Salon Archive

Issue: 182

Forthcoming meetings

Tea is served from 4.15pm, and the chair will be taken promptly at 5pm. Non-Fellows are welcome to attend as a guest of a Fellow. Please contact the Society if you need help in finding a Fellow to act as your host.

21 February 2008: Tercentenary Festival Lecture: The Origins of Europe, by Eric Fernie, CBE, FSA, with an introduction by Neil MacGregor, FSA; to be held in Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, to be followed by a reception in the Cambridge University Museum of Classical Archaeology.

The search for the origins of Europe has produced many theories ranging from prehistory to the Renaissance. This lecture will examine the evidence for these claims, investigating sources in politics, economics, technology and architecture.

Fellows’ tickets may be booked by contacting the Society; tickets for guests and members of the public can be booked on line.

28 February 2008: Ballot with exhibits. Jeremy Montagu, FSA, author of the recently published Origins and Development of Musical Instruments, will exhibit two ancient pottery conch trumpets – one from Mochica (northern Peru) and the other from Thailand – and will discuss ‘Pottery skeuomorphs of conch trumpets in antiquity, east and west’. Geoff Egan, FSA, will exhibit a selection of mid-seventeenth-century glass beads found during a recent Museum of London Archaeology Service excavation in Hammersmith and discuss the transfer of glass-making skills from Venice through Antwerp and Amsterdam to London, and the possibility that the beads might have been made in connection with the African slave trade or early colonial settlement in America.

Details of candidates for the 28 February ballot can be found on the Society's 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.

6 March 2008: Archaeology and wine. Six Fellows will explore the connections between wine and the archaeology or historic landscapes of France, Switzerland and Portugal. After the meeting, samples of some of the wines discussed in the meeting will be available for tasting in the Council Room under the guidance of wine expert Jamie Waugh from Fortnum & Mason, who are generously sponsoring this event. Tickets cost £15 and are available from the Society.

The speakers and their topics are as follows: Ian Ralston, FSA: Wine in the Iron Age: the Bituriges cubi of Berry; John Collis, FSA: From import to export: wine consumption in the Auvergne; Peter Fowler, FSA: Wine on the rocks: Pico, Portugal; Christopher Catling, FSA: Madeira: an uncharted historic landscape; Jason Wood: Filling buckets, emptying bottles: in the Garden of France; Henry Cleere, FSA: Viticulture between the Alps and Lake Geneva: Lavaux, Switzerland.

Women in the Heritage Day, 4 April 2008

As part of its Tercentenary Festival, the Society will celebrate the achievements of Women in the Heritage with a colloquium at Burlington House on 4 April 2008, from 9.30am to 4.30pm, followed by a wine reception. Among the speakers (and subjects) are Professor Jane Sayers, FSA (on Rose Graham), Lydia Carr (on Tessa Verney Wheeler), Dr Pamela Jane Smith, FSA (on Dorothy Garrod), Dr Christine Finn, FSA (on Jacquetta Hawkes), Santina Levey, FSA, and Jenny Tiramanie (on Janet Arnold), Dr Kate Tiller, FSA (on mentors and models), and Dr Kay Prag, FSA (on Dame Kathleen Kenyon). For the day’s programme in full, see the News & Events page of the Society’s website.

Professor Rosemary Cramp, CBE, HonVPSA, who will chair the day, says: ‘I am so looking forward to seeing as many as possible of you there; it should be a great reunion’.

The day will begin with a photocall at 10am in the Burlington House Courtyard which will be attended by The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, MBE, MP, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism.

If you would like to take part, tickets costing £10, to cover the cost of lunch and the wine reception, are available from the Society. Do book early, as this is likely to be a popular event and the number of tickets is limited by the amount of seating space available in the meeting room. You are welcome to turn up at 9.45am if you would like to be in the photograph, but do not wish to take part in the colloquium – Jayne Phenton, the Society’s Communications Manager, says she hopes for 300 Fellows, one for each year of the Society’s existence.

A page will be set up for the event on the Society’s website and the Society would be grateful for any thoughts, memories, anecdotes and photographs relating to the theme of Women in the Heritage, especially personal stories of your involvement in the heritage, tributes to women whose work deserves to be better known or to inspiring teachers and mentors, or thoughts on why you value Fellowship of the Society. Please send any contributions to Christopher Catling, the website manager (or by post to Christopher Catling, Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE).

Advance notice of future events

Further information will be forthcoming in due course, but you might wish to note the following events in your diary for later this year: on Friday 16 May the Society will host an International Tercentenary Colloquium to explore the role of independent national learned societies working in the cultural heritage across Europe, to examine the challenges we face and to identify opportunities for collaboration. Then, on 4 and 5 July, the Society will host a Tercentenary Research Symposium on the Westminster Abbey Chapter House: its history, architecture and context.

On Friday 4 July papers will be given on the history, architecture and uses of the Chapter House and Pyx Chamber, by Jeremy Ashbee, Steven Brindle, David Carpenter, Elizabeth Hallam-Smith, Barbara Harvey, Warwick Rodwell, Tim Tatton-Brown and Christopher Wilson. On Saturday 5 July, papers focusing on the sculpture, wall paintings, tile pavements, glazing, doors and timber chests will be given by Paul Binski, Martin Bridge, Sarah Brown, Helen Howard, Laurence Keen, Dan Miles and Pamela Tudor-Craig. There will be visits to the Chapter House and a reception.

'Getting to know the Society': introductory tours

This spring the Society will be hosting two tours of Burlington House for recently elected Fellows (or indeed, any Fellow who feels they would like to know more of the work of the Society). Each tour will include an introductory tour of the Burlington House apartments by David Gaimster, the General Secretary, with an overview of the history of the Society and its Fellows over 300 years, a tour of the Society’s library, and the services it offers Fellows, by Heather Rowland, the Head of Library and Collections, and a tour of the Society’s pictures and museum collection by Julia Steele, the Collections Officer.

Tours will take place on Tuesday 15 April and Tuesday 24 June, starting at 11am (coffee from 10.30am). Tours last one-and-a-half hours and will be followed, for those who wish it, by a light sandwich lunch, for which a charge of £5 will be made. Numbers are limited to twenty-five Fellows per tour. Please contact the Society to book a place.

Meeting report: The Archaeology of the Sevso Treasure

The Society welcomed MPs and peers to the Annual All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group Lecture on 14 February 2008 to hear Fellow and Hungarian archaeologist Dr Zsolt Visy, an expert in the Roman archaeology of central Europe, examine the evidence for the provenance of the so-called Sevso Treasure, which includes some of the finest silver plates and ewers to have come down to us from the late Roman period.

The name derives from the inscription on one of the large dishes (Hec Sevso tibi durent per saecula multa; Posteris ut prosint vascula digna tuis – ‘May these, O Sevso, be yours for many ages; Small vessels fit to serve your offspring worthily’). The actual find spot is not known, but Dr Visy argued from iconographic evidence that most of the items in the hoard were manufactured in the mid-fourth century, that Sevso might have been the owner of one of the very large villa estates located around the shores of Lake Balaton, and that their concealment might have coincided with the Quadian–Sarmatian invasion of AD 374, or the early fifth-century raids on Pannonia by Radagaisus.

In the subsequent discussion, Fellows thanked the speaker for this first public summary of the archaeological evidence for the Sevso Treasure’s provenance and expressed the hope that access would be allowed by the owner, the Marquess of Northampton, so that scholars could study the finds in more detail and clarify the outstanding archaeological questions.

Reflections on a busy weekend at the British Museum

If this issue of Salon is slightly thinner than usual, it is because Salon’s editor spent last weekend deep in the dark bowels of the British Museum helping to run the ‘Archaeology 2008’ festival of archaeology. Overhead the museum buzzed with Chinese New Year activities that went on until midnight (yes, this is the same museum that ten years ago would have started herding visitors towards the exits at 4.30pm so that the museum could shut promptly on the dot of 5pm). While Damien Albarn’s band, Gorillaz, played out the Year of the Monkey in the Great Court, people queued round the block in Tutankhamun-like droves to see the terracotta warriors exhibition (our Fellow Neil McGregor announced over the same weekend that all tickets for this exhibition have now been sold, apart from the 500 that are reserved for sale on each day, despite extending the exhibition open hours until midnight for every day until the exhibition closes).

Downstairs, meanwhile, people were literally fighting to get in (yes, in not out) of a seminar on Roman Britain. Admittedly that was because the organisers of ‘Archaeology 2008’ had miscalculated the relative popularity of Roman Britain (put on in the smaller of the two lecture theatres) and the Neolithic (in the large theatre) – we will know better in future and will never again underestimate the appeal of the Romans! But a more important point was that the festival (sponsored by Current Archaeology magazine and the Portable Antiquities Scheme) attracted a capacity audience of 450 people from all over Britain, 99 per cent of whom, when asked, said that they regarded themselves as ‘amateurs’ or people interested in the subject, not paid professionals.

All in all, there can be no clearer evidence of the popularity of archaeology (and cognate subjects) when it is presented in an accessible way (as it was over last weekend, with scores of Fellows bringing to life such apparently difficult subjects as Bayesian statistics and early Holocene landscape evolution with humour, narrative skill and polished stagecraft, not to mention some excellent visuals).

What we missed, however, were the young participants (under thirty) despite the offer of free tickets to students, and Tim Taylor, Director of ‘Time Team’, threw down the gauntlet during the session on ‘Archaeology in the Media’ by asking the assembled festival goers ‘where is the Jamie Oliver of archaeology – someone who can make sixteen-year-olds care about the destruction of the historic landscape in the way that Jamie has made them care about the welfare of chickens?’.

Put another way, as was pointed out later in the same week, at an IFA seminar on ‘Convergence in the Historic Environment’ held at the British Academy, there is a looming skills gap in the heritage because many current practitioners are within a decade of retirement, and the number of students applying to read archaeology and related subjects at university is falling.

That is why we must not only welcome the announcement last week by the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, that the Government is working towards an entitlement of five hours a week of engagement with high-quality cultural activities in school for all students, but we must also be sure that this initiative is not monopolised (as it already threatens to be) by drama, dance, music, arts and crafts and creative writing, valuable as all of these activities undoubtedly are.

Most young people think they live in year zero: nothing that happened in previous eras matters a jot to them. If this initiative comes off (and John Humphries, interviewing Andy Burnham on the ‘Today’ programme last week, dismissed the whole idea as a fantasy without proper funding) we must be part of it and we must make researching and discovering the past as exciting and as relevant to today’s generation of young people as it was thirty or more years ago to all of us, and to all of those people who attended the 'Archaeology 2008' festival.

Threat to Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery in Bangor

Fellow Frances Lynch writes on behalf of the Friends of Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery in Bangor to highlight the threat to the future of the oldest general museum in North Wales. The running costs of the Museum and Gallery have been paid by Gwynedd Council since 1991, although the building and the very considerable collections remained the property of the university. Gwynedd Council has now decided that it can no longer afford to provide this support so the Friends of Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery have stepped in with an offer of £90,000 to pay half the running costs, if the university will fund the £45,000 needed for staff. A decision will be taken by the university in April; meanwhile, the Friends are lobbying hard and would be grateful to anyone for their help in this campaign: letters of support should be addressed to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Merfyn Jones, Bangor University, Bangor Gwynedd LL57 2DG, telling him of your concern about the fate of an important museum collection and about the opportunities which you know the possession of such a resource can bring to a seat of learning.

Frances adds that the Bangor museum collection was begun in 1884 as a teaching collection for the new university. ‘It contains a very varied collection of local antiquities, a fine selection of Welsh furniture, second only to that in St Fagans, and an important series of textiles collected in the nineteenth century, as well as much intriguing and surprising material relating to local social history. The collection is still growing because material excavated by university staff and by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust has been deposited and exhibited there. It houses a particularly fine collection of Bronze Age pottery and is due to receive the very fascinating Late Neolithic pottery recently excavated from Llandegai; not surprisingly it has an important collection of stone axes and material from the local copper mines and is home to the longest obituary notice from post-Roman Britain. It also has the very famous Segontium sword, the proto-type of all Roman re-enactment swords, which was given to the university as a birthday present in 1884.’

Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) consultation

Many heritage projects have benefited from ALSF funding since the scheme was introduced in April 2002, initially as a two-year pilot scheme, to provide funds for community projects in areas affected by the extraction of aggregates. Though funded through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), funds are distributed by a range of bodies, including English Heritage and Natural England, which means that sums are ring-fenced for archaeological projects, such as the conservation and repair of locally significant monuments and artefacts, and fieldwork, research and interpretation work at quarry sites.

Whether that situation continues will depend on the results of a consultation currently being undertaken by DEFRA with the aim of reviewing the Fund’s aims, objectives and activities, who should deliver them and how the funding should be allocated from April 2008 to March 2011. Organisations with an interest in the heritage are strongly encouraged to speak out for the value of ALSF-funded community projects by taking part in the consultation (see the DEFRA website, which closes on 29 April 2008.

Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Delivery Plan 2008–11

The good news for academic Fellows is that heritage features large in the ‘strategic initiatives’ for funding future research recently announced by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

From a situation three years ago when heritage research had to pretend to be something else to get funding, the AHRC now recognises that the heritage community is quite good at interpreting the complexities of contemporary life through its ‘unique knowledge and skills’ and its ‘analyses of history, languages and literature’. Our insights are ‘central to developing an innovative economy; to understanding religious and ethnic identities and conflict; maintaining and utilising our cultural heritage; providing historical and cultural perspectives on environmental change; and in prompting fresh and imaginative ways to include all citizens, fully into national life’. As a result, heritage now forms one of the major themes of the research programmes that the AHRC Intends to fund over the next three years (for full details, see the Delivery Plan 2008–11 on the AHRC website.

The bad news is the worrying proposal in the same Delivery Plan, to target a significant proportion of AHRC funding at a select group of universities, through Block Grant Partnerships, and to move the percentage of postgraduate funding for the AHRC’s own favoured strategic themes ‘from a low base to some 50 per cent’.

In its leader comment on 31 January 2008, the Times Higher Educational Supplement expressed deep misgivings and accused the AHRC of Soviet style command management, with less money for ‘curiosity based research’ that falls outside the AHRC’s defined priority areas. The plans also raise the spectre of a division of universities into those that teach, and those that also do research, and ignoring the vital continuum between primary research and good teaching.

Feedback

Our Fellow Colin Harrison has written to comment further on the pre-Raphaelite paintings given to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum in lieu of death duties from the state of Miss Preston. ‘The late Jean Preston was’, Colin says, ‘the daughter of the distinguished collector Kerrison Preston, and she inherited most of her pictures (including the Burne-Jones and Rossetti) from him. There is absolutely no question that she knew what she had, contrary to the impression given in recent newspaper articles; indeed, she discussed the possibility of bequeathing several works to the Ashmolean. The Fra Angelicos are a different question: all credit to Fellow Michael Liversidge for identifying them.’

Our Fellow John Blatchly spotted some errors in the Geoffrey Martin obituary in the last issue, which should have referred to the Suffolk Records (plural) Society and should have described him as a co-founder of the Society, and editor of one volume for the series, not ‘over fifty’; neither was he involved with the Charter series. As for his fifty-one ODNB lives being the most by any outside contributor since the project was started in 1993, John says that he himself has contributed fifty-six, but does not claim any record: a contributor search shows that our Fellow Professor John Baker may have written the largest number of ODNB entries, with a total of 120 entries.

More trouble with names: our newly elected Fellow Philip Abramson, Historic Adviser, Ministry of Defence, wishes it to be known that there is no ‘ham’ in Abramson; our apologies for spelling his name as ‘Abrahamson’ in Salon and on the original Blue Paper and ballot papers. Phil is employed as Historic Environment Adviser within the Environmental Support Team in Defence Estates, a department of the Ministry of Defence, based at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, and works mainly on army and RAF sites in the north of England and Scotland. And thank you to Fellow Peter Saunders for pointing out that another terminal ‘e’ was lost in the last issue – this time from the name of National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne (‘Rosenthal quits Royal Academy’).

Fellow Vincent Megaw, mentioned last week in connection with the controversy over what Vincent wittily calls the ‘Abercrumble Chair’, wonders what archaeologists today now think of Stuart Piggott’s The Dawn of Civilization, published in 1961 by what Stuart and Vincent used to refer to as ‘Thumbs and Handscrews’. Vincent says that he was then ‘the (self-styled) Assistant Editor, having been appointed while excavating as a student at Stonehenge by a committee consisting of Stuart, Glyn Daniel and Walter Neurath, the founding Managing Director of T&H’. It was, Vincent recalls, a pioneering example of international co-publishing, with editions in several languages, including an Icelandic edition. Even so, says Vincent, ‘the reviews were mixed, with Bob Braidwood in Antiquity being distinctly sniffy’.

Up the road a little from Edinburgh, at Aberdeen, there is an entirely new Department of Archaeology, founded in August 2007, where Fellow Neil Price currently holds the Chair. Neil says: ‘This is the first new foundation of an archaeology department at a major British university for a great many years and the future looks bright indeed as we are already attracting students in numbers that far exceed projections. We have a unique research brief on the “Archaeology of the North”, which we are defining as covering Scotland and northern Britain, Scandinavia and northern Europe, the North Atlantic and the circumpolar world from the North Pacific through high-latitude North America and Siberia.’

Responding to Salon’s headline ‘Prince Charles fails to understand the value of tall buildings’, our Fellow Sir George White suggests that it would have been fairer to say ‘Leading architects say that Prince Charles fails to understand the value of tall buildings’. The argument, says Sir George, is not about ‘the beauty of skyscraper design and the inherent sustainability of tall buildings’ but the effect that a multiplicity of very tall buildings have on significant landmarks already in existence. The dominance of St Paul’s on the London skyline in particular remains important for a host of reasons. Although it is already compromised to a degree, is it so unreasonable to argue that new development should be obliged to respect it?’

Our Fellow David Miles also observes that mention of tall buildings often seems to invite careless talk. For the record, he says that ‘When Prince Charles condemned the proposed extension to the National Gallery as “a carbuncle” it seems probable that he was not actually looking at ABK’s competition-winning proposal but one of the other entries. Unfortunately it was ABK’s rather fine scheme that was scrapped, thanks to this rash remark. Now Salon refers to Raphael Viñoly’s “glass shard”. Surely it is Renzo Piano’s design that is the “shard of glass” [it is true: Salon confused Renzo Piano's 66-storey London Bridge Tower, also known as the “Shard of Glass”, with the 160-metre tower by the Argentinean architect Raphael Viñoly proposed for a site on the opposite side of the Thames, close to the Tower of London].’

Referring to the comment in the Guardian of 1 February, where Ken Shuttleworth, Foster’s lead designer of 30 St Mary Axe, says ‘We can’t leave it [London] as in medieval times’, David concludes with the comment that ‘I do not know in which alternative universe Ken dwells but I haven’t seen much of medieval London recently except down MoLAS’s archaeological holes.’ [This is indeed a subject that has engendered much debate over the last two weeks, with the consensus being that the architects of tall buildings are seeking to impose their egos on the skyline of London, with little respect for the architectural masterpieces of the past: more on this on the Guardian’s Arts and Architecture web page.

News of Fellows

On the subject of women in heritage, our Fellow Carenza Lewis has just been awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the University of East Anglia. The citation recognised Carenza’s association with East Anglia, her academic contribution to archaeology (particularly regarding the study of medieval rural landscapes) and the social impact of her work, as one of the original members of the ‘Time Team’ series and through her work for the Higher Education Field Academy.

Mostly away from the media spotlight since 2004, working from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, Carenza now heads a project to attract students from under-represented groups to study at Cambridge. She is also the director of a field project that involves secondary school students in test-pit excavations designed to throw new light on settlement development in English villages over the last two millennia. The Society has invited Carenza to give a paper on both these activities in the autumn.

In the same Department of Archaeology, our Fellow Helen Geake has just been awarded £30,000 by the Headley Trust to study early Anglo–Saxon ‘small–long’ brooches, about which Helen says: ‘The confusingly named “small–long” brooch is the smallest and least sophisticated of the “long” brooches (as opposed to round brooches) worn by the early Anglo–Saxons. Unlike many early Anglo–Saxon objects, these brooches are not glamorous: they are the common, ordinary, everyday clothes fasteners of early Anglo–Saxon women. They are not obviously based on Continental prototypes; they appear to be a distinctively English invention and they seem to have been used not just to pin garments together, but also as markers of status and ethnicity.’ Studying the ‘small–longs’ will thus provide an insight into ethnicity, or regional identity, and perhaps the deeper and more personal meanings that these brooches represent.

Also in receipt of an honorary degree is our Fellow Professor Jacques Heyman, formerly Head of the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, who was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid on 28 January 2008 at the recommendation of the university’s School of Architecture. The oration spoke of his major contribution to the understanding of masonry structures (how, for example, Gothic buildings stand up) through his application of plasticity theory to modern and historic buildings. It praised Professor Heyman for ‘the clarity and common sense’ of his technical and scientific papers, which ‘demonstrate a determination to find answers to essential questions and answer them in the simplest possible manner’. The full citation (with splendid pictures) can be seen on the Cambridge University website.

Our Fellow John Fidler (the former Conservation Director of English Heritage) swapped grey London skies for sunny Los Angeles a couple of years ago, where he is Staff Consultant with forensic engineers Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc, and has recently been working on an environmental impact assessment to protect the World Heritage Site at Palmyra, in the Syrian desert, which, John says, is ‘so marvellously depicted in “The Ruins of Palmyra” (Wood and Dawkins, 1753)’.

He goes on to say that ‘Archaeological excavation and monument restoration efforts of epic proportions during the French mandate after the First World War included the decanting of an entire Arab village of adobe houses from within the Bel Temple precinct and its re-establishment in an adjacent reinforced concrete new town of Tadmur in the same oasis. An excavation truck and rail tracks from this era still remain on the site.

‘Listed by UNESCO as much for its influence on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European architectural forms as for its importance as a meeting point between cultures in the first to third centuries AD, Palmyra is surprisingly little known by the public today and hardly visited compared to tourism at Petra in nearby Jordan. The Syrian authorities have taken a highly responsible attitude towards the welfare of the ancient site and, for example, have created a 15-km heavy vehicle by-pass away from the archaeological remains along the international shipping route from Damascus to Baghdad.’

Finally, from the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, comes news that our Fellow David Breeze was elected President on 30 January. The Society was founded in 1813 and will be celebrating its bicentenary in five years time.

Obituary notices

The Society has recently been informed of the deaths of John Hamilton Betts, FSA, who died early in February 2008, and of Professor Frank Clyffurde Spooner, who died on 23 June 2007. Professor Spooner (1924–2007) was Emeritus Professor of Economic History at the University of Durham and author of Risks at sea: Amsterdam insurance and maritime Europe 1766–80 (Cambridge University Press), a study based on the study of the insurance premiums charged by exchanges in the Netherlands during the financial crises of 1763 and 1772–3 and the hostilities leading to American independence and the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War.

The Society’s Librarian, Heather Rowland, spotted the following obituary for our late Fellow Gerald Hodgett, economic and church historian (born on 27 November 1916, died on 15 September 2007, aged ninety) in the 3 January 2008 edition of The Times.

‘Gerald Hodgett brought a humane spirit to the potentially dry study of medieval church records. One of the first to focus on the unpensioned plight of ex-monks and nuns after Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, he understood that one incentive for ex-religious to set up house together was “to share the burdens of housekeeping”.

‘He taught first in Nottinghamshire and then, during the war, at the Friends’ School, Lisburn, Northern Ireland. It was also at this time that he joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the early 1940s, having been raised a Presbyterian. Hodgett took up a lectureship at King’s College London in 1947 and became a reader there in 1961. In later years Hodgett pursued his interest in Quaker history to the United States: he was a research scholar at the Huntingdon Library in California, and also taught at St Louis, Missouri.

‘Hodgett had a lifelong academic attachment to his own corner of England. His first foray into the extensive records of the Lincoln diocese was his MA thesis on “The Dissolution of the Monasteries in Lincolnshire” which bore fruit in his 1959 monograph The State of the Ex-Religious and Former Chantry Priests in the Diocese of Lincoln, 1547–1574. Hodgett’s views on the unhappy fate of the ex-religious, in his seminal article “The Unpensioned Ex-Religious in Tudor England” (Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 1962), though they did not win universal acceptance, spurred others into further archival research.

‘He then took on one of the great lost monasteries of London, Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate, the first post-Conquest religious house to be established inside the City, in 1107–8, and the first to be dissolved, in 1532. Hodgett’s edition and translation of its cartulary was heralded as an important event in London studies, enhanced in 2005 by the Museum of London’s publication of the surviving archaeological evidence.

‘Hodgett’s writing was always accessible, and his undergraduate textbook, A Social and Economic History of Medieval Europe (London, 1972), with its discussion of capitalism in the pre-modern textile industry, brought him probably his widest audience, both in the UK and overseas. He persuaded the young Delia Smith to write an introduction for his Stere Htt Well, a book of medieval refinements, recipes and remedies (London, 1972), based on a manuscript in Samuel Pepys’s library. He was a member of the Friends Historical Society, serving as president in 1979, and editing its journal, 1986–96.’

Our Fellow Daniel Woolf writes to pay tribute to Joseph Levine, the distinguished historian of early modern and eighteenth-century historical thought, and especially of antiquarian scholarship, who was not a Fellow but was frequently to be seen using the Society’s Library. Joseph Levine was the first director of Syracuse University’s London program, and only retired as Distinguished Professor of History after teaching the final seminar of his forty-two-year career in December 2007, not long before his death from cancer, at the age of seventy-five, on 26 January 2008. A fuller appreciation of Joseph Levine’s life can be seen on the blog site of his son, Peter Levine.

Peter Fowler contributed the following account of the memorial service for our late Fellow Keith Gardner, whose death was noted in the last issue of Salon. Peter notes that ‘the 300 or so people who attended learnt that Keith had been far more than a good local and regional archaeologist, being equally involved in and highly thought of in the somewhat disparate fields of art, free masonry and hare-coursing. The common factor he brought to his range of interests was a strong commitment and a remarkable ability to organise. He did so to the end: he had left instructions for every detail of the service, including the speakers.

‘Forty years earlier, it was Keith who made the Cadbury Congresbury excavations happen (BAR 223, 1992), organising five seasons of excavation so impeccably that all the other two directors (Philip Rahtz and myself) had to do was concentrate on the archaeology. Keith had of course earlier pioneered the work there himself, and opening up archaeological possibilities was another of his strengths. As a young man, for example, he initiated exploratory but essentially sound work on Lundy, resulting in an excellent booklet on the island’s field archaeology, which itself led to further academic work, excavation and a long-term documentation of Lundy’s archaeology by the National Trust. Most recently, he was leading new fieldwork on the hills and in the woods of north Somerset while organising conferences, editing and generally galvanising the south-western regional branch of the Council for British Archaeology.’

News of conferences, seminars and of a reunion at Leicester

The last issue of Salon lost a chunk of text and conflated two separate Scottish conferences, so for anyone who might have been confused, the next two items are repeated from the last issue but this time with the full and correct details.

Scotland’s Castle Culture is the theme of the 2008 Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland National Conference, to be held on 25 and 26 April 2008 in the Main Lecture Theatre at Edinburgh College of Art. The conference will examine the history and biography of the Scottish castle, from its arrival in the medieval period and subsequent rejection as an elite residence, through to its re-discovery and ultimate status as the emblematic building type of Scotland. For more information contact the AHSS National Office.

First Contact: Rome and northern Britain is a Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee special conference in which key invited speakers will gather to debate the timetable, nature and significance of Rome’s first contact with Scotland. The conference will be held at the Dewar’s Rinks conference centre, Perth, on 31 May 2008. Further information available from Mark Hall at Perth Museum & Art Gallery ().

The teaching of archaeology started at the University of Leicester in 1957–8 and to mark the occasion a reunion will be held on Saturday 15 March. Former students, tutors and lecturers in Ancient History, Archaeology and Classical subjects at the University of Leicester plus present and former students, families and anyone interested in or associated with the university are warmly invited to join in the celebrations, especially anyone from the former Department of Classics. Details can be found via the School's website. Fellow Graham Shipley emphasises the need to register not later than 25 February to ensure a place at lunch and a copy of the celebratory volume that is being edited by Fellows Alan McWhirr and Marilyn Palmer charting the development of archaeology and ancient history at Leicester.

In addition to the main event, there will be an opportunity on 14 March to tour the Archaeology & Ancient History Building (the School’s new home since 2002) and view an exhibition. On 16 March there will be a tour of the archaeological work which ULAS (the University of Leicester Archaeological Services) is carrying out in Leicester ahead of the development of a new shopping centre.

The event is part of Leicester University's fiftieth anniversary celebrations, including a reunion on Saturday 26 April to which Fellows are also invited. For details, see the Leicester University website.

Venice and the League of Cambrai: politics, art and architecture: this one-day conference will be held at St John's College, Oxford, on 15 March 2008 on the history, painting, architecture, music and literature of early sixteenth-century Venice. Full details may be viewed on the college website.

Archaeology and the Rabbinic Text: the British Academy will host this public debate on 11 March 2008 from 6pm to 7pm, with Professor Seth Schwartz (Jewish Theological Seminary) and Professor Fergus Millar (University of Oxford) as speakers, and Professor Martin Goodman (Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Oxford) and Professor Philip Alexander (Professor of Post-Biblical Jewish Literature, University of Manchester) as Moderators. The debate forms part of a three-day conference (invitation only), which will discuss how the rabbinic texts, composed in late antiquity, can be used as evidence for the history of late-Roman Palestine. For more information, see the British Academy website.

Also on the British Academy's lecture programme, on 20 May 2008, the Warton Lecture on English poetry will be given by Dr Matthew Campbell of the University of Sheffield on the subject of ‘Wordsworth and the Druids’, and will examine the poetic consequences of the day and night spent by Wordsworth 'among the pillars of Stonehenge'. For more information, see the British Academy website.

The Archaeological Leather Group’s annual gathering for 2008 will be held at Walsall Leather Museum on 12 and 13 April and is called ‘Have we got a tannery?’. The speakers will seek to answer that question – one that is frequently asked by archaeologists when looking at a muddy hole with some scraps of leather – by discussing exactly what features could be used to identify a ‘skin processing site’ from any period from the prehistoric to the nineteenth century. The group hopes the topic will be relevant not only to the few specialists in the subject but also to the wider world of environmental archaeologists and field archaeologists. The proceedings will eventually be published as a definitive guide to the archaeological evidence for tanning processes. Further details can be found on the group’s website.

Is there a British Chalcolithic? People, place and polity in the later 3rd millennium BC: this three-day conference (18 to 20 April 2008; hosted by the Prehistoric Society and Bournemouth University at Bournemouth University) will address the concept of the Chalcolithic in British archaeology, compared with European parallels, and ask ‘is the Chalcolithic synonymous with the Beaker phase?’ The conference is intended to be about people and social context, seeing the bigger picture rather than individual sites or objects, and an international panel of speakers will debate issues of characterisation, cultural identities and monumental activity. Further details are on the Bournemouth University website.

Britons in the Celtic World: contrasting perspectives: our Fellow Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe (2008 winner of the Europa Prize, presented annually by the Prehistoric Society) will give a lecture entitled ‘A race apart? Insularity and connectivity’ as the centrepiece of this day conference on 17 May 2008, at the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford. Details are on the conference website.

The XXIst International Limes (Roman Frontiers) Congress at Newcastle upon Tyne, 2009
The first Limes Congress, held at King’s College, Newcastle upon Tyne, in July 1949 (of which our Society was one of the sponsors), was a remarkable event, bringing together leading scholars of Roman frontiers from many European countries still devastated by war. Subsequent Congresses have met in most European countries and in Jordan over the last sixty years but the XXIst Congress, marking the sixtieth anniversary of that original Congress, will be back in Newcastle upon Tyne, at the invitation of Tyne and Wear Museums, on 17 to 23 August 2009.

There will be a one-day Pre-Congress excursion to York on 16 August, and the Thirteenth Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall will take place in the preceding week (8 to 14 August). The Congress and the Pilgrimage are entirely separate events, and members of the two organising societies (the Cumberland and Westmorland AAS and the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne) have priority booking for the Pilgrimage, but information will be given to those attending the Congress on how to apply for some of the remaining places.

There will also be a three-day post-congress excursion along Hadrian’s Wall for those unable to join the Pilgrimage, with an alternative excursion to Roman Scotland. During the Congress itself, the main excursions will be to Roman sites in Cumbria, Durham and Yorkshire, rather than to sites on Hadrian’s Wall. Expressions of interest in the Congress can be registered on the Congress website.

Vacancies

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Project Manager
Salary £23,000 to £25,000, depending on experience; closing date 22 February 2008

The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland intends to appoint a full-time Project Manager for an initial term of three years to manage the process, creation and publication of an archaeological research framework for Scotland. The post holder will have proven research skills and project-delivery experience, preferably in the heritage, and will be an excellent communicator at all levels. Computer literacy is essential, as is the ability to meet targets and keep to a strict budget. Application letters should be accompanied by a full CV and sent to Project Manager Post, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF. Interviews will be conducted on 4 March 2008. For further details please apply to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Brighton & Hove City Council, Keeper Royal Pavilion & Conservation
Salary £34,991 to £37,543, closing date 25 February 2008

This role is key to the future development of a major historic royal palace and nationally designated museum collection. Apply online at www.jobs.brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Dumfries House, House Curator
Salary £25,000 to £30,000 plus accommodation, closing date 25 February 2008

Rescued last year by the campaigning efforts of SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the intervention of Prince Charles, Dumfries House will open to the public in summer 2008 and needs a curator with a history of art degree and/or other fine art academic qualifications and a strong interest in historic buildings. Further information from the Dumfries House website.

Beamish Museum, Museum Director
Salary c £75,000, closing date 29 February 2008

Our goal (says the advert) is to bring the past to life in a vibrant, accessible recreation of the early 19th and 20th centuries. It's an approach that's won us international acclaim and numerous awards. You'll build on that success, empowering and inspiring our excellent team as they extend our appeal for generations yet to come. You'll also be the public face of Beamish, dealing with the media and strengthening our profile on the wider stage. Further information from the NRG Executive website, or contact Alan Walter (tel: 0191 260 4484).

Institute of Historical Research, Director
Closing date 29 February 2008

Applications for this post are invited from scholars with an established national reputation for excellence in historical research and the proven ability to co-ordinate the management of an organisation with a diverse range of activities, to lead and motivate staff and to develop further the profile and activities of the Institute. Knowledge and experience of fundraising would be an advantage. For further details see the University of London website.

The National Trust for Scotland, St Kilda Archaeologist
One-year contract (6 months on the island), salary £20,002; closing date 3 March 2008

The National Trust for Scotland is recruiting for an archaeologist to be based on the World Heritage Site and Scheduled Ancient Monument of St Kilda, whose outstanding historic environment has a time-depth that belies the archipelago’s remote North Atlantic position. Working with volunteers and visitors this is a rare opportunity to get to know this remote and spectacular island archipelago. Duties include monitoring the archaeological remains, undertaking practical interventions and advising volunteers and contractors as necessary, updating the SMR, producing reports, undertaking research and liaising with Historic Scotland, who are part-funding this post, and other partners and stakeholders in the management and conservation of the World Heritage Site. For an application form, contact joinus@nts.org.uk.

National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Director of Exhibitions and Programmes
Salary £50,000 to £65,000; closing date 3 March 2008

The job involves developing new ways to display and interpret the collections. Someone with a strong track record of delivering complex programmes in a museum or gallery environment is sought. Further details from the National Maritime Museum’s website.