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Thursday 6th February 2020 – Marlow Lecture: Anglo-Saxon Kent

Kings, Power and Conversion in Anglo-Saxon England: new archaeological perspectives from the kingdom of Kent

by Dr Gabor Thomas, University of Reading

Anglo-Saxon Kent has long been celebrated as a crucible for the key institutions that would come to define the medieval state of England, not least kingship, the written law and the church.  Archaeological study of Anglo-Saxon Kent has traditionally relied upon the exceptionally rich cemetery evidence for which the region is internationally renowned. 

Taking as its principal focus the results of a decade-long programme of research excavation at Lyminge, this talk will explore how a rapidly expanding corpus of settlement archaeology can be used to enhance understanding of the complex processes that brought the kingdom of Kent into being as a microcosm of early medieval state formation.

Image: Lyminge excavations in progress with the parish church in the background

Main Hall, 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.

Saturday 15th February 2020 – BAS Lecture: Medieval Rural Households

The material culture of English medieval rural households

by Dr Ben Jervis, Cardiff University

Whilst we know much about the clothing, furnishings and material culture of medieval elite residents from inventories and archaeological investigations, the possessions of non-elite members of medieval society is less well understood. In this lecture I will draw on a large survey of excavated archaeological objects from rural settlements and a unique set of documents; lists of goods seized from the households of felons, outlaws and suicides, to address the question of what objects medieval people owned. In particular, the lecture will focus on items associated with the preparation and serving of food, furniture and personal items associated with personal adornment and devotion.

Image: Weald & Downland Living Museum. This reconstruction of a flint cottage is based on archaeological evidence from excavation of the deserted medieval village of Hangleton. The cottage was probably built in the 13th century and abandoned in the 14th century. The main room has an open hearth and the inner room has an oven

2.00 pm for 2.30 pm at the RISC Centre, London Street, Reading RG1 4PS Google map reference

PARKING AT RISC: There have been changes to parking at the rear of the RISC building. Only certain bays are available and payment is by phone only. Please see notices for details.

Wednesday 5th February 2020 – BAS Study Group: Various Topics

The Study Group is moving back to RISC for 2020 meetings but this month we’ll be at the Friends Meeting House. Note the earlier start time. This month we will discuss the following topics (TBC):

Using Google Maps to identify archaeological sites –  by Paul Seddon 
Note: we are still working on to ensure that we have all the technology for Paul to give this talk

Developments on the Roman Berkshire project

Bring your own lunch; tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.  There will be a charge of £3 per person to cover the room costs. All welcome. Contact Andrew Hutt

1.00 pm for 1.30 pm at the Friends Meeting House, 2 Church St, Reading RG1 2SB  Google map reference

21st November 2019 to 8th March 2020 BM Exhibition: Troy

British Museum: Troy – myth and reality

The legend of Troy has endured for more than 3,000 years. The story of a great city, plunged into a 10-year war over the abduction of the most beautiful woman in the world, is irresistibly dramatic and tragic. This allure has sent adventurers and archaeologists in quest of the lost city, which is now widely believed to have existed.

But what of the heroes and the heartbroken, the women and the wanderers, who are said to have a played a part in the Trojan War? Why have they inspired so many retellings, from Homer to Shakespeare and Hollywood? Get closer to these captivating characters as you explore the breath-taking art that brings them to life, from dramatic ancient sculptures and exquisite vase paintings to powerful contemporary works.

You can also examine the fascinating archaeological evidence that proves there was a real Troy – and offers tantalising hints at the truth behind the mythical stories.

From Helen of Troy’s abduction to the deception of the Trojan Horse and the fall of the city, tread the line between myth and reality in this phenomenal new exhibition.


Reading Borough Council has submitted a bid to the Ministry of Justice to purchase the goal.

BAS Council have agreed to support the campaign and have written to the relevant authorities

Theatre & Arts Reading (TAR) chairman, Melvin Benn issued this statement:

We are pleased the council has passed this resolution.

However,  our position has not changed – TAR will not bid against the council. What we have done is pass on our bid brochure to the council which may help  its bid. This is full of information about how we would have turned the site into an arts hub, complete with a pop-up theatre, other performance space, museums, a hotel, digital hub, creative hub and more.

We have also included our list of supporters – from  community members to businesses, organisations to official bodies – which TAR has built up over many years campaigning for a new arts hub in Reading, as well as official statements of support from the Arts Council and the University of Reading.

We hope the council is successful in its bid to the MoJ – and we will continue to help in any way we can.

Matt Rodda MP is calling for Reading Gaol to be saved and turned into an arts hub and museum – to commemorate Oscar Wilde and other important historic events. The Prison is a very important part of Reading’s history. It is believed to also contain the burial place of King Henry I , who established Reading Abbey and it also has a number of other historic links.

The Gaol is under threat of being turned into luxury flats after the Ministry of Justice announced it would sell the site to the highest bidder. Matt said “I am working with a wide range of other local people and organisations and I hope that together we can press for a change of Government policy”.

A recent issue of British Archaeology contains a long article detailing the latest archaeological research into Reading Abbey. It also includes articles bemoaning the Ministry of Justice refusal to publish recent MOLA investigations and a call for a properly resourced public research project.

Meanwhile you can sign the petition here

Until July 26th 2020 – 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