Sunday, December 16, 2012

University of Oxford Online Courses in Archaeology

Now is the time to enrol for Hilary term online courses in Archaeology.

Each courses lasts for 10 weeks, with the expectation of c. 10 hours study a week.  Students submit two short assignments.   

Successful completion of the courses carries a credit of 10 CATS Points.

CATS Points from these courses can now be used as part of the requirement for the new Certificate in Higher Education offered by the University of Oxford.

The following courses are available: (click on the title for further information)

Greek Mythology                  Origins of Human Behaviour               Pompey and the cities                                                                                                         of the Roman World

Ritual and Religion in Prehistory                          Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers

You can find general information about University of Oxford courses here...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tony MacKenna

 Many EMAS members will remember Tony MacKenna, who was the conservator for
the Department of Greater London Archaeology.  Sadly, Tony died in October 2012.

The most important project of his career was the excavation and restoration of the Winchester Palace Roman wall painting.  Tony had published a detailed account of the work on his own website, but that website will not remain.

The material has, therefore, been transferred to the Archaeology in Europe website.  You can find it at:

The work is sure to be of considerable interest to Romanists and Conservators alike.

Go to the website...

Programme of Events 2012 - 1013

The EMAS Programme of Events 2012 - 1013 is now on line.

You can download it here...

EMAS Tour of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

34 Bellchapel Road,  London E1 1DY

Saturday, 12th January 2013

A tour of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry has been arranged for the New Year.  The casting of bells was thought to have begun in 1570, though it is now believed that there was activity as far back as 1420, in the reign of Henry V.

Over the centuries the Bell Foundry’s main function has been the manufacture of church bells for change ringing in Britain, in the Commonwealth and even in St Petersburg, Russia.  The most famous bells from Whitechapel Bell Foundry are Big Ben (1858) and the Liberty Bell (1752).  Also included are the fixtures and fittings associated with the installation of bells in church towers.  A fifth of the output is the making of handbells.

The delightful Grade II listed building housing the Bell Foundry is at 34 Whitechapel Road.  Bus nos. 25, 254 and 205 go near the Foundry.  The District, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City lines go to the nearby Whitechapel Station.

Click here for further information...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Archaeology Summer Courses in Oxford

The Oxford Experience, Christ Church, Oxford

The Oxford Experience summer school offers one-week introductory classes in the humanities and sciences, including a number of archaeology courses.

You can find details of the Oxford Experience summer school here...

You can find a list of the archaeology courses here...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Oxford Experience on Facebook

The Oxford Experience - an Oxford University summer school that features many courses in archaeology and history - now has a Facebook site.

You can find the site at:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

EMAS Field Trip to Farnham Castle, etc.

EMAS Field Trip to Farnham Castle Keep, 
Witley Church and Compton Churches, Surrey 
Saturday, 3rd November 2012

David Beard will be our guide for this day trip to Surrey.

Farnham Castle has the remains of a 23 sided polygonal keep which follows the motte outline of this motte and bailey castle.  The keep is entered through a gateway tower.  Domestic apartments were added on this site in the 12th century and they would have been quite sumptuous.

We will then visit All Saints, Witley, which displays several periods of architecture.  Two double-splayed windows reveal the height of the original Saxon nave, though now Saxo-Norman with an interesting Norman doorway.  The chancel, crossing tower and south transept is Early Gothic, but the font and unusual piscina is later in the 13th century.  The 12th century wall paintings, depicting the life of the Virgin, are part of the school of painting connected with the Cluniac Priory at Lewes.

After lunch we will visit St Nicholas, Compton.  It has a Saxon tower, but one of the most amazing features of this church is a Romanesque two-storeyed sanctuary consisting of a vaulted chamber and a chapel above, which was added to the chancel in the late 12th century – the associated guard rail with this feature is one of the oldest pieces of woodwork in the country.  c.1180 the nave was also much enlarged with Romanesque influences in style.  However the font is Early Norman.

Click here for further information

Day School: Landnám: The Viking Settlement of Iceland

Landnám: The Viking Settlement of Iceland
A Day School by David Beard M.A.
Wednesday, 31st October 2012

This day school will use the evidence from archaeology, history and literature to examine the Viking settlement of Iceland.

Iceland is unique in Viking Age settlements in having near-contemporary written evidence of the Landnám (the ’land-taking’) in the form of the Landnámabók and the Islendingabók. These documentary sources, together with the evidence from recent archaeological excavations, give us a good insight into the nature of the settlement of Iceland.  In particular, the important series of excavations at Mosfell will be examined in detail.

The evidence of the Sagas, particularly the Islendingasögur, needs to be handled with care, but it can help to give a clearer picture of life in Iceland during the Viking Period as well as being enjoyable reading in its own right.

Click here for further information


The field trip to Surrey will be counted as the last of the 2011-2012 season.  Due to unforeseen circumstances the 2012-2013 Programme will be sent out in late October/November with the renewal of membership forms.
Friday, December 14th has been reserved for the Christmas Presidential Lecture and details will be confirmed in the forthcoming Programme.  The venue for our lectures will continue to be the Museum of London.
You may also wish to note the date of Saturday, 12th January 2013, as a tour around the Whitechapel Bell Foundry has been booked for EMAS.
The two EMAS Study Tours in 2013 will be to North Yorkshire (28 March-3rd April) and to Iceland (2nd-7th June).  Further details will be available in the near future.
I look forward to seeing members again soon.

With good wishes,

Rosemary Yeaxlee
24th September 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

EMAS Roman Field Trip to Wroxeter

This is the postponed June field trip to Roman Wroxeter in Shropshire.

Dr Roger White, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham, will be our guide to the new construct of a Roman town house in the morning and to a general tour of this extensive Roman site in the afternoon.  Dr White was involved in the town house project and his guide book on the whole site has just been published.  I thought many members would like a chance to see this new construct.

Wroxeter began as an auxillary fort about a quarter of a mile south of the present site which became the tribal capital of the Cornovii as Viroconium Cornoviorum.  Absence of resettlement over Viroconium and limited stone robbing has resulted in fascinating remains and features on a very special site.  These remains are dominated by a large wall, known as Old Work, which is really part of a large aisled building that divided an exercise hall from a bath suite, erected in the second half of the second century.  There was a unique inscription found in the 1920s excavations recording the building of the civitas Cornoviorum under Hadrian in 130AD.  A copy of this and other finds are exhibited in the interesting museum on site.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Photos from the 2012 Study Tour to Northern Burgundy

I have uploaded a series of photos from our trip to Northern Burgundy.  They are available as a slideshow on Flickr.

Please note that although this slideshow plays on Chrome, Safari and even the infamous Internet Explorer, it will not play on the latest version of Firefox.  Don't ask me why, Mozilla seem to have crippled a perfectly good browser with their latest release!

You can find the photos here...

Monday, May 21, 2012

EMAS Field Trip to Kenilworth & Ludlow Castles

EMAS Field Trip to Kenilworth & Ludlow Castles
Saturday, 14th July 2012

David  Beard M.A. will be our guide to the castles of Kenilworth and Ludlow in Shropshire.

English Heritage describes Kenilworth Castle as “the largest castle ruin in England”.

Originally built by Geoffrey de Clinton in 1122 the castle was taken into royal ownership by Henry II and remained as such until 1253 when Simon de Montfort and the Dudley family respectively took possession.  This variety of ownership has resulted in some splendid castle ruins incorporating a massive Norman keep, a 14th century Banqueting Hall and a Tudor great Gate-house.  Also in 1266 Kenilworth was besieged and the castle held out for 9 months before disease forced surrender.

After lunch we will visit Ludlow, which is another splendid castle with extensive ruins.  This was a Norman fortification dictated by the natural landscape, as originally a rock-cut ditch sealed off the north-west area of the hill, in which the Norman castle was sited.  The resulting oval enclosure was surrounded by a curtain wall with 4 projecting towers and a gate-house.  Remains of a circular chapel remain within these walls, of which the circular nave still stands.  Like Kenilworth, Ludlow passed into royal ownership and stayed as such for 350 years.  From 1811 the castle has been in the possession of the Earls of Powis.

Early Medieval Day School

Two visitors at the Court of King Alfred:
The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan.
David Beard M.A. Saturday, 7th July 2012

In the late ninth century, two Scandinavian seafarers visited the court of the West Saxon king, Alfred.  One of these seafarers was called Ohthere, the other’s name was Wulfstan.

Despite the fact that King Alfred had spent much of his adult life fighting Scandinavian invaders, he made these visitors welcome, plied them with questions about their lives and their homelands, and incorporated a written version of their accounts into his translation of Orosius’ world history.

These accounts are remarkable for their straightforward, to-the-point approach, and they constitute the most important, contemporary description of Viking Age seafaring.

This day school looks at the written accounts and compares them with the archaeological information to give an account of settlement, ships and seafaring in Viking Age Scandinavia.

EMAS Update

I am sorry to inform members that there have been difficulties with the dates of the field trips to Roman Wroxeter and the castles at Kenilworth and Ludlow.

This has meant that the trip to Wroxeter has been postponed to Saturday 8th September, instead of Saturday 23rd June.  Then Dr. Roger White, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham, can be our guide to the recent ‘construct’ of the villa urbana at Wroxeter as well as to the rest of the Roman city.  Dr. White was involved in all phases of the construction of this Roman town house and has been involved with work at Wroxeter.

The field trip to Kenilworth and Ludlow Castles will now be on Saturday 14th July instead of Saturday, 7th July, so as to avoid the Ludlow Festival, which somewhat takes over the castle.  The Day School will now be on 7th July.  Details for both these July events are included in this mailshot.

David Beard has put a Survey on the EMAS website.  Please complete it, if you have access to the internet.  The Survey can be found here...

Also in connection with the internet and the huge rise in postage rates, if any members who have not opted to receive EMAS information electronically, now wish to do so, please contact David Beard on-line or myself.

Many thanks and apologies for the above alterations.

New Look for the Current Archaeology Website

Current Archaeology now has a dedicated news editor in-house, and the news articles are now posted on our website as the stories break rather than simply published in the magazine.  You can also subscribe to receive an email newsletter, and there are RSS feeds for your newreader as well.

Go to the Current Archaeology Website...

Twitter Feed:!/CurrentArchaeo

The Current World Archaeology website has also been updated.

Go to the Current World ArchaeologyWebsite...


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Archaeological Events in Europe

We now have a new website:

As its name implies, this site is a diary of forthcoming archaeological events of all types.

You can view events by the month, or you can select categories of events (e.g. courses, exhibitions, field trips, lectures, study tours, training digs, etc).

There is also an online form to submit new events.

You can find the site here...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ireland in a Roman World

Sponsored by The Discovery Programme
Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 9:00am - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 2:00pm
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin, DB

The Discovery Programme is proud to announce the first international interdisciplinary conference that will consider how communities in Ireland engaged with the Roman world. We have invited leading academics from Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Denmark and the USA to present papers from across the subjects of Archaeology, History, Classics, Earth Sciences, Iron Age studies and 'Celtic' Studies, covering the Iron Age through to Late Antiquity.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oxford Online Courses in Archaeology

The University of Oxford's online courses in archaeology for Trinity term are now open for enrolment.

"Cave paintings, castles and pyramids, Neanderthals, Romans and Vikings - archaeology is about the excitement of discovery, finding out about our ancestors, exploring landscape through time, piecing together puzzles of the past from material remains.
"Our courses enable you to experience all this through online archaeological resources based on primary evidence from excavations and artefacts and from complex scientific processes and current thinking. Together with guided reading, discussion and activities you can experience how archaeologists work today to increase our knowledge of people and societies from the past."
You can find the full list of courses here...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Photos from the EMAS South West Ireland Study Tour are now the Web

A selection of photos from the EMAS archaeological study tour to South West Ireland are now on the Web.

You can find them here...

(If you click on the photo, the title will appear.)

EMAS Field Trip to Richborough, Reculver, and Lullingstone Roman Villa

Saturday, 19th May 2012

Harvey Sheldon will be our guide to the Roman forts of Richborough and Reculver and the extensive remains of the villa at Lullingstone in Kent.

Though disputed in some circles, Rutupiae at Richborough was the landing place of the Claudian forces in AD43.  Then it was a coastland site, separated from the Isle of Thanet, but suitable for guarding the Wantsum Channel and an excellent supply base for the invasion of Britain.  An interrupted line of double ditches, just inside the later fort’s west gate are evidence of this activity in AD43.  A huge cruciform platform is now all that remains of a magnificent marble-faced monument, that dominated the fort by AD85.  It was replaced by a signal tower, surrounded by triple ditches in the mid 3rd century.  It is to the later 3rd century that the massive stone walls can be dated, when Richborough became one of the Saxon Shore Forts, defending the south-eastern coastline of Britain from the raids of Saxon pirates.

We will then go to another Saxon Shore Fort, Regulbium or Reculver, which is rapidly being eroded by the sea.  Once 8 acres was enclosed by its fortifications and, as at Richborough, there was early activity, connected with the AD43 invasion, but the walls, still visible, belong to the first half of the 3rd century on evidence from an inscription and from construction techniques.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers - Online Course

University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education
Mon 14 May to Fri 27 Jul 2012

Ravagers, despoilers, pagans, heathens - the Vikings are usually regarded as bloodthirsty seafaring pirates, whose impact on Europe was one of fear and terror. As they plundered the British Isles and the north Atlantic, these pagan invaders were seen by their Christian victims as a visitation from God.

Yet the Vikings were also traders, settlers and farmers with a highly developed artistic culture and legal system. Their network of trade routes stretching from Greenland to Byzantium and their settlements, resulted in the creation of the Duchy of Normandy in France, the foundation of the Kingdom of Russia in Kiev and Novgorod as well as the development of Irish towns including Cork, Dublin and Limerick.

This course will use recent findings from archaeology together with documentary records, to examine these varied aspects of the Viking world and to give a detailed and balanced view of this fascinating period.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Saturday, 24th March 2012

The prehistoric day trip to Maiden Castle and Dorchester will be led by Scott McCracken, who many of you know.

We will visit the multivallate hill-fort of Maiden Castle in the morning and then go to the prehistoric gallery to see the finds from the site at Dorset County Museum in the afternoon.  Many of these finds are from the early thirties excavation on Maiden Castle, led by Sir Mortimer Wheeler.

Originally, C.350BC this hill-fort was univallate with a rampart enclosing the eastern knoll, under which there was evidence of neolithic construction in the form of a causewayed enclosure.  More than hundred years later the hill-fort was more than doubled its enclosed area by extending the single rampart to enclose the western knoll.  As now, some 47 acres were enclosed.  By C.100BC the complex maze of ramparts and defences visible today would have been in place.  Wheeler’s excavations provided evidence of round houses and occupation within the ramparts as well as evidence from bodies resulting from Vespasian’s attack on Maiden Castle in 44AD.  The foundations of a late 4th century Roman-Celtic Temple can be located at the eastern end of the hill-fort.

You can find further details here...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Time Team: Mary-Ann Ochota quits Channel 4 archaeological show

Time Team has been thrown into disarray after Mary-Ann Ochota became the second presenter to leave the Channel 4 archaeological programme. 

Mary-Ann Ochota, 30, who holds a master’s degree in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University, has left the show after a row with Prof Mick Aston, the archaeologist.
Her leaving the show comes after Prof Aston, 65, also quit the show after producers hired Ms Ochota, a former model, as the programme’s co-presenter with Tony Robinson.
Prof Ashton, who has been on the show for 19 years, said he had been left “really angry” by changes which led to the introduction of co-presenter and some archaeologists being axed.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reply to my complaint to Channel 4 concerning Time Team Changes

As expected, a wishy-washy response - but the more people who write in, the better!

"Dear Mr Beard,

Thank you for contacting Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries regarding TIME TEAM.

We are sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the new format of the show and that Prof. Mick Aston has decided to leave. We are saddened by Mick 's decision to leave, he has been a fantastic member of the Time Team team and we wish him well in the future.

Please be assured your complaint has been logged and noted for the information of those responsible for our programming.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate all feedback from our viewers; complimentary or otherwise.


Doug Masterson

Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries"

Please take the time to send your own comments to Channel 4.  Use the link here...

See the original story " Mick Aston quits Time Team after producers hire former model co-presenter"...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mick Aston quits Time Team after producers hire former model co-presenter

Mick Aston, the archeologist, has quit Time Team after producers hired a former model as the programme’s co-presenter. 

The 65-year-old, who has been on the show for 19 years, said he had been left “really angry” by changes which led to the introduction of co-presenter Mary-Ann Ochota and some archaeologists being axed.
In an interview with the magazine British Archaeology, Prof Aston, the show’s former site director, said: “The time had come to leave. I never made any money out of it, but a lot of my soul went into it. I feel really, really angry about it.”
He was responding to changes first proposed by producers at Channel 4 in late 2010, which included a new presenter to join Tony Robinson and decisions to “cut down the informative stuff about the archaeology”.

Read the rest of this article...

Click here to contact Channel 4 to tell them what you think of their decision.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Study Tour to Northern Burgundy

If you are intending to come on the study tour to northern Burgundy, please contact David Beard if you haven't already done so.

I need to confirm numbers for a final booking for the hotel in Reims during the next few days.

If you do not contact me in time, there may be difficulties finding room for the overnight stops in Reims!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Field Trip to Great Linford, etc.

Field Trip to Great Linford, Little Linford,
Olney, Clifton Reynes and North Crawley

Saturday, 25th February 2012

The first field trip of 2012 is to five churches in North Buckinghamshire.

You can find further details here...

Recent Excavations at Borough for Thames Link

Recent Excavations at Borough for Thames Link

A Lecture by Joanna Taylor
Senior Archaeologist, PCA

Friday, 16th March 2012


Activity Space 1, Clore Learning Centre
Museum of London, London Wall


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Archaeological Study Tour to Northern Burgundy

Archaeological Study Tour to Northern Burgundy
31 May to 6 June 2012

Full details of the study tour to Northern Burgundy are now on line.

The study tour will be centred on Dijon and we will visit a wide variety of archaeological sites in the area.  The full itinerary is available on the website, together with an application form.

Youcan find full details here...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Symposium in memory of Dr David Hill

‘Towns, Topography, Tapestry’
a symposium in memory of Dr David Hill.
7-8 June 2012
John Rylands Library
Deansgate Building
University of Manchester

Papers are being invited from scholars who were close to David, but if others would like to offer papers, submissions are welcome.

Please contact: Professor Gale Owen-Crocker