September, but that was postponed without explanation. Writing in the Guardian (15 October) Jonathan Jones asks if the gallery is ‘taking a closer look at what it has,’ in the light of evidence that the pre-sale restoration was ‘excessive and has muffled its power’. Jones started out on this trail, he writes, when Martin Clayton FSA, Curator of Leonardo’s drawings at the Royal Library in Windsor Castle, suggested he look at an Instagram post by Thomas Campbell, former Director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York (and former Fellow). Campbell had shown a pre-restoration photo by Dianne Modestini, which the Guardian reproduces (detail right). The painting had already been partly retouched when shown to Nicholas Penny FSA, who decided to exhibit it in the National Gallery. A year later it was sold.

Fellows Remembered

The Times (18 October) and the Herald Scotland (22 October) have published obituaries of Robin Birley FSA, who died in August. Both lead on the Roman writing tablets unearthed during his excavations at the Vindolanda fort in Northumberland. ‘If I have to spend the rest of my life working in dirty, wet trenches,’ the Times quotes him as saying, ‘I doubt whether I shall ever again experience the shock and excitement I felt at my first glimpse of ink hieroglyphics on tiny scraps of wood.’ ‘Dr Birley’s scholarship was widely admired by colleagues,’ says the Herald, ‘and he wrote on the Vindolanda site and Hadrian’s Wall and appeared in the 2003 BBCTV series Our Top Ten Treasures.’
‘Tall and fit,’ says the Times, ‘Birley possessed an incredible energy. He was rarely in bed after 5am in winter and summer. After cooking a hearty breakfast for himself and his family, whom he dragged out of bed to join him, he devoted himself wholeheartedly to whatever was the task for the day, be it archaeology, research, the judiciary, politics or a mixture of any of these. He could not bear to waste a daylight hour. He was an eloquent speaker and encouraged even the youngest of his five children to participate in the “family discussion”.’
He ‘remained closely in touch with the digging at Vindolanda,’ says the Herald, ‘and was delighted when, days before his death, Roman horse shoes were discovered. He was devoted to his family and Northumberland serving on many local councils; he was also a keen supporter of the Labour Party and music lover – ranging from classical to Abba.’

The Wisdom of Fellows 

Having previously asked about a specific example (and been answered), Mark Samuel FSA has a more general question for Fellows about images:
‘The problem,’ he writes, ‘is tracking down modern images and sources (for copyright) of several images of Myrina terracotta figurines that were illustrated in Daremberg and Saglio Dictionnaire Des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines II (1892). Many of the reproduced figurines cannot now be readily sourced due to looting, wars, sales of collections. Does anyone know the whereabouts of several figurines of elephants (figs 2619, 2620, 2624, 2625) about which I have drawn a blank on the internet? Alternatively does anyone know of an expert on Myrina figurines who might help? What happened, for example to la collection Géau and the Cabinet de France? That would be a start.
‘Similar problems have beset the study of Hattaran (Indus Valley) “seal stones" found long ago, but this is now being addressed with a new catalogue raisonné reliant on old records.’

‘To (slightly) misquote Michael Gove,’ writes Matthew Bennett FSA having read about the Migration Advisory Committee’s final report on European Economic Area migration (Salon 415), ‘I think that people of this country have and enough of experts, and, I might add, of carefully prepared and rigorously analysed statistical information. How can anyone persuade this hapless government to pay attention to rational information, do you think?’
Ideas welcomed.
Roger Rosewell FSA adds this note to his piece about the wall paintings at Quatford, Shropshire in the last Salon:
‘Further to the item about a lost Romanesque wall painting in Quatford church, the full article can now be read in Carr T. and R. Rosewell, ‘Romanesque wall paintings in Quatford Church’, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society 93 (2018), 53–56. For clarification, David Park FSA was not a co-author.’

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

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

Ordinary Meetings of Fellows

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

Introductory Tours for Fellows

If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House. 

Forthcoming Public Events

Conferences and Seminars

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
  • 6 November - 'Seeing Milton's Voice, or Illustrations to Paradise Lost; a social history of Great Britain', lecture by Prof Howard JM Hanley FSA

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.

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

Welsh Fellows

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

York Fellows

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

York Antiquaries Christmas Lunch: Saturday, Dec 8th 2018

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

Other Heritage Events

30 October: Long before Brexit: Reflections on Cross-Channel Connections between the Fifth and Second Millennia BC (Bournemouth)
The Second Annual Pitt Rivers Lecture held In association with the Prehistoric Society will be given by Alison Sheridan FSA at the Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University, on the subject of cross-channel relations between Britain and France during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Details online.
30 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Details online.
3 November: Dawn: From our Earliest Ancestors to the Hunter-Gatherers of the Mesolithic (Southampton)
The Council for British Archaeology Wessex's 60th Anniversary Conference is to be co-hosted with the University of Southampton’s Department of Archaeology in collaboration with the Prehistoric Society, and will be held at the Highfield Campus. Speakers include Nick Ashton FSA, Vince Gaffney FSA, Steve Mithen FSA, Beccy Scott FSA, Julian Richards FSA, Roland Smith FSA and Chris Stringer FSA. Phil Harding FSA will chair a session, and Alice Roberts will give the keynote lecture. Details online.

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

12 November: Spencer House and the Birth of the Neo-Classical Interior (London)
Presented by Adriano Aymonino FSA, Director of Undergraduate Programmes in the Department of History of Art at the University of Buckingham, this lecture at Spencer House, St James’s Place, will focus on the birth of the Neo-Classical interior through the work of James ‘Athenian’ Stuart at Spencer House, and will offer visitors a rare glimpse into this impressive venue. Details online.
13 November: Chedworth: Excavations and Reimaginings at a Roman Villa 1864-2018 (London)
Simon Esmonde Cleary FSA will give the Roman Research Trust’s ninth biennial Joan Pye lecture in Senate House, looking at recent major advances in understanding of the Chedworth Roman Villa. In preparing the ‘final report’ of the site’s 1864 uncovering, a laser scan of the standing masonry (some of it Roman) has been combined with G E Fox’s stone-by-stone drawing of the 1880s and 19th- and 20th-century photos to revolutionise understanding of the villa. Excavations in the north wing have clarified the structural sequence, much extended the chronological range and clarified a complex history. Details online.

15 November: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce standard published reports produced by archaeologists, and how a report is planned. It will then focus on stratigraphic narrative and discussion, with a critical review of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements of writing in a professional and academic context. Details online.

17 November: The People of Roman Britain at Home and Abroad (London)
A symposium at the British Museum organised by the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and the Association for Roman Archaeology, aimed at looking at the general population of Roman Britain through the evidence of new archaeological research, notably from rural settlements and burials. The evidence for Britons working and living elsewhere in the Roman Empire will also be considered, reminding us that Britannia was truly an integrated province of the Empire. Speakers include Hella Eckardt FSA and John Pearce FSA. Details online.
17 November: Medieval Archaeology and History in England: Reflections and New Perspectives (Southampton)
A day conference in honor of David Hinton FSA will be held at the University of Southampton. Speakers include Martin Biddle FSA, Helena Hamerow FSA, Barbara Yorke FSA, Chris Woolgar FSA, Maureen Mellor FSA, Richard Hodges FSA and Duncan Brown FSA. Details online.

22 November: A Royal Treasure and its Role in the Renaissance Court: The Royal Clock Salt (London)
The Goldsmiths’ Company in collaboration with the British Museum and the Rothschild Foundation are presenting an international conference, organised by Timothy Schroder FSA and Dora Thornton FSA, celebrating the Royal Clock Salt. One of the Company’s greatest treasures, the Salt has been on loan to the BM since February 2018 and is on display in the Waddesdon Bequest Gallery. It was probably a diplomatic gift from Francis I of France to Henry VIII of England, or between two of their courtiers. It was made in Paris around 1530-35 and is attributed to the royal goldsmith, Pierre Mangot. The conference follows scientific research conducted by the museum. Details online.
24 November: Heritage and Resources in Southeast England (Lewes)
An interdisciplinary conference involving aspects of geology, archaeology and local history. Speakers will include Danielle Schreve FSA and David Rudling FSA. For details contact the organiser Anthony Brook,

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

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

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

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

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

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

28 January 2019: Domenico Brucciani and the Formation of Museums of Classical Archaeology (London)
A talk by Rebecca Wade, Assistant Curator for Sculpture, Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
1– 3 February: Chapels Royal in England: Architecture, Music and Worship from the Middle Ages to the Restoration (Oxford)
This weekend at Rewley House will explore the English Chapel Royal from the Middle Ages to the end of the Stuart period. Starting with an introduction to the Medieval chapel royal, the programme consists of three pairs of talks by architectural historians and musicologists, each considering a different period, and will conclude with an examination of the importance of preaching in the 16th and 17th centuries. Speakers include Maurice Howard FSA and Rory O’Donnell FSA. Details online.
18 February: Plaster Casts, Restoration, and the Interpretation of Classical Sculpture (London)
A talk by Emma Payne, King's College London, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
March 2019 (date TBC): Museums and Decolonisation (London)
A talk by Alice Procter, Independent Tour Guide, in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
April 2019 (date TBC): Scripting Spadework: Publishing Archaeology in the Late 19th and early 20th Centuries (London)
A talk by Amara Thornton FSA, Honorary Research Associate, UCL, the last in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.

Call for Papers

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

Antiquarian ‘Science’ in the Scholarly Society (Society of Antiquaries, London)
This is workshop two of the AHRC International Networking Grant: Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the early modern academy which will be led by Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln) and Vera Keller (Oregon) in April 2019. They will explore how ‘antiquarian science’ informed collecting in the early modern scholarly academy, as many members of these societies like astronomer Martin Folkes FSA (1690-1754) also were connoisseurs and antiquaries. We welcome papers of 25 minutes duration from established and early career scholars on the themes above. Please send an abstract of 200 words to Anna Marie Roos ( by 30 November 2018. Details online.

Research Fellowships

Warburg Institute Funded Research Fellowships are now open. 

Long-term Research Fellowships in Cultural and Intellectual History (of nine months to twelve months) for tenure during 2019-20. 

Short-term Research Fellowships in Cultural and Intellectual History (of two, three or four months) for tenure in 2019-20. 

The closing date for receipt of applications is 10 December.  Full details here


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

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

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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

Share with a friend

Like Salon: Issue 416 on Facebook


You are receiving Salon because you are a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries or because you have asked to be put on the circulation list.

Subscribe to Salon, our fortnightly e-newsletter.
Unsubscribe (WARNING: You will no longer receive Salon nor any other e-communication from the Society).
Forward this e-newsletter to a friend.

SAL logo

The Society cannot guarantee the accuracy of, or accept any responsibility for, the contents of Salon. Readers who wish to use or quote from items in Salon should always check the accuracy and current position with the source.

© 2017 Society of Antiquaries of London | Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7479 7080 | Website: