Latest news from the Teesside Archaeological Society about forthcoming lectures, events, fieldwork and activities.
February 2013     
Lecture Reminder | Activities & Events | Community Projects | News Roundup     
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Teesside Archaeological Society | eNews

Teesside Archaeological Society

Released | 12 Feb 2013
Dear TAS Members and Friends,

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Welcome to your February eNewsletter and a reminder that not every 2013 lecture is on the last Tuesday of a month. Please check your programme carefully.

After our AGM last month and a Committee meeting later in February, the TAS 2013 Committee structure will be announced. The 2013 lecture series kicks off with Tim Laurie FSA (Swaledale & Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group) on Tue 5 March. Tim will talk about the beautiful and tantalising archaeological landscapes of Swaledale.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to renew your TAS membership either at the next meeting or by post. You can also find out how to join TAS at the end of this newsletter.

In addition to regional activities, lectures, day schools and conferences, I'm delighted to include news about two community archaeological projects. The first is being launched by the Northallerton and District Local History Society researching the Roman road system around Thornton le Street, North Yorkshire. Details about their launch event on Fri 1 March are included below together with a poster that everyone is encouraged to pin to notice boards! John Sheehan (NDLHS) commented:

We would very much like the support of our friends at the Teesside Archaeological Society in this exciting project to investigate the Roman road system as it enters and leaves Thornton le Street and its subsequent routes to the Tees at Middleton St George and to the Swale at Catterick Bridge. The involvement of volunteers is sought, sufficient to develop a Heritage Lottery-funded investigation."

The second project under the guidance of Tees Archaeology centres on the village of Elwick in County Durham as a celebration of the rich heritage of a small settlement on the outskirts of Hartlepool, and part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Limestone Landscapes Partnership project.

Lastly, find out about recent finds (and a ring of mystery) as well as some recommended items to browse, read and enjoy, including William Pearson's Erik Bloodaxe book and the Post Hole online journal from the archeology students at the University of York.

A number of flyers and documents in this eNewsletter are downloadable in PDF format.
You will need (free) Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer.


TAS Lecture Reminder

A paper copy of the programme has been sent to each TAS member by post and is also available to view on the TAS website.

All lectures take place in Stockton Central Library at 7.30pm unless stated otherwise. Directions to Stockton are provided below.

Tue 5 Mar 2013 | Archaeological Landscapes of Swaledale | Tim Laurie Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group

Tim’s lecture will present archaeological landscapes in Swaledale and adjacent areas of the Swale-Tees/Greta interfluve. These landscapes include Mesolithic and Neolithic occupation sites, rock art, ring cairns, burnt mounds and the unenclosed settlements of the Bronze Age which have interesting associations with wide ranging coaxial field systems on the open heather moorland.

The recently completed surveys of the wide ranging coaxial field systems of Swaledale will be detailed and the evidence for their origins, development and relative chronology will be described.

Finally, the horizon of Later, Iron Age and Native Settlements of the Roman Period on the lower dale slopes will be introduced together with the Grinton-Fremington Linear Earthworks, all of which are currently the subject of survey and recent excavations by The Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group. For interim reports on this work in progress see
Image | Harkermires ring cairn | Tim Laurie.

How to get to Stockton Library

Stockton Central Library is located off Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TU.

By Rail | Stockton railway station is located at
Bishopton Lane, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 2AJ, approximately 400m from the library. Stockton is served by trains between Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, Newcastle (via Sunderland), Hexham and Carlisle with connections required for Darlington mainline and TransPennine services via York and Middlesbrough.

By Bus | For local and regional bus services, visit the journey planner at
Connect Tees Valley.

Student shuttle between Durham and Queen's Campus via Stockton Town Centre | In term-time a University campus shuttle bus runs between Harvard Avenue (outside Queen's Campus) to Stockton town centre, then to Durham, calling at the Maiden Castle sports centre, the Science Site, New Elvet and the bus station. Daytime services are half-hourly, evening is hourly | More info on services

By Car | Free evening 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.

When you arrive | The lecture room is located to the east of the ground floor library area through two sets of double doors. You can also enter from the rear car park (opposite the Police Station) and turn right once inside. Please sign the visitor's book. Guests are welcome for £3 each on the door
—please pay a Committee member. Refreshments are available afterwards. The refurbished library has a cafe upstairs and offers free wifi access.


Conferences, Day Schools,

Events and Exhibitions

Winter-Spring 2013

Here is an updated selection of events in the north-east of England and Yorkshire. If you want to advertise an event or fieldwork, or have seen an event in the media, please send details to the editor at Listings are generally not repeated in each monthly newsletter so do refer to the eNews Archive at the end of this message or on the TAS website.

Booking and fees may apply to some events: please check details or contact the respective organisers.

28th Annual JORVIK Viking Festival : Open Day/Week | Sat 16 Feb to Sun 24 Feb 2013 | York

The heart of the historic city of York will be transformed into a fiery battleground, as the 28th annual JORVIK Viking Festival returns to the city to play out its finale in February 2013. There will be dramatic performances and displays of combat throughout history; a Viking encampment; music from world renowned musicians; walks, talks and craft activities; plus an appearance from master storyteller Terry Deary during the week-long festival which will culminate in a spectacular battle that will see two Viking hordes collide at the Eye of York. For more information and full events listings, visit the website.

More Info | Organiser: Jorvik Viking Centre, DIG & Barley Hall | Website: | Email: | Phone: 01904 543426 | Twitter: @jorvikvikingfestival

The Roman Road System at Thornton le Street : Lecture & Project Launch | Fri 1 Mar 2013 | Thornton le Street

The Northallerton and District Local History Society invites you to a public presentation with contributions from Brian Forbes of Thornton le Moor and Oliver Cooper, Project Manager of Northern Archaeological Associates.

New Project Launch
Northallerton and District Local History Society are launching a new project at Thornton le Street Village Hall at 7.00 pm on Friday, 1st March. The project will investigate the Roman road system as it enters and leaves Thornton le Street and its subsequent routes to the Tees at Middleton St George and to the Swale at Catterick Bridge.

Brian Forbes of Thornton le Moor will present his current findings and Oliver Cooper, a Project Manager with Northern Archaeological Associates, will introduce the audience to related archaeological method. There will then be an open discussion to determine the way forward and to encourage local support.

There has been considerable speculation over the years regarding the routes taken by the Romans at this location. A road north to the Tees at Middleton St George is widely recognised, but a postulated road joining Dere Street at Catterick Bridge needs confirmation. The site in Thornton le Street is scheduled, but the scheduling needs a considered reappraisal.

Substantial documentary research has already been undertaken by Brian Forbes on the project, but the involvement of volunteers is sought, sufficient to develop a Heritage Lottery funded investigation drawing on professional archaeological expertise to supervise disciplined ground works, sufficient to ensure that an informed review can be undertaken.

Venue | Thornton le Street Village Hall, Ford Lane, Thornton Le Street, Northallerton, YO7 4DT : 7.00pm | Admission £2.00

More Info | Download poster (PDF) | Website: | Phone: John Sheehan on 01609 771878

The Anglo-Saxons in the North : Exhibition | From Sat 2 Mar 2013 | Barnard Castle

A small display in the Streatlam Galleries from March to December 2013 will highlight the Anglo-Saxon collections at The Bowes Museum, in celebration of the Lindisfarne Gospels returning to the north-east of England this summer. Objects will include cross shaft fragments and jewellery, illustrating the customs and skills of this ancient but highly skilled civilization.

More Info | Website: | Contact: Rachael Fletcher | Email: | Phone: 01833 690606

Conflict in Cleveland—and Beyond : Day School | Sat 9 Mar 2013 | Middlesbrough

This Spring sees the 16th day school organised jointly by the Centre for Regional and Local Historical Research and the Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society. The day is intended for the general public, who are especially welcome, as well as members of the University and the Society. There will be six invited speakers, who will be talking about military, religious and social conflict in North Yorkshire and South Durham. You can park free of charge immediately outside the Europa Building if you are attending the day school. The entrance to the car park is on Woodlands Road in Middlesbrough, near its junction with Southfield Road.

You can bring your own packed lunch to eat in the Europa Building or go out to an eating place in the neighbourhood. Alternatively you can order a buffet lunch from the University at a cost of £4.50, provided that you order when you are booking your place at the day school.

  • 9.30am Registration
  • 9.45am How dangerous is desperation’: The Battle of the Standard, Northallerton 1138 | Geoff Braddy
  • 11.00am The dog that did not bark and the one that did: Cleveland men in the 1405 rebellion | Dr Melanie Devine
  • 11.45am Religious rebellions | Dr Diana Newton
  • 1.30pm Sedition, riot and rebellion in 18th century North Yorkshire | Prof Peter Rushton
  • 2.15pm How Stockton faced the fear of French invasion | Dr Win Stokes
  • 3.30pm ‘Demonstration Days’: class conflict in Victorian Cleveland | Dr Tony Nicholson
  • 4.15 to 4.30pm Conclusions
Registration, including tea and coffee, is £12. Members of CTLHS, FHS, CLHR and NEEHI pay the reduced fee of £8.50. For those who are unwaged, the fee is £6.

Booking | Download booking form and flyer (PDF)
More Info | Website: | E-mail: | Phone: 01642 384689

Heroes and Villains : Day School | Sat 23 Mar 2013 | Whitby

Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society and Yorkshire Archaeological Society

  • Registration and tea/coffee at 10.00 for a 10.30 start
  • Myths, fairy tales and historical facts | Stuart Miller (Sunderland WEA)
  •  Robin Hood | Prof Tony Pollard (Teesside University)
  • Richard III | Prof Tony Pollard (Teesside University
  • George Hudson: Friend of the Poor | Stuart Miller
  • Crusading, passionate and troublesome: Francis Haydn Williams, Whitby's Unitarian Minister | Rev Margaret Kirk (Unitarian Minister)
  • Bram Stoker’s holiday in Whitby | David Pybus, Lynn Tye, Holly Hyams (Whitby Lit & Phil Soc)
  • RNLI Whitby Lifeboat Coxswain, Lifeboats: at the sharp end | Peter Thomson, MBE
Venue | Whitby Museum, Pannett Park, Whitby, YO21 1RE
Booking | £15 per head | Closing 1 Mar 2013 | Download booking form (PDF)
More Info | Phone: 019247 602908 | Email:

Later in 2013

The Heritage of Hartlepool Headland : Guided Tour | Sat 13 Jul 2013 | Hartlepool

A guided tour around historic Hartlepool by Robin Daniels of Tees Archaeology. Please meet at 10am at St. Hilda's Church.

Saxon Foundations
1300 years ago Hartlepool was amongst the most important religious sites of the North. It was established shortly after Lindisfarne and before Whitby. Hartlepool is one of the most extensively excavated of the Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon monasteries. Significant finds include the namestone cemetery discovered in 1833 and moulds from high-quality metalworking found at Church Close in 1984.

Medieval Town and Port
The town walls at Hartlepool were an imposing feature of the thriving medieval port. The surviving section along the Fish Sands including the Sandwell Gate is now protected as a Scheduled Monument and Grade I Listed Building and still acts as a sea defence today.

More Info | Website: Tees Archaeology | Contact: Organisers | Email:
Image | Hartlepool medieval town wall | Tees Archaeology.

The English Companions Anglo-Saxon Summer Lectures : Lectures | Sat 3 Aug 2013 | Harrogate

English Companions summer lectures at St Roberts Conference Centre, Harrogate. Meet at the centre at 12.45pm. Archaeologists Dominic Powlesland and David Johnson will be sharing insights gleaned from their excavations. David Mosley will be talking about Anglo-Saxon coinage. Tickets £2 members £3 none members in advance.

Venue | St Robert’s Conference Centre, Robert Street, Harrogate, HG1 1HP
Booking | £2 for members, £3 for non-members. To reserve a place send a cheque made payable to The English Companions c/o George Roe 18 Heuthwaite Ave, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 6RR
More Info | Download flyer (PDF) | Website: | Phone: 01937 520075 | Email:

150 Years of Roman Yorkshire : Day Conference | Sat 9 Nov 2013 | York

Roman Antiquities Section YAS, Yorkshire Archaeological Society 150th Anniversary Programme and Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies jointly present a day-conference celebrating 150 years of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society with papers by leading experts that will review past understanding and present current research.

  • 09.30 Registration & coffee
  • 10.00 Welcome
  • 10.05 Retrospective - looking back over 150 years of Roman Yorkshire | Emeritus Professor Jenny Price
  • 10.35 Stanwick and the coming of Rome | Professor Colin Haselgrove
  • 11.05 Roman York | Dr Patrick Ottaway
  • 11.35 The Roman Army in Yorkshire | Dr Pete Wilson
  • 12.05 Rome and the Parisi | Dr Peter Halkon
  • 12.30 Lunch (not provided but available locally)
  • 14.00 The PAS and Roman Yorkshire | Dr Sally Worrell
  • 14.30 Human remains from York and Roman Yorkshire | Malin Holst MSc and Dr Anwen Caffell
  • 15.00 How green was my Villa? The contribution of environmental studies to Yorkshire's Roman heritage | Dr Allan Hall
  • 15.30 Coffee
  • 16.00 Overview: Roman Yorkshire today | Professor Martin Millett
  • 16.30 General Discussion
  • 17.00 Close
Venue | Temple Hall, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX
Booking |
£19 (£17 for full-time students, RAS, YAS and SPRS members | Download booking form (PDF)

Site Notes

Star Carr | February 2013 newsletter

The Star Carr team members have been writing up the results from the last season of excavation and have put together this newsletter about how things are going. They are still hoping to do some more work this summer, but are still in the planning stages. More news will follow. You can register on their website.

More Info | Feb 2013 Newsletter | Website:

Anglo-Saxon York | Tiny finds in tiny trench

"The recent excavation of a pair of Viking feet and a tiny silver Anglo-Saxon coin may lack the glamour of the discovery of the last Plantagenet, but it has shone a light on one of the least known periods in the long history of York Minister: the centuries between the fall of Roman empire and the coming of the Vikings, in AD866. The coin, no bigger than a 5 pence piece, is a sceat, minted in York."

Read moreGuardian UK

Escrick Ring | Sapphire ring baffles

"A sapphire ring found in North Yorkshire has sparked a meeting of experts to determine exactly when it was made.

The ring has baffled archaeologists because it is unlike any other according to the Yorkshire Museum. The intricate ring, presumably made by a highly skilled craftsman, is on show at the Museum in York.

Read more | BBC News
Images | Yorkshire Museum.

Action Stations

North East Yorkshire Mesolithic Project

Fieldwork and excavation

Tees Archaeology will be conducting fieldwork in early March 2013. Places are very limited and subject to eligibility, so please contact Rachel Grahame to register your interest.

Contact |
Phone: 01429 523455 | Email:

Elwick Village Atlas Project

Celebration of the rich heritage of a small settlement on the outskirts of Hartlepool

The Elwick Village Atlas is a community-run project and part of the Limestone Landscapes Partnership, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In 2013 the project was established by local people to research the heritage of the settlement including excavating several trial trenches.

The village of Elwick is an excellent example of a planned Norman settlement with a picturesque green. The project will begin with a number of workshops to research the history of the village through old maps, aerial photographs and historic documents.  The memories of local people will also be recorded through oral history. 

In the early summer, field-based activities, including a Building Recording project and archaeological trial trenching will take place.  Other aspects of the project will include a hydrological study and a geological field survey.

An open day and guided walk will be held in the village on Sat 27 April 2013 to provide an update on the project.

More Info | Tees Archaeology website
Image | St. Peter's church Elwick | Tees Archaeology.


Post Hole | The student-run archaeology journal from York

The Post Hole is an archaeology journal run by students at the University of York. It publishes articles on a wide range of archaeological topics, from prehistory to the present day, giving readers the latest news, research and events in the world of archaeology, heritage and archaeological science.

Issues are released via our website at the start of each month and are available to anyone. If you are interested in writing for The Post Hole, please read the information for contributors, or contact us.

The Post Hole was established in 2008 and since then has become the premier student-run archaeology journal in the UK. The journal has a diverse audience which continues to grow with the recent redevelopment of its website and new social media presence.

Follow The Post Hole
Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Erik Bloodaxe : His Life and Times | A Royal Viking in his Historical and Geographical Settings, by William Pearson (TAS Member)

Erik Bloodaxe and Egil Skallagrimsson came to the fore, both for their narrative possibilities and examples of how events of the Viking period have come to be distorted and misunderstood. The eventual result is this book. The life of Erik begins with his background and career in Norway followed by his overseas adventures. After seizing power in northern England, he met a violent death there. Also covered is much of the life of the Icelander Egil Skallagrimsson, who tried his best to be a thorn in the side of Erik and his wife Gunnhild. After Erik fell, his kin fought desperately to maintain eminence. The western Viking movement was due to revive in a more organised form, but after sporadic outbursts of warfare eventually subsided to emerge as modern nations, whose folks were still to be culturally productive like their Viking forebears, but without their collective tendency to violence.

To obtain a complete account, the sources were ransacked. Certain anomalies showed up, involving the identities of some of the characters and the places where events are said to or are believed to have taken place. Attention was directed to solving these problems. Discrepancies in the relationship between three English kings in the mid-tenth century and Scandinavians are particularly serious, but can be resolved with certain adjustments. For instance, students of these times have long disputed the location of the important Battle of Brunanburh. Yet another site is proposed, this being not so very far from York.

William Pearson is a retired design engineer who, for much of his life, has been an amateur historian and archaeologist. Articles by him on these subjects have appeared in the journals of various societies in the northeast of England. He is a former member of the Institute of Linguists and currently a member of the English Place-Name Society, the Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society, and the Teesside Archaeological Society, having served as chairman of the last. Decades ago, friendships were established with certain Danes in Stockton-on-Tees who were fellow employees of his company. This led to living abroad, including a period in Copenhagen. As a result of a growing awareness of the wider culture of Scandinavia, interest was aroused in the effects that the Viking interventions had on Britain. Cover design is by Luke Pearson who graduated from Loughborough University and is the author’s grandson. He has since been in demand as an illustrator.

Priced around £12.95 softback | Pages: 272 | Imprint: AuthorHouse | ISBN 10: 1468583301 | Illustrations & Other Content Notes: black & white illustrations | ISBN 13: 9781468583304 | Sub Title Of Text: His Life and Times: A Royal Viking in His Historical and Geographical Settings | Publisher: AuthorHouse | Publication Date: 23/07/2012

Caves and Karst of the Yorkshire Dales | A major new book from British Cave Research Association, edited by Tony Waltham and David Lowe

Caves and Karst of the Yorkshire Dales will be published in March 2013 with a cover price of £25. There is a special introductory price of £20 until 30 June 2013. Delivery in the UK is included in this price.

This book presents an overview of all aspects of the great cave systems and spectacular karst landforms in the limestone terrains of the Yorkshire Dales. Twenty authors, all experts in their own fields, have produced authoritative and up-to-date texts, which have been drawn together by two editors, each of whom has extensive experience of the Dales both above and below ground. This book is Volume One of a pair, and contains all the overview chapters. A companion Volume Two - to be published next year - will contain chapters describing all the larger and more important cave systems in each dale and fell across the region's karst.

This new book presents a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the caves and karst of the Yorkshire Dales. It is the long-awaited successor to Limestones and Caves of Northwest England, but is hugely expanded because so many more caves have since been discovered and there is so much new information available about both the underground and the surface features.

It is essential reading for every serious caver who enjoys the great caves of the Dales. Cave Scientists, too, will appreciate this book because it is more than just a statement on the karst landscapes and the caves beneath. It brings together many aspects of the natural environment and the evolution of the Yorkshire Dales. Indeed, one chapter gives the first comprehensive review of the glacial history of the Dales. The book offers a comprehensive and authoritative description of both the karst and the caves. It describes these features of the Yorkshire Dales in sixteen chapters covering topics such as the geology, the history of the glaciations, the karst landforms, the limestone pavements, the origins of the caves, the karst hydrology, the cave bone deposits and the cave archaeology. It is aimed at anyone with a serious interest in the Dales, and that will include everyone from the academic geographers to the dedicated cave explorers.

The chapters, each written by specialists who really know the Dales are as follows:

  1. The Yorkshire Dales, by Tony Waltham and David Lowe
  2. Geology of the limestones, by Colin Waters and David Lowe
  3. Glaciation and Quaternary evolution, by Wishart Mitchell
  4. Karst geomorphology, by Tony Waltham
  5. Limestone pavements, by Simon Webb
  6. Travertine and tufa, by Allan Pentecost
  7. Cave geomorphology, by Tony Waltham and Phil Murphy
  8. Geological infuences on the caves, by David Lowe
  9. Hydrogology of the karst, by John Gunn and Simon Bottrell
  10. Chronology of the caves, by Alf Latham and Derek Ford
  11. Speleothems and palaeoclimates, by Tim Atkinson and Phil Hopley
  12. Holocene environments, by Margaret Atherden
  13. Cave biology, by Graham Proudlove
  14. Bats in the caves, by John Altringham and Anita Glover
  15. Cave palaeontology, by Terry O'Connor and Tom Lord
  16. Cave archaeology, by Tom Lord and John Howard
Ordering | The book can be pre-ordered at

About 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 usually 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. Complete the Membership Form and send a cheque or postal order (payable to Teesside Archaeological Society) to Mick Butler, TAS Treasurer, 25 Monmouth Drive, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees, TS16 9HU.

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 eCommunications
The Committee welcomes your
feedback, questions, suggestions
and news.
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