NEWSLETTER NO: 138 AUGUST 1982.
SATURDAY 14th AUGUST – COLCHESTER (Roman Camulodunum.)
Liz Holiday is well away with her arrangements for this outing – a gem for Roman enthusiasts. It will include a visit to the museum, a conducted tour of the vaults, prison and castle, and in the afternoon an escorted walk round the town. See the enclosed itinerary for details. If you wish to join this outing please complete the enclosed application form and send it, with cheque, to Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible.
For the rest of the summer:-
SEPTEMBER 9,10,11 & 12th (Thursday morning to Sunday night).
The long weekend in North Northumberland as circularised with the July Newsletter has taken off – 25 members have booked to go on the trip and it is DEFINITELY ON. Dorothy Newbury has been up there and visited the Woolet Field Centre. She reports that there is so much to see that it is difficult to condense it into 4 days. Colin Burgess from Newcastle University, who has been digging in the area this year has agreed to give an introductory talk and to conduct the group on the Friday to see prehistoric settlements, cairns and forts. Other periods will be covered over the weekend, including a visit to Berwick, fought over by the Scots and English – changing hands no less than 13 times – before being finally won by the English in 1482; and to Holy Island to see Lindisfarne Priory and Castle.
There is still time to join the trip if you ring June Porges (346 5078) or
Peter Griffiths (612 3156) within the next few days. Cost approximately £60 which will include transport, accommodation and full board.
SEPTEMBER 25th to Greensted and Waltham Abbey – the last outing of the year a repeat of the very first HADAS outing in 1961, to be led by Ted Sammes.
TRIP TO CANTERBURY AND ROCHESTER ON SATURDAY 10TH JULY.
It was an eerie feeling to walk into St. Martin’s Church in Canterbury and to know that St. Augustine himself had worshipped there. This was the Church in which Queen Bertha had been worshipping during the twenty years of her marriage to King Ethelbort, pagan King of Kent. There may well be truth in the story that the King was baptised in St. Martin’s.
We next visited St. Augustine’s Abbey, the monastic establishment founded by Augustine on land given him by the King, just outside the city walls. In the earliest of the three churches on the site are the burial places of the first Christian Kentish Kings, and their Bishops. A quick visit to the Northgate revealed-to the educated eye – a portion of crenelated town wall which may be a portion of the Roman wall around the city. The wall is now part of the Church which has been built into it.
We did not have enough time to do the Cathedral justice, but we managed to include the Crypt in which two pillars and remains of the great Cross from Reculver Church are stored.
We then went to St. Mildred’s Church to see an example of Saxon megalithic quoining, toured the remains of the Norman Keep, and walked along the town walls, passing the mound called Dane John which might be a Roman burial mound.
A short coach journey took us to Rochester, where we split into two groups, one lot going to the Rochester Museum while the other group enjoyed a magnificent tea in the garden of the home of our tour guide, Paul Craddock. The two groups “changed places”, so that we all boarded the coach replete with tea and goodies, heading back to London..
Paul Craddock’s “style” as a guide is individual to say the least: he is constantly on the move, explaining, describing, providing information, and he is willing to repeat what he has said to anyone who didn’t hear it, giving no sign of impatience at the umpteenth repetition. Some of our party would have preferred to gather in a group, listen to an explanatory lecturette and then to wander off to look at what had been mentioned. However, everyone had to acknowledge his patience, goodwill and enthusiasm as well as the amount of information which he.does have about the area.
Each HADAS outing is different from its predecessors, not only in where we go and what we see, but in the atmosphere and ambience of the group which participates in it. This outing provided a wealth of interesting places to return to and appreciate at leisure.
THOSE MYSTERIOUS CUP MARKS..
In a recent programme about Kopyes or rocky outcrops in the Sevengeti plain in Africa put out by the B.B.C., a demonstration was given by a native banging a stone into a depression in the rock, thus producing the effect of a “sounding board” – It was stated that this was a native way of producing sound going back to ancient times and a picture was shown of rock covered with many cup-like depressions – the Commentator suggested that these were played in sequences producing an “orchestra” of sounds.
Does it strike any of our readers that here we have an explanation for the mysterious “cup-marks” on stones associated with Neolithic tombs. – Could this have been the means of making background music to the various ritual enactments that are said to have taken place at certain times?
This contribution to one of the great problems of prehistoric archaeology will be of special interest to the long-weekenders, who will be heading for Wooler, in the heart of cup-mark country, on September 9th.- The Lady, of November 5th 1981 includes an interesting article on rock carvings in the Val Camonica, North of Brescia together with an account of attempts at dating the carvings by Professor Emmanuel Anati. One of the illustrations shows two oblong carvings, one of which contains about forty cup-marks. Professor Thom considers these to be based on the same mathematical principles as those used by the builders of Stonehenge. It has also been suggested that they are maps. If these few notes have whetted your appetite – there is still time to apply for a place at Wooler.
As you will have read in the July Newsletter I have recently been made
Membership Secretary, hence the reminders were late going out. All the same I am pleased to report that I have received nearly 250 subs, including those of new members, but sad to relate nearly 190 are still due. Please keep my postman busy by delivering your letters with subs as follows:-
Full Membership £3.00
Under 18 £2.00
Senior Citizens £2.00
Family Membership 1st member £3:0
Additional members £1.00 each
Corporate Membership £4.00
I am pleased to say we have several new members and I should like to welcome them to the Society.
N.B. I collect all the stamps off your letters and these will go to a charity.
DESERTED VILLAGES by Trevor Rowley and John Wood. Shire Archaeology, £1.95p.
This is the latest in the series of small archaeological handbooks published by Shire. The books don’t aim to be exhaustive in their treatment of a subject how could they be, at around 65-75 pages? – but all are written by experts and those so far published have offered a good basic groundwork in a particular subject. This is no exception.
The authors start by asking why deserted villages are worth studying, and come up with the answer that, unlike most archaeological sites which are cluttered by later buildings and development, deserted villages lot us see life as it was at the time of abandonment – preserved like a fly in amber. In addition, they throw light on the nature of the world in which the village existed – and died.
The desertion of villages – that is, the movement of settlements – has always been a fact of life since prehistoric times. The authors provide a potted history of the ebb and flow of settlement. Over 100 abandoned Anglo-Saxon settlements are known in England (HADAS visited one of them quite recently – West Stow, in Suffolk, now rehabilitated).
The 12c/13c saw an expansion of villages, followed by a decline in the late 13c/14c. The prosperity of the 15c wool trade meant that some villages were turned into sheep pasture: by 1500 there were three times as many sheep as humans in England.
That was the profit motive at work; alongside, another trend had started, with social status as its aim. This was the formation of exclusive parks by landowners anxious to keep up with the Joneses. Often they moved whole villages which were in the way of a desired emparkment. This is sometimes thought of as an 18c development, but it began happening as early as 1421. In our own time settlements near mines and mills have declined, and often vanished, just as the industries they served did.
An enlightening chapter deals with what deserted villages look like now and covers earthworks, parch marks and hollow ways. House platforms, boundary banks, moat ditches, ridge and furrow are all considered. The remarks on isolated Churches, left behind when the village has gone, are relevant to anyone interested in the possible deserted village near East Barnet Church, recently in the news:
“The village church often survived when the village it served was abandoned. This was not necessarily because churches were more solidly built … or for fear of divine retribution … but because they belonged to a large independent organisation with its own rights, records and revenues … besides, parish Churches would continue to serve nearby farms and hamlets long after the village was depopulated … not every isolated Church indicates the site of a deserted village, however … Some may have been built as private chantries or chapels … and there may be other reasons for a Church standing now by itself …”
There is a chapter on the shapes of deserted villages (ribbon development, round a green, etc), types of houses and small finds. A final chapter deals with ways of discovering deserted villages: survey, the study of air photos, the use of OS and earlier maps and the importance of field names. Appendices include a booklist and a copy of the Fieldwork Questionnaire put out by the Medieval Village Research Group.
The booklet is fully illustrated; far the most telling illustrations are reproductions of aerial photographs. Some of the small-scale distribution maps are too crammed to be worth printing; but a map showing distribution in a single county, Shropshire, is much more effective.
Deserted Villages can be obtained from Jeremy Clynes, 66 Hampstead Way,NWII. 7XX. Please add 20p, for postage if you want a copy posted to you.
LOOKING AHEAD TO WINTER..
As we usually do about now, the Newsletter has been trying to gather information about the evening classes which will be available in our Borough and further afield next winter. Here are the results so far (more information, we hope, next month).
Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, Central Square, NW11, offers courses in the first two years of the London University Diploma in Archaeology, each at for a course of 24 lectures and 4 visits:
Year 1, the Archaeology of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Man, Mons.7.30 – 9.30pm, starting September 20th lecturer Dr. M. Hemingway. PhD.
Year 2, the Archaeology of Western Asia (covering the Near East, but not Egypt), Thursday 7.30 – 9.30, starting September 23rd, Miss R. Harris. B.A.,
The two final years of the Diploma are not available locally. For the third year – the Archaeology of Prehistoric Europe – the nearest venue is the
Institute of. Archaeology, Gordon Square (Mons, from September 20th 6.30pm,
Miss. S. Hamilton. B.A.) The various fourth year options – Egyptology, prehistoric Britain, Roman Britain or Environmental Archaeology – are available at either the Institute of Archaeology or Morley College.
CERTIFICATE IN FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY.
The first two years of this 3-year Certificate cannot be studied locally, but the third year – the Post-Roman Period in .SE England – is available at Barnet College. The June Newsletter carried some details of this course, given us by Jean Snelling. We can now add that the course starts on Wednesday September 22nd, and that enrolments at Barnet College are on Tuesday September 14th (loam – 8pm); Wednesday September 15th and Thursday 16th, both from 6-8pm.
Should you want to do the two earlier years, there are courses in Year 1 (Prehistory in SE England) at the City Lit and at Edmonton College of Further Education in Southgate; Year 2 (the Roman period in SE England) has courses at the City Lit and at Marylebone-Paddington Adult Education Institute, Maida Vale.
Apart from the Certificate course, Barnet College also offers a course this year in the first year of the Certificate in Ecology and Conservation, on Mons. from September 30th; a 3-term course in Local History, on Thursday evenings, from September 29th; two lunch-time courses, Mons and Fridays, from 1.30-3.30 on London Life and buildings; and two on Tues and Weds (1.15 – 3.15) on Antiques and Historic Houses. There is also a. one-term course on Wednesday evenings, from September 29th, on Tracing Your Ancestors.
LOOKING AHEAD TO WINTERM
HADAS Diploma and Certificate holders may like to know of the post-Diploma courses being run centrally by the University. All courses are at 6.30pm at the Extra Mural Dept. unless otherwise stated:
Animal Bones in Archaeology (Advanced), Mons from September 27th;
Lecturer – Tony Legge.
Animal Bones (Beginners) Weds from September 22nd. Mrs. D. Sergeantson.
Human Skeletal Remains in Archaeology; Thursdays from September 23rd, Miss. T. Molleson.
Plant Remains in Archaeology, Mons from September 27th. R. Hubbard. Inst. Arch.
African Archaeology, Thursdays from September 23rd. D. Price Williams. Inst.Arch.
DIGGING UP THE PAST.
There is one course this Autumn to which we want to draw members’ special attention – particularly any members who have joined the Society recently or who feel a trifle shaky about their background knowledge of basic Archaeology.
HADAS is, with the kind co-operation of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, organising a course of 12 lectures this Autumn at the Institute, on Mondays from 7.30 – 9.30 pm, starting on September 20th. This will be similar to the courses which we ran successfully at Hendon College of Further Education in Mill Hill for several years.
The course is called Digging Up the Past. It is designed particularly for beginners, or for those who have only a smattering of knowledge about some of the Archaeological periods. Five members are acting as Lecturers, while a sixth will lead a visit to a museum on one. of the Saturdays during the course. The lectures will be arranged chronologically, starting with an outline of the stages of evolution, going through the Palaeolithic to the hunter-gatherers of the
Mesolithic and then the first farmers of the Neolithic. At the point metal takes over, and our Lecturers concentrate on the Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages. There are two lectures on aspects of the Romans in Britain; and two on the Saxons and Vikings. We finish with a brainstrust on December 6th.
Fee for the course is £13 for 12 lectures and visit. Enrolment is during office house at the Institute in August (but not between August 9th 20th) and September, and in term time if there are still vacancies. Office hours are 9 am – 1 pm and 2 am – 5 pm. In term time and from September 6th – 9th the office is also open 6.15-8.15 pm. The Institute phone number is 455 9951.
As the course is a bit of an experiment, so far as the HGS Institute is concerned, we hope it will be a success; and we hope, too, to see some friendly HADAS faces in our audience. So please give Monday evenings from September 20th several stars in your diary.
NEW SOCIETY FOR LOCAL HISTORIANS.
On April 1st last (no hidden significance in the date, we hasten to say) -a new Organisation for Local Historians came into being: The British Association for Local History. It replaces the cumbersomely named Standing Conference for Local History. The inaugural meeting, which decided to form the new Association, had taken place two weeks before, at Holborn Central Library, and was attended by between 150-200 people.
The main objective of the new Association is to “promote the advancement of education through the study of local history.” Membership is open to individuals OVE 18 and to organisations. HADAS has joined as an organisational member, so we will keep you posted from time to time about the various things the new Association gets up to.
THE LABOURS OF HERCULES AT COLLEGE FARM.
Processing of the West Heath finds has just been completed by the Prehistoric Group at College Farm.
Put like that it sounds quite simple.
It’s easier perhaps to get into perspective the amount of work which has been done if you realise that the total number of finds from West Heath came to around 50,000, every single one of which had to be marked, bagged, recorded and studied.
That’s what our (so far) unsung processing heroes/heroines have been doing at College Farm for the last year or so (not to mention all the processors of earlier years back to 1976). It’s also why the Newsletter felt the time had come to sing their praises – loudly! HADAS owes them a real debt for getting on with a solid, painstaking, often dull job and doing it most efficiently.
It would be invidious to mention names, but one must be mentioned.
Christine Arnott has taken charge of processing, kept all her helpers happy, kept all those thousands of flints in order, kept sane – and done a first class job. Thanks!
SEEN ANY NICE COAL-HOLE COVERS LATELY?
If you have, and it was anywhere in the Borough of Barnet, Dorothy Newbury would like to hear from you. One of our Lectures this winter will be on coal-hole covers – and the Lecturer would like to investigate one or two local specimens, if we can tell her where they are.
Please give Dorothy a ring (203 0950) and tell her the precise location of the cover, if you can.
ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY.
London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Transactions, Vol 31, 1980 Council for British Archaeology. Archaeology in Britain 1980. .
Council for British Archaeology. Current Archaeological offprints and reports No.58, 1981.
Council of Europe Committee on Culture and Education. Metal detectors and Archaeology. 1981.
World Archaeology Vol.13, No.2, Oct. 1981 (Regional traditions of archaeological research I).
World Archaeology Vol.13, No.3, Feb. 1982 (Regional traditions of archaeological research II).
From the Author.
Rice. L.F. Grains of Rice. 1981.
From Betty Kay.
Automobile Association. The illustrated road book of England and Wales 1965.
From Christine Arnott.
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol.32. 1966; Vol.33, 1967.
PREHISTORIC SOCIETY STUDY TOUR 1982. by Ted Sammes.
The Balearic Islands, mecca of thousands of sun-loving tourists every year was the apparently unpromising venue chosen for Spring 1982.44 members took part including three from France and one from Sweden. It was early in the tourist season so there was little opportunity to study the holiday life on the beaches! However, inland there was a wealth of prehistoric remains to be visited, especially those dating from the end of the second millenium B.C. The Society Chairmen, Dr. Bob. Chapman, of Reading University, took the place of Andrew Lawson, Hon. Meetings Secretary, at the last minute.
We visited Mallorca, and Monorca, and were guided round by Dr. and Mrs. Waldren of the Deya Archaeological Museum and Research Centre, an American founded institution.
Like Malta, much of the Balearics is geologically limestone, so it was
probably natural that we should find large stone structures in that material. Like Malta, it had unusual animal species before the coming of man, a dwarf antelope.
Man’s habitation dates from about 4,000 B.C. There were Neolithic, Bronze Ago and later sites to be visited.
On Menorca we looked at the Naveta des Tudons, a Talyotic funerary structure and a number of Taulas (religious structures), built about 900 B.C., with their massive stone lintels perched on a huge central monolith. The Spring flowers were at their best and provided a colourful carpet.
Back on Mallorca we visited the Roman town of Alcudia with its theatre cut into solid rock, and more religious Talyotic sites and settlements.
On a lovely warm day we were taken to Deya in the North of Mallorca to visit the research centre, run by our two guides. One can only be envious of their surroundings and impressed by the work accomplished we also visited the main Museum in Palma, but unfortunately the pre-historic section was closed for rearrangement.
On the last day we dined in Palma itself together with the many people who had helped to make the study tour a success.
HONOURED BY THE QUEEN.
Our readers will already have seen, in the National and Local Press, that Mrs. Rosa Freedman, Mayor of Barnet last year and a popular and hard-working Vice-President of HADAS, was awarded the M.B.E., in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. We share in the reflection of this honour and offer our sincere congratulations to Mrs. Freedman.