The last ballot of the academic year (and potentially the last of its kind see below) will allow Fellows to see one of the most beautiful objects to emerge from a recent UK excavation when Jenny Hall, FSA, Liz Goodman and John Shepherd, FSA, all of the Museum of London, and Guy Hunt, Director of LP Archaeology, will talk about the discovery, conservation and significance of a Roman glass millefiore bowl (see the Societys News and Events web page for a picture).
Probably made in Alexandria in the third century AD, the glass bowl is unique in the western Roman empire and is made of carefully cut sections of millefiori glass rod painstakingly fitted together to form a vessel of translucent white, blue and red glass. Liz Goodman, one of the UKs most experienced conservators, spent weeks cleaning the fragments and piecing them together again after the bowl fell apart shortly after being discovered at Prescot Street in Aldgate, accompanying a cremation burial in the cemetery on the eastern outskirts of Roman London.
The bowl is normally on display at the Museum in Docklands, but will be brought to Burlington House for the Societys ballot meeting on 2 July so that Fellows can view and discuss the find, in the tradition of exhibiting significant finds that has been a feature of the Societys proceedings since its foundation in 1707.
From October 2009, the Society will also be reverting (for an experimental period) to the older practice of holding ballots at every meeting. Up to five candidates will be balloted prior to each meeting, in future. Meetings specifically set aside for ballots were introduced around 150 years ago at a time when Fellows voted in person; today most Fellows vote online or by post, and average attendance at ballot meetings has dwindled to fewer than twenty Fellows. In place of ballot meetings, the Society will, in future, hold dedicated exhibition meetings at which significant exhibits will be presented and discussed, including important finds reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
11 July 2009: Fellows Day at Kelmscott Manor, 2pm to 5pm A few tickets remain for the Fellows Day at Kelmscott, which is always a relaxing occasion for enjoying Kelmscott Manor and its garden and getting to know other Fellows, as well as consuming home-made teas featuring preserves made from the Manors prolific mulberry tree. For further information contact Kelmscott Manor or tel: 01367 253348).
1 October 2009: Ship in the Desert: the Namibian treasure wreck, by Dr Bruno Werz. At the first meeting of the new academic year, the Society will hear a paper from Bruno Werz, of the Southern African Institute of Maritime Archaeology (SAIMA) and Department of History and Heritage Studies, University of Pretoria, who will give us an account of his excavation of the Oranjemund shipwreck, the sixteenth-century Portuguese merchantman found in a Namibian coastal diamond mine last year and reported in Salon at the time of its discovery and excavation. The results of the excavation of sub-Saharan Africas oldest wreck yet discovered offer a unique insight into inter-continental maritime trade during the Early Modern period.
Following the 1 October meeting, Fellows and guests are invited to join a reception to mark the launch of Volume 89 of the Antiquaries Journal, in its printed and online form. Members of the Journals newly appointed International Advisory Board will be at the reception, as will the Journals editorial team, and staff from Cambridge University Press responsible for the online version and for the marketing of the Journal, all of whom will be happy to answer questions.
Copies of Volume 89 will be posted to Fellows in late August, but, in addition to the annual printed version, papers are added to the online site as soon as they are ready for publication. This means that the Society can offer very swift publication of topical material, having already narrowed to three months the average time it takes to seek referees reports, edit papers, get them typeset and placed on the Journal site. We are also very keen to expand the international and period coverage of the Journal and to publish short papers, so do contact Kate Owen, Editor, or Christopher Catling, Assistant Editor, if you are thinking of submitting a paper or have any questions about the Journal.
Meanwhile, the first eight papers from Volume 89 can already be read online by using the link on the Fellows area of the Societys website. These papers include an interim report on excavations at Stonehenge, an assessment of Sir Joseph Bankss influence on our Society, an investigation into the provenance of the late Roman/early Byzantine silver hoard from Lambousa, now in the British Museum, a study of the many different forms of copyhold land tenure that prevailed in the West Country during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that influenced everything from marriage patterns to investment in new buildings, and an account of the disastrous nineteenth-century restoration of King Johns tomb in Worcester Cathedral (in which the medieval paint was scraped off) interwoven with a history of the development of government policy on the care of English royal tombs.
It is customary for the President to nominate a member of Council as Vice-President following each Anniversary ballot for Officers and Council members. At the Ordinary Meeting held on 18 June 2009, our President Geoffrey Wainwright announced that he had invited our Fellow Sîan Rees to serve as Vice-President and that she was delighted to accept. Sîan, who is Cadws Inspector of Ancient Monuments, is currently in Seville where she successfully presented the case for the designation of the Pontcysyllte aqueduct and canal as a World Heritage Site (see below). Before she left, Sîan took part in a celebratory picnic at Pentre Ifan, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the designation of the dolmen as the first scheduled monument in Wales. We hope to have Sîans account of that event in the next issue of Salon.
Wading through pages of small print searching for Fellows names, it seems inevitable that Salons editor misses somebody out whenever Birthday and New Year honours are announced. This time the omission was our Fellow the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who is to be congratulated on being appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for his services as Dean of Her Majestys Chapels Royal.
Our Fellow Jane Moon also points out that among those from the wider community honoured for services to British archaeological research was Geoff Summers, of the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, who was created an MBE.
Regrettably none of the pro-heritage candidates standing for the post of House of Commons Speaker, including our Fellow Sir Patrick Cormack, succeeded in winning enough support from MPs to end up occupying the Speakers chair. Instead John Bercow was elected, amidst predictions that his tenure as Speaker will be limited to what remains of the time before the next election.
In his capacity as A G Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University, with a specific brief to promote public understanding of the ancient Greek world, our Fellow Paul Cartledge has been making waves, first by suggesting in his new book, Ancient Greek Political Thought In Practice (see Books by Fellows below) that Socrates was guilty as charged, but more controversially by lending his voice to the campaign to see the Elgin Marbles returned to Athens.
Hailing the opening of the new Acropolis Museum of Athens, Professor Cartledge told the Independent newspaper that the museum is designed to remind the world that the Parthenon both as thing and as idea cannot begin to be properly understood except in the context of the mighty rock on which it was constructed, and of the vast number of other artefacts, which it also brilliantly displays. He added: speaking both museologically, and spiritually, those of us who believe alleged titles to legal ownership to be not just beside the point but wilfully designed to obscure the point, and the true humane goal to be the reunification of all the extant Parthenon Marbles (not only those in the British Museum) in close association with the Acropolis rock, cannot but be hugely cheered by yesterdays inaugural event, a genuine Athens Spring (the modern Greek word for which season means literally opening).
Pauls colleague, our Fellow Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge, avoided committing herself when she told the Independent that the primary argument advanced by the British Museum that keeping the Elgin Marbles in London allows them to be part of a world museum, where they can be connected to other ancient civilisations is one that resonates with her: we have a global culture and theres a way in which the division and spread of a monument is a herald to internationalism, she said. But she also said she understands the Greek pain: imagine the English being told that, from now on, they could only watch Shakespeare whose plays, incidentally, also constitute a global work of art in Japanese.
Equally polarised are views on the intervention of our Royal Fellow Prince Charles in the Chelsea Barracks development, which has resulted in the Qatar royal family withdrawing its planning application to build high tech residential towers designed by Sir Richard Rogers on a site that is sensitive because of its proximity to Sir Christopher Wrens Royal Hospital. Angry architects have accused Prince Charles of an abuse of power and unconstitutional behaviour and last month boycotted the speech that he gave at the 175th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Writing in the Sunday Times, however, our Fellow Gavin Stamp argues that HRH is far from being alone in bringing personal influence to bear in the causes that he believes in: Gavin accuses architects of doing the same on a routine basis. He also argues that Prince Charles was not exactly a lone voice: there was strong local opposition to the redevelopment scheme which had already forced a scaling down in height and density. Gavin does not pull his punches in attacking Richard Rogers, nor in welcoming the Princes interventions which, he argues have managed to upset the smug modernist Establishment … and discomfit an overpraised, posturing, millionaire socialite architect.
In writing thus, Gavin remains faithful to his long-held hostility to inconsiderate design. Just how far back that hostility goes is illustrated in a fine archive picture in last weeks Building Design magazine entitled The design Avengers (you will understand why when you see Gavins Steed-like outfit) taken outside the National Theatre in 1976, complete with comment on the iniquities practised by modern architects. The photograph was taken to mark the publication of Andrew Saints biography of Norman Shaw and the opening of Gavin Stamps Heinz Gallery exhibition on the same subject.
Our Fellow Norman Hammond has added another feather to his well-feathered cap with the announcement that he has been appointed Archaeology Editor of the Times Literary Supplement (TLS). In this role he will collaborate with the TLSs Classics Editor, our Fellow Mary Beard, who will cover the field of classical archaeology, while Professor Hammond will, he says, commission reviews of selected archaeology books for a world-wide non-specialist audience covering the rest of the world, from early prehistory to the present, from analytical archaeology to zooarchaeology, and from Albania to Zimbabwe.
Finally, our congratulations to our Fellow Geoff Egan on his installation last month as Master of the Guild of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors. This newest of the City of Londons guilds (founded in 2006) aims to bring together those who have a particular enthusiasm for historical objects from a variety of backgrounds, including archaeology, museum curatorship, conservation and trade. Several Fellows are members already and all of the Masters so far (Jonathan Horne, Geoffrey Bond and The Rt Hon Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville) have been Fellows.
At the installation ceremony held at Watermens Hall in the City of London, Jonathan Horne introduced Geoff as his successor, and noted that this was probably the first occasion on which an archaeologist had become the head of a London guild. The first is perhaps a rash phrase to repeat in these pages, inviting anyone who knows otherwise to tell us of a precedent or precedents. It would be interesting to hear if anyone can contradict the claim, and if so, how long it has been since there was another archaeologist to hold such a position. Further information about the Guild can be found on its website.
The Society has been informed of the sad news that our Fellow Humphrey Case died on 12 June 2009, having been ill for some time. Humphrey, well known for his excavations of prehistoric sites in Oxfordshire and beyond and for his curatorship at the Ashmolean, was one of a select group of those who have been Fellows for more than fifty years, having been elected on 4 March 1954. Our Fellow Arthur MacGregor is writing an obituary for inclusion in a future edition of Salon, and would be happy to hear from anyone who could contribute.
Come friendly bombs and fall on Piddletrenthide, Winterbourne Abbas, Warminster and Dorchester, Whitchurch Canonicorum and Puddletown; they are not fit for humans now. John Betjeman did not write these words, but were he alive today he would no doubt be fronting a campaign to highlight the plight of the 1,328 conservation areas (including those named above) that are classified as being at risk in the 2009 Heritage at Risk (HAR) survey meaning that the condition of the area is deteriorating as a result of neglect, decay or damaging change.
Conservation areas are defined as being areas of special architectural or historic interest, and local authorities have a statutory duty to designate them and consult residents about plans to manage and enhance the special interest. Even so, in a DVD made for the launch of 2009 HAR, our Fellow Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, interviews stakeholders in conservation areas and one councillor candidly admits that her local authority lacks the resources to ensure that the ideals embodied in the concept of conservation areas are realised and enforced.
Publication of the survey, based on responses from 75 per cent of Englands planning authorities, is not meant to be seen as a council-bashing exercise, insisted EHs Planning Development Director (South), Philip Davies, who said at the HAR launch that the aim was education and the promotion of best practice through regional seminars that would be held over the coming twelve months. The aim was to encourage local residents to set up conservation area advisory committees to work with councils in improving their neighbourhoods. A strong economic incentive to do so comes from an English Heritage poll of estate agents which shows that two factors add value to properties: the retention of original features and being in a well-kept conservation area.
No such economic levers apply to scheduled monuments, however, and the welcome news that some 1,000 monuments had been removed from the at risk register was counterbalanced by the fact that ploughing and animal burrowing is continuing to erode scores of barrows, even around such significant prehistoric landscapes as Stonehenge and Avebury. No less than 18 per cent (3,535) of Englands 19,709 scheduled monuments are considered to be at risk and in danger of significant loss of fabric; by contrast, only 3.1 per cent of Grade I and Grade II* buildings are classified as at risk. Dr Vince Holyoak, Senior Policy Adviser for English Heritage, said that archaeological sites are more vulnerable because they do not generate an income. Their importance as part of our heritage is nevertheless immeasurable, and their urgent needs must not be ignored.
Close co-operation with owners and land managers is seen as the key to reducing the risks, and EH announced a series of measures, including disseminating information and advice on grants and Environmental Stewardship agri-environment schemes through a network of local authority Historic Environment Countryside Advisers.
In February this year, Salon 206 reported that strong national and local opposition to the controversial North Canal Corridor project in Lancaster had led the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears to order a public inquiry, a decision that was welcomed by English Heritage, SAVE Britains Heritage and the local campaign group Its Our City. On Wednesday 24 June came the news that the public inquiry had collapsed, after Lancaster City Council withdrew. The council had been left defending the scheme after the developer, Centros, declined to defend its own planning application at the inquiry.
Critics of the scheme argued that it involved the demolition of many historic buildings in conservation areas, and adversely affected the setting of a number of listed buildings. Local opposition was also based on the fear that the scheme, to be built alongside the Lancaster canal, would draw business away from the historic city centre. They would now like to see the existing historic buildings repaired, together with the historic street pattern in which they stand.
William Palin, Secretary of SAVE, says: We are delighted that the council has acknowledged that there is no point in continuing its defence of this application. SAVE has argued from the outset that this is completely the wrong scheme for this sensitive and finely textured site. In commissioning an alternative conservation-led blueprint for the site from Richard Griffiths, SAVE has demonstrated the benefits of an adaptable, phased approach, which makes the best of the historic fabric. Now the council has a real opportunity to change direction and promote a new scheme worthy of this unique and beautiful city.
Salons editor is grateful to our Fellow Roger Bland, Head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, for this latest update on the progress of the Coroners and Justice Bill through Parliament.
The Lords debated the Treasure amendments to the Bill on 23 June. Lords Redesdale and Howarth tabled an amendment widening the obligation to report Treasure to anyone who comes into possession of it and they, together with Lord Renfrew, made a strong case for the amendment, which is needed to make it harder for people to sell unreported Treasure finds on eBay and elsewhere. The Minister, Lord Bach, did not agree to incorporate the amendment, but he did offer to have discussions with Lords Redesdale and Howarth before the Report stage, at which point they could bring the amendment back if necessary. This is what we were hoping to achieve, as we are sure that the Governments objections to it are based on a misunderstanding of how it will work.
At the same time the House approved amendments the Minister brought forward establishing a Coroner for Treasure and making two further changes to the Treasure Act: extending the time during which prosecutions for non-reporting of Treasure can be brought and giving the Coroner the power to require finds of Treasure to be delivered to him (or her). The agreement to establish a dedicated Coroner for Treasure is particularly welcome, as it should result in a great increase in the speed and consistency with which Treasure cases are handled. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group as a lobby group.
Finally, DCMS is about to start a Review of the Treasure Act (which was due two years ago). We hope that they will look at the possibility of extending the definition of Treasure to hoards of Roman base-metal objects and single finds of Roman and Anglo-Saxon gold coins.
Much of the talk over tea prior to this Thursdays soirée was about the imminent closure of the Textile Conservation Centre, and the letter published in The Times, signed by senior figures in the international heritage community deploring the actions of Southampton University in closing this unique establishment. The letter pointed put that the Centres closure was a blow to the care and preservation of the worlds textile heritage when the need for high-level expertise has never been greater. It is in direct conflict with the recommendations of the House of Lords report on science and heritage; it also goes against the UK Governments emphasis on the importance of knowledge-based industries, which is the case for heritage-based industries and their relationship to sustainable tourism. If one university cannot sustain such essential skills then the future for other educational centres in conservation is similarly threatened and hence heritage itself.
Any hope that state funding might be used to keep the work of the centre alive was scotched in a muddled follow-up letter from Roy Clare, Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, who said that the Textile Centre has not proved financially sustainable and a case for state intervention has not been proved. Let us leave aside the obvious point that a financially sustainable organisation does not need state intervention, and let us not ask how outstanding an institution has to be to meet Roy Clares criteria for state intervention, and instead let us ask what he proposes should be done about what he admits is a shortage of conservation skills … that puts long-term capacity at risk and could ultimately jeopardise collections. Apparently the answer is apprenticeships and foundation degrees. What Mr Clare omits to say is where precisely one might actually study for an apprenticeship or foundation degree in textile conservation now that the only institution in the world offering these opportunities has just closed.
One comment posted on the Times Online website in response to Roy Clares letter was brief but pointed: Another layer of management established with public funds. Another vital facility closing for lack of funds. Do I see any connection between these two statements?
The Textile Conservation Centre has promised an open day before it finally closes, and Salon will give details as soon as they are available.
As England waits for the publication some time in the next three weeks of the long-delayed revision of Planning Policy Guidelines 15 and 16, Scotland has led the way with its SPP23, an over-arching policy document that has caused considerable concern amongst heritage organisations because of its lack of detailed guidance.
Instead of burdening what is intended as a clear and easy to understand policy statement with detailed provisions, the SPP refers to guidance on policy and legislation laid out in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP) documents that have been published by Historic Scotland over the last five years. Objectors to this approach argue that the SHEP was not designed for this purpose and contains numerous lacunae; reliance on the SHEP, they say, will lead to inconsistent interpretation and application of policy at local level, leading, in the words of the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers in Scotland to a severe weakening in the delivery of Planning advice and, by extension, to the aims of the SPP.
The Archaeological Forum, of which the Society of Antiquaries is a member, is supporting colleagues in Scotland in their request that Historic Scotland now undertake an urgent review of the SHEP to ensure that it provides the robust detail necessary to underpin SPP23 and hence protect the historic environment within Scotlands planning system.
Matt Ritchie, Forestry Commission Scotlands Archaeologist, writes to inform Salon readers about a project to highlight the history and archaeology of Scotlands national forest estate. A new website has been set up by Forestry Commission Scotland in partnership with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, the aim of which is not only to promote more than sixty sites within the publicly owned national forest estate in Scotland, but also to present the stories and experiences of the people who lived and worked on these sites, which range from abandoned highland townships, through sites and landscapes of early industry, to the stop lines and pillboxes of WWII defence.
By presenting these stories, says Matt, we hope to encourage people to visit the sites and enjoy the forests as part of the Homecoming Scotland 2009 initiative, but it is intended that the website will outlive 2009 and provide an interesting and unusual portal to the wider historic environment on the national forest estate for years to come.
The 200-year-old Pontcysyllte aqueduct and canal, built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop between 1795 and 1805, has been designated as the UKs newest World Heritage Site. The 11-mile canal and aqueduct, located near Llangollen, in Wales, is described as a pioneering masterpiece of engineering and monumental metal architecture, whose construction required substantial, bold civil engineering solutions, especially as it was built without using locks.
Also added to the list at the meeting in Seville of UNESCOs World Heritage Committee is the Tower of Hercules, the lighthouse which guards the entrance to the harbour of the Galician city of La Coruña, in north-western Spain, built in the first century AD and described as the only lighthouse of Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained a measure of structural integrity and functional continuity. The Swiss watch-manufacturing towns of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle were added as outstanding examples of mono-industrial manufacturing-towns which are well preserved and still active, as were the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains in eastern France, where brine has been extracted since at least the Middle Ages.
The committee continues to meet until 30 June and further new inscriptions have yet to be announced, but the committee has already taken the unusual step of deleting a site from the World Heritage List. The committee said that Germanys Dresden Elbe Valley had been removed because the building of the four-lane Waldschlösschen road bridge through the heart of the cultural landscape meant that the property had failed to keep its outstanding universal value as inscribed. The Committee said that Germany could present a new nomination relating to Dresden in the future because the Committee recognised that parts of the site might still be considered to be of outstanding universal value, but that it would have to be presented under different criteria and boundaries.
Dresden is only the second site ever to have been removed from the World Heritage List: Omans Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was delisted in 2007.
Our Fellow Philip Lankester reports that the York Antiquaries dinner was held in the Ask Italian Restaurant in the York Assembly Rooms last week, and that the meeting was addressed by Mary Kershaw, Director of Collections at the York Museums Trust, who spoke about the appeal that has been set up jointly by the Trust and the British Museum to acquire the Vale of York Viking hoard. Described as the most important Viking discovery in Britain in the last 170 years, and a discovery of national and international interest and importance, the hoard was found on farmland in North Yorkshire in 2007, and consists of some 700 artefacts, including some 617 coins dating from the 880s to 927 from Britain and Ireland and as far afield as Russia and Central Asia.
Other finds included a punch-decorated gold bracelet, intact silver bracelets, silver ingots and hack-silver (cut-up) fragments of other jewellery and ingots. The coins date the deposition of the hoard to shortly after AD 927, while the jewellery is a mixture of Scandinavian styles dating to the first quarter of the tenth century, while most of the treasure was contained within a rare silver gilt cup probably in a French workshop in the ninth century, a beautifully decorated vessel of superb quality: only seven examples of the type are known from the whole of Europe. The range of contacts displayed by the artefacts reflects a Viking-period trading network that tells the story of Britains cultural relations with the wider world of the time.
Under the terms of the Treasure Act the hoard has been valued at £1,082,800. Working with the British Museum, the York Museums Trust has already secured £507,100 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and £250,000 from the Art Fund, as well as £17,000 from local donors towards the target of £30,000 from the public. If the appeal is successful, the hoard will be displayed at the Yorkshire Museum in September 2009 before the museum closes for refurbishment in November. A publication in the British Museums Object in Focus series is in preparation and is likely to be published next year.
Fellows who would like to know more or make a donation should see the York Museums Trust website.
Catherine Johns defence of Richard Atkinson in the last issue of Salon has produced a flood of supportive comments and anecdotes. Anna Ritchie says: May I add my voice to that of Catherine Johns, as another Cardiff student who remembers Richard Atkinson with affection and huge respect. He was indeed a truly inspirational teacher, both in lecture room and on fieldwork. I was fortunate enough to work with him and Stuart Piggott at Stonehenge and Waylands Smithy, and it is sometimes forgotten that Richard was the practical lead on their joint excavations and taught both Cardiff and Edinburgh students how to dig in a rigorously methodical way. He was meticulous in instilling in us the vital importance of publishing our excavations, and perhaps because of that he has suffered more than his fair share of blame over his own shortcomings on the publication front.
Vincent Megaw writes that Catherine Johns beat me to it. The Time Team Stonehenge has not yet been shown Down Under but I too have been more than a little pi**ed off at the hollier-than-thou remarks about Richard Atkinson that have appeared since his death. I too was a student of Richards during those halcyon days when Richard was the practical man to Stuart Piggotts inspired thinker. In concrete terms, this meant that Richard taught the first-year class on the prehistory of Britain lecturing completely without notes, except when having to deal with the Palaeolithic. Chain smoking the whilst (this was, after all, the 50s) he would pause sufficiently long to dispose of his cigarette butts in his trouser turn-ups. This was the man who was one of the first to use a magnetometer for archaeological purposes and whose experiences during WWII in the AFS resulted in the manufacture of a portable photographic tower his Field Archaeology (Methuen, 1953) is still worth consulting.
Unlike our contemporaries at such provincial universities as Cambridge, we had to undertake at least three consecutive weeks on an excavation. Thus it was our good fortune to dig with Richard not only at Stonehenge but at Waylands Smithy and the wheel-house at Sollas on North Uist and to gain the experience that many of us still value. Yes, Richard did not publish as he might have something that certainly rankled with Stuart Piggott and yes, after his move to Cardiff and the Foundation Chair of Archaeology, his time was more and more spent in the higher echelons of academic administration. But how many of those who are now his detractors have established a private fund as he and his first wife Hester did to help students in need? Richard Atkinson might seem to have failed the publish-or-perish rule but few could match his inspiring teaching or his innate humanity.
Carol Biggham also wishes to support Catherine Johns in her objection to the denigration of Professor Richard Atkinson in the Time Team Special programme on Stonehenge. I agree with everything she says. I was at the Cardiff Dept of Archaeology a little later than her, between 1966 and 1969, and greatly admired The Prof. He was an innovator in archaeology, being the first or among the first to use geophysical surveying and experimental archaeology. He instilled in his students the belief that an archaeological discovery dated, not from its finding, but from its publication, so Im sure his own slowness in publishing (the result of his work-load) was much regretted. However, as Catherine says, it is wrong to suggest he published nothing about Stonehenge.
It must be remembered that he played a major role in university management, and a national role in addressing what was then becoming the serious problem of university library provision. Not least in this massive workload was his eagerness to teach and counsel his students, which many of us will never forget. When I was at Cardiff, he lectured to first-year students a very unusual thing in the days when professors were rare and exalted creatures and he personally marked and discussed first-year essays, in addition to those of the more advanced students. So, Im with Catherine. When those who made such disparaging comments about him on TV have achieved half of what he achieved, then they will have a right to criticise, if they still think they are justified to do so.
And from Cherry Lavell came the following supportive comments: Catherine Johns remarks about Richard Atkinson were very welcome indeed to this former student of his. He was an absolutely inspirational thinker and teacher and I am heartily sick of lesser minds taking regular potshots at him. (I am reminded of a tutorial in which Richard suggested I write a critique of a certain archaeologists book, to which my response was that I did not care to shoot peas at giants. A similar stance might be fitting for his current detractors.) Far from not having published on Stonehenge, Richard wrote a book which was a revelation to thousands of readers over decades, and people would do well to remember that.
But this would hardly be the Society of Antiquaries if there were agreement all round. From Mike Pitts comes the following explanation of some of the comments made in the Time Team programme: I understand why Catherine Johns might have been upset by accusations made about Richard Atkinsons work at Stonehenge in such a public place as a Time Team Special on Channel 4 especially, perhaps, as the subject has yet to be fully explored by the archaeological profession, which it needs to be (a topic that would take in not just his work at Stonehenge, but at several other prominent and otherwise unthreatened prehistoric monuments such as Silbury Hill and Waylands Smithy long barrow).
Atkinson was clearly respected and popular, could be helpful and charming (as he was to me when he visited my first excavation at Stonehenge) and had a talent for teaching and clear, descriptive writing. None of that is diminished by an assessment of the quality of his archaeological work, which must be based on a judgment of the work, not the man. For anyone who has sought to use the results of his work at Stonehenge, that judgment can only be profoundly depressing. There is much to say, but here I will comment on Catherines remarks.
Many of the basic assumptions made by those now working on the monument, says Catherine, are actually based, blithely unacknowledged, on his work at Stonehenge and elsewhere. We are all of us, of course, deeply aware of Atkinsons work, and have no reason to ignore it or fail to acknowledge it in any way, and neither do we. The fact is, however, that the conclusions he drew in his popular texts are increasingly being overtaken by new thinking and research. As I pointed out in my Hengeworld (2001), Atkinson himself was unfair in severely criticising his predecessor at Stonehenge, William Hawley (in a popular book, not an academic publication): Hawleys field records are superior to Atkinsons, Hawleys techniques were more in keeping with his time than were Atkinsons after all, it was Atkinson himself who wrote the then standard book on field technique, published ten years before his book on Stonehenge, in which he sets out so clearly the rules he failed to live up to and Hawleys work is now more significant for us in understanding the monument than Atkinsons. Additionally, again as I pointed out in Hengeworld, Atkinson failed to acknowledge Hawley for many of the ideas about Stonehenge that appear in his book, not least the fundamental theory that Stonehenge was built in three stages. For fifty years this has wrongly been attributed to Atkinson, not Hawley (though now we are I think at last starting to see it doesnt work).
Catherine suggests we should respect an archaeologist who also used popular books and TV for describing his excavations. Our complaint is not that he engaged with the public (though I have always taken issue with the way he went about it, which was to tell people that only archaeologists had the right to think about the meaning of Stonehenge), but that he failed to engage with the academic: there was no also. Whats more, his field records for Stonehenge are appalling: there are no layer records, no site diaries or notebooks, no photo identification lists, and very few useful section drawings.
Atkinson got caught up, like so many academics, before and since, in the toils of management and administration. Indeed, but several of us tried to work with him: in two significant cases, taxpayer-funded research assistants were appointed to help him bring his Stonehenge work to publication. He obstructed such attempts: he was given the opportunity to right his wrongs, and turned it down.
Almost as contentious in the last issue of Salon was the report on the Art Funds withdrawal of a purchase grant to the Fitzwilliam Museum because the museum was not willing to display the Art Fund logo alongside the picture. Our Fellow Timothy Potts, Director of the Fitzwilliam, stated that this was consistent with the museums long-standing policy of showing nothing alongside paintings other than information that enhances enjoyment and understanding of the work. Like all museums, the Fitzwilliam does, however, provide a credit line for each object, so the Art Funds generosity would have been acknowledged, minus the pink logo. For its part, the Art Fund maintains that displaying its logo has been a condition of grants since 1997, though the Art Newspaper, reporting on the story, said that it was not used by the Tate, the National Gallery or the National Portrait Gallery, that the Victoria and Albert Museum used it where there is space but otherwise not and the British Museum has in the past used a black-and-white version.
Martin Henigs comment on the issue was that I dont like the Art Fund logo much and it would be good to see it changed, but the Art Fund, of which I am a member, has over the years been generous to the Fitz and displaying the logo still seems to me a very small price to pay for giving the public permanent access to a work of art. From the Art Funds point of view, it needs to be seen to be helping galleries (to encourage its supporters to give more) and if this can best be done by showing symbol, so be it.
Writing from La France profonde, our Fellow Robert Merrillees reports that the popular magazine Point de Vue, which, appropriately for a republican state, is devoted entirely to what remain of the worlds royal families (scarcely an issue goes by without Queen Elizabeth II, her spouse, family and/or relatives featuring in photos and text) has suddenly discovered archaeology not, says Robert, that it is archaeology per se that features in the magazine so much as a member of the British Bronze Age Royal Family referred to inter alia as the Tall Stout Man and le roi de Stonehenge.
After informing readers of the findings of the 2008 excavations, which indicate that Stonehenge was a therapeutic as well as a religious sanctuary, the report quotes our Fellow David Dawson, Director of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, as saying that the Tall Stout Man of Bush Barrow, uncovered in 1808, could have been the king who ordered the building of Stonehenge. Dawson, according to the magazine, needs 750,000 euros to construct a gallery to show off the royal treasures from Bush Barrow, which are currently stored in a strong room.
Setting the record straight, Salon 216 said that Harry Norris and John Hurst excavated together in Palestine. In fact, they did their military service there both were in the British military police.
Finally, thank you to all those Fellows who pointed out the error in the last issue of Salon in which distinguished archaeologists Martin Biddle and Brian Fagan were described as undergraduates at Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1959, when they wrote to The Times on the occasion of the centenary of John Evanss Somme gravels lecture to the Society of Antiquaries, instead of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Salons editor (St Catharines College) can well appreciate the pain experienced by any Cambridge alumnus at being mistaken for a graduate of the other place. Martin Biddle is now based at Oxford, of course, but he is also an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke, Cambridge.
Among those who wrote to correct the error was our Fellow Graham Parry, who had the rooms next to Martins, and Jayne Ringrose, also a Pembroke graduate and now Honorary Archivist and Bye-Fellow at the same college, as well as Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library, where the Darwin manuscripts are held. Jayne says that the mistake is all too common: Ive had rather a lot of trouble over this sort of confusion this year, not least when The Times attributed Lancelot Andrewes to the other place. Some people even write to me or in one case actually visited Cambridge thinking they were in Oxford.
Martin himself adds that he and Brian Fagan were students of Glyn Daniel: and hence well aware of that then-new subject: the history of archaeology itself. I dont doubt that it was in one of Glyns lectures that we first heard the story of the Somme and thought it should be celebrated.
Hidden Histories on BBC 4 to 16 July. Last year Salon regretted that a five-part television series following the investigative work of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, narrated by Huw Edwards, was only being shown on BBC Wales. The good news is that the rest of the UK can now see this excellent series on Thursdays at 8pm on BBC4. The first two programmes (18 June: building Pontcysyllte aqueduct; rediscovering a lost church in the Conwy Valley; the oldest gate in Europe? and 25 June: uncovering an industrial revolution copperworks in Swansea; deciphering a ninth-century inscription; revealing an Iron Age hillfort) have already been broadcast but can be viewed on iPlayer.
Still to come are 2 July: the Roman army at Trawsfynydd; exploring social history with Huw Edwards at a great Llanelli chapel; tracing Tudor master-carpenters; 9 July: lumps and bumps in the uplands; a Victorian millionaires farm; rediscovering wall paintings in the Wye Valley; and 16 July: a disappearing mansion at Llandeilo; how would Wales have fought a Nazi invasion?; searching for a castle of the Welsh princes at Portmeirion.
Our Fellow Peter Wakelin reports that the programmes proved to be so popular when shown in Wales that a second series is now being filmed.
29 June to 21 August 2009: Edward Lhuyd 16601709. The Welsh antiquary, naturalist and philologist Edward Lhuyd, the second Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, died three hundred years ago this year. To celebrate his achievements there will be an exhibition at the Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru/National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth. Curated by our Fellow Nancy Edwards and Brynley Roberts, this brings together manuscripts and artefacts from a wide variety of sources to illuminate the different facets of his life. For further information see the Librarys website.
11 July 2009: London Bridge Anniversary Fair 10am to 4pm. To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the completion of the first stone bridge across the Thames, a fayre is taking place on London Bridge, which will be closed to all traffic for the event (Freemen of the City will be exercising their right to drive sheep across the bridge toll free!). Among the activities planned for that day are demonstrations and exhibitions about the work of the mysteries, crafts and guilds of London. In collaboration with the Mudlarks, the Thames Foreshore Survey and the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the Guild of Arts Scholars Dealers and Collectors will mount a display of items recovered from the River Thames, including a portable hand cannon, pilgrims badges, early forms of matches and plenty of clay pipes. At 12.45pm there will be a procession on the river which will include several Livery Company barges and other historic vessels. Further details are on the Lord Mayors Appeal website.
15 July 2009: Fellows Roy and Lesley Adkins will be talking about their latest book Jack Tar during the history day at the Dartington Ways With Words festival, which takes place in the delightful setting of Dartington Hall, just outside Totnes. The illustrated talk, at 11.30am in the Barn Theatre, is called Nelsons Navy in the programme; tickets cost £8 and can be purchased online from the festival website.
17 July 2009: International Numismatic Conference and Exhibition on Coinage from Japan to the Mediterranean. Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre (Level 3), University of Sydney, 9am to 6.30pm. The conference will comprise seven papers by international speakers on aspects of oriental coinage and economy from Japan to the Mediterranean. The Society of Antiquaries of London Keynote Speech (5pm) will be given by Professor Kevin Butcher, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick, UK, on Coinage and communal memory in the Roman East (Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London will be admitted for free to this keynote speech). The keynote lecture will be given by Professor Walter Scheidel, Head, Department of Classics, Stanford University, USA, on Money supply and currency manipulation in early China and the Greco-Roman world. For information and registration see the conference website.
22 July 2009: Evensong at the Temple Church 5.45pm. Following on from the Cambridge theme, thousands of alumni will be packing the Albert Hall to hear performances by sixteen college choirs as part of the Cambridge Prom, marking the Universitys 800th anniversary, on 22 July 2009. What better as an hors duvre before the evening feast than evensong earlier the same day at the Temple Church, at which The Rt Hon The Lord Bingham of Cornhill will preach on the theme of Dr Johnson and Fleet Street: A Celebration as part of the Dr Samuel Johnson Tercentenary Celebrations, of which our Fellow Nicholas Cambridge is the Chairman. After evensong (admission free) there will be a reception (£6 for drinks) in the garden of the Master of the Temple, our Fellow Robin Griffith-Jones. Further details are on the Temple website.
18 July to 2nd August 2009: Festival of British Archaeology. Described by the Council for British Archaeology as an extravaganza of heritage-related activities, there are now more than 600 events planned for the 2009 Festival of British Archaeology, and a new website has been launched to show what is happening where. Simply entering a postcode will bring up the excavations, guided walks, re-enactments, demonstrations, lectures and more in your area, with directions, times and any additional information.
To 23 August 2009, British Museum: Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur. Fans of Salman Rushdies novels love the inventiveness that characterises his writing, but when Rushdie writes of emperors with large and slanting eyes and lips that are full and pushed forward in a womanly pout, seated in pavilions amidst bright silk banners and strutting peacocks, listening to soft music and whispered poetry mixed with the sensuous sound of bells on the ankles of dancers and the splash of languid fountains, he is not so much inventing an imagined world as describing scenes that were captured in Rajasthani court paintings of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, fifty-six of which are currently on display at the British Museum. Curated by our Fellow Richard Blurton and his colleague Sona Datta for the British Museum, along with Debra Diamond, curator at the Freer-Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian who edited the accompanying catalogue, this is an engrossing exhibition of paintings, around half of which depict the Rushdie-esque delights enjoyed by the Maharaja and his court, paintings that our Fellow Neil MacGregor described at the launch of the exhibition as depicting some of the finest parties it is possible to imagine, in which every tree bursts with rosebuds and pomegranates, every watercourse teems with exotic fish and the air is filled with rainbow-coloured birds whose song mixes with the flute music of the dancing girls in their diaphanous silks performing for the Jodhpur rulers.
By contrast, the latter part of the exhibition is concerned with the insignificance of individual human lives in relation to the scale of the cosmos and the pointlessness of all that courtly splendour. Some of these paintings depict narrative sequences from Hindu epic and mythology, mostly, like the court paintings, crammed with exotic detail. Some, however, explore such ineffable philosophical or religious concepts as God, Creation and the Absolute: the moment of creation is depicted in a work painted in 1823 by the artist called Bulaki not as the big bang of contemporary science, but as a mist of pure gold simply that, and nothing more; in a companion scene, Bulaki divides the canvas into a mist of grey and a mist of gold to depict the emergence from the heavenly realm of the material world which we inhabit. It, and all the paintings in this exhibition, are among the best and most thought-provoking works on display in London at the moment, and their display is a major milestone in the British Museums transformation into a museum of the world.
September 2009: Scottish Archaeology Month. The first Scottish Archaeology Month took place in 1999 with thirty-eight events; in this tenth anniversary year, the event has grown to more than 200 events which, following the theme of Year of Homecoming 2009, retrace the Scottish journey from the earliest Mesolithic sites to the tenements of the recent industrial past. Professional archaeologists and keen amateurs will be laying on a series of exhibitions, lectures, excavation open-days, re-enactments and workshops in archaeological skills and ancient technologies, all free to the public, throughout September. Further information can be found on the Scottish Archaeology Month website.
This issue of Salon is now more than full so apologies to all those Fellows whose books have not been mentioned this week; amends will be made in the next issue. In this issue there is just space to mention Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice, by our Fellow Paul Cartledge, which was launched at the Cambridge Museum of Classical Archaeology last week. Described by the publisher (Cambridge University Press) as a short, accessible guide to Greek political thought in its social and historical setting that draws numerous comparisons between ancient Greek and contemporary political thought and practice, the book spans the period from the prehistoric and protohistoric Greek world of c 1300 BC to democracy in the modern Greek world, but the chapter that has attracted the most comment is the one on the trial of Socrates, in 399 BC, in which Professor Cartledge explains why the trial and suicide of the Athenian philosopher was not the travesty of justice portrayed in most accounts, but a legitimate case of democracy in action.
Socrates encouraged people to think for themselves so Salons editor was taught at school hence he was the founding father of Western philosophy but also a threat to the Athenian state, which made a lesson of him by putting him on trial for impiety and corrupting the young. We were also taught that these were trumped-up charges designed to rid the city of an influential trouble-maker who had upset some powerful people.
Not so, says Professor Cartledge: The charges Socrates faced seem ridiculous to us now, but in ancient Athens they were genuinely felt to serve the communal good. Athenians were concerned at the time that they had offended Zeus, the result being a series of disasters, including plague, internal political strife and a military defeat by Sparta. The gods were clearly furious and a charge of impiety against a man who not only questioned the legitimacy and authority of many of the accepted gods, but also claimed to be guided by his inner daimonon a term which he may have intended to mean intuition, but which could also be interpreted as a dark, supernatural influence inaccessible to conventional believers and practitioners was not a token accusation, he argues.
Even though he was found guilty, Socrates did not have to die: asked to name his own punishment, in the Athenian tradition, he delivered an arrogant speech in which he said that Athenians should reward him for helping them cleanse their souls and give me free meals for the rest of my life. His jurors did not see the funny side and passed the death sentence. Offered the chance to flee the city by his jailers, his one undeniably brave act was to accept the death sentence, claiming that he owed it to the city under whose laws he had been raised to honour those laws to the letter.
Professor Cartledge concludes: He could be seen as an intellectual hero, but the idea that Socrates himself was not guilty, but executed by mob rule, is wrong. By removing him, society had in, Athenians eyes, been cleansed and reaffirmed.
Not everyone agrees with Paul Cartledges interpretation of the trail as legally just. Dr Michael Arnheim, barrister and former Cambridge classics don argues, in a letter to the Independent, that Socrates was the mentor of Critias, a leading member of the pro-Spartan Thirty Tyrants imposed on Athens after its catastrophic defeat at the hands of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, and of Alcibiades, another member of the pro-Sparta party who actually defected to Sparta. In the feverish ferment in Athens after the overthrow of the pro-Spartan oligarchy, Dr Arnheim concludes, it was hardly surprising that the leaders of the restored democracy should round on Socrates as a thinker and teacher who had questioned the whole basis of Athenian democracy.
The Society is very grateful to the donors of the following books, given to the Library in the period from July to December 2008. Full records for all are on the Societys on-line library catalogue and all the books are available for consultation in the Library.
From Philip Allsworth-Jones, Fellow, Pre-Columbian Jamaica (2008)
From the Archaeological Society of Athens: Eleusis: the inscriptions on stone by Kevin Clinton (2005); Neolithic Attica by Maria Pantelidou Gofas (2000); The Mycenaean Acropolis of Athens by Spyros Iakovidis (2006); Marathon by Basil Petrakos (1998); The Archaeological Society in Athens 18371987 by Vasilis Petrakos (1987); Minoan Clay Figures and Figurines by George Rethemiotakis (2001); Heroes at Ancient Messene by Petros Themelis (2003); Mycenaean Signet Rings by Dora Vassilicou (2000); People of Ancient Aegina 30001000 BC by Hans Walter (2001); The Greek House: the rise of noble houses in late Classical times by Elena Walter-Karydi (1998)
From the translator, Paul Arthur, Fellow, An Epigraphic Guide to Hierapolis (Pamukkale) by Tullia Ritti (2006)
From Paul Arthur, Fellow, Hierapolis II: Atlante di Hierapolis di Frigia, by Francesco dAndia, Giuseppe Scardozzi and Antonia Spano (2006)
From the editor, Mark Bailey, Border Heritage: tracing the heritage of the City of Armagh and Monaghan County (2008)
From Geoffrey Bond, Fellow, Byron: the image of the poet, edited by Christine Kenyon Jones (2008)
From the joint author, David Breeze, Fellow, The Antonine Wall, The Lower Danube Limes in Bulgaria and The Roman Limes in Hungary, in the Frontiers of the Roman Empire series (2008)
From the co-author, Sarah Brown, Fellow, Religion and Place: Liverpools historic places of worship by Sarah Brown and Peter de Figueiredo (2008)
From John Cherry, Fellow, Etudes de diplomatique Anglaise de Pavenment dEdouard 1er a celui de Henri VII (12721485) by Eugene Deprez (1908); Empreintes et matrices. Les sceaux du patrimoine historique et artistique du Nord XII-XVIII siecle (2008)
From Stephen Clarke, Fellow, Down the Dig Monmouth: an adventure in archaeology (2008)
From Nicola Coldstream, Fellow, Geometric Greece 900700 BC, 2nd edition by J N Coldstream, late Fellow (2003); Klados: essays in honour of J N Coldstream, edited by Christine Morris (1995)
From the author, B F Cook, Fellow, The Elgin Marbles, 2nd edn (1997)
From Rosemary Cramp, Fellow, Aedificia Nova: studies in honour of Rosemary Cramp, edited by Catherine Karkov and Helen Damico (2008)
From the editor, Gerard March Phillips de Lisle, Fellow, Italian Diary of Charles March Phillips, Writer 1823 to 1924, MP and High Sheriff for Leicestershire (1992)
From Paul Drury, Fellow, Terracotta of the Italian Renaissance (1928)
From Jill Franklin, Fellow, Holbein in England, by Susan Foister (2006)
From David Gaimster, Fellow, Magnificent Objects from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, edited by Jennifer Quick (2004); Piiburaamat: a book of pipes by Sivje Pallo and Erki Russao (2008)
From Frank Herrmann, Fellow, Pompei vor der Zerstoeruing reconstructinen der Tempel un Ihrer Umgebung von C Weichardt architect (1897)
From the editor, Neil Holbrook, Fellow, Excavations and Observations in Roman Cirencester 19982007, with a review of archaeology in Cirencester 19582008 (2008)
From the editor, Edward Impey, Fellow, The White Tower (2008)
From Aideen Ireland, Fellow, Treasures of the Royal Irish Academy Library, edited by B Cunningham and S Fitzpatrick (2009)
From the joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies, Senate House, Untersuchungen im Scholss Kaiserebebdorf by Michaela Muller et al (2008)
From the joint editor, Michael McCarthy, Fellow, Studies in Gothic Revival, edited by M McCarthy and Katina ONeill (2008)
From the author, Alastair Maxwell-Irving, Fellow, Family Memoirs … a supplement (2008)
From Vincent Megaw, Fellow, Nanterre et les Parisii. Une capitale au temps des Gaulois? (2008); Forschungen zur Funktion des Limes: Beiträge zum Welterbe (2005); Lhabitat de lepoque de la Tene a Sajopetri Hosszu-dulo sous la direction de Miklos Szabo (2007); Tra Mondo Celtico e Mondo Italico la necropolis di Monte Bibele (2008)
From Michael Michael, Fellow, A Brief History of Christies Education, being the recollections of former staff of Christies Fine Art Course (2008)
From the Musée National de la Legion dHonneur, Paris via Michael Siddons, Fellow, Honneur et Gloire: les trésors de la collection Spada (2008)
From the editor, Nancy Netzer, Fellow, Memory and the Middle Ages (1995)
From Martine Newby, Fellow, The Sholmo Moussaieff Collection: Byzantine mould-blown glass from the Holy Land with Jewish and Christian symbols (2008)
From the author, E J Priestley, Eltham Palace (2008)
From Derek Renn, Fellow, The Mystery of the Chapel of St James, Skendleby (2008)
From Paul Robinson, Fellow, The Archaeological Treasures of Kosovo and Metohiga from the Neolithic to the Early Middle Ages (2008)
From the editor, Brendan Smith, Fellow, The Register of Nicholas Fleming, Archbishop of Armagh, 14041416 (2003); The Register of Milo Swetman, Archbishop of Armagh, 13611380 (1996)
From Jane Wainwright, given in memory of the late Clive Wainwright, Fellow, Catalogue of an exhibition in celebration of the centenary of William Morris, held at the V&A Museum, 9 February8 April 1934; Catalogue of the Morris Collection, William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow (1958)
From the author, Michael Saunders Watson, Fellow, I am Given a Castle: the memoirs of Michael Saunders Watson (2008)
From Ann Williams, Fellow, Medieval Documents in Japan and England, edited by Hirokazo Tsurushima and Naoki Hawta (2008).
Glasgow Museums: Research Manager Human History (Ref: 3297)
Salary £30,713 to £36,131; closing date 3 July 2009
A dynamic Research Manager is needed to manage research programmes relating to the museums internationally significant collections of social history, ethnography and archaeology. Candidates need a track record of published research, experience of managing major projects and a commitment to communicating research results to the widest possible audience. To apply go to www.csglasgow.org/vacancies/.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS): three Commissioners; closing date 20 July 2009
Potential Commissioners are sought with skills or experience in the following: a significant understanding of the built heritage of Scotland in archaeology, architectural history or historical geography; the ability to contribute to the overall policy development and strategic direction of RCAHMS; the ability to represent the interests of RCAHMS at national, regional and local level; at least one of the following: business/financial planning; management of archives; Information Technology; education/outreach activities; the use of public relations in organisational outreach. For full details and an application pack please see Commissioners.