Latest news from the Teesside Archaeological Society about forthcoming lectures, events, fieldwork and activities.
August 2012     
Autumn Lectures  | Conferences & Events | Heritage Open Days | Website     

Teesside Archaeological Society | eNews

Teesside Archaeological Society

Dear TAS Members and Friends,

Welcome to your August eNewsletter after a busy summer of newsflash messages about regional events and activities—maybe more like news whiplash! TAS folks are an intrepid bunch and there has been some lovely feedback from members who attended some of them. The Thornborough heritage day was particularly enjoyed, and very well attended in beautiful weather—there are some pictures below and a hearty call for support from Dr Jan Harding and the Thornborough Heritage Trust to help them conserve, preserve and build awareness about these amazing prehistoric monuments.

Tip: some email providers strip out pictures, or allow you to see them as an option. If you can't see any pictures in this newsletter—there are quite a fewclick on the "view in your browser" link in the top right corner of this message. -Ed.

There are still plenty of events and conferences to tempt you through September and beyond, including Heritage Open Days, a free prehistory day conference in Edinburgh, a local history day conference in Northallerton and, ready for Dr Nicky Milner's talk to us about recent discoveries in October, some Star Carr activitieslectures, finds-handling and 2012 excavation open day in and around Scarborough. Remember, there's the Aldborough Roman Festival too on Saturday 1 September—see the recent newsflash item.

Don't forget to check the recent eNewsflashes—there are always archive links to all previous items at the end of each email. -Ed.

Click to downloadNow, while there's plenty still in prospect for getting outdoors, there's an equal treasure trove of news and heritage entertainment on the Internet. Read your eNews Editor's 5 Minute Guide to archaeology online, what a blog is (it isn't rude), and a few of his favorites to enjoy. Francis Pryor's (the Time Team man) 2012 dig at Flag Fen includes a very entertaining "dog cam" video for a canine-eye view of trenches, friendly diggers and Bronze Age finds—great fun!

Autumn Programme

Lastly, a gentle reminder that our Lecture Programme resumes in September with a great line-up of speakers and subjects. Do download this flyer*, pin it to noticeboards, and spread the word about TAS. There will be an Elgee Memorial Lecture in December too—details to follow later in the autumn.

Until the September eNews
—a couple of weeks ahead of the next evening lecture...

Love the rich, distinctive heritage of north-east England!

PDF*The flyer is in PDF format—you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer—most computers have it installed already. You can download it for free from

Conferences and Events

Star Carr Archaeology Project

Wetland Project | Excavation Open Day | Mesolithic Festival

All events are free but booking is required.

Thu 6 September | Evening Talk | 7.00pm-8.30pm

Sat 8 September | Walk & Children's Activities | 9.30am-10.30am : 12.00pm-1pm | Archaeological Dig 10.30am-11.15am : 1pm-1.45pm

Flixton ExcavationsTim Burkinshaw of the Cayton and Flixton Carrs Wetland Project will be talking at Woodend, The Crescent, Scarborough on Thu 6 September about how farmers are bringing wetland wildlife back to the Carrs and about the hidden Stone Age landscape.

Find out moreHeritage Open Days
Book tickets | 01723 374735
Sun 16 September | Excavation Open Day | Check online for info

Further information will be posted on the website nearer the time.
Sun 23 September | Mesolithic Festival | Check online for info

Lectures, handling of finds, storytelling by Ben Haggerty, fun activities for kids and re-enactors making Mesolithic artefacts. 

Further information will be posted on the website nearer the time.
I will do my best to send newsflash messages when more details are available. If you really love the Mesolithic, visit Mesolithic Miscellany, a free Internet journal, news and discussion forum. -Ed.

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open DaysFree events will be taking place across England's regions for this year's Heritage Open Days, 6th to 9th September

All events are free but booking is required. There's a good selection of places to visit within reach of Teesside, subject to places being available.

Listings and Directory | County Durham | North Yorkshire


Northallerton Local History Conference

The North Riding of Yorkshire in an Age of Transition 1750-1820 | The social and economic development of a rural county

Sat 29 September | Day Conference | 9.00pm-5.00pm

The British Association for Local History in conjunction with Northallerton and District Local History Society are running a conference on Saturday 29 September in Northallerton, followed on Sunday 30 Sep by a country house visit.

The conference theme has been carefully chosen to cover the period before the birth of the railways and the development of heavy industry to reflect the transition from a rural economy to large scale industrialization in a county renowned in the modern age for its scenic beauty. The eminent Economic Historian Arnold Toynbee (1852-1883) described the second half of the 18th Century as the "age of transition to the modern industrial system and to improved methods of agriculture".  The conference will address some of the issues involved in this transition in what essentially remains a rural county to this day.

Booking is required | £12.50 which includes refreshment breaks with a lunchtime finger buffet available at £5.50 | See booking form for options, instructions and venue details.

More Info |

Tyne-Forth Prehistory Forum

Archaeology Across the Border | prehistoric communities in the Tyne-Forth region and beyond

Click to downloadSat 29 September | Free Day Conference | 10.00am-5.00pm | Royal Society of Edinburgh

In the last two years the Tyne-Forth Prehistory Forum has sought to stimulate new discussion and research into the prehistoric archaeology of Northeast England and Southeast Scotland.
A great barrow-load of expert speakers too! -Ed.

At this final AHRC-funded event we will discuss papers that (re)consider the narratives that archaeologists tell about prehistoric communities living between the Forth and the Tyne. What can we say about their landscapes, dwellings, monuments, burial practices, and the things of their everyday lives? How were they interconnected with one another, and with communities elsewhere? What were the major events, changes, and trends in the prehistory of the region?

Booking required | Email | Download Flyer | Website
See the Bookshelf section below for an excellent newly published volume on the Archaeology & Environment in the Twill-Tweed area of Northumberland by Passmore & Waddington. -Ed.
Thornborough Heritage Trust

Can you help?

Open DayTo the north of Ripon are some remarkable prehistoric monuments. No less than six giant henges, along with many other Neolithic and Bronze Age sites, can be found here, suggesting this was a special landscape between 4000-1500 BC. The most famous of these monuments is the alignment of three henges at Thornborough.

It is a truly spectacular icon of Neolithic Britain—and its story offers an enthralling insight into prehistoric life. Despite generations of aggregate extraction and risk to these incredible monuments, above and below ground, this landscape and heritage remains compelling and of international importance.

About the Trust

The Thornborough Heritage Trust was formed in January 2012 and is committed to ensuring these monuments, and the prehistoric and historic landscapes of which they are part, have a bright future. The Trust is geared around promoting their conservation, preservation and protectionand in encouraging everyone to appreciate and enjoy these remarkable sites through membership, donation and regular community activities—like the one enjoyed by TAS Members this summer that included a lecture by prehistoric expert and Trustee Dr. Jan Harding (Newcastle University), guided walks and finds handling.

Thornborough Heritage Day

"An outstanding day out!"
- Chris M, TAS Member

A vulnerable landscape

Thronborough damageThe Trust and community are greatly concerned about the condition of Thornborough's central henge. Animal disturbance to its earthwork has been a problem in recent years, and the visitors this summer saw it for themselves. The Trust, its members and the Friends of Thornborough act as advocates for remedial action with organisations such as English Heritage, and to build greater awareness in the region and nationally. As a charitable venture the Trust can only be effective with donations—big or small—to fund its educational events, and to help conserve and promote Thornborough's precious archaeology.

How you can help
  • Contact the Trust if you want to register as a Member. Please note that while they maintain membership details on a computer they will never provide these details to anyone else. It is free to join, but as a charitable trust they are dependent on donations
  • Make a donation securely via PayPal
Images | Courtesy of Dr Jan Harding and the Thornborough Heritage Trust.

5 Minute Guide

Archaeology on the Internet

And the DigVentures "dog cam" too!

The vast selection of information, news and people-networking available on the Internet can seem daunting and it isn't always easy to know what's best, what other people rely on, who does what where. The heritage and archaeological world is no exception—the wonder of the Web is both miracle in terms of what we all have access to, and yet frustrating by its sheer vastness. In this 5 Minute overview are some of the Editor's favourite places, and ones that let you discover other useful locations, tools, and people.

Social Media IconsThen there are the strange names, some of which give a hint as to what they're for, some rather bizarre—do you know your Ning from your Wiki, Bebo from MySpace, Facebook from Linkedin, Blogger from Youtube from Flickr? Many of this strange things, largely brand type names, have different types of users, age groups and social profiles. Not to worry, many of the strange names make sense when their origin is revealed.

To make a long story very short, these are most of the Internet resource that serve archaeology:

  • Websites | virtually every organization in the world now has a website. They're essentially "static" places that provide information to read, download as files, and about how to do things and who to contact. Websites are a "shop window" but they're not "interactive". You'll rarely see "dialogue" or exchanges between people. Some individuals have their own websites and there are increasingly easy-to-use (and generally free) ways to create and manage your own website. Generally, the only chargeable elements are if you want your own "domain" name like "" and if you want a Web design company to host and manage your website. A URL (Universal Resource Locator) just means a web link that will begin http:// or https:// (secure). When a website or link is broken, you see "404 Not Found" in your web browser. Somebody probably messed up, their computers failed or the page was taken offline (or your Internet connection isn't working).
  • BG ConfusedWikis | wiki actually means "super fast" in the Hawaiian language! These are websites you can create using your web browser. What makes them unique is that they are websites that anyone can contribute to or change. So, for instance, Wikipedia is a vast online encyclopaedia with content created by everyone and anyone, but they are generally well "policed", very informative and reliable.
  • Blogs | and blogging start to make information more interactive still. "Blog" is short for "Web log" and you can think of it as cross between a website, a diary or journal, your own newspaper or noticeboard. The difference is that you make "posts"—like entries in a diary or postcards from a holiday—that can be read in chronological order with pictures, even video, and links to information. What's more, people can leave comments, subscribe to your blog to get posts by email or share a post in social media (see below). They're also very easy to create and the "how to" videos and instructions are very good. The most popular and free blog tool is Wordpress (look out for Francis Pryor's below—the new chief archaeologist on Time Team).
  • Twitter | and isn't it in the news an aweful lot these days! Think of Twitter as a "mini" blog or "microblog". The key thing about Twitter and Tweeting is that the content is limited to 140 characters—probably why so many famous people get into trouble. Again, it's free, immediate and interactive. Most users tweet from their mobile phones and portable computers. People that do it in a court of law get into big trouble. Not everybody tweets, including the Editor!
Social Media and Networking

Keep calmThe remaining Internet type things are all about staying in touch with people and being able to share things quickly and interactively—whether messages, news, pictures, answers to questions—with friends or groups with a common interest. Here are the main ones you'll find in archaeology. All are free but require you to register, like you do for an email account. Sometimes joining a group will be open, sometimes there'll be a "manager". Messages from sites like Twitter and Facebook can also be displayed on websites (see the CBA one below), and website links can be shared in social media messages.
  • Facebook | connects mostly young professionals and students as well as an increasing cross section of the community. It lets people share instant messages either privately or with bigger groups—and their friends too. For example, Team GB had an Olympics Facebook page that was shared far and wide with their pictures and messages. You can "like" group sites or something somebody shared, like a joke, a news story or just what somebody's been up to. It's easy to upload photographs and share photo albums—which people can "like" and share with their friends. Some people use Flickr to share their photographs—same kind of thing.
  • Tea cupLinkedin | is a social networking site developed specifically for business professionals who want to build relationships, meet new contacts and market themselves. It's free, you register for an account and set up a personal profile—a bit like a CV online although you can control how much people see. If you do a Google search on the editor's name "Spencer Carter" you should see a Linkedin profile, amongst other bits and pieces. (I'm not the boat builders by the way -Ed.)
  • MySpace | is a social networking site popular with people who like sharing music, pictures and videos. Bebo tends to cater for teenagers. Ning is an online tool that lets people create a social networking site. Google+ is Google's competition with Facebook, but essentially the same principle. YouTube is probably the most popular site for sharing videos.
And that's really all there is to it—the rest really is just about different names for the same or very similar things, or places to store and share documents!

You might notice a MailChimp logo at the end of TAS eNews? This is another free Web tool that helps manage subscription lists, email-based communications or marketing campaignsall safely, legally and securely. If you have any web questions, email me. -Ed.

Editor's favourites

CBA LogoCouncil for British Archaeology | CBA have just re-designed and re-launched their website. It's a great place to read the latest news, find links to other information and resources, even download back copies of their research reports. What you can't do is ask a question on the website. So CBA have a Facebook page and a Linkedin page that anybody can follow and (with an account) interact with.

PastHorizonsPast Horizons | One of the best online magazine sites covering the latest national and international archaeology and heritage news with occasional in-depth articles. Look on the right side of there homepage for a great list of blogs. They maintain a database of current archaeological field work opportunities around the world. Great for students looking for practical experience and volunteers seeking a new challenge. They also have a well stocked web shop selling quality archaeological equipment to a world market. This link looks like a website, but it's actually a Wordpress "blog" site. They also have a Facebook page (where humorous archaeology cartoons are often shared!)

DigVentures | DigVenturesYour chance to work with some of the best field archaeologists in the land on some of the best archaeological sites in the world. Join them and take part in a groundbreaking, game-changing archaeological experiment as a key member of the team. Whether you’re digging on site with them or checking in from the other side of the world, with DigVentures you can share the excitement of discovery as it happens, knowing that without your support, it wouldn’t have happened. | And here's the "dog cam" video on YouTube!

In The Long Run | Francis Pryor’s blog on archaeology, rural life (he's also a sheep farmer) and the lessons of history. You can enter your email address and receive his regular posts in your mailbox, although his Wordpress blog site doesn't allow comments.

Saxon Princess Excavation Blog | Steve Sherlock’s blog about the Loftus excavations and Saxon jewels at Street House. Notice how the "posts" are grouped by calendar month in the side menu. If you leave Steve a message, he sees that and approves it to appear in the blog. | Your Editor's own informal blog about Mesolithic archaeology in northern England and some ongoing projects. It's a blog where you can register to receive post alerts by email. Under "Stuff to Watch" you'll find more links to favourite things—sensible, entertaining and humorous.

Again, notice on the right-hand menu area how "posts" are archived by month and by category (meaning subject). You'll also see the community of "followers" and the blogs your Editor follows.

Fieldwork Opportunities

Tees ArchaeologyTees Archaeology | 2012 Fieldwork

Both the projects below are now fully booked, but you can contact Tees Archaeology if you want to be added to the standby list. The Goldsborough excavation has been postponed due to agricultural and estate activities. Volunteers will be contacted once new dates have been agreed.

To be rescheduled | NE Yorkshire Mesolithic Project | Excavation

Three week trial excavation close to the sea cliffs at Goldsborough near Whitby.

17 Sep to 21 Sep | Stockton Town Centre Building Recording Project | Historic Building Recording
no excavation

The team will be returning to the streets of Stockton to carry out a fourth season of building recording in the town centre. This project will involve photographing the exteriors of the historic buildings of the town and recording them on pro-forma record sheets.

Visit the Tees Archaeology website for their newsletters and the latest project information.

Stanwick Oppidum | Geofizz Survey | Sep-Oct 2012 Reminder

Stanwick fortificationsAre you looking for a unique way to get involved in your local archaeology for free?

Student Alistair Galt
—entering his final year studying for his BA Archaeology at Durhamis going to conduct a geophysical survey at Stanwick Oppidum, near Darlington. He wants to prove that Stanwick was more inhabited in the Late Iron Age than the archaeological record currently suggests—three houses in an area the size of a small townand show how important Stanwick may have been to the Brigantes tribe.

No previous experience is required, just an open mind, enthusiasm and some spare time! You don't have to commit for the whole period and all training and equipment will be provided. The survey will take place from Tuesday 25 September to Tuesday 2 October.
The only other requirement is that you do not wear anything metallic on (or in!) your clothing and shoes, as this will delay or potentially disrupt the results.

Contact Alistair | Email | Phone 07788 605846


Archaeology and Environment in Northumberland
Till-Tweed Studies Volume 2

This second volume by David Passmore and Clive Waddington is just published and available from Oxbow Books for £40 | Hardback
368pp, 130 b/w & 78 col illus.

Till-Tweed vol 2Eventful, influential and absorbing, the early history of Northumberland is a fascinating story that has rarely been brought together under one cover. In this authoritative historical account, the authors bring to bear a huge quantity of old and new data and craft it into an in-depth synthesis. The authors deliver this history in chronological order from a perspective that places human activity and environment at its core. The narrative extends from the Palaeolithic through to, and including, the Anglo-Saxon period. This enormous sweep of history is supported by a robust radiocarbon chronology, with all available dates for the region brought together and calibrated against the most recent calibration curves for the first time. The geographic focus of the volume is North Northumberland but the narrative frequently extends to cover the whole county and occasionally further afield into neighbouring areas so as to deal with key topics at an appropriate geographic scale and to take account of important information from nearby areas. This second volume in the Till-Tweed monograph series follows on from the first volume, Managing Archaeological Landscapes in Northumberland, which provided a considerable quantity of new field data, in addition to presenting a landscape management methodology based around the "landform element" approach.

British Archaeology Magazine

CBA BACBA Sep-Oct 2012

Available from larger newsagents (bi-monthly) for £4.50 or by subscribing to the Council for British Archaeology. This edition includes:
  • Rockart | digging up a mystery
  • Jersey's unique coin hoard
  • Metal detecting with 007
  • Building a prehistoric boat
  • Lidar in the Forest of Dean
  • Cold war remains in Berlin
  • Plus news, reviews, letters, fieldwork and events

Meso LeafletTees Archaeology
New Fact Sheets and Leaflets

Our friends at Tees Archaeology have recently added a series of excellent Flint Fact Sheets and a leaflet about the Mesolithic in north-east Yorkshire—in addition to many others and their monograph series | visit their downloads and shop pages.

St Andrews Church UpleathamAbout TAS

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-Industrialright 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.
How to join

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.
Image | St Andrew’s Church, Upleatham, Cleveland | © Adrian Ashworth

The TAS Committee

Chairman Blaise Vyner Publicity Joan Weighell
Secretary Linda Davies Publications Jenny Parker
Treasurer Mick Butler Refreshments Carole Tyson

Feel free to forward this e-Newsletter to friends and contacts using the forward to a friend feature at the end of this message—they will be able to subscribe securely. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your contact preferences, use the links below or email us.

You are also welcome to submit contributions for future newsletters. From time-to-time we'll send you details of activities and events that might be of interest.

Best Regards,
Spencer Carter | TAS Email Communications

PS: if your name doesn't appear correctly in the To: line of your email, send me
an email with the correct First and Last name to use. Easily fixed. Thanks! Ed.

The Committee welcomes your feedback,
questions, suggestions and news.
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Love the rich, distinctive heritage of north-east England

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