newsletter-426-september-2006

Newsletter

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HADAS DIARY — Forthcoming Events and Lectures in 2006/7

Wednesday 30th August — Sunday September 2nd: Annual HADAS Long Weekend Devon and Cornwall, staying at Plymouth University. Now fully booked, with a small waiting list. For more information phone Jackie Brookes

Tuesday 10th October: Nadia Durrani Assistant Editor Current Archaeology The Queen of Sheba

Tuesday 14th November: Barry Taylor and Steve Ellwood (both of English Heritage) "The Sites and Monuments Records for Barnet"

December: Christmas Dinner Date and time to be announced

Tuesday 9th January 2007: Stephen Knight (Curator, Colne Valley Postal Museum, Essex) "British Post Box Design and Use — The First 150 Years"

Tuesday 13th February: Dr Andrew Gardner (Lecturer, Archaeology of the Roman Empire, Institute of Archaeology) "The End of Roman Britain"

Tuesday 13th March: Eileen Bowlt (Chairman, LAMAS) "The London & Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS) in the Early Days"

Tuesday 10th April: Dennis Smith (Lecturer & Industrial Archaeologist) — title to be announced

Lectures take place at 8pm at Avenue House, 17 East End Rd. Finchley N3 3QE. 15-min walk, Finchley Central tube station. Buses 82, 143, 260, 326 & 460 pass close by. Parking very limited directly outside, plentiful nearby (Non-members £1, tea, coffee, biscuits 70p)

Membership Matters by Mary Rawitzer

This will be the last Newsletter sent to the few people who have not paid their 2006/7 subscriptions, due last April. Those we think this will effect will find a note in with this newsletter, just to make sure that no subscription went astray. If you have any concerns, please contact me (see Membership Secretary details on the back page)

Barry Reilly remembered

With regret we have to inform the Society of the death of Barry Reilly. Barry, a HADAS member for many years, collapsed and died suddenly from heart failure at a family event on Saturday 5th August. Barry was a friendly, easy-going member who keenly participated in lecture meetings, outings and excavation. His profession was as a graphic and commercial artist in which capacity he helped design displays for HADAS exhibitions as well lending his drawing and photography skills to this Newsletter. In recent years Barry was a partner to Jean Bayne, a fellow HADAS member, and our sympathy goes to her and to her family. His passing was a great shock and he will be very badly missed by everyone who knew him


More Course Information: 1066 and All That

WEA are running a course "Archaeology: Medieval England (1066 to 1485)" in Mill Hill on Friday mornings, from 10am to 12 noon, beginning on 29th September. The course will examine the development of mediaeval England by studying themes such as royalty, fortifications, architecture, churches and monasteries, and urban and rural settlement. Further details are in WEA booklets (under Mill Hill & Edgware Branch) available in local libraries or from Peter Nicholson

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First Code of Practice on Responsible Metal Detecting by Peter Pickering

An historic agreement on a first code of practice for metal detecting in England and Wales has been agreed by all the key archaeological bodies, metal detecting and landowners' organisations. This is the first time that these bodies have joined together to define responsible metal detecting and provide a clear and unambiguous definition of what constitutes good practice. The signatories are the National Council of Metal Detecting, the Federation of Independent Detectorists, the Country Land and Business Association, the National Farmers Union, the Council of British Archaeology, English Heritage, National Museums and Galleries of Wales, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, The British Museum, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the Society of Museum Archaeologists and the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. The agreement is voluntary, but has the full endorsement of the signatories and all parties are committed to ensuring their members abide by the advice set out in the document. The agreement covers three aspects of metal detecting. The first section, Before you go metal-detecting, states you must obtain permission to search from the landowner, adhere to laws concerning protected sites, join an official metal-detecting club and follow conservation advice. Whilst you are detecting states that find-spots should be recorded as accurately as possible, that ground disturbance should be minimal and that the Country Code should be respected. Finally, it offers advice on procedures after you have been detecting. Any and all finds should be reported to the landowner and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Detectorists must abide by the provisions of the Treasure Act and must seek expert help if they find something large or made from an unusual material, and they must call the police if they discover any human remains. Dr Mike Heyworth, Director, British Council for Archaeology, commented: "This Code represents a major step forward. It builds on earlier efforts to provide guidance to all users of metal detectors. It emphasises the positive contributions that responsible metal detectorists can make to the study of the past through the knowledge we can obtain from finds and their archaeological contexts. The Code also serves to emphasis the distinction between responsible metal detectorists and the minority of irresponsible individuals who use their equipment for personal gain". The Code is available on-line at http://www.finds.org.uk/documents/CofPl.pdf

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Hadley Woods clay pipe bowls — an update A Message from Stephen Brunning

As Graham Javes mentioned in the July newsletter, I was hoping to compile a full report of the 100 clay pipes found at Hadley Woods. Unfortunately, as some readers will know, I broke my arm whilst on holiday. My arm is healing quite nicely, but it will take longer than usual to be back to normal as the bone was badly broken in two places. It has therefore not been possible to complete the report. To all those people expecting to read the article in August's newsletter, my sincere apologies. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind wishes on my recovery.

LAMAS CONFERENCE: Excavations at Springhead, Kent Andy Simpson

Andy was asked to write up two among many excellent papers presented at the 43rd Annual Conference of London Archaeologists on March 25th this year. His first report appeared in the last Newsletter (No. 425, August 2006). His second, on the review by Phil Andrews of the substantial Wessex Archaeology excavations at Springhead, Kent, follows. Located on Watling St, south-east of London, the excavation between 2000 and 2003 studied lkm of the Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent, on the route of work on the new Channel Tunnel rail link line which involved an entire hillside being dug away. Around 10 hectares of land was stripped and excavated, with every square metre of the site archaeologically metal-detected and the overburden stripped off in spits, before being dug out for the new rail line. Other areas were quarried out and backfilled prior to being covered in new housing. The Ebbsfleet is now just a tiny stream; originally spring-fed it became almost dry when pumping for water extraction started in the 1930s with further drying when local quarries began pumping in 1937. But it was navigable into the Roman period, and part of the Roman waterfront was found and the Roman riverbed revealed, in places having been consolidated by a flint layer, with likely evidence of Roman canalisation. In 1799 a large walled Roman cemetery had been uncovered in this area, with stone and lead coffins containing items such as gold arm rings; some of these finds are now in the British Museum. Then archaeological excavations in the 1950s found a major group of Roman Temples, now preserved within a scheduled ancient monument area. These most recent excavations greatly widened the spread of sites with evidence of activity from the Palaeolithic through to the Medieval periods. There was pre-Roman activity around the springs, including Middle Bronze Age features, and Neolithic and Bronze Age remains were located further down the valley. The Romans had levelled out an earlier burnt mound as part of a road and then there was also evidence of 5th-6th C Saxon occupation of the area, with brooches and Visigothic pottery. Late Iron Age activity included a processional way and a 150m long ditch enclosing the end of the spring site, with more Iron Age features outside the ditch, as well as at the previously discovered temple complex. Late Iron Age settlement was also found, on the south side of the current A2 road, with pits containing broken pottery. The earliest Roman activity focussed on the springs too and it is possible that a temporary early Roman supply base, strategically placed alongside Watling St, underlies the later temple complex. Early Roman deposits alongside the road included cremation burials, one of which was boxed. This early toad was covered by one metre of Roman deposits, on top of which was a sanctuary sequence, the central building possibly being of timber with a stone-footed facade and wall, perhaps a portico. There were lines and groups of pits containing pottery and animal bone. After two phases of timber building, it was replaced by a stone-based structure with cobble-filled foundation trenches and traces of monumental stonework, now displayed at Springhead Nurseries. Several clay-lined circular structures were found, possibly ovens, but no portholes. The northern line of the sanctuary was marked by very deep pits, one with nine dog skeletons buried in it. Others contained a clay slab with a pot placed on top. At the base of one large pit was the skeleton of a large dog and a human skull, and 11 dogs, a pig, and a calf 4.5m down, suggesting a `ritual shaft' similar to examples found at other Roman sites. Large terraces possible feasting terraces — were also found, in which were 4-5 human neonate burials. One part of the site yielded over 230 brooches, mostly of Colchester type of lst-2nd C date. The spring- head may have functioned as a healing centre, with five or six temples nearby. In the second area dug another temple was found, west of the Ebbsfleet road junction, with 4th-5th C coins — very late — with ragstone steps, tiled porch, traces of wall painting on inner walls, a huge post hole,possibly for some sort of totem, over 35 neonate burials, sometimes in a pot — on one occasion, two in one pot. These temples are to be preserved in situ. Other discoveries included the vestigial remains of a bath house with tiled floor, an aisled barn building, a bakery/smithy with in situ pots and hearths, a Roman sunken-featured building and evidence of lead working, giving a picture of a patchwork of small craftsmen's workshops providing pilgrims with souvenirs and votive offerings as they approached the sacred sanctuary or passed along Watling St, with settlement and 10 or 11 temples flanking both sides of that road, but with no identified town houses. Public cemeteries have been found, including one which was also of late date, and there was the odd prone burial in a ditch. Over 112,000 Roman period pottery sherds were recovered, of which few were finewares and only 4% Samian. Following the site work there came a two-year lull until post-excavation work could be started in 2005. This is scheduled to run for 2 years and has yet to be completed so that we will still have to wait 2 — 3 years for publication of this exciting site.

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REPORT ON OUTING TO LEICESTER

HADAS' second day trip of 2006, on Saturday July 22nd, was to Leicester. Three of the participants have compiled a report on the day:

Part 1 Sheila Woodward

We had another wet start for the day, but a trouble-free journey to Leicester where coffee awaited us at the Holiday Inn. Our 10 minute walk to the Vine St excavation was a trifle damp and a sudden downpour as we reached the site kept us huddled under the temporary entry-shelter. After that we had sunshine as we toured the site under the expert guidance of Tim Higgins, the site director, and his 3 site supervisors. And what an impressive site it is. Multi-period and therefore complex, the Roman levels now revealed are of particular interest. Central to the site are the remains of a large and substantial apsidal building (the size of the foundations suggests 2 storeys) opening onto a pebbled courtyard. Rooms on either side of the apse had hypocaust heating. From the apse there would have been a good view, across the court¬yard and down to the main gateway, of anyone entering or leaving the building. Was this just the palatial home of a wealthy citizen, or was it the residence of a high official with business to transact perhaps a magistrate or an army officer? Roman Leicester (RATAE CORIELTAUVORUM) was on the Fosse Way and of strategic importance. It was one of the 14 tribal capitals set up by the Romans to administer the territory they had conquered. Finds in rooms adjacent to the courtyard have included a copper coin hoard (Constantine period) in a wooden box, only the nails of which survived, and a large, roughly shaped, lead ingot. Remains of slate roofing may indicate that the coins and ingot were placed in some sort of "safe". This site is in the northeast quarter of the Roman town, away from both the administrative centre of the basilica and forum and the social centre of the public baths, making the location of the courtyard house the more surprising. Earlier Roman buildings on this site had been of wood, as were those on adjacent insulars. Later in the Roman period the small rooms around the courtyard house became shops and workrooms, linked by a narrow corridor. On the edge of the site a baths complex has been partially excavated to reveal a hypocaust and plunge pool. Finds of Roman pottery have not been plentiful and the dating of various phases of occupation has not been easy. It has been further complicated by the re-use of earlier building material. One recent find has caused some amusement: a typical Roman "curse", but the aggrieved was so unsure of his victim, or so misanthropic, that he has included 14 names in his malediction! Above the Roman levels on which we tended to concentrate the site also revealed later occupation levels: not much evidence of the Vikings or the Mercians, but a few traces of mediaeval Leicester, especially in rubbish pits, and the excavators are still hoping to find the remains of St Michael's Church, which sur¬vived the sack of Leicester by Henry II in 1173, but soon afterwards disappeared "due to depopulation" Later problems have included Victorian burials associated with the Methodist Chapel for which re-burial had to be arranged. The wholesale modernisation of Leicester continues and is gathering pace. Its hosiery and boot and shoe industry have disappeared almost completely, together with their buildings and the homes of their workers. Excavation ahead of each redevelopment phase has so far been possible. By October this year a shopping mall and office complex will cover the fascinating site we had visited.

Part 2: JEWRY WALL MUSEUM by Tessa Smith

The east wall of the Roman Civic Bath is called Jewry Wall and is one of the largest examples of a Roman masonry building left in Britain. The reason that it survived when most of Roman Leicester was destroyed may have been that for a time it formed the west wall of a Saxon church. The origin of the name Jewry Wall is entirely unknown as there is no evidence of a Jewish quarter with which the name might be associated. Viewed from the large modern windows of the museum this is a powerful and impressive structure and it overlooks the foundations of the rest of the baths. While we were there a thunderstorm swept into the area, adding to the drama of the setting. The museum is a long, low, grey concrete slab built in the "brutal" style of the 60's. However, the inside feels quite open, with windows along the whole of one side of the building. The exhibits are displayed chronologically and spaciously, Neolithic hand-axes and flints, Bronze Age and Iron Age daggers and spears, and the Welby Cup, a masterpiece of late Bronze Age metalwork. The Roman gallery is really exciting, displaying some enormous-sized finds. One area depicting a very large Roman room displays not only the Blue Boar Lane wall paintings and a ten foot square of painted wall plaster from the Norfolk Street Roman Villa, but also magnificent Roman mosaic pavements. The Peacock mosaic is particularly attractive. It was made about 150 AD and the feathers of the central peacock motif are highlighted by the use of twinkling blue glass. For many years, for one penny, it could be viewed in the basement of a corset shop. As well as statue heads, and examples of columns from the forum, a large milestone from Thurmaston, originally set up by the Fosse Way and found 200 years ago, is important because it gives the Roman name for Leicester, RATAE xxxxx (Ratae Corieltauvorum), for the very first time. Smaller items are fascinating too. A fragment of red pottery inscribed as a love token between Verecunda the actress and Lucius the gladiator, and the Mountsonal bucket clasp, which shows how Iron Age decorative techniques survived into Roman times, are two examples. A display of cremations and burials is always popular and this one included a collection of beautifully decorated urns, a skeleton body and a small, deep "leaden cist" containing calcined bones. A modern aspect of the museum is a photographic display of "chance finds", a late Bronze Age spearhead, early Bronze Age Beaker ornaments and the glowing red Anglo-Saxon pendant from Sapcote. One section of this display was devoted to the Code of Practice for responsible metal detecting [Page 2 of this Newsletter has more details of the Code]. Some "hands-on" activities were toyed with by our members, having fun with the computers and digging for finds. I was invited behind the scenes and saw the roller racking units holding a huge number of items, many waiting to be researched. I loved the trays of tile fragments from Leicester Abbey, hand-painted with "King and Queen" portraits. A favourite of the student who showed me round was a tiny tablet that she was researching showing Cuneiform writing, in a Babylonian trade language. Then the very rare Egyptian mummy of PENPI, an official of the priesthood of the god Amon Ra, dating from 700-600 BC. Finally, and right up-to-date, was a copy of the Leicester Mercury dated January 24th 2006: HUGE GRAVE SITE FOUND. THE DISCOVERY OF SKELETONS OF 1300 PEOPLE IN A MEDIEVAL CEMETERY BY RICHARD BUCKLEY. THE LARGEST OF ITS KIND OUTSIDE LONDON. The museum is attempting to get finding in order to keep the work going and was collecting signatures and remarks from the public to back up its case. HADAS was happy to help. However, the property developers have invaded Leicester and roadworks, cranes and building sites cover the area. Tim Higgins's archaeological dig finally comes to an end in October. Then the builders take over.

Part 3:Leicester Cathedral by Micky Watkins

LEICESTER CATHEDRAL This is a surprise cathedral. There is no cathedral green, just an entry from a small lane. There is no vast space and lengthy aisle, indeed this cathedral is as wide as it is long. St Martin's was just a parish church until 1927 when it was made a cathedral, and then only after a bitter struggle, in Trollopian style, with the supporters of St Margaret's down the road. Canon Payne for St Margaret's was determined to win, but Archdeacon Macnutt triumphed and the Bishop's throne was built in St. Martin's. The architecture is mainly Early English, but most of the church was rebuilt in that style by Raphael Brandon in the 19th century. He added a very tall spire which can be seen from the town square. Inside is a beautiful screen, hand carved and painted in black and gold. The magnificent South Aisle was built by the Corpus Christi Guild and the roof is painted gold, red and green and held up by grotesque carvings, almost life size. A small chapel to the north of the altar has numerous grave stones for members of the Herrick family and the chapel has been renovated in memory of Robert Herrick by the American branch of the family. "Cherry ripe" and "Gather ye rosebuds" are among the poet's popular lyrics. There is a rather quaint little memorial, carved into black marble — James Andrewe Anagram Reede I was a man There is also a memorial slab to King Richard III, killed in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth which took place near Leicester. Another interesting feature of the Cathedral is the font: hexagonal with eight heads sculpted in stone round it. These distinctive heads are crying out for identification, but as this Cathedral has no guide book they must remain anonymous. THE GUILDHALL This is a medieval building which we all found delightful. Built round a courtyard, the rooms are panelled or have plasterwork and timbers. The Great Hall was built for the Corpus Christi Guild in 1343, but in tilt 16Lin centuiy it became the property of Leicester Corporation and for rriany centuries it was used as a court room. We saw the cells below, where the unfortunate prisoners were kept. The Town Library, kept in an upper room, is the third oldest public library in the country and the ancient leather- bound volumes can still be consulted by appointment. The Mayor's Parlour is a beautiful room with a fine fireplace and painted overmantel. The whole day was very interesting and enjoyable and we all felt grateful to Tessa and Sheila for organising it.

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The Minoan Palace of Zakros by Fran Martell

Every year I try to return to the island of Crete, a place I have fallen in love with, always in May/June when it is not yet too hot. This time of year also coincides with the anniversary of the battle of Crete when many memorial services are held and this year 1 was fortunate to be present at the very moving ceremony at the Souda Bay cemetery, attended by some of the veterans. On our latest trip we drove to the far eastern end of the island to revisit the village of Kato Zakros with its Minoan Palace complex, and to walk the gorge there. The day after our arrival, we caught the local bus to Ano Zakros, the village at the top of the gorge, and walked the "Valley of the Dead", the name given the gorge due to the caves high in the cliff walls, used as tombs by the Minoans among others. When we finally emerged at the bottom of the gorge, having taken rather longer than the two hours my guidebook suggested, the route back to Kato Zakros village took us directly past the palace site. But, feeling a little footsore, and badly in need of a beer, I decided to leave my visit until the next day. Refreshed the next morning, I retraced my steps back up the red dirt road, armed with a large bottle of water and my camera. The original excavations were carried out in the early 1900s, at the same time as many of the other Minoan sites, by David Hogarth, but he found very little and the site was abandoned. However, in 1961 the Cretan archaeologist Nikolaos Platon began digging, and within a very short space of time, discovered the predicted palace very near to where Hogarth's trenches had finished. During the period between the two digs, the site had been for the most part forgotten, so there had been no looting. Platon found storerooms with huge pithoi still in situ and the religious treasury contained a huge number of artefacts. In total, more than 10,000 items have been found, and the excavations still continue. These finds are all in the Iraklion and Sitia museums. Only the palace from the second period, (1600 — 1450 BC), has been unearthed. An earlier one, of around 1900 BC, will probably never be found as this end of the island is gradually sinking and the entire complex may be under water. The ground is often swampy, especially early in the year, and terrapins live in the ancient wells and cistern. The area of the site is approximately 10,000 square metres, and as well as being the royal residence, it housed the administrative, commercial and religious centre for the whole area. Finds such as elephant tusks from Syria and many items from Cyprus, Egypt and other areas are evidence that this must have been a major trading port. The present day entrance to the site is from the south. However, the original approach would have been made along the road from the harbour to the east. These harbour installations have not been explored as these too are now under water, but a section of the road itself has now been reconstructed. Although it is marked as the exit this is where I would recommend visitors to start and then climb to the buildings in the upper town from where you can clearly discern all the areas which make up the palace complex - a great vantage point from which to orientate yourself before you begin a detailed visit. The Palace itself was quite a small one; the central court measures approximately 30 metres x 12 metres, or roughly l/3 the size of the one at Knossos. There is an area of workshops and to the south-east the main cistern and well which still flows with drinkable water today. The light well to the west, was where one of the most important finds was made, the Peak Sanctuary Rhyton, a stone vase showing a peak sanctuary with wild goats. The central shrine, now under a canopy, is similar to the one at Gournia. There is a lustral basin and next to it the Treasury, adjacent to the palace archive where hundreds of Linear A tablets were found, only a few of which survived clearly, due to water damage. The palace kitchen area was positively identified by the large number of pots, utensils and animal bones found strewn around. As far as I know, there are no organised tours to the Zakros site so if, like me, you would like to have a Minoan Palace complex virtually to yourself, it is well worth the effort of making your own way there if you ever plan a holiday in Crete.

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Other Societies' September Events by Eric Morgan

5th (Tuesday) &7th (Thursday) & 12th Tuesdays Da Vinci Code? Discover the true history of the Templars (Mike Howgate, City of London Guide) leads 11/2 hr tour of Temple Church & area.Amateur Geological Society. Meet Temple Tube. £5 (Also August 31) 2pm 6th Wed. The Blue Plaques of London (Howard Spencer) Stanmore & Harrow Historical Soc., Wealdstone Baptist Church Hall, Wealdstone High St 8pm 9th Sat. Enfield Town Show Local archaeol. & preservation societies among many 10th Sun. other stallholders. Enfield Town Park, Cecil Rd 12 - 6pm

10th Sun. Garden Party, the Bothy, Avenue House: fund-raising for the Bothy's planned restoration 3 - 5pm

10th Sun. London's Local — Discover London's Local History through some exciting artefacts from LAARC. Museum of London 12.30 - 4.30pm

11th Mon. Grandma's London (John Neal) Barnet & District Local History Soc.Church House, Wood St (opp. Barnet Museum) 3pm

15th Friday Finds from the foreshore (Hazel Forsyth, MOL) COLAS, St Olave's Parish Hall, Mark Lane EC3 (foreshore finds in Natl. Arch. Week, July) 7pm

15th Friday Enfield Palace Exchange — The Archaeology (Jon Butler, PCA) Enfield Archaeology Soc. Jubilee Hall, junction Chase Side/Parsonage Lane 8pm



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