Salon Archive

Issue: 191

Queen's Birthday Honours

The Society congratulates the following Fellows who featured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced on 14 June 2008.

Created CBE: Christopher Charles Dyer, FBA, Professor of Local and Regional History and Director of the Centre for English Local History, University of Leicester, for services to scholarship;Duncan Robinson, DL, Formerly Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, for services to art and heritage.

Created OBE: The Revd Peter Martyn Beacham, Heritage Protection Director, English Heritage, for services to the historic environment; Dr Roger Ferrant Bland, Head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure, British Museum, for services to heritage; Wendy Davies, FBA, Professor of History and Pro-Provost for European Affairs at University College, London, for services to research in the humanities and to higher education; Professor Richard Fawcett, Principal Inspector, Historic Scotland, for public and voluntary services;

Created MBE: Roy Canham, for services to heritage in Wiltshire; Edward Godwin Price, JP, formerly President of the Gloucester and District Archaeological Group (GADARG), for voluntary services to archaeology in Frocester; Dr John Hugh Williams, formerly Head of Heritage Conservation, Kent County Council, for services to local government.

The following are among those honoured for their work in the heritage who are not Fellows.

Created a Knight Bachelor: The Rt Hon Alan James Beith, Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed and Chairman of the Historic Chapels Trust, for services to parliament.

Created DCVO: The Lord Faringdon, Charles Michael Henderson, Lord in Waiting to The Queen, owner of Buscot Park and former Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.

Created CVO: Nigel Joseph Arch, Director of Kensington Palace, Historic Royal Palaces; Pamela Margaret Clark, MVO, Registrar, Royal Archives; Angela Christine Mary Heylin, OBE, formerly Trustee, Historic Royal Palaces; Roderick Andrew Lane, Head Book Conservator, Royal Library, Windsor Castle; Caroline Lucy Whitaker, Assistant Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures, Royal Collection.

Created CBE: Fionnuala Mary Jay-O'Boyle, MBE, founder of the Belfast Buildings Preservation Trust, for services to heritage in Northern Ireland; Richard Willis Rogers, formerly Chief Exec, Environment and Heritage Service, Dept of Environment, Northern Ireland Executive; Anthony Paul Rossi, Deputy Chairman of the Ancient Monuments Society, for services to heritage and to conservation.

Created MBE: Dr Robert Bearman, Archivist, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, for services to heritage; Jillian Evans, Producer, National Video Archive of Performance, Victoria and Albert Museum Theatre Collections, for services to arts and heritage; Alfred Edward Jenkins, for services to heritage and to the community in Clee Hill, South Shropshire; Lilian Mary Ladle, for services to archaeology in Wareham, Dorset; Gerald Rudyard Struan Mee, for voluntary services to heritage in Leek, Staffordshire; Ronald Simison, for services to archaeology and to the tourist industry in Orkney; andDerek Wheeler, for voluntary services to heritage in Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Finally, worth a special mention is George Kelley, created MBE for services to Apethorpe Hall, Northamptonshire. It is to George that we owe the survival of Apethorpe Hall, featured in the last issue of Salon, because, as the Hall’s caretaker and gardener since 1982 (unpaid for the last ten years), he did his best to patch leaks and chase away would-be vandals and thieves. It was he who warned East Northamptonshire District Council and English Heritage that the building was rapidly decaying, setting in train the events that led to the compulsory purchase of the Hall and the restoration programme recently completed by English Heritage.

Forthcoming events

26 June: The Future of the Past, the last of the Society’s Tercentenary Festival events, will take the form of debate in the style of ‘Question Time’, moderated by our Fellow Robert Key, MP for Salisbury, between members of the audience and a panel consisting of our Fellows Richard Bradley, David Cannadine, Carenza Lewis and David Starkey. The debate will take place in the BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum, London WC1, starting at 6.30pm, to be followed by a wine reception. Fellows’ tickets should be booked through the Society; members of the public should book online.

12 July 2008: Tercentenary Fellows’ Day at Kelmscott Manor
A special programme is planned by the Kelmscott Manor team for this year’s Fellows’ Day, which will take place on Saturday 12 July and will mark the close of our Tercentenary celebrations. The event starts at 1.30pm, continues until 5pm and is open to Fellows, their families and guests at a cost of £17.50 per head (£7.50 children aged six to sixteen). Cheques should be made out to ‘Kelmscott Manor’ and sent in an envelope marked ‘Fellows Day’ with the names of the people in your party to Kelmscott Manor, Kelmscott, Lechlade GL7 3HJ. For further information, please contact Kelmscott Manor on 01367 253348 or email admin@kelmscottmanor.co.uk>.

Burlington House closure

The Society’s Library and Apartments will be closed on Wednesday 23 July when the staff will be taking their annual outing to visit Red House, William Morris’s home in Bexleyheath, now owned by the National Trust.

The Apartments will also be closed from 25 July for the summer break, during which cleaning and conservation work will take place, and major work to replace the boiler and heating systems; for health and safety reasons (asbestos and raised floorboards) there will be no access to the building during this period. Fellows will be informed as soon as the re-opening date is known.

The Antiquaries Journal: free back issues and distribution changes

Because of pressure on space at Burlington House, a decision has been made to cease the practice whereby Fellows can opt to collect copies of the Antiquaries Journal from Burlington House. In future all Fellows will receive the Journal by post. Any Fellow who has not yet collected a copy of Volume 87 (or indeed any earlier volumes) must do so by 25 July 2008 (when the library will close for the summer period).

We will also be disposing of surplus stock of current and back issues of the Journal (from Volumes 70 (1990) to 86 (2006)) and Fellows are welcome to apply for free copies by the same date. A charge will be made for postage and packing, or copies can be collected from Burlington House before the Apartments close on 25 July. Requests for back copies should be emailed to the Society. Stock quantities vary and requests will be dealt with on a first-come basis.

Ballot 19 June 2008

The Society is pleased to welcome the following as Fellows, all of whom were elected in the ballot held on 19 June 2008:

Nadia Durrani, MA, PhD, Editor of Current World Archaeology, specialist in the archaeology of pre-Islamic Yemen and the archaeology of the First World War.
Koji Mizoguchi, BA, MA, PhD, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, specialist in Japan’s Yayoi period.
Joanna Story, BA, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval History, The School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester, specialist in the political and cultural history of Carolingian Europe.
Richard Luther Caradoc Jones, BA, DPhil, Lecturer in Medieval History, The School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester, Director of Clay Hill excavations, Sussex, and castellologist.
Michael Batt, BA, Archaeologist, French Ministry of Culture, specialist in rescue archaeology and field archaeology in Brittany.
Conor Newman, BA, MA, Lecturer in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, National University of Ireland, Galway, former director of the Discovery Programme’s survey of the Hill of Tara.
Susan Elizabeth Kelly, BA, MA, PhD, researcher, expert on Anglo-Saxon history, has edited major ecclesiastical archives for the British Academy Anglo-Saxon Charter series.
Tom Richard Grenville Wilson, BSc, MA, Archaeologist, Network Archaeology Ltd, former Senior Archaeologist for the Museum of London, has excavated prehistoric to post-medieval sites.
Tyler-Jo Smith, MA, DPhil, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology, Department of Art, University of Virginia, authority on Greek vase-painting, has excavated in Turkey, Greece and Sicily.
Alan Charles Lovell, MA, Chartered Accountant, Chairman of the Appeal Committee of the Mary Rose Trust.
Peter Hughes, BA, Art Historian, former Head Curator of the Wallace Collection, leading scholar of decorative arts, especially furniture and eighteenth century France.
David Howard Heslop, BA, County Archaeologist, Tyne and Wear, has directed numerous excavation projects and published on Thorpe Thewles and Guisborough Priory.
Naomi Jane Sykes, BA, MSc, PhD, Lecturer in Zooarchaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham, expert on Roman and medieval animal bones.
Robert Edward Liddiard, BA, MA, PhD, Lecturer in Medieval History and Landscape Archaeology, School of History, University of East Anglia, with major contributions to the fields of landscape and castle studies.
Paul Barry Pettitt, BA, MA, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, specialist in European Palaeolithic technology, rock art and excavations at Creswell Crags.
Brendan Francis Cassidy, MA, PhD, Reader in the History of Art, St Andrews University, former director of the ‘Index of Christian Art’, Princeton University, authority on thirteenth-century Italian art.
Francis Owen Grew, BA, MPhil, Senior Curator in Museum Management, Museum of London, publications on Roman London.
Kirsty Ann Rodwell, BA, Buildings Archaeologist, Chair of the Wiltshire Buildings Record, publications on archaeology and architectural history.
Oliver Urquhart Irvine, BA, MA, Cultural Property Manager, British Library, publications on the history of art, cartography and international legislation.
Christopher Hartop, BA, author and consultant, silver specialist, former Chairman and Trustee of the Silver Society, publications on English silver.
Derek Long, MA, DPhil, scientist and collector, former Co-Director NATO Advanced Studies, authority on Raman spectroscopy.
Craig Peter Barclay, MA, MLitt, Curator, University of Durham Museums, former Keeper of Archaeology at The Hull and East Riding Museum; interests include Civil War coinage.
James Adam Fraser Wilkinson, MA, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, former Secretary of SAVE Britain’s Heritage; has played a crucial role in saving Tyntesfield and Dumfries House for the nation.
Harry Rodger Allen, BA, PhD, Associate Professor in Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, New Zealand, expert in the archaeology of South-east Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Peter Dixon Hiscock, BA, PhD, Reader in Archaeology and Anthropology, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, specialist in Palaeolithic technology and Australian archaeology.

AD 410 – 2010: the Birth of Britain

Planning is underway for a series of national events to mark the 1600th anniversary of AD 410, the year in which the Emperor Honorius, responding to a British plea for assistance against barbarian incursions, told Britons to look to their own defences, effectively ending Roman rule in Britain.

A meeting will be held at 5pm on Wednesday 30 July 2008 in the Council Room at the Society of Antiquaries to elect a formal body to run the commemorations, to discuss plans and invite suggestions and to encourage a range of institutions to provide support.

Already planned is a two-day academic conference at the British Museum (13–14 March 2010). The organisers are also working on research proposals for a large-scale summer excavations at St Albans, linked to complementary flagship field projects in other parts of the country, including Badbury Rings and Caerleon. Everyone is welcome to attend, whether as an individual or representing an organisation with an interest in this period.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme: an update

The news that our Fellow Roger Bland has been created an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours provides an opportunity to update Fellows on the latest situation with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), which has been left in limbo pending a review of the scheme. That review, commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, is being carried out by our Fellow Kate Clark, who is expected to report in July, and to make recommendations for the future funding and management of the scheme. The British Museum (which already hosts the scheme’s central management team) has expressed willingness to take over the running of the scheme from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Commission (MLA), but until such decisions are taken, the scheme’s funding has been frozen at last year’s level, leading to a sense of uncertainty about the future amongst staff and a reduction in the level of activity in areas such as recruitment, finds illustration work, regional liaison and website development.

The Council for British Archaeology is a staunch supporter of the scheme: writing in British Archaeology magazine, our Fellow Mike Heyworth, Director of the CBA, argues that PAS is a admired and envied around the world and is based on the ‘visionary strategy … of giving legal protection to a limited class of treasure finds, combined with a voluntary scheme to record everything else’. The scheme is leanly run, he argues, and cannot survive if further cuts are made. No archaeologists could support a return to the situation where metal detecting was allowed unchecked, without any mechanism to record what was found. If PAS does fold, he warns, ‘archaeologists will be forced to make the case for strong legal controls on the use of metal detectors’.

Streets Ahead: pour encourager les autres

With backing from the Women’s Institutes, English Heritage launched its nationwide ‘Save Our Streets’ campaign some five years ago, encouraging people to audit the superfluous signs, haphazard paving and obstructed footpaths blighting the towns and villages of England and encourage local councillors to restore local distinctiveness and character to the streets of England. Now English Heritage has published a series of case studies showing how ten councils have taken action to deal with particular aspects of street clutter. Among the leaflets in the Streets for All: Practical Case Studies suite are: Reducing sign clutter in Erith town centre; Tactile paving in Chapel Street, Guildford; Traffic calming in Petersfield; Historic surfaces in Hawes; and How to do a street audit based on Melksham, Wiltshire.

Copies of the summary document and ten leaflets, plus English Heritage’s previous publications Save Our Streets and Streets for All can be found on the English Heritage website.

MIDAS Heritage: the data standard for the historic environment

MIDAS Heritage is the new UK data standard compiled and produced by English Heritage on behalf of the member organisations of FISH (the Forum on Information Standards in Heritage). It is designed for use by anyone who compiles structured information about the historic environment and states what information should be recorded to support effective sharing of historic environment data and the long-term preservation of records. It covers the recording of the individual assets that form the historic environment (buildings, archaeological sites, shipwrecks, areas of interest and artefacts) but also, for the first time, it introduces standards for recording the work undertaken to understand, protect and manage changes to those assets and relevant sources of further information. MIDAS Heritage is available to download for free at www.midas-heritage.info

Neanderthals in Sussex

Archaeologists working at a site near Pulborough, West Sussex, have found a Neanderthal hilltop hunting camp, where game herds could be observed and spear points repaired in anticipation of the next kill. The site is at Beedings Castle, where some 2,300 stone tools were found in the late nineteenth century during the construction of the mock-medieval house of the physician John Harley.

Our Fellow Dr Roger Jacobi, of the Leverhulme-funded Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) Project based at the British Museum, has recently identified these as similar to finds from a number of north European Neanderthal sites stretching from Devon, in south-west England, across the north European Plain to Nietoperzowa Cave, in Poland. Dating to 38,000 years ago, they include large numbers of long, straight-sided blades which had been thinned at each end, possibly to allow hafting. The presence of tools damaged through high-velocity impact suggested they were used as spear tips.

The threat of the site being destroyed by ploughing, vineyard planting and landscaping has prompted English Heritage to fund a return to Beedings, where an excavation team led by Dr Matthew Pope of UCL and Caroline Wells of Sussex Archaeological Society, working closely with specialists from the Boxgrove Project and the Worthing Archaeological Society, are undertaking the first modern, scientific investigation of the site.

The flint tools that have emerged from the new excavations are described by Matthew Pope as ‘technologically advanced and potentially older than tools in Britain belonging to our own species, Homo sapiens. The impression they give is of a population in complete command of both landscape and natural raw materials with a flourishing technology’.

Our Fellow Barney Sloane, Head of Historic Environment Commissions at English Heritage, said: ‘Sites such as this are extremely rare and a relatively little considered archaeological resource. Their remains sit at a key watershed in the evolutionary history of northern Europe. This study offers a rare chance to answer some crucial questions about just how technologically advanced Neanderthals were, and how they compare with our own species.’

Greater Stonehenge Cursus dated to 3630–3375 BC

Our Fellow Professor Julian Thomas announced this week that the broken tine of an antler pick from the Greater Stonehenge Cursus has been carbon dated to between 3630 and 3375 BC. The tine came from the southern ditch at the western terminal of the 3km cursus, where Professor Thomas led an excavation last summer as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project run by the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth and University College, London. The dates mean that the cursus, one of the oldest monuments in the Stonehenge landscape, pre-dates the first henge at Stonehenge by up to 500 years.

Professor Thomas said: ‘We don’t know what the cursus was used for – but we do know it encloses a pathway which has been made inaccessible, and that suggests it was either a sanctified area or for some reason was cursed.’ Fieldwork will continue later this summer: ‘We hope more discoveries lie in store when we work on the eastern end of the cursus’, Professor Thomas said. Further details can be found on the Manchester University website.

Julian Richards and the Bogles of Stonehenge

Fellow Maev Kennedy reports in The Guardian (with splendid picture) that Salisbury Museum is currently hosting an exhibition of items from the collection of Stonehenge souvenirs built up over a number of years by our Fellow Julian Richards. As well as snow shakers (sold at the English Heritage souvenir shop), faked First World War postcard images of Zeppelins and biplanes buzzing the stones and a sign scavenged in the 1980s, reading ‘Press pass holders and Druids only’, the exhibition includes the only surviving Bogle – relic of twelve life-sized stick men, made of wood with painted Beatles mop-top hairstyles, placed on and among the stones in 1966.

Bogles, similar in etymology to bogeymen, are malevolent creatures (like the Scottish Tatty Bogle, who hides in potato fields and causes blight), but these figures were all well behaved, with neatly painted names, all beginning with B, including Brian, Beatle and Boris. Their fate was to be placed by Stonehenge site custodians on a bonfire, but it now emerges that Austin Underwood, a passing schoolteacher, photographed the scene and rescued one of the Bogles – Bruce by name – who has only now seen the light of day after spending forty-two years hidden in the family garage.

The creators of the Bogles have never been identified, and Julian hopes that putting Bruce Bogle in the exhibition will inspire someone to come forward and tell the Bogle story.

‘Inspired by Stonehenge’ is on at the Salisbury museum until 2 September (after which the Society’s own ‘Making History’ travelling exhibition will open).

Port labourers’ necropolis found near Rome

Archaeologists excavating near Rome's Fiumicino airport have found a first- and second-century AD necropolis which they believe to be the burial place of porters and labourers who worked at the nearby port of Portus (itself being excavated by a team that includes our Fellows Simon Keay and Martin Millett). The necropolis, near the town of Ponte Galeria, came to light last year when police investigated reports of grave robbing. Most of the 300 skeletons since unearthed are male, and many of them show signs of years of heavy work: ‘joint and tendon inflammation, compressed vertebrae, hernias and spinal problems’, said Gabriella Gatto, a spokeswoman for the local archaeology office. Artefacts found in the necropolis were simple ones, including lanterns to guide the dead to their next life, Gatto said. One ceramic-and-glass lantern was decorated with a grape harvest scene.

Roman granaries

Two of the excavations under way this summer are looking at the diet of the Roman army by excavating granaries and warehouses. At Vindolanda, June’s excavations are revealing two massive granaries and a roadway that Andrew Birley, Director of Excavations, describes as ‘a magnificent section of superbly flagged Roman roadway … probably now the best example to be seen in the North’. He also describes the granaries as ‘Roman building at its best: the masonry is far superior to that of the nearby commanding officer’s residence, and although some of the walls have suffered from stone robbing, others are standing to a height of around 5ft’. Samples of material trapped in vents below the flagged floors of the granaries are expected to reveal the nature of the foodstuffs and other goods once stored in the buildings, together with the bones of rodents that also fed upon them.

At Caerleon, Fellow Peter Guest is leading a combined Cardiff University and UCL Institute of Archaeology team excavating a large warehouse in the south-western corner of the Roman fortress discovered during a geophysical survey in 2007. ‘Store-buildings’, says Peter, ‘are a largely unknown feature of legionary fortresses. We hope that our findings will not only improve our knowledge of the fortress and its inhabitants, but also tell us more about the history of the fortress and Roman Britain.’ The dig team’s progress can be followed on the dig blog, and the site will be open for National Archaeology Week (12 to 20 July).

Lombard warrior and horse found near Turin

Italian archaeologists have discovered a the grave of a 25-year-old Lombard warrior, buried with his horse, in a park at Testona, near Turin. ‘This is a very rare find’, said Gabriella Pantò, the archaeologist leading the dig. She added that horse heads were occasionally buried with Lombard warriors, but this find was the first with a complete horse skeleton. X-rays of the grave goods have revealed a pair of pincers, a bronze belt buckle and some armour. The warrior wore a ring on his left index finger and wore a knife and a short sword designed for close combat. Excavation continues at what is thought to be a Lombard camp with a series of wooden huts and an irrigation system supplied by an aqueduct dating from the sixth century, when the nomadic Lombards established a base in northern Italy.

National Army Museum saves portrait of General Wolfe

After launching a fundraising campaign in November 2007, the National Army Museum has succeeded in buying a portrait of General Wolfe, victor of the Battle of Quebec in 1759, by J S C Schaak. Originally sold at auction in June 2007 to a private collector, the Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest stopped its export to enable the museum time to match the target price of £300,000, which was achieved with the help of £80,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, £15,000 from The Art Fund and generous contributions from The Garfield Weston Foundation, the Society of Friends of the National Army Museum and from the public.

Our Fellow Alan Guy, Director of the museum, said: ‘We are delighted to have reached our target … like many of Britain’s great military heroes, Wolfe’s achievements are no longer widely known, but 250 years ago, he was a celebrity. His bold plan to outflank and surprise the French army at Quebec left Canada in the hands of the British Crown. Like Nelson at Trafalgar, he died at the moment of the victory which secured his fame.’

The painting is based on a drawing made from life by Wolfe’s aide-de-camp, Hervey Smyth. It has now gone on display at the museum, along with a number of Wolfe-related artefacts, including a series of prints made from the painting.

HMS Ontario found intact at the bottom of Lake Ontario

HMS Ontario, a British warship that sank in October 1780 during the American revolutionary war, has been discovered on the bed of Lake Ontario, close to the shores of New York state. The 80ft sloop of war sank with more than 120 men, women, children and prisoners on board when a gale swamped her decks as she was crossing the lake from Fort Niagara. The ship was discovered by marine archaeologists Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville, who have made pictures available (see the BBC website) but who are keeping its precise location a secret, as they believe the vessel should be treated as a war grave and not disturbed.

The ship, with its two 70ft masts, is sitting upright and despite the impact of the storm is intact to the degree that there are even unbroken panes of window glass, as well as cannon, anchors and the ship’s bell. ‘But for the zebra mussels’, said Dan Scoville, ‘she looks like she only sunk last week.’ Astonishingly, there are some 4,700 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, with approximately 500 in Lake Ontario, of which HMS Ontario is the oldest.

English Heritage saves Birmingham silver factory

When our Fellow Neil Cossons was Chairman of English Heritage he advocated a policy of preserving ‘living heritage’, and the efforts of English Heritage to keep Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter from damaging development was one example of the policy in action. Now English Heritage has reinforced its commitment to the Jewellery Quarter by acquiring J W Evans' silverware factory, established in 1880 and exceptional in that nothing much has ever been thrown away in the subsequent 128 years.

English Heritage has stepped in to preserve the factory and its contents as a last resort, after no other buyer could be found to keep the collection intact. Tony Evans (aged 69), grandson of the founder Jenkin Evans, will stay on for five years as an adviser while a way is found of repairing the warren of rooms and workshops in the knocked-through houses that form the factory (some with Georgian cupboards, fireplaces and a kitchen range) and compile an inventory of the contents, which include all the patterns and dies used to create products that were often sold wholesale and that now turn up at antiques fairs stamped with the prestigious names of Mappin and Webb or Garrards.

Our Fellow Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: ‘There is no other complete example of a Victorian factory, with all its contents and all its records, not just in Birmingham but anywhere in Britain’.

Science and Heritage collaborative research studentships

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have announced ten new collaborative doctoral awards as part of its strategic ‘Science and Heritage’ programme. Another innovative feature of these awards, worth £600,000 in total, is that non-academic (or ‘academic analogue’) institutions are also involved, including the British Museum, English Heritage, The National Archives and York Minster.

Topics to be investigated as part of these research projects include the lifetime of colour photographs, the vulnerability of rock art, the impact of climate change on UK collections, conserving historic concrete structures, the conservation and display of large historic tapestries, in situ preservation of wetland heritage and the application of x-ray techniques to cathedral conservation. Further information can be found on the Science and Heritage Programme website.

Historic environment research strategy for Greater London

A research strategy for the historic environment of Greater London is being developed with English Heritage support. The aim is to devise a strategy for managing the historic environment more effectively and supporting local authority decision making, identifying research priorities and facilitating links between research arising from property development and academic interests, helping to realise the potential of London's Historical Environment Records and Archives and finding ways to disseminate the results of research to a wide audience. Over the coming months a series of consultations are due to take place. For further information, see the MoLAS website.

Mayor plans to revive London’s lost rivers

Londoners are discovering that they cannot rely on all the promises that Boris Johnson, the new London Mayor, made in his election campaign, but it would be nice to think that his latest wheeze turns out to be practical or deliverable: apparently he wants to revitalise the city with more water features and open spaces and to do this he thinks the lost rivers of London – long buried in culverts (or, in the case of the Westbourne River, elevated above Sloane Square tube station in an aqueduct) – should be opened up again. The dream of a riverine city is part of his plan to make London more ‘liveable’.

Peter Bishop, Director of Design for London, the group advising the Mayor, points to existing schemes, such as that in Sutcliffe Park, south-east London, where a section of the River Quaggy has been restored and turned into a linear park, lined by cycleways and footpaths. The same group is planning similar schemes for the Wandle, which runs from Croydon to Wandsworth, the Bourne, which flows through south-east London, and the Brent, which passes through Wembley. More difficult would be to reveal central London’s rivers, such as the Tyburn and Fleet, which now run under buildings or function as giant sewers.

Other ideas for the capital include closing streets to traffic to make tree-lined pedestrian promenades; one proposal is to create a boulevard like Barcelona’s Ramblas linking Primrose Hill in the north of the city to the Embankment via Oxford Circus and Trafalgar Square. Another proposal is to create a riverside promenade on the north bank of the Thames to mirror that on the South Bank. That idea gets the thumbs up from our Fellow Ian Dungavell, Director of the Victorian Society, who commented: ‘The Victorians laid out the Embankment as a Parisian-style promenade. It was a way of beautifying the city as well as installing new infrastructure. It would be wonderful to rediscover that spirit.’

Jetties and piers in Australia

Anyone who thought that seaside piers were a uniquely English phenomenon will have their eyes opened by the latest thematic study from the Heritage Council, Victoria, Australia, which traces the development of maritime infrastructure (breakwaters, rocket sheds, sea baths, pile lights, jetties and piers) across the State. The report also makes recommendations for structures that are worth designating as part of the Victorian Heritage Register.

Feedback

The suggestion that morris dancing might be declared an official Olympic sport was rightly greeted with derision by Fellows who declared ‘it’s not a sport; it’s a mating ritual’. In more scholarly vein, Linda Hall wonders what is the oldest depiction in art of morris dancing. It is a timely question in view of the threat to at least one form of morris posed by the proposed ‘Violent Crimes Reduction Bill’, under which the sale or use of swords will be prohibited unless for use in sporting activities and historical re-enactments. Once again, a clumsy piece of legislation threatens a form of heritage that dates way back: Tacitus (AD 56–117) mentions Teutonic youths dancing with swords and spears and sword dancing to bagpipes is illustrated in a fourteenth-century manuscript (Royal MS, 2 B vii).

Linda’s own offering comes from ‘Susanne Groom’s and Lee Prosser's excellent book, Kew Palace: The Official Illustrated History (HRP in association with Merrell, undated but 2006 or 7), which has (on page 10) a reproduction of part of a painting of the Thames at Richmond c 1620, with the old Royal Palace on the far side of the river. On the near bank in the foreground is a group of unmistakeable morris dancers; one is a hobby horse with black skirt (cf Padstow) and one is a woman (mixed morris even then!). The men all have hats with tall broad feathers, baggy white shirts with open collars, long ribbons tied round the sleeves at the elbow, and baggy knee breeches, each a different colour. One man plays pipe and drum, while another takes a wooden collecting shovel round the audience. He has a red and yellow jester's top, with bells on points around the shoulders and the hem, and he and the male dancers all have the standard bells on their legs and possibly also on their shoes – though the bright specks could be buckles.’

Mention of Sir John Lubbock in the last issue of Salon prompted our Fellow Robert Merrillees to recall that ‘the last time our Society sought to expand its Fellowship overseas, there were no lack of academic links between Britain and Scandinavia, especially in Sweden. Lubbock was one of those who actively fostered this exchange, to the extent of editing a translation into English of The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia by Sven Nilsson, the pioneering Swedish zoologist and archaeologist, who was Professor of Natural History at Lund University from 1832 to 1856. This third edition of the work was published in London in 1868 with an introduction by Lubbock himself. It is gratifying that the Museum of Zoology at Lund University, with which Nilsson was closely associated, has so far escaped the intellectual vandalism ravaging the humanities, especially the Classics, in present-day Sweden’. Robert adds, ‘I happen to have a personal interest in this museum, reputedly one of the oldest of its kind in Europe, as my great-great-grandfather worked there as a taxidermist for Nilsson’.

Fellow Alan Saville writes to correct the mention of Indiana Jones in the last Salon. The quote about ‘Turkdean barrow, near Hazleton’ is not from the latest movie, but actually comes in the lecture-room scene near the beginning of the first of the Indiana movies, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. Alan says that ‘as the excavator of the Hazleton long barrow, this scene has always been a source of fascination for me. There is indeed a very obscure ploughed-out long barrow at Turkdean, but it has not (as far as anyone knows) been excavated and there is certainly no plan of its chambers. The plan of the chambered tomb which Indiana has chalked up on the blackboard as Turkdean appears to be based on (but not an accurate representation of) that of another Cotswold tomb, the Notgrove long cairn excavated by Elsie Clifford in 1934–5 and published in Archaeologia for 1936 (which is the year in which the action of the film opens – and, if I am not mistaken, Indiana has a copy of Archaeologia on the desk in front of him while he is giving the lecture!).

‘Another link is provided by Indiana's reference to the folklore of a golden coffin being attached to the barrow, since this was indeed the case at Notgrove. I assume these references are due to one of the storywriters, George Lucas or Philip Kaufman, but I am unaware of the inspiration, or, most intriguingly, why Turkdean and Hazleton should be mentioned at all. Turkdean is near Hazleton, which is just to the west of Turkdean, but Hazleton is a tiny hamlet and one would normally refer to Turkdean as being near the much larger town of Northleach, south of Turkdean. And Notgrove, of course, is just a short distance away to the north of both Turkdean and Hazleton. Can any Salon readers shed more light on this arcane fragment of cinema archaeology?’

Richard Reece is not happy with statement in the last issue of Salon that his pioneering work on Roman coin assemblages grew out of work in Cirencester. He did, he admits, ‘identify the coins from Cirencester year by year but no one ever wanted anything other than a date for each find in order to date the context. It was left to Fellow Neil Holbrook (in Cirencester Excavations Volume V (1998)) to ask "Well, what does it all mean?". It was Winchester that really pushed things along. I wanted to know which sites were similar to the Winchester coin lists, and it was at that point that the divergence between towns and villas became fairly obvious. The rest went on from there, and it was only much later (after the unlamented decease of the Cirencester Excavation Committee) that Cirencester surfaced as a Bad Town (i.e. it grouped itself with country sites rather than other towns).’

Lisa Barber writes from France to say that Le Monde newspaper has published an article stoutly upholding the identification of the marble bust salvaged from the Rhône as being that of Julius Caesar. The article highlights the need for the submarine archaeologists to evade the eyes of the ‘pirates d'épaves qui les espionnaient avec des jumelles’ (literally ‘wreck pirates spying with binoculars’) and asks whether the French state will allow the bust to stay in Arles or carry it off to the Louvre.

Lisa also asks, apropos the report on Apethorpe Hall, whether ‘an ordinary house in the Cotswolds’ really does sell for nearly £10 million. What Salon should have said, of course, was that houses in the Cotswolds costing £10 million-plus are often very ordinary by the side of the exceptional Apethorpe Hall, which seems remarkably good value at £5 million by comparison, even if a further £12m needs spending on it.

News of Fellows

Fellow Jeremy Gibson has been honoured by the British Association for Local History with a Personal Achievement Award; the citation singles out Jeremy’s ‘more than fifty years’ commitment to local and family history as editor and author and as founder member of the Banbury History Society’, paying tribute to his ‘generosity with his knowledge and his encouragement to others’. Among his many published works, Jeremy is perhaps best known for his ‘Gibson Guides’, of which there are now more than twenty, some of which have gone through numerous editions, each one devoted to a different class of historical record (The Hearth Tax, Muster Rolls, Victuallers' Licences, Bishops' Transcripts and Marriage Licences, Bonds and Allegations, Poor Law Union Records, Coroners' Records, and so on) and all of importance to family and local historians.

Our Fellow Professor David Breeze was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at the University of Glasgow’s annual Commemoration Day Ceremony on 18 June, an event that marks the foundation of the university in 1451. Our Fellow Bill Hanson, who gave the oration, says that David is the first archaeologist to have been given an honorary degree by the university since John Collingwood Bruce in 1863!

Obituaries

From the Roman Army bulletin board on the web, Salon’s editor has picked up the sad news of the death of our Fellow John Dore, at the age of only fifty-six. John was well known in the archaeological world as Britain’s leading expert on Roman coarseware. He was part of the team (led by Fellow Roberta Tomber) that established and published the Roman National Fabric Reference Collection for Britain, a work which has become a reference standard.

What better place to find an account of his all-too-short life than John’s own website, where he says ‘the most formative events of my professional career were going to Libya, in 1972, to work on the excavation of the Hellenistic and Roman city of Berenice, in modern Benghazi; suddenly developing an interest in Roman pottery on an excavation in Lancaster in 1973, and then, in 1974, becoming research assistant to John Gillam (the leading authority until his death in 1985, on Roman coarse pottery in northern Britain).’

The death occurred on 12 June 2008 of our Fellow Anthony Cronk, elected on 2 March 1978. Anthony's son, Quentin Cronk, Professor in Plant Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, writes that his father gained enormous pleasure from his Fellowship: ‘Born into a land-owning and farming family long associated with the county of Kent, he was educated at Tonbridge School and Wye College (University of London) where he was fortunate to come under the influence of the noted polymath, the Revd Dr S Graham Barde-Birks, DSc, FSA (1889–1982). Possessing a wide knowledge of the history of Kent, its ecclesiastical and other vernacular buildings, Anthony Cronk served for many years as a member of the Rochester Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches and kindred bodies. In his heyday he played a part as an active member of the Kent Archaeological Society (including its Churches Committee) and was an occasional lecturer at the University of Kent's School of Continuing Education. His published works include contributions to Archaeologia Cantiana

Our Fellow John Fidler has supplied this brief obituary for Professor John Ashurst (1937–2008) who, while not a Fellow, was well known and greatly respected in the conservation community, and whose death will be a huge loss to all those who love ruins, scheduled monuments and archaeological sites, where his technical expertise was of international calibre.

‘Professor John Ashurst, one of the foremost architects, authors and teachers of the technical aspects of conserving historic buildings and ancient monuments, died of cancer age 71, on Monday 19 May 2008. He revived and improved consolidation techniques for deteriorating masonry ruins and archaeological sites that Frank Baines and F S Jack developed earlier in the Ministry of Works, and created innovative new treatments with the collaboration of his beloved craftsmen. Through his consulting, publications and lecturing over forty years, Ashurst influenced generations of architects and engineers around the world.

‘He trained at Kingston School of Art. His architectural career started with Scott, Brownrigg Turner, then with Cooper and Farquhar, before he became Research Architect in the Special Services Branch of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works’ Ancient Monuments Division under T A Bailey, FRIBA, in 1969. Bailey had been experimenting with stone preservatives alongside work that Schaffer had implemented at the Building Research Station and John brought the material together in his first publication with BRE’s Brian Clarke in 1972.

‘Ashurst lectured extensively on masonry conservation and repair throughout his career, notably on short course programmes at York University and at ICCROM in Rome. His technical notes for English Heritage staff were published in a five-volume set as Practical Building Conservation in 1998/9, and remain the best-selling technical books on building conservation in the world. John had recently been involved in their revision.

‘He left English Heritage in 1991 to set up a consultancy in Canada but his overseas adventure was short-lived and he returned to England to become the first British Petroleum Professor of Heritage Conservation at Bournemouth University. From the university he ran Historic Buildings and Sites Services (HBSS) as a consultancy business and subsequently transferred his teaching practice to Surrey where it was renamed “Resurgam”. In 1999, John helped create a new conservation practice called the Ingram Consultancy and he eventually became its part-time consultant working on Guildford Castle, the fort at Masada in Israel and for the Getty Conservation Institute at Butrint in Albania.

‘Ashurst was a complex and enigmatic character. Despite his prominent public profile he was a very private person who few knew well. He carried his expertise lightly. He was master of his subject and was equally at home in the company of scientists and of stonemasons. His technical solutions were never less than elegant, often ingenious and always practical. Of his many publications his last, The Conservation of Ruins, remains his personal monument. He devoted his professional life to two things: conserving historic buildings and teaching the rest of us how to do it.’

The Times carried an obituary on 12 June 2008 for our late Fellow Michael Hendy (1942–2008), economic historian and expert on the coinage of Byzantium, who died of a heart attack on 13 May 2008, aged 66, from which the following extracts are taken.

‘Michael Hendy was a precocious scholar who reshaped our entire understanding of the economy of medieval Byzantium and made a lasting contribution to the history of coinage and monetary studies. Born in Newhaven, East Sussex, in 1942, the son of a merchant sea captain, Michael Hendy graduated from Oxford in 1964. As an undergraduate at The Queen’s College, he once went to Cambridge to look at Byzantine coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum and expressed such an unusual interest in those minted by the Comnenian and Palaeologan emperors that the great numismatist and historian Philip Grierson, FSA, kept in touch with him, even inviting him to a feast at his college, a privilege generally reserved for distinguished academics.

‘More importantly, Grierson also recommended him for a two-year fellowship at the Dumbarton Oaks Centre for Byzantine Studies, Washington, and a five-year assistant curatorship at the Fitzwilliam Museum, 1967–72. In 1964–5 a British Council scholarship had enabled Hendy to study coin finds in Bulgaria, which proved to be the starting point for the large volume, Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire (1081–1261), published by Dumbarton Oaks in 1969, when he was only twenty-seven.

‘This pathbreaking and revolutionary study brought order to the previously misunderstood coinage of this period. Where the British Museum catalogue saw a chaotic series of debased coins of varying intrinsic value, Hendy identified a decisive monetary reform that replaced the debased issues of the late eleventh century with a new system of denominations, including a restored pure gold coin, the hyperpyron, at the top. He solved the mystery of the elusive coinage of the Latin Empire of Constantinople (1204–61) by identifying and dating, on the basis of coin finds, small bronze pieces that imitated, more or less faithfully, twelfth-century Byzantine types that had previously been confused with Comnenian issues.

‘Such discoveries went far beyond the “internalities” for which Hendy later blamed numismatists; they allowed a reassessment of the economy of Byzantium in the first stages of the so-called “commercial revolution” that opened up the Mediterranean market. Hendy argued rightly that the economy was expanding and not in decline. This proved a turning point in Byzantine historiography.

‘In 1972 he moved to Birmingham where he became curator of the important Byzantine coin collection in the Barber Institute. From 1978 until 1987 he was lecturer in Numismatics in the University’s Department of Medieval History. During that period he often travelled to and from Dumbarton Oaks, as visiting Fellow in 1976 and as associate adviser for Byzantine Numismatics in 1980–1 and 1982–4; his second great book was researched on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘This other magnum opus, Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c 1300–1450 (Cambridge University Press, 1985), was not only a detailed history of Byzantine money, its production, circulation and the administration of mints but also an economic assessment of the role of money in the economy. Twenty-five years later it remains an often-cited reference work. Under the influence of the “Cambridge school”, notably of Hugo Jones, Moses Finley and Philip Grierson, to all of whom he acknowledged his scholarly and intellectual debt, Hendy systematically downgraded the role of cash and exchanges and the level of monetisation of Byzantium, although that is now believed to have been relatively high for the period and one of the great strengths of the empire.

‘With these credentials, enhanced by the publication of a volume of collected studies that included several unpublished chapters (The Economy, Fiscal Administration and Coinage of Byzantium, Ashgate, 1989) and his important fieldwork on the coin finds from the excavations at Aphrodisias, Saraçhane (Saint Polyeuktos) and Kalenderhane in Istanbul, and Kourion in Cyprus, he might have been expected to start a new career after his voluntary severance from Birmingham. In 1987 he moved to Princeton and then joined his partner and future wife, Professor Meg Alexiou, in Harvard in 1989.

‘But perhaps as the unhappy consequence of an unusual personality, his aversion to the demands of daily professional responsibilities and general contrariness, which contrasted with his culinary skills and generous hospitality, he never received the high academic recognition he deserved. He felt unappreciated. The scientific loss that his death brings to the field of Byzantine studies is irreparable.’

The Sutton Hoo Society

The admirable Sutton Hoo Society has only 399 members and yet by providing guided tours of the Sutton Hoo burial ground to some 85,000 visitors a year (the numbers considerably boosted by the opening by the National Trust of the Sutton Hoo Visitor Centre in 2002) they are able to raise sufficient money to distribute largesse to a number of very worthy causes. The Society’s Saxon newsletter reveals that, as well as helping an archaeology student travel to Sweden as part of her Sutton Hoo research and contributing £5,648 to the Intertidal Survey Project being conducted by Suffolk County Council’s Archaeological Service, they have also funded a major three-year research project undertaken by landscape archaeologist Tom Williamson analysing what the wider Sutton Hoo landscape might have been like in the seventh century, in both physical and conceptual terms – how it might have been experienced and understood by the Wuffingas (the people of the River Wuff = Deben) and their neighbours the Blythingas (people of the River Blyth).

The results will be published in the autumn, but an intriguing preview is provided in the newsletter where Tom explains that topographic patterns reflect social identities and territories. Territorial boundaries along the River Deben run at right angles to the river, as do transport routes, thus providing communities with a range of resources, from the wildfowl, fish, shellfish, reeds and summer grazing of the salt marsh to the arable of the lower slopes of the river terrace to the timber, pannage and woodland grazing of the higher heathland and forest. The areas close to the river were, Tom suggests, perceived as ‘home’, and a gateway to other neighbouring and more distant lands; the wooded uplands, by contrast, are dark, remote, lonely, wild and marginal. The centrality and emotional importance of the river helps to explain the choice of Sutton Hoo as a burial ground – though this is difficult to appreciate today because of the woodland that now obscures the views of the river from the cemetery site.

The Society also hosts an annual conference: this year’s (chaired by Dr Angela Care Evans and our Fellow Martin Carver) looks at ‘Arts and Crafts in the Mead Hall: the roots of English culture’, and includes a number of Fellows among the speakers. It takes place on 25 October at the Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge School; further details will be posted in due course on the Society’s website.

Events

To tie in with the latest exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum, Julian Harrap will be giving a talk to the Soane Museum Study Group on Wednesday 9 July on ‘The Neues Museum, Berlin: restoration, repair and intervention’. Places must be booked in advance by contacting Beth Kingston, Education Manager, Sir John Soane’s Museum.

The Stained Glass Museum’s Annual Lecture will be given this year by our Fellow Carola Hicks on ‘The King’s Glass: the untold story of the stained glass of King’s College Cambridge’, at 5pm on 17 July, at St Ethelburga’s Church, Bishopsgate, London. Tickets cost £5, including tea, and are available from The Stained Glass Museum, Ely Cathedral, Ely CB7 4DL; email: information@stainedglassmuseum.com

A call for papers and details of the programme, costs and accommodation have now been posted on the website of the XXIst International Limes (Roman Frontiers) Congress.

CBA Wessex celebrates its fiftieth birthday this year and to mark the occasion, it is joining forces with Wessex Archaeology and the Ordnance Survey in hosting a two-day conference called ’The New Antiquarians: 50 years of archaeological innovation in Wessex’ at the Ordnance Survey Business Centre in Romsey Road, Southampton, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 November 2008.

The conference aims to involve as many as possible of the individuals and groups who have shaped the post-war archaeology of the region during a period that has witnessed extraordinary changes in archaeological methods and understanding. Sessions will include reviews of the major chronological periods and advances in landscape, maritime, environmental, scientific and public archaeology as well as short personal reminiscences.

Contributors are expected to include Mark Corney, Barry Cunliffe, Tim Darvill, Sue Davies, Mike Fulford, Phil Harding, Mike Heyworth, David Hinton, Robert Horsfield, Mike Parker-Pearson, Peter Fowler, Josh Pollard, Phil Harding, Martin Green, Andrew Lawson, Carenza Lewis, Mike Pitts, Colin Shell, Geoffrey Wainwright and many others.

Tickets for this not-to-be-missed event are priced at £40 and numbers are strictly limited, so early booking is highly recommended. For further information see the Wessex Archaeology website or contact the CBA Wessex Meetings Secretary, Andy Manning.

The John Pagett Bursary

Applications are invited for a new annual award available from the Ironbridge Institute (part of the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham) to fund research in any period in the archaeology and / or history of Shropshire, extending, where relevant, to the Severn Valley system, the Welsh Marches, North Wales and the West Midlands. The award has an annual value of up to £3,000 and can be used to part-fund a research degree based at Ironbridge Institute. Details of research programmes are available on the Ironbridge Institute website, and the annual closing date for applications to study at Ironbridge Institute is 31 July.

The successful applicant will be required to publish the results of the research and deliver a public lecture to the Telford and Wrekin Archaeological and Historical Society who administer the fund. Applicants wishing to apply should submit a research proposal of between 500 and 1,000 words, outlining their research area and aims and subject for research to be sent to Dr Roger White, Academic Director, Ironbridge Institute, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DX, or electronically to r.h.white@bham.ac.uk.

Vacancies

This week’s felicitously mistitled job comes from Newport, where the Newport Medieval Ship Project has been advertising for a Waterlogged Wood Conservator.

National Heritage Science Strategy Co-ordinator
£40,000 to £45,000; one year contract/secondment; closing date: 7 July 2008; interview date: provisionally 22 July 2008

The aim of the National Heritage Science Strategy, as set out in a report to the House of Lords see Chapter 8), is to assess the sector’s use of science in understanding and preserving the UK’s heritage, to identify opportunities and make recommendations about priorities in responding to them.

As the Co-ordinator, you will collect and organise appropriate information and support the steering group to enable them to formulate the strategy. You will organise steering group meetings and maintain very active links with the sector, including running a website.

You will have good knowledge and experience in the historic environment sector and an understanding of the application of science to the sector. Skills in collecting and analysing information, and in writing, and the ability to work with multi-disciplinary groups and deliver a project on time, are also essential.

For further information and to apply for this post, please visit the English Heritage website.