View this email in your browser

Salon: Issue 337
2 March 2015

Next issue: 16 March 2015

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 Salon Editor.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

Salon past and present

By the time this issue of Salon is published, your former editor will have started work in Aberystwyth as Secretary of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Future issues of Salon will be compiled by Society staff until a new editor is appointed. The Society has set up an email account to which contributions to Salon should in future be sent.

All but the first sixteen issues of Salon can now be found on the Society’s website in the ‘Salon Archive’ area. Taken together, these amount to a record of the activities of the Society, of Fellows and of the wider heritage sector over the last thirteen years.

The idea for a regular newsletter for Fellows came originally from our former General Secretary, Dai Morgan Evans, who realised that many Fellows had little contact with the Society other than an annual subscription demand. Various newsletters had been tried in the past, but the production and postage costs were very high. The emergence of the internet and the growing use of email seemed to offer a solution: but in those days of very slow dial-up connections, Dai stressed that the newsletter had to be very simple in format and quick to download. Concerns were expressed at the time by those who felt such a newsletter would create a two-tier Society — those with email access and those without — but the experiment was considered worth making, nonetheless.

The first issue of Salon went out on 14 January 2002 to the 700 Fellows who had divulged their email addresses to the Society — about 25 per cent of the total (today the figure is much closer to 100 per cent). Issue 1 announced the appointment of Simon Thurley (not then a Fellow) as the new Chief Executive of English Heritage, the formation of Heritage Link (now the Heritage Alliance), the launch by the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, of A Force for our Future, the Government’s policy statement on the historic environment, and the formation by Lord Redesdale (not then a Fellow either) of the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group (APPAG) in protest against the lack of any mention of archaeology in A Force for our Future and its companion document, The Power of Place.

Those headlines from Issue 1 say much about the mood of optimism in the air at the time, and the strong sense of belief that the sleeping giant that is the heritage community — not just the professionals, but the hundreds of thousands of people who work voluntarily and the millions who express their support through membership of heritage societies and charities in the UK — was at last waking up and speaking out for the heritage in ways that politicians could no longer ignore. Salon played a pioneering role along with these organisations in the politicisation of the sector, disseminating information about policy initiatives and campaigns, reporting on the sector’s efforts through 'Heritage Counts' to meet the Government’s demand for ‘hard data’ in place of the assertion that the value of the heritage was self-evident, and encouraging readers to take part in the consultations that were so popular as a political instrument in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

In the same year that Salon was launched, the editor was appointed the first Director of Heritage Link (now the Heritage Alliance). It was already clear that Salon was performing an important role as a source of heritage sector news and information (are we the only professional sector not to have a weekly trade magazine?) so the experiment was repeated at Heritage Link, turning what had been a very occasional publication produced by the National Trust into the fortnightly Heritage Update. For the best part of eighteen months, this involved writing a heritage newsletter every weekend — a task made more challenging by the need to ensure that there was no overlap in content.

As a consequence, the Heritage Update newsletter increasingly took over the role of reporting on policy while Salon slowly evolved to become more of a report on the activities of Fellows and what the Research Excellence Framework 2014 sought to measure: the ‘impact’ of Fellows’ scholarly activity on the wider world. Many Fellows were supportive of this change: ‘drop the dreary political stuff’ one advised at the time.

Hand in hand with this shift in content and emphasis came a growing desire on the part of Salon readers to participate in the debates that Salon encouraged, to the extent that a newsletter or blog that once represented one person’s take on heritage issues â€” views that were by no means shared by all Fellows, some of whom reacted with hostility to some reports in Salon and sought to have the newsletter closed down or more rigorously vetted on the grounds that it was ‘dangerous and maverick' — is now much more of a collegiate effort, representing the broad spectrum of views that exists within the heritage and seeking a balance between the different antiquarian disciplines.

In other words, ownership of Salon has now passed to Fellows and an increasing number of non-Fellow readers. That is why, in moving on, I am confident that Salon will go from strength to strength. It will no doubt change in character under a new editor, and I wonder whether a successor will be mad enough to try and report, as I have tried to do, on the many books that Fellows write and that are one of the principal and most visible results of our individual and collective scholarly activity. Come what may, whoever takes over is going to learn a huge amount, as I have done, about many different aspects of the world. It is clear from the last thirteen years’ worth of Salon that there is literally no subject in which antiquaries are not interested, and there is nothing like reporting on Fellows’ achievements, whether now or in the past (through obituaries), to make one feel at the same time very humble and very proud to be part of this community.

Salon future

Our General Secretary, John Lewis, writes: 'Fellows will want to join with me in wishing Christopher Catling every success as he takes up the post of Secretary for The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, and ends his service as the Editor of Salon. All of us at Burlington House are grateful for the excellent job he has done editing our e-newsletter for the last thirteen years and will miss his contributions. However, we are absolutely delighted that he has secured this prestigious post and wish him luck.

We now have to turn our thoughts to finding someone to continue to produce and edit Salon. The next few editions will be produces by Society staff, acting as guest editors, while we advertise for someone with strong links to the heritage sector to fill the vacancy on the same freelance or independent contract terms as Christopher did.

In is inevitable that the new appointment will have different strengths and a different editorial perspective or style from Christopher, but we hope that this will be seen as an opportunity to explore new possibilities and tackle new challenges with the e-newsletter as it evolves.

If you are interested in the post (or know someone who might be), you can read about the opportunity and the tender process on our website. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Society to discuss the role before submitting a bid.

Forthcoming ordinary meetings

Unless stated otherwise, tea is served from 4.15pm and meetings start at 5pm. Guests are welcome if accompanied by a Fellow. Details of all forthcoming meetings up to June 2015 can be seen on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

5 March 2015: ‘The Splendid Maya Murals of Bonampak, Mexico’, by Mary Miller
Painted in the last decade of the eighth century in the tropical rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico, and brought to modern attention in 1946, the wall paintings of Bonampak reveal the ancient Maya at the end of their splendour. Using the most complex and luxurious palette of pigments known from pre-Hispanic Mexico, a small group of trained artists rendered the rituals of court, from the receipt of foreign dignitaries to human sacrifice. Who saw these remarkable paintings? Who sat in the architectural spaces the paintings adorned? With both newly commissioned and newly rediscovered photographs as well as recently completed reconstructions, this talk will bring these ancient works to life, with particular attention being paid to the performance and pageantry of the murals.

12 March 2015: ‘The Birmingham gun trade — industry on a human scale’, by Bill Harriman, FSA
This lecture will characterise the Birmingham gun trade in its heyday, when this highly specialised industry operated principally out of converted dwelling houses. There are very few large factories, and these are small by comparison with those in the textile trades. Despite this, Birmingham was the nation’s arsenal during the Napoleonic Wars, making millions of muskets and pistols, and the trade continued to thrive until the 1890s, when competition with gun makers in Belgium led to its decline.

The photograph shows St Mary’s Row in the heart of Birmingham’s Gun Quarter around 1896. Demolished in 1965, St Mary's Row started out as a street of middle-class dwellings, but in time rooms (or benches) were rented by the week to highly skilled gunsmiths  and the rear gardens were built over to increase the workshop capacity.

19 March 2015: ‘The hidden archaeology of Stonehenge’, by Vincent Gaffney, FSA
Stonehenge is one of the most studied archaeological monuments in Britain, but much of the landscape around the iconic monument remains to be explored. Since 2010 a pan-European consortium of archaeologists has carried out one of the largest and most detailed geophysical surveys of this landscape using mobile multi-sensor instruments. This lecture will reveal some of the many new discoveries made during the survey and consider their significance for our understanding of the Stonehenge and similar landscapes elsewhere.

Forthcoming public meetings

Public meetings are from 1pm to 2pm on Tuesdays. These meetings are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of all forthcoming meetings up to June 2015 can be seen on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

10 March 2015: ‘“Stitches in Time”: recreating Captain Cook’s waistcoat’, by Alison Liz Larkin
With the help of the Society’s Janet Arnold Award, Alison has travelled to Australia to examine a waistcoat and other objects belonging to Captain Cook at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Based on her research there, Alison has been able to create a facsimile, to be displayed by the Captain Cook Memorial Museum Whitby in 2015. Alison will talk about her research project and its significance.

21 April: ‘Electrifying Brunel’s Great Western Railway: the UK’s historic infrastructure in the twenty-first century’, by William Filmer-Sankey, FSA
This lecture will consider the impact on the Great Western Railway of the line’s electrification, and how, if carefully planned, the latest phase in the development of this historic railway line, with its 185 listed structures, can contribute to its significance. William Filmer-Sankey, an architectural historian and archaeologist with Alan Baxter & Associates LLP, the multidisciplinary design consultancy, will explain how the design process for the rail electrification programme, which is continuing, aims to combine respect for the line’s historic significance with the achievement of an efficient twenty-first-century railway.

Fellows in Wales

Lunch has been arranged for 1pm on Friday 6 March 2015 in the Refectory of Aberdare Hall, Cardiff University, Corbett Road and this will be followed by a lecture from Professor Prys Morgan on 'The Historic Houses of Gower'. All are welcome. Further details can be obtained from Fellow Bob Child.

Ballot results: 26 February 2015

The Society welcomes the following new Fellows, who were elected at the ballot held on 26 February 2015:
  • Penny Copeland, freelance historic buildings consultant and specialist in archaeological illustration;
  • John Philip Dominic Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History, University of York, with a particular interest in the art and architecture of the Tudor period;
  • Mark Collard, Professor of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, and Canada Research Chair in Human Evolutionary Studies;
  • Thomas Jolyon Warwick-James, silver consultant, historian and valuer, and a leading authority on Australian silver;
  • Peyton Skipwith, art historian known for his many exhibitions at the Fine Art Society and for recent work on Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious;
  • Nicholas Flemming, oceanographer and internationally recognised authority on coastal and underwater archaeological sites and on changes in sea level;
  • Tobit Curteis, architectural conservator, specialising in the conservation of wall paintings and the diagnosis of environmental deterioration in historic buildings;
  • Jamie Quartermaine, Senior Project Manager, Oxford Archaeology North, an authority on archaeological landscapes, buildings archaeology and prehistoric stone quarries;
  • John Hooker, web designer, responsible for the online version of the British Celtic Coin Index, and a major contributor to the study of Celtic coins, especially die production;
  • Peter O’Donoghue, York Herald and Librarian at the College of Arms with responsibility for the College’s manuscripts and archives.

Kelmscott Manor: ‘Most Inspiring UK Museum or Heritage Attraction'?

Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, writes to sat that 'Kelmscott Manor has been shortlisted for the "Most Inspiring UK Museum or Heritage Attraction Award" from the Guardian Culture Pros Network and Musesums + Heritage Awards—for the second year in a row! More than 400 nominations were received this year, and Kelmscott Manor was one of only five shortlisted!

'Our work is not over — now Kelmscott Manor needs you (and everyone you know!) to VOTE so that it can be named the #1 Most Inspiring Heritage Attraction in the UK! The competition is stiff, and it is incredible that we were even shortlisted.

'Now let's vote: it only takes a moment to tell the Guardian Culture Pros Network and the Museum + Heritage Awards that Kelmscott Manor is your choice for the UK's most inspiring Museum or Heritage Visitor Attraction. Don't wait! Vote now—the poll closes at midnight on Friday 20 March, with the winner announced at the Museum + Heritage Awards in April.

'Kelmscott has received a number of accolades this past year. It was shortlisted for this award a year ago, it won the Cotswolds Tourism "Best Small Visitor Attraction" award in 2014, it received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and we have just been notified that TravelZoo will shortly be announcing that it has awarded Kelmscott Manor its "Excellence Award for Best Attraction or Activity" because of its 100 per cent visitor satisfaction rating. Kelmscott Manor even beat the Britney Spears Experience (among others) to win the latter's international tourism competition, so you shouldn’t have any reservations about voting for Kelmscott Manor this year!

Fellows’ Day at Kelmscott Manor

Renée LaDue adds: the Society is planning to hold a Fellows’ Day at Kelmscott Manor in 2015. We want to make sure as many Fellows as possible can attend, so we are leaving the date up to you! 

Some Fellows may recall that the last Fellows’ Day, held in 2013, was a huge success. Fellows enjoyed their private visit to the Manor and were entertained with food, drinks and music. If you are interested in seeing what we have in store for you this year, please help us plan the day by voting on your preferred date (you may pick more than one date if you think you will be able to attend on more than one). When the results are in, we’ll make our plans and announce the date via Salon.

Magna Carta project staff

Heather Rowland, the Society’s Head of Library and Collections, has announced the appointment of two new members of staff who are going to be working on the Society’s Magna Carta exhibition for the next seven months. Miranda Garrett has been appointed Exhibition Officer. Miranda has worked most recently for Historic Royal Palaces at the Tower of London where she was responsible for three new permanent displays: ‘Shot at the Tower’, ‘Wellington’s Tower’ and ‘The Tower Remembers’. Hannah Carter has been appointed Education and Outreach Officer. Previously she has worked for the University of the Arts International Centre as Head of Curriculum Development and Delivery, and for a social enterprise that provides education and outreach projects with schools and communities in Tower Hamlets.

‘Magna Carta and Parliament’ exhibition

On 5 February 2015 the four surviving 1215 engrossments of Magna Carta — from the British Library, and from Salisbury and Lincoln cathedrals — were displayed in the Queen’s Robing Room at the House of Lords. The planning for this unprecedented event was overseen by our Fellow Liz Hallam Smith (Director of Information Services and Librarian at the House of Lords) and curated by Fellow David Prior (Head of Public Services and Outreach at the Parliamentary Archives). Over 1,500 invited guests were able to view the engrossments, including schoolchildren from across the country, young Commonwealth scholars and representatives from a range of cultural institutions as well as members and staff from both Houses of Parliament. A reception that evening to mark the occasion was attended by internet inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The display formed part of the Magna Carta and Parliament exhibition, which was open to visitors to the Palace of Westminster until 26 February and included iconic documents from the Parliamentary Archives, such as the Petition of Right (1628), the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Great Reform Act (1832). During 2015 elements of the exhibition will be displayed at venues around the country. A booklet accompanying the exhibition, which includes an essay by our Fellow Professor David Carpenter, is available to download here.

Henry VIII's copy of William of Ockham found at Lanhydrock

Fellow Paul Holden, House and Collections Manager for the National Trust at Lanhydrock, near Bodmin in Cornwall, writes to say that a book by William of Ockham, the English Franciscan scholastic philosopher and theologian, has long been in the Lanhydrock collections has been identified as Henry VIII's personal copy, form his collection at Westminster. Professor James Carley, of York University in Toronto, Canada, made the discovery when visiting Lanhydrock to study the book and noticed  the number 282 in the top right-hand corner of the fly-leaf of Ockham's polemical work, Summaria seu epitomata CXXIIII Capitulorum operis XC dierum M Guilhelmi de Ockam (Lyon, 1495). The number corresponds to its place in the 1542 inventory of the Upper Library at Westminster Palace.

Paul writes: 'this book was important to the king. After many years of marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII had no male heir. Having set his sights on Anne Boleyn, he unsuccessfully appealed to the pope to annul the marriage. Ockham had argued against the spiritual and temporal supremacy of the pope, insisting on the independence of the authority of the monarch. He had maintained that in the case of a heretical pope – and he branded John XXII, the pope at the time of his writing as such – correction could be imposed by a general council. This was of the greatest interest to Henry VIII and his advisors in the years leading up to his marriage (to a now pregnant Anne Boleyn in 1533) and the Act of Supremacy passed in 1534.

'From 1528 onwards, Henry’s agents scoured the monastic houses and elsewhere searching out materials that would bolster Henry’s case for dissolution of his first marriage.  This book has many marginal notes and annotations that highlight relevant aspects in the king’s life such as blood relationships in marriage; the relative authority of pope and emperor; and the relationship between councils and papal authority.'

Paul adds: 'the discovery of this book’s provenance is very exciting because first, it is a missing volume from the 1542 inventory [to be published by the Society of Antiquaries as Volume 4 of the Inventory series] and second, it is one of a group of relevant texts that were consulted in the crucial years leading up to the establishment of an English Church independent of Rome’.  


A Frankish grave in Norfolk

Fellow Helen Geake writes with the news of an unusually fine set of grave goods form a richly furnished female burial form the early Anglo-Saxon period found by a metal-detectorist near Diss, in Norfolk.

'Tom Lucking, a student of Landscape History at UEA and a member of the Suffolk Archaeological Field Group, found a large, deep signal before Christmas and dug down to reveal the top of a bronze bowl. He loosely backfilled the hole and called in the Field Group’s geophysics team and Norfolk County Council’s Historic Environment Service. Fellows Andrew Rogerson, Steven Ashley and Helen Geake excavated the grave over two chilly days in January 2015.

'They found the bronze bowl at the foot of a grave containing the badly-preserved bones of an adult. The other grave-goods included a pottery vessel, also at the foot; a short "choker"-style necklace of three pendants and two gold beads; a very large gold-and-garnet pendant further down the chest; a small knife and minute iron buckle; and a chatelaine hanging from the waist.

'This bare list of grave-goods hides the fact that the detail of the grave-goods was absolutely extraordinary. At least one (and maybe two) of the pendants on the short necklace was a solidus of the Frankish king Sigebert III, and some of the other grave-goods had a distinctly Frankish flavour. The pot is wheel-thrown, and is a definite import; the bronze bowl is a good parallel to the ‘pan’ found in the 1890s at Broomfield in Essex, now in the British Museum, which was probably also made in Francia.

'These grave-goods are pretty special, but the large pendant is no doubt destined for posters or the covers of coffee-table books. Although it’s clearly of English manufacture, it is like no other pendant yet known. It was clearly made to resemble a jewelled disc brooch of the highest quality, such as the famous Kingston brooch, but unlike any of these it is also embellished with interlacing animals all made from tiny garnets.

'What is even more tantalising is the thought of who this woman might be, and why she was buried in an area of south Norfolk which is known for its lack of early Anglo-Saxon activity. It seems likely, from the other finds from the field, that she was buried in a cemetery that had already been in use for two centuries. How does this affect our understanding of the 7th-century kingdom of East Anglia? Research by the finder, the excavation team and Norwich Castle Museum will continue, and the Castle Museum hopes to acquire the finds.'

For more on this story, see the Eastern Daily Press website.

The Diss pendant awaits cleaning

An X-ray of the Diss pendant


News of Fellows

Jodrell Bank has honoured our Fellow Alan Garner by naming its new lecture series exploring the relationships between science and culture after him. Alan himself will deliver the inaugural lecture in the Garner Lecture series on 25 March 2015 to launch the opening of the Star Pavilion, a brand new facility at the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre funded by the Wolfson Foundation. Tickets for the event sold out within minutes of being made available (not least because Alan says this will be his last public lecture), but the organisers say that ‘we are working to secure a second batch of tickets to release two weeks before the event. If you would like to add your name to the reserve list, please email the organisers.

Alan and his wife Griselda live next door to Jodrell Bank and his most recent novel, Boneland, the sequel to the best-selling The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) and The Moon of Gomrath (1963), is set in and around the radio telescope site. In his lecture, Alan will discuss the nature and role of creativity, especially in the field of language. He will consider the possible origins and evolutionary need for story and art and argue that the perceived schism between science and the humanities is false and that both seek to address the ‘Big Questions’.

Fellow Karen Hearn has curated a display (free of charge) at the National Portrait Gallery called ‘Cornelius Johnson: Charles I’s forgotten painter’, which will run from 15 April until 13 September 2015. She has also written a short book on Johnson to be published at the same time and will give a lecture to the Society on Johnson on 9 April 2015, so, all in all, it will not be possible soon to call him a ‘forgotten painter’. Certainly Karen is doing her best to raise his profile: ‘he was such a good artist’, she says, ‘prolific and successful during his lifetime but perhaps overshadowed since by the superstar Anthony van Dyck (1599—1641). His portraits are found in most British public collections, as well as in many private ones — often in country houses, where they are still owned by descendants of the original sitters. Cornelius Johnson’s portraits are not grand baroque constructs. On the contrary, they have a delicacy, a dignity and a humanity that speak directly to present-day viewers.’

This is a superb casting of the head of Hadrian from the early second century AD, one of a mere handful of major bronze portraits of him to have survived from antiquity. Erected in his honour, the statue no doubt stood in the Forum until the head was roughly hacked from the body and thrown in the Thames — either as a cult offering, or after deliberate destruction by iconoclasts in late antiquity.

Fellow Martin Henig reports that very good progress is being made with volume 10 of the Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani (‘Corpus of Sculpture of the Roman World’), the volume devoted to sculpture from London and the counties of Kent, Surrey and Hertfordshire, the highlights of which include the sculptures from the Temple of Mithras in London, the busts probably of the emperor Pertinax and his father from the villa at Lullingstone, the famous head of Hadrian from the Thames and architectural sculpture from such major monuments as the quadrifrons arch at Richborough. This fascicule contains a comprehensive study of the types and sources of the stone contributed by archaeological petrologist, our Fellow Kevin Hayward. This reveals, says Martin, that ‘sculptors in Kent used stone quarried in northern France rather than Britain in the early Roman period, so demonstrating the importance of cross-Channel connections in the formative years of the province of Britannia, and that Cotswold sculptors were working in London, while we can also see Northamptonshire providing stone later in the Roman period’.

A temple dedicated to Mithras was built beside the Walbrook, City of London, in the mid-third century AD. It was rededicated to Bacchus in the early fourth century. The site was excavated in 1954 because of building work. Among the fine pieces recovered was this head of the god Serapis.


Memorials to Fellows

Fellow Derrick Chivers has contributed pictures of three memorials to Fellows that he has discovered while church visiting. The first is to John Nichols (d 1826), who is buried in Islington churchyard. Derrick writes: ‘the inscriptions on the sides of this large monument have all been eroded, but Julian Pooley has provided a copy of the original:

Within this vault lie the remains of
JOHN NICHOLS, Esq., FSA Lond. Edinb. and Perth,
(Son of EDWARD and ANNE Nichols, of this parish)
Author of the HISTORY OF LEICESTERSHIRE and other works,
and for nearly half a century editor and printer of
His long life was passed in useful and honourable activity,
and he died, universally respected and venerated, Nov 26th, 1826, in his 82nd year.

‘The panel at the west end was inscribed with the names of the six children of John Bower Nichols and his wife Elizabeth who died in infancy between 1807 and 1820. This is recorded by a watercolour in an extra illustrated copy in private possession of John Nelson’s The History, Topography & Antiquities of the Parish of St Mary Islington (1811).

‘The second grave commemorates two Fellows: Samuel Rush Meyrick (d 1848), the great collector of armour, who built Goodrich Court, Herefordshire, and his son Llewellyn (d 1837). Their tombstone lies within an enclosure of tall railings in Goodrich churchyard.

‘The third commemorates John Pike, who died in 1879, two years after being elected a Fellow. He resided in Old Burlington Street, St James’s (north of the Society’s apartments, parallel with Savile Row), while this brass memorial plate is secured beneath a window on the south side of the nave in St Lawrence, Little Stanmore, Middlesex.’

The Church Monuments Essay Prize

The Council of the Church Monuments Society has launched a biennial prize of £250 to be awarded with a certificate for the best essay submitted in the relevant year. The aim of the competition is to stimulate more people, particularly those who are perhaps aiming to write on church monuments for the first time or who are not regular contributors, to submit material for the CMS journal Church Monuments. The competition is therefore open only to those who have not previously published an article in Church Monuments.

The subject of the essay must be an aspect of church monuments of any period in Britain or abroad. The length (including endnotes) should not exceed 10,000 words and a maximum of ten illustrations, preferably in colour. The prize will only be awarded if the essay is considered by the judges to be of sufficiently high standard to merit publication in the Society’s journal.

The closing date for entries is 31 December 2015. Please contact the Hon Journal Co-Editors (Fellows Rhianydd Biebrach and Paul Cockerham) for more details and advice on the suitability of a particular topic, or see the Society’s website for a copy of the rules and for the guidelines to contributors.

The tomb chest of Kenelm Digby (1590) at Stoke Dry, Rutland, England. Photograph © Paul Cockerham

Lives remembered: Rosalind Brooke, FSA

We are very grateful to Phil Brooke for this memoir of his mother, our late Fellow Rosalind Brooke, wife of our Fellow Christopher Brooke.

‘My mother, who died on 17 November 2014, was a distinguished Franciscan scholar, FSA, FRHistS, MA, PhD, LittD (Cambridge). She was the wife of Christopher Brooke, successively Professor at Liverpool, London and Cambridge and President of the Society of Antiquaries from 1981 to 1984. She herself taught at Liverpool, London and Cambridge universities.

‘All her published books were about St Francis. She developed her PhD into a book called Early Franciscan Government, describing the early years of the development of the Franciscan order. The next — the Scripta Leonis (1970) — consisted of text and translations of the writings of the companions of St Francis, Leo, Rufino and Angelo. There is no consensus about whether these works were genuine compositions of St Francis’s companions rather than later texts; my mother argued strongly that they were written by the companions. The Coming of the Friars (1975) and Popular Religion in the Middle Ages (1984, written jointly with my father) told the story of the development of the Franciscan and Dominican orders and set them in a wider context.

‘In later years, she became more interested in art history. Her magnum opus, The Image of St Francis: responses to sainthood in the thirteenth century (2006), outlined the way in which St Francis’s image was recorded in literature, documents, architecture and art: she proudly told us children that she wrote the preface to this book — before finally hanging up her pen — on her eightieth birthday. Henry Mayr-Harting — Emeritus Regius Professor at Oxford and a close friend of the family since my parents’ Liverpool days — wrote in a letter to my father just after her passing: “it is not given to everyone to write two masterpieces of scholarship in their time, but it was given to Rosalind. The book on Early Franciscan Government (about so much more than government in the usual medievalist’s sense) is one. That seems to me to explain more about the whole early Franciscan movement than anything else that I have ever read; and her interpretation of Elias is … inspired. The Image of St Francis, moving and illuminating on Francis himself, also does the whole thing again from a different and highly rewarding angle, and with much new evidence and thought.”

‘My mother was born in Chipstead in Surrey on 5 November 1925. In 1943 she went to Girton College to study history. In her third year she studied St Francis as a special subject with Father David Knowles. She went on to do a PhD on Brother Elias, the follower of St Francis and the third Minister General of the Franciscan Order. In 1948 my father, Christopher Brooke, was in his third year and it was his turn to study St Francis with Father David. This mutual interest led to their meeting and a close working partnership and very happy marriage that lasted for sixty-three years.

My parents were a partnership, in work as well as with the family, and right from the start. In the final paragraph of the preface to the Image of St Francis, Mum dedicated the book to Dad: “I acknowledge innumerable debts to my research assistant, secretary, picture researcher, indexer and husband of fifty-four summers and winters, Christopher — whose unstinting help and exemplary patience have shaped this book.”’

Lives remembered: Oliver Rackham, FSA

Many tributes have been paid to our late Fellow Oliver Rackham, who died on 12 February 2015, aged seventy-five years. Writing in the Guardian, Richard Mabey said: ‘He dismembered myths, caught erstwhile authorities with their factual trousers down ... no one had a more crucial impact on a whole generation’s ideas about ecology and history. For Oliver, woods weren’t abstract entities: they were symbiotic networks of carpenters, beetles, deer, land-thieves, lichens, pollards, surveyors and toadstools. He excoriated generalisations and what he called “factoids” (eg that building the Tudor navy destroyed our oakwoods) in elegant English that had its roots in the precision of Gilbert White and the robustness of William Cobbett. He had little truck with the self-centredness of modern nature writers; we are all in his debt.’

The Guardian’s obituary, written by Peter Grubb, Emeritus Professor of Botany at Cambridge University, said that Oliver ‘set new standards for research linking ecology with archaeology through his work in the Mediterranean Basin, especially on the island of Crete. He was one of those few people who combine originality with encyclopaedic knowledge. His work greatly increased scientific understanding and attracted a wider following, primarily through his books. The first, Hayley Wood: Its History and Ecology (1975), was an account of the finest wood left on the boulder clay of western Cambridgeshire, near St Neots. It analysed the evidence of the historical management of the wood: the tall standard trees cut for timber used in building; and the coppice (trees cut periodically to ground level) for firewood, the wattle in “wattle and daub” and hurdles. He also dealt with pannage — releasing domestic pigs to eat acorns that would be poisonous to cattle. For this work, Oliver drew on the Ely Coucher Book, compiled in Latin in 1251 to detail the bishop’s manors.

‘The monumental Ancient Woodland: its history, vegetation and use in England (1980, and enlarged 2003) presented a mass of original information and ideas gathered from Oliver’s studies across the whole of south-eastern England. It covered woodland soils, descriptions of the types of woodland, and most importantly a critical analysis of the various kinds of information on woodland history and management — pollen analysis, medieval manuscripts and later maps, earthworks, archaeological artefacts, place names — and their application to specific woods, for many of which he provided his own invaluable hand-drawn maps.

‘Oliver’s discoveries about past practices began to inform present-day management, and he became increasingly involved in the conservation of woodland. He fought the Forestry Commission over the planting of conifers, and demonstrated the serious threats to woods from large populations of deer, from the pests and diseases being moved freely around the world, and from the ignorance of countryside managers who planted trees and shrubs supposedly of native species and subspecies that were actually look-alikes from abroad.

‘In The History of the Countryside (1986) he took on a wider range of subjects, opening readers’ eyes to regional differences in patterns of land settlement, the original meaning of the term forest (countryside beyond the common law), the timing of key changes in human management of the landscape, new ways of looking at hedges, ponds and marshes, and, through it all, the balance between the natural world and human activities.

‘The Last Forest: The Story of Hatfield Forest (1989) used the records of this National Trust property in northern Essex to show that many widely accepted ideas about the history of forests in Britain were wrong. The preface of this book is one of the most compelling pieces he wrote. It begins: “Why write yet another book on forests? There are, for a start, two versions of forest history: one cannot be true, but the other may be. Forests are one of the most prolific fields of pseudo-history — a consistent, logical, accepted corpus of statements, copied from writer to writer down the centuries. We still read, for example, that forests necessarily have to do with trees, that medieval England was very wooded; that the king’s hunting was protected by savage laws and extreme punishments ... The story reads well and makes excellent sense, but it has no connection with the real world; it cannot be sustained from the records of any actual forest or wood.”

‘With the American archaeologist Jennifer Moody, Oliver presented a remarkable combination of ecology and archaeology in The Making of the Cretan Landscape (1996). In 2008 the two of them led a successful campaign against development of the Toplou peninsula in Crete. A further collaboration, with the geographer A T Grove, examined a still wider region. The Nature of Mediterranean Europe: an ecological history (2001) presented many new observations and new ways of interpreting the landscape. Oliver’s knowledge and understanding were further increased during visits made by invitation to the US, Japan and Australia.

‘His last massive work, called simply Woodlands (2006), was volume 100 in the New Naturalist series, and covered all his many interests in the subject, including the use of timber in building houses, temples, churches and barns. The Ash Tree (2014) paid tribute to one of Britain’s favourite trees, now threatened by the fungus Chalara.

‘Oliver was elected a Fellow of Corpus Christi in 1964; he became an independent researcher supported by grants from a variety of sources in 1972, remaining a Fellow of Corpus for the rest of his life, serving as the College’s Master in 2007—8 and being made a Life Fellow in 2010. He was appointed OBE for services to nature conservation in 1998, elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2002, and was made Honorary Professor of Historical Ecology by the university in 2006. He was a quietly devoted Anglican and an eccentric dresser, wearing sandals and red socks with a dinner jacket. It was hard to penetrate any room in his house because of the piles of books and specimens.’

According to the obituary in the Daily Telegraph, all of Rackham’s research was underpinned by his aversion to what he called ‘pseudo-history’. The serious historian, he believed, should know the limits of his or her own knowledge, while also avoiding over-generalisation, over-reliance on the written text and narrow selection of evidence: ‘the key to the past lies in the functioning of the present landscape’, he wrote: ‘one should not assert that goats eat everything without having watched goats’.


Fellow Janet Owen reports that London Borough of Bromley councillors have put off taking a decision about the future of the Lubbock Collection at the Central Library, Bromley, to allow for more consultation; this is likely to take a further three months or so, with a decision being made in June.

Fellow Bernard Nurse reminds us that William Stevenson, FSA (c 1750—1821), who was profiled in ‘Monuments to Fellows’ in Salon 336, is mentioned in the Society’s forthcoming Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of the Society of Antiquaries of London, where it is recorded that on 18 December 1801: ‘Mr Stevenson exhibited … a very fine picture representing the back of Old Somerset House and garden by Canaletti [sic] … This picture … is 3 feet 6 inches by 1 foot 11 inches: having been painted in varnish, the sun has cracked it, but in other respects it is as perfect as possible … Mr Comyns speaks to its originality’ (SAL, Minutes, xxviii, 498—9 (5 November 1801)).

Our Society decided to purchase ‘the curious picture by Cannallati [sic] of the Old Front of Somerset House towards the water’ and the Treasurer was instructed to pay to William Stevenson Esq ‘the sum of Eight guineas’ (SAL, Council Minutes, iii, np (18 December 1801)).

Bernard adds that: ‘the dimensions and note about the varnish and cracking suggest that this could have been the panel painting by Canaletto (1697—1768) exhibited at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2007 (no. 11), from a private collection’, or, as Bernard puts it, ‘one of our more interesting paintings that got away’.

With help from several Fellows, and especially from Snawdoun Herald Elizabeth Roads (née Bruce!) and Matthew Payne, Keeper of the Muniments at Westminster Abbey, Ortrun Peyn, our Head of Library Cataloguing Library, thinks she has identified the most likely owner of the mystery bookplate featured in the last two issues of Salon: based on his intellectual interests and association with the Society of Antiquaries, it is most likely to have belonged to John Bruce (1802—69), whose entry in the Dictionary of National Biography describes him as: ‘antiquary, a native of London, although of a Scottish family [who] was educated partly at private schools in England, and partly at the grammar school of Aberdeen. He trained as a lawyer, but did not practise after 1840, and from that time devoted himself entirely to historical and antiquarian pursuits, in which he was already interested. He took a prominent part in the foundation of the Camden Society on 15 March 1838, held office in it as treasurer and director, and contributed various historical works to its publications: The Historie of the Arrivall of Edward IV (1838), the first volume of the Society’s works; Annals of the First Four Years of Queen Elizabeth (1840); Correspondence of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leycester (1844); Verney Papers (1845); Letters of Queen Elizabeth and James VI (1849); and various prefaces and other writings. His last few publications were Accounts and Papers Relating to Mary Queen of Scots (1867), published conjointly with A J Crosby, Journal of a Voyage … by Sir Kenelm Digby (1868) [whose tomb chest is shown above], and Notes of the Treaty of Ripon (1869).

‘He was for some time Treasurer and Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries, and contributed many papers to the Archaeologia, among which his ‘Inquiry into the authenticity of the Paston letters’ is of particular interest. He wrote occasionally in the Edinburgh Review and other periodicals, and was for some years the Editor of the Gentleman’s Magazine. For the Berkshire Ashmolean Society he edited a volume of Original Letters Relating to Archbishop Laud’s Benefactions (1841), and for the Parker Society the Works of R Hutchinson (1842), and conjointly with the Revd T Perowne the Correspondence of Archbishop Parker (1853).

‘In 1857 he contributed an edition of Cowper’s poems to the Aldine edition of poets. He edited twelve volumes of the Calendars of State Papers (Domestic Series, Charles I, 1625—39) published under the direction of the Master of the Rolls from 1858 to 1871, the last volume being completed by W D Hamilton; and in 1867 he printed privately papers relating to William, first Earl of Gowrie. In 1861 he was appointed by the Society of Antiquaries as a trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum. He had been a widower for some years before his sudden death in Montagu Square, London, on 28 October 1869. His library was sold at Sotheby’s from 27 April to 2 May 1870.’

Fellow Robin Milner-Gulland says he is pleased that the bookplate did not turn out to have been that of Sir Michael Bruce of Stenhouse, sixth Baronet, who is ‘notorious as the greatest archaeological vandal of the eighteenth century. In the 1740s he destroyed his own “stenhouse”, or Stone House, a Roman “mini-Pantheon”, considered one of the wonders of Britain and the northernmost major Roman building in the world (just north of the Antonine Wall). He was pilloried graphically by Stukeley. Now the building (otherwise called “Arthur’s O’on”) is forgotten except for the lingering memory in the name of the football club Stenhousemuir.’

Further to the obituary for our late Fellow Eddie Price, Fellow Paul Stamper writes: ‘for about fifteen years, from the mid-1990s, I took students from Bristol University’s MA in Landscape Archaeology on annual field   trips to Frocester, usually on a freezing February morning. For up to two hours Eddie would keep the students spellbound (even as our feet gradually went numb in the farmyard slurry) as he gave a personal and nuanced history of the place over several thousand years, deeply informed by his knowledge of soils and geology, excavation, and observation. Knowing I was a medievalist, he always enjoyed recounting — looking at me with a twinkle in his eye — how he had ploughed up the Frocester ridge and furrow in the ploughing-up campaign during the last war. The visit was always one of the highlights of the students’ year. Eddie’s son Arthur Price, who now lives in Frocester Court with his family, is himself a distinguished historian and fieldworker specialising in quarrying history, author of Cheltenham Stone: The Whittington Quarries (2007).’

Courtesy of Fellow Jane Timby, you can read a report here of Eddie’s funeral. A memorial service will be held at 11am on 2 March 2015 at St Michael’s and All Angels’ Church in Eastington.

Friends and family take Eddie’s coffin from Frocester Court to St Andrew’s Church, Frocester, on a milk churn cart he bought in 1950 and used daily for the next sixty-five years

Picking up on Salon’s statement that ‘Radio 3 occasionally nods (or at least its web editors do)’, John Lock writes to share the earliest use of the phrase ‘Homer nods’ that he has found so far. It occurs in the preface to Lewes Lavater’s Of ghostes and spirites walking by nyght and of strange noyses, crackes, and sundry forewarnynges, whiche commonly happen before the death of menne, great slaughters, [and] alterations of kyngdomes (1572), translated by ‘R H’, who says: ‘Although some of our Printers be not Homers ... yet can they nod and take a nap, as well as any Homer’.

John says that, ‘being a product of the twentieth century, the Homer it first brought to my mind was not the author of antiquity but one Homer Simpson of Springfield, USA. Intriguingly there is a theme linking the two Homers. The book’s translator, R H, was taking advantage of the latest commercial technology of printing while complaining about the incompetence of his journeyman printer while Homer Simpson is employed as a less-than-competent safety officer in a commercial nuclear power station, the new technology of the time and all-too-prone to falling asleep on the job. Ever since I have wondered whether there wasn’t more to Matt Groening’s choice of the name Homer for his Simpsons character than met the eye.’


7 March 2015: 'Cave Art & Archaeology of Art' Study Day, organised by our Fellow Andrew Jones, at the University of Southampton, consisting of a series of short talks led by experts from within Archaeology at Southampton. Further information here.

9 March 2015: ‘A future in the past: careers and opportunities in cultural heritage’, a talk by Anooshka Rawden, our Society’s Collections Manager, at 1pm, in Room D5 Hugh Owen, Aberystwyth University.

15 to 17 April 2015: CIfA2015: the annual Chartered Institute for Archaeologists conference and training event takes place at the Mercure Holland House Hotel in Cardiff. The timetable for the conference is now available on the CIfA website and new information is posted each week about the programme, venue and excursions. You can attend the conference for the full three days or choose to come for one or two days or take advantage of free excursions to St Fagans National History Museum and the Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths.

20 July 2015: Greek and Roman Armour Day, a joint Hellenic and Roman Society seminar to be held in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Illustrated presentations by six world experts will show how effective ancient armour was in practice; they will also discuss production, wearability, enemy weapons and tactics, and changes and developments. Admission is free, and includes a sandwich lunch and tea in the afternoon. Tickets for attendance must be obtained in advance by online registration at Eventbrite.

16 and 17 October 2015: ‘Rochester Castle and the great siege of 1215’, the Castle Studies Group Autumn Conference 2015, to be held in the Guildhall, High Street, Rochester. Eight hundred years after Magna Carta and the subsequent civil war in which the siege of Rochester by King John was a critical moment, the Castle Studies Group has organised a conference to explore the construction, design and history of Rochester Castle and Cathedral as well as the events of the year and the castle’s later history. For further details see the Castle Studies Group’s website.

Bonaparte and the British: prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon

Fellows Tim Clayton and Sheila O’Connell are the curators of the exhibition of the same name mounted to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and currently on at the British Museum (to 16 August 2015). Published to accompany the exhibition, this catalogue reveals the ambivalence with which Bonaparte was viewed: hostile propaganda and political satire from the pens of James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank are matched by portraits of the handsome young general and the resplendent Emperor Bonaparte made for British admirers who saw Napoleon as a radical reformer of far greater vision than home-grown politicians of the day or the French king Louis XVIII who was restored to the throne after Napoleon’s final defeat.

Along the way, the prints examine key moments in the British response to Napoleon — exultation at Nelson’s triumph in the Battle of the Nile in 1798, celebration of the Peace of Amiens in 1802, fear of invasion in 1803, the death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Napoleon’s triumph at Austerlitz and delight at his military defeats from 1812 onwards, culminating in his exile to Elba in 1814. In addition there are eleven watercolours of the battlefield of Waterloo from a private collection, including three long panoramas made only two or three days after the fighting concluded that are the earliest known studies of the battlefield.

Bonaparte and the British: prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon, by Tim Clayton and Sheila O’Connell; ISBN 9780714126937; British Museum, 2015

Cliffs End Farm, Isle of Thanet, Kent

This latest Wessex Archaeology monograph, whose editors include our Fellows Jacqueline McKinley, Alistair Barclay, Jörn Schuster and Nicholas Stoodley, has a foreword by our Fellow and former President Geoff Wainwright and specialist contributions by numerous other Fellows. The book reports on excavations undertaken in 2004—5 that uncovered a dense area of archaeological remains, including Bronze Age barrows and enclosures and a large Late Bronze Age to Middle Iron Age mortuary feature, revealing an extraordinary series of human and animal remains and a wealth of evidence for mortuary rites, including exposure, excarnation and curation. Extensive radiocarbon and isotope analyses show that the scale of the journeys undertaken by the individuals buried here is truly trans-European, encompassing the Atlantic seaboard from the Iberian peninsula to Scandinavia.

The site seems to have been largely abandoned in the later Iron Age and very little Romano-British activity was identified. In the early sixth century a small inhumation cemetery was established. Very little human bone survived within the twenty-one graves, where the burial environment differed from that within the prehistoric mortuary feature, but the grave goods indicate the burial of ‘females’ (eg buried with a necklace, a pair of brooches and a purse) and ‘males’ (eg with a shield covering his face, a knife and spearhead). Overlapping with the use of the cemetery in the Early Anglo-Saxon period, but continuing into and perhaps beyond the eleventh century, are seventy-four pits, many of which contain large quantities of marine shell, probably consumed locally at communal gatherings.

Cliffs End Farm, Isle of Thanet, Kent: a mortuary and ritual site of the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon period with evidence for long-distance maritime mobility, by J I McKinley, M Leivers, J Schuster, P Marshall, A J Barclay and N Stoodley; ISBN 9781874350705; Wessex Archaeology Report 31, 2015

Early Ships and Seafaring

Fellow and Master Mariner Professor Seán McGrail has written a book that is perfect for those of us who know that boats are a vital part of the human story but who know nothing about how they are made and navigated. In an opening chapter called ‘Concepts and Techniques’, Seán provides an excellent introduction to the ways in which logs are sawn to create planks and how those planks are then fastened together to create a watertight hull, how masts and sails are attached to the hull, and how people navigated using the Pole Star before the development of navigational instruments.

The next two lengthy chapters look at boat building and navigational traditions in the Mediterranean and along the Atlantic coast of Europe from the Neolithic to the late medieval period, drawing on excavated examples, experimental reconstructions and ethnographic parallels.

Having set out what we know about the subject with admirable clarity, the author ends with some suggestions for future research which he says must be conducted on an international basis, and he calls for the creation of a new body to oversee ‘research-based maritime archaeology’, defined as ‘the study of the nature and past behaviour of man in the use of those special environments’.

Early Ships and Seafaring: European water transport, by Seán McGrail; ISBN 9781781593929; Pen and Sword Books, 2014

Naturalists in Paradise: Wallace, Bates and Spruce in the Amazon

Paradise is, of course, a relative term: thirty years ago, Salon’s editor visited the village of Santubong, north of Kuching, capital of the Malaysian island of Sarawak, where Alfred Russel Wallace was staying in 1855 when he wrote the paper on evolution that precipitated Darwin’s publication of his own work, On the Origin of Species (1859). Looked at through the eye of a camera lens, Santubong was Paradise, teaming with every kind of wildlife, from tigers (heard but not seen) to giant butterflies and millipedes to fiddler crabs that covered every inch of sand until, at the slightest vibration, they disappeared into their burrows, leaving an apparently lifeless and deserted beach.

But what the camera could not show was the stench, the flies and the piles of rubbish left on the beach by the human inhabitants that made visiting this hallowed spot, which played such an important role in the development of the natural sciences, more Purgatory than Paradise. Was it the same for Wallace, Henry Walter Bates and Richard Spruce when they explored the Amazon in 1848 and 1849 — the subject of this new book by Fellow John Hemmings? It seems not, given the rapturous tone in which they wrote of their experiences in letters and diaries: Bates describing ‘the forest scenery ... glorious beyond imagination’, and Wallace comparing the trunks of the trees to the piers of a cathedral, though he admitted to feeling overwhelmed in a sense by ‘the vast — the primeval — world of the infinite ... a world in which man seems an intruder, and where he feels overwhelmed by the contemplation of the ever-acting forces which ... almost seem to oppress the earth’.

Would Wallace have known that his writing was Wordsworthian? His achievement, like that of Bates and Spruce in exploring and recording the natural history of this vast region, is the more remarkable given that all three had left formal education at the age of thirteen or fourteen, though all later gained honorary doctorates, became Fellows and Presidents of such learned societies as the Linnean and Entomological and, in Wallace’s case, ended up as a Member of the Order of Merit.

This lively and immensely readable book charts the eleven years that the three explorers spent in the Amazon, and for archaeologists it makes sober reading: be warned that some of the sections describing the treatment of the dead, cannibalism and parasite-borne diseases definitely belong to the Purgatorial aspects of life as an explorer — but these descriptions are also very valuable for archaeologists and anthropologists reading from the comfort of an armchair: though these explorers have been recognised for their achievements in the natural sciences, particularly entomology, botany and zoology, they were among the first to take an interest in petroglyphs, now an important element in Amazonian archaeology, and they also did useful anthropological work, even before anthropology developed as a discipline.

The author relishes their story and identifies strongly with these young men: and who would not if, like John Hemmings, you too had experienced the same thrills and hardships as an Amazon explorer, and had ended up as Director of the Royal Geographical Society, the fifth in succession after Henry Walter Bates who, as the first Director, built it up to be the world-class learned society that it is today.

Naturalists in Paradise: Wallace, Bates and Spruce in the Amazon, by John Hemming; ISBN 9780500252109; Thames & Hudson, 2015

Selborne Priory Excavations 1953—71

This floor tile from Selborne Priory has a unique fish design that commemorates the story of St Richard, Bishop of Chichester, who visited in 1230: no fish could be caught until he blessed the priory fish pond and a very large pike was immediately netted!

In his introduction to this long-awaited excavation report, Fellow Barry Cunliffe describes Selborne Priory as ‘a site of key significance to its discipline ... that has lurked in the shadows little known for decades’. Fellow David Baker and his co-contributors have brought this Augustinian Priory out into the sunshine, incorporating the work of the various ‘enthusiastic amateurs’ who excavated parts of the site in the 1950s and 1960s supplemented by the results of the trial trenches that David Baker excavated in 1970 and 1971 in order to supply a framework for understanding the earlier work.

The result is a full account of the priory founded in 1233 for fourteen canons, dissolved in 1486 by William Waynflete who appropriated its property for his new foundation at Magdalen College, Oxford. Highlights include a re-creation of the plan of the priory buildings, the evidence for monastic land use and water management, a large and important assemblage of decorated medieval floor tiles, dating from the end of the thirteenth and the start of the fourteenth century, and many finds that throw light on domestic as well as religious life at the priory, including ceramics used for distillation and alchemical practices.

Selborne Priory Excavations 1953—71, by David Baker; ISBN 9780907473138; Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Monograph 12, 2015

Early Farmers

Edited by Fellow Alasdair Whittle and Penny Bickle, this volume of twenty-one essays attempts to understand the Neolithic largely through bio-molecular studies of human and animal skeletal data, pottery residues and DNA. It is not all hard science, however: some of the big questions about world view, social relations, belief systems and culture are not susceptible to rigorous scientific testing, except by the ingenious use of proxies, though, as Paul Halstead warns in his essay on the subject, proxies have to be treated with caution: identifying the south-eastern European origins of domesticated crops and animals does not tell you whether their spread was due to migration or exchange; cranial injuries in humans does not tell you whether the victim sustained the injury as a result of domestic violence, warfare, ritual or murder.

Consequently the volume also has space for theoretical models — such as Fellow John Barrett’s paper on ‘some possible conditions necessary for the colonisation of Europe by domesticates’, in which he tries to move us away from thinking of the Mesolithic and Neolithic as two very distinct populations — with practices that are at ‘different stages of an evolutionary trajectory’ and where the spread of agriculture is seen as the result of colonisation with very little input from indigenous populations — and try instead to think through the practical mechanisms necessary for the introduction of domesticates into specific human cultures and ecological circumstances. In other words, what was it like to live in the Neolithic, in a particular time and place?

This same desire to shift the discussion from simple polarities to more complex questions pervades the book: in their introduction, the editors ask who, in social terms, were the drivers of doing things differently, and of thinking new visions of existence into being? How quickly did Neolithic societies develop, and what fostered change? How did society operate before, during and after the Neolithic at the scale of the individual household, kin and descent groups, alliance, community, hierarchy, region and network? Such questions are what makes the Neolithic such a fascinating period to study and, as John Robb suggests, in his paper on ‘A new research agenda’, they move us on from the superficial approach that treats the Neolithic as a ‘hit-and-run romance’, in which most of us ‘lose interest once the beginning is over’.

Early Farmers: the view from archaeology and science, edited by Alasdair Whittle and Penny Bickle; ISBN 9780197265758; Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2014

Gifts to the Library, October to December 2014

The Society is very grateful to the donors of the following books, given to the Library in the period from October to December 2014. Full records for all are on the online catalogue, and all books are now available in the Library.
  • From David Andrews, FSA, The Ancient Woodland of England: the woods of south-east Essex, by Oliver Rackham (1986)
  • From the author, Dietwulf Baatz, FSA, Zur Funktion der Kleinkastelle am Obergermanisch-Raetischen Limes (2007); Katapulte — Physik und Materialeigenschaften (2009)
  • From Justine Bayley, FSA, Gebrochener Glanz: Römische Großbronzen am UNESCO-Welterbe Limes (2014)
  • From the author, Jerome Bertram, FSA, Graves and Epitaphs: writings on brasses and related subjects. Vol1: 1963—1992 (2014)
  • From the author, Mario Buhagiar, FSA, Essays on the Archaeology and Ancient History of the Maltese Islands: Bronze Age to Byzantine (Maltese Social Studies series no. 22) (2014)
  • From the joint editors, David H Caldwell, FSA, and Mark A Hall, FSA, The Lewis Chessmen: new perspectives (2014)
  • From the author, Paul Drury, FSA, Audley End, 2nd revised edition (English Heritage Guidebooks, 2014); Bolsover Castle (English Heritage Guidebooks, 2014)
  • From Eric Fernie, FSA, Transylvania in the Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries: aspects of the formation and consolidation of regional identity, edited by Cosmin Popa-Gorjanu (Annales Universitatis Apulensis, Series Historica, 16 (II), 2012)
  • From Mark Hall, FSA, Medieval Children, by Nicholas Orme, FSA (2001)
  • From Norman Hammond, FSA, Scarborough Castle, by John Goodall, FSA (English Heritage Guidebook, 2013)
  • From the joint authors, Suzanne Higgott, FSA, and Julia Poole, FSA, L’histoire de Joseph sur des assiettes en émail peint de Limoges par l’atelier portant la marque de fabrique «I.C.» (Bulletin de la Société archéologique et historique du Limousin, t. CXLII, 2014)
  • From the author, Michael Hill, FSA, West Dorset Country Houses (2014)
  • From Simon Jervis, FSA, Probate Inventories of French Immigrants in Early Modern London, by Greig Parker (2014)
  • From the author, Michael Jones, FSA, Norwell Buildings, Norwell Trades, Norwell Mills, Norwell Schools, Norwell Farms, Willoughby by Norwell Deserted Village (Norwell Heritage booklets 1 to 6, 2009—13)
  • From the author, Anne Lehoërff, FSA, Construire le temps: histoire et méthods des chronologies et calendriers des derniers millénaires avant notre ère en Europe occidentale (Collection Bibracte, 16, 2008); Beyond the Horizon: societies of the Channel and North Sea 3,500 years ago (Catalogue of the exhibition of the European Interreg IVa 2 Mers Seas Zeeën project ‘Boat 1550 BC’, 2012); Jean Guilaine: archéologie, science humaine: entretiens (2011)
  • From John Maddsion, FSA, The Collected Letters of Jane Morris, edited by Frank C Sharp and Jan Marsh (2012)
  • From Vincent Megaw, FSA, Un complexe princier de l’âge du Fer: le quartier artisanal de Port Sec sud à Bourges (Cher): volume 1: Analyse des structures et du mobilier by L. Augier et al (41° supplement à la Revue Archéologique du Centre de la France, 2012); Le temps des Gaulois en Provence (2000); La necropoli de San Servolo: Veneti, Istri, Celti e Romani nel territorio de Trieste (2002); Régészeti Dimenziók, by Anders Alexandra, Szabó Miklós and Raczky Pál (2009)
  • From the author, Russell Arthur Molyneux-Johnson, A Memoir of the Molyneux Family of Newsham House, Liverpool (2014)
  • From the co-authors, Kathryn A Morrison, FSA, and John Minnis, FSA, Carscapes: the motor car, architecture and landscape in England (2012)
  • From the author, Harold Mytum, FSA, Monumentality in Later Prehistory: building and rebuilding Castell Henllys Hillfort (2013)
  • From Adrian Olivier, FSA, Archäologie in Bayern: Fenster zur Vergangenheit (2006)
  • From Ann Saunders, FSA, The British Museum Library: a short history and survey by Arundell Esdaile (1946)
  • From the author, Mark Staniforth, FSA, Material Culture and Consumer Society: dependent colonies in colonial Australia (The Plenum Series in Underwater Archaeology, 2003)
  • From the co-author, Mark Staniforth, FSA, Chinese Export Porcelain from the Wreck of the Sydney Cove (1797), by Mark Staniforth and Mike Nash (The Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology, Special Publication no. 12, 1998); Maritime Archaeology Monographs and Reports Series No. 6 (2005), containing Historical Background and Archaeological Survey of Balaena: a 20th-century Norwegian whaling station in Newfoundland, Canada, by Martin McGonigle and Mark Staniforth, and The History and Archaeology of the Gaultois Shore-based Whaling Station in Newfoundland, Canada, by Mark Staniforth
  • From the joint author, Neil Stratford, FSA, ‘Au nom de l’art et des souvenirs’: Le Bourbonnais dans la redécouverte du Moyen Âge (2014)
  • From Tim Tatton-Brown, FSA, Sarum Chronicle: the history of Salisbury and its district (Issues 1—14, 2001—14)
  • From the co-author, Michael Turner, FSA, Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: The Nicholson Museum, The University of Sydney: red figure and over-painted pottery of south Italy, by Michael Turner and Alexander Cambitoglou (Nicholson Museum fascicule 2, 2014)
  • From the joint editor, Rowan Watson, FSA, Word and Image: art, books and design from the National Art Library, edited by Rowan Watson, Elizabeth James and Julius Bryant, FSA (2015)
  • From Sir David Wilson, FSA, Aggersborg i Vikingetiden: Bebyggelsen og borgen, edited by Else Roesdahl, FSA, Søren M Sindbæk and Anne Pedersen (2014)


Chair, Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England
Closing date: 6 March 2015

A new Chair of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, who must be a layperson, is being sought to succeed The Rt Hon Frank Field, MP, who is standing down in 2015. The CFCE is the statutory body that oversees works to cathedrals, balancing the care and conservation of the buildings with the use of cathedrals as centres of worship and mission. The role requires strategic vision, representational and negotiating skills of a high order, experience of chairing at a senior level, good analytical skills and grasp of detail. For further information about the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, please visit: the ChurchCare website. Application details can be found here.

National Trust: Curator
Salary: £27,916; 12-month contract; closing date: 9 March 2015

Covering for our existing curator who is on secondment in the region, the post is based at the Tisbury hub as part of the National Trust Consultancy. For further information please visit the National Trust's jobs website and search using keyword IRC20974.

Swansea University: Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor in History and Heritage
Closing Date: 12 March 2015

The College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University wishes to appoint a Senior Lecturer (Grade 9) or an Associate Professor (Grade 10) in History and Heritage on the Teaching and Research career pathway in the Department of History and Classics. Applications are welcomed from candidates with expertise in any period of history. The person appointed to this post will build on the Department’s distinguished record of engaging in heritage and regeneration activities, and bring an important co-ordinating influence to future heritage-related teaching and research initiatives in the department.

Further details may be found here.

Propose a lecture or seminar

Please email 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 5pm) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 1pm).

We welcome papers based on new research on 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 email 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

Share with a friend

Like Salon: Issue 337 on Facebook


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

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

SAL logo

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

© 2014 Society of Antiquaries of London | Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
Telephone: 020 7479 7080 | Website: