Teesside Archaeological Society | eNews
Dear TAS Members and Friends,
Welcome to the June edition of our monthly e-Newsletter! We are pleased to include details about the July Summer Field Trip around the beautiful city of Durham on Sunday 8 July. There are other exciting things to see and do in Durham, so why not make a weekend of it?
We have included some fieldwork opportunities and an autumn day-school hosted by Tees Archaeology. The Roman Binchester Vinovium project also runs through July. Our programme of monthly lectures recommences in September—read on for information about all of these and more.
Could we ask a favour too? Not all TAS members are subscribed to e-News—if you are in touch with other members, please help by spreading the word about these events.
Until the next e-Newsletter, enjoy the summer—love the rich, distinctive heritage of north-east England!
TAS Summer Field Trip | Martin Roberts will host a guided visit to
Durham Cathedral Priory Manors
Elvethall and Beaurepaire
Sunday 8 July from 1.45pm to 4.45pm
Following on from his recent talk to TAS on Durham Cathedral Priory Manors (March), Martin Roberts will lead a guided walk around two sites close to Durham City. Elvethall was the Priory's 'home farm' opposite the peninsula and retains the largest concentration of medieval farm buildings in the north-east of England. Beaurepaire, three miles west, was the largest and most important Priory manor, and its ruins were excavated and consolidated in 1979-84.
Meet at Elvethall, Durham City | 1.45pm to 2.45pm
We meet at Elvethall (NZ 278 420), known locally as Hallgarth Tithebarns, at 1.45pm. Enter Durham from Teesside along the A177, through Bowburn, past Shincliffe and the Maiden Castle University Sports Centre, through the cut in the woodland until you arrive at a roundabout at the head of Hallgarth Street. Take second exit (straight on) down Hallgarth Street. After about 200m a long uniform, early 19th Century terrace appears on right. Take first right after the end of the terrace and 100m up on left is Elvethall, now the Durham Prison Officers Club.
Parking all around is metered—we should be away by 2.45pm. Parking spaces are usually available in Hallgarth Street.
Drive onward to Beaurepaire (Bearpark) | 3.00pm to 4.45pm
To reach Beaurepaire (NZ 243 439), drive west across Durham towards the A167 (old A1) bypassing the city on the west. Take the road out to Bearpark (first traffic light junction north of Neville Cross's junction), down the hill, along the valley bottom (site of the Scots slaughter in the Battle of Neville's Cross 1346), across narrow medieval bridge and up into Bearpark village. Take first right after long colliery terrace on right, at old cast iron road sign (listed!) marked 'Bearpark Colliery'.
We will reassemble along the road before heading off in a convoy through the reclaimed pit heap to a car park just above Beaurepaire—starting there at 3.00-3.15pm to see manor house ruins, foundations of medieval barns and the recently converted 1475 farm building that may have been a farmworkers terrace. We should be finished by 4.30-4.45pm.
Images | Aerial view of Durham Castle and Cathedral by Vik Walker Creative Commons License, Elvethall and Beaurepaire courtesy of Martin Roberts.
Durham events | Make a weekend of it?
Skeleton Science Exhibition | Old Fulling Mill Museum Durham | Until 21 October
One of the most fascinating jobs in modern archaeology is the study of excavated human remains. This exhibition brings to life the work of bioarchaeologists as they attempt to unlock the secrets of our long dead ancestors using clues from just the bones left behind.
Trace the life of a skeleton from excavation right through to the laboratory, exploring disease, injury, family relationships and incredible journeys. Test your skills with our hand on activities and discover how this cutting edge science is helping to solve some of the greatest archaeological and medical mysteries | Find out more
Foundations of Durham | Saturday 7 July 10am to 2pm
Join geologist Brian Young for a walk around Durham’s riverbanks to discover how and when the setting for Durham Cathedral & Castle were formed | Contact woodlandsandriverbanks@durhamcathedral or phone 0191 3744070
Celebration in Music by The Chorister School | Durham Cathedral | Saturday 7 July 7pm to 9pm
The Galilee Choir and Old Chorister Association joined by Prince Bishops Brass | Tickets £12 full price, £8 concessions, available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 0191 332 4041 or www.galadurham.co.uk
Gladiators—A Cemetery of Secrets Exhibition | Durham Millennium Place | Until 30 September
During 2004-5 York Archaeological Trust excavated 80 burials at Driffield Terrace York. This site was part of a large cemetery on the outskirts of the Roman town of Eboracum, across the river from the legionary fortress. The burials displayed evidence that so intrigued the archaeologists that further investigation was needed. This search for answers. which is on going, has suggested that these people could have been a group of gladiators, who lived and fought in York during the Roman occupation.
Six skeletons were highlighted in the recent Channel 4 programme Gladiators: Back from the dead, based on information provided by the forensic archaeologist Dr Michael Wysocki (from the University of Central Lancashire). Further analysis is beginning to tell us more about the lives and deaths of these individuals. Meanwhile arguments continue as to whether these men were, in fact, a group of specialist fighters who were both revered (as superstars) and reviled (as associated with death). Or were they people who had been executed but given a decent burial. How about soldiers who had died in battle. Or was this evidence of a group of people who had unusual views on religion or burial practises. Explore the evidence—and you decide!
Tickets | adults £2.50, concessions £1.50 | Find out more
Image | Top: © October Films, Bottom: Spencer Carter.
Tees Archaeology | 2012 Fieldwork
Tees Archaeology is coordinating the following activities in the second half of 2012. Voluntary participation is free and anybody over 18 years of age may apply. A booking system is in operation | please download and complete the application form
20 Aug to 7 Sep | NE Yorkshire Mesolithic Project | Excavation
Three week trial excavation at Goldsborough near Whitby. Dates are subject to agricultural activities and may change at short notice.
17 Sep to 21 Sep | Stockton Town Centre Building Recording Project | Historic Building Recording—no excavation
3 Nov | The History and Buildings of Stockton-on-Tees | Day-school
A day-school at the ARC, Dovecote Street, Stockton. Booking details will be posted when available.
More information | Email Tees Archaeology | Phone 01429 523455 | Visit the website
Vinovium | 2012 Excavations at Roman Binchester
A major archaeological project focused on the northern edges of the Roman empire in Britain is underway. Since 2009, an international team drawn principally from Durham University (UK) and Stanford University (US) has been excavating the Roman fort and town at Binchester and surveying its place in one of the richest archaeological landscapes in the world.
The 2012 season is from 1 to 28 July. A few last minute training places have arisen (costs apply). Keep an eye on the blog for scheduled open days—and see the next item, below | Find out more
Binchester Roman Festival | Binchester Roman Fort, Bishop Auckland | Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July, 11am and 2pm
A programme of re-enactments including Roman cavalry display, mock battles along with guided tours of the 2012 excavations.
More information | Email Durham County Council Archaeology | Phone 01388 663089 | www.durham.gov.uk/archaeology
News roundup | Summer activities
Day of Archaeology 2012 | 29 June
Have you ever wondered what archaeologists really get up to? Is it all just digging or is there a lot more to it? The Day of Archaeology 2012 aims to give a window into the daily lives of archaeologists | Find out more
CBA Festival of British Archaeology 2012 | 14 to 29 July
Discover and experience the past this summer! Hundreds of archaeology and history events are taking place across the UK during this annual celebration of the UK's rich heritage.
Visit excavation sites, join guided walks around historic landscapes, take part in hands-on activities, visit exhibitions, attend special talks, have your finds identified, and much more.
North-east events include prehistoric, medieval and industrial archaeology workshops at the Old Fulling Mill Archaeology Museum, Durham, Digging the Dirt at Bede's World, Jarrow—as well as many events in the Yorkshire Dales, York and Hadrian's Wall country | Explore all the events online
The Teesside Archaeological Society is an enthusiastic, friendly group who share an interest in the archaeological heritage of the Tees Valley, Cleveland and the surrounding area.
Our rich heritage extends back to the Mesolithic—the 9th millennium BC—with a distinctively north-east take on every way-marker since those distant hunter-gatherers. Our journey spans Neolithic, Copper, Bronze, Iron and Roman eras—yes we have villas, Saxon royalty and Viking hogbacks, Medieval towns, castles, monastic places and pre-Industrial—right up to our more recent past.
We welcome everybody who shares an interest, no matter what level of experience or expertise. There are monthly presentations on the last Tuesday, a summer field trip, an annual bulletin publication and the chance to find out more about field projects, educational events and community activities.
Invite a new member
Annual membership is a bargain at £12 individual or £20 joint membership, due on 1 January each year. You can pay by post using the application form or at one of our meetings—look out for Mick Butler, Treasurer.
Lecture Programme | Autumn 2012
Lectures take place on the last Tuesday of each month at Stockton Central Library, located off Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TU. Free parking is at the rear of the library—turn into the street named The Square towards the river, entering the car park through barriers on the right. Enter the doors at the rear of the building and turn right into the lecture room. Please remember to sign in. We look forward to welcoming you!
Tue 26 September 7.15pm | Dr Jim Innes (Durham University) | The Vegetational History of Fylingdales Moor
Research by Dr Margaret Atherden in the 1980s provided a record of the long-term vegetation history of the area around Fylingdales Moor, since when the exposure of many archaeological sites on the eastern part of the moor by the wildfire of 2003 has shown that it was the location of major human activity during prehistoric and later times. New pollen analyses from peat deposits in the burned area have given detailed information regarding the vegetation cover and human land use on the moor from the early Mesolithic through to the Late Medieval period. Pollen evidence of forest clearance and agriculture confirms that the area was heavily used by people from the late prehistoric period onwards.
Image | © Jim Innes, Durham University
Tue 30 October 7.15pm | Dr Nicky Milner (University of York) | Recent Mesolithic Discoveries in North-East England
Star Carr is an internationally important Early Mesolithic site, near Flixton, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The site was first discovered and excavated from 1948-1952, producing a staggering array of rare and important artefacts, the quantity and quality of which have not been matched since in Europe. Recent excavations revealed further important evidence: the discovery of a structure gained global media coverage as the 'oldest house in Britain'; and a 30m wooden platform represents the earliest evidence of systematic carpentry in Europe. This talk will highlight the discoveries made in both the past and present research projects, and will outline the aspirations for the coming years.
Tue 27 November 7.15pm | Dr Paul Frodsham (Historic Environment Office, North Pennines AONB) | Archaeology in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Over the past couple of years, local volunteers from the Altogether Archaeology project have completed a range of archaeological fieldwork projects throughout the North Pennines, including investigations of a prehistoric burial site, a Roman road, and a medieval castle. In this presentation, illustrated with images from all the different investigations, project manager Paul Frodsham will explain how people have lived in the North Pennines landscape over the past 10,000 years. He will also explain how members can join in with exciting archaeological research in the area.
The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was designated in 1988. It is also Britain's first European Geopark and a founding member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. The North Pennines AONB Partnership holds a Gold Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Award for its corporate office and tourism activities.
Image | Altogether Archaeology volunteers uncovering the Roman road known as the Maiden Way near Alston in 2011 | © Paul Frodsham/NPAONB | www.northpennines.org.uk
December | Elgee Memorial Lecture | Details to follow
The TAS Committee
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Love the rich, distinctive heritage of north-east England