At the meeting held on 8 January 2004, Simon Kaner gave an account of
recent developments in Japanese archaeology, from the recent scandal of
Japanï¿½s early Palaeolithic remains, which proved to have been planted
by a member of the research team, to the astonishing and genuine wealth
of the pre-agricultural Jomon period, which lasted from around 10,000 to
300 BC. Drawing their sustenance entirely from such natural resources
as seafood, fish, game and wild fruits, nuts and berries, the Jomon
people lived in sunken floored dwellings in densely populated coastal
settlements and produced sophisticated pottery in large quantities and a
great variety of designs.
Simon Kaner also told Fellows that the Society owns a comprehensive collection of Jomon ceramics (currently on loan to the British Museum) thanks to the gift of Professor William Gowland, FSA, who, as well as being renowned for his work at Stonehenge in 1901, is also one of the fathers of Japanese archaeology.
Closing the meeting, the President not only expressed the hope that more papers of this kind might be given in the future, introducing Fellows to the archaeology of countries and cultures beyond the UKï¿½s shores, but also that the Societyï¿½s collection might be made better known and put on public display ï¿½ perhaps through collaboration with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.
A full report of the meeting is available on the Fellowsï¿½ side of the Societyï¿½s website.
15 January: After Adam: naming the animals in the Middle Ages and later, by Paul Harvey, FSA, and Malcolm Jones, FSA
22 January: The Archaeology of a Deserted Plateau: le Causse Mï¿½jean, by Peter Fowler, FSA, and Charles Thomas, FSA
29 January: Ballot
Salon 73 reported the death on 17 November 2003 of David
Buxton, FSA. David W Phillipson, FSA, subsequently wrote to say: ï¿½I was
pleased to see the note on the late David Buxton, FSA, but would not
wish the Society to ignore his great contributions to Ethiopian studies,
particularly those published in the Archaeologia. David was
responsible for bringing the remarkable rock-cut churches at Lalibela
and elsewhere to international scholarly attention, and his book The Abyssinians in the Ancient Peoples & Places
series has been of lasting value. His work in Ethiopia and his fondness
for that country and its people were fittingly recalled at his funeral
in Grantchester on 25 Novemberï¿½.
Former Fellow, Spencer (Gus) Corbett passed away just recently and his niece, Liz Peretz, has written to ask if any Fellow who knew him well would be interested in penning an obituary for The Times. Liz can be contacted by email.
The following Fellows were awarded honours in the New Year Honours list:
David Chesshyre, formerly Secretary of the Order of the Garter, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO); Dr Christopher John Kitching, Secretary, Historical Manuscripts Commission, for services to manuscript heritage, CBE; Dr Marjorie McCallum Chibnall, Medieval Historian, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, for services to history, OBE; Dr Maurice Hugh Keen Emeritus Fellow in Medieval History, Balliol College, University of Oxford, for services to history, OBE; Dr Malcolm Rogers, Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for services to the arts in the UK and the USA, CBE (Overseas); Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Director, British School at Rome, for services to UKï¿½Italian cultural relations, OBE (Overseas).
Last week The Times ran a special supplement entitled The New British Elite, listing all the new entrants to the 2004 edition of Whoï¿½s Who,
including distinguished members of academia and the heritage sector.
Several Fellows were featured: by way of a New Year quiz, see if you can
identify who they are from the list of recreations that they give at
the end of their entry: a) choral singing, wine, travel, music, swimming
and cats; b) walking, music, pottery, painting, gardening and
archaeological sites; c) flute; d) fly-fishing, gardening, talking; e)
dogs, academic Russian roulette; f) books, food; g) gardening, playing
the Anglo concertina, eating seafood, enjoying real ale; h) churches,
lepidoptera, gardening; i) reading, walking, embroidery, cooking,
theatre; j) exploring Britain, piano.
Answers: a) Miranda Aldhouse-Green, FSA, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Wales; b) Mick Aston, FSA, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at Bristol; c) Martin Carver, FSA, Professor of Archaeology, University of York; d) Jill Channer, FSA, Director of the Phoenix Trust; e) Jane Grenville, FSA, Head of the Archaeology Department at York; f) David Mattingly, FSA, Professor of Roman Archaeology at Leicester; g) Francis Pryor, FSA, Director of Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre; h) Nigel Saul, FSA, Professor of Medieval History, Royal Holloway; i) Ann Saunders, FSA, Lecturer in the History of London at City University; and j) Richard Sharpe, FSA, Professor of Diplomatic Modern History, Oxford. So, we have the makings of a folk band, a garland of gardeners, and plenty of Fellows who will enjoy cooking for those Fellows who enjoy eating. Congratulations to all for becoming part of the Establishment, and watch out for all those sacks full of begging letters and unsolicited mail!
Our Fellow Marcus Binney is one of eighteen Honorary Fellows newly
created in December 2003 by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
In a statement announcing the new awards, the RIBA said their purpose
was to ï¿½reward the particular contributions people have made to
architecture in its broadest sense: its promotion, administration and
outreach, its role in building more sustainable communities, and finally
its role in the education of future generationsï¿½. Marcus is in
interesting company: the eighteen new Fellows not only include Jonathan
Dimbleby, broadcaster and author, Jeremy Isaacs, broadcaster, and Simon
Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, but also The Rt Hon John
Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister.
Just before Christmas, The Independent published the following letter from Claude Blair, FSA:
Sir: If the Government is really serious about encouraging members of the ethnic minorities to visit museums, it should do something about the long-standing scandal of the V&Aï¿½s hidden Indian collection. Amongst other things, this incorporates the contents of the old East India Company museum, and is probably the most important single collection of Indian art and antiquities outside of India. It was last on reasonably adequate public display in the odl Imperial Institute in South Kensington, until that building was demolished in about 1962. Since then it has only been possible to show a small part of it in the V&A, and the remainder has been kept in store, accessible to the public only by special appointment. I doubt if many members of the ethnic minorities in this country are even aware of its existence.
The last issue of Salon invited Fellows to share news of their newly published books, and elicited two responses.
Carole Biggam wrote with news of the first symposium of the Anglo-Saxon Plant-name Survey, held at the University of Glasgow, on 5 to 7 April 2000, whose proceedings have just been published as From Earth to Art: the Many Aspects of the Plant-world in Anglo-Saxon England (2003, C P Biggam (ed), Editions Rodopi (Amsterdam and New York), ISBN: 90-420-0807-5). Carol says that full details of the papers in the book can be found on the publisher's website , where
should be entered in the search facility, and further information on
the work of the Anglo-Saxon Plant-name Survey can be found at the
John Collis also wrote to say that he has just published The Celts: origins, myths and inventions (Tempus, ï¿½19.95), which looks afresh at the ancient and modern formulations of the Celts, how the modern definitions came into existence, and how we need a radical rethink.
But not all the news in the publishing world is good. Richard Sharpe,
FSA, found the following news on a bulletin board, which was originally
reported on the English-language website of Kerela News.
ï¿½An Indian mob has destroyed 30,000 ancient manuscripts and rioted in retaliation for Oxford University Press publishing a book about a Hindu king. The incident was sparked by an allegedly objectionable observation by author and teacher James Laine in a book on the parentage of Maratha warrior king Shivaji. In the process, he paints a new and more complex picture of Hinduï¿½Muslim relations from the seventeenth century to the present. The controversy had seemed to have been resolved when Mr Laine apologised last month for his statements on Shivaji. The book's publisher, Oxford University Press, withdrew the book from the market.
ï¿½But on Monday, thousands of rare Sanskrit manuscripts, ancient books and palm leaf inscriptions were destroyed in half an hour as 250 protesters ransacked the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. One of the worst losses includes a clay tablet dating back to the
Assyrian civilisation of 600 BC. The protesters, members of a group called Sambhaji Brigade, pelted stones and broke glass at the institute. Some cut the telephone lines so the police could not be contacted. Police protection has been given to three historians, G B Mahendale, Shrikant Bahulkar and V L Manjul in the light of the controversy over the book. Police have arrested 72 people for the vandalism.
Fellow Niamh Whitfield is organising another of her popular
archaeological study tours of Ireland, in association with Morley
College, London. This yearï¿½s tour will take place on 14 to 23 June, and
will have four centres: Limerick city for three nights, Ballyvaughan,
County Clare, for three nights, the Aran islands for two nights and
Loughrea, County Galway, for one night. The aim is to see the West of
Irelandï¿½s most interesting prehistoric and medieval monuments, many of
which are sited in areas of great geological and botanical interest.
Highlights will include the prehistoric settlement sites around Lough Gur, County Limerick, prehistoric burials of the Burren, the promontory forts of Dï¿½n Aonghus and Dï¿½n Dï¿½cathair on Aran, the Iron Age Turoe stone, and the early medieval island monastery of Inis Cealtra. Other ecclesiastical sites to be visited include Temple Benan, Aran, Dysert Oï¿½Dea and Kilfenora, County Clare, the leaning round tower at Kilmacduagh, Co Galway, and the Cistercian monastery at Corcomroe, County Clare, the Romanesque oratory and cathedral at Killaloe, and the beautiful stained glass windows in the Celtic Revival style at Loughrea Cathedral, County Galway.
Enquiries and requests for a detail itinerary to Niamh Whitfield, tel: 0207 603 8982.
Newly elected Fellow, Betty O'Brien, wrote in December with some
excellent news to bring extra Christmas cheer to all medieval
archaeologists. Thanks in part to Bettyï¿½s own tireless three-year
campaign, backed by a letter from our President, the Irish government
has announced that the site of St Columba's monastery at Durrow is to be
preserved. The site was under threat of development as a golf course,
but the Government has now agreed to purchase part of Durrow Demesne for
the sum of Euro 3.175 million, and is making a further Euro 270,000
available for a conservation programme. The purchase includes the
northern half of the monastic enclosure, the nineteenth-century ruined
church, the graveyard, high cross, medieval slabs, Durrow Abbey House
and gardens, the motte and an area of woodland ï¿½ an area of
approximately 80 acres (32 ha) in total.
The purchase does not include an area to the south of the site where geophysical surveying has located the southern half of the early monastic enclosure together with its inner enclosures, as well as at least two prehistoric barrows, an area of known early medieval burials, and numerous other enclosures. Betty says that this is currently let for grazing and is zoned as agricultural land, but that a formal application will be made to the Chief Archaeologist to have a permanent preservation order placed on this parcel of land in order to prevent future attempts at development, and to prevent deep ploughing.
Robert Hutchinson, FSA, has written to say that Worthing Museum is
under threat of closure by the local authority, with the result that the
townï¿½s archaeology collection (including the Highdown Goblet and the
Patching Hoard) will be dispersed, as well as the John Pull archive and
the art, juvenilia and costume collections for which the museum is
Letters of support to try and keep the museum open would be appreciated: write to Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, Chapel Road, Worthing BN11 1HP, or email Worthing Museum. The council will make its decision in early February.
Of great relevance to Fellows in view of the paper to be given by
Peter Fowler, FSA, and Charles Thomas, FSA on the archaeology of the
Causse Mï¿½jean, on 22 January, comes news of a major international
conference on landscape, organised under the aegis of the French
Ministï¿½re de l'ï¿½cologie et du dï¿½veloppement durable (Ecology and
Sustainable Development Ministry), and entitled ï¿½De la connaissance des
paysages ï¿½ lï¿½action paysagï¿½reï¿½ (From knowledge of landscapes to
landscaping action). The conference will mark the conclusion of a French
national research programme started in 1998 and will focus on a
comparison of the programme's results with those attained in other
European countries through similar landscape character studies ï¿½ as well
as public policies to support landscapes in an effective, efficient and
A call for papers has been issued, with a deadline of 30 March 2004. Further details can be found on the conference web page or can be obtained from Graham Fairclough , FSA, who represents the UK on the conferenceï¿½s academic committee.
The next in this intriguing series of seminars takes place on 25 February 2004, at 4.30pm, when Robin Simon, FSA, Editor of The British Art Journal, will lead a seminar on Robert Prioleau Roupell, QC, an
English collector, well represented in the National Gallery, which
contains seven paintings from his collection, including Giovanni
Bellini's Blood of the Redeemer.
Places must be booked in advance by contacting Louisa Collins, Museum Assistant, The Wallace Collection.
David Viner, FSA, writes to inform Fellows that the Milestone Society
(of which he is the Chairman) will hold its winter meeting on 28
February 2004 at Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Cheshire. Guests speakers
include Dr Angus Winchester on ï¿½Parish Boundary Markers and Their
Significanceï¿½ and Jamie Quartermaine on ï¿½Thomas Telfordï¿½s Holyhead Road
and its Milestones ï¿½ recording and conservationï¿½, this latter following
the publication in 2003 of the major survey of the A5 in Wales by Oxford
Archaeology for CADW. Meeting details from Terry Keegan, tel: 01299
The Milestone Society, formed in May 2001, now has over 350 members, with an established county co-ordination network to ï¿½identify, record, research, conserve and interpret for public benefit the milestones and other waymarkers of the British Islesï¿½. The Society publishes a Newsletter and will shortly publish its first Journal. Further details from the Milestone Society's website.
The Association for the History of Glass is holding a Study Day at
the Linnean Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE, on
Tuesday 9 March 2004. The programme will focus on archaeological
evaluations and excavations and archive and laboratory research
concentrating on urban glass-manufacturing sites of the period 1700 to
1900. There will be coverage of work in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester,
Nailsea, Newcastle upon Tyne, Smethwick, Stourbridge and Yorkshire,
together with investigations into th production of lead glass, and
strategies for on-site sampling and laboratory examination of residues.
Further details are available from David Crossley, FSA.
Entries are now being sought for the Channel 4 Awards, part of the
British Archaeological Awards, which are made for various achievements
in the field of archaeology. There are three categories for the Channel 4
Awards: broadcast programmes, non-broadcast films or videos and ICT
projects (interactive CD-ROMs, websites or integrated multimedia
Entries may deal with any aspect of archaeology, including industrial archaeology, and may have been made for broadcast, educational, promotional or site-specific purposes. To be eligible they must be British-produced and have been made or broadcast between 1 July 2002 and 31 May 2004. Winners in each of the three categories will be awarded a cash prize of ï¿½750 and a BAA certificate. Entries should be submitted by 31 May 2004. The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony in Belfast in October 2004.
Further information and entry forms may be downloaded from
Tullan Spitz, Content Producer, Oregon Public Broadcasting, has contacted Salon
to say that he is developing a documentary for the Public Broadcasting
Service and is seeking experts to help develop the program idea and
provide interviews in the film. The film will follow the experiences of a
group of people who will be asked to survive for three months in New
Mexico living by their wits and skills. The producers hope this will
offer clues about hunter gatherer societies, and they are seeking
archaeologists and anthropologists to comment on the techniques these
people use and to discuss prehistoric culture.
Cultural Politics is a new interdisciplinary peer-reviewed
journal set up to publish new work in the field of cultural politics so
as to contribute to contemporary and future debates. Publishing across
the arts, humanities and social sciences, the journal welcomes papers
written from different political positions, cultural approaches and
geographical locations. Such papers may take the form of articles and
case studies, review essays, interviews, book reviews, field reports,
interpretative critiques and visual essays. Further information and
notes for contributors can be found on the publisherï¿½s website.
Geffrye Museum, Assistant Keeper/Collections Manager
Salary range ï¿½23,000 to ï¿½28,000, closing date 20 January 2004
An experienced curator is being sought with a knowledge of the history of English middle-class domestic interiors, to implement the museumï¿½s new collections management system, and to provide internet access to the museumï¿½s collections. Details form the Personnel Officer, Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA (please enclose an SAE for 42p).
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Director
Salary range ï¿½24,000 to ï¿½30,000, dependent on qualifications and experience; closing date 13 February 2004
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland wishes to appoint a Director to succeed Fionna Ashmore who is leaving on 31 May 2004. The Director is responsible for the management of all aspects of the Society's affairs. The post is full-time and is tenable from 1 June 2004.
Established in 1780 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1783, the Society is a registered charity, with c 3,500 Fellows, which exists for ï¿½the Study of the Antiquities and history of Scotland more especially by means of archaeological research'. Applicants should have a degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject, proven leadership and management skills and a good knowledge of archaeology or history. An active understanding of current issues, policies and developments in Scottish built or cultural heritage matters is essential.
An information pack can be obtained from the Administrative Assistant, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Royal Museum, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF. Tel 0131 247 4133. Fax 0131 247 4163. Email: email@example.com. Web site: www.socantscot.org. Letters of application, a CV (three copies), and two references (which may be sent under separate cover) should be sent to the President, Miss L M Thoms, at the Society by 13 February 2004.
Resource, International Policy Adviser (Ref: IP/60/03)
Salary ï¿½39,800 to ï¿½51,900 per annum, twelve-month fixed-term contract (maternity cover), closing date 26 January 2004
The post-holder will deliver on specific international programmes identified in Resource's 2004ï¿½2007 operational plan and will develop a plan for ensuring that an international perspective is integrated into all Resource's priority strategies and programmes and that these are communicated to regional and international stakeholders. Candidates should have an understanding of the cultural sector at an international level, the workings of the European Union, project and financial management skills and seven years' experience of working in a policy or management environment. An application pack can be downloaded from the Resource website.