newsletter-448-july-2008

Newsletter

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HADAS DIARY - Forthcoming lectures and events

Saturday 5 July Outing to West SussexJoin June Porges and Stewart Wild on a summer outing through the lovely Surrey and Sussex countryside, visiting Butser Ancient Farm & Experimental Archaeology Site and Fishbourne Roman Palace. It's many years since HADAS has visited either of these sites and in each case there have been new discoveries, improvements and additions. There are a few places on the coach - Apply now.

Wednesday August 27 - Sunday August 31: Annual HADAS Long WeekendStaying at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, Yorkshire.

Long Weekend - It won't be long now! The arrangements for our trip to Beverley, Hull and Lincoln are all but complete - it would be nice if someone could arrange the weather though!!! The balance of the cost (£300 per person) is due by the 20th August 2008, but should anybody like to pay an instalment in July and one in August they are welcome to do so. Please send your payments to Jim Nelhams at the usual address. On receipt of full payment, a little booklet of the trip and any instructions will be sent to you.

Secretary's Corner

The Society's 47th annual General Meeting was held on 10th June 2008 with the President, Harvey Sheldon, in the Chair. 36 Members were present. The various Resolutions in the Notice of Meeting were duly passed including, in particular, the re-appointment of Harvey Sheldon as President for a further term of 5 years, approval of the Annual Report and Accounts and the Resolution increasing the basic subscription as from 1 April 2009 from £12 to £15 with proportionate increases for concessions.

The Officers elected for the current year are: Chairman: Don Cooper Vice-Chairman: Peter Pickering Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams in place of Denis Ross who retired. Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning in place of Mary Rawitzer who retired. The following were elected as other members of the Society's Committee: Bill Bass, Andrew Coulson, Eric Morgan, June Porges, Denis Ross, Andrew Selkirk, and Tim Wilkins.

The Secretary stressed that there were now 5 vacancies on the Committee so that "reinforcements" were required.

The Treasurer tested the market on the form and timing of outings generally and of the Christmas Dinner. The Meeting was followed by talks with slides by Don Cooper and Bill Bass on the past year's activities and by Andrew Coulson on finds from the Battle of Barnet site.

Membership Matters - New members & a new Secretary!

Hello. My name is Stephen Brunning and I am the new Membership Secretary for HADAS. You may have already seen my name in connection with this role, but it was not until the AGM on 10th June that I was formally elected. Before this date I was Acting Membership Secretary following the retirement of Mary Rawitzer. I would personally like to thank Mary for all the hard work she has put into the job, and for her guidance & assistance during the handover period.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the following new members who have joined during 2008: Andreas Bloch, Marsha Fu, John & Irene Hart, Amy Lewis, Barry Lomax, Patrick & Kevin McSharry, Susan Trackman, Joanne Van Der Bank and George Warren.

Please do come and join us at one of the activities planned over the next few months. (Keep an eye on the newsletters for further details). There are no lectures until October, as we take a break during the summer.


2 May 2008 Dear Mary, 1 should like you to insert this into the next newsletter under the section Membership Matters. It concerns my late mother whose obituary appeared in last month's edition. Irene Owen 1912 - 2008 I am happy to say that Irene did not suffer from Parkinson's Disease She had reasonably good mental and physical health, considering her age, until a very few months before her sudden death which was the result of a stroke. After the West Heath excavations finished, she joined the group of HADAS members processing human skeletons under the auspices of the Museum of London. The late Jean Snelling, another West Heath stalwart also worked on the project for a considerable time Yours sincerely,

Myfanwy Stewart

Mary Rawitzer apologises to Myfanwy for her mistake.


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What Do You Think?

A museum has been criticised for covering up three naked mummies that had been on display for 120 years. Manchester Museum concealed the mummies from head-to-toe two weeks ago, citing a growing number of visitor complaints, as it began a public consultation on how to display its Egyptian collection. Experts accused the Museum of taking "a step backwards" by denying museum-goers the opportunity to learn about mummies, and the decision sparked much debate on the museum web-site. Are we getting prudish or is this proper respect?

Nero's Gate Unearthed

A Roman gate thought to have been built 2,000 years ago by Emperor Nero has been discovered in Germany. The gate and 36ft of town wall were found by builders digging Cologne's new metro line. The emperor's famously beautiful but ruthless mother, Agrippina the Younger, was born in Cologne. Archaeologists say he probably funded the gate as the city would have been too poor to afford sizeable fortifications against marauding Frankish tribes.

Outing to Avebury and Bath

On May 17th we visited these two popular archaeological sites. Luckily the predicted torrential rain did not happen, so the only hitch was when the coach was held up between St Albans and Barnet (no, not by highwaymen!)

After coffee, our friendly guide, Mike Powell, told us the history of Avebury, while brandishing a reproduction Neolithic flint axe. The henge and stone circle, of local sandstone (sarsens) have been dated to about 2600 BCE, and consist of a large circle of 98 stones, and two smaller ones of 27 and 29 stones, thought to relate to the lunar cycle. Within a short distance are the causewayed camp of Windmill Hill, the West Kennet Long Barrow, and the mysterious Silbury Hill. Stonehenge, less than 20 miles south, is more famous and more well-preserved, but the Avebury henge with stone circle is 700 years older, and many times the size - large enough to have a whole village slap-bang in the middle! This includes a medieval church with a Norman font and a rood-screen, a Tudor manor house, an eighteenth-century dovecote and a twentieth-century pub.

For generations the villagers lived among the stones, occasionally destroying them but mostly ignoring them, until John Aubrey, 17th-century scholar and gossip-columnist, became fascinated by them, and surveyed them for Charles II. In the 20th century, the millionaire Alexander Keillor excavated the site, and founded the museum.

We then went on to the comparatively modern world of Roman Bath. A guide showed us round the Baths, restored recently. Though visitors came to take the waters for many centuries, the main Roman bath was not rediscovered until Victorian times. Hot water springs up through a unique geological fault from deep within the earth's crust (presumably the smaller hot well at Bristol, mentioned in the Rock Railway talk, originates from the same fault?). We saw the different baths constructed by the Romans, and the various objects that were thrown into them, including coins, and tablets naming and cursing thieves and other enemies.

For the rest of the afternoon, we had a choice of visiting the Abbey, an assortment of museums, and various tea-shops, or just admiring the Palladian architecture from the next major period of development after the Romans, i.e. the 18th century of Beau Nash and Jane Austen. There is so much to see in Bath, as well as in Bristol, Wells, and a nearby stone circle we had no time to visit; the afternoon made a good "taster" for a much longer visit.

Our thanks to Liz for organising this very successful outing. The good news is that Liz is prepared to lead us on another outing in 2009. Editor


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Book review by Bill Bass

INDUSTRIAL RAILWAYS & LOCOMOTIVES OF HERTFORDSHIRE & MIDDLESEX

Industrial Railway Society 2007 Robin Waywell £19.95

These are two of London's Home Counties and today are very comprehensively given over to residential housing. It is the transition from the earlier rural countryside to this built-up region that provides the background to the information in this book. Long-term industrial activity in Hertfordshire comprised a number of factories at Watford that used locomotives, mainly in Government services, and other engineering and processing works served by the Great Northern main line between Potters Bar and Hitchin. The main concentration was, however, in the Lea Valley, from Tottenham to Brimsdown, with a succession of Gasworks, factories and power stations. Extensive extraction of sand and gravel took place from the river valleys and flood plains north of Watford and also along the Lea Valley, and very many narrow gauge internal combustion locomotives saw service on tramways in these pits".

This book is essentially a catalogue of all these small industrial railways, of which, there were surprisingly many in the north London region. There is a wealth of detail for each site e.g. the nature of the railway/tramway, gauge, detailed location, dates, brief but detailed history of the system & the locos used on it. The use of such railways differed widely in nature, they could be transitory - used to build more 'permanent' railways or quarries or they may be fixed e.g. used at rolling mills, munitions factories and brickworks etc. There are location maps and in many cases layout maps of the individual factory and site systems.

Some local sites to Barnet include the exotic East Barnet Sewage Works, New Barnet Gas Works, Hendon Aerodrome, Express Dairy (Cricklewood), United Dairies (East Finchley), Mill Hill Gas Works, Mill Hill Barracks and contracts for building various 'main' lines - e.g. Great Northern Line/Midland Line/Underground lines, or roads/motorways e.g. A1 Barnet Bypass. Slightly further afield Park Royal was an industrial 'hotspot' with the Guiness Brewery and surrounding factories, and as mentioned above the Enfield area had a dense concentration of general works and in particular the Royal Small Arms Factory and Shell Factory. These could involve railways of a 'standard' or 'narrow' gauge nature.

But really this hardly scratches the surface on the many and varied systems that cover the region of this book. Well worth it if you're interested in local industrial railways/archaeology.


Gold Cup in the Rag and Bones

A gold cup from the 3rd or 4th century BC has sold for £50,000 at auction. The cup was acquired by a rag and bone man who gave it to his grandson, John Webber, now 70, of Taunton, believing it was made of brass.

Discovery of 500 years old Shipwreck

The shipwreck, discovered off the southern Africa coast, contains a treasure trove of coins and ivory. The site yielded six bronze cannon, several tons of copper, more than 50 elephant tusks, pewter tableware, navigational instruments, weapons and thousands of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins minted in the late 1400s and early 1500s. It may have been the caravel of Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to sail around the Cape of Good Hope.

Rare Mass Roman Grave Unearthed

The remains of 91 men, women and children are believed to have been hurriedly dumped during an outbreak of disease in the second or third century. The site was first located in Gloucester in 2004 and archaeologists spent four years of excavating the site and analysing bones. Louise Lou, of the company Oxford Archaeology, who led the analysis, said: "The skeletons were lying with their bones completely entangled, reflecting the fact that they had been dumped in a hurried manner. "When we studied the skeletons we looked for evidence to explain why they had been buried in such a way. This has led us to conclude the individuals were victims of an epidemic." It is believed that the bodies were victims of the Antonine plague, which swept through Europe in the second century, about 100 years before the Romans left Britain. Two other mass Roman burial sites were unearthed in York in the 1870s but were not properly recorded and are therefore not officially recognised. Two first century sculptured and inscribed tombstones were also found on the site. One was for a 14 year-old slave and the other was for Lucius Octavius Martialis, a soldier of the 20th legion.




AFTER THE EXCAVATION - ARCHAEOLOGY FROM PROCESSING TO PUBLICATION

Post-diploma course in Archaeology for Birkbeck FLL to be held at Avenue House, Finchley from 01/10/08 to 25/3/09

Excavation is only the beginning of the process of archaeological investigation. This course aims to provide tuition for non-professional archaeologists and local archaeological societies in post-excavation recording and analysis by re-examining unpublished excavations. In 2008-9 we will be looking at excavations carried out in 1972 by Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS) at Burroughs Gardens, Hendon. The whole range of post-excavation procedures from basic finds processing to publication and archive deposition will be covered. The course will include lectures by specialists in various fields, such as ceramics, clay pipes, glass, building materials and animal bones. Class members will be closely involved in the sorting, identification, recording and analysis of each category of finds. This is a major emphasis of the course, with a view to interpreting the significance of the various finds in relation to the site. Teaching sessions will be alternated with workshops throughout, and as work proceeds group discussion will be important means of formulating strategies for writing up the results of analysis. The ultimate outcome of the course will be publication under the joint authorship of class members, with tuition provided in the construction, writing and illustration of archaeological reports. Instruction will also be given on storage of the excavated materials and written records in line with current archive standards.

Post-Diploma courses are intended primarily for students who have completed their Certificate or Diploma studies, but are also open to others who have or wish to acquire relevant archaeological skills. Coursework will be aimed principally at producing reports for publication. Students are encouraged to complete and submit a portfolio of work during the course for assessment. This forms an essential part of the learning process and of work leading to the final publication.

Course content

minimum standards of recording and analysis leading to publication finds processing, including washing, marking, storage and basic recording of bulk and registered finds the recording and analysis of finds and environmental remains, by means of hands-on experience, accompanied by lectures and supervised by specialists: glass clay tobacco pipes pottery (Roman to post-medieval) ceramic building materials animal bones half-day sessions in the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre, studying and recording finds illustration and photography Research into various artefact types (highlighting important sources to inform further work) analysing and interpreting data using a computerized database the use of tables, histograms, pie charts and other graphic presentations of data the writing and presentation of archaeological reports editing, publishing conventions, the use of references and bibliographies

Study skills

In the course of the two terms, class members will be instructed and helped in the following: current standards of archive storage basic finds processing handling and identifying different common types of excavated finds (pottery, building material, animal bone, clay pipes, glass) methods of recording, analysing and interpreting data the use and interrogation of computerised databases cultivating research skills the basics of archaeological finds illustration accepted forms of referencing and the use of written sources planning the final publication and the coursework involved in doing so the development of writing skills aimed at archaeological publication

Course taught by: Jacqui Pearce BA FSA MIFA Wed 1 Oct 2008, 6.30pm-8.30pm 22 meetings £300 (£150) Course code: FFAR015S5ACB 30 CATS points at Level 5 Venue Avenue House 15-17 East End Road London N3 3QE Places are limited so early enrolment is advised. To enrol by telephone (full fee only) or to ask about concessions please ring 020 7631 6651, quoting the course code. To enrol online please go to: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/ce2008/archaeology/index.html

For a copy of our Archaeology and Egyptology Mini Prospectus please contact archaeology@fll.bbk.ac.uk or FLL Archaeology, 26 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DQ 020 7631 6627.


Monster Could Have Bitten a Car in Half

Fossilised remains have been found of a 50ft-long sea monster that would have been strong enough to bite a car in half. The creature, which lived 150 years ago in the Jurassic era, is the largest sea reptile ever found. A type of pliosaur, nick-named "The Monster", it measured 50ft from tip to tail. It was discovered by a Norwegian team in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and is one of 40 marine reptile fossils found in what is being described as a treasure trove for palaeontologists. "These animals are awesomely powerful predators", said Richard Forrest, a palaeontologist. "If you compare the skull of a large pliosaur to a crocodile, it is very clear it is much better built for biting. By comparison with a crocodile, you have something like three or four times the cross-sectional space for muscles. "A large pliosaur was big enough to pick up a small car in its jaws and bite it in half. The skeleton of the Monster consists of its snout, some teeth, much of its spine and shoulder socket, and one nearly complete flipper. Scientists are hopeful that more remains will be discovered. The long-necked version of the pliosaur, the plesiosaur, has been suggested as a possible identity for the Loch Ness Monster.

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Other Societies Events By Eric Morgan

Saturday 5 July - 11am-5pm Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery Open Day, Harrow Rd. NW10 Tours,Band, Refreshments, Stalls including Willesden Local History Society.

Saturday 5 July - 11.30am-9pm & Sunday 6 July 11.30am-7pm East Barnet Festival, Oak Hill Park, Church Hill Rd. East Barnet. Lots of Community Stalls.

Sunday 6 July 2pm - The Heart of High Barnet Guided Walk. Meet outside Barnet College, Wood St. Led by Paul Baker Costs £6

Tuesday 8 July 8pm - Amateur Geological Society The Parlour, St. Margaret's Church, Victoria Ave. N3 (off Hendon Lane) Early Man - The Hobbit talk by Lorraine Cornish (Natural History Museum).

Saturday 12 July 2pm - The Battle of Barnet, Guided Walk. Meet at Junction Gt. North Rd./Hadley Green Rd. Led by Paul Baker. Cost £6. Lasts 2 hrs. National Archaeology Week. The Detectives, Institute of Archaeology,, 31-4 Gordon Sq. WC1. Activities for all ages including finds handling, Ancient Crafts, Geophysics, Conservation Labs, Petrie Museum. www.britarch.ac.uk/naw

Sunday 13 July & Monday 14 July - National Archaeology Week. Enfield Archaeology Society. Dig at Theobalds Palace, Cedars Park, Broxbourne.

Tuesday 15 July 2-3pm - Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow. St. Paul's Cathedral. Talk by Jo & John Brewster on its recent restoration. Charge £3

Tuesday 15 & Wednesday 16 July - British Museum. Bayeux Tapestry. Conference on new research. Fees £10 a day or £15 for both days. Please send cheque (payable to British Museum) with contact details to Dr Michael Lewis, Portable Antiquities & Treasure, British Museum, Gt. Russell St. WC1B 3DG

Wednesday 16 July - 7.30 pm Edmonton Hundred Historical Society. Jubilee Hall , 2 Parsonage Lane / Junction Chase Side, Enfield. The Cuffley Story talk by Pat Kline & Michael Clark.

Thursday 17 July - 7.30 pm Camden History Society, The Foundling Museum, off Wakefield St. WC1. George Morland, the Artist (1763-1804) - A Stolen Childhood and its Consequences. Talk by Marian Kamlish.

Friday 18 July 7pm - COLAS. St. Katharine Cree Church Hall, Leadenhall St. EC3. The City of London Cemetery & Crematorium - Its Past & Futture.

Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 July - National Archaeology Week. Enfield Archaeology Society. Dig both days. HADAS did resistivity here.

Friday 18 - Sunday 20 July - National Archaeology Week. Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2.

Friday 18 - Preparing for 2012 - East London Archaeology - Lecture by Kieron Tyler. Fun & Games! Weekend of Family Activities, Tours, Talks, Looking at Games & Sport throughout History with objects from the Museum Sport Collection & Skeletons of Roman & Medieval Londoners with Possible Sports' Injuries.

Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 July 11.30am-4pm - Archaeology Weekend COLAS - At the Tower of London. A range of Public Displays & Activities in the open space in front of the Tower beside the River Thames. Handle finds including bones, pots, shoes, coins, clay pipes from London sites. Visit Tower beach on the Thames foreshore in the middle of the day.

Tuesday 29 July 2-3pm - Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, N. Harrow. The History of Hospitals & Nursing Talk by Kevin Brown 9curator of alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum). Charge £3.



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