TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 29th March | The dead DO tell tales | Dr. Andrew Millard

March 29 |The dead DO tell tales Dr Andrew Millard, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

A development site at Cliff’s End Farm, Ramsgate, Kent yielded an extraordinary set Cliff’s End primary burialof burials. The primary burial was carefully arranged but she had been executed by a blow to the back of the head. Other incomplete burials had been rearranged while partially fleshed. Radiocarbon dating shows that they range in date from the late Bronze Age to the middle Iron Age. In this lecture I will explore how isotope analysis has revealed even more about their origins and diet. The people from the site include probable locals, but also an extraordinary range of migrants. Some came from across the North Sea, while others came from a long way south of Britain. The remains from Cliff’s End have major implications for our understanding of trade and migration in this part of prehistory.

About the Speaker

Dr Millard graduated from Oxford University with a degree in chemistry however aAndrew-Millard growing interest in archaeology led him to undertake doctoral work in the Research Laboratory for Archaeology at Oxford. In 1995 he took up a position as lecturer at Durham University where his research has broadened to cover the chemistry of bones and teeth applied to archaeological problems, and Bayesian statistics applied to archaeology, particularly to the analysis of scientific dating techniques, and with wider applications in Quaternary science.

For further information, links and bibliography click here.

TAS LECTURE REVIEW | Sara Gibson reviews the TAS February lecture in which David Williams discussed the events and controversies associated with St Cuthbert’s body…. after he was buried

TAS Lecture Review.

Sara Gibson reviews the TAS February lecture in which David Williams discussed the events and controversies associated with St Cuthbert’s body…. after he was buried.

David treated us to a fascinating story of mystery and myth as he unfolded the story of the openings of St Cuthbert’s coffin through the ages.  The myth – the incorrupt corpse of St Cuthbert – is well known.  The mystery: “whodunit?” – who placed the beautiful Anglo-Saxon gold and garnet pectoral cross into the coffin – was explored in David’s lecture.  First we were invited to consider St. Aelfflaed, Abbess of Whitby and Princess of Northumbria.  Aelfflaed had the means to acquire the cross and opportunity to place it within the robes of Cuthbert as she wrapped the body of her close friend and saviour after his death in 697.  The remarkable cross is the most ornate of just 5 similar crosses recorded, usually associated with high-status female burials.  It is not, however, mentioned in the records until 1827, even though the coffin was opened at least four times between 698 and 1827, when it was “found” by James Raine, Librarian of Durham Cathedral.  Raine’s claim to have found the cross concealed within Cuthbert’s robes is controversial, given his motivation to debunk the Cuthbert myth and alleged casual treatment of the remains he found.  David’s lecture prompted several questions from Members, but the mystery remains …

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 23 February | St Cuthbert’s Corpse | David Williams

Feb 23rd | TAS Lecture | St Cuthbert’s Corpse – a life after death | David Williams 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

The miracle of St Cuthbert’s incorrupt corpse has been the subject of much fascination18154896 since his death, inspiring pilgrims, monks, and even the construction of Durham Cathedral itself. St Cuthbert’s coffin was opened six times in 1300 years and on each occasion someone kept a record of the body and relics as they were found – Anglo-Saxon monks, the first kings of all England, the Normans, Henry VIII’s henchman, a Georgian antiquarian and Victorian scholars – all bringing different preoccupations and concerns to the same body of material.

David is the author of ‘St Cuthbert’s Corpse – a life after death’, published under the pen name David Willem, . In this talk, David will draw upon research for this book, charting the history of St. Cuthbert’s body through time.

About the speaker

Dr David Williams

David Williams is Alumni Relations Manager at Durham University. He has twenty-three years of experience in communications, mostly at the interface between universities and the wider world and as a freelance journalist. He is the author of Kicking: Following the Fans to the Orient and a former correspondent for The Guardian and The Times.

 

 

TAS LECTURE REVIEW | TAS member Sara Gibson reviews our last lecture by Lauren Wilkinson on recent developments at Vindolanda.

TAS Lecture Review.

TAS member Sara Gibson reviews our last lecture by Lauren Wilkinson on recent developments at Vindolanda.

Lauren gave us an interesting and entertaining view of some of the findings and finds from the past year’s excavations at Vindolanda. As many will know, during the period of occupation the site included a fort and vicus which changed their location as the forts were rebuilt in each period of occupation. Of nine forts thought to have been built on the site during 1st – 5th Century, four have been excavated, at least in part. Below the later vicus, the Severan fort included two rows of roundhouses, the purpose of which is still unclear. The latest excavations have found what is thought could be a post-roman church apse with a water tank or ritual bathing pool nearby

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Lauren spoke about two particular themes: Evidence of Children at Vindolanda has been found in the form of toy weapons, small shoes and writing tablets, in addition to a mysterious child’s burial found underneath the barracks floor. Her second theme concerned “Social Life”: apart from the well-known “birthday invitation” tablet, found a few years ago, games, drinking vessels bathing clogs, and the bath-houses themselves all paint a vivid picture of life at Vindolanda.
Finally, Lauren reminded us that the Vindolanda Charitable Trust runs a very popular volunteer excavation programme from March – September each year. There are still a few places available for 2016, and the programme for next year will open in November. Details on the website

TAS LECTURE AND AGM | Reminder for Tue 26 January | AGM | Recent developments at Vindolanda | Lauren Wilkinson

Jan 26th | TAS AGM plus Vindolanda: Recent Developments | Lauren Wilkinson 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

Vindolanda lies just to the south of the curtain wall of Hadrian’s Wall and has a very different ‘feel’ to other sites along the Wall. It lies upon the first Roman frontier in the north – The Stanegate Road and in a stunning landscape which lets your imagination
really connect with its past. Although first built by the Roman army before Hadrian’s Wall Vindolanda became an important construction and garrison base for the Wall, a Hadrian’s Wall fort in its own right. During this time Vindolanda was demolished and completely re-built no fewer than nine times. Each re-build, each community, leaving their own distinctive mark on the landscape and archaeology of the site. After Hadrian’s Wall and the Roman occupation was abandoned by its imperial armies Vindolanda remained in use for over 400 years before finally becoming abandoned in the 9th century.
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Annual excavations have been carried out at Vindolanda for many years and have produced some stunning remains including the famous writing tablets, the finest collection of Roman footwear from the Roman Empire, textiles, pottery, militaria and personal items from the communities that lived there.

About the speaker

Lauren Wilkinson is Site Education Officer at Vindolanda Charitable Trust. She graduated
in Archaeology at Newcastle University and has worked at various museums across the North East in both front of house and education Lauren croppedroles, including Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Discovery Museum, and Great North Museum: Hancock where she developed a passion in Roman archaeology. Lauren planned and delivered Roman based projects funded by the British Museum, as well as delivering many workshops, talks and tours for children and adults before being appointed to her current role at Vindolanda. In this lecture she will be bringing us up to date with the latest developments at this fascinating site.

 

ELGEE MEMORIAL LECTURE | Sat. 5th Dec. | The Rise and Fall of the Late Iron Age Royal Centre at Stanwick, North Yorkshire | Professor Colin Haselgrove, University of Leicester

ELGEE MEMORIAL LECTURE | Sat. 5th Dec. | The Rise and Fall of the Late Iron Age Royal Centre at Stanwick, North Yorkshire | Professor Colin Haselgrove, University of Leicester | 10:30am at the Dorman Museum, Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough TS5 6LA | Free Entry

Click here for tickets (Opens new page)

The enormous earthwork complex at Stanwick, west of Darlington—enclosing nearly three square kilometres—is the largest continuous prehistoric fortification in Britain, comparable to some of the most important late Age settlements in continental Europe.
Stanwick was first excavated in 1951–52 by Sir Mortimer Wheeler who believed that the earthworks were constructed by an anti-Roman faction of the BrigantStanwick Planes between the invasion of southern England in AD 43 and the annexation of the north in the AD 70s. A very different interpretation of Stanwick has emerged as a result of excavations there by Durham University in the 1980s and further research in the environs over the past 25 years. Radiocarbon dating shows that Stanwick was occupied from the early 1st century BC. The early settlement differed little from others in the Tees valley, but soon after 50 BC, the site was reorganised and fortified, and successive monumental timber structures were built. Imports from other parts of Britain and the continent imply that well before the Roman invasion, Stanwick had attained a similar level of importance to known royal centres elsewhere in Britain and Ireland.

Soon after in AD 43, Cartimandua, the ruler of the Brigantes, entered into a treaty with the invaders. Many unusual Roman goods dating to this period recovered in the excavations must have been gifts showered on the queen, whose residence Stanwick surely was, and the massive perimeter earthwork was constructed in a display of her prestige. However, her rule over the Brigantes did not last. In AD 69, after a rebellion led by Venutius, her estranged consort, Cartimandua sought the protection of the Romans. They quickly set about the permanent conquest of the region—and Stanwick was abandoned. As well as illuminating the social and political dynamics of the period, the research has cast new light on the everyday lives of the Iron Age inhabitants of the Tees Valley and their ritual and mortuary practices, some of which were continued by the agricultural population of the area in the Roman period.

About the speaker

Colin Haselgrove has been Professor of Archaeology at the University of CH ImageLeicester since 2005. Between 1977 and 2004, he taught in the Archaeology department at Durham University where he was made a Professor in 1995. His research focuses on the British and European Iron Age, on the Iron Age to Roman transition in north-west Europe, and on early coinage and currencies. Colin is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Societies of Antiquaries of London and Scotland. He was Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester from 2006–12.

Dr FFrank_Elgeerank Elgee was born in 1880 in North Ormesby and was curator at the Dorman Museum from 1904 to 1944.The memorial lectures have run annually since 1968, hosted in turn by the archaeological, historical and natural history societies of Teesside. The 2015 lecture is hosted by the Teesside Archaeological Society.

Header image copyright English Heritage

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 24 November | Operation Nightingale: Cyprus to Catterick 2014–15 | Phil Abramson and Steve Sherlock

Nov. 24 | Operation Nightingale: Cyprus to Catterick 2014–15 | Phil Abramson and Steve Sherlock 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

This talk will present the latest updates about a leading-edge initiative to provide training
skills and rehabilitation for people who have been involved in conflict. Members of all three military services have participated in archaeological projects on MOD sites, learning new DSC_0010skills after facing life-changing injuries and challenges After successful projects in the south of England on Salisbury plain with Wessex Archaeology, this presentation concerns a follow-on project in Cyprus during 2014 and one planned for Catterick in 2015. A dig was scheduled to take place at Marne Barracks, involving a commercial organisation and the Highways Agency for the first time. The results from these excavations will tie in to the current programme of work to upgrade the A1 in North Yorkshire.

About the speakersPhil_Steve_Cyprus
Phil Abramson is an archaeologist for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Steve Sherlock is Clerk of Works for the archaeological programme underway on the A1 motorway scheme in North Yorkshire. As TAS members will be aware, this particular double act is guaranteed to provide an informative and entertaining evening.

About Operation Nightingale

The Defence Archaeology Group and Operation Nightingale was founded in 2012 to utilise both the technical and social aspects of field archaeology in the recovery and skill
development of soldiers injured during the conflict in Afghanistan.
“It is less of a leap of faith to think that archaeology might be a discipline perfect for soldiers.”
There is a close correlation between the skills required by the modern soldier and those of the professional archaeologist. These skills include surveying, geophysics (for ordnance recovery or revealing cultural heritage sites), scrutiny of the ground (for improvised explosive devices or artefacts), site and team management, mapping, navigation and the physical ability to cope with hard manual work in often inclement weather conditions.
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TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 27 October | Disaster Recovery: Unearthing the Impact of the Black Death in Eastern England

October 27 | Disaster Recovery: Unearthing the Impact of the Black Death in Eastern England Dr Carenza Lewis, University of Lincoln. 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

Since 2005, thousands of members of the public, working with university archaeologists, have carried out nearly 2,000 small archaeological ‘test pit’ excavationsCRL at Llandeilo in more than 50 rural villages, towns and hamlets in eastern England, unearthing tens of thousands of pottery sherds. Analysis of this superficially unremarkable material is allowing archaeologists to map and measure changes in layout and density of settlements over centuries, and has revealed new evidence for the dramatic long-term impact of the set-backs of the 14th century AD which culminated in the Black Death of 1348–9. One strength of this approach is that it can potentially be used anywhere, and the talk will conclude by considering the potential for similar work in areas such as the Tees Valley.

About the speaker

Since 2004, Carenza Lewis MA ScD FSA has been Director of Access Cambridge Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, having previously carried out archaeological research for RCH2007_0627_140044 cropME (1986–99) and the University of Birmingham (1992–4) and presented Channel 4’s Time Team (1993–2005). Carenza has completed fieldwork and excavation on many sites across southern England and her research interests include medieval rural settlements and landscapes, the archaeology of children and childhood, widening participation in higher education and public engagement with heritage research. Her work has involved thousands of members of the public and was recognised in 2008 with an honorary doctorate from UEA and, in 2009, when shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Public Archaeology. Carenza has recently joined the University of Lincoln as Professor of Public Understanding of Research

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 30 June | The Archaeology of the A1 Dishforth to Barton Road Scheme

June 30 |The Archaeology of the A1 Dishforth to Barton Road Scheme Dr Stephen Sherlock, A1 Archaeology Clerk of Works7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

Steve’s lecture will present the archaeological results from the improvements to the A1 road through North Yorkshire, undertaken on behalf of the Highways Agency between 2009 and 2015. The size of the project—a total length of 24 miles—meant the project was split into two phases, the main site to be excavated during the work in 2009–2010 was the Roman vicus at Healam Beck.Catterick

The second programme of work commenced in late 2013 and there has been a broader range of sites—and a substantial increase in the number of artefacts. The sites range from an Early Mesolithic settlement at Little Holtby with over 4,000 flint tools found in 2014, to a burial mound of probable Bronze Age date south of Catterick. The main focus of the excavations is around Catterick, with both Iron Age settlement to the north and Iron Age burials to the south of the Roman fort and town.

The main discoveries have been around Catterick where there are two scheduled ancient monuments. Here there are traces of a Roman cemetery, fields, and metalworking around Bainesse. At Cataractonium, Dere Street has been exposed near the River Swale with Roman buildings alongside and evidence for the town defences near the river itself. The lecture will outline the work at Healam, the approaches to discovering the sites, and present the most up to date interpretations of discoveries around Catterick—although fieldwork and post-excavation analysis will be continuing through 2015.

About the speaker

Steve Sherlock has been a professional archaeologist for 35 years and has spent much of that time working in North-east England and as a TAS member. Whilst much of his research has been focused on East Cleveland, he has undertaken major excavations on Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon sites in the region.steve

Commercially, he has also excavated and published on later sites such as the medieval settlements at Castleton and Long Marston. He has been the archaeological clerk of works, working on the A1 road improvements in North Yorkshire, as well as other projects in the area. His work is published in regional journals, conference proceedings and in two Tees Archaeology monographs (2012).

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 26 May | Early Medieval Perceptions of the Past: Identity and the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England

May 26 | Early Medieval Perceptions of the Past: Identity and the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England | Dr Sarah Semple, Durham University. 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

The prehistoric and Roman inhabitants of England left a rich repertoire of monuments and remains. In the post Roman aftermath, the communities that struggled to redefine themselves and their control over landscape and resources, began to creatively draw upon these physical and material legacies. The natural landscape exerted a pFigure 6.10rofound shaping effect on territory, the legacy of the prehistoric and Roman past. Barrows, enclosures, forts—as well as Roman and Romano-British places and remains—proved key to the flourishing of new communities, and the ancient and more recent monuments in the landscape were drawn upon in the creation of new stories of origins, power and descent. This presentation explores how these processes helped shape the local world view of communities and how, by the 6th and 7th centuries, emerging elite and royal power began to exploit and harness ancient monuments and the landscape for their own, new ambitious vision of power.

About the speaker

Sarah’s research focuses on the early medieval period in Britain and Northern Europe. She is especially interested in understanding early medieval interaction with the natural and man-made environment with particular reference to the role of landscape in definitions of identity, religion and cult practice, as well as charting the ideological and political uses of natural topography and ancient remains.

Figure 3.3Recent publications include: Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Prehistoric. Ritual, Religion and Rulership (2013) and Signals of Belief in Anglo-saxon England (2010). She recently completed a collaborative project exploring the important monastic sites of Wearmouth and Jarrow. Further regional involvements include field investigation at Yeavering, Northumberland, Sockburn, County Durham and at Etal on the Northumberland border.