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.
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.


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 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.

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 21 April | The Creation of an Estate: Archaeological Investigations at Kiplin Hall, North Yorkshire

April 21 |The Creation of an Estate: Archaeological Investigations at Kiplin Hall, North Yorkshire | Jim Brightman, Solstice Heritage 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

The ‘Charting Chipeling’ project was a volunteer archaeology project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and focusing cDSC_0786on the Jacobean and later Kiplin Hall and its grounds, located near Richmond, North Yorkshire. Set within a wider landscape of prehistoric and Roman archaeological sites, the wide sand and gravel terraces flanking the River Swale are known to host archaeological remains ranging from the Mesolithic to the present day and, prior to the building of the Hall, Kiplin was dominated by a monastic grange of the nearby Easby Abbey. Despite this, the Kiplin grounds have been subject to almost no previous archaeological investigation. What has emerged is a fascinating story of the development of the grounds as we see them today, a dynamic period of change and remodelling of the land against a backdrop of societal and industrial reform.

About the speaker

Jim Brightman, Director of Solstice Heritage, is a professional archaeologist and heritage consultant with over a decade of experience in undertaking and supervising planning-led archaeology, research and conservation, and community-based projects. Jim’s wide-ranging experience has included working on urban and rural sites of all kinds, and examining archaeological remains from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to late Victorian slum housing.

In the early 2000s Jim completed a BA and MLitt in archaeology at Newcastle University during which he developed his passion for the archaeology of northern England which had been first kindled by the castles and abbeys of North Yorkshire as a child. Outside archaeology Jim is a keen musician and hillwalker, and can also be found dangling from rock faces around the north of England. Jim is a fully accredited member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA).

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 31 March | Crowd-funding and Crowd-sourcing in Today’s Archaeology: Lisa Westcott Wilkins & Brendon Wilkins

March 31 | How Far from the Madding Crowd? Crowd-funding and Crowd-sourcing in Today’s Archaeology | ,DigVentures 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

Numerous community archaeology projects are undertaken every year in the UK on a wide range of sites by a variety of public, private and third sector organisations. Building on this provision, a new social, digital and collaborative economy is also emerging, creating an access step-change that has made it radically easier for communities to form. The emerging field of digital public archaeology has struggled to adequately theorise these new developments, assuming that all community archaeology projects can be simplified into one of two overarching methodological orientations: ‘top down’ or ‘bottom up’. In the former, projects can be conceived as a stage-managed collaboration between expert and public, with the expert retaining control over design, fieldwork and analysis. In the latter, the agenda is set according to the needs of communities themselves, with the expert relinquishing control of the process into the hands of non-professionals.

Drawing on our ‘Digital Dig Team’ innovation, this presentation will consider new approaches that enable archaeologists to co-fund, co-design, co-deliver and co-create value with their respective communities—innovations that make no sense in terms of top down or bottom up, and demand a rethink of community-based models that rely on economic theory. The digital and collaborative economy is more akin to an ecological system, where socially embedded technologies (often bracketed under the term ‘citizen science’) present archaeologists with a multitude of opportunities to do things radically differently. They open new vistas for archaeological knowledge creation, ultimately realising the value of research through a truly social method.



Lisa is Managing Director and Brendon is Projects Director at DigVentures, a social business at the forefront of culture, technology and entrepreneurship, committed to raising seed capital and increasing participation for sustainable archaeology and heritage projects worldwide.
Their innovative model works to connect heritage sector managers and archaeologists with a worldwide crowd of interested and actively engaged participants, creating a platform for the public to financially support interesting projects as well as to join in, learn new skills and contribute to internationally important research. As a Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Registered Organisation (RO) and the first-ever CIfA Accredited Field School, their work and opportunities are quality-assured at the top of the industry standard.
Over the last two years DigVentures has raised over £65K in seed funding from a globally networked crowd of supporters—money that has gone on to leverage four times that amount for their project partners in match funding.

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 24 Feb | Roman Binchester: Dr David Petts


February 24 | Roman Binchester: Barracks, Bath-houses and Belief at a Roman Fort | Dr David Petts, Durham University 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

Members will be able to collect the TAS Bulletin journal 19 (2014-15), Membership cards and 2015 Programme cards. If you are paying or renewing a subscription, please complete a Membership Form.


BinchestergodRecent excavations at Binchester have revealed unexpectedly good preservation of the underlying archaeology. This lecture will provide a chance to hear about the range of exciting discoveries made during the 2014 season of work at the site.

The most spectacular developments have been the uncovering of one of the best preserved Roman bath-houses in northern Britain. Standing in places over 2m high, this structure is one of the highlights of the project. However, exciting progress has been made elsewhere including unpicking the complex remains of a Roman cavalry barrack, and its associated latrine block, and the exploration of structures dating to the very final years of the Roman presence in Britain. Finally, this lecture will explore the increasing evidence we’ve found about the religious belief and ritual activities of the population of Roman Binchester, including a discussion of a rare early Christian ring found at the site.

ac250609arc5About the speaker

David Petts is a Lecturer of Archaeology at Durham University and has been leading the Binchester project since 2009. He is a specialist in early Christianity in Britain with a particular enthusiasm for early medieval monasticism, and is currently in the early stages of developing a research project to explore the archaeology of Holy Island (Lindisfarne).

See you there!

Explore the 2015 TAS Lecture Programme »

TAS HAPPY NEW YEAR | Membership Reminder and News Update

Dear TAS Members and Friends,


On behalf of the TEESSIDE Archaeological Society Committee, I hope you all had a warm and relaxing Christmas break. Last year was a great one for TAS — the lecture programme with a bonus slot and many finds-handling opportunities, increasing membership, the CSI forensics event by TAS Secretary Dave Errickson at Teesside University, a heritage planning process workshop in Durham with our friends at AASDN (the “Arch and Archs” of Durham & Northumberland) and CBA North, plus the many fantastic discoveries around our region.

TAS MembershipNow is the time to renew your membership, or join TAS for an eventful 2015. Please download the 2015 Membership Application Form and either post it with a cheque or postal order — note the new address on the form — or bring it along to the AGM on Tuesday 27 January at 7pm (half an hour earlier than usual to give us plenty of time) at Stockton Central Library. Check our website for directions to the library if this will be your first visit. We look forward to seeing you!

IMPORTANT | We can only receive subscriptions with a completed application form. Cheques will be processed after the AGM. And sorry folks: payment by BACs, Paypal or Credit/Debit Card is not currently possible due to high transaction fees and security issues.

Ahead of the AGM we’ll be posting the agenda to all 2014 and 2015 members and hopefully we’ll have the 2015 Programme ready too (see below). 2015 Membership Cards will be distributed at the February lecture and by post if you can’t collect.

TAS 2015 PROGRAMME TASTER! Dates for your diary

All lectures begin at 7.30pm unless stated otherwise. Lecture titles are not yet finalised.

Tue 27 Jan 7.00pm for 7.30 | TAS AGM and Members’ Evening | Lecture: Dr Tim Thompson, Teesside University, “CSI Forensics” | SPECIAL FEATURE! The infamous TAS Christmas Cake courtesy of Mrs Carter senior
Tue 24 Feb | Dr David Petts, Durham University, “Roman Binchester Bling”
Tue 31 Mar | Lisa Westcott Wilkins & Brendon Wilkins, DigVentures, “Crowd-funded Archaeology”
Tue 21 Apr | Jim Brightman, Solstice Heritage, “Archaeology at Kiplin Hall” *NOT the last Tue due to UK Elections*
Tue 26 May | Dr Sarah Semple, Durham University, “Saxon Landscapes”
Tue 30 Jun | BONUS LECTURE! Dr Steve Sherlock, “A1 Archaeology Update”
Tue 29 Sep | Mitchell Pollington, AOC Archaeology Group, “Digging for Money – Commercial Archaeology”
Tue 27 Oct | Dr Carenza “TimeTeam” Lewis, Cambridge University, “Community Archaeology”
Tue 24 Nov | Phil Abramson & Steve Sherlock, “Operation Nightingale Catterick & Cyprus”
Sat 05 Dec 10am Dorman Museum | ELGEE MEMORIAL LECTURE Prof Colin Haselgrove, Leicester University, “Iron Age Royal Centre at Stanwick”


Maureen Norrie, TAS Editor, and I are working on what looks like a truly bumper TAS BULLETIN, our annual journal for members. All being well, Number 19 (2014) should be available for collection at the AGM, otherwise we’ll post copies to 2014 and 2015 members. It will also be available as a password-protected downloadable version, as are our digitised back copies.

Similarly, the 2015 Lecture Programme is complete — again with a bonus lecture in June — and a number of hands-on finds handling opportunities. We’re just waiting for a few abstracts and pictures from the presenters before we get it printed and updated on our website and Facebook page. There will also be a lecture at the AGM after a rapid review of the year, our prospects and Committee elections.

On that note, we’re looking for a new TAS Treasurer to join the Committee since the incredible Mick Butler has been in the post for very many years now and travels around the globe a great deal with his work. Our finances are in good shape with the increase in membership through 2014. If you’re interested, and without a Treasurer we cannot operate, please email us at teesarchsoc.news@gmail.com

Remember  —  your membership is a commitment to our ongoing success as a community that cares passionately about our shared heritage, archaeology, advocacy and learning. Your subscription pays for the lecture venue, speakers’ travel, our public liability insurance and insurance for fieldwork, printing costs, postal mailing and the fantastic BULLETIN journal. TAS VALUE!


In November last year we re-launched the TAS BOOKSTALL thanks to help from new Committee Member Guy Forster, and your Chair donated a shed-load of Roman books with many more to come in January — all available to TAS members at bargain prices. There are a few collectors’ items in the boxes too! BOOKSTALL will be a feature at the end of each lecture, so why not peruse, pick up a bargain, or donate books you’ve already read?


TAS is proud to be an affiliate member of the Council for British Archaeology at a national level and also of the CBA North and CBA Yorkshire regions. Many of you will know about the vital work of the CBA over the last 70 years — lobbying, campaigning, training and advocating for our archaeology and heritage.

Click to download as a PDF.

To ensure the CBA has the resources to respond to the significant challenges now facing archaeology — despite it’s proven value to GDP, the economy, well-being and communities — they are running an appeal to raise an additional £250,000 each year for the next three years to support their important work

By investing in the future of the CBA now — as a member, donor friend, ambassador or lifetime member — you can help to provide a stable foundation so that they can continue to resource their vital campaigning and advocacy work, projects and programmes. With unprecedented cuts to the sector, ARCHAEOLOGY MATTERS more than ever, and for future generations too.

Together we can help to give future generations the opportunity for a lifetime of involvement in archaeology. Read more about the ARCHAEOLOGY MATTERS appeal and how you can contribute.

Lastly, I would like to offer personal thanks to all the TAS Committee members for outstanding help, ideas and legwork through 2014 — those new to, remaining on or standing down* from the Committee, and all generous with their own time as volunteers:

  • David Errickson, Secretary (integrating Membership role in 2015)
  • Mick Butler, Treasurer* (remains in post until new Treasurer is appointed)
  • Carole Tyson, Lecture Readiness & Hospitality
  • Maureen Norrie, Editor
  • Bruce Webb-Ireland, Fieldwork & Events
  • Edward Higgins, Membership Secretary*
  • Guy Forster, Bookstall
  • Robin Daniels, Tees Archaeology Liaison & River Tees Rediscovered HLF Landscape Partnership Project (ex officio)

Kind Regards,


Spencer Carter | TAS Chair & eCommunications

Feel free to forward our e-Newsletter to friends and contacts using the forward to a friend feature at the end of the message—they will be able to subscribe securely. To unsubscribe, unsubscribe or change your contact preferences, use the links or email us.
The Committee welcomes your feedback,
questions, suggestions and news.

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 25 Nov | Steve Sherlock: Anglo-Saxon Teesside Redated

IMG_1313WNovember 25 | Anglo-Saxon Teesside: 30 years on from the Norton Saxon Cemetery | Stephen Sherlock, Archaeologist Extraordinaire

7.30pm in Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Please remember to bring your membership card or a completed application form to join. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.


Anglo-Saxon remains were initially found in a field beside Mill Lane, Norton in 1982 and the site was excavated in 1984-5. This proved to be the largest sixth-century cemetery to have been excavated in North East England and is frequently discussed as the northern example of Saxon cemeteries in England. Over the intervening period, the dates of some Anglo-Saxon objects have been reviewed and so one theme Steve will address in his lecture will be the date of the Norton cemetery.

Since 1984 other cemeteries have been excavated in the Tees Valley, for example at Ingleby Barwick in 2003. Furthermore, stray finds have been reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The second theme will be to update the known burial record for Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in the Tees Valley. This will incorporate the latest discoveries to include new finds and burials found in the area in 2013.

Silver pendants and bead from excavations at Norton Anglo-Saxon cemetery where revised dates are argued. Not to scale (courtesy Tees Archaeology). Header image is a re-used pendant from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Street House, Loftus (S. Sherlock).

The last theme for the talk will be the placement of objects within the grave. Anglo-Saxon burials have always interested people because of the range of attractive objects found in the grave. Traditionally these “grave goods” were seen as the personal possessions of the deceased. A more recent view considers some objects to be items placed by mourners at the grave side. Steve will also look at the role of heirlooms and antiques, possibly passed down from one generation to the next, that are for a short period of time in the seventh century, placed within graves.

Sherlock, S.J. 2011. Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries in the Tees Valley and Association with Neolithic and Later Monuments, in S. Brooks, S. Harrington and A. Reynolds (eds) Studies in Early Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology: Papers in Honour of Martin G Welch, BAR British Series 527, 112–120. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Sherlock, S.J. 2012.  A Royal Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Street House, Loftus, North East Yorkshire. Hartlepool: Tees Archaeology Monograph 6.
Sherlock, S.J. and Simmons, M. 2008. The Lost Royal Cult of Street House, Yorkshire. British Archaeology 100, 30–37.
Sherlock, S.J. and Welch, M.G. 1992. An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Norton, Cleveland. London: Council for British Archaeology Research Report 82.
Sherlock, S.J. and Welch, M.G. 1992. Anglo-Saxon Objects from Maltby, Cleveland. Durham Archaeological Journal 8, 71–76.

See you there!

Kind Regards,

Spencer Carter | TAS Chair & eCommunications

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 28 Oct | Clive Waddington: Prehistoric archaeology at Low Hauxley

Prehistoric archaeology and landscape change in the North Sea Basin: Investigations at Low Hauxley

Dr Clive Waddington, Archaeological Research Services Ltd

7.30pm in Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU

Please remember to bring your membership card or a completed application form to join. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door. Refreshments will be available at the end of the lecture.

Mesolithic to Bronze Age activity on an eroding cliff face site at Low Hauxley, Northumberland, has been known since an evaluation excavation in 1983.


CW_FlintClive presents the latest results from a new large-scale and widely publicised investigation of the site. Finds include substantial and complex geo-archaeological sequences with multiple phases of Mesolithic settlement, Neolithic occupation, Bronze Age burial, Iron Age and Romano-British settlement with structures, a large lithic assemblage, human bones, ceramics, and botanical macrofossils. The results have relevance both for wider studies of prehistoric Britain but also for understanding prehistoric settlement around the North Sea Basin and the effects of sea level rise since the last ice age.

I look forward to seeing you!

Kind Regards,

Spencer Carter | TAS Chair & eCommunications

TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 30 Sep | Stone Age finds from Carlisle and Isle of Man

FH7.30pm in Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU

CNDRflint_400pxPlease remember to bring your membership card or a completed application form to join. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door. Refreshments will be available at the end of the lecture.

Antony Dickson of Oxford Archaeology North will tell us about two quite incredible early prehistoric sites – and equally challenging excavations. The Carlisle ring road dig included Neolithic wooden tridents in a still-waterlogged ancient river channel and caused Europe to run out of plastic sample tubs.

Ronaldsway Meso structure during excavationAn extension to Ronaldsway airport runway on the Isle of Man had to be conducted at night to avoid aircraft and revealed, amongst many finds, a burnt Mesolithic hut (if not a village), and burning means preservation.

I look forward to seeing you!

Kind Regards,

Spencer Carter | TAS Chair & eCommunications