newsletter-401-august-2004

Newsletter

Page 1

HADAS DIARY

Saturday 7 August Outing to the Lewes area, with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward. Application form enclosed.

Saturday 4 September Outing to Colchester, with June Porges and Stewart Wild.

Tuesday 12 October Lecture by Lucia Gahlin: 'Egyptology'.

Tuesday 9 November Lecture by Paul Wilkinson: `Durolevum'. Tuesday 7 or 14 December Christmas Dinner - to be confirmed.

HADAS TRAINING DIG by DON COOPER

It's that time again! Following on from our successful training dig last September, we are holding another one this year on the weekend of August 21st/2211d. Avenue House have very kindly offered to be our hosts again. Having carried out a resistivity survey in February, we believe we have identified the location of a former ornamental pond in the park and we propose to test this by putting a trench across the probable location. Training will be given on many aspects of modern excavation techniques with a special emphasis on safety. For insurance reasons we can only take applicants over the age of 16 and in terms of numbers we can only take 10 trainees, so first come, first served. Please apply to Don Cooper at the contact details below.

TRIP TO CUMBRIA :JULY 2004 from JEAN BAYNE

An inauspicious beginning to our trip: rain, cloud, cold and no coach! An accident on the Ml on Wednesday morning delayed the start of our journey by about an hour, However, by hook, crook and Jackie's mobile ,we arrived at the Cumbrian Campus of the University of Central Lancashire on time, and in the golden glow of evening sunlight. It was an attractive site with low level buildings, set in grassy plots with flowers and shrubs . There was a 'villagey' sense of space, colour, nooks and crannies and at the edge of the site, a beautiful garden with wild flower beds. The site taught agricultural and equine studies but was also branching out into other subject areas, such as computers and business. We were well looked after on all counts: accommodation, food and a bar. Unfortunately, neither Dorothy nor Jack could come this year. Dorothy's cheerful, calm presence was very much missed ---- as was the hint of iron in the velvet glove! We even missed Jack's loud, 'non pc patriarchal' comments from the back! We all wish them both well and look forward to them being with us on next year's trip. It was a fascinating few days of visits : varied and imaginatively planned. (Details to come later) Our thanks go to Jackie who coped with everything from minor housekeeping issues to major programme changes. Quietly in charge, flexible, good humoured, and equable, she will always be my role model for 'grace under pressure'! We all appreciated how much work and time went into organising the trip plus all the wear and tear and worry about the outcome. And it was wonderful !!!! Thank you, Jackie!


Page 2

Oetzi the Alpine Iceman: The Plot Thickens by STEWART WILD

Readers will remember the remarkable news that broke in the summer of 1991 when a frozen mummified body was discovered in a melting glacier high in the Alps on the Italian side of the border with Austria. The body was initially thought to be that of a modern-day climber and was nicknamed Oetzi after the valley of the nearby river Oetz. Then an axe and a knife and a quiver of arrows were found nearby, and these items were later proved to be around 5,300 years old. Scientists have been carrying out detailed studies of this individual's life and death ever since. Oetzi was found to be a 46-year-old male, dubbed The Iceman, and it was originally thought that he must have become lost during a sudden storm in the high Alpine pass and fallen victim to hypothermia. But latest research suggests that Oetzi met a more sinister end — shot in the back by an arrow fired by someone who came from the same area as he did himself Where was this? Recent research has looked at isotopes and bio-minerals found in the Iceman's teeth and bones. These were compared with soil and water samples from a wide area of the Alps. As a result, it is thought that Oetzi probably grew up in the Eisack valley, in the southern Tyrol, probably in or near what is now the Italian village of Feldthurns. Excavations have revealed a standing stone nearby dating back to the Copper Age. He may well have spent his summers up in the mountains and moved down to the valleys in winter as this is a pattern of seasonal migration that started in the middle Neolithic period and is still practised today. An arrowhead was discovered in the mummified corpse in 2001. And, says Professor Annaluisa Pedrotti of Trento University, it speaks volumes about an ancient assailant. "The type of arrowhead found in Oetzi's body has a very specific `tanged' shape. This occurs only in the southern Alps and in northern Italy, not in the northern Alps where arrowheads tend to have a flat base. That means that the guilty party came from south of the Alps and was probably one of Oetzi's own people." Speculation now points to the Iceman as perhaps being a victim of a feud between hunters, or even of ritual sacrifice. Thomas Loy, an archaeologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, led the team that studied DNA samples gathered from the Iceman's weapons and clothing. He found that the samples contained blood from four individuals. Using this information, and the location of the different samples, together with forensic data on the wounds found on the Iceman's body, the team has postulated Oetzi's final moments. Loy believes that the Iceman died in a boundary or property dispute with several individuals. Others are unconvinced by this theory. Johan Reinhard, a National Geographic expert on mummies and ritual sacrifice, finds Loy's theory "an unlikely scenario". Reinhard cites the quantity, quality and placement of artefacts found by the body as evidence that the Iceman could not have been fleeing a battle. Additionally, his grass-filled shoes would have made travel through the snow a slow process, and notes that the body was found on the highest point of the pass. Reinhard does believe that a fight could have been possible, but within the context of a ritual. "We know that people have been lured into places and killed. As an example," he said, "the Celts reportedly performed human sacrifice by shooting people in the back." One thing all the experts are agreed on, however, is that research must be ongoing. The Iceman is now housed in a specially built refrigerated unit in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, which opened in 1998 near Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy. For more information, visit www.archaeologiemuseum.it Sources: National Geographic Science BBCNews

Resistivity at Pinner Hill Golf Course by DON COOPER

On 7th Jul 2004 At the request of Ken Kirkman of the Pinner Local History Society, members of Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS) brought their resistivity meter to Pinner Hill golf course. Avoiding 'golf balls and in a strong breeze, Andrew Coulson, Jim Nelhams and Don Cooper laid out a 20m by 15 grid by the side of the 18th fairway and close to the club house (itself an early 19th century manor house!). Our objective was to confirm the presence of traces of a building believed to be the remains of a 17th manor house. These traces had been observed as parch marks during a very dry summer some years ago. As can be seen from the results of the resistivity survey, (sample on the left) there are indications of structures beneath the soil. Although not easy to directly "map" the recorded parch marks to our survey, there is a remarkable similarity between the sketch of the marks that Ken had made at the time and the outlines that show up from our survey. Whether or not they are the remains of an old manor house is another issue. A small test excavation across, perhaps, one of the corners outlined by the survey might tell us what was there and maybe how old it was. Our thanks are due to Ken for his hospitality and assistance. With another survey under our belt, we are increasingly confident at using the new machine and interpreting its results.

Camilla Raab remembered

We are sorry to hear that Camilla Raab died in June. Camilla was an active member of HADAS for many years.She worked as a proof-reader for Routledge Kegan Paul. She had a distinctive personality and strong political views, took a great interest in current affairs and always enjoyed a good discussion. Camilla was well known in the Hampstead Garden Suburb where she gave much time to voluntary work, especially for Fellowship House. Many people will remember her.

Page 3

Other Societies Events by ERIC MORGAN

Sunday 1 August 2.30 pm, Heath and Hampstead Society, Burgh House, New End Square NW3. West Heath Walk concentrating on Society's Heath Vision Statement led by Martin Humphrey. £1.

Tuesday 10 August 8 pm, Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret's Church, Victoria Ave., N3. Fossil Collecting in the London Clay. talk by Jeff Saward.

Wednesday 11 August 11.30 am, Alexandra Palace History Tour. £4.50. Must be booked in advance: call 8365 2121 or ask reception.

Saturday 14/Sunday 15 August, 10am-4pm, Archaeological Excavation Open Days, Turnershall Farm, Mackerye End (off Marshalls Heath Lane) Wheathampstead, St Albans Museum 3rd Excavation of Roman Burial site. Visited by HADAS in 2003.

Thursday 19 August 7.30 pm, Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, The Dissenters Chapel,Kensal green Cemetery, Ladbroke Grove, W10. The Story of Pears and his Transparent Soap, talk by Andrea Cameron. £3. Refreshments.

Saturday 21/Sunday 22 August 12-6pm, Friern Barnet Show, Friary Park, Friern Barnet Lane, N12. Friern Barnet Local History Society will have a stand with, hopefully, the latest details of our Resistivity Survey. £3.50, conc.£1, including art exhibition and many stalls.

Sunday 29/ Monday 30 August, 10am-5pm, Enfield Steam and Country Show, Trent Park, Cockfosters Rd., Enfield, Herts. Heavy Horse Display and Whitewebbs Museum of Transport. £5, conc. £2.

Sunday 29/Monday 30 August 12-6 pm, Harrow Show, Pinner View, North Harrow. The Museum and Heritage Centre will be open till 5 pm each day.

Wednesday 1 September 6-8pm, Highgate Wood, walk to look at places of historical interest in the wood. Meet at information hut.



Comments