Newsletter No. 122 – April 1981
April lecture: Tuesday April 7th : Greek Royal Art by Dr. Malcolm Colledge. This will be Dr. Colledge’s third visit to talk to us – the last memorable occasion being in November 1976 when we overflowed the Library to hear his lecture on Pompeii. Many of us will also remember him for his oratory at the Roman Banquet.
Dr. Colledge is a member of the staff at the University of London and has taught Classics at Westfield College for the last 14 years.
On April 7th he is coming to tell us how Greek Royalty threw money around, commissioned buildings and bought Art, partly for their own pleasure and partly for propaganda purposes. He will include some slides on recent finds at VERGINA in what seem to be the Royal Tombs there.
The Annual General Meeting will be on Tuesday May 19th at the Library,
The Burroughs N.W.4. Coffee 8-8.30 p.m. formal meeting 8.30 p.m. After the business part of the meeting Bill Firth will show some slides of Industrial Archaeology, dealing particularly with the early days of the
Schweppes factory in West Hendon which was recently demolished.
A formal notice calling the AGM is enclosed with this Newsletter.
Subscriptions for the new financial year. Please see enclosed leaflet from the Treasurer, Jeremy Clynes.
We have heard with great sadness of the death of Margaret’s husband after a long illness..
PUBLIC LECTURES AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM May – July 1981
A series of seven lectures on Science in the service of archaeology
20 th May Aspects of science applied to the conservation of museum treasures Dr. Ruth Boff.
27th May Conserving major finds from the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial Nigel Williams
3rd June Scientific ways of looking at the past: the work of the BM Research Laboratory .Dr Paul Craddock
10th June The analysis of marbles from the classical world: new discoveries by scientific means. Dr. Susan Walker
17th June Bronze disease and other ailments: the practical conservation of metal objects. Mrs Hannah Lane
24th June The conservation of masterpieces in glass Mrs. Davison
1st July Scientific dating techniques: Carbon 14 and beyond. Richard Burleigh:
No tickets required: all on Wednesday at 1.15 p.m.
HADAS’s latest booklet THOSE WERE THE DAYS by Percy Reboul – is selling well. This is the first publication for which the Society has planned a marketing policy – and credit for this must go to members Mary and Henry Barnett, who volunteered to organise the marketing and sales side. That is no light job to take on and we are very grateful to them for the energy and enthusiasm with which they have tackled the task: they really have put their hearts into it.
The first step was to get reviews into the local press and into newsletters of other societies and groups.Then we sent a leaflet to Citizens Advice Bureaux, council offices and old peoples groups in the area: to Townswomen’s guilds, schools and libraries: a far wider publicity net than we have ever cast before. The catch is already being netted; schools seem particularly interested.
The booklet is also being stocked by a number of North London bookshops in fact we have already had to increase our first print from 1000 to 1500.
Have you bought your copy yet. And have you thought of buying some extra copies for Christmas or birthday presents, If not, do think about it every copy we sell helps the Society.
THE SUTTON HOO SHIP BURIAL
Enid Hill reports on the March lecture.
The March lecture given by ,Kenneth Whitehorn of the British Museum Educational Service was excellent – a real tour de force as one member said.
Situated in Suffolk, overlooking the river Deben, and part of a large expanse of open. heathland, the Sutton Hoo site was owned by a Mrs. Edith Pretty. In 1938, she decided to investigate some of the tumuli on the estate. Three were opened, found to be burial mounds which had been robbed, but enough remained to place them in the Anglo-Saxon period. So in 1938, Mrs Pretty sponsored another excavation of a fourth mound – the largest in the group. A trench two metres wide was made and soon a “pattern of rivets appeared which marked the plank runs of a hugh boat more than 30 metres long. The wood and rivets had rotted away, but the rivets left a rusty impression which showed up in the sandy soil. The discovery of the boat itself was of great importance in the history of boat building, but then in the central area of the boat, a large collection of objects began to appear in a collapsed burial chamber. At this stage, the leader of the excavation, a local antiquary, Basil Brown, called in the professionals. Charles Phillips, F.S.A. led a team which included Professors Grimes and Pigott. They completed the dig in July under the cloud of the coming war, and at a Coroner’s Inquest in August, the objects found were declared to be the property of Mrs. Pretty who then, with great generosity, presented the whole find to the nation. An astounding collection of objects was excavated from the burial chamber and Mr. Whitehorn’s slides of many of these a very clear idea of their brilliance.The list included gold and garnet strap fittings, a sword with jeweled mounts, a. magnificent helmet and shield, a collection of silver (including a dish with a Roman hallmark of the period AD 49-518), a ceremonial whetstone surmounted by a finely cast bronze stag drinking horns with silver-gilt fittings, Celtic hanging bowls, a finely wrought iron chain with its massive bronze cauldon and a purse lid, decorated with gold and garnet cloisonné work. This contained 37 Merovingian gold coins of the period. 625-630 A.D. For pleasure a six-stringed lyre of maple wood was included.
No trace of the inhabitant of this grave remains, except for a possible phosphate stain, since bone dissolves in the acid soil as it does on the Hampstead Heath site. It has been suggested that it might commemorate Raewald, a king of East Anglia who died 624-625 A. D. Whoever it was, it must have been someone with contacts as far as Constantinople and Egypt the home of some of the objects and a man who could command the highest craftsmanship from Celtic workers at home. The burial, which is one of the richest of its period yet found in Europe, emphasises the high level of culture in Anglo-Saxon England.
WINGS OVER NORTH WEST LONDON
This is the working title of a research project set up to investigate the aircraft industry which existed from the earliest days of aviation until about 1970 along the Edgware Road between Cricklewood and Colindale. A group has been formed and a small start made. However the subject is vast, but it can be broken down into small areas so that it could be worked on by many people. If you are interested please contact Bill Firth, 455 7164. It is hoped to reward participants with a visit to the old Grahame-White sites at Hendon aerodrome.
PINNING DOWN THE PAST Report by Sheila Woodward.
Church Farm House Museum, that lovely 17th century building which is itself such an eloquent reminder of Hendon’s past, is a fitting setting for the latest and greatest HADAS’ Exhibition, Pinning Down The Past. The formal opening of the exhibition on February 28th by the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Mrs. Edna James proved in fact to be a pleasantly informal occasion, thanks to the expert but unobtrusive management of Dorothy Newbury. Among the guests of the Society were the Borough Librarian, Mr. David Ruddom, the Borough Archivist, Mrs. Joanna Cordon, Mr. Bill Taylor of Barnet Museum, Dr. Richard Hubbard of the Institute of Archaeology, and several representatives of neighbouring societies. Introduced by the chairman of HADAS, Councillor Brian Jarman, the Mayor spoke of the importance of studying and understanding our local heritage and of preserving our fine buildings from the past. She expressed appreciation of the work HADAS has done and was continuing to do to further these aims. After the opening, the Honorary Secretary, Brigid Grafton-Green, who master-minded the exhibition and to whom must go credit for its excellent presentation and lay-out, showed the Mayor round the exhibition
The main contents of the exhibition were described in last month’s Newsletter by Liz Sagues. She mentioned the success of the preceding Lacemaking exhibition which attracted large numbers of visitors, but the HADAS exhibition is already rivalling its predecessor and comments from visitors are very complimentary. All our exhibitors can feel justifiably proud of their achievement. I think it is fair to say that there is something for everyone in this exhibition – the nostalgia of the old photographs and old industries, the fascinating detail of scientific techniques in archaeology and the sheer fun of that splendid, never to be forgotten Roman banquet. And how pleasant to see so many children visiting and enjoying the exhibition for they will be the guardians of the future of our past.
A reminder; The exhibition continues until May.Opening hours : 10 a.m.-12.30 p..m. and 1.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. on– weekdays (except Tuesday 10.a.m. – 1.0 p.m.) and from 2.30-6.00 p.m. on Sundays.
REVIEW OF THE NEW BULLETIN OF EXPERIMENTAL ARCHEOLOGY
No 1. Edited by David Johnstone M.A. Published by the Department of Adult Education of Southampton (Annual Subscription £1.)
The Adult Education Courses on flint-tool making and Roman Cookery, provided by Southampton University have been a fascinating and enjoyable introduction to experimental archaeology for many HADAS members. It will be no surprise to them, therefore, that this enterprising Department under the Editorship of its Archaeological Tutor, David Johnston, has now produced the first “Bulletin of Experimental Archaeology”.
Both in Britain and in other parts of the world, there has been a great proliferation in experimental projects in the last few years. Their range is great and extends from the rigidly controlled scientific experiment to the uncontrolled practical experience of educational groups. These provide as Mr. Johnston points out, invaluable insight into ancient technology. Mr. Johnston also considers that finance has played a big part in controlling the type of work undertaken- today most studies being perforce, modest, and undertaken by individuals or enterprising groups. For these, an annual Bulletin such as this, can only be of benefit, especially as its stated aims are to cut down duplication of effort, provide a means of co-ordination of research and a medium of information exchange. The Bulletin provides a useful summary of recent experiments which range from Palaeolithic technology, through the manufacture of various types of Roman pottery and a variety of flue and other tiles to the mounting of Anglo-Saxon jewelry and the building of a Viking ship. There are notes on miscellaneous projects which include an appeal for modern beavers’ incisor teeth (has any member got one?) and a useful summary in.”Current
Research with Ancient Agriculture” from Peter Reynolds. Last, but not least, the Bulletin produces a valuable list of publications.
This Bulletin is to be welcomed as a useful tool for those engaged in experimental archaeology be they professional or amateur. The Editor expresses the justifiable concern that the growth of experimentation shall not lead to a debasement of standards and a publication such as this will be of great value as a monitor. It is hoped that it will go from strength to strength.
THE BONES FROM TED SAMMES’ SITE
Preliminary Report on the Inhumation Burial from the excavation at Church Terrace, Hendon by Daphne Lorimer.
Four extended inhumation burials were found outside the consecrated area to the south of the west end of St. Mary’s Church – three in trench B 1 and one in trench C 1. – They were orientated to face east and no evidence of coffins was found. At the foot of the southernmost burial in trench .B 1, a small pit was found containing the carpal bones of a hand which did not appear to belong to any of the four burials. The condition of .the bones was extremely poor as the ground was completely waterlogged. Use of a trowel was precluded and the bones were cleaned with a small paint brush. The skeleton no 3 was excavated completely and photographed in situ, but WAS vandalised before an attempt could be made to preserve and raise the bones.Only fragments of the femur, skull and teeth were saved. Any attempt to estimate the sex, age and stature from such limited material must, of necessity, be very tentative since multivariate criteria are essential for any degree of accuracy. From the evidence available, however, the skeleton was estimated to be that of a male between 35 and 45 years old and about 5 ft. 7 ins tall. ex The maximum diameter of the head of the femur was 50 moms. (Dwight 1900 gives a mean of 49.7 mms for males and 43.8 mm for females) while the mastoid processes seem large and the portion of the nuchal crest found seems well marked. (all Characteristics of the male).
Age at death When examined in situ, epiphiseal union did appear complete, the teeth had all erupted and the degree of attrition was such that an age of between 35,-45 years could be estimated from charts published by Bothwell (1965)
Stature Measurements had been taken in situ- under such circumstances accuracy must be highly suspect – and the femoral lengths from the medial condyle at the distal end to the proximal part of the head was 44.6 cms. Using the formula of Trotter and Gleser (1952,1958) a stature of 5ft.7in: was calculated. i.e. 2.32 x 44.6 x 65.53 cms = 169.002 cms 5ft 7 ins
Note on Teeth The teeth retrieved appeared to have suffered heavy attrition and there was cracking of the enamel of the two upper first incisors: Caries was seen on three of the Molars, but the other teeth appeared free. Two points of interest should be noted (a) a sherd of Herts grey ware pottery adhered to the soil filling the shattered –skull which may give a terminus ante quem for the burial.(13th-14th.Century A.D.) (b) Mediaeval punishment for sheep or deer stealing. Was the loss of the right hand.
Dwight 1900 J. Anat. Lond..24 p 61(-68
Brothwell D.R. 1965 “Digging up Bones” Brit. Mus. (Nat Hist) p 69 •
Trotter and Gleser G.C.1952 Amer. J.Phys Anthrop. Washington (n.s.) p.634-714, 1958 Amer. J.Phys Anthrop. Washington (n.s.) 16 p.17-123.
REPORT ON THE LAMAS CONFERENCE
The Lamas Conference is always a cheerful well-attended affair and this was no exception. The two main themes were Recent Excavation and Research and Some Perspectives on the Prehistory of the Thames valley. We saw slides of excavations at Peninsular House in the City and at Clavert’s buildings in Southwark, at Tilbury Fort on the lower Thames, and a causewayed enclosure near Staines. Two speakers dealt with Paleolithic implements and there was a splendid display of these in the exhibition. HADAS had an excellent display of animal bones from the Church Terrace dig.
ART EXHIBITION the Circuit Painters
Two painting of the West Heath Dig will be on show at the Swiss Cottage Central Library from April 13-30. They are the work of Jean Gillett (sister-in-law of Helen Gordon) and a member of the Circuit Painters who have recently concentrated on the Camden area and are showing paintings of such scenes as Camden Lock and street markets. Jean Gillett visited West Heath one day last summer and sketched the site.
NEWSLETTER APPEAL – LOAN OF A CAR: VAN
Is any member able to help with the loan of a small caravan or possibly a van for three Saturdays in late spring or early summer? If so, please contact Brian Wibberley, phone no. 440-7696. Brian is
ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY
From Philip Venning
Shaw, A and Clayton, K.M. British Isles: the geomorphology of the Eastern and Central England. Methuen 1979
Bickerman, E.J. Chronology of the ancient world. Rev. ed. Thames and
Hudson 1980 (From series: Aspects of Greek and Roman life)
Joukowsky, M. A complete manual of field archaeology: tools and techniques of field work for archaeologists. Prentice-Hall. 1980
Clarke, G. Winchester studies 3 – Pre-Roman, Winchester, Part 11 The Roman cemetery at Lankhills. Clarendon Press 1979
Gould, R.A. Living archaeology. Cambridge University Press. 1980
Orton, C. Mathematics in archaeology. Collins. 1980
Laing, L and J. The origins of Britain. Routledge and Kegan Paul. 1980
Sheail, J. Historical ecology: the documentary evidence Institute of Terrestial Ecology (Natural Environmental Research Council) 1980
From C. Chatterton Andronicos, M. The Greek museums: Heraklion Museum and archaeological sites of Crete
On loan from Mrs. Reichenfeld
Hsia Nal and others. New archaeological finds in China: discoveries duringthe cultural revolution. Peking. –Foreign Language Press 1974
From Miss Sheldon
Carrier, R and Dick) O.L. The vanished city: a study of London. Hutchinson. 1957
From Daphne Lorimer
Craft tools of yesterday. Providence Press, Ely. 1979.
From Mrs. Jean Neal
Clark G. Prehistoric England. 2nd Ed. Batsford 1941.
Childe V.G. Prehistoric communities of the British Isles. Chambers 1940
Hawkes C.F.C. The prehistoric foundations of Europe to the Mycenean age. Methuen 1940.
Presented via the Mini-mart
Time Life International 1973-74
Edney, M.A. and the editors of Time-Life Books.The sea traders.
Wernick, R and the editors of Time-Life Books. The monument builders
Knauth P. and the editors of Time-Life Books The metalamiths
Leonard, J.N. and the editors of Time-Life Books . The first farmers
Hamblin D.J. and the editors of Time-Life Books The first cities
Claiborne R and the editors of Time-Life Books The first Americans
Prideaux T. and the editors of Time-Life Books Cro-magnon man
Constable, G. and the editors of Time-Life Books. The Neanderthals
Edey M.A. and the editors of Time-Life Books. The missing link
Editors of Time Life Books. Life before man.
All in the Emergence of Man series.