Tuesday 2nd April 2019 – Henley Lecture: MERL & the Swing Riots

Invitation from the Henley Archaeological & Historical Group 

Introduction to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and the Swing Riots  

by Jenny Knight & Kay Gough 

An introduction to the MERL(The Museum of English Rural Life) and the University of Reading Special Collections followed by the story of the Swing Riots exploring the causes, events and aftermath with an emphasis on how they unfolded in Berkshire in 1830-1831.

All lectures are held at 7.45 p.m. in the old ‘Kings Arms’ Barn; entry from Kings Road Car Park.  All welcome, members free, non-members £ 4   

For more information on our activities please visit our web site

Image: George Cruikshank, Very Unpleasant Weather, or, the Old Saying Verified “Raining Cats, Dogs, & Pitchforks.”!!! (1835). Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Thursday 25th April 2019 – Marlow Lecture: London Mithraeum

Invitation from Archaeology in Marlow

London Mithraeum: a new home for the Temple of Mithras

by Louise Fowler, Archaeologist and Post-Excavation Manager at MOLA

In 1954, the discovery of a well-preserved Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras, on a London building site, provoked a national debate about whether it was right for archaeological remains to be sacrificed for development.

Following a public outcry, the site owners agreed to dismantle the remains of the temple and reconstruct them on a site nearby. Recently, rede- velopment by new owners Bloomberg provided an opportunity to return the temple to the site of its discovery, as part of an innovative new public dis- play.

Louise will talk about the MOLA’s (Museum of London Archaeology) work with Bloomberg and the team of exhibition designers, architects, engineers, stonema- sons and artists who have brought the site’s fascinating past to life.

Image: Reconstructed painted plaster walls dating to about 180 AD, Verulamium Museum, St Albans

8.00 p.m in the Garden Room, Liston Hall, Marlow, SL7 1DD

AIM & MAS Members £3.00, non-members £4.50
Free parking at the adjacent car park after 7.00p.m.

For details of AIM’s other activities and how you can join, either log on to our website, www.archaeologyinmarlow.org.uk, or contact:

Thursday 28th March 2019 – SOAG Lecture: Hillforts in the Chilterns

Invitation from South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group

Beacons of the Past:Hillforts in the Chilterns Landscape

by Dr Edward Peveler (Chilterns Conservation Board)

The Chilterns AONB is about to get the largest bespoke archaeological LiDAR survey ever flown in the UK! This dataset, which shows in great detail the lumps and bumps of archaeological sites, even under tree cover, is being flown as a key deliverable of the Chilterns Conservation Board (CCB) ‘Beacons of the Past’ project. Wewill be researching the Iron Age landscapes of the Chilterns, including the 20 or so hillforts across the region; we will be working to spread archaeological knowledge and skills to members of the public and schools; and finally, we will be trying to improve the protection of these sites and landscapes. The LiDAR survey data willbe made publicly accessible through an online Portal, and a campaign of “citizen science” will give everyonethe opportunity to look at the survey results, learn about what they mean, and help us discover unknown archaeological sites. We expect to discover hundreds if not thousands of new sites, ranging from the Neolithic through to the 20th Century, and the resultant database will provide fantastic opportunities for individuals and groups to conduct new research into Chilterns archaeology and history, whatever your particular interests.

In this talk Dr Ed Peveler will give an overview of the project, including the background to its development, its key features, an early sneak-peak at some of the brand-new LiDAR data, and information on all the ways that you can get involved, from skills workshops and scrub bashing, to helping us search the LiDAR results and research more about the new sites we discover.

Ed is the Landscape Heritage Officer at the CCB, responsible for the technical elements of the project including GIS and processing the LiDAR data, and for the delivery of volunteering opportunities such as skills workshops. Prior to joining CCB, Ed completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford. In this research he used a synthetic approach to investigate the use of Roman building materials in Oxfordshire. This involved analysing the sources for geological raw materials, using thin-section and electron microscopy; using GIS to explore landscapes of material extraction and the logistics of material transport; and using theoretical approaches to consider the social factors at play in the choice and movement of particular materials. He also worked as Assistant Director of the University of Oxford and Oxford Archaeology excavations at the Roman small town of Dorchester on Thames between 2014 and 2017, part of the Discovering Dorchester Research Project.

7.30pm (for 7.45pm) at the Goring Heath Parish Hall, Whitchurch Hill RG8 7NY (see map)Refreshments afterwards

Image: Environment Agency LiDAR data strips away the trees covering Sharpenhoe Clappers, Beds., showing the earthworks which have been interpreted as possibly a “promontory” hillfort

Thursday 11th April 2019 – Marlow lecture: The Monks’ Graveyard Excavation

Invitation from Marlow Archaeology

The Monks’ Graveyard Excavation: finding a lost abbot at the Abbey Church and Cathedral of St Albans

by Ross Lane– Site Director, Canterbury Archaeological Trust

Between August 2017 and February 2018, the Canterbury Archaeological Trust were working at the Abbey Church and Cathedral of St Alban ahead of the construction of a new visitor, education and welcome centre. Commissioned by the Dean and Chapter and overseen by Cathedral Archaeologist, Professor Martin Biddle, the team were tasked with excavating ground situated within the angle of the south-east Transept and Presbytery. The project is titled: Alban, Britain’s First Saint. The cathedral, thought to have been built over the third century AD grave of St Alban, is famous for being the oldest continuous place of Christian worship in England.

The excavation revealed a sequence of archaeological deposits that spanned a thousand years of use and development of the Abbey and Cathedral of St Alban. The foundation remains for two Norman apsidal chapels were identified, that would have opened into the Transept and to the Presbytery. Constructed as part of the Norman Abbey in 1077, these would almost certainly have been built in the same style with re-used Roman material collected from nearby Verulamium.

Foundations for a substantial L-shaped structure were uncovered. Rising to the triforum level the structure was built hard up against the Presbytery and Transept walls the north and west side of which had remained upstanding although heavily modified.

Located within the centre of what is thought to be a chapel was a brick lined tomb that contained the remains of an aged male. Associated were three papal bullae, granted to the Abbey of St Albans by Pope Martin V in November 1423.

The presence of the bullae, together with documentary records indicate that the tomb was that of Abbot John of Wheathampstead.

Image: The Abbot being excavated – note the three Papal Bullae

Main Room, Liston Hall, Marlow  SL7 1DD  at 8pm 

Pay at the door: Members of MAS/AiM £3, Visitors £4.50, full-time students £1.50 Free parking is available after 7pm adjacent to the Liston Hall All queries, including membership and fieldwork, tel: 01628 523896. http://www.marlowarchaeology.org/talks.php

22nd March to 30th June 2019: Excavations at Highwood

Invitation from South Oxfordshire Archaeology Group (SOAG)

High Wood MMXIX – the exploration continues

Come and help with our continuing excavations of a mysterious Roman site in woodland at High Wood, Harpsden, on the Phillimore Estate. Excavations will resume on 22nd March, 2019 and volunteers are required now!

There is plenty to do for everyone, with or without experience, from digging to pottery washing and finds sorting, and all equipment is provided. This year we will focus on extending our knowledge of the walls and rooms found previously, and fixing the size of the whole site (still 2 more corners to go!).

The project is being run by the South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group (SOAG). Digging sessions will run every other (long) weekend, Fri-Tue, from March until the end of June.

You are welcome to come along for just one day, the whole season or whenever you can.

For more information or to sign up please email:
Stephanie Pollard (Admin.) 07833 600449
or Alan Hall (Dig Director) 07807 534701

Opens January 24th 2018 – West Berkshire Museum: Hoards

West Berkshire Museum

Special Exhibition: Hoards

Bringing together for the first time, over 11 hoards from all over West Berkshire.  A chance to see buried treasure from prehistory to the medieval period, ranging from a hoard of Bronze Age Axes, Iron Age hoards of gold coins, Roman hoards of hundreds of coins, to a hoard of coins of Charles I and James I.  Explore the history of each hoard, find out how they were found, and consider why they were hidden and never retrieved.

Entry to West Berkshire Museum is free but donations are most welcomed.
Open: Wednesday – Sunday 10am -4pm

Image: The Crow Down Hoard, Acquired 2006

More info here

Special Exhibition: Hoards