THE ROSE THEATRE
When the site of the Rose Theatre was rediscovered in 1989 by Museum of London archaeologists, the remains became the focus of intense international media attention as actors and scholars united in a campaign to ‘Save the Rose’. The Rose had been built in 1587 and was the first theatre on London’s Bankside. It was at the height of its commercial success in the 1590s with a repertory including plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe and Thomas Kyd. Its success attracted others to build larger theatres nearby: the Swan in 1595 and the Globe in 1599. Eclipsed by its rivals, the Rose had closed by 1606.
The immense cultural and archaeological importance of the site was obvious and, eventually, the developers redesigned the proposed building to protect the remains and include a special basement display space. A charity, the Rose Theatre Trust, set up in the year of discovery and chaired by the indefatigable Harvey Sheldon, has been working to secure the future and public display of these important fragments.
The remains were covered up again in 1989 for their own safety during construction. They must be kept wet; and the unstable soil matrix in which the archaeology rests means that extensive — and expensive — conservation work has to form part of any attempt to get the excavation completed and a permanent display created for the public. In the meantime English Heritage inspect the site regularly to ensure that the remains are kept in a stable environment to prevent deterioration; indications are that all is well underneath. .
The new display at 56 Park Street, Southwark, on the corner of Park Street and Rose Alley, was opened by Chris Smith MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on 13th April. He said:
“The opening of the site and the launch of a permanent exhibition marks the next important stage in the
progress towards an eventual full excavation of the site. . . . This is, after all, the site of one of the
greatest Elizabethan theatres.”
The exhibition is open from 10 am to 5 pm 363 days a year (£3 adults, £2.50 concessions, £2 children; special rates for pre-booked parties). A sound and light presentation, with the commentary narrated by Sir Ian McKeltan, one of the Rose’s most loyal supporters, is seen from a viewing platform on the unexcavated area to the east of the pool of water which protects the remains of the theatre; it uses an exciting combination of old and new technologies. A video telling the story of the Rose is projected over the pool, while electro-luminescents submerged in the water are selectively lit to show where the remains lie concealed .
The exhibition is, as the Rose’s admirable website (http://www.rdg.ac.uk/rose) says, intended to reawaken public interest in the theatre, and help generate funds for its re-excavation, preservation and permanent display. The Rose Theatre Trust has plans to add further walkways that would act as viewing platforms for the re-excavation, when that takes place and they hope that will be in a couple of years time.
SATURDAY 14th AUGUST OUTING: WEST STOWE SAXON VILLAGE, FRAMUNGHAM
CASTLE, and WOODBRIDGE.
Bill Bass. Details and application form enclosed
FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY PORTSMOUTH and ISLE OF WIGHT
3rd, 4th and 5th SEPTEMBER There are places still available. Contact Dorothy Newbury if you would like to join.
MONDAY 4th OCTOBER WALK with Mary O’Connell (NOTE CHANGE OF DATE) starting at
Euston and visiting the Quakers’ Friends House, the new headquarters of the Magic Circle, and the refurbished THE PLACE THEATRE.
SATURDAY 9th OCTOBER MINIMART: our annual fundraiser.
TUESDAY 12th OCTOBER Our winter lecture programme begins with the Archaeology of Mexico.
Members will regret to learn of the death of Christine Arnott on 12th July, at the age of 83. Christine was one of our longest-standing members. She joined in the 1960s, soon after our Society was formed, and was a keen participant in all our activities. She served on the Committee for many years, edited the Newsletter, and helped regularly with the Mini mart.
MATHELDA MARKS-KENNEDY SCHOOL MILL HILL. Stephen Aleck
This private school was going to build an extension, allowing us to do some work in the grounds of what is one of Mill Hill’s oldest buildings. Unfortunately the project has been shelved for the time being owing to a shortage of funds – we will be informed when it starts up again.
BATTLE OF BARNET- 1999 Bill Bass
The sound of cannon, thundering cavalry – bloody conflict once again raged over the wide-ranging plains north of Barnet town …. otherwise known as Barnet Rugby Club. The battle, originally fought in 1471, was re-enacted in May in aid of the Barnet War Memorials Initiative.
Arrival at the ‘battlefield’, which is in fact only a stone’s throw from the original just to the east, found a complete mediaeval encampment in full swing. The opposing armies and their followers were readying for battle in their respective tents, fully catered for with a ‘mediaeval market’ where you could buy such things as leather, fabrics, jewellery, trinkets, BoB coins, weapons – longbows, arrows, axes – food, spices and flowers. You could even buy replica mediaeval pottery from a table-laden tent.
Artist plied their trade with storytellers giving a verbal account of the terrible day. Also a band playing ‘drone’ music the repertoire of which comprises dance music from the rural communities of Europe with marches, battle calls and laments. The main instruments used are bagpipes, mediaeval English, French and German, hurdy-gurdy and a range of early percussion (it says here).
Battle commenced at 3pm with the opposing archers and their longbows raining deadly arrows at each other – rubber-tipped on this occasion but highly effective in their day. Loud cannon fire (the BoB was supposedly the first to use cannon but this is disputed) was followed by the engagement of infantry led by their knights, then the cavalry consisting of about seven horses – looking impressive all the same.
The result of course was a historical foregone conclusion, a momentous victory for the Yorkist King Edward IV over his Lancastrian opponents in just one of the battles that collectively became known as the Wars of the Roses.
MANSHEAD REVISITING by Vikki O’Connor
Following a HADAS Brockley Hill group visit to their HQ in Dunstable, Barry Horne and Joan Schneider from Manshead Archaeological Society paid HADAS a visit on 3rd July to examine the collection of finds from the late P G Suggett’s excavations in 1953/4. This pottery was excavated at a Roman kiln site at Brockley Hill a few years before HADAS was formed, and is currently in the safe keeping of the Manshead Society. Barry and Joan were met by a small group of HADAS members led by Tessa Smith who was able to pinpoint the various items of interest. After handling a representative selection of mortaria, bowls, pots and tazza, Barry suggested we have another meeting when he could bring along his binocular microscope and get down to some serious comparison.
With this in mind we have arranged for the Manshead team to take part in a whole day session on Brockley Hill potteries. Stephen Castle, who excavated there in the 1970s, has also agreed to give a talk as part of this event. We are negotiating for a Saturday in October and will publish full details as soon as they are finalised.
TRAINING EXCAVATION IN SOUTHWARK Peter Pickering
The 1999 Birkbeck College Training Excavation, held in conjunction with the London Borough of Southwark and the Museum of London Archaeology Service is taking place in Lant Street, SE I . Lant Street was immortalised in Dickens’ Pickwick papers, and the author himself was lodged in the street as a youth when his father was in the Marshalsea prison. On my visit to the site early in July, at the beginning of the third week of the dig, the students were working on the remains of the Georgian terrace where Dickens had resided, and were beginning to explore the underlying soils. Lant Street lay on the southern edge of the urban core of Southwark, where agricultural features of all periods, including Roman, may be expected. The dig is supported financially by the London Borough of Southwark, the Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Excavations Committee, and by the Surrey Archaeological Society.
SPITALFIELDS Jeffrey Lesser
MoLAS The Museum of London Archaeology Service, to those who dislike acronyms) needs volunteers on its current Spitalfields dig. You can earn your HADAS subscription in a day and a half and simultaneously practise your archaeological skills.
You will be welcome even if only part-time or sporadically and work is likely to continue until September. The usual site procedures are carried out, but there is a great deal of skeletal material, mostly mediaeval or post-mediaeval. This needs to have the mud washed off and the bones displayed for the osteoarchaeologists to examine. There are so many, that the disarticulated remains are being left at present to concentrate on the relatively complete skeletons. This is more interesting, as it is possible to form some ides of an individual’s sex and age, particularly in the case of children. Of course, there is always the possibility of detecting evidence of disease or deformity. There are some striking instances of osteomyelitis and I have seen an intriguing depression of the skull without fracture. One very spiky lumbar vertebra went into the reference collection; unfortunately this was an isolated find.
MOLAS entice you with £5 per day expenses, if you fill in a form. It is best to ring Brian Connell the Osteoarchaeologist or the site manager Chris Thomas (0171-247 9435). Finding the entrance to the site is nearly as difficult as uncovering a known Roman villa and then you have to get past Cerberus. Despite the apron and gloves provided, wear very old clothes.
THE TUDORS OF TOOLEY STREET Bill Bass
Over four days of the last May Bank Holiday weekend, members of HADAS and other local societies were invited by Hedley Swain of the Museum of London to participate in one of their digs.
For three months MOLAS had been excavating a two-acre site off Tooley Street between the mediaeval Falstaff and Battlebridge estates near London Bridge station. Initial evaluation trenches seemed to be unpromising but the full excavations have revealed Roman remains and remarkable mediaeval and Tudor finds as well as post-mediaeval evidence. To the west of the site was a Roman revetment to an inlet in what were then the sandy eyots of Southwark, the ground level of which had survived surprisingly well amongst the subsequent development; pottery including Saurian was recovered from here. Dendrochronology from one of the preserved posts should give a close date.
The star of the show must be the full range of Tudor finds and a possible 13th century rowing galley. A series of Tudor fishponds were found, one of which was expensively built with chalk foundations, chalk-brick lining and wattle fencing. The ponds are thought to have contained pike – because the name of the ground when it was sold by Thomas Copley to Charles Pratt in 1559 was the Pyke Garden. Fish bones have been found which are being identified. There are signs of a freshwater supply for the ponds from the nearby River Neckinger, now underground. The cache of Tudor finds includes a knight’s long-spiked spur, fragments of decorated armour, swords, sheaths, saddle bags, bowling balls, pottery. cutlery and 400 leather shoes, all thrown into the fishponds when they became disused in the mid 16th century.
Timber was expensive at the time so all material, including ships, were broken up on the foreshore and recycled – thus the remains of a 13th century galley found itself lining a fishpond. The timbers measured about 18 feet and the vessel they came from is thought to have been between 40 and 100 feet long. Wooden plugs would have been placed in the oar slots when the vessel rigged its sails in the open sea, Tar used for caulking is clearly visible between the timbers and there are traces of white lead paint. Rowing galleys were important naval vessels in the 13th and 14th centuries, being used for convoy duty, for stopping and searching vessels and for enforcing customs regulations. This is the first such vessel of this date to have been found in Britain.
Towards.the end of Ow dig there was not enough time to excavate the remaining fishponds in situ so their fill was scooped out by a mechanical digger and spread on the surface. Volunteers were then asked by Dave Saxby, the site director, to trawl through the fill looking for finds; members found tokens, a lead seal, a small dice, a pewter tankard, leather, pottery, buckles, knives. a harpoon head and other small finds. Others helped to excavate a silted timber sewer which turned up some decorated beaker glass and pottery, etc.
This was a good opportunity for volunteers (albeit briefly) to work on a large, interesting and important site.
DISCOVERIES IN LONDON by Peter Pickering
As the two pieces above show, the number of exciting finds made this year in London is amazing. It is much to the credit of the Museum of London that they receive the publicity their importance warrants, and that they are very rapidly put on display so that people can see them. Visiting the museum on 6th July 1 saw part of the mediaeval ship Bill Bass describes, a number of the Tudor finds he mentions, and one which he does not —the earliest banana found in Britain; which looks just like what it is— a very old and very black banana skin.
Although these particular wonders may have been taken off display by the time you read this newsletter, who knows what will follow them. It is easy to keep up to date with such discoveries. If you call the PR office of the Museum on 0171 600 3699 they will send you their leaflet ‘Archaeology Matters’ regularly. Their website (www.museumoflondon.org.uk) is a mine of information. Best of all, just go along.
JUNE OUTING — PART 1 VISIT TO FENSHURST PLACE by Beverley Perkins
A pleasant drive through rural Kent brought us to the peaceful village of Penshurst with its ancient manor house. A low building of mellow sandstone, it has few visible traces of its late 14th century fortifications and retains its homely mediaeval and Tudor character in spite of extensive later remodelling.
The present owners, the De L’Isle family, descend from a long line of Sidneys who have occupied the house continuously since the estate was granted to Sir William Sidney by Edward VI in 1552. Linked in marriage to royalty as well as to Spencers and Shelleys, the family has a fascinating and distinguished history. The most famous member was Sir Philip Sidney, Renaissance man, poet and courtier, who died in battle at the age of only 31. His brother. Robert. became Earl of Leicester. assuming the title which had belonged to his uncle, Robert Dudley, the favourite of Elizabeth I.
The core of the house, the Baron’s hail, was completed in 1341. Its striking 60′ high timbered roof soars over the hall and is constructed — unusually — of chestnut, which is stronger and lighter than oak. The massive arched braces end in ten life-sized human figures, said to be satirical portraits of contemporary estate workers.
Tall windows, restored to their original elegant arched style, flood the hail with light. In the centre of the tiled floor is a unique octagonal hearth marked out in coloured bricks. At one end of the hall is the dais where the lord and lady and their guests would have dined, while the rest of the household lived in the body of the hall, taking their meals at the massive 20′ trestle tables which are unique survivors from the 15th century. Illustrious guests included Henry VIII (who subsequently had his host, the Duke of Buckingham, beheaded) and Elizabeth 1. The panelled minstrels’ gallery at the opposite end of the hall is a Tudor addition.
The adjoining building, known as the Buckingham building, was constructed as a hall around 1430 but was divided into state rooms in Tudor times. The furnishings of the tapestry-hung Queen Elizabeth Room include an elegant silk-upholstered daybed and rock crystal chandeliers said to have belonged to William of Orange. The harpsichord was acquired from Queen Christina of Sweden by Sir William Perry, who inherited the house in the mid-18th century and proceeded to modernise it in Italian style, mostly to its detriment. He did however acquire an impressive collection of Italian furniture. Tragically (though perhaps not for the house!), he ended his days prematurely in a lunatic asylum.
The Trafalgar Room is hung with 16th century Flemish tapestries. Among the paintings is one of the London house built in the 1630s by the second Earl of Leicester on the site where The Empire, Leicester Square, now stands. It proved a huge drain on the family’s resources and was subsequently demolished. The original miniature Leicester Square can still be found in front of the church in the nearby village of Penshurst.
The Long Gallery still has its original (restored) panelling and re-created moulded ceiling in typical Tudor style. Lit by windows on both sides and lined with portraits of the family and royalty, it formed an attractive indoor promenade. The gallery widens out into a square room, part of an earlier fortification tower.
Text Box: 7Stairs lead down to a panelled bedroom, then to the Nether Gallery containing a display of armoury including Robert Dudley’s state sword and the ceremonial helmet which was carried in procession at Sir Philip Sidney’s state funeral; the helmet bears the Sidneys’ family crest, the porcupine. Sir Philip Sidney is one of only three commoners to be accorded the honour of a state funeral, the others being Lord Nelson and Sir Winston Churchill.
The gardens, laid out in Tudor times and arranged as a series of “rooms”, are the glory of Penshurst. They range from formal gardens with pools and fountains to herbaceous walks, lavender-edged rose beds, fruit and nut orchards, and a garden laid out as the Union flag in shades of red, white and blue. The garden rooms are separated by tall yew hedges so that each surprises and delights with its scent and variety.
This short report can only convey a very brief impression of Penshurst Place and its endlessly fascinating history, but thank you, Micky and Micky, for organising such an interesting and pleasurable visit (and perfect weather for the garden!).
JUNE OUTING PART 2
LULLINGSTONE ROMAN VILLA AND EYNSFORD CASTLE by Andy Simpson
After a pleasant lunch at Penshurst we returned to the coach for another scenic run through Kentish lanes to the English Heritage managed Lullingstone Roman Villa, a long-time `must see’ for your scribe. As we approached the site the modern cover building was immediately obvious — a little weather-stained but nestling below the hillside above the river Darent quite well. Soil slip from this hillside is responsible for this villa’s good state of preservation, the complete ground plan and many structural features surviving. The villa had stood at the centre of a large agricultural estate, being first built in timber and daub on flint footings about 100AD, then remodelled in flint and tile masonry with the well preserved bath suite added later in the second century. For much of the third century, a period of economic stagnation, the villa was in a state of some neglect, though underfloor heated rooms were added in the late third century adding to the classic ‘winged corridor’ plan. Revived fortunes in the mid-fourth century saw the addition of a large apsed dining room around 360AD, along with intricate mosaics and wall paintings, some linked with Christian activity located in a small chapel which in mediaeval times continued close by with the use of material from the villa in the now vanished Lullingstone church following the villa’s destruction by fire c420AD.
Excavation through the 1950s revealed a fascinating site with adjacent large, raised floor granary, circular shrine and substantial square mausoleum, whose central pit rather touchingly contained the coffins of a young man and woman buried together in the fourth century along with supplies for the afterlife; the mausoleum was incorporated into the Saxon Lullingstone Church. We toured the site aided by the informative recorded commentary on the personal stereo issued to each visitor. Particular attention is paid to the well known chapel with its six painted plaster portraits of Christians, possibly even members of the villa owning family, at prayer, along with the Christian Chi-Rho monogram on the opposite wall. These reconstructed paintings can nowadays be seen in the British Museum. One of the few in-situ fragments of Roman painted plaster I have seen, surviving in a cellar niche, shows three water nymphs in a remarkable state of preservation. The dining room features the well known mosaic showing scenes of Bellerophon riding the winged horse Pegasus to slay the Chimaera and Jupiter in the guise of a bull abducting Europa, captioned by a couplet referring to Virgil ‘s Aeneid.
After a short coach ride we then reached Eynsford, where a magnificent spread prepared by Eynsford Women’s institute awaited us in the village hall, overlooked from both ends by the stern visage of the former drum playing lady of the Manor who had been their first president. An interesting feature here was the photographic montage showing all the men of the village who had served in the Great War. After tea we braved light drizzle to view another English Heritage property, the adjacent moated remains of the. small, flint-walled Eynsford castle, a sort of pocket Berkhamsted. Dating to c. 1088, this is one of the earliest Norman stonework defences in the country, on a site in use from late Saxon limes. Abandoned after a disastrous sacking in 1312, there was brief eighteenth century use as kennels for hunting dogs and at Christmas 1872 a large section of the north curtain wall wall collapsed into the moat where it lies still. The rest of the castle is quite ruinous but traces of four garderobes survive along with the once tile-roofed inner hall — there was no keep. Parts of the halls’s arched undereroft survive_ Interestingly, the curtain wall never had any battlements. Parts of the site were archaeologically investigated in the 1950s/60s.
RESCUE’s Early day motion Peter Pickering
RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust of which many members will be aware, is very concerned that local Government archaeology services are under direct threat in several parts of the country owing to budgetary pressures within County Councils. An example not far from here has been the recent deep cuts in the archaeology service in Buckinghamshire. RESCUE inspired Robert Maclennan, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on cultural matters, to table an Early Day Motion on 2nd March in the following terms:‑
`”That this House notes with regret the forthcoming cuts to local government heritage services. caused by
the local government finance settlement; recognises that such services communicate the value of
archaeology and historic buildings in our economic, cultural, and educational life; and that they an
fundamental to ensuring that finite cultural inheritance can be enjoyed by present and future generations”.
`Early Day Motion’ is a colloquial term for a notice of Motion given by a MP for which no date has been fixed for debate, and generally there is no prospect of these Motions ever being debated. They are, however, widely used by MPs who want to put on record their opinion on a subject and canvass support for it from their fellow members. Early Day Motions draw matters to Ministers’ attention, and often attract wider publicity; commentators regard them as a gauge of opinion.
This particular motion had been signed by 50 MPs by 15th July; among the signatories it is good to see Sir Sydney Chapman, the MP for Chipping Barnet. HADAS members in his constituency may like to write to him expressing their appreciation. Those in other constituencies might urge their MP to do join Sir Sydney in signing the motion. The recent threats to our archive service in Barnet, and to the museums in Enfield and Brent, demonstrate that we are not immune to similar problems.
Further details on this and many other matters can be found on the RESCUE website (www.rescuearchaeology.freeserve.co.uk)
THE DACORUM AND ITS HERITAGE John M D Saunders, Vice-Chairman, Friends of The
Dacorum Museum Society
At the western tip of Hertfordshire the group of towns and villages comprising the borough of Dacorum takes its name from the ancient hundred and Anglo-Saxon name for the area. It is an area rich in historical significance and has an interesting story to tell. Archaeological evidence is abundant and Neolithic, Mesolithic, Bronze age and Roman remains have been found on various sites throughout the area.
The river valleys and track ways have determined the position of its towns and villages, the principal towns being Berkhamsted (complete with its motte and bailey castle), Hemel Hempstead, and Tring. Their prosperity was based on agriculture. Later, the coming of the canals and railways brought other and newer industries, ie paper-making, engineering, pharmaceuticals and electronics.
People have lived and worked in The Dacorum over several thousand years, and this heritage has now been recognised as worth keeping. All too often the heritage has been ignored or destroyed and much that has been preserved has left the area and been displayed elsewhere as, unfortunately, there is no museum dedicated to The Dacorum.
The need to rectify this situation came to a head in 1980 due to pressure from local archaeological and history societies who came together to form The Dacorum Heritage Trust.
The Dacorum borough council and the town councils of Tring and Berkhamsted have given able support, and the trust became a registered charity in 1993. A disused fire station in Berkhamsted, after conversion, became the museum store. It contains a large collection of material: some 20,000 items in all, ranging from flint tools, Roman vessels and decorated wall plaster from the local Roman villa site, to 17th century trade tokens, photographs, pictures and maps — an endless variety of material spanning the centuries.
To raise public interest it was decided in October 1988 to form a society called The Friends of Dacorum Museum_ The objects of the society are:
To work towards the establishment of a permanent museum or museums for the benefit of the public generally and especially for the inhabitants of the district of Dacorum in the county of Hertfordshi re.
To organise periodic exhibitions relating to local history in the said district for educational and cultural purposes.
To raise finances to enable the Dacorum Heritage Trust to purchase material relating to the area.
The society has arranged a programme of events. They have visited the new Verulamium museum and arranged historic walks in the area. Several parties have toured the museum store under the guidance of the curator Mr Matt Wheeler.
Future plans include a Dacorum canal exhibition, which will focus on the history of the canal system in the area.
The Friends of the Museum Society is growing in strength and now has 175 members.
TILE WE MEET AGAIN Vikki O’Connor
Ian Betts, a building materials specialist from the Museum of London Specialist Services (MOLSS) is, fortunately for HADAS, resident in the Borough of Barnet. This made it convenient for him to give up his free time on Saturday July 10th to come and talk brick with sixteen Brockley Hill enthusiasts. Ian gave us some background information on Roman brick/tile production and pointed out that there are no obvious differences in the fabric of tiles produced at the sites between St Albans and London, except for the Radlett kiln where the products contain black specks. He believes that Brockley Hill had a tile production kiln, and one Brockley Hill potter’s stamp has been found on both pot and tile — it has been demonstrated that it is the same stamp used on both.
It appears that recognition of the brick/tile that we have collected is more instinctive than with the pottery. Ian’s examination of tens of thousands of examples over the years, coupled with his knowledge of fabric and fabrication methods, enable him to make almost instantaneous identification. However, the members of our group, who were ‘thrown in the deep end’ and given a bag of the Brockley Hill ‘fieldwalking’ brick to identify in front of everyone else, were also able to make correct identification. Even MOLSS sometimes use outside services to analyse building material. Harwell, for example undertake neutron analysis where a core is drilled out of the sample, powdered, sent into a nuclear reactor to be bombarded with neutrons, and the data collected indicates the chemical components – all for a modest fee of £25 per sample. (If a scientifically-minded member (2ould give a truer description of this process, our next Newsletter Editor is Liz Sagues….)
Touching on a few points in brick history Ian started with the Roman building industry which appeared to be centralised using a skilled work force. He believes the use of water transport tends to be underrated and that where there was no navigable water route then localised brick production occurred. In the late 2nd/early 3rd century AD tile found all over southern England is apparently from one production site, but he couldn’t confirm whether this was German or British. There is apparently no evidence for Saxon brick production and Roman material was re-used. Pre-Conquest tiles were very simple, as produced at Winchester_ The question was asked and, yes, site matters as an indicator of function, Tiled roofs were initially used for public buildings, and King Stephen (1135-54) decreed that only tiled roofs should be built. The York city wall material switched from stone to brick in 1490 and, a Yorkshire man himself, Ian admitted that the rivalry between mediaeval tile makers and the stone masons sorneti mes became physical as testified by Guild records. We hoped the Northern Line didn’t delay Ian too much as he sped off to meet his wife (a little later than intended as we had him pinned down to answer questions at the Catcher in the Rye). Our thanks for an interesting session.
Ian has suggested that HADAS may like to consider using the services of MOLSS in classifying the contents of our 35 boxes of brick. An advantage would he the speed of the operation – he thought three or four days would suffice, and we would have the opportunity Of getting a couple of HADAS members to observe/participate so we would be gaining in-house expertise. We would also gain our own reference collection. A further advantage would be that, by using :MOLSS on this occasion, their recording methods would set our standard for recording building material at a professional level so that, should we be permitted to complete the fieldwalking grid during 2000, we would have the capability to do up to 99% of the processing internally. Our excavation coordinator, Brian Wrigley, will be examining the pros and cons of this proposal over the next few days and we should shortly be able to reveal how we will be completing the task.
THE PREHISTORIC SOCIETY STUDY TOUR TO SCANIA by John Hooson
In June members of the Prehistoric Society (including five members from HADAS) visited many important sites in a tour organised and guided by Professor John Coles and his Swedish colleagues Professor Lars Larsson and Dr Deborah Olausson of Lund University.
The whole tour was greatly enhanced by their creating a very relaxed atmosphere. Descriptions of the sites were given with enthusiasm, emphasising the cultures of the prehistoric societies and bringing them to life. The Romans never reached. Sweden and, therefore, Swedish prehistory is regarded as extending up to the Viking age.
We visited the large late Mesolithic cemetery site of SKATEHOLM where the diverse burial practices have led to much discussion concerning the late Mesolithic as a period of complex social structures. At the Lund museum, which we visited on our day of arrival, we had seen one of the Skateholm burials displayed as it had been found.
AGEROD, a late Mesolithic lake settlement site was also visited. Part of the lake still exists but excavations of several bog sites on the shore of the past lake have revealed both occupation areas and refuse layers. Walking along the old shore line, many worked flakes lay on the surface of the presently cultivated field and John Coles recovered a magnificent core displaying where a succession of blades had been removed.
At GILLHOG, we were able to enter the low narrow entrance to the passage grave. It is assumed to have been erected in the earlier middle Neolithic but most of the finds in the chamber dated to the later part of the middle Neolithic and late Neolithic and apparently it had also been used by members of the battle-axe culture. The earth mantle covering the tomb had contained two late Neolithic cists and in an area of six metres outside the entrance large quantities of potsherds from the Funnel Beaker culture were found. At SKEGRIE we saw one of the best preserved dolmens_ It had rectangular chambers in a rectangular stone setting.
The bronze age in Scania offers much. 3,000 large mounds and cairns still exist in spite of the destruction of large numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries due to agricultural reorganisation. As we travelled around the beautiful Skania landscape we could see mounds everywhere: near the road, on nearby ridges and in the distance.
KIVIK, the largest round burial mound in Scandinavia and believed to be of bronze age date, was discovered in 1748 and contained a long c.ist of eight slabs carved on the inside surface. Unfortunately it was heavily quarried in the 19th century and the cist robbed out. In 1933, based on drawings of 1756, it was reconstructed using six of the recovered slabs and two reconstructions. A vault constructed over the cist allows visitors to study the slabs.
John Coles, who has made a long-term study of Swedish and Norwegian bronze age rock carvings, took us to a number of sites where his explanations were of invaluable help in identifying the intricate groupings of boats, animals, humans, battleaxes and other representations.At JARRESTAD, the largest rock carving site in southern Sweden, we saw the “Dancer”, who dominates, together with footsoles (naked feet) in pairs and singly and many boats and horses with riders. At FRANNARP the carvings are of wheels and carts with schematic horses. It was on this occasion that we resented the brilliant sun which we had had all week as it cast shadows from the surrounding trees on to the carvings making them difficult to view. Fortunately a cloud intervened a couple of times to provide an excellent opportunity to see the carvings clearly.
Among the iron age sites visited was ALE STENAR the largest ship-setting in Sweden with a commanding view over the Baltic Sea. There are various hypotheses for its use including the grave or cenotaph. Also visited was the cemetery at VATTERYD with around 375 standing stones and 20 ship carvings.
We saw a number of Viking runic and picture stones which are frequently associated with early churches. The church at STORA KOPINGE was probably built in the late 11th century and, like many of these early churches, preceded by an earlier wooden church. These churches are often richly decorated and SANKT OLOF’s church has many wall paintings and coloured carved furnishings.
On the first full day we had visited the ongoing excavations at UPPAKRA, it was discovered in 1934 and settlement has now been dated from 20013C to 950AD: It had been an important market-place, production site and a residential place of government until replaced by Lund, founded five kilometres away. Shortly after leaving the site, Lars Larsson received a call on his mobile informing him that an important brooch had just been found there. On the last day, at the Lund museum, we were able to see this square-headed gilt-bronze brooch which they were dating to 450AD. No cleaning had been necessary apart from brushing off the dirt.
It was a truly magnificent find and brought tea fine conclusion a truly magnificent study tour.
ARCHAEOLOGY DATA SERVICE Peter Pickering
The Higher Education Funding Council is sponsoring a project to encourage the reuse of digital archives, the Archaeology Data Service. An on-site version of the Greater London Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) maintained by English Heritage is now available for use as part of the Service’s on-line catalogue, ArcHSearch. Members may like to visit its website (ads.ands.ac.ukfeatalogue).
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
September 8th to January 9th. “Alfred the Great”, an exhibition at the Museum of London. This exhibition should interest members going on the Portsmouth weekend, as our first stop at Winchester is to view an on-going excavation at Hyde Abbey. Records dating from the Dissolution indicate that Alfred, his wife Ealhswith and son Edward the Elder were buried at Hyde Abbey. This year’s excavation hopes to locate the site of these royal burials.
October 23rd. This year’s Chairman of SCOLA (the Standing Conference on London Archaeology), Professor Graham-Campbell, will give a lecture on LONDON AND THE VIKINGS in the Lecture Theatre of the Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square; the lecture will be preceded by a brief report on SCOLA’s activities. The afternoon will begin at 2.30.
November 27th. The CBA Mid-Anglia and South-Eastern groups, and SCOLA, are jointly sponsoring a conference in the Museum of London on post-mediaeval London. The cost is likely to be £25, including the conference papers. Watch for publicity and application forms in due course.