newsletter-069-november-1976

Newsletter

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The November Lecture

You may remember when Dr. Malcolm Colledge visited the Society two years ago to speak about "Rome and the East." We are glad to welcome him again, this time to talk about Pompeii, on 2 November. His specialised knowledge of Roman art and sculpture will provide an excellent introduction to the forthcoming Royal Academy exhibition about that ancient city.

Dr. Colledge is a classical scholar. He took his degree at St. John's College Cambridge and has travelled a great deal in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. He has excavated at Lullingstone Roman Villa and at Petra and Tazekand in Iran. He wrote The Partians (published 1967) for the Thames and Hudson series on Ancient Civilisations.

The rest of the winter programme:

December 7 - Dinner at Tower of London and watching
the Ceremony of the Keys.(details already circulated)
January 4 - From Muscle to Steam - - Denis Smith
the Archaeology of Energy.
February 1 -Continuity or change: a fresh look at - Andrew Selkirk
Prehistoric Britain.
March 1 - Coinage of Pre-Roman Britain - Dr. John Kent
April 5 - Denmark - Ted Sammes

These lectures, all on the first Tuesday of the month, take place at Central library,, The Burroughs, NW4. The lecture room is open at 8.10p.m. We start with coffee and biscuits, and the lecture itself begins about 8.30.

Pompeii Exhibition

The Pompeii Exhibition, sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, will open at the Royal Academy on 20 November and will run daily (weekends included) until 27 February, 1977. As the Newsletter goes to press there seems some doubt about the times of opening; it might therefore be wise to check these before you go.

Original wall paintings, mosaics, sculptures and bronzes are being brought to London for display. Some of the most interesting material will be from the recently-dug and very rich villa of Oplontis, three Roman miles from Pompeii, which is thought to have belonged to Nero's second wife, Poppaea.

The organisers intend to reserve most Monday mornings for school visits, and to allow special parties on Tuesday evenings. We have tentatively booked a HADAS party for Tuesday 8 February, when we will meet at the exhibition at 7.30p.m. and stay there till 9.00p.m.. Cost will be £1.75 each, although entrance at ordinary times is £1. The advantage of going in a party is that there will be no queuing and the number of visitors will be restricted.

If you would like to join the Pompeii Party on 8 February, please ring Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible, or tell her at the November lecture. Should sufficient members be interested, we shall let our booking stand; otherwise, we will cancel it.

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Tower of London, Dec.7

Bookings for this event has been overwhelming. The maximum number -- 110 people -- was reached within a few days and 42 additional names have had to go on a waiting list.

However, the Tower authorities have now informed us that they have had a cancellation for 6 January, Twelfth Night, so that we could book this for an "overflow" dinner. Would members who are on the waiting list please ring Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible and tell her if they would like tickets for 6 January? And would any other member who is interested also let Dorothy know? The maximum for the second dinner is 53.

West Heath Weekends at the Teahouse

By Daphne Lorimer.

The first three weekends in October, spent processing the West Heath finds at Hampstead Garden Suburb Teahouse, enabled members to see for the first time the full range of material found during the 1976 dig.

Preliminary sorting was undertaken and all re-touched pieces, blades and sizeable flakes were retrieved from the sieving bags and recorded individually. All burnt stones, flint and charcoal, all organic remains and manuports were removed for separate study. The flint artefacts have been roughly divided (not without considerable argument) into re-touched pieces, blades, and flakes capable of utilisation. A count was begun of all artefacts recovered.

Small groups will now undertake different detailed studies. Members who wish to continue with this are asked to contact either Daphne Lorimer or the leader of the group which interests them the groups are as follows:

Burnt material - Myfanwy Stewart
Manuports - Sheila Woodward
Organic remains (a small group) - Joyce Roberts
Reassembly of flint nodules - Dorothy Newbury
Flint cores - Laurie Gavell
Blades, tool types, waste material - Christine Arnott
here help would be especially valuable
wear patterns - Daphne Lorimer
Post holes and stone alignments - Brigid Grafton Green and Nicole Douek
Find drawings - Daphne Lorimer (in lieu of Colin Evans)
Chart drawing - Peter Clinch

Finally, are a suggestion for a piece of research with which every HADAS member can help. We are particularly anxious to find the origin of the flint used by West Heath Mesolithic man. It is unlikely that he carried it from a great distance, since flint is so heavy: but it is clear that the flint used for his tools was not found at the site. Finchley (the area near College Farm) is one of the sources suggested, but it is certainly not the only possibility.

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Any HADAS member living in the Boroughs of either Barnet or Camden is asked to look out for possible sources of flint and to report when he or she finds one, if possible with a sample. Holes in the road made by workmen, trenches on building sites, or even your own back garden or allotment when you dig it, are all capable of providing information. If you want to be more scientific about it, have a look at the geological map of our area (either at the Public Library or ask our Hon. Secretary) and go searching for flints nodules. If and when you find any, please let Daphne Lorimer know.

More Work at the Teahouse

Although the three "flinting" weekends are over, don't forget that members will be equally welcome at the Teahouse for the three pottery weekends which take place this month -- on November 6/7, 13/14 and 20/21. Again, work will go on from 10.00a.m.-5.00p.m. each day, and facilities are available for anyone who wants to bring a packed lunch.

Ted Sammes will be in charge, and the weekends will continue the processing of finds from the Church Terrace dig of 1973-4. It has been decided not to include any work on the Brockley Hill Roman Pottery, as not enough members with a knowledge of Roman material will be available to help.

Field Walk at Edgwarebury

A report by Ann Trewick.

In spite of heavy overnight rain an intrepid group of field walkers set out once again for Edgwarebury Farm on Sunday 26 September. Conditions were, in fact, ideal. The field we walked had been freshly ploughed the previous day. The ground was still absorbing rainwater rapidly, so it was not too sticky underfoot. While Peter Clinch took action photos, the group worked its way up the field towards the motorway on which runs at the top. This field was adjacent to the one which we had walked last December and January, though nearer to Brockley Hill.

About nine fragments of Roman Pottery, considerably rolled, were found, including a strap handle in typical Brockley Hill ware. This was found at the top end of the field, but the majority of sherds were at the lower end, although they were scattered. There was no concentration of Roman finds in this field, such as we had discovered earlier in the neighbouring field.

The whole area is, however, most interesting, and further walks will be arranged as fields come under the plough.

Mesolithic Bibliography

From time to time the Newsletter has published book lists for different archaeological periods. Roman (NL 42), Medieval (NL 43) and post-Medieval (NL 51) have so far appeared. This year, as a result of the current dig, the Mesolithic looms large on the HADAS horizon. Here is a reading list for the Mesolithic period, compiled by Daphne Lorimer.

Clark J.G.D. 1934 "The Classification of Mesolithic Culture" Arch. J. vol. XC pp 52-77

Clark J.G.D. Rankine W.F. 1939 "Excavations at Farnham, Surrey" Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society vol. V pp 61-118.

Rankine W.F. 1946 "Some Remarkable Flints from West Surrey Mesolithic Sites" Surrey Arch. Collections vol. XLIX pp 6-19. (Note: the above gives Clark's original classification of the Mesolithic, now disputed by some authorities, but very valuable.)

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Clark C.G.D. 1972 "Excavations at Star Carr: an early Mesolithic Site at Seamer, near Scarborough, Yorks. Oxford University Press £8.80.

Clark C.G.D. 1976 Star Carr: a case study in Bioarchaeology. Cummins Publishing Co. 75p.

Clark C.G.D. 1932 The Mesolithic in Britain

Clark C.G.D. The Mesolithic Settlement of Northern Europe C.U.P.

(The above two now out of print and now dated: well worth looking at if you can find it them in the library.)

Collins D.M. 1975 "Palaeoli6thic and Mesolithic" Chap 1 from the Archaeology of the London Area: current knowledge and problems". London and Middlesex Arch. Soc. £1.

Collins D.M. (ed) 1975 "The origins of Europe", Allen and Unwin, £6.95.

Evans J.G., Limbrey S., Cleere H. (ed) 1975 "The Effect of Man on the Landscape: The Highland Zone" C.B.A. Research report No. 11. £7.50

Daniel G., Piggott S., McVerney (ed) 1974 "France before the Romans" Chap 3. Thames and Hudson, £(.50.

Garrod, Dorothy A.E. 1965. Primitive Man in Egypt, Western Asia and Europe. Cambridge Ancient History Fascicle 30 CUP 8s 6d (out of print).

Semenov S.A. 1970 Prehistoric Technology trans from the Russian by M.W. Thompson. Adams £3.50.

Timms Peter. 1974. Flint Implements of the old Stone Age. Shire 75p.

Froom F.R. 1976 Wawcott III: a Stratified Mesolithic Succession. British Archaeologicla Reports £3.90.

Churchill D.M. 1962. "The Stratigraphy of the Mesolithic Sites III & V at Thatcham, Berks" P.P.S. XXVIII pp 362-320 (???ed)

Keef P.A.M., Wymer J.J., Dimbleby G.W. 1965. " A Mesolithic Site in Iping Common, Sussex" P.P.S. vol. XXXI pp 85-92.

Lacaille A.D. 1942. "Scottich Microburins" Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot. (1940-1) pp 103-119.

Lacaille A.D. 1963. "Neolithic Industries beside Colne Waters in Iver and Denham, Bucks" Records of Buckinghamshire vol. XVII pt. 3 pp 143-181.

Warren H.S., Clark J.G.D., Godwin H. & M.E., Macfadyen W.A. 1934. "An early Mesolithic Site at Broxbourne sealed under Boreal peat" J. Roy. Anthrop. Inst. Vol. LXIV. pp 101-128.

Mellars P.S. 1974. pp77-79 in British Prehistory: a New Outline, A.C. Renfrew (ed) Duckworth.

Palmer S. 1970. "The Stone Age Industries of the Isle of Portland" P.P.S. vol. XXXVI pp 82-115.

Radley J., Tallis J.H., Switzur V.R. 1974. "The Excavations of Three Narrow Blade Mesolithic Sites in the Southern Pennines". P.P.S. vol. 40 pp 1-19.

Rankine W.F. 1952. " A Mosolithic Chipping Floor at Oakhanger, Selborne, Hants" P.P.S. vol. XVIII pp 21-35.

Rankine W.F. 1956. "The Mesolithic of Southern England". Research papers of the Surrey Archaeological Society No. 4.

Rankine W.F., Dimbleby G.W. 1960. "Further Excavations at a Mesolithic Site at Oakhanger, Selborne, Hants". P.P.S. vol XXVI pp 246-262.

Rankine W.F., Dimbleby G.W. "Further Excavations at Oakhanger, Selborne, Hants Site VIII". Wealden Mesolithic Research Bulletins 1961.

Wainwright G.J. 1960 "Three Mocrolithic Industries from South-West England and their affinities" P.P.S. XXVI pp 193-201.

Wymer J.J. 1962. "Excavations at the Maglemosian Sites, Thatcham, Berks" P.P.S. XXVIII pp 329-361.

Woodcock A.G. 1975. "Mesolithic Discoveries at Perry Woods, Selling, nr Canterbury, Kent." Archaeologia Cantiana vol. XC pp 169-177.

Note: a selection of the more important sites is included; C.B.A.s gazetteer on Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, by John Wymer, awaits publication and will give full coverage of all sites.

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Surveying Course

The mornings of the first two Saturdays in December had been booked for a short course in the use of the level by HADAS Hon. Member and surveyor Barrie Martin.

Those members who have enlisted for this are asked to meet at the gate of Friary Park, Friary Road, N12 (opposite the church of St. James the Great) 9.55 am on 4 December and 11 December. Arrangements have been made for instruction under cover in the event of rain.

It is hoped to survey, as a training exercise, an area in the Friary Park which showed, during the very dry weather, curious and regular patterns on the ground surface, and which may therefore be the site of the original Friary of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem which gave Friern Barnet its name.

First Winter Meeting of the Season

HADAS was invited by Donald Brothwell to add a further dimension to its activities, when he came to lecture to the Society on 5 October on "Bones in Archaeology." He sought to demonstrate the wide range of information that can be deduced from careful study of skeletal material.

The latest finds from Africa suggest that the genus Homo has been evolving for at least two and a half million years. In that time man has learnt to bring animals under some degree of control and finally to domesticate certain species. Variations from the wild state show in the bones of the animal, and investigation of skeletal remains can enable the expert to define whether an animal was domesticated all wild. Mr. Brothwell's slides showed, for instance, the difference between the jaws of a wild and a domesticated boar.

A side from an Orkney's dig must have run a bell with many of our diggers. It showed the higgledy-piggledy of soil, stones and bones that often initially confronts the archaeologist. Mr Brothwell explained how necessary it was to however a smattering of anatomical knowledge in order carefully to extricate the bones from the rest. In certain instances treatment with a preservative solution is needed to ensure the survival of the bones during excavation. Mammal bones, like sheep and cow, are kept separate from fish and shell remains from this early stage.

Although sheep, goats and cattle have been well studied, there is scope for further work on fish remains. There are also only one or two experts in the country on bird skull identification -- perhaps the field for HADAS research?

Mr Brothwell was careful to explain that full and meticulous investigation can only enlighten us as to the progress of man's control, both by domestication and by hunting and trapping, over the animal kingdom; but can also play a vital part in building up a picture of the environment at a given point in time.

The analysis of human skeletal remains offers such a wide scope that Mr Rothwell wisely skimmed through the many possible fields for study. "Dry bones" -- the term used for bones found in archaeological excavation -- can give evidence of diet, malnutrition, wear and age. Dental evidence is also important. The times of eruption of milk and adult teeth are crucial for approximate estimates of age in human populations. Dietary deficiencies show up on teeth. Wear-patterns will be influenced by the type of food eaten. The presence or absence of dental abcesses or bone deformation may point to possible health or illness.

This lecture may have broken fresh ground for many HADAS members. I hope that they found it interesting and stimulating -- we certainly had a distinguished and well qualified lecturer to guide our early steps along this new path.

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Lost and Found Department

Are HADAS members becoming more absent-minded? The facts which prompts this question of the following:

Left behind at West Heath dig: a handsome pair of black-handled secateurs;

Also left at West Heath, probably one Sunday in September: black anorak;

Left after a HADAS meeting in January 1976: man's green hand-knitted cardigan, large.

If you own this missing property, please ring Daphne Lorimer for the two West Heath items and Dorothy Newbury for the cardigan.

Local History Conference

The annual Local History Conference organised by the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society will take place on Saturday 20 November at Guildhall. Doors open at 1.30p.m. and the conference ends at 6.00p.m. tickets, £0.60.

Speakers at the conference include Charles E. Lee (author of "Sixty years of the Northern") on transport studies for the local historian; Miss M. Y. Williams, on Lambeth Borough Archives; and Stephen Markson, on the problems faced by the solitary amateur who is working on local history.

A number of societies will mount displays on their current research. HADAS will be included; Christine Arnott is arranging a display on our latest publication, "Money, Milk and Milestones."

A Symposium on Metallurgy

Alec Gouldsmith sends this note.

The Historical Metallurgy Society will hold a symposium on Early Extractive and Fabrication Metallurgy at the British Museum on Friday and Saturday 22 April and 23 April, 1977. Sessions from 9.30a.m.-5.30p.m. in the Theatre (which holds about 100). The provisional program is:

Bronze Age Metalwork in Spain - Paul Craddock
Tin – Pewter Ingots - Michael Hughes
Blacksmith tools from Waltham Abbey and Garston Slack. - Bill Manning
Welsh Bronzes - Peter Northover
Iron Age/Romano-British Metalworking at Gussage All Saints - Mansel Spratling
Romano-British Anglo-Saxon metalworking overlap at Mucking - Mrs. M. U. Jones
Bronze Age Moulds and Metalworking Site at Taunton ---


A fee will be charged to cover administration costs, coffee and tea and a set of pre-prints, but this is not expected to be large. Anyone interested should send a stamped addressed envelope to W. A. Oddy, Research Laboratory, British Museum, London WC1 3DG, for further details. If any member runs into problems with booking, Alec Gouldsmith might be able to help.

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