Salon: Issue 391
1 August 2017
Next issue: 18 September 2017
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 note the next edition will be published in September after a break. 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
Looking Ahead: Autumn 2017
I just wanted to draw Fellows' attention to the information regarding autumn events and activities at Burlington House for Fellows. In particular, please note the memorial services we will be holding in September for both Dai Morgan Evan, FSA
, and Geoffrey Wainwright
, Hon VPSA, which will be held on 11 September and 19 September (respectively). We'd be delighted to have you there. Please contact us to let us know you plan to attend.
Our Summer Exhibition is Now Open!
The exhibition is now officially open to the public until Friday, 25 August
, and we hope Fellows will bring family and friends to explore our collections. We are offering short, informal gallery talks on Tuesday afternoons (14.00-14.30) and two late-night openings on 11 August and 25 August with live Tudor music, Library tours, and fantastic creative workshops - completely free
We had a full house for the private view of our free summer exhibition, Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy
, which showcases our collection of medieval and Tudor royal portraits alongside material from the Library and Museum collections, including our postmortem inventory of Henry VIII and an Elizabethan map of an area near Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for supporting this project. We are delighted that a number of Fellows have given generously of their time to help write interpretation, film video highlights for objects on display and participate in special programming such as gallery talks (Tuesdays, 14.00-14.30) and museum lates (11 August and 25 August). We would particularly like to thank Fellows Mr Peter M Barber
, Dr John PD Cooper
and Prof Glenn J Richardson
, who have worked closely with Society staff to undertake research into the collections and produce the exhibition.
Plan your visit to the exhibition.
Can't make it? Watch Sir Roy Strong's introduction to the exhibition (below) and explore the objects online
Museum’s Chance to Acquire Original Essex Hoodie
Chelmsford Museum, Essex, is keen to acquire a Roman bronze figurine described by Arts Minister John Glen as ‘a fascinating representation of a distinctly British character.’ After Glen placed a temporary export bar on the object on 24 July, Nick Wickenden FSA, Museum Manager at Chelmsford, told Salon that the museum has notified the Reviewing Committee of its interest, and is hoping it can raise the recommended price of £550.
The 6.5 cm long figurine was found by a metal detectorist on cultivated land in Roxwell parish, near Chelmsford. The Portable Antiquities Scheme has designated it a find of national importance. It special interest lies in the man’s dress, says Reviewing Committee member Leslie Webster FSA, in a statement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and Arts Council England:
‘It has been suggested that he wears the distinctive birrus britannicus, or hooded British woollen cloak, which, with the quiver on his back, identifies the male figure as a hunter, suitably kitted out for cold and rainy weather.
‘Both the style and the braided decoration of the cloak is unparalleled in art, supporting the thesis that this is a unique depiction of a specifically British garment, recorded in the early fourth century AD as a significant export within the wider Roman Empire.’
Wickenden said the figurine has appeared at a fortuitous time for the museum. Early in July it was awarded a grant of £1,440,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, representing two thirds of the costs of refurbishing the old Oaklands House and other parts of the Museum. Chelmsford City Council is creating what it describes as a much-improved experience for museum visitors, with new galleries, activities and a cafe. ‘This will benefit museum visitors and the whole of our local community,’ said Wickenden, at no extra ongoing cost to the Council.’ The new galleries will feature archaeology and the story of Chelmsford.
The decision on the export licence application for the figurine will be deferred until 23 September. This may be extended until 23 November if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made.
A Life in Archaeology
Lord Colin Renfrew FSA is 80. The day before his birthday (which was on 25 July), colleagues, students, friends and family celebrated with an afternoon of talks at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. Topics covered Renfrew’s academic works, his influence on a generation of archaeologists, his excavations and fieldwork, his support of the visual arts, and his fondness for dancing.
The full list of 40 speakers from around the world can be seen online. Fellows were prominent: Graeme Barker FSA, John Bennet FSA, Cyprian Broodbank FSA, John Cherry FSA, Tim Darvill FSA, Chris Evans FSA, Charles Higham FSA, Martin Jones FSA, Caroline Malone, FSA Paul Mellars FSA, Iain Morley FSA, Lord Redesdale FSA, Jane Renfrew FSA, Colin Ridler FSA, Jeremy Sabloff FSA, Chris Scarre FSA, Anthony Snodgrass FSA, Simon Stoddart FSA, Peter Warren FSA, Malcolm Wiener FSA and Ezra Zubrow. Others included an artist (Antony Gormley, right), a poet (Ben Okri) and a television producer (David Collison).
‘It really was an inspiring day’, says Laure Bonner, Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, who helped to organise the event, ‘and Colin really enjoyed himself!’ It was all recorded, and when Bonner has edited the four hours of video, it will appear on the Department’s YouTube channel and elsewhere.
Renfrew’s extensive publications include a wide range of landmark books and highly influential papers, over decades of transformative times for the discipline. Among many honours, he was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1980; a life peer in 1991, as Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, of Hurlet in the District of Renfrew; and a Foreign Associate to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA in 1996. He has been awarded honorary degrees by the universities of Sheffield, Athens, Southampton, Liverpool, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Kent, London and Lima.
A National Buildings Record Photographer
The meticulous photography of Margaret Tomlinson FSA, who died in 1997, has been highlighted by Historic England. She was among those taken on by the National Buildings Record, in return for film and petrol coupons, to photograph historic buildings thought to be at risk during the Second World War. Based in Devon, she was well placed to record the destruction brought on Exeter by the 1942 Baedeker raids: the photos above show No 1 Dix’s Field, before and after, and below, the Church of St Mary Arches. The Historic England Archive has almost 3,500 of Tomlinson’s photos.
Raymond Sackler 1920–2017
Raymond Sackler, an American entrepreneur who made a fortune from a controversial medicinal drug, died on 17 July aged 97. He will be known to many in Britain as a sponsor of museums, galleries and academic research.
Raymond and his wife Beverly were generous philanthropists, funding institutions around the world on an almost unimaginable scale. Their most favoured UK recipients were the British Museum and Cambridge University. At the former, seven permanent Raymond and Beverly Sackler galleries were opened in the early 1990s, featuring the ancient Near East and Egypt:
Ancient South Arabia (Room 53)
Anatolia and Urartu 7000–300 BC (Room 54)
Mesopotamia 1500–539 BC (Room 55)
Mesopotamia 6000–1500 BC (Room 56)
Ancient Levant (Room 57-59)
Early Egypt (Room 64)
Sudan, Egypt and Nubia (Room 65)
Mesopotamia 1500–539 BC was described by Julian Reade FSA, then Curator, Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities, in Minerva (July/August 1993). The new gallery, he wrote, met ‘a long-standing requirement that this section of the British Museum collection, covering one of the world’s most influential civilisations … should be properly available to public view.’ He edited Egypt and Africa: Nubia from Prehistory to Islam (1991), linking to the Sudan, Egypt and Nubia gallery.
The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Seminar Rooms are among a group of lecture theatres beneath the Great Court (‘A sleek balance of functionality and style … The perfect space for seminars, presentations, brainstorming sessions, breakout space’). Since 1992 the museum has hosted the annual Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology, usually accompanied by the international Annual Egyptological Colloquium on a related theme. This year’s topic was Asyut through Time: Conflict and Culture in Middle Egypt (20–21 July), with an address given by Jochem Kahl, Free University Berlin. They also set up the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Scholar Programme for Ancient Iranian Studies, and a similar Programme for Egypto-Nubian Studies, and supported the museum’s annual Lukonin Memorial Lecture.
St John Simpson, Assistant Keeper, Middle East, told Salon that 'The very generous support which Dr Raymond and Beverly Sackler has given had a huge impact on the public galleries and scholarly activities of the British Museum, and we are indebted to them for their keen interest in and support for the Ancient Near East, Egypt and Sudan.’
Another recipient of Sackler funding in London was the Royal Academy, whose Sackler Galleries, designed by Foster + Partners (1985–91), replaced 19th-century Diploma Galleries at the top of Burlington House and improved access routes throughout the building, revealing the garden facade for the first time in over a century (above).
In Cambridge the Sacklers’ main focus was on medicine and astronomy, sponsoring the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Fund for the Physics of Medicine, a Distinguished Lecture Series and Studentships at the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Medical Research Centre, the Deep Sky Initiative Project and a Visiting Fellowship at the Institute of Astronomy, and Sackler Research Fellowships at Christ’s College, Trinity College, Churchill College and Magdalene College.
Also in Cambridge, they set up the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology in Honour of Professor Norman Hammond FSA. The first, in 2015, was given by Peter Addyman FSA on Vikings, Jorvik and public interest archaeology. This February Martin Biddle FSA spoke about Winchester and the birth of urban archaeology
Elsewhere they funded the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series in Neuroscience at Cardiff University, and a Sackler Short-Term Research Fellowship at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Worcester College, Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum are currently advertising a three-year Sackler Research Fellowship on the History of Conservation at the Ashmolean Museum (application deadline 31 August). The Raymond and Beverly Sackler USA-UK Scientific Forum was established in 2008 to foster collaboration between the Royal Society (UK) and the National Academy of Sciences (USA).
For such munificence (and doubtless more) Raymond Sackler was made an Honorary Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1995, and a Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, University of Cambridge (1998).
The Sacklers were among the wealthiest people in the world. With his two brothers, Raymond turned a small 19th-century Greenwich Village business into a pharmaceutical giant, whose most successful product was OxyContin, a slow-release form of morphine. The drug, which was easily abused, cost Purdue Pharma hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and legal costs, but brought in well over $1 billion a year. Their assets were recently estimated at $18 billion. Obituaries for Raymond Sackler have appeared in the Telegraph and the Times.
Images show a view of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Wing at the British Museum, from Google maps (top), and, above, the well in the RA’s Sackler Gallery (Foster + Partners).
“St Andrews before St Andrews”
As well as playing a key role in research that led to the confirmed identification of a cell on Iona used by St Columba in the sixth century, Peter Yeoman FSA has been working on an unusual exhibition about his own excavations on another Scottish island. He has described it for Salon:
‘In the year 669 a monk on Iona recorded that one of their brethren named Ethernan “died among the Picts”. Ethernan’s burial place has long been associated with the May Island at the mouth of the Firth of Forth. Excavations here in the 1990s, led by myself and Heather F James, revealed a monastery with a thousand years of sanctity. It was a landmark project in the successful excavation of a Scottish early Christian monastery, producing important data for comparison with sites such as Portmahomack in Easter Ross, excavated by Martin Carver FSA.
‘Three early stone churches were found, nested one above the other, finally capped off by the priory church of a reformed monastic house established on the island around 1130. In 1145 a new monastery was founded here by King David I, honouring the shrine and caring for the sick. Among key discoveries were the remains of a pilgrim buried in front of the high altar around 1300, with a scallop shell from Compostela placed in his mouth. But this was not to last – from 1296 the monastery was caught in the crossfire of war with England. The monks abandoned the May, leaving a single hermit to tend the shrine of the blessed saint.
‘Beside the church was a major cemetery, which contained the remains of many very sick people, here to seek a miraculous cure from the saint. The earliest Christian burials we found date from the fifth century AD. New research for a PhD by Marlo Willows of Edinburgh University has revealed that the individuals buried here in the pre-Benedictine phase were more affected by diseases, some of them rare, than other comparable early Medieval assemblages from Scotland. People were coming as patients as well as pilgrims.
‘Artefacts from the excavations chart the island’s long human story, including Bronze Age cremation urns and finds from the early Christian and later monasteries. These have now been displayed for the first time in the early 19th-century Stevenson lighthouse on the May, thanks to the support of the National Museums of Scotland. The island is a National Nature Reserve, owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as a special place for seabirds. The SNH team of resident wardens welcome thousands of visitors every year, and the island is accessible via boat trips from Anstruther and North Berwick. SNH commissioned me to create an exhibition about our excavations as part of the Scottish Government's 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. This is also part of Dig It! 2017, a year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology.
‘The exhibition tells the story of the monastery as one of the earliest and most long-lasting in Scotland, at a key location at the mouth of the Forth: James Fraser has even referred to the May as “St Andrews before St Andrews”. As part of the project SNH commissioned new reconstruction drawings from artist David Simon (top). The exhibition is open daily from 1 August until the end of September. The archaeological remains have been consolidated and displayed for visitors.’
See online for details.
Thinking about Watercolours
Places of the Mind: British Watercolour Landscapes 1850–1950, at the British Museum until 27 August, takes an unusual era to challenge the perception that the ‘Great Age of British Watercolours’ ended with the death of Turner in 1851. Over half of the 125 works on display, says the museum, have not been published or exhibited before. Artists represented include George Price Boyce, Alfred William Hunt, James McNeill Whistler, Philip Wilson Steer, Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore. All the watercolours, drawings and sketchbooks are from the collection of the museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings.
The show has been put together by Kim Sloan FSA, Curator of British Drawings and Watercolours before 1880, and the Francis Finlay Curator of the Enlightenment Gallery. Her choice of title (quoting Geoffrey Grigson) is to suggest the idea that each landscape is a construct of the artist’s mind and imagination – ‘an attempt to convey not merely the physical properties of a landscape, but its sense of place’. As well as showing techniques and styles, the exhibition illustrates the effects of tourism at home and abroad, the role of artists’ colonies, contemporary writing, urban landscapes, and changing perceptions of the English countryside and way of life.
Sloan has edited a fully illustrated book to accompany the event, with the same title. She recommends Fellows arrive through the North Entrance to avoid queues. The exhibition is in Room 90, the Prints and Drawings Gallery, on the upper floor of the north side.
The scene at top is by John Middleton, Stream through Wooded Banks, Devon, c 1850.
First World War Recovery
Richard Osgood FSA, Senior Archaeologist at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, is the archaeological lead for a project that has excavated on a First World War battlefield in northern France. In the latest investigation by Operation Nightingale, supported by Help for Heroes, injured veterans recovered parts from a heavily shelled British tank, and the remains of two German soldiers who had died at the scene.
Using contemporary records and a geophysical survey carried out by Cranfield Forensics Institute, the team located Tank 796 (D23). Commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Skinner MC, it had been knocked out in the first Battle of Bullecourt (part of the Battle of Arras) on 11 April 1917, and later used as a German machine-gun emplacement. The excavation in June found a large section of the tank’s track, several of its six-pounder shells, part of its driving chain and possible armour. Some of the original colour scheme survived on the tracks (right): in what might seem an ironic joke, it was racing green. The parts will be conserved and, it is hoped, eventually exhibited.
Dickie Bennett of Breaking Ground Heritage, who facilitated the project, said in a release, ‘Breaking Ground Heritage was set up to support Operation Nightingale in providing wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans alike the opportunity to take part in credible and meaningful archaeological and heritage projects to promote recovery or assist in the transition from service to civilian life.’ This was the first of several such projects, he said, in which veteran excavators mentored newer members in archaeological techniques. ‘Veterans have so many transferable skills that are compatible with the heritage industry,’ he added.
Osgood (seen left at the site with Colonel Clingan) told Salon that they think (‘at this early stage’) that the two men with the tank were Prussians, and perhaps part of the gun crew which used it after it had been shelled. ‘There is a map in Canberra’, he says, ‘of the Hindenburg Line and a destroyed tank which was used as an “MG position”.’ Following detailed forensic analysis by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the remains will be buried in a German military cemetery.
In the statement, Osgood commented on the team's reactions to the excavation. ‘The respect shown for their military forebears was palpable,’ he said, ‘and it was a privilege to be on site with them. We were also humbled by the warmth shown to us by the French villagers and by their perpetuation of the memory of the soldiers who died in their fields.’
Moments of Connection
Tarnya Cooper FSA, Curatorial Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, and Charlotte Bolland, Collections Curator, 16th Century, have co-curated The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt. The show brings together 50 drawings from a variety of collections by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, Rubens and Rembrandt. ‘Part of the appeal in looking at portrait drawings,’ says Cooper in a release, ‘is that they seem to speak to us directly without embellishment or polish; in contrast to painted portraiture, the graphic process appears unmediated by the artfulness of technique. Some of the portrait drawings in this exhibition were executed at speed, capturing a fleeting moment in time, while others were more finished and controlled, yet still appear to have an honesty and integrity that captures a dynamic connection between artist and sitter.’
Highlights include 15 drawings from the Royal Collection, including eight portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger; a group of drawings produced in the Carracci studio from Chatsworth; and the British Museum’s preparatory drawing by Albrecht Dürer for a lost portrait of Henry Parker, Lord Morley, who had been sent to Nuremberg as ambassador to King Henry VIII. Many of the sitters’ identities are unknown.
The drawing at top is of John Godsalve, c 1532–34, by Hans Holbein the Younger (Royal Collection Trust, © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017).
Cooper and Bolland have written a book of the same title, bringing together 50 portrait drawings. The exhibition closes on 22 October.
The Great Think
Tideway, the brand name for Bazalgette Tunnel Limited, is building a tunnel to take London’s sewage out of the Thames and on to Europe’s largest treatment works beyond the city. The tunnel is huge. It starts west of Richmond, follows the river through the city up to 65 m down, and heads north 3 km past Tower Bridge to meet the existing Lee Tunnel. This great drain now has its own public art and heritage interpretation strategies, launched at the National Theatre on 19 July.
London’s original and still functioning sewerage network was created by Sir Joseph Bazalgette in the 1850s and 60s. The metropolis has since grown beyond the Victorian imagination, and poisonous overflows are routine. Over a decade ago, under pressure from the European Commission and the European Court of Justice for breaching urban waste water regulations, the government asked Thames Water, the private company responsible for London’s water, to seek a solution. It supported a Thames Tideway Tunnel with a budget of £4.1 billion.
When Bazalgette went to work, his over-riding concern was public health. In the course of construction, however, he created many now familiar London landmarks, including the Chelsea, Victoria and Albert Embankments, and pumping stations and other works treasured for their historic design. Today a heritage legacy is built more self-consciously into the programme. ‘The project will not only safeguard our precious environment,’ says Duncan Wilson FSA in one of Tideway’s promotional brochures. ‘It will create new landscapes, artworks, and public experiences which reflect the river’s rich history and reconnect us to the Thames.’
Historic England is working with Tideway on an interpretation strategy. This sets out historic and cultural themes that they hope will inspire designers, artists and engineers with landscaping, art and infrastructure. Under the theme of ‘River of Liberty’, says Wilson, the strategy sees the Thames ‘as a rich and complex allegory, encompassing the delivery of London from the tyranny of disease, dynamic concepts of personal liberty, and individual stories which reflect the many communities and aspirations associated with the Thames.’
As with any significant construction project in England, historic and archaeological investigations have been taking place ahead of works. Overseeing this is Tideway’s Archaeology and Heritage Manager, Ken Whittaker FSA. In a press statement, Whittaker said the public strategies will ‘remind Londoner’s of a heritage that resonates with their lives, experiences and concerns; and accords with London’s aspiration to be a tolerant and progressive global city, open for business and much else.’
Fellows (and Friends)
Fellows Remembered below contains an obituary for the late Stanley Jones FSA,
a notice on the late Richard Burleigh FSA
, and further notices on the late Frank Herrmann FSA
and the late Jo Draper FSA
Clive Gamble FSA,
‘one of the world's best-known and most influential archaeologists,’ has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of London. Founding Director of the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins, University of Southampton (1999), says the citation, ‘he has pioneered the study of early human settlement and migration from a multidisciplinary perspective, with a particular focus on landscape, environment and place. Bridging the sciences and the humanities, Clive's work on early human history is distinguished by its combination of empirical precision and conceptual innovation. He is as well known for his theoretical and synthetic writings as for his specific research contributions, and has won numerous prizes and awards.’
Made a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000, Gamble has held Fellowships at the Research School of Pacific Studies at ANU in Canberra, the National University of La Plata, La Trobe University, Melbourne, and Boston University. He joined the department of Geography at Royal Holloway in 2004, and returned to Southampton in 2011, retiring in 2016 (while continuing to work). He is a Trustee of the British Museum and President of the Royal Anthropological Society.
When NASA sought applications for its astronaut programme in 2015, it’s probably fair to say it didn't expect to hear from archaeologists. “Space archaeology” has come into use as a phrase to describe studying satellite imagery for researching remoter landscapes; the ability to compare shots taken years apart has proved valuable in areas of cultural destruction. For Alice Gorman FSA
and Justin Walsh, however, it means climbing aboard a virtual spaceship with a view to conducting fieldwork beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Gorman, an archaeologist at Flinders University, Adelaide who blogs about exploration and science fiction at Space Age Archaeology
, and Walsh, an anthropologist at Chapman University in California, are interested in astronaut culture. They are creating a virtual model of the International Space Station, using NASA data of every artefact sent to the station and photos taken on board. This will allow them to study astronaut behaviour as they might examine an archaeological site on the ground, reports Megan Gannon on Space.com
, in an unusual multigendered, multiethnic, multinational and multilingual environment.
Mike Smith FSA
is among 28 authors who published a new discovery from Australia in Nature
on 19 July. Chris Clarkson and colleagues continued from earlier excavations in northern Australia at Madjedbebe (formerly known as Malakunanja II), going deep into human artefact-containing deposits accumulated over millennia in a rock shelter. The big question, is how many millennia? Current convention says people first reached Australia around 50,000 years ago, though controversial claims say this occurred as much as 60,000 years ago. Archaeologists agree that the new arrivals were anatomically modern humans, who ultimately could be traced back to Africa. The new study, using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), finds artefacts at a probable age of 65,000 years ago. The event, says Chris Stringer FSA
, ‘marks a watershed in human evolution, because the journey required ocean-going watercraft and multiple island-hops. In terms of technology and planning it clearly demonstrates the high capabilities of the people who first accomplished it.’ Modern DNA, says Stringer
, suggests humans reached Australia 50,000 years ago. If the Madjedbebe claim is to stand up, that would imply these early colonisers died out.
Lived Experience in the Later Middle Ages: Studies of Bodiam and Other Elite Landscapes in South-Eastern England
, is edited by Matthew Johnson FSA
. Between 2010 and 2014 he led a team of scholars from Northwestern University and the University of Southampton, to conduct topographical, geophysical and building survey at four late Medieval sites and landscapes in south-eastern England: Scotney, Knole and Ightham, all owned and managed by the National Trust. Studies were also undertaken into documentary, map and other evidence. A particularly important element of the research was to synthesise and re-present ‘grey literature’ at the sites. Central to the volume, says the blurb, are the linked ideas of lived experience and political ecology in presenting a new understanding of late Medieval sites and landscapes.
Neil MacGregor FSA
has extended his contract as Director of the Humboldt Forum, Berlin, until it opens in 2019. Appointed initially for two years as one of three founding Directors, reports
the Art Newspaper
, MacGregor says he would be happy to stay on after that in an advisory role. ‘Setting up this unique cultural project continues to be a wonderful task from my point of view,’ he adds.
Peter Rowley-Conwy FSA, Dale Serjeantson FSA
and Paul Halstead have edited a collection of papers in honour of Tony Legge, who died in 2013. Economic Zooarchaeology
covers many topics, writes Serjeantson, ‘mirroring Tony’s own wide interests in archaeology and the range of people with whom he collaborated all over the world’. Thirty three papers cover method and theory, animal bone identification, human paleopathology, animal use in prehistoric South America and dog cemeteries. A long-running controversy over milking animals and the use of dairy products, the ecological impact of hunting by farmers, and much else are also discussed. The international list of contributors includes the editors, Legge himself (on research he was doing when he fell ill), and Richard Bradley FSA, Charles Higham FSA,
David Jacques FSA, Mark Maltby FSA, Roger Mercer FSA, Sonia O’Connor FSA, Terry O’Connor FSA, Alan Outram FSA, Harvey Sheldon FSA
and Tony Waldron FSA
The University of Liverpool is running a Historic Built Environment Knowledge Exchange project (HistBEKE). Funded by Historic England, its aim is to help those who work with historic buildings better understand the stuff they deal with. The project would like to know about specialists’ work and their present knowledge, to which end it has launched an online survey
, open until 25 August 2017. This should help it decide how to run workshops in the autumn, which will be described in a blog
in due course. Questions to Stella Jackson, Research Assistant, at Stella.Jackson@liverpool.ac.uk
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) has published A Review of the Standard of Reporting on Archaeological Artefacts in England
. It commissioned Alice Cattermole Heritage Consultancy to review artefact studies associated with archaeological excavations. A thousand unpublished and 61 published specialist reports were checked against a detailed list of criteria devised to assess content and quality. The outcome was grim. Not one report in the sample met all the quality criteria; approaching half (44%) met fewer than half, and 6% fewer than a quarter.
John Titterton FSA
is part of a team which has produced the Ashbourne Treasures Exhibition, in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. He writes: ‘This exhibition has been achieved with Heritage Lottery funding, and has brought together a number of items relating to the history of Ashbourne which are unlikely to be seen together again in the foreseeable future. Among them are part of an Anglo-Saxon cross shaft and Man of Sorrows and St Michael
, a wooden painted panel c1500 (in St Oswald’s church), and (in Ashbourne Library) the helm of Sir Thomas Cokayne, the Magnificent c 1537; the Foundation Charter from Queen Elizabeth I's Grammar School 1585; a miniature of Elizabeth believed to be by Nicholas Hilliard or his school; and the Ashbourne Bushel (English standard measure), cast in 1677. The exhibition is open until 28 September, and is spread over three sites whose hours are not identical. See online for details
‘I welcome Michael Gove’s recognition that Brexit will enable the UK properly to reward environmentally responsible land use,’ writes Duncan Wilson FSA
in a letter to the Times
on 25 July, ‘and that future subsidies will be linked to benefits for society.’ As Chief Executive of Historic England, Wilson is particularly aware that ‘our environment includes both natural and historic features’. More than eight out of ten scheduled monuments are on farmland, he says, and our rural heritage produces significant economic benefits. Gove is the Environment Secretary, with responsibility for handling the loss of £3 billion of agricultural subsidies when Britain leaves the European Union. Since 2006, says Wilson, £28 million a year has been spent on the historic environment through the Common Agricultural Policy. ‘Mr Gove now has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to remove the inefficiencies of the CAP’, he adds, ‘and replace it with a better targeted scheme that will help to protect and pass on England’s extraordinary legacy of rural heritage.’
Paul Bahn FSA
, a successful writer of archaeological books, including a multi-editioned text book co-authored with Colin Renfrew FSA
and titles on Easter Island and Ice Age art, has written The First Artists: In Search of the World’s Oldest Art
with Michel Lorblanchet. The latter is a former Director of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and has worked throughout his career with early art in Europe and Aboriginal art in Australia. This thoughtful book takes a global perspective on early art, assembling many case studies as it moves from natural rocks through finely shaped stone tools, scratches and colours, simple drawings and carvings, and recognisable representations of animals. The latter make a thin showing as the authors argue for a focus away from French and Spanish caves, and dismiss dates that would make the art at Chauvet (France) as old as 36,000 years. ‘We shall strive to avoid imposing any personal point of view’, say Bahn and Lorblanchet in their introduction, as they set out on ‘an enquiry, an investigation, with the (we hope) objective viewpoint of the archaeologist.’
Historic England Research Issue 6
is dedicated to the Stonehenge landscape, where Historic England has been pursuing a variety of successful research projects. Mark Bowden FSA
summarises a new survey of Vespasian’s Camp, the only major Iron Age monument in the World Heritage Site (its Roman name is 16th century). Other articles cover aerial mapping using photos and lidar, geophysical survey and excavations south of the A303 road, new evidence for diet, food and farming from Middle Neolithic pits (an era apparently devoid of cereals, while there are remains of sloe, crab apples and hazelnuts), bronze age earthwork and palisade land boundaries, illustrating ancient landscapes, and excavation ahead of new Army housing north and east of the WHS, where a striking number of unexpected discoveries were made. ‘Despite this being one of the most intensively studied archaeological landscapes in the country,’ says Duncan Wilson FSA
in his introduction, ‘continuing investment in research is delivering important new insights and narratives. This, in turn, will create even greater public interest, engagement and enjoyment of a monument and landscape that continue to exercise an unparalleled hold on people’s imagination.’
Marcus Binney FSA
is among a group of architectural writers who have written to the Times
(31 July) to protest about a threat of demolition and redevelopment to the ticket concourse at Southwark Tube station in London. Designed by the late Sir Richard MacCormac, they say, the concourse is part of a series of new stations on the Jubilee Line, ‘hailed in 1999 as the biggest architectural sensation of their kind since the Moscow Underground’. They call on Karen Bradley, Culture Secretary, to survey the Line, and ‘assess which of the recent stations should be preserved and celebrated as architectural masterpieces for future generations to enjoy.’ Historic England recently rejected Southwark station for listing. The Twentieth Century Society is appealing the decision. ‘It is alarming’, says Binney in a release from SAVE Britain’s Heritage, ‘when fine buildings come under threat so soon after they were completed. As Richard MacCormac is sadly no longer with us to speak for his station it is doubly important that the rest of us make a stand to save it.’
The Anglo-Saxon Fenland
, by Susan Oosthuizen FSA
, challenges what she describes as the standard view that the early Medieval fenland was dominated by the works of European colonists in a largely empty landscape. Using existing and new evidence and arguments, says the blurb, she offers an alternative interdisciplinary history of the Anglo-Saxon fenland. The fen islands and the silt fens show a degree of occupation unexpected a few decades ago. Dense Romano-British settlement appears to have been followed by consistent early Medieval occupation on every island in the peat fens and across the silt fens, despite the impact of climatic change. This was a society whose origins could be found in prehistoric Britain, and which had evolved through the period of Roman control and into the post-imperial decades and centuries that followed.
Richard Burleigh FSA
died on 23 February aged 85. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1974. His daughter Julie Leah has kindly sent us the part of his eulogy which, she says, ‘relates to his academic side’:
‘One of Dad’s contributions to the World was his writing; many scholarly articles relating to his work at Hinkley Point, the British Museum, where he worked in the Radio Carbon Laboratories for 20 years, and later the Museum of Mankind. This involved collaborations with many other academics across the world. Mum patiently proof-read late into the evenings when every full stop and comma had to be exactly right.
‘Once retired and then moved to Dorset, he became increasingly interested in literary figures, the Dorset poets and writers in particular, and he applied his love of writing articles to Literary Societies. He was a member and supporter of 18 societies, all linked to literature, conservation (of nature and buildings) and archaeology. He was a founder member of the George Burrow Society (he was proud of the fact that he shared his birthdate, the fifth of July, and school with George Burrow), Editor of the William Barnes Newsletter
for 16 years, the Secretary of the Powys Society, an early member of the Dandelion Group, Sabine Barring Gould, Sylvia Townsend Warner, National Trust – the list goes on. All people and organisations he admired.
‘He also worked at Lawrences auction rooms, and was a volunteer at Beaminster Museum. In all the activities he applied the same methodical (some would say obsessive) approach and a sense of fun, usually involving a trip to the nearest pub, mainly for a pint, a bowl of soup and what he liked to call “idle chatter”.
‘One of his loves was woodwork and, as well as fabulous DIY constructions, in later years his obsessions became with racking and shelving in order to collect and display his wonderful book collection.’
Stanley Robert Jones FSA
died on 9 July aged 90. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1965 (52 years ago). Nat Alcock FSA
and Bob Meeson FSA
have written this obituary:
‘Stanley was the last survivor from the “heroic age” of discovering vernacular architecture, and it is with the greatest regret that we have to bid farewell to him and to that era – so soon after the death in August 2016 of the other great survivor, his long-term collaborator John (J T) Smith FSA.
‘Stanley was born in Birmingham, living in Acocks Green until he joined the Navy at the end of the Second World War and for National Service. Returning, he gained an Art Teaching Diploma at the Birmingham School of Art, and then took a degree course at the Royal Academy Schools. Art teaching was to be his career, firstly at Plymouth (1958) and then Sheffield College of Art (1961). Stanley was an outstanding painter and teacher, but it is his unparalleled contribution to the recording of vernacular and church architecture that is recognised here
‘A seminal moment came in about 1951 when, following up a request for volunteers on an archaeological dig, he met J T Smith. Very soon afterwards they began their fruitful collaboration, and Stanley’s interest in and understanding of historic buildings developed apace. Together, for several years in the 1950s, they ran field courses at Barford in Warwickshire, sending the students out to look at local houses. This developed into the extremely successful series of courses held at Brecon for local teachers, whose results appear in the seminal series of papers on Breconshire Houses in Brycheiniog
‘His earliest publication in the field, in 1954, was the description of a medieval timber-framed house in Cricklade, jointly with J T Smith. The Staffordshire and Leicestershire volumes of the Victoria County History
benefited from his remarkable church plans and incomparable succinct descriptions; he also wrote up the houses of Tewkesbury for the Gloucestershire VCH
. He recorded threatened buildings in Coleshill and Coventry, Warwickshire (mostly since demolished), and the latter led to the ground-breaking publication by Jones and Smith on “The Wealden houses of Warwickshire and their significance” (Transactions and Proceedings of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society
‘When he was proposed for Fellowship of the Society in 1965, his blue paper was signed by an exceptional group of eminent architectural historians and archaeologists: Maurice Barley FSA, A R Dufty FSA, W F Grimes FSA, Eric Mercer FSA
, Iorweth Peate FSA, C A Raleigh Radford FSA, J T Smith FSA, C F Stell FSA, A J Taylor FSA
and Margaret Tomlinson FSA
‘Stanley published numerous building surveys in Montgomeryshire Collections
, and county journals throughout the Midlands and further afield, the most notable of which included the Bishop’s Palace, Hereford, and the Manor House, Wasperton, West Bromwich Manor and Medbourne Manor (all base-cruck halls). He has also been closely involved with advice and guidance on the restoration of Middleton Hall, Warwickshire. Much of what he recorded but did not publish has been placed on record in public collections.
‘His major work in more recent years had been the Survey of Ancient Houses of Lincoln, combining his drawings and building recording with documentary history by Kathleen Major and others. The first volume, Priorygate to Pottergate
, appeared in 1984, and the series continued until the last, Steep, Strait and High
(co-authored with Chris Johnson), was published in 2016 – the culmination of 30 years commitment to the buildings of one historic city.
‘Stanley was a kind, modest, quiet and unassuming man, who continued to work until close to the end. In the field of vernacular architecture, noone has combined intellectual rigour and artistic felicity to greater, more inspiring effect.’
Left is a print of Old Berry Hall, Solihull, which Jones used for Christmas cards. The oil at the top, showing the front of Sheffield Midland Station and titled Hopeless Dawn, Sheffield
, was painted by Jones in the early 1960s. He had arrived from Devon to be interviewed for the teaching post he subsequently took up at the Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts. It now hangs in the Weston Park Museum, Sheffield.
Frank Herrmann FSA
, who died in April
, has received an obituary in the Telegraph
(20 July). Headlined ‘publisher, auctioneer and author’, it opens by saying he was also a collector, ‘but described himself simply as a “book man” – his own works included a successful series of children’s stories about a giant from Essex and an acclaimed history of Sotheby’s.’
‘Sotheby's: Portrait of an Auction House
(1980) took seven years to research. Herrmann discovered a collection of sale catalogues stored in the British Library and interviewed numerous experts, porters and dealers: “I frequently felt like some military intelligence officer trying to piece together a true picture of a major conflict.”
‘Herrmann's good humour’, concludes the paper, ‘was married to a forthright nature; he proved a great enabler of others and a journalist once described him as an “affable Maecenas”.’
Jo Draper FSA died in June
, aged 68. ‘I was immensely saddened,’ writes Martin Henig FSA
, to hear of her death ‘at such a comparatively young age’.
‘For a number of years,’ he continues, ‘I stayed with her in the house where she lived with her husband in Dorchester, in order to write up numerous Roman and Medieval small finds from the county. She was enormously hospitable and knowledgeable, and a wonderful editor, and her quiet erudition is apparent in everything she wrote, whether it was on archaeology, folklore or Thomas Hardy. Amongst other works she published the excavations from Hill Farm, Gestingthorpe, Essex, which had been eccentrically excavated by the local farmer and landowner who had produced an extraordinarily rich and important collection of finds. It was Jo’s editorship, and assembly of experts, which made this the important report that it is.
‘While in Essex Jo and I decided to look for an interesting nearby round church. We asked directions and were told to continue to the top of a very high hill: the land looked pancake flat, especially to Jo used to Dorset. We found no “very high hill” but discovered the church! We both collapsed in a gale of laughter. Her humour was infectious.’
• Excavations at Hill Farm, Gestingthorpe, Essex,
by Jo Draper (1985). Harold Cooper moved to Hill Farm in 1945, and started excavating after he found some Roman tile in a ploughed field. He continued for 30 years, opening a museum at the farmhouse. He died in 2013.
The Wisdom of Fellows
We are learning about the house in which Sir John Evans FSA, one of the Society’s most distinguished Fellows, spent much of his life. The former area of paper mills south of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, has been developed for housing, but Evans’s home, Nash House, seems not to have fared as well as some had hoped it would (though much of it may still be standing). Two Fellows have offered some helpful background.
'I’m really sorry,’ writes Bob Zeepvat FSA of Bancroft Heritage Services, ‘to see such a historic building destroyed as a failure of planning control. In 2008 I led a team from Archaeological Services & Consultancy, my former company, in preparing a detailed record of the mill buildings and Nash Mills House prior to development. The survey was commissioned and funded by Crest Nicholson: Mike Stanyon acted as historic consultant to the survey. My understanding then was that most – though not all – of the house was to be retained, refurbished and brought back to something of its former appearance internally, after many years as the paper mill offices. Copies of the survey reports were deposited with the Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies Library, Historic Environment Record, and also with the Apsley Paper Trail. I published an article on the history of the mill in Industrial Archaeology Review (2010, vol 32, 46–62). It is a great pity that the building was not listed.’
Zeepvat’s interesting paper ranges over the origins of paper making in China, the history of Nash Mills (mentioned in Domesday Book) and the Gade valley (‘favoured by the paper industry from the late 17th century onward’), the arrival of Evans at Dickinson’s accounts office on 1 May 1840, and details of mill buildings as they had survived.
When Evans retired in 1885, says Zeepvat, having risen to manage the entire manufacturing business, he remained at Nash House (a ‘respectable Georgian dwelling’, it had become the home of John Dickinson not long after it was built) as the company’s tenant, devoting himself to numismatics and archaeology. He moved out in 1906, and Nash House was converted to offices. By January 2010 it was the only building on site that had not been demolished.
Isobel Thompson FSA is the Historic Environment Record Officer at Hertfordshire County Council. She tells Salon that Archaeological Services & Consultancy recorded the mill buildings, Stephenson’s Cottage and Nash House. ‘There is a report with the usual plans, elevations, descriptions and photographs,’ she writes. ‘The house was then still full of office partitions and other obscuring elements, but Sir John’s strongroom door (behind which he kept his Roman coins) was still evident.
‘The main block containing the entrance and formal rooms was found to be a late 17th-century two-storey brick house with cellars and attics, added onto an earlier 17th-century structure now within the south wing. This wing housed the service rooms and was considerably reworked in the early and mid 19th century, but on the same footprint. The north-west corner of this earliest unit was rebuilt in the mid 19th century, and the whole extended twice, in the late 19th and early-mid 20th centuries.
‘The alterations explain why the Listing application was refused, but the house has its own record on the Hertfordshire HER with this information, and the report is in the public domain.’
Paul Stamper FSA was impressed by a portrait of John Windham Dalling (1789–1853), recently acquired by the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The painting shows a 16-year-old midshipman who had experienced the Battle of Trafalgar. But who is he, asks Stamper? ‘What ship was he on? Did he leave any sort of memoire? What was his later career? Or has that yet to be researched?’ Wikipedia describes his father, John Dalling, focussing on genealogy and a pair of Anglo-Indian cabinets. Can any Fellow help?
Roey Sweet FSA writes from the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester about a new development in Northampton that has created considerable concern on social media. The Northamptonshire Archives and Heritage Service has posted changed arrangements for those wishing to look at its records. Sweet directs us to its Facebook page, where it says this:
‘Important Information: From 21 August 2017, opening times for free access to the Archives Service will be as follows:
‘• Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 9am to 1pm
‘• First Saturday of the month only, April - October: 9am to 4pm
‘The times during which researchers can visit the Archives Service are being increased. Appointments can now be booked, in advance and for a fee, to view original documents during the following times. The current fee is £31.50 per hour.
‘• Monday & Friday: 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm
‘• Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 2pm - 4pm
‘1-1 personal consultations can also be booked in advance for an hourly fee during the following times:
‘• Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm.’
Mary Ann Lund, Lecturer in Renaissance English Literature at Leicester, has set up an online petition protesting against the charges (it has some 2,300 votes as I write). ‘This decision’, says Lund, ‘goes against the spirit of open access in research, and sets a dangerous precedent for repositories of public documents.’
At the ballot on 20 July, we elected two new Honorary Fellows:
And eight as Ordinary Fellows:
- Joscelyn Godwin, BA, MusB, MA, PhD.
- Simon Russell Beale, CBE, MA, Hon DLitt.
Find out more on our website!
- Katherine Fennelly, BA, MA, PhD.
- Michael Tutton.
- Diana Swales, BA, MSc, PhD.
- Miriam Clare Stevenson (née Gill), BA, PhD.
- Turi King, BA, MA, MSc, PhD.
- Lucy Blue, BA, DPhil.
- Jayne Ryder, OBE, MA.
- Kathryn Davies, BA, MA, DPhil.
Forthcoming Events for 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'). Our programme of Ordinary Meetings will resume in October.
1 September: Private View at Salisbury Museum - CANCELLED
We are sorry to announce that we have cancelled this event due to low ticket sales.
11 September: Memorial for Dai Morgan Evans, FSA
The Society welcomes all who wish to celebrate the life of Dai Morgan Evans to join us at Burlington House on 11 September (15.00-19.00). Please confirm your attendance by reserving your place via our website or calling 020 7479 7080.
19 September: Memorial for Geoffrey Wainwright, Hon. VPSA
The Society welcomes all who wish to celebrate the life of Geoffrey Wainwright to join us at Burlington House on 19 September (16.00-20.00). Please confirm your attendance by reserving your place via our website or calling 020 7479 7080.
5 October: Ordinary Meetings of Fellows resume!
There has been a change to the autumn meeting programme since we posted copies to Fellows. Graham Keevill will now give his lecture on 5 October, and Roger Bowdler will give his lecture on 2 November.
6 November: Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos
This conference will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. Tickets are £15 each.
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager (email@example.com). Please note that lecture programmes are planned between 6 and 12 months in advance.
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.
12 September: 'Smithfield Market: Its Remarkable General Market, those Curious Columns and the Museum of London', by Fellow Dr Jennifer Freeman FSA
17 October: 'A Battlefield of Books: the Cairo Genizah Collectio,' by Ben Outhwaite, FSA
28 November: 'Will Van Gogh's Flowers Ever Wilt?', by Ashok Roy, FSA.
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.
Until 25 August (Mon - Fri, 10.00 - 17.00): 'Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy', a free exhibition at Burlington House exploring the Tudor Dynasty. The exhibition has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Until 28 October: 'Mary Lobb – From Cornwall to Kelmscott: A Life Revealed', a free exhibition (admission is included in entry ticket for the Manor) in partnership with the National Library of Wales and supported by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.Visit the Manor every Wednesday and Saturday through the end of October.
Society Dates to Remember
Burlington House Closures
The Library and Fellows' Room will be closed for annual conservation, cleaning and maintenance from Monday, 31 July, to Friday, 1 September (inclusive). The ground floor apartments will be open for the Blood Royal exhibition (24 July - 25 August), but visits to the Library will be by appointment only during this time.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
22 October: Weekend Meeting in Criccieth. Save the date; details will be distributed soon!
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19 September: Lecture by Prof David Neave, FSA, 'Hull and its Architectural Heritage', at Bar Convent. Save the date; details will be distributed soon (join the email list below to make sure you don't miss out).
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
Until 3 September: Battles and Dynasties (Lincoln)
To commemorate the Battle of Lincoln (1217), the Collection Museum is exhibiting some remarkable documents and paintings relating to royalty (through to the 20th century) never before seen in the city, sourced from various collections including the Society of Antiquaries as well as the Royal Collection, the National Archives and the British Library. Artefacts include Medieval swords from the River Witham. At Lincoln Castle, which hosts the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta in the new vault created in 2015, the Domesday Book is on show for the first time outside London. The mastermind behind the exhibitions is Lord Patrick Cormack FSA, Chair of the Historic Lincoln Trust, and the accompanying book is written by Nicholas Bennett FSA.
25 August: The Contribution of Contract Archaeology to Industrial Archaeology (Northamptonshire)
A seminar organised by David Ingham FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA as a prelude to the annual conference of the Association for Industrial Archaeology at Moulton College, Northampton. Developer-funded projects in cities have greatly added to knowledge of the recent industrial past. Seven speakers include Norman Redhead FSA (Heritage Management Director (Archaeology), Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service) and Michael Nevell FSA (Head of Archaeology, University of Salford). Details online.
September: Heritage Practice Training programme (Leicester)
In partnership with Historic England the University of Leicester has developed a programme of practical, technical and specialist skills for heritage professionals. This autumn’s courses include:
4–5 September: Understanding & Creating Statements of Significance
7–8 September: Digital Data & Archaeology
12 September: Writing for Publication
15 September: Curating the Palaeolithic: desk-based assessment and field evaluation (at Birkbeck, University of London)
18–19 September: Understanding Industrial Assets: Conservation & Management
22 September: Archaeological report writing and writing for ‘grey’ literature
25 September: Specifying work on historic buildings (at the Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln)
27–28 September: Architecture for Archaeologists
14 September: Solomon N. Negima: A Palestinian Dragoman and his Clients (1885-1933) (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture at the Clore Education Centre, British Museum. In 2014 a collection of papers was found on eBay: a scrapbook in which was written, ‘Testimonial Book of Dragoman Solomon N. Negima.’ The letters bear recommendations of Negima’s services as dragoman – a combination of tourist guide and interpreter – in the Holy Land, from travellers of different nationalities, social classes, religions, genders and races. Using this and first-hand published and unpublished accounts of travellers, Rachel Mairs tells the stories of several such tourists. Details online.
15–17 September: The Articulation of Light and Space (Worcester)
The 2017 Society for Church Archaeology conference will be held in Worcester. This year’s theme focuses on how Medieval churches played with illumination and the interplay of light through both architectural and liturgical means. The conference brings together an assorted range of talks, revealing new discoveries being made in the studies of glass-making, liturgy, visual reconstruction and conservation restoration, emerging from recent research and projects from around the country. Speakers include Hugh Wilmott FSA and Tomás Ó Carragáin FSA. Details online.
16 September: The Deer of Deerhurst: Landscape, Lordship, Custom and Ritual (Deerhurst)
The 2017 Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm at St Mary's Church, Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, given by Graham Jones FSA. Details online.
16 September: Suffolk Textiles through Time (Lavenham)
A day conference exploring the production of textiles in Suffolk, looking at pre-Medieval archaeological evidence; the Medieval woollen cloth industry; and the production of silk in early modern times. Speakers include Joanna Caruth FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA. There will be spinning demonstrations with Jean Rogers, and visits to Lavenham Guildhall and a walking tour of the town and church. Details online.
16–17 September: Precious Cloth and Court Culture AD 400–1600 (Cambridge)
Archaeologists working on textiles have often been focused on the ordinary and everyday, writes Penelope Walton Rogers FSA, Chair of the Early Textiles Study Group. This two-day conference, convened at Lucy Cavendish College by Anna Muthesius FSA, will focus on the precious and luxurious textiles of the Medieval world, the dazzling silks, the cloth-of-gold and all that supported and expressed power and prestige in the royal courts of Europe and Asa. Eleven lectures from established scholars (including several Fellows), together with demonstrations of textile techniques, should make this a memorable weekend. Contact Muthesius at email@example.com. Closing date for bookings 31 August. Details online.
20 September: Olga Tufnell – Life of a Petrie Pup (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture by John MacDermot at 10 Carlton House Terrace, given previously at the British Museum. Olga Tufnell FSA (1905–85) was a distinguished archaeologist born into a privileged family, whose work focused on the Middle East. She joined Flinders Petrie excavating in Egypt and at Tell el-Fara and Tell el-Ajjul in Palestine. She then joined James Starkey FSA at the excavation of Tell ed-Duweir (Biblical Lachish). She spent the last 25 years of her life in a collaborative study with William Ward on Bronze Age scarab seals from Palestine. The lecturer will attempt to convey Olga Tufnell's scholarship, commitment to her subject and her personal qualities. Details online.
20–23 September: Late Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology in Germany, Britain and Ireland (Bremerhaven, Germany)
A joint conference of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Archäologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (DGAMN) will be held at the German Maritime Museum – Leibniz-Institute for German Maritime History. SPMA and DGAMN pursue similar goals, in promoting and supporting the study of historical archaeology of the last 500 years. The main objective of this conference is to bring the two organisations and their members closer together, to facilitate future collaborations and projects. Details online.
22–24 September: Monuments in Ruins – Ruins as Monuments (Elefsina, Greece)
The fourth Heritage Management Organisation International Conference on Heritage Management's aim is to discuss and develop best practices in heritage management through case studies from around the world. Of particular concern are key fields such as heritage conservation and digitisation, public engagement, education and legal protection. The core concern for 2017 is the notion of ruins in culture. Details online.
22–24 September: Charter of the Forest (Lincoln)
A conference organised by the Lincoln Record Society to commemorate the issue of the Charter of the Forest in 1217. Of the two surviving copies of the original Charter, one is in Lincoln Castle, where it is on display with the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta. There will be an opportunity to view the Charters, followed by a day of papers on the origins, background and history of the Forest Charter. Speakers will include Nicholas Vincent FSA, David Crook FSA and Paul Everson FSA. The final session will be held in association with the Woodland Trust, and will be addressed by the distinguished American environmental lawyer, Nicholas Robinson. A guided excursion to Sherwood Forest will be available on the final day. Details online.
25 September: Canaletto & the Art of Venice (London)
In a spectacular show at the Queen’s Gallery (19 May–12 November), Canaletto’s work is exhibited alongside the Royal Collection’s other Venetian paintings from the 18th century by Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Lucy Whitaker FSA, Senior Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection, and Rosie Razzall, Curator of Prints of Drawings, give the first Venice in Peril Fund Autumn Lectures at the Society of Antiquaries. Details online.
28 September: Remembering the Reformation (London)
Launch of a major digital exhibition linked with an Arts and Humanities Research Project, at Lambeth Palace Library. Based at the Universities of Cambridge and York, the project explores how the Reformation in Britain and Europe was remembered, forgotten, contested and reinvented. The exhibition incorporates some of the treasures of the Cambridge University Library, York Minster Library and Lambeth Palace Library. The launch will include a display and demonstration of the exhibition website, and will be accompanied by short talks by the project team, Brian Cummings FSA, Ceri Law, Bronwyn Wallace and Alexandra Walsham. All are welcome, please register with firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 22 September.
1 October: Why Is There Only One Species Of Human? (London)
Chris Stringer FSA talks at the Natural History Museum. Both the human lineage and our own species originated in Africa, but recent discoveries are revealing the complexity of our origins. Homo sapiens evolved alongside other kinds of humans, and those other species have left their mark on us in terms of our DNA, and perhaps also our behaviour. Why we are the only surviving species of human is still an unanswered question. With recent discoveries challenging so many preconceptions about our evolution, this is an exciting time to study our origins. Details online.
5 October: Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (London)
A talk at Lambeth Palace Library by Lyndal Roper (University of Oxford) will be accompanied by a small exhibition of material relating to Martin Luther and the Reformation, and will be followed by a drinks reception. A joint event with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. All are welcome, but please register with email@example.com not later than 29 September.
7 October: Finding the Past: Twenty Years of EMC (Cambridge)
Since 1997 the Fitzwilliam Museum has hosted the online Corpus of Early Medieval Coin Finds (EMC), which has recorded nearly 12,000 finds of coins dated between AD 410 and 1180. This conference at the Fitzwilliam will explore discoveries that have been made using EMC, and prospects for future work on coin finds. Speakers include Martin Allen FSA and William MacKay FSA. Details online or contact Richard Kelleher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 October: Buckfast Abbey - History, Art and Architecture (Buckfast)
Buckfast Abbey celebrates its millennium in 2018. This conference, chaired by Peter Beacham FSA, marks the launch of a book he has edited about the abbey’s history. Eight speakers, including Marian Campbell FSA, Bridget Cherry FSA, Roderick O’Donnell FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA and David Robinson FSA, will review the abbey's history ahead of tours of the abbey and its buildings, after which Delegates will be welcome to attend Vespers. Details online.
7 October: Recent Discoveries in Lincolnshire Archaeology (Lincoln)
A day conference organised by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. Speakers will include Stuart Harrison FSA on Lincoln monasteries, and Mark Knight on the Bronze Age Village at Must Farm, Cambridgeshire. Contact 01522 521337 or email@example.com.
7 October: Ledgerstones: A Workshop (York)
Discover how to record valuable archives in our churches in a workshop in St Martin-cum-Gregory run by the Ledgerstone Survey of England and Wales. Speakers include Julian Litten FSA, Chair of the LSEW, and the day features a tour of the church and demonstrations of recording and uploading data onto the web. Email Jane Hedley for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8 October (provisional): Concert in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace Library (London)
Pre-Reformation polyphonic music from the Peterhouse partbooks (originally intended for use at Canterbury Cathedral), performed by Blue Heron. Details and ticket price to be confirmed, see the Library website and www.blueheron.org. Please register your interest with email@example.com.
19 October: Clarendon, Salisbury and Medieval Floor Tiles in Wessex (Salisbury)
Christopher Norton will present the Annual Clarendon Lecture in Sarum College, Salisbury Cathedral Close. Norton's research centres on seventh–16th-century French and English art and architecture. He is the foremost expert on the Wessex decorated floor tile industry, which commenced in the mid 13th century and whose traditions spread to the West Midlands, Wales and beyond by the early 1300s. The Wessex Industry’s distinguishing characteristics can be traced directly to a pavement made for Henry III’s queen, Eleanor of Provence, at Clarendon Palace 1250–52. Details online.
20–21 October: New Research on Finds from South and South-Western Roman Britain (Salisbury)
The Roman Finds Group is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special conference at the Salisbury Museum, with five sessions (one of which is dedicated to brooches, in memory of the late Sarnia Butcher FSA) and 20 speakers. The price includes a special 30th Anniversary reception in Sarum College, museum entrance, and a private viewing of the Wessex galleries and Terry Pratchett: HisWorld. There is an optional pre-conference guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral. Details online, or contact Stephen Greep (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jörn Schuster (email@example.com).
21 October: From the Cotswolds to the Chilterns: The Historic Landscapes of Oxfordshire (Oxford)
A joint conference hosted by the Society for Landscape Studies and the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Speakers include Helena Hamerow FSA, David Clark FSA and Trevor Rowley FSA. For details email Brian Rich: firstname.lastname@example.org.
21 October: The Long Sunset: the Country House c 1840–1940 (Lewes)
Sue Berry FSA introduces this conference on the theme of how the country house and its setting changed in design and function between 1840 and 1939, comparing the grand houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with their formal gardens and large staff, with the more intimate houses and gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent developments. Speakers include Michael Hall FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA. Visits related to the conference are planned throughout 2017. See online for details.
28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
31 October: Pitt Rivers: Pioneer (Bournemouth)
The first Annual Pitt River Lecture will be given by Richard Bradley FSA in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University at 7 pm. Pitt Rivers, widely known as ‘The General’, was a distinguished British soldier, anthropologist and archaeologist who is often considered to be the ‘father of scientific archaeology’. The lecture launches the celebration of 50 years of archaeological and anthropological teaching and research at Bournemouth University and its predecessor intuitions, and has been organised by staff and students connected to the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology. Details online.
2 November: Remote Sensing and Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (London)
A Palestine Exploration Fund lecture by Robert Bewley FSA in the British Museum. The Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project is discovering, documenting and assessing threats to archaeological sites using satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The paper will present the approach, results and future strategies for the project. Details online.
17–19 November: Arras 200 – Celebrating the Iron Age (York)
This year’s Royal Archaeological Institute conference is in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Museum. The conference will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first excavations on the Middle Iron Age cemetery at Arras in East Yorkshire, and will coincide with a special exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum displaying artefacts from those excavations. Twelve speakers will discuss recent excavations and other current research. There will be an optional field visit to the site of the Arras cemetery and Hull and East Riding Museum, which holds finds from other important Middle Iron Age ‘square barrow’ cemeteries. Details online.
7 December: The Sunbeam Struck the Roof – a journey of Discovery in Jerusalem (London)
Archie Walls FSA will give the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Evans Memorial Lecture at the British Museum. During a night-time visit to the Haram, by chance he turned west towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the sun rose over the Mount of Olives. Sunbeams struck the roof of the Rotunda of the Church, and illuminated the tops of two nearby minarets. As Architect to the British School of Archaeology (1968–75) and in his spare time architect to the Armenians in the Church, Walls knew these buildings well, but this was a surprise. The lecture will present the case for a conscious relationship made in stone between the three monuments, and will draw an unconventional conclusion as to how it should be interpreted. Details online.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.
Call for Papers
The Georgian Group Journal
The Georgian Group Journal is a refereed academic journal appearing once a year and containing articles based on original research on all aspects of British architecture and design from c 1660–1840. Submission of illustrated articles of not more than 7,500 words is invited for Volume 26 (2018). Shorter articles are also welcomed. Please send proposals or drafts to the Editor, Geoffrey Tyack FSA (email@example.com). The Journal is distributed automatically to members of the Georgian Group, and is also available for purchase through the Group’s website; it is hoped that from 2018 copies of individual articles will be available to download through the same website.
18–20 December: 2017 Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference (Cardiff)
The theme of the 2017 TAG conference is Time. The call for papers is now open and will close on 25 August. A wide range of sessions are accepting submissions covering topics ranging from the archaeology of early medieval Wales to the relationship between archaeology and poetry. Registration will open soon. Details online.
20 January 2018: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-century British Architecture (London)
The 8th conference in this series, organised by Claire Gapper FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, will be held at The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for papers 30 minutes long. 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 2017, and the final programme will be announced in September. We are grateful to the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain for sponsoring bursaries for postgraduate students and we encourage the participation of new scholars. For further information please contact us at Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org and Henderson.email@example.com.
7–8 February 2018: Celebrating Ten Years of New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach (Aberystwyth)
Organised by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Digital Past is a two-day conference which showcases innovative digital technologies for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of heritage sites and artefacts. As this year marks Digital Past’s 10th anniversary, we will reflect on the exciting developments over ten years of digital heritage, the lessons learnt, and the opportunities and challenges for the sector in the decade ahead. We are seeking submissions from those working on innovative projects in research or operational capacity, who may contribute made through formal presentations or workshops, or more informally through the ‘unconference’ session or a show stand, in Welsh, English, or bilingually. Details online.
Society of Antiquaries of London
We are currently recruiting for the post of Governance and Administrative Officer. The successful candidate will support the governance of the Society, administer the Society’s grants programmes and the election process of new Fellows at the Society’s headquarters at Burlington House, Piccadilly. This is an important post and is essential to the smooth running of the Society. Full details are available on our website: www.sal.org.uk/about-us/vacancies. Closing date for applications 31 August.
The Burlington Magazine is seeking a Reviews Editor, to oversee the commissioning and editing of reviews of exhibitions and books. Deadline for applications 7 August.
This is a senior position at the world’s leading monthly English-language journal of art history, reporting to the Editor, Michael Hall FSA. The successful applicant will have a higher degree in art history with academic expertise in some aspect of European fine or decorative art before 1800, and will be competent in one or more European languages. It is a full-time post based at the magazine’s office in central London. Details online.
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) is looking for new Ordinary Members of Council and new Editors for the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology and for SPMA’s monographs series. Preferred deadline for applications 1 September. Details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, 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 Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.