Our past work in the Borough has uncovered much of its history, details of which are available in our many publications. The “digging team” regularly meets at the Garden Room at Avenue House usually on Sundays when finds processing, writing-up and general discussion on future excavation takes place. Members are invited to drop in on these sessions.
Tuesday 13 March at 8pm; Dr Roger Tomlin Roman London’s First Voices;
Roman writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London. ‘Roman London’s First Voices’ are the City’s first
documents, writing-tablets found on the site of the new European headquarters of Bloombergs when
it was excavated by Museum of London Archaeology. The site is famous as that of the Roman temple of Mithras, which was demolished in 1954, but has now been rebuilt by Bloombergs. It is on the west bank of the Walbrook, which the Romans crossed as they expanded from Cornhill towards Ludgate Hill. The deep river-silts have preserved a wealth of organic material, notably stylus tablets which have lost their waxed coating but can still be read from residual scratches in the wood. These Bloomberg tablets are scraps of business correspondence and memoranda from the first half-century of Roman London, including a promissory note dated 8 January 57, the earliest financial document from the City of London.
Roger Tomlin, retired Lecturer in Late-Roman History at Oxford, has for many years been editor of
‘Roman Inscriptions of Britain’, in which capacity he has published new discoveries – not only stone inscriptions, but graffiti of all kinds and writing-tablets like these from Bloomberg. He has published them as Roman London’s First Voices: Writing tablets from the Bloomberg excavations, 2010–14 (2016), but has also just published Britannia Romana: Roman Inscriptions and Roman Britain (2017). He has never been to Hendon, but he was attracted by the Society’s invitation because his father was born there, a century ago. NB p.9. LAMAS conference – afternoon session
All Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee & tea served afterwards. Non-members welcome (£2.00). Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a 5-10-minute walk away.
Research is actively encouraged and, where appropriate, small teams set up to investigate themes and areas which might lead to excavation and publication. We are currently updating our information on all of Barnet 19 Archaeological Priority Areas
HADAS (Hendon and District Archaeological Society) was founded in 1961 by Themistocles Constantinides with one aim: to find and prove, on the ground, the Saxon origins of Hendon. Since that time the Society has expanded in area, today encompassing the whole of the London Borough of Barnet and excavation and research now covers all archaeological periods.
HADAS has been one of the most active local societies within the Greater London area. Major excavations have included the West Heath Mesolithic camp site at Hampstead; the Roman site of Sulloniacis at Brockley Hill, a centre of pottery production, Roman Hendon as well as medieval Chipping Barnet and Finchley, where many sites around the High Street have been investigated.
With a membership across the UK and beyond (not to mention the hidden depths of Hendon, Finchley and Barnet!) HADAS is a strong and active local society dedicated to investigating our archaeological heritage.
The objects of HADAS are the advancement of archaeological and historical research and education for the public benefit, with particular reference to the archaeology and history of the London Borough of Barnet.
Benefits of membership include: programme of lectures and outings, a monthly Newsletter, use of our extensive library, opportunities for fieldwork and research.
The results of the Society’s work are published as specific reports, in our Newsletter or in book form. A book stall is usually a feature of our display at archaeological conferences.
A rota of twelve editors produces the monthly Newsletter, our main means of communication. It contains details of forthcoming lectures and outings as well as reports of the same, news items, a regular “sales and wants” sheet and booking forms for outings. Those wishing to edit an edition need to contact the Newsletter Co-ordinator, those with articles and other contributions should submit these to the relevant monthly editor. Correspondence and queries for publication are also welcome.
As a registered charity, the aim of HADAS is to educate and inform. To this end we have built up a library of over two thousand books, pamphlets, journals and periodicals all of which are available for loan to our members. The library has proved invaluable to our many members who have studied part-time for an archaeological qualification (usually the certificate or diploma in archaeology from Birkbeck College).