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Salon: Issue 365
6 June 2016

Next issue: 20 June 2016 

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

Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor (if you are reading this in an email, do not reply directly as we will not receive your message). 

Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary


The Society held a fantastic conference focused on discussion and debate of the ways we can face and meet challenges currently facing Palaeolithic Archaeology in Britain today. The conference was organised by Fellows Dr Matthew Pope and Prof Clive Gamble. Fellows can catch up on the proceedings and social conversations via the #Storify article below, which pulls together the online comments and recordings of the proceedings. You can also visit the past event page for the conference on this website. - See more at:
The Society held a fantastic conference focused on discussion and debate of the ways we can face and meet challenges currently facing Palaeolithic Archaeology in Britain today. The conference was organised by Fellows Dr Matthew Pope and Prof Clive Gamble. Fellows can catch up on the proceedings and social conversations via the #Storify article below, which pulls together the online comments and recordings of the proceedings. You can also visit the past event page for the conference on this website. - See more at:
The Society held a fantastic conference focused on discussion and debate of the ways we can face and meet challenges currently facing Palaeolithic Archaeology in Britain today. The conference was organised by Fellows Dr Matthew Pope and Prof Clive Gamble. Fellows can catch up on the proceedings and social conversations via the #Storify article below, which pulls together the online comments and recordings of the proceedings. You can also visit the past event page for the conference on this website. - See more at:
As Fellows know, Carol Evans has left the Society. As well as working in the Library, Carol undertook picture research for the Society on a freelance basis, most notably for its Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2015) and The Inventory of Henry VIII, Volume II: Textiles and Dress. She is currently doing picture research for volume III of The Inventory of Henry VIII. Fellows might like to know that she is available as a freelance picture researcher and bibliographic checker for other publications. Please email Carol directly for more information.

Burlington House Courtyard Lates

Join us on 24 June (18.00 - 21.00) for a very special Friday night! Enjoy a range of activities:
The Society of Antiquaries will host activities designed to help visitors explore our early origins. See an historic re-enactment of a Society’s Ordinary Meeting in the Mitre Tavern c. 1720 performed by a troop of professional actors.  Samuel Gale will present on Stow’s Survey of London, the Society’s very first acquisition. President Peter Le Neve and Secretary William Stukeley will reveal the reprehensible scandal that roused the ire of the House of Commons and concluded in the hands of a common hangman.  Learn more about how our Fellows collected and studied the past – and sought to disseminate knowledge through publications, prints, lectures and meetings. Visitors will also be able to enjoy seeing some of our earliest objects on display, learn more about our collections, and meet the President of the Society to learn about our historic regalia. There will also be an opportunity to sign up for an exclusive tour of the Society's Library.

A cash bar will be available (why not grab a glass of bubbly?). Activities at the Society of Antiquaries of London will be free (reservations not required) and suitable for all ages. Visit the website for more information about this event, as well as similar events being held on 15 July and 26 August.


Unlocking Our Collections: Portrait of Mary I

The Society of Antiquaries has, over more than 300 years, accumulated astonishing collections. Through the Library and Museum collections at Burlington House (London) and Kelmscott Manor (Oxfordshire), the Society cares for a vast array of material, ranging from Old Master paintings to archaeological objects, from prints and drawings to one of the finest libraries for antiquarian and archaeological research anywhere.

This year, we have launched a new programme to highlight a variety of the treasures in our collections, focusing on one special object each month. The features, which consist of short text, sometimes with supporting material or short videos, are published on the Society’s website and shared via this newsletter and our social media profiles (such as Facebook and Twitter). Their aim is to raise awareness and appreciation of the Society’s wonderful collections, but also to engage Fellows more closely in the life of the Society by calling on those Fellows with knowledge and expertise of objects in the collections to share their knowledge with our public audiences.

Our June feature is by guest curator, Diana Scarisbrick FSA, a historian specializing in jewellery and engraved gems; she is the author of several books, including Rings: Jewellery of Power, Love and Loyalty and Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery, 1508-1625. She explains the significance and symbolism of the jewels in our portrait of Mary I. Visit our website for full details.

If you have a favourite object in the Society's Library or Museum collections and would be willing to research and write a short feature for our website, please contact the Collections Manager, Anooshka Rawden, at

Queen’s Speech: Archaeology Continues?

The Queen’s Speech on 18 May contained good news about a Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill. Less welcome was a proposal the Telegraph interpreted to mean, ‘Requirements that force developers to carry out archaeological and wildlife surveys before starting housing projects are to be swept away.’ Archaeologists have been busy responding.
On 3 June the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers: England (ALGAO) issued a joint statement. They note much activity ‘across the archaeological community’ related to the proposed Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill, which brings ‘a potential threat’ to archaeology.
They knew the Bill was coming, they say, but not what would be in it. Historic England facilitated a meeting with officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). They discussed the Bill, and any plans to change ‘pre-commencement conditions in the planning process’ (notably, one presumes, proposals to sweep away archaeological surveys before starting housing projects). The DCLG people, they say, ‘stressed … that archaeology was not a target of the reforms on pre-commencement conditions.’ The Telegraph was wrong. Nothing to worry about.
However, ‘despite these positive assurances,’ say the CIfA, the CBA and ALGAO, ‘we remain cautious about the direction of the Bill and its potential to affect archaeology’. They will watch closely and advise the Government as the Bill progresses.
Part of their reason for caution is that this episode is only the most recent of planning discussions and changes under the present Government, which together are ‘having a clear negative effect on the protection of archaeology’. They see the public reaction to the new Bill as ‘a symptom of decreasing trust in the Government’s ongoing growth agenda and its ability to streamline regulation and stimulate growth without harming the historic and natural environment.’
The planning system, they conclude, ‘is no longer working in the interests of archaeology’. The statement is signed by Mike Heyworth FSA (Director, CBA), Quinton Carroll (Chair, ALGAO), and Peter Hinton FSA (Chief Executive, CIfA).
The petition to UK Government and Parliament (Stop Destruction Of British Archaeology) passed 11,000 votes on 23 May, four days after launch, requiring a Government response. It has until 19 November to achieve a total of 100,000, in which case the petition would be ‘considered for debate in Parliament’ (though perhaps by then things will have moved on).

Not Enough Archaeologists

Some Fellows reading this might think there are too many archaeologists (if you’re one of them, please send me your non-archaeological news!). However, concern that revised planning conditions might reduce the need, or opportunity, for archaeologists to work on construction sites (see above), came soon after Duncan Wilson FSA, Chief Executive of Historic England (HE), said there weren’t enough archaeologists to meet the existing demand. The UK, said HE, ‘is set to see a surge in major infrastructure projects with more than 40 planned across the UK over the next 17 years’. Among them is a new high-speed railway between London and Birmingham, later continuing north to Manchester and Leeds (HS2), on which construction may begin in 2018. Over 40 major infrastructure projects are planned between 2015 and 2033, at a cost of £465 billion; most of these are to be completed within the next five years.
The archaeological profession, says HE, ‘is already working at or near capacity as evidenced by existing skills shortages.’ One recent survey shows the under-provision for fieldwork approaching 70%, and for analysis (without which the fieldwork is of questionable worth) to be 56%. HE concludes that as there is ‘little prospect that the market will balance itself’, something needs to be done.
A detailed report concludes that HE should help would-be archaeologists learn the necessary skills. More archaeology field schools, apprenticeships and vocational training opportunities are needed.
‘The pool of trained archaeologists can't grow fast enough to meet this upturn in demand’, said Wilson in a press statement, ‘without co-ordinated action from Historic England and partners in the heritage sector. We're addressing the issues found in our foresight report by putting creative, practical and achievable actions in place well ahead of time to fill the gap… [We need] to think hard about how we can offer a new generation routes into the profession.’
• National Infrastructure Development and Historic Environment Skills and Capacity 2015-33: An Assessment, was written by Bob Hook, with Duncan Brown FSA, Owain Lloyd-James, Roger Thomas FSA and Jim Williams. Photo shows the remains of a man buried with a chariot around 200 BC, excavated in advance of roadworks in Holmfield, Yorkshire.

Linking Flint and Obsidian Mines

Simon Kaner FSA, Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, writes with intriguing news of a Norfolk-Japanese twinning:
'In what is thought to be a world first (although we would be delighted to hear about other examples), the Neolithic flint mines of Grime’s Graves are shortly to be twinned with the Hoshikuso prehistoric obsidian mines in central Japan. This is the culmination of a series of exchanges between the Ancient House Museum in Thetford, and the Nagawa-machi Obsidian Museum in Nagano prefecture, Japan, facilitated through the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, involving a wide range of partners including English Heritage, the University of East Anglia, Meiji University in Tokyo and the Early Pottery Project based at the University of York.
‘To celebrate this, a conference on the archaeology of flint and obsidian will be held in Thetford, Norfolk, on Friday 15 July, part of a series of activities marking the twinning of these archaeological sites (with demonstrations of prehistoric cooking at a special Family Day on Saturday). Speakers will include Nick Ashton FSA, Peter Topping FSA, Simon Kaner FSA and four distinguished specialists from Japan. Full details of East Meets West – The Archaeology of Obsidian & Flint are available online; the events form part of the Festival of British Archaeology.
‘There is currently a small Japanese obsidian presence in the Ancient House Museum as part of an exhibition called Flint Rocks (until 26 November).
‘Further background of how the relationship has developed, growing from the inclusion of the Grime’s Graves ‘Goddess’ in Unearthed, an exhibition of prehistoric Japanese Jomon dogu and European Neolithic figurines in 2010, is set out in an article [by Kaner] in the Sainsbury Institute e-newsletter.’

Britain’s Oldest Hand-Written Documents

Roger Tomlin FSA, Editor of Roman Inscriptions of Britain at Wolfson College, Oxford (pictured), was privileged to be the first to read a large haul of Roman stylus writing tablets excavated in London. Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) published a comprehensive monograph on 1 June, detailing 405 Roman tablets or fragments, which add 80 legible texts to the 19 known previously from the entire city. It is, says MOLA, ‘Britain’s largest, earliest and most significant collection of Roman waxed writing tablets.’
The tablets were made between the AD 50s and 80s, spanning the destruction of Londinium by Boudica in 60 or 61. Mostly of a business nature, says Tomlin, the documents show that (as Tacitus described) London was a centre of commerce before the revolt, and sprang back rapidly afterwards: a contract made on 21 October AD 62 refers to ‘twenty loads of provisions’ to be brought from Verulamium (St Albans) to London by 13 November.
The very first text (8 January AD 57), and hence also the oldest dated hand-written document known from Britain, is financial. London is named (the first known reference, dated to AD 65–80), as are nearly 100 people, from a cooper, brewer and judge, to soldiers, slaves and freedmen. Among them is Julius Classicus, a figure already known as a leader of the Batavian revolt: he is revealed to be the prefect of the Sixth Cohort of Nervians in the first decades of Roman London. One tablet has an alphabet scratched out in capital letters, perhaps, suggests Tomlin, the first evidence for a school in Britain.
The tablets were found during pre-construction excavation at the site of Bloomberg LP’s new European headquarters, for which Julian Hill FSA was Post-Excavation Project Manager. Michael Bloomberg writes in the monograph how a communications company is 'thrilled' to have been responsible for discovering the tablets, and Jemma Read of Bloomberg introduces an impressive video about the project.
In this Sadie Watson FSA, Bloomberg London Site Director, says they hand-excavated 3,500 tons of soil, knowing from previous discoveries nearby that tablets were likely to be there – but no one had expected so many. The layer of black wax into which messages were written does not survive. Texts can be read only where a stylus marked the wood underneath, and where other marks do not obscure them. Tomlin worked with photographs taken with differently angled light as well as the real things. To read them, he says, ‘You have to have an imagination, but’, with a smile, ‘you must control it very rigidly.’
Sadie Watson also features in New Scientist (subscription needed), which considered MOLA’s work shortly before the embargo was lifted on the news of the Roman tablets.
• Roman London's First Voices: Writing Tablets from the Bloomberg Excavations, 2010–14, by Roger SO Tomlin.

Project Mosul

‘Is virtual-reality the future of history?: Project Mosul’ is the title of what The Economist describes as its ‘first VR experience’. Anne McElvoy presents two programmes with level-headed discussions airing digital imaging’s benefits and limitations. The former are clear in Project Mosul, as Lamia Al-Gailani, Honorary Senior Research Associate at UCL Institute of Archaeology, emphasises, with the reconstruction from crowdsourced images of a since vandalised museum. Nigel Tallis FSA, Assistant Keeper, Early Mesopotamia Collections, British Museum, talks about a Victorian fashion for casting Assyrian carvings, valuing the meaning of the artefacts above their authenticity. When you create a VR object, he says, you really have to look at it – you become the expert on the piece you have re-created. What we really need, says one speaker, is peace in the Middle East – not loads of scanners being sent out. • In April the Institute for Digital Archaeology displayed a reduced-scale replica Palmyran arch in Trafalgar Square, to signal solidarity with ‘people in the conflict region of the Middle East’.

Herculaneum’s Papyri: Preserve Now, Dream Later

Fourteen members of the Oxford-based Herculaneum Society and its New York partner the American Friends of Herculaneum, wrote to The Times in March (subscription needed), calling for the urgent ‘completion’ of excavations at the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum. The villa, buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, is said to contain the only library to have survived intact from the ancient Greco-Roman world. Scroll fragments from some 800 books found in the 18th century are thought to be a small sample compared to what remains buried, which is, say the letter writers, threatened by future volcanic eruptions.
This is not a new cause (‘several of us’, say the Times signatories, wrote to the paper on the subject in 2002), and arguments against excavation have also been well-rehearsed. In May the Art Newspaper assessed the case, as it had 14 years ago. It was told by Giuseppe De Natale, Director of the Osservatorio Vesuviano, that ‘the probability of an impending eruption – within the next weeks or month – is negligible’, but that when it happens, a major eruption would almost certainly cover Herculaneum and nearby Pompeii ‘in deadly pyroclastic flows of molten rock and gas’.
Robert Fowler, Professor of Greek at the University of Bristol and lead signatory to the Times letter, writes in the Art Newspaper that the villa was rediscovered and partially excavated in the 1990s. ‘We shall soon have the technology to scan and read the rolls without even touching them,’ he says. ‘They will not lie around neglected and deteriorating, as has sometimes been charged. Posterity will not forgive us if we squander this chance. The excavation must proceed.’
For the case against, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill FSA, Director of Research, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge University and Scientific Director of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, says the risk to the villa lies not in another eruption ( which ‘can scarcely do more damage to what lies buried’) but in exposure. ‘The steep embankment around the trench’, he writes, ‘is not stable: the edges constantly crumble and do damage to the protective shelter. This can be addressed … but simply increasing the size of the excavation only moves the problem on.’
‘The gravest risk’, he says, ‘is from water. The consequence of creating a trench 30m below the ground level of the present city is to release a flow of water. This cascades out of the edge of the excavated area, passing through the lower floors of the villa, precisely those which were not explored by Karl Weber [in the 1750s] and have the most potential interest… [U]rgent work to stop the embankment crumbling and the flow of water further damaging the lower floors … might reveal further papyri. It would certainly reveal finds of great interest. But the logic that drives any modern excavation must be preservation, not the pursuit of a dream.’

The illustrated transcribed fragment is taken from the Imaging Papyri Project, a digital library of collections of papyrus images and texts at Oxford University, hosted by the Faculty of Classics.

Beans and Rice Identify Madagascan Settlers

Everything about Madagascar, that great island off the coast of east Africa, says it was settled principally by people from across the Indian Ocean, with only subsequent and less significant immigration from Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The evidence for this counter-intuitive story lies in language (Malagasy has more in common with Hawaiian than anything spoken in adjacent Africa), the look of the people, musical instruments, dug-out canoes with outriggers, food and much else, all of which point to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. What actually happened, and when, however, has proved hard to pin down. Excavated early settlements offered little help. The most substantial case had been put by a combination of genetics and linguistics, interpreted to suggest Austronesian colonisation around 2,500 years ago.
Now a team which includes three Fellows have introduced new data to a saga that American writer Jared Diamond has called ‘the single most astonishing fact of human geography for the entire world’. Nicole Boivin FSA (University of Oxford and Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena), Dorian Fuller FSA (UCL Institute of Archaeology) and Mark Horton FSA (University of Bristol), with ten other colleagues, describe the evidence of early crops, in a paper edited by Matthew Spriggs FSA (Australian National University, Canberra) for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published on 30 May.
Madagascan crops, formerly or currently important on the island, include banana, yam, taro, coconut, rice, mung bean and cotton – all Asian staples, and a comparable range of cultivated plants to those that made their way across the Pacific. Boivin and colleagues analysed remains from 18 sites in Madagascar and Africa, some of them from their own excavations (photo shows Horton at work, in orange shirt), some from work by others, dating between around AD 650 and 1200. They identified a total of 2,443 crop remains, with 48 radiocarbon dates, most of them obtained directly on crop seeds.
On the African mainland or on islands close to the coast, they found a mix of, overwhelmingly, African (millets, pulses and fruits), and much more rarely, Asian crops (rice, mung bean, cotton). In more distant islands, including the Comoros and Madagascar, they found almost exclusively Asian crops. Rice and mung beans, they note, were not popular in the Middle East in historical times (there are no recipes for using mungs in medieval Islamic cookbooks). They are, however, common in India and Sri Lanka from at least 500 BC, and have been found at an early date in Bali and Thailand.
Asian foods on the Comoros was an unexpected discovery, as the islands are traditionally thought to have been settled by Africans, not Asians. On this point, Boivin said: ‘When we started looking more closely into research that has been carried out on Comorian languages, we were able to find numerous esteemed linguists who had argued for the exact thing we seemed to seeing in the Comorian archaeological record: a settlement by people from Southeast Asia. So we’ve been able to not only to show for the first time an archaeological signature of Austronesians, we’ve also shown that it seems to extend beyond Madagascar. This is really exciting, and highlights how much we still have to learn about this fascinating migration.’
‘Our findings’, the scientists conclude, ‘open the way to new avenues of research for linguists, geneticists, and archaeologists and provide crucial insight into early processes of biological exchange across the Indian Ocean.’

2016 British Archaeological Awards Shortlist Announced

There will be Fellows among the winners of the 2016 British Archaeological Awards, whose shortlist was announced on 1 June: all three books have at least one Fellow author or co-author, and many are involved in the other listed projects. The five categories in the biennial awards are Best Archaeological Project, Best Community Engagement Archaeology Project, Best Archaeological Book, Best Public Presentation of Archaeology and Best Archaeological Innovation.
The winners will be revealed at the British Museum on 11 July, when Julian Richards FSA will host a public ceremony. Two discretionary awards will also be announced, for Outstanding Achievement and for Best Archaeological Discovery. The event will mark the launch of the Council for British Archaeology’s annual Festival of Archaeology, which this year runs from 16 to 31 July.
The Awards were established in 1976, to advance public education in the study and practice of archaeology in the UK, and to recognise excellence. Managed by an independent charity chaired by Deborah Williams of Historic England, the 2016 Awards are sponsored by key organisations across the country, including the Society of Antiquaries of London.
Photo shows the Whithorn Trust’s Hearth, Home and Farm community project in Dumfries & Galloway, shortlisted for Best Community Engagement Archaeology Project. For full details see the Awards website.

Enriching The List

Martin Newman FSA writes about a new project from Historic England:
‘Historic England is launching a new crowd-sourcing initiative which will enable users of the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) to submit additional information about buildings and sites, as well as photographs. Once these have been checked to ensure they are appropriate, they will then be published with, but separate from, the list entry. A semi-public beta testing phase of the project took place from 8 February to 6 May. During this period 50 invited test users submitted over 1,000 contributions which, once published, were visible to all NHLE users. The contributions included over 2,000 photographs.
‘This informed the second phase of development, which will be launched on Tuesday 7 June, when anyone will be able to register and take part. Although crowd-sourcing is not new for heritage projects in England, this is different in that it is sourcing information about entries on the statutory list. Some Fellows have already been contributing as test users, and it is hoped that more Fellows will want to get involved and share their knowledge about the listed buildings, scheduled monuments etc. on the NHLE.’
Full details can be found on the Historic England website. Photo shows a scheduled duck decoy pond on Halstow Marshes, Kent built in the 17th century.

Researching London

Peter Rowsome FSA and Roy Stephenson FSA write to say that a strategy for researching London, ‘a long time in gestation’, has now appeared:
‘We're pleased to announce that CBA London have now finished putting together the London Historic Environment Research Strategy introductory webpage, with access to the Strategy and a few initial resource links. More will be added to the webpage over time. An Advisory Board will be established in the coming months to help implement the Strategy.
‘We've also started a Facebook Public Group page intended to act as a Research Strategy forum for discussion and advice.
‘Please do have a look at the webpage and Facebook page. We would welcome the participation of Fellows in our London research discussions, and would love to hear about ongoing research or events and help publicise them. The Strategy's emphasis is on participation, sharing of information and discussion between the many and various groups involved in London historic environment projects over the coming years.’

Day of Archaeology

Lorna Richardson FSA, Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Sociology at Umeå University, Sweden, writes about the forthcoming Day of Archaeology, which will be held this year on Friday 29 July:
‘The blogging project aims to provide a window into the daily lives of archaeologists from all over the world through the use of digital media. We ask for participants working, studying or volunteering in the archaeological world, to share their “Day of Archaeology” each year in the summer by recording their day and sharing it through text, images or video on the project website and other social media. The resulting Day of Archaeology project demonstrates the wide variety of work our profession undertakes day-to-day across the globe, and helps to raise public awareness of the relevance and importance of archaeology to the modern world. We want anyone with a personal, professional or voluntary interest in archaeology to get involved, and help highlight the reasons why archaeology is vital to protect the past and inform our futures.
‘From 2016, the Day of Archaeology will be partnering with the Archaeological Data Service, and the European Commission NEARCH project, a European-wide cooperation network of 14 partners from 11 countries. NEARCH aims to explore the various dimensions of public participation in contemporary archaeology and bring to the field, which is strongly influenced by economic and social developments in society, new ways of working and collaborating. This new collaboration will provide content from European partners in a variety of languages, and will help to expand the reach and impact of this public archaeology project.'
The Day of Archaeology project is run by a small team of volunteers, which includes Richardson, Tom Goskar FSA and Dan Pett FSA. More information can be found online about the Day of Archaeology and NEARCH.

News of Fellows

Jane Fawcett FSA, codebreaker and architectural conservationist, died in May. An appreciation appears below.

Paul Taçon FSA has been awarded a 2016 Australian Laureate Fellowship by the Australian Research Council for the project Australian Rock Art History, Conservation and Indigenous Wellbeing. The award is 'the culmination of more than 30 years of research on Australia’s extraordinary rock art,’ said Taçon in a press statement. ‘This is a fantastic result for Indigenous heritage as the project will generate new protocols and provide new interfaces between scientific, Indigenous, and public views of rock art, as well as fostering and celebrating rock art assets as keystones of national identity.’ Worth $2.5 million over five years, the funding will go towards producing new national strategies and knowledge about Australian rock art to enhance Indigenous empowerment and wellbeing. ‘In the eight years of the scheme’, Taçon tells Salon, ‘only 128 awards have been made across all disciplines. Mine is only the fourth in archaeology – Matthew Spriggs FSA received the third a couple years ago.’

Max Donnelly FSA, Curator of Nineteenth-Century Furniture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Linda Parry FSA, former Deputy Keeper of Furniture Textiles and Fashion at the V&A, and Karen Livingstone have co-authored F.A. Voysey: Arts & Crafts Designer (V&A). With nearly 400 illustrations, the book, says the blurb, ‘is the first substantial monograph to focus on Voysey as a designer of textiles, furniture, metalwork and ceramics, providing a new analysis of his characteristic motifs and designs. It draws on the greatest public and private collections of his work to give a complete and fully illustrated account of Voysey’s output and his vision for domestic life at the turn of the 20th century.’
Jonathan Tubb FSA is quoted in a feature article in the Guardian about Irina Bokova, Director General of Unesco and a potential head of the United Nations. ‘All six Syrian world heritage sites are classified as being in danger,’ writes Charlie English,’ as are tens of others on a secondary, “tentative” world heritage list. “We probably don’t know the half of it,” says Jonathan Tubb, keeper of the Middle East collection at the British Museum in London. “There are many areas of Syria for which we simply have no information.”’
‘We were very fortunate to discover sewage in a ditch’, said David Breeze FSA, at the launch on 3 June at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, of Bearsden: A Roman Fort on the Antonine Wall. The book reports on excavations he directed at the fort in the 1970s. ‘The bath-house and latrine discovered at that time’, he said, ‘are now on public display, and are an important part of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site.’ The sewage was analysed by scientists at Glasgow University, who found that soldiers used wheat for porridge and bread, and possibly pasta; they ate local wild fruits, nuts and celery, and imported figs, coriander and opium poppy; and they suffered from whipworm, round worm and fleas. Rebecca Jones FSA, Head of Archaeology and World Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland, described the book as ‘the culmination of years of hard work both on and off site.’ Breeze sent this cartoon by Stephen Camley, which accompanied a piece in The Herald on 3 June:

The University of Leicester has launched a second season of its archaeology fieldschool at Bradgate Park. Richard Thomas FSA, Project co-director and Acting Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, said: ‘The focus of our second season will be a medieval moated site, which contains a stone building that may have been a hunting lodge, a possible prehistoric enclosure located south of Bradgate House and Late Upper Palaeolithic hunting activity within the park.’
Cyprian Broodbank FSA, Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, featured in Radio 4’s Start the Week on 23 May. He talked abut the Cambridge Archaeological Unit’s remarkable excavations at Must Farm, revealing, he said, a prehistoric ‘community [which] is extraordinarily well connected’. Presenter Andrew Marr also talked to Cornelia Parker, an artist exhibiting at the Foundling Museum, London, who earlier buried a 200-year-old silver spoon at another prehistoric dig in the Fens by the Cambridge Unit. Photo shows a wooden bucket at Must Farm.

Gustav Milne FSA has written an article in a sponsored Guardian series on Cities. ‘The city is not our natural habitat,’ he writes. ‘For the last three million years, we evolved as hunter-gatherers, living in small tribal societies, breathing fresh air, drinking fresh water and eating fresh foods… However “civilised” we may now consider ourselves to be, biologically we are much closer to our stone age ancestors.’
Ahead of Versailles (‘Is this the BBC’s most sexually explicit drama ever?’ asks the Mirror introducing a video clip, in a story headlined, ‘Versailles slammed for 'endless bonking' and 'clunky dialogue' as viewers ask: ''Why are they all naked?''’), BBC2 broadcast The Real Versailles, presented by Lucy Worsley FSA (on right in photo) and Helen Castor. It can be seen on iPlayer until 29 June.
‘When I was excavating Maya sites in the Central American rainforest in the 1990s, my staff took chloroquine against the prevalent Plasmodium vivax form of malaria.’ Commenting on press stories about the side effects of Lariam (nearly 1,000 British servicemen and women are said to have needed psychiatric treatment after taking the anti-malarial drug), Norman Hammond FSA wrote to The Times. ‘I was unhappy to find that American students joining us had been prescribed Lariam ... After several cases of hallucinations and other mental disturbances, I got them all chloroquine from the local hospital. We had no further problems, and no cases of malaria.’
Reporting from the Hay Festival, the Telegraph said that Neil MacGregor FSA criticised the school syllabus for creating a British ‘remorseless obsession’ with Nazi Germany, dismissing comparison of the European Union with Hitler (a claim made by Boris Johnson, arguing for the UK’s departure from the EU) as ‘preposterous’. Modern Germany, he said, is the ‘best and most functioning democratic system in Europe’. He also commented on the debate about a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford (left), where some students see the figure as an imperialist celebration to be removed. Britain could learn from Germany, said MacGregor, by repositioning objects ‘from a celebration of the person to objects of reflection on the complexity of that person.’ Photo from Wikipedia.

The Fellows of St Cross College have elected Carole Souter FSA as the next Master of the College. She will take up office in September, succeeding Sir Mark Jones FSA, who has been Master of St Cross since 2011. In a press statement, Jones said that Souter ‘brings an outstanding reputation from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is ideally fitted to lead St Cross into its second half-century.’

Lives Remembered

From the New York Times to the Daily Express, the focus of obituaries for Jane Fawcett FSA, who died on 21 May aged 95, is encapsulated in a headline in The Economist: ‘The deb who sank the Bismarck’.
She played a significant role at the World War Two Bletchley Park code-breaking centre (where she might have met the more peripatetic decipherer, the late Nancy Sandars FSA). But her achievements ranged wider, in particular as an architectural conservationist and a stalwart of the Victorian Society, for which work she was admitted a Fellow of this Society in 2003.
Nikolaus Pevsner, then Chairman, appointed Fawcett as Secretary of the Victorian Society (VS) in 1964, six years after its formation by him, John Betjeman and others, as a response to the destruction of Victorian and early Edwardian buildings. Under her leadership the VS was instrumental in saving from demolition the Gothic Midland Hotel and St Pancras station, London, and, says the VS, ‘the majority of Whitehall’.
‘To save buildings when there was no legislation’, she wrote, ‘was difficult. To alter entrenched public opinion was worse. If anything was to be saved from the century now recognised as one of the greatest periods of our history we had to act quickly. And we did … We were taking on in battle the whole of the Government, the whole of the general public, all academe, the architectural professional and a few others.’
She helped Susie Harries in research for Harries’ life of Nikolaus Pevsner (2011). In its early years the VS had no staff, and Fawcett, says Harries, housed the Society’s office at her own address, ‘making it even harder for her to avoid working 12-hour days’. She assembled a fund-raising committee, and used her contacts to help raise £100,000, with which they bought a rundown building in Bedford Park, where the VS still is. Bedford Park itself was a significant conservation success, where 356 pioneering suburban houses were listed. While working for the VS she credited Simon Jenkins FSA for helping out with essential publicity.
She was granted an honorary fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects and appointed MBE in 1976, the year she stepped down from the Victorian Society. There followed a series of books on conservation topics. She co-authored Save the City: A Conservation Study of the City of London (1976), and edited The Future of the Past: Attitudes to Conservation 1174–1974 (1976), Seven Victorian Architects (1977) and Historic Floors: Their History and Conservation (1998). The Village in History, written with Graham Nicholson, was published in 1988.
In 1991 she published, when she was the Secretary of ICOMOS UK, Cathedral Floor Damage Survey, a substantial report which concluded with 17 recommendations ('10 … Stiletto heels should be forbidden in historically important areas … 14. The number of vergers and stewards employed should be greatly increased … to avoid theft and vandalism and the anti-social behaviour that is becoming increasingly prevalent’).
‘It is clear that widespread damage is being inflicted’, she wrote in the introduction to the survey, ‘both to monuments, floors, and to other parts of the fabric. It is also clear that, hard as the cathedral authorities find it to accept, the majority of those inflicting the damage have little interest in the cathedral as the House of God; they often have no interest in the architecture; and they are, in many cases, destroying for each other whatever experience they might have expected by sheer noise and weight of numbers.’
One can imagine certain church authorities recalling her earlier sobriquet, ascribed to someone at British Rail: ‘the furious Mrs Fawcett’. As a member of the ICOMOS UK World Heritage Committee, she was also concerned more generally with the negative impacts of tourism.
Jane Fawcett was born Janet Hughes in London. When she died, she was apparently working on an unfinished ‘personal account’ of the life of her grandfather, Thomas McKenny Hughes FSA (1832–1917), who was Woodwardian Professor of Geology, University of Cambridge, and had excavated archaeological sites near Rome and Naples with Sir Charles Newton, and later in Cambridge.
She won an acting scholarship to RADA, but turned it down to train as a dancer, sharing studios with Margot Fonteyn. Ninette de Valois told her she was too tall to dance, and her parents sent her to Switzerland to learn German. She absconded to St Moritz and, reluctantly, returned for the London ‘season’. It was as a member of the young female aristocracy, supposedly more trustful than lower classes, that she was recruited early in the War to Bletchley.
In May 1941 she realised she had deciphered a message from a Luftwaffe general whose son was on the Bismarck, which mentioned Brest, pointing to the French destination of the German navy’s leading battleship. The Royal Navy were soon able to intercept the ship. Last year she told a Telegraph interviewer about her feelings on hearing the news of the Bismarck’s destruction.
‘It was desperate, a great tragedy,’ she said, ‘something like 1400 people died. But everything about war is a tragedy and we had to be glad we were in a position to help.’ Working at Bletchley, however, was ‘good fun’. ‘There were some beautiful girls around and some very desirable young men and we spent all our time together… Class barriers didn’t exist at all and women were treated as equals. It was totally irrelevant. Great days.’
After the War she took a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music and trained as a professional singer. She married Ted Fawcett in 1947, a former Royal Navy officer who became a garden conservator and historian, and helped to modernise the National Trust as its head of public relations. She left a 15-year operatic career to join the Victorian Society and bring up her two children.

Other obituaries can be found in the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Herald.

The Times has published an obituary for Geoffrey Waywell FSA, who died in February (subscription needed).
He ‘was working in his windowless office at King’s College London in the Strand one day in the late 1960s’, says the paper, ‘when a steel rod from a nearby building site plunged through the grimy skylight and embedded itself in his desk. Escaping unscathed, the junior lecturer was quick to compare this missile to the thunderbolt of the Olympian Zeus: even in his dingy, subterranean room, the gods were observing his progress.’
‘He was in no doubt that sculpture was the best way to appreciate the legacy of classical art,' notes the writer, adding that 'He was a keen gardener and pianist.'

Memorials to Fellows

Stephen Greep FSA and David Neave FSA report:
‘Saturday 14 May saw 20 York Fellows and their guests treated to a guided tour of Beverley by three local Fellows Barbara English, David Neave and John Wilton-Ely. Amongst the places visited was St Mary’s Church. In the “Priests’ Rooms”, above the 14th century St Michael's Chapel, Fellows were able to examine the memorial to one of the Society’s earliest Fellows, Francis Drake FSA, elected to the Society in 1736. The memorial is said to have been in the churchyard of St Mary’s until it was moved to its current location in 1981.
‘Francis Drake (1696–1771) was born in Pontefract, the son of the vicar. Following apprenticeship he became a surgeon and in 1727, aged 31, he became the city surgeon of York. He was the author of the first substantial history of York, Eboracum: The History and Antiquities of the City of York, from its Original to the Present Time; together with the History of the Cathedral Church and the Lives of the Archbishops, published in 1736. When he died he was living with his son, Revd Francis Drake, Vicar of St Mary’s, Beverley 1767–91.
‘The memorial is inscribed in Latin. The following translation is by David Smith (from W.C.B. Smith, St Mary’s Church, Beverley, pp.114–15):
‘Sacred to the Memory of Francis Drake, Esquire, Fellow of the Royal Society and also of the Society of Antiquaries. How much he progressed by his learning and application his History of York and also his Parliamentary History clearly bear witness. Whether seen as a friend, a fellow-citizen, or a colleague, in whatever circumstances he was in, he attracted the gratitude and love
of everyone to an astonishing degree. So kind, so generous, so courteous, he was not to be surpassed. Francis Drake, S.T.P., his eldest son and Vicar of this church, so well aware of the merits of his father, wished this monument to be made. He died in the Year of Our Lord 1771
aged 76.’

The Wisdom of Fellows

In the last Salon Roland Smith FSA asked if bookmaking had anything to do with the historic environment, before starting an interesting excursion into racecourse landscapes. Geoffrey Dannell FSA writes with news of a more direct link to the Fellowship:
‘Following on from Roland Smith's contribution on horse-racing, it might be timely to remind Fellows that Edmund Tyrrell Artis FSA was secretary to the Doncaster Race Club, which organised the St Leger Meetings, between 1827 and 1847. As owner and maître d'hôtel of the Club he gave renowned banquets during the Race Week, entertaining such notables as The Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel and Lord George Bentinck. The Race Club was situated on Hallgate, which Artis as the author of The Durobrivae of Antoninus (1828), would have been very satisfied to know was once a Roman road.’
‘Sorry to miss Alexandra Palace in the list of closed racecourses,’ writes Alan Johnston FSA. ‘It prompts me to ask in pretty total ignorance whether its, plus Palace’s, history is being worked on?’
The photo of Alexandra Park Racecourse in 1947 is from Harringay online.

Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows and Other Exclusive Fellows' Events

16 June 2016: Private View of Celts at the National Museum of Scotland
Fellows are invited to join us at 11.00 am on Thursday, 16 June, for a private curator talk and a chance to explore the Celts exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. We will be joined by Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Details are available (with booking information) on the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland website (

You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events').

Interested in proposing a lecturer? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer (

Forthcoming Public Events

Burlington House Courtyard Lates

Explore 300 years of learning and discover at the Society of Antiquaries of London! Discover what's behind the doors at the six learned societies at Burlington House. Visitors will be welcome to enjoy a variety of activities at different societies around the courtyard on three nights this summer: 24 June, 15 July and 26 August (18.00 - 21.00).

To find out more, visit

Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

23 August: 'Armour and the Afterlife: Knightly Effigies in England and Wales', by Dr Tobias Capwell FSA

20 September: 'A Copy of a Copy: Leek's Replica of the Bayeux Tapestry', by Dr Brenda King, Chair of the Textile Society.

18 October: 'The Relics of Battle Abbey', by Dr Michael Carter FSA (English Heritage).

22 November: 'Motherboards and Motherloads: The Evolving Excavation of the Digital Age', by Christine Finn FSA.

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

Filming Antiquity

The Filming Antiquity project was funded in spring 2014 to digitise, research and present the home movies of the British archaeologist Gerald Lankester Harding FSA. Harding began his career in archaeology with Flinders Petrie in 1926 at Tell Jemmah, in what was then British Mandate Palestine. The footage currently being researched by Filming Antiquity dates to the late 1920s and early 1930s, when Harding was working on the sites of Tell Fara, Tell Ajjul and Tell ed-Duweir.

23 September (17.30-19.30): In this presentation Amara Thornton FSA and Michael McCluskey (University College London) will discuss the life and work of Harding as captured on screen, setting the footage in the context of interwar excavations and the history of cinema. The presentation will include screening of footage rarely seen since the 1930s, as well as fascinating materials from Harding’s archive showing his experiences on these digs.

For more information, including booking (£5 per person), please visit the website.

Forthcoming Events at Kelmscott Manor

23 July 2016: Make Your Own Miniature Book Family Activity Day (12.00-16.00). No need to book. Included in cost of admission to the Manor. Create your very own miniature folding book, inspired by the Kelmscott Manor garden and William Morris's own designs. med at 3 to 83 year-old visitors, the sessions will run on a drop-in basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Society Dates to Remember


Introductory Tours of Burlington House for Fellows

The next in the Society’s regular series of introductory tours will take place on 23 June. More will be scheduled for the autumn (watch this space).

Tours are free, but limited to 25 people, so places should be booked in advance. Please contact the Society’s Executive Assistant (call 020 7479 7080 or email Tours start at 11.00, and coffee is served from 10.45. Lunch is available at the end of the tour for £5, but must be ordered in advance. There will be further tours scheduled in the autumn.

Burlington House Closures

The Society's apartments, including it's Library, will be closed for its summer conservation and maintenance programme from 1 August to 2 September (inclusive), reopening on Monday, 5 September.

Regional Fellows Groups


South West Fellows

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

Welsh Fellows

Friday, 17 June: Fellows are invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Welsh Archaeological Trust with us. Director of the Glamorgan Gwent Archaelogical Trust, Andrew Marvel FSA, invites you to visit Heathfield House, the Trust's headquarters in Swansea, for a tour and a buffet lunch (£15.00 per person). The visit to Heathfield House will be followed by a visit to Margam Abbey and the collection of Early Christian Stones. Please download and return the booking form to Bob Child to reserve.

Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at

York Fellows

Friday, 18 June: Fellow Graham Parry will be leading a walking tour of  the historic building of Leeds City Centre. Meet in City Square outside the station at 11.00, near the equestrian statue of the Black Prince. The day will begin with a tour of St John's Church, built and lavishly furnished in the early 1630s. Lunch, around 13.00, will be in the pub-bistro called Veritas, behind the Town Hall. The tour should end between 16.00 and 17.00. The tour takes a look at the Corn Exchange, the grand Victorian markets, the terra-cotta arcades, and will probably finish at the Parish church, now Leeds Cathedral. There will be plenty of architectural surprises en route. Fellows as well as guests are welcomed, but booking is required. Please email:

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

7 June: The Maya of Lamanai: 1500 BC to the British Colonial Period (Bath)The Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution in Queen Square is hosting an exhibition about Adela Breton (1849–1923), a Bath citizen who spent her most creative times, and by her accounts most enjoyable, in Mexico. Talks to accompany The Remarkable Miss Breton: Artist, Archaeologist, Traveller include one by Norman Hammond FSA on 20 May, and by Elizabeth Graham FSA on 7 June, who will explore Maya history through the lens of archaeological research at Lamanai, in northern Belize.

15–17 June: Reading the Wall: The Cultural Afterlives of Hadrian's Wall (Newcastle)
Rob Collins FSA is co-organising a conference at Newcastle University which will explore the broader cultural impact of Hadrian's Wall beyond the disciplines of archaeology and heritage, notably in literature and the arts. The conference includes keynote lectures by award-winning authors Garth Nix and Christian Cameron, and Lindsay Allason-Jones FSA and Richard Hingley FSA. Other speakers include David Breeze FSA, Rachel Newman FSA, Mike Bishop FSA and Collins himself. The conference has a website and a Twitter account, @HWall2016.

17 June: Building a City: 350 Years after the Great Fire (London)
A conference on the Great Fire and its aftermath in the context of London in 2016 – innovations in urban design, ideas on place-making, regeneration of historic buildings and strategies for the future. The conference in Westminster City Hall will span the history and future development of London, and is organised by the Heritage of London Trust. Speakers include Charles Hind FSA, Philip Davies FSA and Nigel Barker FSA. See website for further information and to book a place.

17–18 June: Sensing Time: The Art & Science of Clocks & Watches (London)
A joint V&A/Science Museum conference features gallery talks and an evening lecture about Shakespeare in the museums, and a concert at the Foundling Museum. ‘Time is of the essence. This truth is visible, tangible and audible in the masterpieces of horology on display at the Science Museum and the V&A. In both collections the same type of material is collected for different reasons: at the V & A art and design are key, while on the other side of Exhibition Road, science and technology take priority. This interdisciplinary study day will bring together expertise from curators, makers and conservators.’ Speakers include George White FSA and Tessa Murdoch FSA.

18 June: Exploring the Heritage of St Michael and All Angels Church, Great Tew (Great Tew, Oxfordshire)
Caroline Barron FSA has assembled an afternoon programme of talks about the art and architecture of St Michael’s Church, Great Tew, to be held in the church. Speakers include Nicola Coldstream FSA and Nigel Saul FSA. A brief history of church music in the period will be traced, with the occasional forays into secular repertoire so as to include favourites such as ‘Sumer is ycomen in’ and the ‘Agincourt Carol’. Proceeds will be divided between the Somerville Bursary Fund and St Michael and All Angels.

21 and 29 June: Living Heritage: Buildings, Crafts and Communities (London)
ICOMOS-UK is hosting a Summer Talks Season as part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture, at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross St, EC1M 6EJ. On 21 June, Matthew McKeague and Isabel Assaly (Churches Conservation Trust) speak on ‘Creative Reuse of Historic Churches’. On 29 June Trevor Marchand (School of Oriental & African Studies) speaks on ‘Crafting Communities of Knowledge: Masons and Woodworkers in Yemen, Mali, and the UK’. Book online or contact ICOMOS-UK at or 020 7566 0031
24 June: Challenges in UK Archaeological Capacity: Opportunities for Sustainable Growth (York)
The Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME) will hold their annual day forum this year at The Merchant Adventurers Hall. Speakers will come from across the UK, Ireland and the US to consider the scale of challenges, and options organisations have to make the most of the opportunities. The meeting is open to non members for £85. See online or contact Direct bookings can be made at Eventbrite.
24 June: Russian Arts and Crafts and Enamels (London)
An afternoon seminar in the Clore Seminar Room in the British Galleries of the V&A, chaired by Max Donnelly FSA. Rosalind Blakesley will speak on Russian Arts and Crafts and lead a visit to the Europe and America Galleries 1800–1900. Cynthia Sparke will introduce Russian enamelling, focusing on the 19th-century revival of earlier styles and techniques, in particular the work of Feodor Rückert, supplier to Fabergé. There will be an opportunity to view work currently in storage from the V&A and Gilbert Collections.

7 July: Van Dyck in London (London)
The Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck lived and worked in London during the 1630s. Supported by his studio, he produced many remarkable portraits. In this lunchtime talk at the National Gallery, Karen Hearn FSA, Tate’s former Curator of 16th and 17th-century British Art, considers some of Van Dyck's British works, and examines the influence on them of his art collection.

17 July: Handel at Boughton (Kettering)
Burlington House (Handel's home for three years) features in a day among the gardens and 18th-centruy collections of Boughton, hosted by the Duke of Buccleuch to celebrate the composer. Paris dance company Les Corps Eloquents, with counter-tenor James Laing, will recreate scenes from Handel operas (the Duke of Montagu’s collection of original choreographies survives in Boughton). Book at 01832 274734 or on the house’s website.
19–22 July: The Great Household 1000–1500 (Harlaxton)
The theme of the 2016 Symposium convened by Chris Woolgar FSA is the medieval great household, from the 11th to the early 16th century, with a focus on elite contexts in the British Isles. Delegates will be given a guided tour of Harlaxton Manor and the afternoon outing will be to Gainsborough Old Hall, one of the finest and best-preserved 15th-century manor houses in England. The conference banquet will feature food inspired by medieval cuisine. The keynote will be delivered by Chris Dyer FSA, University of Leicester. See website for details.
9–11 September: Capability Brown: Perception and Response in a Global Context (Bath)The influence of Capability Brown and the naturalistic landscape design style on landscapes across the world will be presented at a major ICOMOS-UK conference at the University of Bath, as part of the first-ever national Capability Brown Festival. Speakers include David Thackray FSA, President of ICOMOS-UK and Megan Aldrich FSA. For more information see the ICOMOS website.
12 September: Objects & Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World 1200–1800 – call for papers
Chris Woolgar FSA is organising a conference at the University of Southampton, 3-6 April 2017, to focus on objects and possessions between AD1200 and 1800 across Europe and its overseas colonies, the connections and relationships facilitated by the exchange of goods, the importance and interpretation of the inheritance of goods and objects, and the ways in which goods brokered relations between Europe and the wider world. He invites proposals for single papers and whole sessions (three papers). Abstracts (maximum 200 words) to Keynote speakers include Chris Briggs (Cambridge), Giorgio Riello (Warwick) and James Walvin (York).

24 September: Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham A Royal Centre of the East Anglian Kingdom (Bury St Edmunds)
A one-day conference to present the results of archaeological investigation at Rendlesham 2008–14, at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Speakers include Chris Scull FSA and Jude Plouviez FSA, and discussions will be led by Martin Carver FSA, Catherine Hills FSA and Leslie Webster FSA. For details see Suffolk Heritage Explorer.
5–6 October: Auricular Style: Frames (London)
An international conference at the Wallace Collection will be the first dedicated to the Auricular style, centring on one of its most significant manifestations, the picture frame. Speakers currently include Karen Hearn FSA, Christopher Rowell FSA and Jacob Simon FSA. Displays to run simultaneously with the conference are planned with the Guildhall Art Gallery, and Ham House, London. Relevant topics include connections between countries, the Van Vianens, Fontainebleau, the grotesque. ‘Medici’ frames. the influence of prints, Auricular settings, craftsmanship, the style’s decline and its revivals, and more. Enquiries and submissions (300–400-word abstracts) to by 29 January, 2016. Convenors Gerry Alabone FSA and Lynn Roberts, in association with the Institute of Conservation (Gilding & Decorative Surfaces Group). Early bird registration (after which prices rise) ends on 30 June.
14–16 October: 1066: Interpreting the Norman Conquest in 2016 (London)
In this 950th anniversary year, a conference on the Norman Conquest is to be held by the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, running from the day of the battle. The conference is intended for a general audience, but the contributions will be delivered by prominent experts, including David Bates FSA, author of a forthcoming biography of William the Conqueror, and Elisabeth van Houts, who has edited and translated several Anglo-Norman chronicles and has published on women and gender in the Middle Ages. Subjects will include the background to the Conquest, arms and armour, architecture, landscape, government, aristocracy, the church, society, the Bayeux Tapestry and the task of studying the period today. To register interest and obtain further information please contact or call 0113 220 1888.

15 October: The Age of Luxury: the Georgian Country House c 1700-1820 (Lewes)
Between 1700 and 1820 old houses were transformed and new ones built, some on a spectacular scale by owners who would now be regarded as multi-millionaires. The influence of the Grand Tour on country house owners was considerable, not least as many of them travelled abroad themselves, seeing European fashions at first hand. This Saturday conference chaired by Maurice Howard FSA address such aspects of the Georgian country house. Speakers include Sally Jeffrey FSA on the influences on early Georgian garden design, Geoffrey Tyack FSA on architecture and planning, Susan Bracken FSA on interiors and Jonathan Yarker of Lowell Libson on the Grand Tour. Other topics include servants, guidebooks and how such spending was paid for.
The Age of Luxury is part of a series of day conferences organised by Sue Berry for the Sussex Archaeological Society at Lewes. New ideas from Fellows are welcomed (and she is seeking an expert on the impact of the Reformation on the English Parish Church). Please contact Speakers are paid a fee and expenses and can bring a friend free. The watercolour by J. Lambert of Lewes (1780, detail) shows Newick Place near Lewes, the home of Lady Vernon (Sussex Archaeological Society).

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

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

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


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

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