All meetings are at Letchworth Free Church hall, corner of Gernon Rd and Sollershott West, 8 pm, unless stated otherwise.
Tuesday 19th February 2019: ‘A Late Bronze Age – Early Iron Age Settlement and Prehistoric Precursor to Roman Ermine Street: Excavations at North Buntingford’, by Matt Jones, Project Officer, Pre-Construct Archaeology (Cambridge).
Tuesday 5th March 2019: ‘Excavations at Northstowe, Cambridgeshire: Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Medieval settlements’, by Alison Dickins, Senior Project Manager, Archaeology Unit, University of Cambridge.
Sunday 7th April 2019: Field Trip to Ravensburgh Castle Iron Age hillfort, Hexton, Herts. Kindly arranged by our Member, Derek Turner, with the Bedfordshire Geology Group. Details to be confirmed.
Tuesday 16th April 2019: ‘ What we can learn from excavated human remains’, Laura Dodd, Project Officer and human bone specialist, KDK Archaeology.
Tuesday 21st May: Annual General Meeting. Gil Burleigh will present an illustrated report on the year’s fieldwork, including parch-mark sites at Barkway, Great Offley and Pirton revealed by drone photography during the summer 2018 drought and test-pit excavations in Great Offley and Pirton.
‘A multi-period excavated site at a quarry near Peterborough’, by Greg Farnworth Jones, Project Officer.
‘The Basilica and Portico wall excavations at Verulamium 2018’, by James Fairbairn, Senior Project Manager, Oxford Archaeology East.
‘Excavations at Hazel End, Bishops Stortford’, by Louisa Moan, Senior Project Manager, Oxford Archaeology East.
‘Beacons of the Past – the Hillforts of the Chilterns Landscape’ by a member of the project team.
‘Excavation of an Early Anglo-Saxon settlement at Priors Hill, Pirton’, Mark Hinman, Senior Project Manager, Pre-Construct Archaeology.
STOP PRESS: Nicholas Maddex, Chairman of the Codicote Local History Society, invites our members to hear Mark Landon talking about his work in Iron Age and Roman Braughing, particularly on the Iron Age coins and coin moulds, at their meeting on Tuesday 12th February at 8 p.m, Peace Memorial Hall, High St, Codicote. If you know anyone who might be interested in attending do please let them know. All are welcome, for a small charge.
Dea Senuna: Treasure, Cult and Ritual at Ashwell, Hertfordshire by Ralph Jackson and Gilbert Burleigh, published in March 2018, has been re-printed and is still available for sale at the British Museum bookshop:
The PDF version is available to see/browse/read/download at the British Museum website:
Click on the drop-down menu for Research Publications and you will find the Dea Senuna PDF.
The article on ‘Ashwell’s Lost Roman Goddess’, published in Hertfordshire Life magazine in July 2018 is available online (minus one or two photographs): http://www.hertfordshirelife.co.uk/home/history-the-goddess-of-Ashwell-1-5646728
A couple of published academic reviews of the Dea Senuna volume are attached, one short, the other an article, together with some very kind and generous comments to me from Professor Carenza Lewis of the University of Lincoln.
Treasure Act 1996: A Government Public Consultation is currently underway with a view to revising it and its associated codes of practice. The consultation closes for comments on 30th April 2019. Details attached.
Our sincere thanks go to David Dorkings, of St Alban’s, a retired surveyor, for donating his set of ranging poles to the Society. David is a member of the Watford & District Industrial History Society – “your local society for talks, films and trips about industrial history nationwide and beyond”. See www.wadihs.org.uk
THE BRITISH LIBRARY
Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms- Art, Word, War
Now to 19th February 2019.
600 years. 180 spectacular treasures. A once-in-a-generation exhibition.
from the British Library’s own collection, including the beautifully
illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels, Beowulf and Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, sit alongside stunning finds from
Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard. The world-famous Domesday Book offers
its unrivalled depiction of the landscape of late Anglo-Saxon England while
Codex Amiatinus, a giant Northumbrian Bible taken to Italy in 716, returns to
England for the first time in 1300 years.
The people of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms tell their story, in their own words. Explore the beginnings of the English language and English literature. Read some of the earliest-surviving words inscribed in English on objects large and small. Come face-to-face with manuscripts of Old English poetry and prose and the first letter written in English. Wonder at the wit and wisdom in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Entrance £16, British Library Members Free. It is advisable to book in advance, on-line or 0207 412639
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
I am Ashurbanipal king of the world, king of Assyria
8 November 2018 – 24 February 2019
The Evening Standard
‘a gripping fusion of beauty and brutality’
‘blockbuster recreation of Assyria’s might’
Warrior. Scholar. Empire builder. King slayer. Lion hunter. Librarian.
King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (r. 669–c. 631 BC) was the most powerful man on earth. He described himself in inscriptions as ‘king of the world’, and his reign from the city of Nineveh (now in northern Iraq) marked the high point of the Assyrian empire, which stretched from the shores of the eastern Mediterranean to the mountains of western Iran.
More about the exhibition
Ashurbanipal proved himself worthy of protecting his people through displays of strength, such as hunting lions. Like many rulers of the ancient world, he liked to boast about his victories in battle and brutally crushed his enemies. However, this vast and diverse empire was controlled through more than just brute force. Ashurbanipal used his skills as a scholar, diplomat and strategist to become one of Assyria’s greatest rulers.
Despite his long and successful reign, Ashurbanipal’s death is shrouded in mystery. Shortly afterwards, the Assyrian empire fell and the great city of Nineveh was destroyed in 612 BC, its ruins lost to history until the 1840s. Their rediscovery has allowed us to piece together a portrait of the powerful and complex ruler that was Ashurbanipal.
This major exhibition tells the story of Ashurbanipal through the British Museum’s unparalleled collection of Assyrian treasures and rare loans. Step into Ashurbanipal’s world through displays that evoke the splendour of his palace, with its spectacular sculptures, sumptuous furnishings and exotic gardens. Marvel at the workings of Ashurbanipal’s great library, the first in the world to be created with the ambition of housing all knowledge under one roof. Come face to face with one of history’s greatest forgotten kings.
Who was Ashurbanipal?
Introducing the Assyrians
|Sacrilege! Leading archaeologist speaks out on centenary of Stonehenge gift |
Expressway legacy threat mars centenary of Stonehenge donation
Friday 26th October was the centenary of the gift of Stonehenge to the nation by Sir Cecil and Lady Chubb. This weekend, English Heritage is marking the occasion with a specially commissioned tea party designed by Jeremy Deller and an installation of his work, “Sacrilege”, an almost life-sized inflatable Stonehenge. A joyous public celebration for some, but for many others it could mark impending sacrilege for the nation’s most famous World Heritage Site. A distinguished archaeologist speaks out against the Stonehenge tunnel
Professor Mike Parker Pearson, leading expert in British Neolithic archaeology, speaks out about the Stonehenge tunnel in a newly released video to share his profound concerns. At barely 3km long the tunnel would be too short within a World Heritage Site that is more than 5km across, full of prehistoric monuments. Mike reminds us that the UNESCO World Heritage Site is “adesignation of an entire landscape. It’s one of the few places, not just in Britain but in the World, where you can see a special, sacred landscape developed over thousands of years.”
Professor Mike Parker Pearson “Stonehenge tunnel sets a bad precedent“
Will the UK Government finally come to its senses and re-consider the A303 road-widening scheme and the damage it would do to our World Heritage Site? It isn’t too late to call a halt and heed the advice of UNESCO and other internationally acknowledged experts.
A less damaging solution would properly and rightly protect the remarkable surroundings of Stonehenge about which we now know so much more than we did a hundred years ago.
Short 1 minute clip of the video can be seen here
Full briefing about A303 Stonehenge scheme
|Sign up here to receive updates from the Planning Inspectorate and register your interest in having a say about the Stonehenge Tunnel scheme.|
2018/19 Subscriptions became due on 1st June 2018. Please renew. The Society cannot continue to function without all members’ subscriptions. In particular, lecturers fees and expenses and hall hire have to come from subscriptions. Lack of sufficient income from subscriptions may result in fewer lectures. It’s up to us members. Thank you to all who have paid your subscription and renewed your membership.
Outstanding subscriptions may be paid in person at any meeting when membership cards can usually be issued also. Otherwise subscription cheques may be posted to Diane Burleigh, NHAS, 10 Cromwell Way, Pirton, Hitchin, Herts SG5 3RD.
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