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Salon: Issue 404
10 April 2018

Next issue: 24 April

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 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.

Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this here, but failing all else there is an online archive where new editions go live at the same time as the mailing. Every Salon lists the publication date of the next edition at the top.
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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Digitising Our Seals Card Catalogue with MicroPasts

The Society is excited to announce that we have launched a project to digitise the card index which accompanies the seal collection. Comprising more than 10,000 seal casts, matrices and impressions – many of which are important and unique records – the card index is the primary finding and research aid to this collection. With funding from the London Museum Development Digital Grants, the Society has purchased a high intensity scanner to produce high resolution images of the cards, which will be placed online through the heritage crowd-sourcing website Micropasts, where members of the public (including Fellows) can help to transcribe each card. The Society will then receive the transcribed data that can be fed back into future research enquiries and projects.

Watch now >

Dates for your diary

Unearthing the Past: Society of Antiquaries Research Showcase

On 27 July, we will be hosting an event offering our grant recipients the opportunity to present their research at Burlington House through table-top displays, talks, and interactive workshops. Our aim is to raise public interest in and awareness of history and archaeology by showcasing significant research that the Society has supported. The event is designed to be fun, informative and accessible to all ages - so do bring the whole family along too!

Find out more >


Remember to book your tickets for both the Anniversary Meeting Reception (Gill Andrews' last Anniversary Meeting as President) and our Summer Soirée. You can find information on all forthcoming events (including those for Fellows, the public, conferences, and special events) on the Society's website >

Silver Caesars at Waddesdon Manor

In 1826 an extraordinary set of 12 decorated silver cups or tazze appeared from nowhere in the shop of a London dealer. Not missing a trick, the dealer claimed them to be the work of Benvenuto Cellini, the Italian Renaissance’s best known goldsmith, and the cups were soon gilded. The set was broken up later in the century, and its muddled parts scattered across the globe. Today half of the tazze are in private collections. Among those are that are not, is one at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, from the Collection of Viscount and Viscountess Lee of Fareham; the Viscount Lee was a soldier and politician who in 1917 gave his house, Chequers, to the nation as a retreat for the Prime Minister, and co-founded the Courtauld Institute of Art.
All 12 tazze are now in the UK, in a special exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, first assembled last year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (that exhibition closed in March). They illustrate Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Each tazza consists of a man with a separate cape, ranging from Julius Caesar (49–44 BC) to Domitian (AD 81–96). They stand at the centre of a dish (on the left is Vespasian) with four scenes from his life (at top is a detail of Julius Caesar's challenging invasion of Britain), and a support screwed together from several parts, in all about 45 cm high. What is remarkable about the show is not just that all 12 tazze are together for the first time since the 19th century: as a result of research conducted by the Met, they are correctly assembled. Julia Siemon, the Curator, and Mary Beard FSA talked about the exhibition in front of an audience at the Met on 28 January.
Beard tells how she came across the cups when researching Renaissance and later representations of Roman emperors, and went to the V&A in London to look at what was said to be the tazza of Domitian. She soon realised that there was something wrong. Domitian stood at the centre (he is named), but in the dish a triumphal procession showed a scene not from Domitian’s life, but from that of Tiberius, kneeling before his stepfather. The other three scenes also depicted Tiberius in action as described by Suetonius. Someone had mixed up a dish and a figure. So where was Tiberius?
Siemon, Assistant Research Curator at the Met, led a project to track down all the pieces. The trouble began in the 1860s, when they were sold across Europe; six ended up with a French dealer, when (if not before) the V&A’s piece was wrongly put together. The Domitian bowl was now in Minneapolis, with Augustus; the Augustus dish was in Los Angeles with Nero, whose dish was in New York – with the figure of Tiberius. Other pieces were in Madrid, Lisbon, Toronto, London and New York. Only one, the Titus dish in Lisbon, could not be allocated its figure (the 11 known Caesars are pictured right). Also missing is a 17th-century book describing the pieces, which for some time were all owned by the Aldobrandi family.
Nonetheless, the work’s Renaissance origins remain obscure. Siemon describes the dishes as ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ and probably rare survivors of once more common examples of exceptionally fine precious metalwork. She thinks they were made at the end of the 16th century, probably in the Netherlands, and most likely for a member of the Habsburg dynasty: the Habsburgs validated their imperial status by drawing parallels between themselves and their ancient Roman predecessors, through designs that notably feature only flattering scenes from Suetonius’ more typically critical texts.
What happens to the pieces after the show is over? ‘The whole thing is very complicated.’ says Siemon. ‘So there's interest from some of the owners in restoring the tazze to their original arrangements, but that is something that is being explored between the lenders. The Met is not involved in that process.’

The Silver Caesars: A Renaissance Mystery is at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 18 April–22 July. A book with the same title, edited by Simeon, brings together presentations made at a symposium at the Met. All photos Metropolitan Museum of Art (above shows chariot racing from Domitian's dish). Exhibition details online.

In with the Old

The Royal Mint released 26 10p coins on 1 March ‘to mark everything that makes Britain great’. ‘Everything’ included a mackintosh, James Bond, cricket, fish and chips and a fried breakfast, and a handful of heritage images (above): Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North, a double decker bus, a jubilee coach, King Arthur, a post box, Stonehenge and a village.
Design agency One Rise East responded with an alternative to the Mint’s ‘tired and somewhat dated’ set of designs. ‘We felt the project was lacking in ambition and really predictable, especially when you consider that the selection seems to represent a Britain from 60 years ago,’ Rich Watters, Lead Creative at One Rise East, told Dezeen.
Their selection includes shopping trolleys in a river (T), Danny Dyer, a TV soap actor (D) and Irn-Bru, a luminous Scottish soft drink (I). The series begins with a Fellow. David Attenborough FSA (A) is represented by Nepenthes attenboroughii, an endangered pitcher plant found only on Mount Victoria, Palawan (right).
As well as a Fellow, Burlington House has also recently featured on a coin (left). David Chipperfield Architects, who are working on a major renovation project at Burlington Gardens and Burlington House for the Royal Academy of Arts which will partly open in May, chose a detail of the House’s main facade for a £5 coin. The design, taken from an engraving in Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus (1725), shows the building before a roof extension added by Sydney Smirke in the 1870s. The Royal Mint's coin marks 250 years since the RA's opening in London.

UK Heritage: Strong on Global Stage, not Appreciated at Home

The Heritage Alliance (HA) has published its first International Report. In a short, punchy document aimed at politicians and other cultural organisations, it sets out its case that the UK fails to appreciate the strength and significance of its independent heritage sector.
This ‘has long been a source of world leading expertise’, says the HA, ‘from our pioneering heritage science to our archaeological accreditation process. Although recognised in principle by the Foreign Secretary, much of this enterprise blushes unseen, below the radar of Government, those arranging trade delegations, or other cultural bodies.’ That principle is illustrated by a quote from June 2017, when Boris Johnson (the Foreign Secretary) told the Alliance of ‘the proud sense of identity and history we gain from our collective heritage’ and ‘the magnificent representation of our country that it offers overseas.’ The report shows how those things cannot be taken for granted.
It highlights the expertise that heritage offers as a sector, and explores innovative projects and the range of advice and support that HA members deal with in the course of their work; there are brief case studies of bodies including the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, the Venice in Peril Fund, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, and Historic Houses. ‘Heritage serves as a driver of positive change,’ says the HA, ‘both socially and economically. At home, it provides cohesion, rootedness and identity and is fundamental to the success of many other thriving sectors from construction to the creative industries. For international audiences, as Environment Secretary Michael Gove recently noted, heritage is the glue that binds together our brand Britain.’
‘Our heritage is, and should be, front and centre of our unique offer as a nation on the international stage… [In a survey of HA members’ activities] built heritage featured strongly but it was good to see too that historic ships, trains and vehicles, archaeology and heritage science provide a powerful basis for energetic international engagement… We found strong connections with European and global networks, with UK individuals taking on responsibilities including chairmanships and sitting on specialist panels for their own international umbrella bodies.'
Yet, ‘Neither the quantity nor quality of international work by heritage NGOs is captured by the official tables set up to chart the monetary value of goods and services to UK plc.’
Written by Kate Pugh, The Heritage Alliance International Report can be read online.

Antiquity with Recipe for the Future

A full-size reconstruction of a lamassu, an ancient Assyrian winged bull with a human head, was unveiled on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth in London on 28 March. The original stood at the entrance to the Nergal Gate in Nineveh, in modern Iraq, before it was torn apart by Islamic State in 2015. The new work, by Michael Rakowitz, is the latest to occupy the vacant plinth for a year. It is part of the artist's long-term project, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, to recreate more than 7,000 objects looted from the Iraq Museum in 2003 or destroyed at archaeological sites across the country in the aftermath of the war. The lamassu is covered with 10,500 Iraqi date syrup tins – the recycled food packaging echoing, says Rakowitz, reliefs at the base of Nelson’s Column, which were made from canons salvaged from the wreck of HMS Royal George.
‘This work is unveiled in Trafalgar Square at a time when we are witnessing a massive migration of people fleeing Iraq and Syria,’ said Rakowitz in a press statement. ‘I see this work as a ghost of the original, and as a placeholder for those human lives that cannot be reconstructed, that are still searching for sanctuary.’
‘This is one of the very best fourth plinth projects’, wrote Adrian Searle in the Guardian. ‘Thinking about it now, my heart is in my mouth.’

'Here is my country,’ Margaret Nadir Aziz told Maev Kennedy FSA, ‘for real here in the middle of this city, for so many people to see – wonderful, but I have tears also.’


Fellows (and Friends)

Peter Gordon FSA, historian of education, has died.
The Revd David Walker FSA, medieval historian, died in December.
Vera Evison FSA, Anglo-Saxon archaeologist, died in March.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains a further notice on the late Lord Stewartby FSA.


The British Museum’s Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme is working at what it describes as the world’s oldest surviving bridge. The bridge at Tello, in the south of Iraq, was built in the third millennium BC and will be preserved by British Museum archaeologists and Iraqi heritage professionals who are being trained to protect ancient sites that have suffered damage at the hands of Islamic State. It is hoped that the restoration will be a potent symbol of a nation emerging from decades of war, and could one day become the focus of a visitor centre. Built for the ancient Sumerian city of Girsu, the bridge was rediscovered in 1929 and had been variously interpreted as a temple, dam and water regulator. Recent studies confirmed that it was a bridge over an ancient waterway.

On 3 April the Government confirmed a UK ban on ivory sales. Designed, to ‘help protect elephants for future generations,’ the ban will cover ivory items of all ages with a maximum penalty for a breach of an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail. The ban, said Environment Secretary Michael Gove, will be ‘one of the world’s toughest’. Following a public consultation, exemptions have been reduced; they include objects with less than 10% ivory by volume made before 1947. Items at least 100 years old can be assessed by ‘specialist institutions such as the UK’s most prestigious museums’ for their rarity and importance, and accredited museums may be exempted for certain commercial activities.

On 26 March Teresa Hall (left) unveiled a bust of Mick Aston FSA at the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Bristol, where Aston taught for many years. Alex Peter’s bronze was cast in the Mussi artworks foundry in Berkeley, California. ‘Mick was such an amazing archaeologist in so many different ways,’ said Mark Horton FSA, a former colleague (left). ‘He was passionate about lifelong learning for all, and, of course, a great communicator.’ 

In Morocco, Nick Barton FSA is co-directing excavations at Taforalt Cave, a Later Sone Age (LSA) Ibermomaurusian site, exploring the origins of the LSA in North Africa and ancient Moroccan people. The team found remains of more than ten people, which were radiocarbon dated at Oxford University and analysed for aDNA. The Taforalt individuals derive one third of their ancestry from sub-Saharan Africans, and the team found no evidence for gene flow from Palaeolithic Europeans into North Africa. The best genetic affinity is with early Holocene Near Easterners (Levantine Natufians, 15,000 years ago), suggesting a pre-agricultural connection between Africa and the Near East. On the other hand, some of the oldest LSA finds occur in Morocco and Algeria. In a press release, Barton said, ‘The results of this study are intriguing and call for a re-think of ideas. The genetics are telling us one thing, but the archaeological dating is telling us another.’

London's Waterfront 1100-1666: Excavations in Thames Street, London, 1974–84, by John Schofield FSA, Lyn Blackmore FSA and Jacqueline Pearce FSA, with Tony Dyson FSA, was published online last year by the City of London Archaeological Trust, along with much other valuable material. It is now to be launched as an updated monograph by Archaeopress, who will also make the book available as a free PDF. It brings together archaeological and documentary evidence for Medieval and post-Medieval secular properties and a parish church on four waterfront sites: Swan Lane, Seal House, New Fresh Wharf and Billingsgate Lorry Park. The London waterfront excavations since 1972 have produced great advances in our knowledge about the nature of reclamation on the river bank and extension of properties into the river; the inclusion of thousands of artefacts and pottery sherds in the reclamation and foreshore deposits are an unequalled catalogue of the material culture of Medieval London; and the carpentry of the wooden revetment have consequences for study of Medieval buildings which have otherwise not survived. The work is described as ‘a first statement’; non-ceramic artefacts from layers after 1500 have not yet been studied, and the large amount of Medieval and post-Medieval pottery from the largest excavation, Billingsgate, ‘awaits adequate resources for analysis’.

‘Historic churches are [England’s] crowning glory,’ wrote Simon Jenkins FSA in his Guardian column on 30 March. ‘But they belong to everyone, of all faiths and none. They should be nationalised, localised and secularised, in that order. England’s churches should be liberated from England’s church.’

In 1953 the schoolboy Alan Garner FSA rediscovered a wooden shovel originally found in the Alderley copper mines in 1875. In 1991 he presented it to the Manchester Museum in the University of Manchester: this – and the discovery of a hoard of over 500 Roman coins – inspired the creation of the Alderley Edge Landscape Project, a multi-disciplinary research programme of the Museum and the National Trust, which owns most of the Edge. The Story of Alderley: Living with the Edge, edited by A J N W (John) Prag FSA, was published in 2016. It is now available as an e-book. ‘Unfortunately,’ writes Prag, ‘unlike “real” books, e-books attract VAT, so the price for this version is £60 – and worse, to my sorrow it is not possible to offer any kind of discount.’

Chris Stringer FSA is a co-author of a study of the Neanderthal face. Using three-dimensional digital models of Neanderthals, modern humans, and Homo heidelbergensis, scientists considered three hypotheses to account for distinctive Neanderthal features: stronger biting, better conditioning of cold or dry air, and heavier breathing. Few differences were found in Neanderthal ability to chew, but their nasal cavities could condition air more efficiently than H. heidelbergensis, and could move considerably more air than either H. heidelbergensis or modern humans. ‘It will be the most severe [environments] that are pruning their morphology and adapting them,’ Stringer told the Guardian. ‘We now need to read this again against the archaeological evidence to see how they are using their very powerful bodies,’ said Matt Pope FSA (not involved in the research), ‘their very energetically demanding bodies, perhaps in different ways to how anatomically modern humans are using them.’
With puffs from the BBC, Reuters, Baillie Gifford and the Tata Group, the Hay Festival has announced its 2018 programme (24 May to 3 June in Hay-on-Wye, Wales). Several Fellows will be appearing. Bettany Hughes FSA (left) offers Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities (26 May). Jessica Harrison-Hall FSA talks about China: A History in Objects (30 May). Keith Ray FSA and Julian Thomas FSA describe Neolithic Britain: The Transformation of Social Worlds (1 June). Barry Cunliffe FSA addresses The Ancient Celts (1 June) and On The Ocean: The Mediterranean and the Atlantic from Prehistory to AD 1500 (2 June). David Cannadine FSA presents Victorious Century, 1800-1906 (2 June). Simon Jenkins FSA talks about Britain’s Best Railway Stations (3 June). Charlotte Higgins FSA chairs two presentations, Emily Wilson giving The 2018 Anthea Bell Lecture: Translating Homer (27 May) and Edith Hall on Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life (28 May), and Bettany Hughes joins John Vidal, Patrick Kzitu and Emma Taylor to talk about It Starts With A Book (26 May). Let Salon know how it was if you go.

The remains of former convicts at Dorchester prison are to be reburied in Poundbury Cemetery, reported the Dorset Echo on 23 March. The remains are said to include those of Martha Brown, whom a young Thomas Hardy saw hung for murder in 1856, inspiring his novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The last person to be buried at the yard was executed in 1941. The former Her Majesty’s Prison Dorchester closed in 2013. Would-be developers City & Country commissioned Cotswold Archaeology to investigate the site. Human remains were found in early evaluations, but as they were left in the ground, they could not be analysed and their gender and identity remain open questions. Nonetheless, the Thomas Hardy Society, led by their president Lord Fellowes, has been campaigning to have the remains, which they believe to include those of Martha Brown, excavated and reburied.
Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: A Research Framework, edited by Sally Foster FSA, Katherine Forsyth, Susan Buckham and Stuart Jeffrey was launched in 2016 as part of the Scottish Archaeology Research Framework (ScARF). Substantial online resources are available. The project is described in detail in a series of text files, which have now been produced as stand-alone PDFs. Listen to the Stones, by Adrian Maldonado and Susan Buckham, is a popular introduction to the carved stones based on the original text, which has its own well-illustrated file. There is also a file describing 39 case studies.
No UK special public exhibition made the top 20 most popular around the world in the Art Newspaper’s annual survey on 26 March. Ranked by daily visits, London’s Saatchi Gallery’s Painter’s Painters came in at number 4, and Tate’s David Hockney retrospective at number 12 – at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (which in London helped Tate Britain attract a record 1,800,000 visitors in 2017, a 60% increase). In art museum attendance, headed by the Louvre (8,100,000 visits), the British Museum came fifth (5,906,000), Tate Modern sixth (5,656,004) and the National Gallery eighth (5,229,192). While overall the Victoria and Albert Museum had a record year for visitor figures, like Tate Britain, they fell at the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum and Tate Modern. ‘What is striking,’ writes Martin Bailey, is that UK figures for museums funded by central government from both the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Art Newspaper ‘show a continuous increase and then a decrease in visitors.’ While overseas visitors have been rising, it seems national attendance is falling. Sandy Nairne FSA, former Director of the National Portrait Gallery, and Mark Jones FSA, former Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, comment that rising prices and falling incomes are probably to blame.

In ‘Three for one: Analysis of three differing approaches to developing an archaeology strategy,’ Mary Teehan, Rebecca H Jones FSA and Mike Heyworth FSA consider ‘differing approaches in fighting for the greater good’. Since 2015, three different strategies for archaeology have been developed by three separate organisations in Ireland, Scotland and England, they write in Internet Archaeology 49. Why now? One reason was the recession: in Ireland there was a staggering 83% exit from the archaeology profession between 2007 and 2014, and while the UK ‘hasn't seen quite the scale of reductions as Ireland … the sector has considerably contracted and we have found ourselves in challenging and austere times.’ Wider challenges in society and technology have altered research frameworks and funding opportunities, while public interest has soared. The challenge now, say the authors, is how to sustain momentum and deliver on the promises. ‘By focusing on agreed priorities, it may be that “a rising tide will lift all boats”.’

Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History, by Roy Adkins FSA and Lesley Adkins FSA and published last September (Salon 392), has now been published in north America, on the 240th anniversary of France becoming officially involved with the American Revolution. Britain then declared war on France in the summer of 1778, and France eventually persuaded Spain to join in, leading to the Great Siege of Gibraltar from June 1779 to February 1783. The American jacket uses a painting by John Trumbull on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio. The Adkins will be speaking at the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature on 15 May.
Mary Beard FSA and Charlotte Higgins FSA took part in a Guardian Live discussion at Sadler’s Wells theatre, London, which can be heard as a podcast. They consider themes raised by Beard’s recent books, Women and Power: A Manifesto and two spin-offs from the BBC TV series, Civilisations: How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith. How did Beard feel in Civilisations, asked Higgins, out of her Classical comfort zone as she travelled around the world? I learnt a lot, replied Beard. Some critical responses revealed ‘a huge cultural investment in a view of ancient Greek and Roman culture as a touchstone of what “western civilisation” is, that I and my students haven’t adhered to for decades.’ • Oxford University has announced that Mary Beard will become of seven Honorary degree recipients for 2018 in June.

Pay in archaeology is often said to be low relative to the experience and qualifications required by many practitioners, but at least it seems to be equally low for everyone. On 5 April companies employing more than 250 people were required to declare figures revealing their gender pay gaps. Though not legally required to declare such figures, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), an archaeological charity, announced a 0.1% variation in average pay. ‘A career in archaeology is so diverse,’ says MOLA in a blog, ‘with a great many areas of expertise, from archaeological illustration to geophysical survey. In terms of representation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) jobs, archaeology is leading the way. At MOLA our scientific and technical specialists, like osteologists and geomaticians, are equally split across the sexes. Our large field team undertakes the very physically demanding job of excavating archaeological sites and is made up of 50% women. Within the field team many of our most experienced and specialist staff are female, including one of our chainsaw operators [in the photo, Jess Bryan cuts up Roman timbers]. Given that our fieldwork is carried out on construction sites, which tend to be male-dominated, this is really inspiring.’
Journalists have been talking to David Reich, who has published Who We Are and How We Got Here, reviewing recent research into ancient DNA, much of it his own. He has many collaborators, among who are several Fellows. ‘Nobody would have believed the scale of the turnover,’ Ian Armit FSA told the New York Times about the genetic change that occurred in Britain with the arrival of Beaker culture. ‘It’s changed the game,’ said Matthew Spriggs FSA, who has worked with Reich on early Pacific migrations. ‘Most of us have thought the people who built Stonehenge were our direct ancestors,’ says Mike Parker Pearson FSA in the Daily Mail, ‘but actually this study shows that they are only distantly related to us, if at all. We now realise these people had totally disappeared from the British population within 1,000 years.' The Beaker data are ‘absolutely sort of mind-blowing,’ says Barry Cunliffe FSA. ‘They are going to upset people, but that is part of the excitement of it.’
Expanded Interiors (16 May 2018–January 2019) is installing contemporary artworks among the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii, at the House of the Beautiful Courtyard (Herculaneum) and the House of the Cryptoporticus (Pompeii). Catrin Huber, artist and Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University, has assembled a team of archaeologists and digital technologists (Ian Haynes FSA, Thea Ravasi and Alex Turner), and a contemporary art specialist (Rosie Morris) ‘to explore the relevance of Roman wall painting and artefacts for today’s fine art practice, and to test how artists can respond to the histories and complex nature of these archaeological sites within a contemporary context.’ The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In the photo are (left to right) Ravasi, Turner, Haynes, Huber and Morris.
The Turin Shroud remains a revered relic of the Catholic Church, despite having been shown to be Medieval in date and not contemporary with the death of Christ. Michael Tite FSA, then Keeper of the British Museum’s Research Laboratory, co-ordinated the work of three labs chosen by the Church to produce a scientific date. Tite went to Turin in 1988, and described the experience to Rob Walker for BBC Radio in 2016; the short programme has been rebroadcast on the World Service, and can be heard on iPlayer. The result was AD 1260–1390, which the Church accepted. At the press conference, Tite wrote the date on the wall behind him with an exclamation mark, which played a part in some of many conspiracy theories that developed to explain a result some people did not want, and still will not accept.
More than two decades after Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel-Deschamps and Christian Hillaire stumbled on one of the greatest surviving ice age cave galleries in southern France – and four years since it was designated a World Heritage Site – agreement has been reached over rights to the art. The finders had argued that they were entitled to part of the income deriving from the Chauvet cave and a nearby replica made for public access. Disputes went back to the time of the discovery, when the French government tried to appropriate the land above the cave: the owners were offered F25,000, but they asked for F70 million; the cave entrance had to be widened to allow a judge to enter, and the court awarded them F87.5 million in 2001. Meanwhile Chauvet himself got into a row with the Ministry of Culture over a videotape and photos, disputing the government’s claim that he was a state agent (a letter proving this was a fake, he said). According to the Art Newspaper the association of the Caverne du Pont-d’Arc will now pay the three speleologists €50,000 for image rights and the Chauvet name, and they will receive 1.7% of admission fees to the replica cave.
The Art Newspaper is celebrating its 300th edition, with editors and reporters looking back on events, ideas and memorable correspondence. At the start, says Anna Somers Cocks FSA, Founding Editor and Chairman, ‘the big news, which we put on our front page, was the reunification of the great museums of Berlin.’ ‘Shortly afterwards,’ she continues, ‘I was writing the headline, Armageddon over Eden, for an article published during the first Gulf War (the Garden of Eden supposedly having been located in southern Mesopotamia), in which we listed the sites in Iraq as of fundamental importance to the history of mankind that needed to be protected from US bombing raids. We have survived two more crises in the art market, one after the internet bubble burst in 2000, another after the much more serious financial collapse of 2008.’ But the challenges are not over, she adds: ‘I foresee that the expansionist ethos of museums, which apes the world of business, is unsustainable and potentially corrupting, or at the very least distracting from the museums’ main mission. It is clear that art is already beginning to look less deserving than other, more obviously humanitarian causes.’

In an article in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (April 2018) Thomas F Strasser and colleagues argue that some long-known, tiny rock engravings in a cave on Crete date from the Ice Age and are Upper Palaeolithic. If they are right, Curtis Runnels FSA (not part of the research team) told Norman Hammond FSA in the Times (7 April), the engravings are ‘the best candidate for palaeolithic cave art in Greece and the southernmost example of European-style cave art.’ The work is not scientifically dated, but with high resolution photogrammetry scientists were able to pick apart successive layers of scratches, finding representations of small deer among the first to be made. They argue that distinctive sweeping, unforked antler identify the animals as Candiacervus, a genus of extinct deer endemic to Pleistocene Crete – not, as had been previously suggested in less thorough studies, a local feral goat. The rule in the photo is 5 cm long.

Last October Eberhard Zangger, a Swiss geoarchaeologist and communications consultant, told the Independent newspaper that a new translation of the Luwian language could solve ‘one of the greatest puzzles of Mediterranean archaeology’. A copy of an inscription was found in the estate of James Mellaart FSA and given by his son to Zangger, President of the Luwian Studies Foundation. However on 30 March Zangger said the drawings of artefacts and translations were faked by Mellaart to support his theories about early Asia Minor. In February Zangger was invited by Mellaart’s son, Alan, to examine the late archaeologist’s study in north London. He found files which showed Mellaart had been studying the hieroglyphs, contrary to his claims, and had ‘seemingly spirited into existence a history of the Luwians’. ‘These allegations of forgery are undoubtedly justified,’ said Zangger. ‘Instead of formulating theories, Mellaart fabricated drawings of artefacts and translations of alleged documents to reinforce his theories.’

Maryport: A Roman Fort and its Community by David Breeze FSA reviews a collection of Roman inscribed stones and sculpture, together with other Roman objects found at the Cumbrian fort and now housed in the Senhouse Roman Museum, and the fort’s earthworks and a large civil settlement revealed through geophysical survey and two recent excavations. The book places the collection in context and describes the history of research at the site. Maryport, says the blurb, although at the north-western edge of the Roman Empire, provides material of international importance for our understanding of the Roman state.

Chantal Conneller FSA, Alex Bayliss FSA, Maisie Taylor FSA and Nicky Milner FSA are among authors of a paper about abrupt climate change in England aroudn 11,000 years ago, and its impact on people. Their study is based on detailed re-investigations of the famous early Holocene site of Star Carr in Yorkshire, where a large assemblage of artefacts and animal remains has been recovered from a sequence of wetland deposits at the edge of a former lake basin. Drawing on an environmental record from two sediment cores, the exceptional evidence of wooden structures and economic activity, and a large number of radiocarbon dates, the team conclude that the hunter-gatherers’ world was dominated by climatic instability. However, the people at Star Carr were ‘resilient to abrupt cooling events, [while] the major changes in activity at the site coincided with intrinsic changes in local environmental ecological conditions and not with external climate drivers… the evidence from Star Carr indicates continuity and resilience throughout at least one’ abrupt climatic event. The article is in Nature Ecology & Evolution 26 March.

Fellows Remembered

Peter Gordon FSA has died. He was born in 1924, and was elected a Fellow of the Society in November 1991. Richard Aldrich edited In History and in Education in Gordon’s honour in 1996 (reprinted 2013). Most of what follows is taken from Aldrich’s introduction to this book.
On the Society’s blue election paper in 1991, Peter Gordon is described as one of only two professors in the UK in the history of education. He brought to this field expertise and experience in both history and education, making significant contributions not least through a large number of wide-ranging publications (including several books co-authored with Denis Lawton). His research into educational history of the 19th and 20th centuries was grounded in social and political context, but often emphasised the roles of individuals in reform.
He was General Series Editor for the Woburn Education Series, to which he contributed several volumes himself, including his first book, derived from his doctoral thesis, The Victorian School Manager: A Study in the Management of Education 1800–1902 (1974). Among other books were Curriculum Change in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1978, with Denis Lawton); HMI [Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools] (1987, with Lawton); Royal Education: Past, Present and Future (1999, with Lawton: a ‘strangely neglected’ subject, of interest because of what it tells us about how decision-makers thought about the education of leaders, and the matter of choice when that was not constrained by cost); Dictionary of British Women's Organisations, 1825–1960 (2001, with David Doughan); A History of Western Educational Ideas (2002) and Dictionary of British Education (2003, both also with Denis Lawton).
Gordon was born in Hull, went to India for his National Service with the Royal Air Force (1945–48), and returned to London to study at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education. He then taught in primary and secondary schools in London, Essex and Middlesex before joining Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools in 1965. In 1973 he became Lecturer in Education at the University of London, rising to Reader (1976) and Head of a new History and Humanities Department and a personal chair (1982). He retired in 1993.
Beside his main educational focus, Gordon was also a researcher into family history and Trustee of the Northamptonshire Record Society. Publications included The Red Earl: The Papers of the Fifth Earl Spencer (2 vols 1981/1986), The Wakes of Northamptonshire: A Family History (1992) and Politics and Society: The Journals of Lady Knightley of Fawsley 1885–1913 (1999).


The Revd David Walker FSA died on 20 December 2017 aged 94. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1960, and resigned in March 2001. Writing in the Church Times (2 March) the Ven Robert Williams describes David Walker as ‘a man of many parts and much energy, having been an RAF pilot, university lecturer, clergyman, and author.’
Born in Bristol, Walker joined the RAF in 1940 and flew heavy bombers in the Burma campaign. After the war he was re-trained on jet fighter aircraft in preparation for the Korean War. He studied history at the University of Bristol, obtained a D Phil from Balliol College, Oxford, and was appointed to teach medieval history at University College, Swansea, in 1951, where he stayed for some 30 years.
He was President of the Bristol and Gloucester Archaeological Society, Secretary and Chairman of the Historical Association (Bristol and Swansea), and Vice-President of the Glamorgan History Society. His books include Medieval Wales (1990), The Normans in Britain (1995), and The Cartulary of St Augustine's Abbey, Bristol (1998). He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
‘From his time as a choirboy,’ says Williams, ‘David's faith was an important part of his life.’ He became the first person in the Swansea & Brecon diocese to be ordained as a non-stipendiary clergy, being both deaconed and priested in 1962. He became Chaplain to the University Air Squadron in 1964 and to the RAF in 1967. From 1972, when he was appointed a Canon of Brecon Cathedral, he played a full part in cathedral life, including much work in the Chapter Library. He became Precentor in 1979 and was Chancellor from 1990 to 1993. Alongside this, he continued parish duties at St Mary's and St James's in Swansea and, over the years, served Hafod, Manselton, and Caerethin parishes.
Vera Evison FSA died on 18 March. She was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1955, nearly 63 years ago.
Vera Evison was one of a number of archaeologists in the last century who worked for the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments at the Ministry of Works, excavating sites ahead of their imminent destruction by development with the voluntary support of the developers. Her speciality was Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. As was often the case with such projects, for want of funds analysis and publication of the results were not always able to follow directly on excavation.
Evison managed the complex task of seeing six cemeteries through to publication, mostly in monographs. These were at Buckland, Dover, a site being developed into a housing estate in 1951 (published 1987); Great Chesterford, Essex, where gravel-quarrying was taking out fields north-west of the Roman town in 1952 (published 1994); Holborough Hill, Kent, excavated 1952­–53 ahead of removal by chalk quarrying by Associated Portland Cement (published 1956); two cemeteries at Beckford, Hereford and Worcester, revealed by gravel digging and excavated in 1954 and 1958 respectively (published together with Prue Hill in 1996); and Alton, Hampshire, excavated 1959–61 (published 1988).
A grave at Alton contained a spectacular decorated silver-gilt buckle (right), one of many recovered artefacts indicative of gender, status and cultural values that were apparently the personal possessions of the dead. Studying and cataloguing such objects, with her own numerous drawings, became an extraordinary project for Evison. Among a series of articles mostly in the Antiquaries Journal and Archaeologia, she reported on inlaid metalwork, glass drinking-horns (both in 1955), sugar-loaf shield bosses (1963), sword-rings and beads (1967 and again in 1976), quoit brooch style buckles (1968), glass cone beakers (1972), whetstones (1975), applied disc brooches on the continent and in England (both 1978), and glass claw-beakers and button brooches (both in 1982, the latter with Richard Avent FSA). She also published A Corpus of Wheel-thrown Pottery in Anglo-Saxon Graves (1979) and Catalogue of Anglo-Saxon Glass in the British Museum (2008, edited by Sonja Marzinik), work for which she was particularly well known.
Evison drew on some of her own excavations for The Fifth Century Invasions South of the Thames (1965). This was a controversial narrative of Anglo-Saxon settlement in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Wiltshire which emphasised colonisation led by Frankish ex-soldiers of the Roman army from north France or Belgium, at the expense of traditional Jutish and Saxon homelands. Not all specialists were convinced. Reviewing the book in the Antiquaries Journal, Sonia Chadwick Hawkes FSA chastised Evison for ‘Frankophilia’ and her ‘very curious state of mind’. By contrast, Rupert Bruce-Mitford FSA (in the Archaeological Journal) congratulated her on the ‘essential value and importance of the book’.

Ian Riddler FSA, Jean Soulat and Lynne Keys FSA edited The Evidence of Material Culture: Studies in Honour of Professor Vera Evison (2016), for her ‘major contribution to the study of the archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England over a period of more than sixty years.’


Ian Stewart, Lord Stewartby FSA, who died in March, is described as ‘one of Britain’s most respected numismatists’ in an obituary in the Telegraph that is strong on political detail (5 April).
In 1956 he went up to Jesus College, Cambridge, taking a First in Classics. His main achievements as a minister, says the Telegraph, were to prepare the ground for the demutualisation of building societies and the Trustee Savings Bank, and push through legislation to tighten banking regulation, then in the hands of the Bank of England.
After the theft of the oldest part of his collection of Scottish coins in 2007, Spink auctioned his English coins, many of them Anglo-Saxon, at five separate sales. The third alone involved 152 lots of gold pieces from Edward III to George III.

Memorials to Fellows 

Blaise Vyner FSA writes about John James FSA (1810–67), whose memorial is in West Witton, Wensleydale:
memory of
JANUARY 22ND 1811;
JULY 4TH 1867.
After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well
John James FSA, who was to become a celebrated historian of Bradford, was brought up in lowly circumstances in West Witton, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. He was born on 30 December 1810 but had an early setback when his father was hanged for murder in 1814. According to local historian Liz Kirby he began work at a limekiln at the age of ten, and spent most of his small earnings on books. A local gentleman secured him a post as a solicitor’s Clerk in Richmond (North Yorks) and after a spell in London he returned north, to Bradford, where he became a solicitor (Kirby 2002).
‘James wrote numerous pieces for the press, as well as his first book, A History of Bradford (1842). He became better known following the publication of History of the Worsted Manufacture in England, from the Earliest Times (1857), written at the invitation of the manufacturers (Speight 1897, 412-3), and in 1866 produced Continuation and Additions to the History of Bradford.
‘The memorial is mistaken in citing James’s birth year as 1811, an error explained, perhaps, by the 18 years that elapsed between his death and the production of the grave marker, the initiative for which was taken by George Ackroyd and Samuel Wright, patrons of Bradford authors, in 1884. One wonders if the memorial was a Bradford product, brought to Leyburn by rail, but there is no marker’s mark on it.
‘Kirby, L 2002, The stories behind the stones, in J Hall (ed) West Witton, Aspects of Village History, Northwich (Green Ridges Press), 43-54
‘Reynolds, J, and Baines, F, One Hundred Years of Local History (Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society website, consulted February 2018
‘Speight, H 1897, Romantic Richmondshire (London: Elliot Stock), 412-3.’
• James devoted a page of the preface to his History of the Worsted Manufacture to his state of health. ‘Under the continual pressure of sickness I have struggled onward to the goal … this work bears many traces of having been written in a season of ill health and depressions, alike inimical to vigour of style, or the condensation and arrangement of facts.’ His other writings included lives of John Nicholson and Robert Story, as introductions to editions of their poems.

This sort of memorial, a caption panel for a pair of vervels at the British Museum, was tweeted by the Portable Antiquities Scheme on 21 March. It was ‘vervel day’ at the British Museum, and this was one of the items shown from the collection. Mill Stephenson FSA (1857–1937) for many years worked on the Society’s manuscript collections, and transcribed and indexed many of the heraldic collections. ‘Spared from the necessity of having to earn his living,’ wrote M S G in his obituary (Antiquaries Journal 17, 1937, 449–50), Stephenson 'was able to devote his boundless energy throughout practically the whole of his long life to the pursuit of those antiquarian studies in which he was particularly interested.’ These included brass-rubbing, Roman antiquities (especially coins) and heraldry, but he ‘was little interested’ in ‘the more speculative side and always confessed to an inability from the want of sufficient imagination to understand the recent developments in such branches of the science as prehistory.’

The Wisdom of Fellows 

Peter J Davey FSA is looking for some excavation archives, and wonders if any Fellows can help:
‘The late Dr Lawrence Butler FSA carried out four seasons of excavations at Rushen Abbey in the Isle of Man. In 1978 and 1979 he investigated the presbytery and north and south transepts of the church, and in 1988 and 1989 he exposed the whole of the east range. The excavations were published in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association in 1998 and 2002 respectively.
‘The Centre for Manx Studies is in the final stages of preparing the publication of its own 11 seasons of excavation on the site from 1998 to 2008 (left), for which more detail of Butler’s stratigraphy beyond what can be gleaned from the two published reports would be extremely helpful.
‘Although all the finds from his excavations were deposited in the Manx Museum, there are no site records whether diary, drawings, photographs, contexts descriptions or finds lists. Obtaining copies of these records would make an enormous difference to the Manx authorities in making the results of the excavations better known and publicly accessible.
‘Does any Fellow know what happened to Lawrence’s excavation archives? If so, please get in touch with Dr P J Davey at’ Photo shows excavations at the Rushen cloisters in 1999.


I have illustrated the university pension strike, which has now ended, with photos of placards. University and College Union (UCU) members are being asked about the latest proposals in a ballot which closes on 13 April. If the proposals are rejected, further strike action will hit teaching and the exam and assessment period.
What did Fellows think? Here are two comments from opposite sides of the dispute.
David J E Constable FSA (of Constables Publishing) is not impressed by the protesting academics:
‘I note with interest and disbelief at the comments regarding a £6.1 billion pension deficit. Surely these people are all highly intelligent and yet, are not able to understand that this situation must NOT and cannot continue.
‘Action must be taken now, to ensure future generations will actually receive a pension at an age they are still alive. There are many people on much lower incomes and yet, they recognise they have to economise to ensure they put money away for their pension. The many self-employed who do not have the safety net of an employer’s pension have to be very prudent and save to ensure they have a pension at all.
‘It strikes me their attitude is to ensure they’re looked after at the expense of the future generations. Appalling leadership and example.’
Alison McHardy FSA, describing herself as a ‘USS pensioner (lucky woman)’, supports the strike:
‘What people in “the private sector” don't understand about academics is 1) that their training is very long and you don't start paying in to the pension scheme for most of that time, and 2) university salaries are very low compared with those of other professionals, eg lawyers, doctors, accountants. During the 1970s, when our pay had fallen seriously behind, we threatened, at one point, to withhold the marks of summer exams. This worked a treat and we got a good pay rise.’

John Pearce FSA, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology in the Department of Classics at King's College London, writes with ‘a pedantic revision’:
‘The UCU strike has continued strongly supported on 19th and 20th March in several institutions in London and Scotland, including King's, as the first two days of the strike fell during reading week. At King's in the last week there has been a student occupation of the corridor where some of the senior management team, including the Principal and President (one and the same person) have their offices. This is in support of the strike, amongst other grievances. The external examiner resignation you reported is snowballing, which will have an impact even if the dispute is resolved before the next anticipated strike action.’
Robin Densem FSA was elected a Fellow on 15 March, as noted in the last Salon where he was wrongly listed as Robert Densem. Apologies.

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 Amelia Carruthers, 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. 

19 April: Tours are free, but booking is required >
28 June: Tours are free, but booking is required >

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

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

  • 15 May 2018: Andrew Shortland FSA and Dennis Braekmans (Archaeological Science, Title TBC).
  • 17 May 2018: The Archaeology of Early Mediaeval Floodplains in the Czech Republic: Methods and Discoveries by Jiří Macháček.
Please email Hajnalka Herold ( if you'd like to attend.

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

Welsh Fellows

  • 23 June 2018: 'Neath Abbey and the Ironworks' - a one day visit, led by Bill Zajac FSA with David Robinson FSA also in attendance at the Abbey. Lunch will be in-between visits at the Miners Arms.
  • July (Date TBC): An opportunity to visit the new excavations at Cosmeston by John Hinds FSA
  • 19 October 2018: Weekend visit to the Hereford area, staying in the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford and visiting places of historical and archaeological interest in the area. 
  • 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 events or receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at

York Fellows

  • 26 June 2018: 'Writing Yorkshire' by Professor Richard Morris - discussing his recent highly acclaimed book Yorkshire. Please email if you'd like to attend.
  • 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, you can subscribe online at:

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events

11 April: Starting in Post-Excavation (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 participants to post-excavation and the process that takes us from site record to completed report. The focus will be on report types common in professional practice and generated by development-led fieldwork. It will be ideal for archaeologists in, or moving into, supervisory roles that involve report preparation. Details online.
12 April: A Grand Master in Miniature (London)
Jeremy Warren FSA, former Assistant Director of the Wallace Collection, will give an authoritative account at the Museum of the Order of St John of one of the museum’s treasures, the 16th-century portrait bust of Jean de la Valette. This talk will detail Warren's new research into the finest known portrait of this major historical figure. Details online.
13 April: Historic Landscapes and Mental Wellbeing (Bournemouth)
Using historic landscapes and heritage resources to promote wellbeing represents one of the most significant advances in archaeological resource management for many years. Prompted by the HLF-funded Human Henge project, this conference at Bournemouth University provides an opportunity to hear about this and other work going on across the country and at many different scales, share experiences, and to discuss the outcomes, implications, and theoretical underpinnings of heritage-based wellbeing projects. Details online.
16–18 April: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (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 aims to give participants an understanding of traditional construction and its defects, and to provide the skills to carry out balanced and informed surveys of historic buildings. Course Director Henry Russell FSA, Reading University. Details online.

18 April: The Birth of Modern Theatreland: Covent Garden and the Two Theatres Royal (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the second of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks at the significance and impact of theatres on the development of London. Details online.

19 April: Advanced Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (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 builds on the knowledge and skills developed by an earlier course (16–19 April) and offers advanced additional guidance on a number of specialised topics such as non-destructive investigations, energy efficiency, mechanical and electrical services and wall paintings. Course Director Henry Russell FSA. Details online.
19 April: An Evening with Lambeth Palace Library Conservators (London)
An opportunity to view the Lambeth Palace Library conservation studio and discuss techniques and treatments with the Library’s conservation staff. Please note that the studio is reached by a Medieval spiral staircase. Numbers will be limited, please book in advance with or phone 020 7898 1400.

19–21 April: Elizabeth I: The Armada and Beyond (London)
Royal Museums Greenwich acquired the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I in September 2016, A remarkable work of art which offers a defining image of the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. This conference at the National Maritime Museum will address this moment and its consequences. It seeks to advance our understanding of the Armada Portrait specifically and Elizabeth I more generally, interrogating popular notions associated with her life and reputation, offering fresh and alternative perspectives. Details online.
20 April: Archaeology and the Small Finds of North-East England (Durham)
A joint meeting held by the Finds Research Group, the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, and the Material and Visual Culture Research Group (Dept of Archaeology, University of Durham), supported by the Council for British Archaeology North. Speakers will discuss recent archaeological discoveries from the region, and include Robin Skeates FSA, David Petts FSA, Robin Daniels FSA, Chris Caple FSA and Pam Graves FSA. Details online.
21 April: Ludlow Palmers Symposium on English Tiles (Ludlow)
A symposium at St Laurence Church, Ludlow will be followed by a visit to the Jackfield Tile Museum, Ironbridge. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre on 20 April, to view a collection of 500 medieval floor tiles from across Shropshire. Speakers include Ian Betts, Hans van Lemmen and Lesley Durbin. Details online.

24 April: English Romanesque Sculpture in its Architectural Context (London)
Malcolm Thurlby FSA will give the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland Annual Lecture at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He will consider English Romanesque sculpture in the context of its architectural matrix, focusing on specific carved elements such as portals, tympana, capitals and figural reliefs, and demonstrating the fundamental importance of forensic visual analysis to our understanding of a Romanesque building and its ornament, most notably where documentary information is lacking. Such material evidence will be seen to support proposed dating sequences at monuments at the cathedrals of Worcester, Hereford and Ely and the abbey at Malmesbury, and at lesser churches such as Knook in Wiltshire, Leigh in Worcestershire, Milborne Port in Somerset, and Kirkburn in Yorkshire. Details online.

28 April: Ancient to Modern: The Changing Landscape of Sussex (Lewes)
A day conference offering a broad overview of the changing relationship between the Sussex landscape and the people who lived there, from the earliest arrivals. The emphasis will be on how new ideas resulted in significant changes in the use of the Sussex landscape. Speakers, specialists in their periods, include Sue Berry FSA, John Manley FSA, David Martin FSA and Matt Pope FSA. Details online.

30 April: Collecting Rembrandt’s Art in Britain (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, C Tico Seifert (Senior Curator, Northern European Art, Scottish National Gallery) will speak about Rembrandt. Details online.

4 May: Stratigraphic Analysis in 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 for those familiar with excavation and stratigraphic recording, looking to develop post-excavation skills in analysis, dating, interpretation and description. Details online.
5 May: Roman and Saxon Surrey (Ashtead)
The Surrey Archaeological Society’s major conference focuses on the period AD410–470, under the title Shining a Light on the 5th Century AD in Surrey and the South-East: How did Roman Britain Become Saxon England? ‘We feel that (historic) Surrey and adjoining counties ought to be a key area for understanding the transition from Roman to Saxon', writes David Bird FSA, 'but we are faced with the problem of having very little archaeological evidence for the period.’ Speakers include Peter Guest FSA, Sam Lucy FSA, Helena Hamerow FSA and John Hines FSA. Details online.

8 May: ‘Mysteries’ Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595) (London)
Nicholas Tyacke FSA, whose books include Altars Restored: The Changing Face of English Religious Worship 1547–c 1700, will talk at the Lambeth Palace Library in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500–1800. Details online, or email
9 May: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Adam Lowe (Factum Arte, Madrid) talks about Mediation and Transformation | Alchemy and New Technology: Factum Arte’s workshop practice in an age of 3D recording and printing, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects in the widest possible sense, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
9–10 May: The Setting of Heritage Assets and Places (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. In the context of official guidance and wide-ranging experience of practical casework, this explains why the setting of historic places matters, and the principles and practical skills of sound assessment and decision-making. Course Director George Lambrick FSA, with Stephen Carter, Ian Houlston, Richard Morrice FSA, Julian Munby FSA, Michael Pirie, Ken Smith FSA, Karin Taylor and David Woolley QC. Details online.
11–13 May: English Architecture 1690-1750: To Be or Not To Be Palladian (Oxford)
A weekend at Rewley House exploring the other traditions – among them different varieties of Classical architecture, Baroque and Gothic – which continued alongside those of the Palladian revolution, with a walk to relevant buildings in central Oxford. Speakers include Peter Lindfield FSA and Geoffrey Tyack FSA is Course Director. Details online.

16 May: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Glyn Davies FSA (Museum of London) talks about Order from Chaos? Trying to Make Sense of Medieval Art Workshops, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects in the widest possible sense, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
17 May: A Life on the Road: the Exploits and Adventures of the 17th-Century Ottoman Traveller, Evliya Çelebi (London)
A British Institute at Ankara lecture by Caroline Finkel (Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh) at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace. In 1640, aged 29, the Ottoman courtier Evliya Çelebi left Istanbul for the first time, to visit Bursa. He spent the rest of his life journeying to the ends of the sultan’s domains and beyond, from Vienna to the Sea of Azov to far up the Nile, and wrote in detail of his experiences. His informative, entertaining and often fantastical Seyahatname or Book of Travels is considered the longest travel account in world literature. Details online.

17 May: Project Management in Archaeology: an Introduction (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 those new to project management and will draw on the extensive experience of the tutors in development-led archaeology. Details online.

21 May: The Circulation of Gifts from the 1875–76 Tour of India (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, Kajal Meghani (Exhibition Assistant Curator, Royal Collection Trust) will speak on 'The Prince of Wales' Indian Collection': the circulation of gifts from the 1875-6 tour of India. Details online.

5 June: New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries (London)
This event at Lambeth Palace Library will showcase some recent research on library formation, public and private, in the 17th century. Three short talks, among them Jacqueline Glomski FSA on ‘Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century’, will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in 17th-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research and the application of digital methods. In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. Details online, or email

8 June: Delivering Public Benefit through 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 looks at planning projects to deliver public benefit, how to communicate that benefit, and how to evaluate the impact. It is designed for those responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work that aim to deliver public benefit. Details online.
25 June: 'Sèvres-mania'? (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, Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth FSA (PhD Candidate and History of Art Tutor, University of Leeds) will speak about 'Sèvres-mania'? The History of Collecting Sèvres Porcelain in Britain in the Later 19th century. Details online.
27 June: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Therese Martin FSA (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid) talks about Re-opening the Treasury: Meaning in Materials at San Isidoro de León, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
6 July: Churches: History, Significance and Use (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 provides a firm foundation of the history of church architecture and furnishings, and provides skills to draft statements of significance, aimed particularly at those actively involved in management of church buildings. Details online.
30 July: J C Robinson's Collection at Auction (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, Elizabeth Pergam (Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, NY) will speak about Paris over London: Victorian Curator J C Robinson's Collection at Auction. Details online.
6–9 September: Recent Archaeological Research in the Channel Islands and nearby France (St Helier, Jersey)
Building on the successful Channel Islands History Conference of 2016, this event hosted by the Société Jersiaise Archaeology Section showcases the best and up-to-date archaeological research. Speakers include Chantel Conneller FSA, Barry Cunliffe FSA, Heather Sebire FSA and Robert Waterhouse FSA. On the fourth day, if there is sufficient interest, it is proposed to run two minibus trips to significant archaeological sites in Jersey. Details online.
14-16 September: The Monuments of Hereford and Herefordshire (Hereford)
The Church Monuments Society Bi-Annual Symposium 2018 will be held at the Green Dragon Hotel opposite the cathedral. The focus will be on monuments in the cathedral and surrounding Herefordshire countryside, with an optional visit to the Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi, chained library and after evening dinner lecture on the Mappa Mundi. Speakers include Tobias Capwell FSA, Jerome Bertram FSA, Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA and Moira Gittos FSA, David Lepine FSA, Jon Bayliss FSA, Holly Trusted FSA and Roger Bowdler FSA. Details online.
15 September: Deerhurst, Pershore and Westminster Abbey (Deerhurst)
The 2018 Annual Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm in St Mary's Church, Deerhurst and will be given by Richard Mortimer FSA (former archivist to Westminster Abbey). Details online.

19–20 September: Photographing Historic Buildings (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 aimed at those who are not professional photographers but wish to photograph historic buildings for the record using a digital camera. By the end students will be expected to know how to choose viewpoint and lighting conditions, correctly set up cameras to capture suitable images and how to post-produce images in software ready for the archive. Details online.
24 September: The Sale of Sir Peter Lely's Paintings and Prints (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, Saskia van Altena (Cataloguer of prints, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) will speak on The Sale of Sir Peter Lely's Paintings and Prints: A Breaking Point in the History of Collecting in Britain? Details online.
26–28 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (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 the process of significance, show what is involved in preparing significance assessments, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore ways in which they can be used. Details online.

4 October: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (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 recent guidance, and review the essential components of assessment and updated project design. In the afternoon we will review examples from current practice and consider how far they meet their purpose and justify funding decisions. Details online.
13 October: Castle Studies: Current Research and the Future (London)
A conference organised by the Castle Studies Group to be held at the Society of Antiquaries will honour Derek Renn FSA, author of Norman Castles in Britain (1969/1973), and launch a Festschrift, Castles: History, Archaeology, Landscape and Architecture, edited by Neil Guy FSA. Speakers include Oliver Creighton FSA, Bob Higham FSA, Brian Kerr FSA, Neil Ludlow FSA and Pamela Marshall FSA. For details contact John R Kenyon FSA, 140 Fairwater Grove East, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2JW, before 31 July.

24 October: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field (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 provide expert guidance on how key artefacts and ecofacts can contribute to interpretation of archaeological sites, and good practice in sampling and collection. The course is designed for supervisors, project officers and junior managers with responsibility for running excavations, and those new to specialist artefact and ecofact roles. Details online.
29 October: The Last Great Demidoff Sale of Paintings (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, Alexandre Tissot Demidoff (Independent scholar) will speak about the last great Demidoff sale. 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.
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.

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.

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.

Call for Papers

14 July: Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research (Welwyn)
The Welwyn Archaeological Society and the Rhodes Museum, Bishops Stortford are pleased to announce the third recent research conference, to be held at the Museum. We are seeking 25-minute papers on all aspects of archaeology in Hertfordshire – very broadly defined – from prehistoric to post-Medieval, including updated work on older projects. If you would like to present at the conference, please send a short abstract to Kris Lockyear at Indicate if you would be willing to present a poster should your paper not be one of ten chosen. Details online.

15 September: Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 43 (2019)
The DAS journal for 2019 will celebrate cross-cultural influences between British and Continental European designers and makers of decorative art, as well as exchange with designers further afield. The Society’s remit is 1850 to the present, and typical journal articles take an object-focussed approach. The journal audience is knowledgeable and well-informed, but not necessarily academic. Authors are invited to submit proposals of around 750–1,000 words by 15 September 2018, for articles between around 2,500–6,000 words, plus notes, illustrations and captions. Send proposals to the Editor, Megan Aldrich FSA, at

25–28 October: Discover Sicily’s Argimusco – a Holistic Approach to Heritage Management (Messina, Sicily)
The Annual ICAHM Meeting, to be held In 2018 at Montalbano Elicona, will focus on the need to develop a holistic and integrated approach to heritage management, with six key themes at the heart of current debates: Community Engagement, Climate Change, Tourism, Non-Invasive technologies, Archaeoastronomy, and the Africa Initiative. Organised by ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM), of which Adrian Olivier FSA is Secretary General, and the Municipality of Montalbano Elicona, the meeting invites abstracts of 300 words to be submitted as soon as possible but at the latest by 1 May. Details online.


The British Institute at Ankara has posted details of 2018 Grants and Opportunities on its website, ranging from small research grants to fully funded Fellowships based in Turkey for 12–24 months. Closing date for all applications 29 April 2018. Descripts of previously funded projects can also be seen online.
The Wealden Iron Research Group and the Early Metals Research Trust are jointly funding a second three-year PhD studentship with the Department of Archaeology at the University of Exeter, following a successful collaboration, focussing on the Romans, which began in 2015. For a suitable candidate, this is a great opportunity for career enhancement. There is the potential to combine documentary, field and laboratory studies. Supervision at Exeter will be by Gill Juleff FSA of the Department of Archaeology, with Levi Roach of the Department of History. Closing date for applications 30 April 2018. Details online.

Beautiful Fragments: Glass, Ceramics, Leather, and Metalwork in Medieval London
The University of East Anglia (UEA), in partnership with the Museum of London (MoL), invites applications from suitably qualified UK/EU candidates for a full- or part-time Collaborative Doctoral Award, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council through the CHASE doctoral training partnership. The award will support PhD research into the role played by fragmentary objects in understanding the art and visual culture of the later Middle Ages (c 1000–1500). Jointly supervised by specialists at MoL and UEA, the research will focus on works in the MoL’s Medieval display collections and archaeological archive, which houses artefacts from over 8,500 sites investigated in London over the past century. Supervision will be provided by Glyn Davies FSA (MoL, and Jack Hartnell and Sandy Heslop (UEA, and Deadline for applications Monday 7 May 2018.

The Council of the Church Monuments Society offers a biennial prize of £250 called the Church Monuments Essay Prize, to be awarded with a certificate for the best essay submitted in the relevant year. The aim of the competition is to stimulate people, particularly those who may be writing on church monuments for the first time, to submit material for the peer-reviewed international CMS journal Church Monuments. Therefore, the competition is open only to those who have not previously published an article in Church Monuments. Closing date for applications 31 December 2018. Details online.


The Mausolea & Monuments Trust is looking to obtain the services of a volunteer who can assist in its membership recruitment. The post will appeal to an individual who has some experience of membership management and an up-to-date knowledge of modern social media communication methods. Details online.

The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain seeks a part-time Administrator.
The SAHGB is an international membership organisation for everyone and anyone interested in the history of architecture. We organise lectures, study days, foreign tours, conferences, symposia, and graduate student workshops. We publish the renowned journal Architectural History, and award grants, prizes and PhD Scholarships.
Working from home, the Administrator will provide support and continuity to the Chairman and Secretary over our annual cycle of activities and events. Good administrative and communication skills plus a keen interest in architectural history are essential. Details online.

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers (, 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 Amelia Carruthers (, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.


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