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Salon: Issue 303
19 August 2013

Next issue: 9 September 2013

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website. News and feedback for publication in Salon should be addressed to the Editor, Christopher Catling.
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Inside this issue

Summer closure

The Society’s library and apartments are now closed for the summer. They will reopen at 10am on Monday 2 September 2013. Fellows who wish to use the library before then are advised to telephone to arrange an appointment.

Forthcoming meetings

Tea is served from 4.15pm, and meetings start at 5pm (except for the York meeting on 10 October)

3 October 2013: ‘Thomas Spratt, FSA: travels in Crete’, by Dudley Moore, FSA
Thomas Spratt (1811—88) was a Royal Naval hydrographical officer who travelled to Crete to survey the Mediterranean waters around the island but who also studied the Cretan archaeology in an attempt to identify the legendary ‘labyrinth’ of Theseus and the Minotaur. This lecture looks at some of Spratt’s discoveries on the island well before Sir Arthur Evans’s groundbreaking discoveries of the Minoan civilisation.

10 October 2013: ‘The crop-mark landscapes of the Magnesian Limestone in south and west Yorkshire’, by Ian Roberts, FSA: this meeting will take place in York at 6pm at a venue that will be announced nearer the time
This paper will show the results of a comprehensive survey of the crop-mark landscapes of the Magnesian Limestone belt and its margins in south and west Yorkshire that was carried out as an English Heritage ALSF project between 2005 and 2010 (and published in 2010 as Understanding the Cropmark Landscapes of the Magnesian Limestone). The crop-mark data were combined with geophysical survey and excavation data, gathered mainly since 1990, using GIS so that the distributions of identified types and classifications of enclosures and field systems could be considered with respect to geology, topography and supposed territorial boundaries. One of the principal aims of the project was to obtain a spatial overview of the incidence of the ‘brickwork fields’, well documented on the sandstones of South Yorkshire, as compared to the more irregular field systems found on the limestone in west Yorkshire. The data also facilitated a comprehensive review of the rural archaeology of the later prehistoric and Roman periods.

17 October 2013: ‘5,000 years of Machair settlement: Iain Crawford and the legendary Udal, North Uist, Scotland’, by Beverley Ballin Smith, FSA
Beginning fifty years ago, Iain Crawford worked for more than forty years on the Udal peninsula in North Uist in the Western Isles, employing new and innovatory techniques and accumulating a remarkable collection of finds and site records covering a sequence of occupation from the Neolithic to the present day. His excavations have acquired mythical status because Crawford only publicised the most spectacular elements, he discouraged the visits of other academics, gave little information away, deterred researchers’ enquiries and then found the task of writing up too daunting. Since 2010, with the blessing of the Crawford family and the help of Historic Scotland and the Western Isles Council, a small team has assessed both the documentary archive and the collections. Next year we aim to embark on writing up the results and publishing the individual sites. Iain Crawford remains an enigma, and the story of the Udal is as much about him as what was discovered on site.

24 October 2013: ‘The copy of the 1215 Magna Carta in the Society of Antiquaries’ Black Book of Peterborough and new light on the negotiations at Runnymede’, by David Carpenter
The copy of the 1215 Magna Carta found in a late thirteenth-century cartulary of Peterborough Abbey, known as the Black Book of Peterborough, now in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries, has always been accepted as a straightforward copy of the authorised version of the 1215 Charter. This paper will demonstrate that it is not a copy and that it has variant readings in several places, some of which it shares with a copy of the Charter in the Huntington Library in California. The paper will also show that the Peterborough Black Book and the Huntington Library copies are part of a family of copies of the Charter with distinct differences from the authorised version, and it will explore the possibility that these copies preserve elements of drafts made at Runnymede, and thus throw new light on the course of the negotiations that took place there.

31 October 2013: Death in Paradise: archaeology and the transatlantic slave trade’, by Andrew Pierson, FSA
The tiny, remote island of St Helena was described as nothing less than an ‘earthly paradise’ when it was discovered in 1502. In the centuries that followed it became a vital way-station between Europe and the East Indies, where sailors recuperated and their ships were replenished. Between 1840 and 1872, however, the island took on a new role as a reception ‘depot’ for Africans rescued by Royal Navy patrols from illegal slave ships. But, whilst St Helena had long been the saving of European mariners, the same did not hold true for the freed slaves, who died in their thousands in a bleak camp in Rupert’s Valley. A recent archaeological project has investigated the ‘liberated African’ graveyards that grew up near the depot, now lost amidst a landscape of semi-desert scrub. This project’s findings provide a unique insight into the cruelties of the Middle Passage and into the lives and deaths of its victims.

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Can you help us trace two Fellows?

The Society has lost touch with Professor John White, CBE, FSA, of London and Gerard de Lisle, DL, FSA, of Billesdon; post sent to their last known addresses has been returned to the Society. Giselle Pullen, the Society's Assistant Accountant, would be grateful for news of their current whereabouts.

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Antiquaries Journal papers online

Volume 93 of the Antiquaries Journal is about to go to press and will be delivered to Fellows shortly. In the meantime, the first batch of papers has been published online. Fellows can read and download them for free by going to the Fellows’ Main Page on the Society’s website, selecting ‘The Antiquaries Journal, Archaeologia & Proceedings Online’ from the menu box on the right-hand side of the page, and selecting the ‘Antiquaries Journal’ link when the next page appears.

The papers in the first batch include one from Richard Coates suggesting that the town we know as Corinium (modern Cirencester) should really be called Cironium; another from John Baker and Stuart Brookes identifying a new class of Anglo-Saxon assembly site, the ‘hanging promontory’, and a third from Gavin Stamp on a very early album of photographs taken by Albert Henry Scott, the photographer son of George Gilbert Scott. There are two papers on ancient metalwork: one from Daniel Berger et al discussing the techniques used to create gold inlay work on an early Bronze Age sword, and another from Sandy Heslop and Steven Ashley on a fragment of Romanesque belt buckle, which suggest that metalworkers of great skill were at work in Anglo-Norman England.

From Julian Luxford comes a paper describing a previously unrecorded Sarum book of hours of considerable artistic and textual interest once owned by someone who lived in Somerset or Devon in the early fifteenth century. Nicholas Cooper’s paper on William, Lord Paget’s schemes for a new house at Burton-on-Trent, commissioned between 1559 and 1563, includes three sets of plans and the accompanying estimates from a variety of craftsmen, throwing light on contemporary practice in calculating the costs of a building. Rounding off this first batch are thirteen book reviews.

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The latest on Open Access

The Society’s Director, John Creighton, writes: ‘those of you that manage learned society publications and have been following the Open Access debate might like to know that the four UK higher education funding bodies have just launched another consultation (deadline 30 October 2013) on the rules for the second Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluation of universities, possibly to take place in 2020. They have maintained their insistence that, to be eligible, journal articles and edited conference papers will have to be made open access, but from 2016 onwards, to give journals time to adjust, and only for journals based in the United Kingdom. They have held back from demanding that all monographs should be Open Access, but they have indicated clearly that they will be moving in this direction in the future.

‘They appear to have listened to a lot of the concerns of the humanities sector, particularly about submitting articles to international journals where open access is less well developed. This continues to be a rapidly changing landscape. Some journals, like our own Antiquaries Journal, already allow authors to make their own articles freely available through institutional repositories immediately after publication; many smaller journals have yet to work out their exact position on this. And part of me wonders how many publishers might move their business address to the Isle of Man or the Bailiwicks of Jersey or Guernsey to side-step these rules!’

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The rise and fall of the ‘antiquary’ and the ‘archaeologist’

Fellow Clive Gamble has discovered a fascinating new research tool on the internet that has been developed as a consequence of the digitisation of large numbers of out of copyright or open access publications by Google. Around 5.2 million books have been digitised so far, representing about 4 per cent of the books ever published, dating from the period 1500 to 2000. Search algorithms designed by Google allow this vast quantity of data to be analysed for changes in the English lexicon (apparently there are twice as many words in use today (1,022,000) as there were a century ago (544,000), and that the lexicon continues to grow at the rate of around 8,500 words a year), and to look at changes in the frequency with which individual words or even multi-word phrases appear in print over two centuries.

As Clive reports in his blog, the peak of popularity for the word ‘antiquary’ is 1815. Analysing why the word went into decline after that is surely meat for a PhD thesis, as is Clive’s discovery that the word ‘archaeologist’ has never enjoyed the same popularity as ‘antiquary’ (perhaps our own Society can take some of the credit for that).

The new NGRAM tool can also be used to search for proper nouns: Clive uses it to show that John Lubbock’s name occurs far more often in published literature than that of Edward Burnett Tylor, another giant of nineteenth-century archaeology and anthropology. But that, surmises Clive, may well have more to do with Lubbock’s parliamentary career than his academic writing.

Back to the beginning of the report
Back to the contents list

New English Heritage chairman

Sir Laurie Magnus has been appointed as the next Chairman of English Heritage, in succession to Baroness Kay Andrews, who has held the position since July 2009. Those who know Sir Laurie say he combines sound business sense, from more than thirty years’ worth of experience in investment banking, with considerable experience in the heritage sector: he has been Deputy Chairman of the National Trust for some years, a position that he will relinquish shortly after his Chairmanship of English Heritage begins on 1 September, so he brings useful experience to the forthcoming task of converting the English Heritage estate into a charitable enterprise.

When the news of his appointment was announced, Sir Laurie said: ‘The heritage sector in England is a tremendous force for good. It celebrates our extraordinary national history, educating and inspiring millions, building bridges across generations and bringing employment and growth. English Heritage has an exceptional collection of historic properties and a proud record. Baroness Andrews has been a respected and effective Chairman and I look forward to continuing her great work.’

The London Evening Standard reported that Sir Laurie has a strong family link with English Heritage: his aunt, Jewell Allcroft-Magnus, bequeathed Stokesay Castle in Shropshire to English Heritage in 1992. Lady Allcroft-Magnus, wife of the historian Sir Philip Magnus, lived at nearby Stokesay Court (the setting for Atonement, the Oscar-winning film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel starring Keira Knightley). Sir Laurie also told the Standard: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining English Heritage and working with Simon Thurley; I’m particularly looking forward to working with the Evening Standard to preserve the Blue Plaque scheme. It’s an essential part of London’s heritage [about which see more below].’

Sir Laurie, aged fifty-seven, inherited the title of third baronet of Tangley Hill, Wonersh, in Surrey, on the death of his uncle, Sir Philip, twenty-five years ago. He and his wife Jocelyn and their three children live near Bungay in Suffolk, and Sir Laurie lists his interests in Who’s Who as fishing, reading and walking.

London Evening Standard invites blue plaque nominations

The London Evening Standard launched a campaign at the start of August to ‘save’ London’s blue plaque scheme, administered by English Heritage, and then announced on 5 August that, among the many donations from readers, was the sum of £80,000 pledged by property developer David Pearl, sufficient, according to the newspaper, to ‘clear the backlog of more than twenty plaques that have already been agreed’.

The newspaper also reported that the public would be able to put forward blue plaque nominations for consideration by the Blue Plaque selection panel from next year. A new panel will be recruited in the near future, following the resignations in July 2013 of our Fellow Professor Sir David Cannadine, the panel’s chairman, his vice chairman, Dr Celina Fox, and Dr Margaret Pelling, another panellist, all three having expressed concern about plans to scale back the scheme, which was one of the victims of cuts imposed upon English Heritage by the Coalition Government.

One of the panel’s main tasks will be to select ten illustrious persons a year for blue plaque recognition: more than that, says our Fellow Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, and the scheme risks being devalued. Each plaque costs around £4,000, a sum that includes the prior research and consultation and legal aspects, as well as the cost of the plaque itself and its installation.

Another archaeologist in the House of Lords

Jenny Jones, London Assembly Member, former Chair of the Green Party of England and Wales and former Deputy Mayor of London, is one of thirty new ‘working peers’ on whom The Queen bestowed a lifetime’s peerage on 1 August 2013. Before entering politics, Jenny worked as a financial controller in London. She studied for a degree in archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology as a mature student and spent ten years working as an archaeologist, specialising in the study of carbonised plant remains from the Middle East. Jenny has represented the Green Party in the London Assembly since its creation in 2000. Jenny is credited with helping to push cycling into mainstream politics (London’s so-called Boris Bikes should really be called Jenny's Jalopies). She is also an advocate of community engagement in planning and a champion of small and medium businesses.

The National Trust’s latest ABC Bulletin

In the August 2013 issue of the Arts, Buildings & Collections Bulletin, National Trust Director General Helen Ghosh gives her first extended interview, in which she talks about the challenges of catering for a very wide range of visitors, from connoisseurs who already have ‘enough in their heads’ to understand the story of a house and its contents, to those who go to the house knowing nothing about it, like the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII) visiting Thomas Hardy and saying ‘I really ought to get round to reading one of your books one day’.

Dame Helen likes to emphasise how different and strange the past can be (Gilbert White, for example, believed that swallows spent the winter in the mud at the bottom of ponds), while she also sees value in drawing links between past and present (at Hughenden, there are despatch papers on Disraeli’s desk concerning the 1878 Congress of Berlin: ‘I thought: Why aren’t we relating Disraeli and Hughenden to what’s happening in the Middle East now and stressing that what Disraeli did then still matters now?’). Above all, Dame Helen wants people to take away from history a sense of humility: ‘I think we should help people realise that now is not necessarily perfect, now is not the complete answer, any more than 1878 or 1688 was the complete answer.’

Elsewhere in the bulletin, there are articles on the Trust’s work to prepare the Gimson-designed Stoneywell Cottage for opening to the public and a profile of Goddards, in York, another fine arts and crafts home, built in the late 1920s by Walter Brierley (‘the Yorkshire Lutyens’) for chocolate magnate Noel Terry.

Transport listings

English Heritage has added twenty-six of England’s historic railway signal boxes to the national list of designated heritage assets, all at Grade II. A selection of the best, including the example shown above at Bury St Edmund's Yard, Suffolk, can be seen in the photo gallery on the Daily Telegraph’s website.

Photo: Field Survey, HMS Invincible, Solent (Michael Pitts & Pascoe Archaeology Services)

English Heritage has also announced a special project to investigate eighty-eight unrecorded pre-1840 shipwreck sites, with a view to giving protected status to the most important ones. Sites that will be investigated include a possible Tudor wreck on Walney Island near Morecambe Bay, an early barge called a ‘Mersey flat’ located in the north west and the wreck of the Forfarshire, a paddle steamer that sank off the coast of Northumberland in 1838 and whose survivors were famously rescued by Grace Darling and her father. Wreck sites that pre-date 1840 comprise just 4 per cent of the 37,000 known and dated shipwreck sites, as the majority of such sites are post-1914. In 2014, English Heritage will look at World War I submarines and Royal Navy boats, and in the following year, boats and ships that are post-1840 in date.

Historic Scotland, meanwhile, is to embark on a new project to evaluate the buildings along Scotland’s canals; eighty buildings will be assessed to see if they meet the criteria for listing. The project will also review around forty listed buildings in Scottish Canals’ ownership along the Forth and Clyde and Union canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands. Elizabeth McCrone, Head of Listing and Designed Landscapes at Historic Scotland, said: ‘Scotland’s canal heritage spans the centuries and an enormous variety of building types, from industrial to domestic, such as Bona Lighthouse at Loch Ness, based on designs by Thomas Telford, Applecross Street Workshops, the oldest surviving canal-related building in Scotland, and the Union Inn on the Union Canal in Falkirk.’

Recent Heritage Lottery Fund grants

Several recent HLF grants are likely to be of interest to Fellows. One is the grant of £7.5m to enable the National Trust to create a new conservation centre at Knole, in Kent. Many Fellows have been involved in this bid as members of the expert panel advising the National Trust, and it promises to be an innovative project that will make the work of conservation more visible to the visiting public: indeed, the opportunity to visit the new conservation centre, to be built within the walls of a barn that was left roofless after a fire in the nineteenth century, to talk to conservationists as they work, will become a major reason to visit Knole in the future. The house itself will undergo major restoration to make it weather-proof and cure problems of high humidity and fluctuating temperatures; new areas of the house will be opened up (including the shabby but atmospheric attics) and the precious Jacobean furnishings will be brought out of the house into the conservation centre for essential cleaning and stabilisation.

The Ditherington Flax Mill (above), in the suburbs of Shrewsbury, long an industrial archaeology cause célèbre, has been awarded £12.8m by the HLF, succeeding with this second application having failed at the first bid. Restoration work can now finally begin on the Flax Mill Maltings site, which has been neglected since the maltings on the site closed in 1987. The site has seven listed structures, including the Grade-I listed Main Mill, built in 1797, the world’s first iron-framed building and, as such, the forerunner of today’s skyscrapers. This will be used for an exhibition explaining the history of the site, while a viewing platform will be created at the top of the Jubilee Tower, with extensive views across the town and county. Most of the surrounding buildings will be developed for leisure and commercial use, including conference centre, bars, shops and restaurants, offices and workshops, generating some 300 new jobs.

Winchester Cathedral receives £10.5 million towards its scheme of essential repairs to the fabric and medieval windows. Greater prominence will be given to the cathedral archives, the seventeenth-century Morley library and the twelfth-century Winchester Bible. The Triforium Gallery will house two new exhibitions: Decoding the Stones, on the building of the cathedral, and Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation, exploring the cathedral’s central role in the nation’s history.

And finally, in Northamptonshire, £4 million of HLF money will go towards a project that will open up the county council-owned Chester Farm, near Wellingborough, to the public as a major new archaeology, history and heritage centre. The site takes in Iron Age enclosures and field systems, parts of a Roman walled town and the remains of the deserted medieval village of Chester-by-the-Water. The farm buildings on the site go back to the seventeenth century, and there are the remains of formal gardens, orchards and parkland. A tramway also crosses the site, a reminder of the extensive ironstone extraction that took place in the area during the late nineteenth century. Fellows of our Society have been active in the planning of the lottery bid, and they describe Chester Farm as a heritage site of national importance and a great opportunity to involve people in exploring 2,000 years of archaeology on one site.

Medieval panels stolen from Devon church

Holy Trinity Church, Torbryan, located midway between Newton Abbott and Totnes, was hit by thieves some time between 2 and 9 August 2013: they stole two panels from the rood screen of 1460—70 (shown above left before and above right after the theft), depicting St Victor of Marseilles and St Margaret of Antioch, at the same time damaging a third panel of a female saint.

The church is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT); our Fellow, Neil Rushton, Conservation Projects Manager with the CCT, says the paintings are of national importance and is asking anyone who sees them to get in touch with Laoise Bailey at the CCT (tel: 0207 841 0415). For an interview with Neil, see the BBC website.

Buried temple frieze in Guatemala sheds light on Mayan rivalry

It is not often that Mayan archaeology makes the news, but just about every serious newspaper in the world has reported recently on the discovery of an enormous sixth-century AD Mayan frieze discovered in Guatemala by the Holmul Archaeological Project, directed by our Fellow Francisco Estrada-Belli.

The frieze, complete with its inscriptions and coloured paint, was discovered in July during excavations in the north-eastern Peten region of Guatamala. Eight metres long and two metres wide (26 by 6 feet), it depicts the crowning of a new Mayan leader in about AD 590, showing figures decorated with quetzal feathers and jade sitting on the head of a mountain spirit. The frieze was carefully buried when a 20m-high (65-ft) pyramid that was built over it in the eighth century. The inscription is made up of thirty glyphs and declares that the carving was commissioned by the ruler of a nearby city-state, Ajwosaj ChanK'inich. Harvard University expert Alex Tokovinine says the inscription sheds light on the political rivalry between the kingdoms of the Tikal Lords and the Snake Lords.

Our Fellow Norman Hammond explains the background to this rivalry: ‘many scholars have assumed that the hundreds of ancient Maya cities that we know, from Chichén Itzá in northern Yucatan to Copan in Honduras, were all independent city-states, like those of Classical Greece. Two decades ago the British epigrapher Simon Martin and his German colleague Nikolai Grube showed that some Maya polities were more equal than others, and that for more than a century during the Classic Period, in the mid-first millennium AD, there was a struggle between two blocs, led by the two major cities of Calakmul, in Mexico, and Tikal, in northern Guatemala (see Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, Chronicles of the Maya Kings and Queens, Thames & Hudson, 2nd edn, 2008 — a superb book commissioned by our Fellow Colin Ridler).

‘Both enrolled smaller polities on their side: Calakmul attempted to encircle Tikal within a web of alliances, and squeeze its rival into submission. From AD 562 to 695 Calakmul was successful in taming Tikal, but then a new Tikal ruler, Jasaw Chan Kawiil, defeated Calakmul’s Yuknoon Yich’aak K’ahk’ and restored a political balance that lasted for two centuries and made Tikal one of the most spectacular of the Maya metropolises.

‘This new discovery, north-east of Tikal, illuminates relationships between cities lower in the hierarchy: the elaborate carved plaster frieze and inscription found by Francisco Estrada-Belli and his team documents the city’s subordination to the larger community of Naranjo, which was in turn part of Calakmul’s ring of allies on the east. The frieze, running round at least three sides of the upper wall of a buried temple, features five figures of gods and men in a celestial setting, and may designate the building as a “flower house”, a seat of rulership or ancestral veneration. Traces of red, blue, yellow and green paint show that the frieze was originally polychromatic.

‘The central figure sits on a mountain spirit, from which issue two feathered serpents. Each serpent’s open mouth holds another mountain spirit and seated figure. The faces of all three seated individuals were deliberately effaced in an act of deconsecration before the building was carefully buried. Two other elderly gods offer tamales — steamed maize dumplings, a Maya delicacy — to the central person, and the stylistic differences between them suggest that at least two artists or teams worked on the scene, to the left and the right of the central enthroned figure.

‘The hieroglyphic inscription mentions “Aj Wosaaj”, a known ruler, who reigned from at least AD 546 until AD 615, and who was on the throne of Naranjo when Calakmul began its campaign against Tikal in AD 562. Other historical names appear, including a possibly earlier ruler, and overall the glyphs “confirm a strong link between Holmul and Naranjo”, according to Alex Tokovinine, who says that: “Aj Wosaaj’s dedication of a temple at Holmul implies some form of political control, and the narrative implies that Holmul-Naranjo relations were part of a larger political and ritual order.” Reference to overlords from the Kanuul dynasty of Calakmul “hints at even wider historical and regional contexts of that order”. The framework of the Tikal-Calakmul wars thus begins to be filled in with intriguing details about specific Maya kings and their vassals, people whose very names were lost to us until now.’

News of Fellows

To mark her retirement in July 2013 from her position as Librarian and Curator of the Print Room, at Windsor Castle, our Fellow The Honourable Lady (Jane) Roberts was received by The Queen and invested with the Insignia of a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

Congratulations are also in order to our Fellows Professors Ron Hutton (left), of Bristol University, who specialises in the history of paganism, shamanism, magic and witchcraft, and Christopher Page, of Cambridge University and Sidney Sussex College, who studies early string instruments and music performance in the Middle Ages. Both are among twenty-five new Fellows to be elected to the British Academy earlier this year. Our Fellow Professor Susan Alcock, Director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, and a specialist in the material culture of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia in Hellenistic and Roman times, was elected a Corresponding Fellow.

Also elected a Fellow, though not a Fellow of our own Society, was Professor Glynis Jones, who specialises in the archaeology of early agriculture (and was one of the authors of a paper that hit the headlines recently showing that enriched levels of nitrogen-15, a stable isotope abundant in manure, have been found in the charred cereal grains and pulse seeds taken from thirteen Neolithic sites around Europe, showing that Europe’s first farmers knew the value of manure back in 6,000 BC).

Fellow Edward Impey is shortly to leave his post as Director of Heritage Protection and Planning at English Heritage to take over as Director General of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. For Edward this is a return to an earlier passion: as Curator at Historic Royal Palaces before joining English Heritage, he specialised in the history of the Tower of London, home to the National Museum of Arms and Armour until the main collection was relocated to a purpose-built museum in Leeds in 1996.

Royal Armouries’ Chairman Wes Paul said: ‘We are delighted by Edward’s appointment as Director General; he brings that rare combination of knowledge, expertise, leadership, established networks and a passion for the subject and he joins us at a very important time of change at the Armouries. One of our key goals is to make the National Collection of Arms and Armour much more attractive to a broader, more diverse national and global audience, so we will be adding much greater context around science, engineering and technology but especially in relation to history in general and military history in particular. Edward will lead this change and we also hope that he will strengthen our impact on research and education and extend our reach into international markets.’

Fellow James Stevens Curl was appointed Professor of Architecture at the University of Ulster on 1 April 2013, and he has been very busy writing and publishing: not only did his new volume on the Funerary Monuments and Memorials in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh come out earlier this year, he also contributed to Le Monde Maçonnique de Lumières: dictionnaire prosopographique, edited by Charles Porset and Cécile Révauger, published in Paris by Honoré Champion, to the Practice of Architecture: Eight Architects 1830—1930, edited by Christopher Webster and published in Reading by Spire Books, and a paper on the Gaffins in Ireland published in Church Monuments: the Journal of the Church Monuments Society.

Lives remembered

The Society has been informed of the death of our Fellow Anna Shaw Benjamin, elected a Fellow of the Society on 29 November 1979, at her home in Piscataway, New Jersey, USA. Anna Benjamin was the recipient in 1994 of the Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award, given by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), adding to the award she was given in 1972 by the AlA Council recognising her ‘selflessly diligent, imaginative, determined and unpaid five-year editorship of the AIA’s Archaeology magazine’. ‘By opening up the magazine to a broader world’, the 1972 citation said, ‘she surely prepared her readers for the ecumenical Archaeology it has become’.

Anna received her undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Pennsylvania (MA 1947, PhD 1955) and at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. At the latter she held two fellowships, being a Thomas Day Seymour Fellow (1948/1949) and a Fulbright Fellow (1949/1950). She commenced her teaching career in 1951, as Instructor in Classical Languages and Humanities at Juniata College, a small institution in Pennsylvania, which she left for the University of Missouri-Columbia after receiving her PhD in 1955. There, over a period of ten years, she progressed from Instructor in Classics and Archaeology to Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor and Chair. In 1964, she moved to Douglass College, serving as Chair and Graduate Director until her retirement in 1987.

Anna Benjamin served many years on the Governing Board of the AIA, organised an important symposium for the 1980 Annual Meeting, ‘Archaeology: Reason or Revelation?’ and in 1990 was appointed Chair of the Publications Committee, charged with reactivating the monographs programme, establishing both the Monographs New Series and the Colloquium and Conference Papers, exercising her editorial skills with humour and patience.

Our Fellow Jim Wiseman, of Boston University’s Department of Archaeology, adds the following personal tribute: ‘Anna was one of my first teachers in college (a Latin course, Ovid's Art of Love) in 1955, and was a close friend after that for decades — not only to me, but also to my wife and two sons, whom she befriended and helped on their way to join me in Greece when I was still a student in Athens. She was a person of great ability, full of passion and energy in her undertakings for the betterment of the study of cultures of the ancient world, especially the Romans and Greeks. Only a few years ago she was a participant in a cruise to various parts of the Mediterranean, beginning in Istanbul then going to Greece and elsewhere, on which I was the AIA lecturer. She was loved and admired by all the other passengers on our cruise. I have many fond memories of her as a beloved mentrix and dear friend.’

Though not himself a Fellow, Anthony Hands, who died on 7 August, touched the lives of many Fellows through his founding of the British Archaeological Reports series in the early 1970s, transforming the world of archaeological publishing by providing a means of publishing work quickly and cheaply by dispensing with typesetting and design, and instead using the author’s typescript as camera-ready-copy (a term that has all but fallen out of use now that printing plates are made using digital files, with no need for colour-separated film as an intermediate stage). The BAR series gave many an author their first opportunity to appear in print. One of those was Martin Henig, who writes: ‘Anthony Hands, founder of BAR, was also an impressive archaeologist and his report on Shakenoak, done on slender resources and published privately by him and a couple of colleagues, gave him the idea for the BAR series; he later produced three volumes on Wilcote (there are many archaeological professors who have published less). In 1972 I was awarded my DPhil for a thesis on “Engraved gems from British sites”. OUP offered to publish it in return for a subvention that I could never have raised. I remember mentioning this to Fellow Richard Reece in the common room in the basement of the London Institute of Archaeology and he told me that Dr Anthony Hands, a chemistry lecturer I had never met, was thinking of setting up as an archaeological publisher. I took my thesis round to him and was thrilled when he said he would get it printed for me for nothing! Subsequently I had a number of other works published by him, including a Festschrift for Jocelyn Toynbee that I edited with Fellow Julian Munby in 1977. And then there was the occasion when I wrote up a collection of gems, not from Britain ... so I queried Anthony: “'not suitable for BAR?” His reply was: “actually I am starting a supplementary series”. That is how mine was the first of what became the International Series.’

A Fellow until last year, Tomos Roberts (1946—2013), former archivist and Keeper of the Manuscripts at Bangor University, died on 19 July 2013 at the age of sixty-six. Salon’s editor is grateful to Fellow Antony Carr for this note of appreciation. ‘Tomos was educated at Coleg Harlech and the University of Liverpool. After graduation he was appointed by the University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies to work on its Welsh place-names project; this was a field in which he was to become one of the foremost authorities. His research brought him into regular contact with the archives at Bangor and it was here that he found his calling. He was appointed as assistant archivist and, on the retirement of our Fellow, the late Alyn Giles Jones, he became head of the repository. He was a master of the traditional archival skills, such as palaeography and diplomatic, and he responded enthusiastically and successfully to every professional challenge. He also played a prominent part in teaching for the Bangor Diploma in Archive Administration and will be fondly remembered by all the students who passed through his hands.’

The Society has also learned belatedly of the death of our Fellow Frank (Frances Harry) Panton on 8 April 2013, at the age of eighty-nine. Frank Panton’s obituary in the Daily Telegraph focuses largely on his scientific work for Military Intelligence at the height of the Cold War. To archaeologists he is far better known for the work that he undertook after retiring to live in Kent. In 1991. While an underpass was being built in Dover, a wooden seagoing boat dating from the Bronze Age was found beneath the old Roman harbour wall. A trust was formed to preserve and display the boat, and Frank Panton served as its chairman from 1993 to 2008, taking the lead in raising £1 million to put the project on a sound financial footing. The boat is now on display in Dover Museum.

At the time of his election as a Fellow on 19 May 2011, Frank was Hon Librarian and Vice President of Kent Archaeological Society, author of many articles and pamphlets on Canterbury and Kent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and a renowned historian of nuclear weapons research who contributed a number of articles to Prospero, the magazine of the British Rocket Oral History Programme.

Archaeology merges with Welsh History at National Museum Wales

Salon’s editor has learned recently that the Archaeology Department at National Museum Wales has been merged with the Welsh History Department to form the Department of Welsh History and Archaeology, leading to the loss of a number of jobs. The new department is based at St Fagans, in Cardiff’s western suburbs. It also appears that the popular Origins Gallery, at the city-centre Cathays Park museum, will close at the end of February 2014. The same restructuring has seen the previously separate departments of Geology, Botany and Zoology grouped into a single Science Department, with our Fellow Richard Bevins as Head of Science. Reporting on this major restructuring, the museum said that it would lead to £2.5m savings over three years, and said this was a necessary response to the budget cuts imposed by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Campaigns to save a Georgia gold mine and a Shropshire hill fort

Dubbed ‘the oldest gold mine in the world’, Sakdrissi gold mine has been removed from the list of cultural heritage sites in the Republic of Georgia, apparently on the instructions of the Ministry of Georgian Culture and Heritage and of the President of Georgia. Campaigners have set up a petition on Facebook demanding the reinstatement of listed status amidst fears that the intention is to begin commercial mining again without adequate protection for the site’s archaeology.

Old Oswestry Hillfort (Hen Dinas) in Shropshire also seems to be under threat from damaging development. A body called HOOOH (Hands off Old Oswestry Hillfort) believes that one of the UK’s largest and best-preserved Iron Age hillforts will be compromised if Shropshire Council goes ahead with housing development within the curtilage of the monument. English Heritage, local groups and residents have all expressed opposition and supporters are asked to sign an online petition. The deadline for registering objections is 23 August 2013, so urgent action is needed! You can also follow the progress of the campaign via Facebook.

Save the Russian Academy of Sciences

An email has been circulating around the archaeological community from Professor Dr Sergei Nikolsky, Deputy Director of the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, informing recipients of plans by the Russian Government to ‘reorganise’ the 300-year-old Russian Academy of Sciences by taking away its properties in prime locations of Moscow, St Petersburg and regional capitals, and placing its individual institutes under the control of various federal ministries.

Salon’s editor asked our Moscow correspondent, Fellow Heinrich Härke, for an insight into this proposal, and whether it really means, as opponents claim, that the aim is ‘to deprive the Russian Academy of Sciences of its independent status, to seize its property and to allow bureaucrats to dictate to scientists what they should do’.

Heinrich says: ‘Everything that Professor Nikolsky writes is true (as far as I can tell), and the potential consequences for Russian science and scholarship cannot be overstated. Archaeology, too, will be directly affected, because the main research institutions in Russia are not the universities (their main purpose is teaching), but the various Institutes of the Academy of Sciences. So in archaeology, the institutions affected by this are the Institute of Archaeology at Moscow, the Institute for the History of Material Culture at St Petersburg and various multi-disciplinary institutes with archaeologists in the self-governing regions and autonomous republics of Russia. Russian archaeology, and our Russian colleagues personally, face an uncertain future, and the mood among my friends here is swinging between depression and open rebellion. There was a demonstration by academics on 27 July in front of the main building of the Academy of Sciences, which was unfortunately hijacked by Communist Party members waving red flags (I am mentioning this just in case the Russian government puts out the story that only Communists oppose their plan).

‘There are serious problems with the organisation of scholarly and scientific research in East European countries, and I have commented in print on these before. The existence of Academies of Sciences, with self-perpetuating elites and state-sponsored monopoly positions in their respective countries, is part of the problem. But the way the Putin government has gone about this “reorganisation”, by drafting the bill in secret and then pushing two readings through Parliament within a few days, suggests that setting up a new, more open and more effective structure for fundamental research is not central to the agenda, to put it mildly. Right now, we need to protest in order to help ensure that key institutions of research, including those in archaeology and history, are not simply shut down overnight, doing irreparable harm to research in “our” disciplines, as well as in many others, as many of our friends and colleagues in Russia will lose their jobs and livelihoods.

‘I find it amazing that the western media have been completely ignoring this story (as far as I can see) and that the German journalists in Russia whom I tried to get interested did not react at all, or said they had “other things to do” at the moment. One of the things Fellows with the right contacts could do is to get the media on to this. Another thing that all Fellows could do is go to the Academy’s website and register their support for the Russian colleagues there by simply giving their name and position, and clicking on the green button below the space for their name (the instructions on the website are in English, with the exception of that green button).

‘The text of the petition can also be downloaded from this page: in essence it asks the Russian government ‘to change the parliamentary schedule of this bill in order to give time for discussions and the development of alternative ideas for the future of science and scholarship in Russia.’

Stop Press: since Heinrich sent his thoughts on the reform proposals for the Russian Academy of Sciences the Russian government has responded to concerns about the reform bill by postponing the third reading, but only until September, so it is still worth signing the petition. Professor Sir Adam Roberts, President of The British Academy, has also expressed grave concern about the proposed changes, saying that they could ‘threaten the autonomy and independence of the Russian Academy of Sciences and various research institutes’. He has called upon the Government to set up ‘an expert committee of respected academics’ to look into some sort of settlement that will ensure the continued independence of the Academy and its research institutes.


Salon’s report on the uncertain future of St Wandregesilius church, Bixley, Norfolk, in the last issue said that members of the Norwich Diocesan Advisory Committee had opposed the scheme to restore the church, on the grounds that the insurance money should be spent on ‘the needs of the church today in the benefice’. Several members of the DAC have written to say that this was not the case: the DAC actually approved the plans for the re-roofing of the church, but it was subsequently decided at a higher level that the use of the money was a matter for the Diocesan Pastoral Committee, not the DAC. The members of the DAC continue to be very concerned about the church and its important monuments.

Adriano Aymonino, curator of the exhibition Paper Palaces: the Topham drawings as a source for British neo-classicism, on at the Verey Gallery, at Eton College, until 2 November 2013, responded to Salon’s report on the exhibition with two very generous offers. First, he has made a digital copy of the exhibition catalogue available to anyone who would like to download a copy. Secondly, he has offered to give Fellows and Salon readers a tour of the exhibition in September or October: please send an email to Salon’s editor if you are interested; if the numbers are sufficient, a suitable date will be arranged.

Fellow Vincent Megaw thanks everyone who sent their condolences after the death of Ruth, who was sent off with ‘a great party in place of any formal funeral, with a very fine jazz trio (Ruth was very much a trad jazz girl), three-and-a-half cases of champagne (the real stuff and Ruth's favourite tipple), some very touching tributes and a PowerPoint presentation put together by our son Jonathan of about 200 images of his mother from three to seventy-three years of age, and from Scotland to South Australia and from Prague to Paris.’

Shortly afterwards, Flinders University, in Adelaide, announced that it was establishing the annual Ruth and Vincent Megaw Lecture in Archaeology and Art, while the student Archaeological Society announced that it was to inaugurate an annual Ruth and Vincent Megaw Prize. Discussions are also in train to have an Indigenous internship named after the Megaws at the Flinders University Art Museum.  While these developments were announced to commemorate the death of our Fellow Ruth Megaw, the university said that it was 'only right and proper to mark both Megaws' contributions to the study of Iron Age archaeology and of contemporary Indigenous art.'

Earlier this year, Fellow Dominic Perring asked Fellows via Salon to participate in a survey being conducted by the UCL Centre for Applied Archaeology looking at public engagement in commercial archaeology. If you are interested in the results, you can download a PowerPoint summary from the blog of Hilary Orange. This shows the main types of public engagement that archaeologists in commercial units engage in, and the views of participants on the value of this work, what sort of skills are involved, whether specialist training would help and whether it is seen as a priority by their employers and clients.

Just published, and warmly commended to Fellows by Norman Hammond, is a new two-volume edition of Charles Lingard Bell’s The Antiquities of Cambridgeshire, originally compiled in the 1880s, and now edited and supplemented by new colour photographs in addition to Bell’s original drawings by Mike and Val Cowham, who found and purchased Bell’s original elephant-folio manuscript volumes in a Cambridge auction some years ago. The two volumes describe forty-two Cambridgeshire churches as they were at the time, including full accounts of the memorials. For a flyer and order form, send an email to the publishers.

Friends of Winchester Studies

Left: Winchester volunteers excavating the east hall of Wolvesey Palace in 1970

Fellow Martin Biddle and the Winchester Excavations Committee have just started a new project, the ‘Friends of Winchester Studies’, to try to reach the 2,090 or more people from thirty-five countries who took part in Winchester excavations between 1961 and 1971 (including a fair few who are now Fellows of our Society). Martin writes to say: ‘this was the largest programme of archaeological excavation and historical research ever undertaken at the time in any city worldwide. The results of this remarkable project are being published in a series of “Winchester Studies” volumes, seven of which have already been completed. Four more will go to press later this year and next and there are more to come.

‘The series constitutes an extraordinary history and archaeology of the city of Winchester since its earliest days over 2000 years ago. The aim of the “Friends” project is to help support the ongoing work of preparing for publication the results of the excavations and related research. Using the original “volunteer registers”, the Committee has created a list of all the diggers, which years they took part (often several), and the sites they worked on, but naturally the addresses are out of date! So if you were a Winchester digger, or perhaps a host family, please send your current contact details, and those of any other Winchester diggers with whom you are in contact, to Clare Chapman. Further information can be found on the Winchester Studies website.’


11 September 2013: ‘Walpole's Treasures and the Russian Arts’, an international symposium to be held at Pembroke College, Cambridge. If you have not yet seen the exhibition Houghton Revisited: Masterpieces from the State Hermitage at Houghton Hall, which reassembles for the first time in 200 years Sir Robert Walpole’s magnificent art collection, sold to the Empress Catherine II of Russia in 1778, you should make every effort to do so: it is on view until 24 November 2013. To complement the exhibition, this symposium will present new research on the many aspects of Walpole’s collection, as well as on patronage and Anglo-Russian cultural dialogue in the time of Catherine the Great. Speakers will include Dr Thierry Morel, the exhibition’s curator, and our own Fellow, Tessa Murdoch. For further information, see the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre website.

17 September 2013: ‘Light Divine: glass in church and chapel at Fetternear’, by Fellow Penelope Dransart, Blairs Museum, at 7pm, a lecture to accompany the exhibition of glass artefacts at the Blairs Museum (the Museum of Scotland’s Catholic Heritage), which is on until 27 October 2013. The exhibition and talk are based on research into the medieval bishop’s palace and post-Reformation mansion of Fetternear, and it forms part of the Scottish Episcopal Palaces Project, which has received funding from our Society. For further information, see the museum’s website.

22 September 2013: ‘J G Waller: marking 200 years since the birth of a celebrated antiquary and brass engraver’. Representatives of a number of societies plan to take part in a wreath-laying ceremony and graveside tribute to the eminent antiquary, J G Waller, at 2.45pm at Nunhead Cemetery, south-east London, to which all are welcome. An accompanying exhibition of photographs kindly loaned by Philip Whittemore of the Monumental Brass Society can be seen in the cemetery chapel, which will also be open for London Open House Weekend on 21 September. For further details, contact Gwyneth Stokes or see the website of the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery.

John Green Waller (1813—1905) trained as an artist at the Royal Academy Schools and exhibited genre paintings in London. He designed a stained-glass window to Chaucer in Westminster Abbey and with his younger brother Lionel published A Series of Monumental Brasses from the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth Century (1842). Along with Pugin, the Waller brothers are credited with leading the Victorian revival of the medieval art of brass engraving, and their work was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851. John was a Fellow of our Society and a member of Council. He was also one of the founders of the British Archaeological Association and of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society.

28 September 2013: LAMAS (the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society) is holding its first ever conference to deal specifically with the built heritage (previous conferences have been mainly archaeological or historical in theme), from 10am to 4.15pm at The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, London. Tickets (£30) can be obtained on the LAMAS website. There will be talks about historic buildings in the London area of all periods from Roman to the twentieth century, and three studies of very recent contentious cases (Deptford Dockyard, the Middlesex Hospital site and the nearby workhouse, which may or may not have been the model for the one in Dickens’ Oliver Twist, and King’s Cross station).

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Research Seminars, Autumn 2013. On 16 October 2013, Glenn Adamson, of the Victoria and Albert Museum, will lead a seminar on the subject of ‘Staging memory: Ruskin, Morris and the invention of craft’. On 20 November, our Fellow Paul Binski, along with Lucy Wrapson, of the Hamilton-Kerr Institute, and Nicholas Garrard, of St Helen’s Church, Ranworth, will speak about ‘One object, three voices: the rood screen at St Helen’s, Ranworth’. For the full autumn programme, see the Centre’s website). Anyone who would like to attend should email the Centre’s Events Co-ordinator, Ella Fleming, at least two days in advance.

2 to 5 July 2014: Second Dorestad Congress: the early-medieval Netherlands in an international framework. Several Fellows will be speaking at this conference, which coincides with the exhibition, Golden Middle Ages: The Netherlands in the Merovingian World 400—700 AD, being mounted at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden / National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden from 25 April to 26 October 2014. For further details, see the museum’s website.

Books by Fellows: John Carr of York, Architect

Fellow Richard Knowles is on a mission to make the name of John Carr better known: Carr was, Richard says, ‘one of the leading architects of the Georgian period, and his huge and varied output is still there to be enjoyed: every day thousands of people cross his bridges, work in his hospitals, offices and farms, visit his country houses, worship in his churches, or live in his houses without making any connection between the architect and themselves’. This sixty-four-page pictorial survey of nearly fifty buildings (with particular emphasis being given to those to which there is public access) is intended to redress the balance and draw attention to the splendid craftsmanship that has ensured the survival of these buildings in use into the twenty-first century.

John Carr of York, Architect: a pictorial survey, by Richard Knowles; ISBN 9780954643959; Rickaro Books, 2013

Books by Fellows: The Walker Art Gallery

Written by Edward Morris and Fellow Timothy Stevens, this is a major study of a much-loved Liverpool institution, and a contribution to the study of art galleries as a civic phenomenon, now placed under threat in too many unenlightened parts of the UK, but in the 1860s, councillors thought differently. The then mayor of Liverpool, the brewer Andrew Barclay, paid for the building, and numerous subsequent donations and bequests built the Walker into England’s largest municipal art gallery. John Lennon and Paul McCartney have both spoken warmly about its influence on their lives, testament to the fact that an art gallery can inspire people in all sorts of unexpected ways. It helps, of course, that Stu Sutcliffe (1940—62), bass player with The Beatles in their Hamburg years, had a memorial show here in 1964, the same year in which our Fellow Timothy Stevens became a curator at the gallery, eventually rising to become Director from 1971 to 1987.

The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1873—2000, by Edward Morris and Timothy Stevens; ISBN 9781906593711; Sansom & Co, 2013

Books by Fellows: Guild, Hospital and Alderman

Fellows Nick Hill and Alan Rogers look in great detail in this study at one of Stamford's many special buildings: Browne’s Hospital, built in 1475 by William Browne, Alderman of All Saints’ guild, for the accommodation of ‘ten poor men’. Poor they might have been, but the building was anything but mean: with dormitories for the bedesmen on the ground floor, accommodation for two servants to wait upon them, a hall for the inmates and accommodation for the warder, the first floor took the form of an elaborate guildhall, well lit with expensive glass, and the hospital complex also included a schoolroom and a two-storey chapel dedicated to All Saints. Nick Hill’s architectural analysis looks at the building for evidence of Browne’s original intentions, and the changes that have since occurred, while Alan Rogers uses the documentary evidence to reveal what the Charity Commission today might regard as a conflict of interest between the Browne family’s patronage and the benefits they derived from it, controversies over the auditing of the hospital’s accounts and the resulting law suit that eventually led to a separation in the use and management of the guildhall and the hospital.

Guild, Hospital and Alderman: new light on the founding of Browne’s Hospital, Stamford, 1475—1509, by Nick Hill and Alan Rogers; ISBN 9781845495824; Abramis Academic Publishing for the Stamford Survey Group, 2013

Books by Fellows: Wilfrid: abbot, bishop, saint

Edited by Fellow Nick Higham, this book gathers together twenty-three papers from two separate conferences organised in 2009 to mark the 1300th anniversary of the death of St Wilfrid of York and Hexham. Nick explains in his Preface that the organisers of each conference, held in Manchester and York, knew nothing of each other’s intentions at the planning stage, so it is a remarkable tribute to the important place that St Wilfrid occupies in the history of the early Anglo-Saxon Church that there was no duplication and no lack of themes. The volume thus ranges widely over the architecture, music, politics, theology and scholarship of St Wilfrid’s age.

Wilfrid was a much-travelled man and there is much to be learned from this book even for those who might not be interested in church matters about his experiences living in Lyons and Rome, visiting what we now know as the Netherlands, especially Friesland, and journeying through the different lands and kingdoms of the British Isles, encountering a multiplicity of languages, religious beliefs and practices, legal systems, social practices and attitudes to Christians and strangers; as with many a saint and travel writer, there is much in his biography that is more true in spirit than in the letter, but there is also much that is also eye opening to anyone interested in the history, archaeology and culture of the early medieval period.

Wilfrid: abbot, bishop, saint: papers from the 1300th anniversary conferences, edited by N J Higham; ISBN 9781907730276; Shaun Tyas, 2103

Books by Fellows: Victorian Banburyshire

Our Fellow Jeremy Gibson has just retired after nineteen years as editor of the Banbury Historical Society’s journal, Cake & Cockhorse, wrapping up his editorship with an article on the Banbury Academy, a boarding school that flourished in the town from 1797 until 1908 where young gentlemen were prepared for ‘the most respectable situations in life’ through ‘strict though not severe attention ... to their morals’ and where the aim was to ‘give them a solid rather than a superficial acquaintance with the various subjects brought under their notice’.

Jeremy continues to serve as General Editor of the society’s record series, the latest volume of which (the thirty-third in the series) is called Victorian Banbury: Three Memoirs. Edited by Fellow Barrie Trinder, this consists of transcripts of the diaries cum memoirs of Sarah Beesley (1812—92), Thomas Ward Boss (1825—1903) and Thomas Butler Gunn (covering the year 1863). It is, says Jeremy, ‘amongst the most readable and entertaining of any our Society has published’, including vivid accounts of royal weddings and coronations, battles, funerals, great feasts, fires, murders and local politics. Our Society subscribes to the newsletter and record series, so both of these titles will be available to library users shortly.

Books by Fellows: The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology

Titles in the Oxford handbook series are all very large, but this one, edited by our Fellows Peter Mitchell and Paul Lane, beats the lot at just over 1,000 pages, condensing a subject as massive as the continent itself by taking a thematic approach rather than a geographical one. The handbook thus begins with nineteen essays on methodological approaches to African archaeology, (including ceramic and stone tool studies, genetics, ethno-archaeology and linguistics, rock-art, landscape studies and maritime archaeology) and on heritage resource management, museums, education, politics and ideology. The book then takes us through the major stages of human development in Africa, from hominin origins and the beginning of human culture, hunting, gathering and foraging, pastoralism, towns and state formation, and finally the archaeology of African trade, slavery, diasporas and colonialism. Summarising such a vast enterprise is impossible: one can only admire the achievement and be grateful for the fact that anyone interested in any aspect of African archaeology now has a series of up-to-date summary essays and comprehensive bibliographies as a basis from which to set out and explore.

The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology, edited by Peter Mitchell and Paul Lane; ISBN 9780199569885; Oxford University Press, 2013

Books by Fellows: The Cotswold Way

Fellow Tim Copeland’s contribution to the new 'Archaeological Walking Guide' series from the History Press takes us from Chipping Camden along the Cotswold escarpment to Bath, a distance of 164km (102 miles). The route is broken down into eight walks, each of which has a major theme (wool, stone, cloth, ceremony, water and so on) to guide us, though this does not mean that other sights and subjects are neglected; not least the many prehistoric monuments that lie along the Cotswold Edge, which invite Tim to speculate on the question of whether the long distance footpath, designated in 1970, isn’t actually much much older. Walking this path thus becomes, in Tim’s words, an exercise in ‘surfing time’, following in the footsteps of the many users who have gone before, along a route where many different periods co-exist'.

The Cotswold Way, by Tim Copeland; ISBN 9780752467283; History Press, 2013

Books by Fellows: East Anglia and the North Sea World in the Middle Ages

Edited by Fellows David Bates and Robert Liddiard, this book is one that should have been written a long time ago and that now demands a companion volume. It is a commonplace that it was once easier to travel between East Anglia and the Low Countries than it was to travel between East Anglia and much of the rest of British mainland; indeed as recently as the 1970s East Anglia remained a rural backwater where travel by road was very slow (sadly no longer true). The influences on East Anglia of trade across the North Sea are written in the region’s medieval and early modern architecture, art and landscapes (the very ditches and dykes dug by Dutch engineers, and drained by windmills), and yet there has not been any work to which one could turn for a comprehensive account of this trade and cultural nexus.

Now there is: arising from an international conference held in April 2010 at the University of East Anglia, we have seventeen essays on the North Sea Zone and East Anglia’s place in it which the editors rightly claim as a contribution to a ‘new and scarcely studied subject’, and one that demonstrates that the North Sea ‘world’ is every bit as important a cultural region as the Mediterranean or the Atlantic. Having said that, a theme that emerges early on in the book is that East Anglia is not a homogeneous region but a meeting point, a peninsula that lies at the junction between the Channel and the North Sea, southern East Anglia having connections to the Netherlands, Flanders and northern France, and northern East Anglia to Scandinavia and the Baltic regions. How this influences the region’s medieval material culture, from ships to food, from clothing and jewellery to stained glass and manuscript illumination, is the subject of the rest of the book, which takes us up to the late fourteenth century: the companion volume that now demands to be written is one that takes the story on in to the early modern period.

East Anglia and its North Sea World in the Middle Ages, edited by David Bates and Robert Liddiard; ISBN 9781843838463; Boydell, 2013

Books by Fellows: Claimed by the Sea

This CBA Research Report, written by Fellows Stuart Needham and Dave Parham and Catherine Frieman, with specialist reports by a number of Fellows, looks at the finds from two Bronze Age wrecks, from Salcombe, Devon, and Langdon Bay, Kent, the latter yielding 361 items of bronze, one of the largest such finds from Bronze Age Europe. In both cases, the cargo is the focus of the study because the boats themselves are missing. Having said that, the authors of the report are very emphatic that one should not simply assume that these finds represent cargo: given the massive amount of evidence for ritual deposition of bronze objects in water, it cannot be ruled out that these seabed finds represent ‘extensions of the practices of deposition that account for riverine metalwork’.

Much of the report is taken up with characterising the two assemblages in terms of the object types and their metallurgy. It is on this basis that they cautiously reject the ritual deposition hypothesis, arguing that the assemblages are far more diverse than is usually seen in terrestrial and riverine deposits, which seem to be governed by a degree of selection of object type, and that these multi-object assemblages are a better representation of the type of material traded and circulated in the economy of the period. ‘One must err towards these two assemblages being the residue of former wrecked ships’, they conclude, though there is the further possibility that they represent material spilled or jettisoned from boats in trouble and that the boats themselves and their crews might have lived to tell the tale of their miraculous escape from the embrace of the sea.

Claimed by the Sea: Salcombe, Langdon Bay and other marine finds of the Bronze Age, by Stuart Needham, Dave Parham and Catherine J Frieman; ISBN 9781902771953; CBA Research Report 173, 2013

Books by Fellows: Star Carr: life after the Ice Age

Also from the CBA is this fine new book in the ‘Archaeology for All series’, which aims to reach out to a non-specialist readership (meaning anyone who is not immersed in Mesolithic archaeology). In this case the book succeeds admirably in making tangible a period of human development about which most of us have only the vaguest of ideas. The illustrations play a very important role here, including the visualisations of what life might have been like for the inhabitants of Star Carr. But the text is also very readable, combining the knowledge of four authors: Fellows Nicky Milner and Tim Schadla-Hall, Barry Taylor and Chantal Conneller. They tell us how the site was found, rescuing from obscurity the pioneering work of Scarborough ‘amateur’ archaeologist John Moore who first discovered, mapped and excavated ‘Lake Flixton’, on whose shores the Star Carr site sits; about Grahame Clark’s excitement on learning about ‘something I had been seeking for many years ... a settlement site with organic as well as merely lithic data’; about Clark’s excavations and the almost mythic status that his interpretation has acquired over time, followed by the denouement: the fact that much of what Clark thought has subsequently been shown to be wrong.

Post-Clark excavations around the lake shore suggest that the small lakeside platform that Clark found was just part of a much bigger structure, whose timbers show evidence for advanced woodworking skills. Whereas he thought the platform was an occupation site, used as for antler working, this book suggests that it was used for ritual deposition. Clark envisaged a small number of people visiting in spring and summer to hunt red deer for a few short seasons. We now know that the platform was an adjunct to a much larger area of 2 hectares in extent spreading across the adjacent dry land, and that it was just one of many sites of activity around the lake’s shores.

Recent excavations have also uncovered the remains of a post-built house dating from about 9000 BC, and the authors conclude that we should no longer think of Mesolithic people as constantly on the move: instead, they propose that some ‘task groups’ were mobile, seeking food, travelling to find flint and shale; others might have occupied Star Carr on a more permanent basis: those whose skills lay in wood working, boat building, bone, antler and flint working. They also see in the ritual deposits and the spectacular red deer masks or headdresses that Clark found the beginnings of an emotional and spiritual attachment to a specific place, as distinct from viewing the landscape as simply a resource.

Star Carr: life after the Ice Age, by Nicky Milner, Barry Taylor, Chantal Conneller and Tim Schadla-Hall; ISBN 9781902771991; Council for British Archaeology, 2013

Books by Fellows: Strait Street: Malta’s red-light district revealed

This new study by our Fellow John Schofield and Emily Morrissey takes an archaeological approach to Strait Street (Triq Id-Dejqa) in Valletta, Malta’s red-light district, where bohemian cabaret, theatre, jazz and dance hall culture co-existed alongside establishments where hard-drinking sailors went to pick up girls, and all this thriving, despite the island’s strict Catholicism, into the 1970s (in the second volume of his autobiography, the novelist Anthony Burgess, who lived on Malta for many years, said the street survived because the clergy simply pretended that it did not exist).

The authors, fascinated by the marginal and the alternative, examine the street’s many layers of social and political complexity to reveal the hidden histories that lie beneath the surface, seeking to know what the place meant to people in the past and what it represents today. Giovanni Bonello, the respected Maltese author and historian, said in his review of the book: ‘the legendary “Gut” of Valletta has found its Homer. Thanks to this book, its kudos, its squalor, its histories, its shames, will not be erased. In the popular conscience, Strait Street evoked desire and revulsion, magnetic lewdness and very little latent remorse. No passage of time has neutralized that. It’s all here in Schofield and Morrissey’s pioneering narrative. Read it: what you may lose in innocence you will gain on buzz.’

Strait Street: Malta’s red-light district revealed, by John Schofield and Emily Morrissey; ISBN 9789993274209; Midsea Books, 2013


University of the West of England: Associate Head of Department, History and Heritage
Salary scale: £45,491—£54,826; closing date: 23 August 2013

Requirements include a substantial record of achievement as an academic, covering teaching, research and professional practice in a relevant subject area and significant evidence of leadership within an education-based organisation. See the Academic Jobs website for further information.

University of Winchester: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History 1300—1500
Salary scales: £30,424—£34,223/£35,244—£44,607; closing date: 23 August 2013

See the University of Winchester website: post no. HSS-F07.

University of Aberystwyth: Lectureship in Early Medieval European History
Salary scale: £33,230—£36,298; closing date: 27 August 2013

The successful candidate will have a strong research record or exhibit evidence of the capacity to develop such a record in any relevant field of the history of continental Europe between c 400 and c 1100. Visit the website of the University of Aberystwyth for further information: ref. HW.13.02.

Historic Royal Palaces, Hampton Court Palace: Head of Historic Buildings and Research: salary £38,888; Curator, Historic Buildings: salary £31,861; Curator, Collections: salary £31,861
Closing date: 30 August 2013

See the HRP website for further information.

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa: Professor of Classical Art History and Archaeology
Closing date: 30 August 2013

Pisa’s Scuola Normale Superiore invites expressions of interest (in English or Italian) from scholars in the field of Greek and Roman art history with a proven record of achievement and the potential to lead research activity and contribute to the teaching of Classical Art History and Archaeology at graduate and undergraduate level. To apply, see the Academic Jobs website.

CBA Listed Buildings Caseworker for England
CBA Local Heritage Co-ordinator
Salary £22,000—£24,000; closing date: midnight 31 August 2013

The Council for British Archaeology has two vacancies for staff posts based within its secretariat in York. The Listed Building Caseworker for England will develop and maintain a distinctive role for the CBA as a national amenity society in the national heritage protection and planning systems, enabling wider public participation in discovering and protecting the UK's historic environment, principally in connection with listed building casework. The Local Heritage Co-ordinator will develop a UK-wide network of effective local advocates for the historic environment, focusing initially on England, that is reasonably self-supporting at a local level, but which feeds wider issues up to the CBA for national advocacy and action as appropriate. Both posts will work closely with community-focused CBA colleagues to integrate with and enhance the CBA’s voluntary engagement strategy. Full details are available on the CBA website.

University of Cambridge: The A G Levantis Professorship of Greek Culture
Salary scale: £65,435—£132,860; closing date: 20 September 2013

For further details, visit the Cambridge University website and look under ‘Professorships/Directorships’, where you will also find details of the Disney Professorship of Archaeology (closing date 16 September 2013) and the Laurence Professorship of Ancient Philosophy (20 September 2013).

British Institute of Eastern Africa: Director
Salary negotiable; closing date: 6 September 2013

Wanted: a mid-career researcher active in any field of the humanities or social sciences, preferably with a particular interest in Eastern Africa, plus a track record of internationally excellent publications and experience in securing research funding. For further details, visit the Institute’s website .

Hughes Hall, Cambridge: President
Half-time for eight years from 1 October 2014; stipend pro rata and pensionable at an appropriate point on the University’s professorial scale; closing date 17 October 2013

The Governing Body of Hughes Hall, one of the thirty-one colleges of the University of Cambridge, intends to elect a new President as Head of House to succeed Sarah Squire, who will be leaving office on 30 September 2014. Applications are welcome from candidates with a distinguished record of achievement in academic or professional life, with the ability to be an effective ambassador for the College and command the respect of members of the college, providing inspirational leadership and making a major contribution to its ambitious development projects and the pursuit of academic excellence. Further particulars and additional information about the college can be downloaded from the Hughes Hall website.

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