16th-31st July 2016 – CBA Festival of Archaeology

1,000s of people get hands-on with the past across the UK at events bringing our archaeology to life from 16-31 July 2016.

The Festival of Archaeology – coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) – encourages everyone to explore the archaeology of their local area, watch experts at work, and experience archaeology for themselves.

Dig visits and open days give the whole family the chance to try their hand at techniques such as digging and identifying finds and experience the excitement of archaeology.

Enjoy farm and woodland-themed activities, talks on the latest discoveries and expert-led walks. Tours of sites and buildings from recent centuries bring our industrial past to life – you can walk in the steps of Robert Stephenson and visit a coal mine.

Experience life as a Roman, Greek and Egyptian, with living history, warfare demonstrations, food tasting and mosaic making. Learn about the technology behind archaeology and have a go at geophysical and topographic surveys, or take part in mini-excavations or excavate a prehistoric and Romano-British site.

As ever, the Festival kicks off the summer holidays with hundreds of activities.

Find out what’s on here

Now booking: Spring Tour 2017

21st–24th April  2017 Spring Tour: Norfolk & area

The Annual Spring Tour will depart by  coach from central Reading at 9.00am on Friday 21st April and gets back at 6.30pm on Monday 24th April.  We will stay at the 3-star Hotel de Paris a Grade 2 listed building in the centre of Cromer with views over the pier and sea.

The sites we visit will include the oldest wooden church in the world and the oldest wooden building standing in Europe; 5000 year-old flint mines with the third highest land in Norfolk (a small barrow!); one of the most important Hanseatic ports of medieval Britain; a building described by Pevsner as “One of the most perfect buildings ever built”; one of the best preserved and most important 12th century castles in England;a rare survival of a Norman planned settlement with one of the best preserved monastic sites in the country; The largest city in 11th C England after London; a re-created Saxon village using experimental archaeological techniques on the actual site of a Saxon village and earlier occupations.

That is St. Andrews Church, Greensted; Grimes Graves; Kings Lynn; Castle Acre (Priory); Castle Rising castle; Norwich (cathedral & castle & town centre); West Stow Anglo-Saxon village.  We also visit Flag Fen (bronze-age settlement remains with 1 km wooden walkway across wet fens, also finds from the recent Must Farm excavations), Audley End House (decadent Jacobean house with Capability Brown gardens) and one of the finest surviving medieval barns in Eastern England, tree-ring dated to the mid 15th C with a breathtaking aisled interior and crown post roof, the product of some 500 oaks. There will be guided tours at most of these places.

To reserve your place download the application form here

A draft itinerary is available here (check nearer the time for updates)

West Berkshire Heritage Road Show

On Saturday 16th April 2016, the West Berkshire Museum was given over the West Berkshire Heritage Roadshow , an event where 16 groups and societies put up stands to explain to the public the work they were doing. I went along with a stand to represent the Society (see photo) with a theme that practicing archaeology is a team sport and pictures of the excavation and the barn survey at Blounts Court, the geophysics at Caversham Park, a new poster advertising the work of the Society and copies of the last three issues of the Berkshire Archaeological Journal.

During the day some 50-60 people came passed. I was surprised to find myself using the journals to answer people’s questions about their local archaeology and as result I have had offers of two new projects and several people expressed an interest in joining us.

Andrew Hutt

Roman Boxford lecture series

As part of the Boxford Roman project we are hosting a series of lectures over the next couple of years, to be held in the new Boxford Village Hall. We have a great line up of distinguished speakers and all BAS members and guests are very welcome to come along. The first talk is onWednesday 10th February when Neil Holbrook, Chief Executive of Cotswold Archaeology will be giving a lecture on “The Villa in Roman Britain: Design, Evolution and Use.”

All lectures will be in Boxford Village Hall, Lambourn Valley Road RG20 8DD and start at 7.30pm. We are expecting quite a large turn out so places will be on a first come first served basis and ask you to email Joy Appleton at parishcouncil@boxford.org.uk  to reserve your seats.

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