Salon Archive

Issue: 175

Forthcoming meetings

8 November: Don Francisco’s nose-piece: forming new empires in Renaissance America, by Felipe Fernández-Armesto, FSA, at Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

15 November: ‘A decayed town on the spurs of the Pyrenees’: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges and antiquaries in Aquitania, by Simon Esmonde Cleary, FSA, and Jason Wood, FSA

This lecture will look at the visits of two eminent Fellows of the Society, Charles Roach Smith and M R James, to western and south-western France in the course of the nineteenth century and their value for the speakers’ more recent work at Larçay (near Tours) and Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges. Smith’s drawings of the former proved remarkably accurate. At the latter, scene of one of James’s most atmospheric ghost stories, the speakers’ work in the 1990s revealed a unique late Roman wall-top and added substantially to our understanding of the shift from the open Roman town in the valley to the defended medieval town on the hill.

22 November: The First Humans: ‘a very remote period indeed’, by Professor Clive Gamble, FSA, in the Thomas Davis Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin at 7.30 pm (Tercentenary Festival event in association with the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland)

When and why did we become the only human species to populate the globe? This lecture will reveal how the reappraisal of archaeological evidence in the last decade has dramatically changed the picture of human evolution and show how such essentially human traits as language, art and music first appeared.

Professor of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, Clive Gamble is a leading authority on the archaeology of the earliest human societies and a frequent contributor to national radio. He presented the six-part programme 'Where do we come from?' on Channel 5. His archaeological career has taken him all over the world, and won him many awards as well as international recognition.

Ballot: 29 November 2007

Blue Papers for the 29 November ballot can be found on the website, where you can read the Blue Papers and vote online. Contact Christopher Catling if you have problems accessing the Fellows’ area of the site, or would like to register for a password.

Keep those Blue Papers coming in!

On the eve of their visit to America to celebrate the Society’s Tercentenary with US-based Fellows and to lay the foundations for a fundraising campaign, the President and General Secretary of our Society spoke of the need for Fellows to help with the Society’s target of reaching 3,000 Fellows by the end of the decade. The target was set by Council in 2000, and the Society currently has around 2,550 Fellows. Although 175 new Fellows are elected every year, the current net gain is around 120, once deaths and resignations are subtracted.

Ballots have been taking place at the rate of seven a year in recent years, with twenty-five candidates for Fellowship at each ballot, and there is now no backlog of Blue Papers waiting to be balloted – hence the appeal to Fellows to recruit their highly qualified colleagues to the Society’s ranks.

‘The Society’s strength and influence derives from the fact that our Fellowship is made up of the senior members of the professions that we represent’, said our President, Geoff Wainwright. ‘It is important that we continue to attract people of authority, and we know that there are many such people in this country and abroad who deserve to be made Fellows. It would be very helpful to the Society if every existing Fellow made a point of proposing a deserving candidate. The Society’s investment in online balloting makes it possible now to take out and sign Blue Papers quickly and easily.’

David Gaimster said that his paper in the Visions of Antiquity volume published to celebrate the Society’s Tercentenary shows the current state of the Fellowship in terms of age, disciplinary profile and place of work. Blue Papers need to be signed by six existing Fellows, and citations should demonstrate that candidates are worthy of election on the grounds that they ‘excel in the knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other nations’.

In the past this has meant that candidates must have a substantial scholarly publications record, and university-based scholars still make up 40 per cent of the Fellowship, but the Society also welcomes people whose knowledge is evident in the work that they do and the posts that they hold – thus 14 per cent of Fellows work as museum directors and curators, 12 per cent in central or local government, 7.5 per cent in commercial heritage consultancy, 5 per cent for heritage charities or institutes and 3 per cent as library and archive professionals of the Fellowship, while some 14 per cent of the Fellowship is made up of people who work in an entirely different field, but follow antiquarian pursuits in their spare time.

Archaeology is the dominant discipline, reflected by 40 per cent of the Fellowship, followed by history (22 per cent), architectural history (11 per cent), art history (9 per cent) and manuscripts, heraldry and bibliographical studies (7 per cent). By period, 8 per cent of Fellows define themselves as prehistorians, 8 per cent as classicists, 18 per cent as medievalists, 17 per cent as post-medievalists and nearly half – 47 per cent – as having multi-period interests.

Most live in the UK, but 14 per cent of Fellows live in other parts of Europe, in North America and the Caribbean or in Australasia. The Society’s charter lays equal emphasis on the antiquities and history of ‘this and other nations’, and David Gaimster said that the Society was under-represented in many parts of the world, lacking Fellows in Portugal, Poland and Sweden and most countries of eastern Europe and the Balkans, as well as north and Sub-Saharan Africa and much of Asia. ‘To be called an international body, we need to recruit beyond the shores of the UK’, said David, ‘and I hope that Fellows will rise to the challenge.’

Results of 1 November ballot

All the Fellows whose names were put forward in the ballot held on 1 November 2007 were elected. The Society is very pleased to welcome the following new Fellows:

• Elaine Morris: University researcher at the Centre for Applied Archaeological Analysis, University of Southampton; specialist in later prehistoric European ceramics.
• Elizabeth Bartman: Associate scholar of the Courtauld Research Forum and a specialist in Roman sculpture; author of Ancient Sculptural Copies in Miniature and Portraits of Livia.
• Roger Matthews: Professor of Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology, former Director, British School of Archaeology in Iraq and British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara with extensive publications on the archaeology of the ancient Near East.
• Ian Dungavell: Director, The Victorian Society, Hon Sec of the Joint Committee of the National Amenity Societies; editor, with David Crellin, of Architecture and Englishness 1880–1914.
• Mark White: Senior Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, Durham University; prehistoric archaeologist specialising in the British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic; author of influential articles on Acheulian, Clactonian and Levallois tool technologies and their implications for early human behaviour.
• Jeremy Tanner: Lecturer in Classical Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology; author of The Invention of Art History in Ancient Greece.
• Susan Alcock: Director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology, Brown University; author of books on Graecia Capta: the landscapes of Roman Greece and Archaeologies of the Greek Past: landscape, monuments and memory, co-director of the Pylos Regional Archaeological Project, studying classical, Roman and Ottoman Messenia.
• Michael Hill: Architectural historian; co-author of Cotswold Stone Homes: a guide to their history and conservation, of The Country Houses of Gloucestershire Vol 3 (with Nicholas Kingsley, FSA) and of Dorset country houses for the same series.
• Janet Huskinson: Reader in Classical Studies, Open University; authority on Roman and early-Christian art, author of Roman Sculpture from Cyrenaica in the British Museum, Roman Sculpture from Eastern England and Roman Children's Sarcophagi.
• Pamela Jane Smith: Affiliated Scholar, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge; specialist in the development of archaeology as an academic discipline, creator of an oral history archive of interviews with more than 150 individuals concerned with the evolution of archaeology in the twentieth century.
• David Went: Archaeologist with English Heritage's archaeological survey team in York with publications on early churches, Martello towers, historic parks and new approaches to heritage management.
• D'Arcy Boulton: Professor of Medieval History, The Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, specialising in the field of nobiliary culture and institutions, especially knighthood, knightly orders and heraldic emblems and insignia; author of The Knights of the Crown, which laid the groundwork for the study of monarchical orders.
• Karim Arafat: Reader in Classical Archaeology and Director of the Centre of Hellenic Studies, Department of Classics, King's College London; author of Classical Zeus: a study in art and literature and Pausanias' Greece: ancient artists and Roman rulers.
• Vedia Izzet: Lecturer at the University of Southampton; specialist in Etruscan archaeology, with published fieldwork at Cerveteri; author of The Archaeology of Etruscan Society.
• Richard Palmer: Librarian and Archivist, Lambeth Palace Library, London; author of books and articles on the history of Venice and northern Italy and two major catalogues: Hunterian Society records relating to John Hunter and Western manuscripts in the Wellcome Library.
• Fergus Gillespie: Chief Herald of Ireland and an expert in Irish heraldry, language, culture and history.
• Eva Panagiotakopulu: University Lecturer, Edinburgh, with extensive experience of archaeology in Egypt, Greece and the North Atlantic islands, specialising in the use of insect remains in the interpretation of archaeological environments.
• Simon Jaggard: Head of Upper School, St George’s School, Cologne; Freeman and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, a specialist in the art historical collections of that company and an authority on the works of Alfred Stevens.
• Judith Goodison: Furniture historian, co-author of English Furniture 1500–1840 and author of Thomas Chippendale the Younger at Stourhead; trustee of the Handel House Museum and Director of the Academy of Ancient Music.
• Raymond Howell: Reader in History and Archaeology, University of Wales; author of Fedw Villages, A History of Gwent, Celtic Wales (with Miranda Aldhouse-Green, FSA), The Romans in Wales and a regular contributor to Archaeology in Wales, Medieval Archaeology and Studia Celtica.
• Nicholas Hardwick: Numismatist, Museum Curator and Research Associate, University of Sydney, Australia; specialist in ancient Greek coinage and related subjects in classical art and archaeology; author of papers on the coinage of Terone and Chios.
• Caroline Knight: Independent scholar, researcher and lecturer specialising in the architecture and history of Kensington Palace, the Cecils and Dutch and Flemish architects in Britain.
• John Hargreaves: Retired Head of Humanities, Batley Girls’ High School; former President of the Halifax Antiquarian Society and editor of its Transactions, author of Halifax: the definitive history.
• Kris Lockyear: Lecturer in Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology; numismatist and specialist in the Roman archaeology of the Balkans and statistical applications in archaeology; director of excavations at Noviodunum (Romania).
• John Barnatt: Senior Survey Archaeologist for the Peak District National Park Authority and Conservation Officer for the Peak District Mines Historical Society; specialist in the archaeological landscapes of the Pennines and the Peak lead mines.

Report on illicit antiquities suppressed

University College, London (UCL) has been criticised for not taking a strong enough stand on the issue of illicit antiquities. In an article by Michael Balter published in last week’s Science magazine (26 October 2007), our Fellow Colin Renfrew accuses UCL of suppressing a report that sets out clear ethical guidelines for researchers asked to work with unprovenanced antiquities.

Professor Lord Renfrew, a longstanding critic of the trade in antiquities of questionable provenance, was one of three experts appointed by UCL in 2005, following concern about a collection of Aramaic incantation bowls loaned to UCL’s Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies for cataloguing and study, to examine their provenance and to make recommendations.

The 654 incantation bowls, dating from the fifth to eighth centuries AD, inscribed with biblical texts in Aramaic, were loaned to UCL by the Oslo- and London-based Schøyen Collection, which in turn acquired them ‘from a Jordanian collection built over many years’. Claims made in a Norwegian TV documentary that some of the bowls might have left Iraq illegally during the confusion surrounding Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led UCL to invite Lord Renfrew, along with David Freeman of the London law firm Kendall Freeman and Sally MacDonald, now director of UCL Museums and Collections, to look into their provenance and to propose new antiquities guidelines.

The resulting report criticised UCL for agreeing to study the collection without looking into its origins. As a matter of principle, the report said, archaeologists, researchers and collectors are morally obligated to carry out ‘due diligence’ checks into the provenance of the antiquities they work with.

The issue became complicated when the Schøyen Collection sued UCL in March 2007 for the return of the bowls, saying that it had ‘become frustrated with the waste of time and money caused by a lengthy and inconclusive inquiry into [the collection’s] provenance’. Litigation was avoided when, in June 2007, UCL agreed to return the bowls and ‘to pay a sum in respect of its possession of them’. UCL and the Schøyen Collection issued a joint press statement saying that: ‘Following a searching investigation by an eminent panel of experts, and further inquiries of its own UCL is pleased to announce that no claims adverse to the Schøyen Collection’s right and title have been made or intimated.’

What has subsequently become clear is that UCL also agreed, as part of the legal settlement, not to publish the committee’s findings. Lord Renfrew responded to that decision by saying: ‘It is shameful that a university should set up an independent inquiry and then connive with the collector whose antiquities are under scrutiny to suppress the report through the vehicle of an out-of-court settlement.’

In May 2005, when UCL set up the committee of inquiry, it stated that the committee’s report would ‘provide a model for best practice in dealing with the complex cultural issues that can arise from such situations’. Several archaeologists have expressed their regret that this opportunity to establish due diligence guidelines has been lost: Kathryn Tubb, of the UCL Institute of Archaeology, has already drawn up strict guidelines for the Institute’s own staff and students based on the report’s recommendations but, she says, it was intended that ‘the results of the deliberations were to have informed future policy for the whole of UCL’.

Meanwhile, Science magazine reports that the Iraqi government hopes to go to court to recover the bowls ‘in a matter of weeks’, claiming that they are the property of the State of Iraq, which has had laws in place since 1936 forbidding the export of antiquities except for exhibitions and research. Nevertheless, the Schøyen Collection can still claim title to the bowls under UK law if it can demonstrate that the bowls were bought in good faith.

Exhibition news and reviews

The Royal Academy (RA) has a success on its hands according to the latest visitor figures for the Society’s ‘Making History’ exhibition. Partly this is due to the number of visitors who gain free access by virtue of being a Fellow of our Society, or a Friend of the RA. In terms of free visits, this has been one of the most successful exhibitions the RA has ever mounted, though the Society’s ability to recoup its share of the costs of mounting the exhibition depends on paid-for visits, so the message from the President and Council is that we should all encourage our colleagues, family and friends to visit: there is just one more month to go before the exhibition closes on 2 December.

Further plaudits from the press include a review in Apollo magazine, written by our Fellow Rosemary Sweet, author of Antiquaries: the discovery of the past in eighteenth-century Britain (Hambledon, 2004) and an authority on the development of antiquarianism.

Rosemary reminds us that the Society championed things ‘gothick’ in an age when they were considered barbarous, and that ‘long before the Gothic revival of the nineteenth century, Gothic architecture was an abiding concern of the Society: its members were amongst the first to study the buildings of the Middle Ages with any degree of accuracy … at the time, artists such as John Carter … were disparaged for the dryness of their execution and the absence of picturesque conventions. To modern eyes, their meticulous accuracy has a beauty of its own, and it is no surprise to learn that his drawings of Wells [commissioned by the Society] are still used by cathedral staff. The Society’s concern for historical accuracy and the preservation of medieval architecture ceased to be a quirky eccentricity in the following century, influencing most notably William Morris.’

Rosemary’s review concludes: ‘At a time when there is so much public debate about the value of history and the priorities of preservation, this exhibition is particularly timely: not just for telling us about one of the oldest incorporated societies in Britain, but also for showing us the origins of historical thought, archaeology, architectural history and an agenda for preservation and conservation.’

Beyond these shores, the Society’s exhibition is made the subject of a leading article in Guyana’s principal newspaper, the Stabroek News, in which the Guyanese Government is chastised for not taking better care of the island’s heritage, referring to the exhibition as showing how important history is to the development of a sense of nationhood.

Our Librarian, Bernard Nurse, has also spotted a very entertaining account in the Independent of the press conference that our Fellow David Starkey gave to help promote the exhibition in September. Bernard, who was there, said the article faithfully captures David’s bravura display of erudition and venom … as when, for example, after a pithy account of the founders of antiquarianism (‘John Leland went mad as many antiquaries do’), Dr Starkey moved on to the artefacts of the Society: ‘This is an early portrait of Richard III showing only the slightest sign of deformity, but it shows him fiddling with his wedding ring. Elsewhere, we have a record of his habit of nervously fiddling. As we know from Gordon Brown, this is a bad sign’ (for more in the same vein see ‘Dr Starkey's history lesson’.

Heritage Counts 2007

Presenting Heritage Counts 2007, the annual audit of the state of the historic environment, our Fellow Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said that skills were the key to tackling the main problems currently facing the heritage and outlined those as being: dealing with the most difficult buildings at risk; the erosion of the character of conservation areas; the pressures of housing growth in the south of England; housing market renewal in parts of the north of England; climate change (the theme of next year’s Heritage Counts); and delivering heritage protection reform.

Simon emphasised that the development of craft and professional heritage skills is essential to the implementation of Heritage Protection Reform over the next few years and he announced three commitments from English Heritage to tackle the skills shortage: identifying the needs and providing the necessary training to local authority elected members and staff throughout the Heritage Protection Reform implementation process, in conjunction with heritage sector partners and with local authorities; a new three-year graduate heritage training programme to help create the next generation of heritage professionals; and extending the successful pilot programme of Historic Churches Support Officers.

The launch coincided with one of the Greenwich Foundation’s Heritage Craft Skills Taster Days and guests were able to meet Year 10 BTEC Art and Design students from a local school trying out stone carving, gilding and faux marbling. The workshops are led by professional craftsmen and are intended to encourage students with an interest in art and design to consider careers in the built heritage sector.

For the full national report and the regional summaries, see the Heritage Counts website.

A Secretary of State who speaks our language

The launch of Heritage Counts was a low-key event this year, consisting of a morning press conference and discussion at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in place of the gala dinner of the previous five years. It was also the first Heritage Counts launch not to be addressed by Tessa Jowell: instead, her successor as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport used the occasion to make his first major speech on the historic environment.

The speech was remarkable for the degree to which James Parnell seemed to agree with even the most radical of heritage campaigners; he was specifically critical of those (including fellow ministers, though they were not specifically named) who advocate energy efficiency and housing renewal as reasons for sweeping older buildings away; ‘some will say that's the price we have to pay for progress’, he said, before declaring: ‘Well, I believe they couldn't be more wrong. It’s just not that simple. Yes we need more and better places to live – but that cannot mean clearing away our past. That mistake has been made before and we won’t be making it again.’

He also broke with his predecessor’s often stated view that heritage professionals are out of touch with popular opinion and that our failure to pass the ‘public value test’ would ‘leave heritage as an irrelevance in a successful, diverse and modern Britain’.

Instead, said James Parnell, ‘it is often our task to stand against today’s fashion or market trends … architectural and historic significance is more of a constant … quality is not ephemeral.’

Placing himself firmly within the sector as a supportive minister, instead of outside as a critic, he ended his speech by saying: ‘I look forward to the next five years – much has been done, and there is much still to do. It is a pleasure and a privilege to have the opportunity to work with you all to do this.’

CPRE and the National Trust warn of threat to Green Belt

Shocked that Natural England, the UK’s biodiversity watchdog, should have called last week for a review of the UK’s Green Belt planning polices, the National Trust and CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, both came out strongly this week with counter arguments.

The National Trust’s Chairman, Sir William Proby, used the Trust’s annual general meeting on 3 November 2007 to call on members not to sit back and allow the desecration of the Green Belt or other open spaces by bad planning. ‘Protecting open spaces, not country houses, was now a “top priority”’, he said, arguing that Britain faces an ‘irrevocable’ loss of landscape, heritage and biodiversity as a result of bad planning decisions and a development free for all. Objecting to the idea that those who want to protect precious landscapes and wildlife are selfish ‘Nimbys’, he said: ‘A passionate concern for the local environment is surely every citizen’s right and their views can often be well founded.’

In a interview with The Times, Sir William Proby said: ‘In the planning process I am not sure the value of the spiritual side and the beauty of landscape and its importance on the quality of life rather than the financial gain is taken into account … Development is being pushed through. The process is being driven by narrow economic objectives and once we’ve lost these green spaces they have gone forever and there is no turning back.’

The Trust said that it was prepared to buy up land or development rights on land to save threatened countryside, if necessary, and that it would intervene in planning inquiries and challenge new developments. It has already mounted a determined opposition to plans to expand Stansted airport, which threaten the survival of Hatfield Forest.

At CPRE, Tom Oliver, Head of Rural Policy, called on Natural England to be a stronger advocate of the environment, saying ‘the agency should fight for a strong planning system to keep development within environmental limits and prevent the further industrialisation and fragmentation of our world-renowned countryside’.

CPRE was also able to claim credit this week for persuading the Government to think again about the boundaries of the proposed South Downs National Park. The Planning Inspector’s proposal to exclude a quarter of the original area, including the western Weald, has led to numerous campaigns calling for the Government to stick to the original boundaries. Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Landscape and Rural Affairs, has announced that the weight of objections to the revised boundaries is such that he is reconvening the public inquiry into the boundaries, and that the inquiry will reopen on 12 February 2008.

The ‘Red Lady’ of Paviland has just aged by 4,000 years

New dating techniques developed by Oxford University and British Museum researchers have pinpointed the age of the ‘Red Lady’ burial site in Wales, previously thought to be 25,000 years old, to 29,000 years old. The findings show that ceremonial burials were taking place in western Europe much earlier than researchers had previously believed and that it took place during a warmer interstadial period, rather than a cold spell as previously thought.

The skeleton of the ‘Red Lady’ (actually that of a young male, named after the red ochre covering the bones) is housed in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, having been first discovered and excavated in Wales in 1823 by William Buckland, then Professor of Geology at Oxford University. The burial site lies in Goat’s Hole Cave, Paviland, on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Ivory ‘wands’, bracelets, and periwinkle shells were found near the remains when the site was excavated.

In order to date the bones, Dr Thomas Higham, Deputy Director of Oxford’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, had to overcome the problem of contamination from preservatives applied to the bone in the nineteenth century. New ‘ultrafiltration’ techniques for removing contaminants from bone collagen were applied to a piece of rib and a fragment of collar-bone from the skeleton to allow for more accurate radiocarbon dating.

The new date is the earliest direct date for a human from this time period in this part of the world and sheds new light on human behaviour at the beginning of the Gravettian period of the European Palaeolithic. The ‘Red Lady’ is part of a small group of elaborate burials found as far west as Portugal, and as far east as Moscow whose graves are characterised by the presence of ochre, the decoration of the body or clothing with beads, often manufactured from shells, and the inclusion in the grave of the bones of dangerous herbivores.

Our Fellow Dr Roger Jacobi, Principal Researcher in the Leverhulme Trust–funded Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project and leader of the British Museum teams involved in the project, said the much greater age of the ‘Red Lady’ compared to other burials ‘indicates a much earlier origin for these elaborate inhumations in Western Europe. This raises new questions about the way in which these people spread and lived on the continent’.

The remains of the ‘Red Lady’ will be exhibited at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff, in a new archaeology exhibition, Origins: in search of early Wales, from 8 December 2007.

Mesolithic settlement on Orkney dates from 6820–6660 BC

Excavations at Long Howe on Orkney, partly funded by the Society of Antiquaries and directed by our Fellow Caroline Wickham-Jones, have established that Orkney was inhabited at least as early as 6820–6660 BC, pushing back the dated settlement of Orkney by some 3,000 years. The radiocarbon date was obtained from a charred hazelnut shell recovered in a pocket of soil that had survived beneath the Long Howe burial mound, which itself dates from the Bronze Age. The same context produced numerous stone arrowheads and other tools, and perhaps represents the remains of a small Mesolithic hunting camp that was disturbed by the mound builders.

Although Orkney has plenty of evidence for Mesolithic (pre-farming) settlement in the form of stone tools, this is the first time that a secure date has been attached to this earliest known period of settlement in Scotland.

The excavations at Long Howe are organised by Orkney College, where Naomi Woodward and a team of MA students are hoping to undertake excavations at another site of very early date on Stronsay. British Archaeology magazine reports in the current issue that Naomi’s team found two tanged points – characteristic of the upper Palaeolithic – during fieldwalking in April 2007, on an island that already has a history of Mesolithic discoveries.

These earlier flints, perhaps dating from 8500 BC, support the suggestion that people were visiting the region even when it was ice-bound, perhaps in pursuit of reindeer.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) commits £1.35 million to Scapa Flow

Scapa Flow, the shallow body of water that is sheltered and enclosed by the Orkneys, is to benefit from an HLF award of £1.35 million. The money will be used to safeguard Scapa Flow’s diverse habitats, to protect traditional crafts and skills that are important to Orcadian identity and to record and protect the region’s heritage, which includes the largest concentration of World War II air and sea defences in the British Isles.

Pressure mounts on Government to ratify Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention

A letter published in The Times on 25 October called on the UK Government to demonstrate its commitment to the protection of historic wrecks by signing up to the 2001 Unesco Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. Signed by Fellows Robert Yorke, Chairman, Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee, Mike Heyworth, Director, Council for British Archaeology, George Lambrick, Chairman, Nautical Archaeology Society, and David Gaimster, General Secretary, Society of Antiquaries of London, the letter said:

‘Sir, We must admire the very positive attitude that Spain takes towards protecting its underwater cultural heritage (‘Treasure seekers run the gauntlet over world’s biggest haul of gold’). Spain was prepared to use its warships and its Civil Guard to arrest the Odyssey Explorer, accompany it to Algeciras, and search it for details of the treasure ship known only as the “Black Swan” about which Odyssey Marine Exploration refuses to divulge information.

‘This is just the tip of the iceberg. Very soon Odyssey could be raising reputedly huge treasure from the Merchant Royal, which sank in 1641 approximately 40 miles off Land’s End. Odyssey has been searching for this wreck for over two years. Will the UK Government also mobilise the Royal Navy to protect our underwater cultural heritage?

‘Unfortunately the UK Government has few legal weapons at its disposal to combat Odyssey’s “finders keepers” stance because it has not ratified the 2001 Unesco Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. Interestingly, Spain has already ratified the convention. Unless the UK ratifies this urgently there will be no way of preventing the salvage and sale of historically important cargoes by the treasure hunters.’

The letter served to spark interest in the whole issue of salvage operators and historic wrecks, leading to a question in Parliament raised by Andrew Rosindell (Conservative MP for Romford), asking the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ‘what the Government’s objectives are in the negotiations with Spain on the location and subsequent excavation of the sunken British warship Sussex off the coast of Gibraltar’, which elicited a somewhat evasive answer from Jim Murphy (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office), simply stating that ‘the Ministry of Defence has concluded a partnering agreement with the US company, Odyssey Marine Exploration, for the archaeological excavation and recovery of artefacts from the wreck of the Sussex. The company believes it has located the wreck on the seabed in the Straits of Gibraltar. The next stage of the operation will be the definitive identification of the wreck site. The Government are not currently involved in any negotiations with Spain on this matter.’

Two UK newspapers then published major features on underwater archaeology, highlighting the differences in attitude towards historic wrecks shown by Spain and the UK. Writing in the Independent, journalists Jonathan Brown and Esther Walker said that ministers in Madrid regarded salvage companies seeking sunken treasure as ‘modern pirates’ and quoted Cesar Antonio Molina, the Spanish Culture Minister, as saying: ‘Nobody can come and sack our patrimony, as if on top of that they were doing us a favour. We will follow and persecute them no matter where.’

By contrast, the British Government is accused by campaigners as colluding with salvers, having agreed to a deal splitting the proceeds with Odyssey Marine Exploration if it recovers the war chest of the HMS Sussex, which went down off Gibraltar in 1693 with the equivalent of £250 million in today's money on board.

The Independent quoted our General Secretary David Gaimster, who said: ‘time is running out for the world’s most important wrecks, with the ever-growing fleets of private treasure hunters taking to the seas bristling with the latest in sonar, GPS and remotely operated vehicles. For generations these hugely important sites were safe because they were too far down to be safely reached. But improvements in technology mean they are now quite easily accessible. These irreplaceable cultural resources are now being stripped. They are not being archaeologically recorded but looted for profit with the bullion and other precious metals being melted down or sold to collectors … with the result that they are lost for ever.’

Our Fellow Robert Yorke, Chairman of the Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee, was quoted as saying that ‘organisations such as Odyssey operate with little more than a “veneer of archaeology”. It is very difficult to recover seven tons of coin without destroying the organic material such as the barber surgeon's chest or the musical instruments that we found in the Mary Rose and tell us so much about life at that time. That sort of archaeology is incompatible with a ship that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a day to run and when you are working with shareholders on the Nasdaq.’

In the Guardian’s report, headed ‘Who owns what lies beneath?’, journalist Ian Jack says that ‘Britain’s historic reputation as los piratos makes Britain a popular target [in Spain]. On the other hand, there is no question that Britain has been dealing, and will continue to deal, with the enemy [Odyssey Marine Exploration].’

On a brighter note, Wessex Archaeology, which has established a unit specialising in underwater and coastal archaeology, has launched a new website – appropriately named ‘Splash’, to report on sites that the Wessex team has surveyed, mainly of protected wrecks, properly excavated and reported, showing how it might be done.

Excavations to begin again at the Villa dei Papyri in Herculaneum

Our Fellow Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Director of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, has announced that new excavations will begin at the Villa dei Papyri in Herculaneum funded by a £1.5 million grant from the Packard Humanities Institute and a £2 million-a-year grant from the European Union and the Region of Campania.

Waterlogged conditions at the site mean that it has the potential to yield organic materials, including scrolls from the library of the villa’s owner, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, Julius Caesar's father-in-law. Around 1,800 scrolls have already been discovered, and the hope is that newly discovered areas of the building might contain further material, including lost works by ancient Greek and Roman authors.

Conservation of the known structures and excavation of new areas has been hampered by the difficulty of obtaining permission from landowners to work at the huge site, part of which lies under the modern town hall, but the collapse of two palazzi last year convinced the residents that the site was not safe and needed consolidation.

Professor Wallace-Hadrill said that next year work would also begin on excavating the basilica, the great hall housing Herculaneum’s legal and administrative centre, which lies beneath wasteland that was covered until recently by dilapidated modern housing. The local authorities have since bought and demolished some of the buildings.

A Blue Plaque for Sir Nikolaus

At 2pm on 5 November 2007, a Blue Plaque will be unveiled at 2 Wildwood Terrace, Hampstead, London NW3, to commemorate the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902–83), who lived at this address from 1936 until his death. The house remains in the ownership of the Pevsner family. Pevsner’s reputation and influence endures through the Pevsner Architectural Guides, to which many of our Fellows have contributed as editors, researchers and writers. Revised and expanded to include Scotland, Wales and Ireland, they are widely regarded as a unique achievement, and an authoritative source for information on the most significant buildings and monuments of every parish in the UK and Ireland.

A Festchrift for Sir Barry

Salon’s editor is very grateful to Fellow Andrew Fitzpatrick for this account of the party held on 2 November 2007 to mark the end of the current stage in the career of our Fellow, Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, who will shortly ‘retire’ as Professor of European Archaeology at Oxford.

‘From schoolboy celebrity excavator at Fishbourne to distinguished don, from TV star to President of our Society, and from field archaeologist to Knight of the Realm, the range of Barry Cunliffe’s activities is immense, and on Friday, in the elegant surroundings of the Ashmolean Museum, a glittering array of archaeological talent gathered from across the land to celebrate Barry’s own remarkable archaeological career.

‘In opening the more formal proceedings of a warm and happy evening, our Fellow Chris Gosden, who succeeds Barry Cunliffe in the post of Professor of European Archaeology, wryly observed that such occasions often had a melancholy air – those giving the eulogies were often younger and already more successful. On this occasion, Chris Gosden modestly observed, there was no danger of that!

‘Like many Fellows, Chris has experienced that humble feeling that comes with the slow realisation that the long, very long, shelf of books behind Barry Cunliffe’s desk have all been written by the one author. Chris added that perhaps less obvious, outside Oxford, was the way in which Barry Cunliffe the teacher had nurtured and brought together young talent in a quite remarkable way.

‘Welcoming the party, Christopher Brown, Director of the Ashmolean, and one of the many whose first archaeological experience was working at Fishbourne, reminded everyone of Barry Cunliffe’s service to the wider heritage community. As well as the Board of Visitors for the Ashmolean, English Heritage, the Council for British Archaeology, the British Museum and our own Society, many more organisations have benefited from Barry Cunliffe’s diplomacy and expertise.

‘Our Fellow Professor Mike Fulford, one of Barry Cunliffe’s first intake of students at Southampton, compared the task of trying to describe this incredible contribution to archaeology with the Monty Pythonesque task of ‘Summarising Proust in Two Minutes’. Barry Cunliffe’s fieldwork and writing have stretched from his home county of Hampshire, and the famous Danebury and Portchester excavations, to the Atlantic seaboard and the Mediterranean.

‘In presenting the Festschift, which miraculously had been kept secret, Mike Fulford said that it was only possible to reflect a tiny sample of Barry Cunliffe’s interests in Communities and Connections: essays in honour of Barry Cunliffe, which has been edited by Barry’s colleagues at the Oxford Institute of Archaeology and published by Oxford University Press. ‘Professor Fulford said that all the contributors had been daunted by the certain knowledge that had the recipient turned his hand to their chosen topic, the paper would have been written within a weekend. Worse still, it was anticipated that the entire collection was likely to be read within one evening!

‘Barry Cunliffe’s self discipline and application is a thing of legend. It emerged that in order to get even a Friday evening slot in his diary, the party had to be disguised as a dinner for the Trustees of the British Museum. In forgiving and thanking his colleagues and staff for this subterfuge, he recalled how, on his first week at Oxford, he had been accosted in the street and told that archaeology wasn’t taken seriously in the university. On enquiring why, the reply was “because archaeologists appear on TV”.

‘Barry Cunliffe’s view that it would take five years to establish an undergraduate course at Oxford had been something of an underestimate. It had taken even him twenty years but, as a result of a raft of changes that he had helped introduce in the mid-1980s, he felt that archaeology was now in a strong position and would prosper under Chris Gosden’s guidance. The consoling thought offered to the current incumbent was that it didn’t come with a thirty-five-year sentence.

‘Reflecting on what he described as the immense privilege of working at Oxford, Barry Cunliffe said that, along with many of his colleagues, one of the things that he loved most at Oxford was leaving it so that there was the fun of coming back. In this case leaving Oxford often means going digging. His own introductions at meetings are often “Barry Cunliffe, University of Oxford, dirt archaeologist”.

‘The Cunliffe dig teams are formidable. Like the man they are efficient, well organised and loyal. They know their man, and some of his idiosyncratic habits. For example,diggers are very possessive of their excavation kit. Even the recognition of the value of having someone who is always at the forefront of the excavation team cannot offset the angst caused when that same person regularly riffles through the site supervisor’s dig bag and heads off across site to plan the next stage of work with precisely the tool they were just about to use. Graham Barton, the Danebury supervisor supremo, said that the dig teams had finally found the multi-purpose tool to cure this niggle: they presented Barry Cunliffe with a sword – the perfect piece of dig kit for an archaeological knight!

‘On Cunliffe excavations, it is sign of recognition when you are allowed to touch the Green A4 Site Books. When you are allowed to write in them, you know you really have arrived. At the buffet dinner that followed the party came the counterpart to the Festschift, the presentation of a Green Book, secretly and carefully compiled and full of personal reminiscences, sketches and photographs from the unsung heroes of those many fieldwork campaigns.

‘There is an apocryphal story of a young Barry Cunliffe writing to Stuart Piggott in Edinburgh with the memorable line: ‘Now that term has started, I find myself with a little more time’. As the partygoers left the Ashmolean, they reflected on the thought that term was coming to a close for the current stage of Barry’s career, and wondered what we should expect next.’

News of Fellows

Following the recent death of our late Fellow Robina McNeil, our Fellow Norman Redhead has been appointed as County Archaeologist for Greater Manchester and Director of the Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit.

Our Fellow Steve Hobbs points out that with the election on 11 October 2007 of Matthew Slocombe, architectural historian and Deputy Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, to the Fellowship, the Society now has its first ‘mother and son’. Our Fellow Pamela Slocombe, author of books on medieval town houses, farmhouses and cottages published by the Wiltshire Buildings Record, beat Matthew to the Fellowship by eighteen months, having been elected on 26 January 2006. The Society already has a number of father / son Fellows (Claud and John Blair, Hector and Richard Catling), a few brothers (Tom and Mark Hassall) and several husbands and wives (not to mention a few Fellows who were once married to each other, and Fellows who were married to one Fellow but are now married to another) but Steve believes this might be a unique mother and son – if he is wrong, other Fellows will soon tell us!

Tours of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo

Our Fellow Richard Barber writes to say that Fellows interested in the art of Norman Sicily ‘should take advantage of the restoration programme at the Cappella Palatina in Palermo, and of the extraordinary opportunity it offers to see the ceiling and mosaics at close quarters. The tour of the restoration area allows access to the ceiling, which has always been difficult to see from ground level, and has now largely been cleaned. From the scaffold, it is possible to examine the work of the Sicilian Arab painters in detail. Likewise, the apse mosaics can be seen at close quarters (from 2 metres), as well as those in the dome; the different periods of the work are very easily distinguished, and the detail is fascinating. Tours can be booked online; follow the link to “Biglietteria” and then to “Cantiere di restauro”. A good English-speaking guide is available: maximum group is eleven people. Tours officially end on 30 November 2007, but as the restoration is behind schedule, they may continue into next year.’

Obituaries

Our Fellow Norman Hammond reports that Molly Myers, Mortimer Wheeler’s long-time secretary at the British Academy and then his hostess at her home for the last few years of his life, has died. ‘Many Fellows must remember her as the kind presence in REMW's outer office’, writes Norman, ‘and it would be nice if any of them knew enough for a brief obituary notice for Salon

Following the news in the last issue of Salon that our Fellow Joan Radcliffe Clarke died on 13 October 2007, our Fellow Christopher Young (Joan’s nephew) has provided this account of her life.

‘Joan Kirk was born on 11 February 1924, the second daughter of Dr Kenneth Kirk, subsequently Bishop of Oxford from 1937 to 1954. Joan was brought up in Oxford, living first in Norham Road, then in Christ Church and finally on Boars Hill. She was educated at the Dragon School which at that time admitted sisters of existing boy pupils. Her father persuaded the headmaster to take Joan and her two sisters on the promise that boys would follow. Subsequently she went with her sisters to Queen Margaret’s School, Scarborough, which was evacuated at the outset of World War II to Castle Howard. Joan was at Castle Howard when it was severely damaged by fire in 1940, losing all her possessions at the school and returning home dressed entirely in borrowed clothes.

‘Like many who have become archaeologists, she could not remember a time when archaeology was not a major interest. At Oxford she did a two-year War degree in classics as a member of the Society of Home Students (now St Anne’s College). During this time she was involved in excavations carried out by Richard Atkinson and by the University Archaeological Society. She dug, for example, on a barrow at Cassington, west of Oxford. Following university she served in the WRNS at Bletchley Park. In 1946, she left the WRNS to do a Social Services Diploma at Oxford. The diploma was never completed since in 1947 she was recruited by Donald Harden, Fellow, to be an Assistant Keeper in the Department of Antiquities of the Ashmolean Museum. Her work focused on the Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon collections

‘In those days, two decades before the emergence of professional units, the archaeological role of the Ashmolean Museum was very different to now. As well as supporting excavations overseas, the Museum was also very involved in the Upper Thames valley. Apart from some excavations on defence sites such as airfields during the war, directed by external excavators commissioned by the Office of Works, excavation on threatened sites was carried out by the Museum, sometimes with government support, and the Oxford University Archaeological Society. During the late 1940s, these were mainly on gravel pits, notably directed by Richard Atkinson at Dorchester-on-Thames and at Cassington. In the early 1950s the focus began to move into Oxford also.

‘Joan was actively involved in field work in the Oxford region, both in the field and working on finds. She dug on a number of sites, including Dorchester, Campsfield (in advance of the dualling of the A44 in 1949) and in Cornmarket in Oxford. It is clear too that she also salvaged finds from many sites (such as the first discoveries of the Roman kiln site at the Churchill Hospital, Headington, which many years later was dug by the present writer) when they were discovered by chance. Her first substantial publication (in 1949) was of surface finds from the Romano-Celtic temple site at Woodeaton, collected over many years by various fieldwalkers. In 1952, with Richard Goodchild she co-directed the first excavation of the site. The results of this excavation were published with commendable speed.

‘After the publication of the Woodeaton surface finds in 1949, her work, normally in conjunction with a co-author, appeared regularly in Oxoniensia until she moved away from Oxford in 1956. Apart from the regular updates on archaeological discoveries in the “News” and “Notes” sections of the journal, her work focused on Romano-British finds, including the pottery industry of the area, the Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of the Upper Thames valley, and on excavations in which she had been involved. She also worked outside the region, being responsible at Chedworth Roman villa in the early 1950s for the display of the site museum and for the site guidebook. She excavated in Canterbury in 1947 under the direction of Sheppard Frere, and at Sabratha in 1948 and Jericho in 1953 for Kathleen Kenyon.

‘Joan was elected a Fellow of the Society on 10 January 1952 when still only in her late 20s. Donald Harden is said to have advised her that it was better to be put forward early before she had had time to upset people. In 1956 she married David Tyrwhitt-Drake Clarke, then Keeper of Antiquities at Leicester Museum, having first met him when they were both digging in Canterbury in 1947. They moved to Colchester in 1963 when he became Curator of the Colchester and Essex Museum.

‘This meant leaving the Ashmolean and like many women of her time she gave up full-time employment in order to focus on her family. Her loss to archaeology was more than made up by her support for David and by bringing up a family of four lively and successful children, though none of them has followed their parents into archaeology. In any case, she retained a keen interest in archaeology and contributed to educational works such as the book on Camulodunum (co-authored with her husband) in the educational series on Roman towns developed by Ginn and Company in the early 1970s. She was also a great encourager of archaeological interest in the young, including the present writer to whom she gave much support while warning him of the difficulties of an archaeological career.

‘Following David’s retirement from the Colchester and Essex Museum in 1988, they moved back to Oxfordshire, settling at Combe near Woodstock in 1990. For the rest of her life, she maintained a strong interest in things archaeological, being much involved with the Oxford Architectural and Historical Society as well being keenly interested in local fieldwork.’

Our Fellow Peter Lewis Shinnie, a pioneer of African archaeology, died on 9 July 2007. The following obituary, written by our Fellow Peter Clark, appeared in the Guardian on 30 October 2007.

‘Professor Peter Shinnie, who has died aged 92, was one of the founders of African archaeology. His professional career spanned 70 years, during which time he was an RAF pilot and intelligence officer, a member of the Communist and Scottish National parties, an administrator, an inspiring – if demanding – teacher, a pioneering researcher and a gifted writer.

‘Born in London, the son of an Aberdonian doctor, he went to Westminster School and on to Christ Church, Oxford, to read Egyptology. His first exposure to archaeology was at Maiden Castle, Dorset, with Mortimer Wheeler, as one of a number of gifted apprentice archaeologists – others including our late Fellows Stuart Piggott and J Desmond Clark, as well as his contemporaries Beatrice de Cardi, FSA, and Rachel Maxwell-Hyslop, FSA.

‘At Oxford, he learned to fly with the university air squadron and was active in the university Communist club, whose members then included Denis Healey and Iris Murdoch. His intense undergraduate life – he also learnt modern Greek – resulted in a third-class degree, but he stayed on at Oxford as a £3 a week Communist Party organiser, and a temporary assistant at the Ashmolean Museum. He joined the RAF when war broke out, flying bombers, then serving in intelligence on air photography interpretation and finally in the battle for Athens, where he was tempted to stay on after the war.

‘With peace he returned to the Ashmolean and spent a season working with Leonard Woolley on the Bronze Age site at Tell el Atshana in Turkey, near the Syrian border. This gave him his first exposure to Arabic and helped him secure his first permanent job as Assistant Commissioner for Archaeology in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. His boss was A J Arkell, an authority on prehistoric Sudan. In the next ten years, Shinnie explored Nubian studies and started his work on Meroe, the literate civilisation that scattered the Nile valley with pyramids and other impressive masonry. He succeeded Arkell as commissioner, set up the antiquities museum in Khartoum, founded the journal Kush, and was punctilious in writing up surveys and digs.

‘With the Sudanisation of senior posts, Shinnie had to move on. He was the archaeologist on the Oxford Exploration Society’s 1955 survey of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa, and served as Director of Antiquities in Uganda for two years. In 1958, he was appointed Professor of Archaeology at the university in newly independent Ghana, succeeding A W Lawrence, T E’s brother.

‘For almost half a century, Ghana remained a major focus of Shinnie's interests. His first marriage (to Margaret, mother of their three children, fellow archaeologist and his collaborator in the Sudan) ended in divorce and his second wife, Ama, was an Asante from Kumasi, so the Shinnies spent part of most years there for the rest of his life. He surveyed capitals of the medieval states of west Africa and researched the languages and cultures of northern Ghana.

‘His interests in the Nile Valley were sustained. From 1965 he spent the first of eleven seasons at Meroe and returned, more permanently, to be Professor of Archaeology at the University of Khartoum in 1966. His best-known work, Meroe, in the ‘Ancient Peoples and Places’ series, was published in 1967, but the next decade allowed Shinnie to place Meroe into the broader context of ancient Africa.

‘In both Ghana and Sudan, Shinnie trained a generation of African archaeologists and contributed to a continental approach to Africa's history and archaeology. His intellectual energies were prodigious and he was interested, not just in the buildings and the artefacts of an elite, but in the whole civilisation. Plunged into a senior post in the Sudan he acquired skills as an inspiring and imaginative manager. For Africans his work placed the blip of European colonialism into a wider context.

‘Shinnie left Sudan in 1970 and moved to Canada, being appointed to a chair at the University of Calgary. The Canada Council was generous in supporting his work, and during the next twenty to thirty years he took teams of Canadians and Americans to Ghana and Sudan. His last major field project was to combine archaeology with the study of oral traditions and build up a picture of the early Asante state, from the ninth century AD onwards.

‘Peter was always delightful company, mentally curious and alert to the end, enjoying conversation, gossip, literature and wine. His early left-wing passions mellowed to a broad liberal humanism.’

Lectures, conferences, study days and seminars

The Association for the History of Glass will hold a study day on ‘Glass in Architecture’ at the Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, on Thursday 22 November 2007 from 10am to 4.30pm, with papers on glass in Roman buildings, in the early medieval church at San Vincenzo, in the Byzantine Church in Westminster Abbey as post-medieval window glass, in mirrors, and in glass tile and opus sectile memorials. If you would like to attend, please send your full contact details, a stamped, addressed envelope and a cheque for £25 (non-members), £20 (AHG members), or £10 (students), payable to The Association for the History of Glass Ltd, to David Crossley, 5 Canterbury Crescent, Sheffield S10 3RW. Participants who normally live outside the UK may pay upon arrival at the venue in UK sterling.

Maia Mania, eminent Tbilisi architectural historian and author, will give an illustrated talk on Tuesday 6 November 2007 on Tbilisi's architectural heritage, from medieval through Art Nouveau to Stalinesque, touching on the current state of heritage buildings in the Georgian capital and the threats to their integrity. The lecture is at 6.30pm at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London EC1 (Farringdon tube station), and Georgian wines will be served at a cash bar after the talk. Please inform the British Georgian Society if you wish to attend; entry, payable by cash or cheque at the door, is £5 for British Georgian Society members, £7 for non-members.

The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum will host an afternoon of papers to complement the current National Gallery exhibition on the art of Renaissance Siena from 2pm to 6pm on Monday 19 November 2007 in Research Forum South Room, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2. Four leading scholars – including Luke Syson, curator of the exhibition, and two contributors to the catalogue – will discuss the extent to which the art and architecture of Siena drew on classical antiquity and on the more recent, medieval past, and whether these two sources were consciously chosen and clearly distinguishable. Free admission, and open to all.

‘The Archaeology of Post-Medieval Religion’: call for papers

The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology and the Society for Church Archaeology will host this joint conference in Norwich on 12 to 14 September 2008. Proposals are sought for 20-minute papers dealing with any aspect of the archaeology of religious institutions, communities and identities in Britain in the period 1580 to 1900. Themes and issues of particular interest are: the practice of Anglican religion in urban and rural communities, in different countries and regions, in various types of religious institution; the impact of theological and political debates on the physical context of religious life, such as between Arminianism and Puritanism in the seventeenth century; the emergence, spread and distinctive identities of non-conformist communities, in landscapes, buildings, monuments and burial practices; the activities and identities of independent and non-Protestant religious groups, and the development of religious pluralism; post-medieval burial practices and strategies of commemoration; and the legacy of folk beliefs, ritual practices and witchcraft in this period.

Please send abstracts of around 300 words to Dr Chris King by the end of December 2007. Papers may be considered for publication in the journal of one or other of the two societies, subject to refereeing.

Vacancies

Society of Antiquaries of London, Development Officer
£25,951 to £31,228 (depending on experience), closing date 23 November 2007

You will be responsible for supporting the General Secretary and the Development Campaign Working Group in launching and delivering the Society’s Tercentenary Development Campaign over the next three years, launching in summer 2008. You will need a proven track record in fundraising (minimum of 2 years), with demonstrable experience of running fundraising events, making funding applications and undertaking prospect research.

To obtain a full job description, see the Society’s website.

Church of England, Director: Cathedral and Church Buildings
‘Attractive’ salary, closing date 19 November 2007

The job involves leading the Archbishop’s Council’s Cathedral and Buildings Team (15 people), serving as Secretary to the Cathedral Fabrics Commission and Council for the Care of Churches, acting as a champion of cathedrals and churches as part of the national heritage and promoting best practice in the use, maintenance and conservation of church buildings. Candidates must have a personal commitment to the Christian faith.

Further information from the Prospect-us website, quoting ref: C2216-92-1/N.

Council for British Archaeology, Project Officers (2) to work on Engaging with the Historic Environment project, closing date 19 November 2007
Funded by English Heritage, the aims of the Engaging with the Historic Environment project are to enable more people, from more diverse backgrounds, to gain an understanding of archaeology through formal education, to demonstrate the wider social value of archaeology to educational policy makers and organisations and to secure multiple entry points for engagement with archaeology as part of lifelong learning.

Project Officer to work on Key Stage 3 and AS/A level Archaeology
Salary £19,868 to £24,214 based on experience; 24-month post from January 2008

The main duties and responsibilities are to carry out a survey of teachers' use of archaeology at Key Stage 3, analyse the results and write a report based on these; to develop guidance to support the use of archaeology at Key Stage 3; to carry out research into the take up of AS / A-level archaeology in schools and colleges by young people and adults; to write up the results and undertake a marketing campaign to increase the take up of AS / A-level archaeology, in co-ordination with the AQA awarding body; and to develop a programme of guidance and support for new tutors of AS / A-level archaeology in co-ordination with the AQA awarding body.

Project Officer to work on adult continuing education
Salary £19,868 to £24,214 based on experience; 17-month post from January 2008

The main duties and responsibilities are to compile and maintain a database of all part-time courses in archaeology; to carry out research into the provision of archaeology in continuing education, analyse the results and write up a report showing the contribution these courses make to supporting the voluntary sector in archaeology; to carry out a campaign of advocacy aimed at saving, maintaining or increasing the provision of archaeology in continuing education to meet the needs of volunteers; to develop and maintain liaison with other relevant bodies concerned with education and the historic environment; and to support the Standing Conference for Archaeology in Continuing Education and service their meetings.

Further details of both posts are available by emailing the CBA.