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

eNews from Teesside Archaeological Society

Teesside Archaeological Society

Released | 20 Apr 2013
Dear TAS Members and Friends,

This month's TEESSCAPES eNewsletter includes:
  • Editorial Review
  • Lecture Reminder | Tue 23 April | How to get to Stockton Library
  • Activities & Events | Local and regional conferences, day schools, lectures and exhibitions | Activities for later in 2013 and beyond
  • Action Stations | Bamburgh Research Project 2013 crowd funding | English Heritage Angel Awards | Pevsner's County Durham update
  • Site Notes | The latest regional projects and finds | Major pipeline proposals, their archaeological impacts and public consultations
  • News Roundup | Stories and press coverage for our region
  • Browser | This month's recommended Browsing, Listening and Reading items
  • About TAS | How to join | eNews Archive
Remember | eNews is freespread the word about TAS!
Ahoy! Steady as you go...
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but do provide an option to view the entire email. If images do not display or the text looks odd in email, click on the link in the top right corner of eNews to view in your browser. The browser view is by far the best and most stable. The quick links above may not work in some email apps or browsers.

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

The next lecture in the 2013 series will be presented by Jim Innes (Durham University Department of Geography) on Tue 23 April. Jim will talk about palaeobotanical evidence that allows the reconstruction of past landscapes and environments on Fylingdales Moor.

This issue is jam-packed with news, events, training opportunities and calls to action. It's difficult to highlight any particular hot topic, but your editor would call out the Bamburgh Research Project challenge—to raise £10,000 or more in 'crowd-funding' by the end of May.

Another area of environmental and archaeological interest (and potential impact) involves two major pipeline development proposals at various stages of consultation: the York Potash Mineral Transport System (Sirius Minerals) and the Dogger Bank Wind Farm development (Forewind Consortium). As with all significant (and nationally important) infrastructure projects, economic and social benefits are weighed against the need to mitigate or prevent harm to the natural and historical environment. Local employment and sustainable power are emotive topics, but where does the 'spin' hit the ground and reality? In a world of compromises, perhaps conservation is necessarily balanced with opportunities to discover more about our past as a side-benefit? What do you think? Were you involved in the consultations that have already taken place? You're welcome to share your views in future eNews.


Durham Postgraduate Gary Bankhead wins the Geoff Egan Prize 2013

This is an annual prize, recently instituted by the Finds Research Group in memory of the late Geoff Egan, and is granted 'to an individual in recognition of extraordinary potential in the field of finds research'. The prize is awarded to Gary for his research report on a late medieval pectoral cross from the River Wear, Durham City, produced for his first degree at Durham.

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 copy of the 2013 programme 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. Non-member guests are welcome for £3 on the door.

Tue 23 April 2013 | Jim Innes University of Durham

Past Environments of Fylingdales Moor
Dr Jim InnesResearch by 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 | Dr Jim Innes, University of Durham (Editor).
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, Fieldwork, Events and Exhibitions
Spring-Summer 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.

Whitby Museum : Anglo-Saxon Princess Exhibition | Tue 23 Apr to Sun 16 Jun 2013 | Pannett Park, Whitby, North Yorkshire

This exhibition, on loan from Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar & Cleveland, will be opened by Robert Taylor of Kirkleatham Museum at 2.15pm on Tuesday 23rd Aprileveryone is welcome. On 11th May at 2.15pm in the Normanby Room, Dr. Stephen Sherlock, the archaeologist who investigated the site at Street House Farm, Loftus will give a lecture about the excavation and the significance of the finds.

Venue | Whitby Museum, Pannett Park | Some entry fees apply | Website

A historic landscape on your doorstep: Walmgate Stray from prehistory to present  : Guided walk | Wed 1 May 5.30pm | Walmgate Stray, York

This tour of a local historic landscape is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the findings of years of archaeological field survey, as well as some of the newer results coming out of the Walmgate Stray Project. The team at the Department of Archaeology, headed by Al Oswald, David Roberts and Helen Goodchild, will lead the tour and share their understanding of the development of the area over time. The rich heritage of Walmgate Stray stretches from prehistory to the present day – there will be something to suit all interests.

Starting off from the kissing gate at the south end of Green Dykes Lane, where the east end of Old Heslington Lane meets the northwestern corner of the University campus (limited parking available on the redundant stretch of Green Dykes Lane), the tour will loop around the southern side of The Retreat to return to Heslington Road at the gate between Fairfax House and The Retreat, which is five minutes away from the starting point. Please find a link to a map of the tour area here.

Anyone interested in the fieldwork scheduled for the first week of July is strongly encouraged to come to the tour. We welcome enthusiastic and committed student volunteers. The tour is expected to last no longer than 1.5 hours, so please put on some sturdy footwear and join us for an evening of history, prehistory and landscape. More info

Location | Walmgate Stray. Meet at kissing gate at the south end of Green Dykes Lane
Admission | Free and open to all

Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group : Workshop on Drawing Techniques | Sat 4 May 2013 10.00am to 4.30pm | York

A practical workshop led by Allan Adams (Technical Survey and Graphics Officer at English Heritage) with the assistance of Tony Berry (formerly of English Heritage), focusing on the process of getting from a field sketch to a final drawing, looking at things like getting to grips with details, using diagonals, equipment, drawing conventions, scanning, scales, and adding captions and headings. The event follows on from the workshop held in November 2012, but you don’t need to have attended the first one to come along. If you’d like to come, please contact Lorraine Moor. It would be very helpful if you could state whether there are any particular topics you would like to cover. Full day, own arrangements for lunch. Confirmation of times will be sent to those who have booked a place. Fee: £10 per person, payable on the day.

Venue | Priory Street Centre, 15 Priory Street, York YO1 6ET | Full day, own arrangements for lunch
More Info and Booking | Cost: £10 per person on the day | Email: Lorraine Moor

Northallerton and District Local History Society : Lecture | Tue 14 May 2013 7.00pm Northallerton | Industrial Archaeology

Limestone quarryThe Northallerton and District Local History Society invite you to a public presentation:

The Limestone Industry of North Yorkshire by Dr David Johnson.

Venue |
Sacred Heart Church Hall, 41 Thirsk Road, Northallerton DL6 1PJ (limited parking available)
Non-members welcome: admission £2.50 | Students under 18: free entrance | Website

DIG HUNGATE : Archaeology Live! | Mon 24 Jun to Fri 13 Sep 2013 York | Excavation courses

The York Archaeological Trust offers several ways to get involved at Hungate, York. Training excavations provide a way to learn about and participate in excavation, recording, planning, finds processing, environmental sampling and processing. Archaeology Live! is their primary training excavation, which takes place during the summer months and now extended into 2013.

The Archaeology Live! training excavations had been taking place as part of the Block H excavations since 2007. However, the site was finished at the end of 2011 leaving a huge archive of material to look through and make sense of, but also a number of questions. The 2013 season offers the chance to return to Block H and investigate a new area, focusing on the demolished church of St John-in-the-Marsh. The archaeology will be of various periods, including:
  • Roman | Will we find Roman archaeology and what nature will it be? There should be Roman remains extending into this part of the site and as it was a natural high point in the landscape will there be any Roman structures which took advantage of this?
  • Anglo-Scandinavian | The church could be pre-conquest in date so can we prove this one way or another? There is also potential for Viking archaeology that may relate to domestic activities.
  • Medieval | What survives of the church? In 2002 we found traces of the northern wall as well as burials surrounding the building. We hope to find more of the church in 2013 and get a better idea of the extent of the cemetery. We do not intend to dig any burials, but will record them in situ, digging into earlier deposits where no burials survive.
  • Post-Medieval | What happened to the church in the 1500s? In 2002 we found what we thought was a demolition layer across some trenches, so can we find more and prove it was from the church. We will also look at what they used the plot of land for in the 17th and 18th centuries, hopefully more evidence of the Cordwainers.
  • 19th Century onwards | How did this plot of land develop during the 19th century? Hopefully we will find more remains of people who developed this parcel of land and how it fell into decline at the end of this period.
Hands-on Training Courses
During Archaeology Live!, the archaeology will be excavated and recorded by the trainees; the trainers teach and assist when required. It is a field-based training programme where people learn by doing the excavation, and by discovering and recording the archaeology themselves, rather than by classroom-based tuition.

More Info | Email: | Mobile: +44 (0) 7908 210026 | Website

 Image | Excavators at Hungate, courtesy of YAT.

Pompeii Live from the British Museum : Unique cinema experience across the UK | Tue 18 and Wed 19 Jun 2013 | Major cinemas

The first live cinema event ever produced by the British Museum offers an exclusive private view of the major exhibition, Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. The British Museum will stage two unique live broadcasts to cinema audiences across the UK and Ireland with a special offer to school groups.

Introduced by British Museum director Neil MacGregor this event will use a line-up of expert presenters to create a one-off experience including contributions from historian Mary Beard, Rachel de Thame revealing life in the garden, Giorgio Locatelli in the kitchen and Bettany Hughes in the bedroom.

This unique live broadcast event will take cinema audiences round the major exhibition Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 28 March – 29 September 2013 in the company of renowned experts and practitioners who, alongside live performance – music, poetry and eye-witness accounts – will bring to life extraordinary objects, some never seen outside Italy before. Interviews throughout the exhibition will be intercut with stunning specially recorded films in Italy, showing Pompeii and Herculaneum and the sleeping Vesuvius.

This exhibition is the first ever held on these important cities at the British Museum, and the first such major exhibition in London for almost 40 years. The exhibition has a unique focus, looking at the Roman home and lives of the people who lived nearly 2000 years ago in Pompeii and Herculaneum, both typical Roman towns at the heart of the empire.

The event will be shown through all the major UK cinema groups including Cineworld, Odeon, Picturehouse and Vue as well as independent venues across the UK. Read more

Lamplough-Lidster Bronze Age Finds : Exhibition | Until May 2014 | Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, North Yorkshire

Bronze Age relics dating back 4,000 years have gone on display for the first time at the Forestry Commission’s Dalby Forest Visitor Centre.

The collection, including ceramics, jet, tools and part of a scabbard, were found by local history enthusiasts William Lamplough, his son David, and John ‘Ronnie’ Lidster in the surrounding countryside after the Second World War. Two years ago, the archive was donated to the Yorkshire Museum by the son of one of the men and much of it will now be displayed at the visitor centre as part of an museum project to highlight the amazing prehistory of the UK’s biggest county. Katie Thorn, from the Forestry Commission, said:

"We have never before had this kind of material on show at Dalby, but it’s absolutely fitting as the forest contains no less than 83 scheduled ancient monuments, spanning thousands of years. Most of the archive items were found around Bronze Age burial mounds in forests like Langdale and Broxa. Little is known about this period as it was nearly 1,000 years before the Romans came and we have no written records. But these artefacts do give us a precious and fascinating insight into the life of our ancestors."

The artefacts were recovered by William Lamplough and John Lidster because they feared barrows would be destroyed by the post-war expansion of forestry. Read more (The York Press)

Later in 2013

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)

Day of Archaeology : Social Media Extravaganza | Fri 26 Jul 2013 | Online

The Day of Archaeology is an annual, 24-hour, international online event in which archaeologists and those in related fields write blog posts about their work. It was inspired by the Day of Digital Humanities and, similarly, allows practitioners of many kinds, to document their work informally and "provide a window into the daily lives of archaeologists from all over the world". The project covers any form of work that could be considered archaeology and encourages contributions from any level of professionalism. Learn more (Wikipedia)

And into 2014

Free Online Course on Human Evolution : Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) | January 2014 | International online taught course by Professor John Hawks

Human Evolution: Past and Future

Introduction to the science of human origins, the fossil and archaeological record, and genetic ancestry of living and ancient human populations. The course emphasises the ways our evolution touches our lives, including health and diet, and explores how deep history may shape the future of our species.

Workload |
5-7 hours/week, 10 weeks duration

The palaeoanthropologist Professor John Hawks has released news about an exciting and innovative massive open online course (MOOC). The course is to be taught online and will begin in January 2014.  John Hawks is a well known anthropologist who studies the bones and genetics of ancient humans, and is the Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The course will detail all the latest aspects of continuing research into human evolution and will feature expert interviews, mini-documentaries, guided laboratories, participatory science, as well as looking to the future of human evolution with the 'impact of technology on our future evolution'.  This represents the best of open access science, and the chance to participate in a truly worldwide educational initiative. Importantly Hawks announces:

"This course and all its materials will be open and free for anyone, anywhere in the world. As of this moment, more than 6,500 people have already signed up for the course. The course is still more than nine months away, and I'll be developing materials across the entire time up through January."

Read more on the John Hawks blog, and sign up here for the course.  This is a fantastic initiative and one not to miss if you are interested in human evolution and human osteology.

Action Stations | ways to help

Bamburgh Research Project

Archaeology for Everyone Fundraising Campaign 2013

"In 2013 we are for the first time utilising 'crowd-funding' to raise £10,000 to promote the sustainability of BRP through our Archaeology for Everyone campaign."
Click to watchHelp support independent archaeology in the north-east of England! Join this new crowd funding campaign to access unique rewards and benefits, and help to raise awareness of the wonderful heritage being revealed by one of the most interesting archaeological digs in Britain today.

Watch the project video | 4m 15s

To make a contribution | visit | Runs 8 April to 31 May 2013

Why Bamburgh is Special
Bamburgh, fortress palace of the Anglo-Saxon Kings of Northumbria, has been continuously occupied for more than 3,000 years. Since 1996 this legacy has been investigated by archaeologists, students, and volunteers participating in the Bamburgh Research Project’s annual excavations.

Training for All
The summer excavation season and field school provides training in all aspects of archaeological fieldwork and post excavation techniques. Their work has revealed the industrial heart of the fortress, the homes, lifestyle and even the burials of the people who lived and worked in the palace. The Northumbrian royal court was a diverse and international population. The project has begun to reveal the early defences and the sophistication of high status buildings and artefacts belonging to the elite of this ancient capital.
"We are here to uncover the untold story of one of the most important and unique sites in Britain."

About the Project
Bamburgh Research Project is one of the leading not-for-profit heritage groups in the United Kingdom. Their archaeological research is published in peer-reviewed journals and conference formats, but they make a special effort to bring these discoveries to the general public and schools with open days, lectures, community participation digs, school visits and through social media. Twitter, Facebook and their popular blog have reached out to thousands of people locally and internationally and they regularly appear on television shows as well as producing their own high quality films. To continue to do this they need your help!

About the Campaign
Raising money through 'crowd-funding' promotes the exchange of donations for rewards such as exclusive tours of the site or advertisement on the official website. The money raised by this campaign will help the team to:
  • Replace old equipment and consumable items
  • Continue to train and support the next generation of archaeologists
  • Provide opportunities for volunteers to participate in archaeology
  • Extend their research capability and disseminate results
  • Enhance their work with schools and online
"By contributing to our campaign you will be helping to ensure a sustainable future for this important research."
 Images | Courtesy of Bamburgh Resarch Project Team.

English Heritage Angel Awards 2013

Celebrate the efforts of local people who have saved historic buildings and places

The 2013 English Heritage Angel Awards are now open for applications. Do please think of people you know who have rescued a historic building, place or landmark at risk and urge them to apply – or nominate them yourself.

The Telegraph newspaper will be featuring interesting entries on their website and everyone who sends in an application or nomination will be entered into a prize draw. Chosen at random, one applicant will receive a break in an English Heritage Holiday Cottage of their choice
see: A second applicant will have a short film made about their rescue project by a professional production company and the first 50 applicants will receive a signed copy of my new book – “Men from the Ministry How Britain Saved Its Heritage”.

You’ll be giving those you nominate the chance of national recognition for their hard work which will help attract funding and volunteers. Previous shortlisted applicants have hugely enjoyed attending the gala awards ceremony at the Palace Theatre in London and have felt that entering the Angels was far more rewarding – and enjoyable – than they could possibly have foreseen. You will also be helping to bring greater attention to the nation’s heritage at risk.

The deadline for applications to this year’s Angel Awards is Sunday 5th May 2013

We look forward to receiving your applications or nominations and to seeing you at the annual Angels award ceremony at the Palace Theatre on Monday 21st October. This has become a highlight of the heritage year. Please put the date in your diaries now!

Award Categories
The English Heritage Angel Awards are for:
  • the best rescue or repair of a historic place of worship
  • the best rescue of a historic industrial building or site
  • the best craftsmanship employed on a heritage rescue, and
  • the best rescue of a listed building, scheduled monument, registered garden, landscape or battlefield, protected wreck or conservation area.
Lots more information, including the all-important application form and details on the eligibility criteria, can be found here:

If you’re not sure if your site’s eligible, or if you have any questions, just drop us a line at

Simon Thurley | Chief Executive | English Heritage

Pevsner's Buildings of England : County Durham Guide

Revising author seeks input on corrections, additional information and suggestions for new buildings

Work has just started on the revision to Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s Buildings of England volume on County Durham.  Former Durham City Conservation Officer and former English Heritage Historic Buildings Inspector, Martin Roberts, is the revising author, and has begun his five years of research and site visits in Teesdale. 

The volume covers the old historic County Durham, before the 1974 boundary changes.  Earlier editions appeared in 1953 and 1983 and Martin hopes his third revision, which will be about 60% larger, will appear in 2018. Work in 2013 will also include Wear Valley and Darlington. The third edition will be published by Yale University Press. 

Martin is keen to hear from anyone who has corrections to the second edition, additional information or has suggestions for new buildings to be included. If you have information, please contact Martin at his new email address or write to Old Fleece House, 20B Front Street, West Auckland DL14 9HW.

Site Notes

Anglo-Saxon grave hints at St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool

On 16 April Hartlepool Mail reported on archaeological work at St Hilda's church on Hartlepool headland. The investigations, coordinated by Tees Archaeology, are taking place ahead of the installation of a new heating system. The headland is the known location of St Hilda's Anglo-Saxon monastery, about 60 feet north of the present church. However, as yet, the precise location of the first church has remained elusive.

Archaeologists Steve Sherlock and Kevin Horsley (splendidly pictured in the article) have uncovered what seems to be an Anglo-Saxon grave in the small under-floor areas they have had access to. It was in a different alignment to the usual east-west orientation of graves and of a different shape. This hints at the presence of the church in the vicinity although more work is needed to place the discovery in a broader context. Other finds include graves dating from the 17th to 19th Century.
Read more

Image | A fine disc-headed pin with gold decoration found in Baptist Street in 1995.
The decoration shows two beasts fighting, intertwined and possibly eating each others tail. 
This item is on display in the Museum of Hartlepool (Courtesy of Tees Archaeology).

Learn more about the Anglo-Saxon Monastery at Hartlepool

Mystery Roman lead rolls from the River Tees, Piercebridge, County Durham

Over the past thirty years, divers Bob Middlemass and Rolfe Mitchinson have recovered more than 5,000 archaeological objects from the bed of the River Tees at Piercebridge, County Durham. These objects include Roman coins, brooches, military equipment and religious objects and appear to represent the remains of an extremely important Roman votive deposit dating to the third century AD.

In 2003, the divers reported their finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). Since then, Philippa Walton and a band of enthusiastic volunteers  have been recording them. Last year, the project entered a new phase, when the finds were declared potential Treasure. They are now being catalogued and photographed at the British Museum. Channel Four's TimeTeam also filmed at Piercebridge.

Lead rolls or fishing weights?
One of the more intriguing features of the assemblage is the large number of sheets of rolled lead
more than 130. It’s tempting to interpret these objects as lead curse tablets, which are a feature of many Romano-British religious sites, such as Bath and Uley. It would certainly be extremely significant if they were inscribed, but until some of them are unrolled we can’t be certain about their function. Unfortunately, it’s quite an expensive process to do this, and so Stephanie Vasiliou, an MSc student in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums, at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, has been invited to do a non-invasive study of the assemblage to try and learn more about them. Stephanie comments:

"I am carrying out a technical study of the material, analysing weights, dimensions and composition, with the hope of  identifying what these intriguing little pieces of lead where – curse tablets? Fishing weights? Scrap metal? All three? None at all?
Image | One of the enigmatic lead rolls from Piercebridge (Courtesy of The Piercebridge Project and PAS).

Learn more about the PAS Piercebridge Project

Viking Hoard from Bedale North Yorkshire

Widely reported in the media during March, this Viking hoard is a "significant and nationally important discovery". A large sword pommel is made from iron and inlaid with plaques of gold foil and is believed to be from an Anglo-Saxon sword. A neck ring is made up of four ropes of twisted silver strands joined together at each end. They end in hooks which would have been linked together when the collar was worn. A total of 29 silver ingots, four other silver neck rings, gold rivets and half a silver brooch were also found in the hoard which is believed to date from the late ninth or early tenth century. Andrew Morrison, head curator at the Yorkshire Museum, said:

"The artefacts uncovered are typical of a Viking hoard, with the majority of it being silver ingots which were used for currency. However the gold sword pommel and a unique silver neck ring are incredibly beautiful and rare finds. We now hope to be able to raise the funds needed to keep them in Yorkshire."

Archaeologist Blaise Vyner said the stash of precious objects would not necessarily have been pillaged from the local population. He said the Vikings were much keener on metal work than the Saxon population. They would tend to bury precious objects to keep them safe. He added:

"The idea that Vikings were coming in and pillaging objects, then going away again is not entirely true. Certainly it was part of what went on...Some Vikings were coming in and stealing, but a lot were becoming farmers, settling to farm the land."

Read more | BBC News Online 27-Mar | Northern Echo 18-Apr
Image | PAS Database ID: YORYM-CEE620 Viking hoard dating 850-950, found near Bedale, North Yorkshire in October 2012. Hoard comprises 1 iron sword pommel with gold foil plaques, 4 gold hoops a sword hilt, 6 small gold rivets, 4 silver collars and neck-rings, 1 silver arm-ring, 1 fragment of a silver Permian ring, 1 silver penannular brooch, and 29 silver ingots (Portable Antiquities Scheme, London CC-BY-2.0).

Hartlepool sea wall work finds from 18th-Century local defense force

Work to strengthen Hartlepool's sea defences has also uncovered glimpses of its history. During the £1.3m Environment Agency project to cut flooding, archaeological excavations were carried out along the top of the Headland Town Wall.

Recovered artefacts included pottery and a button from an 18th Century voluntary local defence force. The structure was built in the early 14th Century as a protection against attack from Scotland. The excavations showed evidence of continual alteration and maintenance since it was built. A button from Hartlepool Volunteer Artillery uniform was a particularly interesting find. Robin Daniels, of Tees Archaeology, said:

"A particularly interesting find was a copper-gilded brass button which we uncovered on a section of the wall which had seen intensive rebuilding. It would have adorned the uniform of a member of the Hartlepool Volunteer Artillery and dates from between 1797 and about 1812."   Read more
(BBC News)

North York Moors National Park

The National Park Authority's new blog includes an historic environment update on recent special projects by Senior Archaeological Conservation Officer, Grahame Lee.

Projects have focused on the restoration of 18th-Century "Foord" water races in Bransdale, an investigation of a particular wall in Glaisdale which contains built features called bee boles. In this case the bee boles are lintelled indents in the drystone wall where it is believed basket bee hives were housed. On Wheeldale Moor erosion repairs have been carried out to part of the ‘Roman Road’ damaged by waterlogging and erosion by sheep. There is ongoing argument as to whether this archaeological feature is either a road or from Roman times. Read more

What's in the Pipeline?
Two major development proposals involve onshore pipelines to Teesside

There are two significant development proposals in our region at the consultation stages of the planning process. Both involve pipe trenches—one for the transportation of potash-in-solution from near Whitby to a processing plant on Teesside (Wilton) and the second to carry electrical cables from a proposed offshore wind farm on Dogger Bank, landing between Marske and Redcar and progressing to Lackenby (also Wilton). Both projects are required to consider risks to both the natural (ecological) and historical (archaeological and built) environment.

TAS members may be interested to learn more and become involved in the consultations.

The York Potash Mineral Transport System | A Sirius Minerals Project

There has already been considerable press coverage, and some accompanying controversy, about Sirius Mineral's proposed new mine-head at Sneatonthorpe, a few kilometres south of Whitby. Unlike the rail-transported potash from the Boulby mine, Sirius propose a pipeline carrying two steel pipes up to 700mm in diameter buried at a minimum depth of 1.2m that will carry potash in solution under pressurised conditions. Having rejected rail, road and offshore pipelines, the proposed inland route, 44.5km in length, traverses the North York Moors National Park, following the A171 Whitby to Guisborough road for a significant portion, then towards Upleatham to a processing plant on the Wilton industrial complex south of the Tees.

Archaeological impact
The Summary of Proposals Document, which has been sent to communities along the route, reflects an assessment of archaeological impacts conducted by Cotswold Archaeology in 2012. The Sirius proposal document states, in the only reference to archaeology (page 7):

"A heritage assessment has been undertaken to highlight areas of potential archaeology. To date, there are no areas of significant findings that affect the mineral transport system route. Further monitoring* during construction operations is recommended."
*by which they mean geophysical survey, watching briefs and selective excavation (Editor).

The archaeological assessment (unpublished) states "A number of undesignated assets are either crossed by the pipeline route, or have the potential to fall within the working width." 71 out of 257 identified through HER or field survey are specifically called out, spanning the Late Neolithic-Bronze Age through to post-Medieval.

TAS members will be aware of the stream of unusual, often unique, sometimes nationally important discoveries in a region considered an archaeological 'backwater' in the not too distant past.

"The pipeline proposal falls within the remit of the National Infrastructure Directorate at the Planning Inspectorate (formerly known as the Infrastructure Planning Commission). More information can be found at: York Potash is already in advanced discussions with local landowners along the route that the pipeline will take from the mine to Teesside. There will be a separate consultation period specifically on the pipeline before any planning application is submitted." (From the York Potash Project website, see below.)

Find out more
The Summary of Proposals Document (booklet) can be requested from Sirius Minerals on the York Potash Project website. More information about the entire project can also be found there and there is an invitation to submit comments and questions, although your editor had to wait some weeks for a reply. See also the North York Moors National Park Authority press release (Jan-2013) although the mine-head and pipeline proposals are separate projects.

Dogger Bank Wind Farms and Offshore/Onshore Cabling | A Forewind Project

Click to visit websiteForewind is a consortium comprising four international energy companies which joined forces to bid for the Dogger Bank Zone Development Agreement as part of The Crown Estate’s third licence round for UK offshore wind farms. The proposals comprise three elements:
  • An offshore element (the wind farms) located on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, some 125 to 290km from the coast and covering 8,660 sq km with a sea depth of 18 to 63m.
  • An offshore cabling element to bring power to the coast (landfall): (1) Fraisthorpe to the south of Flamborough Head; (2) Between Redcar and Marske near Teesside
  • Cable lines connecting landfall sites with the National Grid at two points: (1) Creyke Beck near Cottingham in East Yorkshire; (2) running to the industrial areas between Teesport and Lackenby (there are four 'projects' with two 'connection points').
Archaeological impact
There are extensive resources available on the Forewind website including a comprehensive Zonal Characterisation Document (ZCD) (v2 Dec-2011, 21Mb PDF) which includes a full analysis of geology, ecology, archaeology (including wrecks and aircraft) and many other aspects of the onshore and offshore catchments. It is well-structured with copious references and worth a read, irrespective of the proposals.

Dogger Bank, or Doggerland, is part of a post-glacial land-bridge between Britain and continental Europe, probably (with some evidence) intensively occupied and exploited by Mesolithic communities until the North Sea inundation around the seventh millennium BC. The ZCD is skeptical about the survival of offshore archaeological deposits (due to "scouring" during sea-level rise), but acknowledges the significant archaeological and palaeoenvironmental potential of the offshore wind farm zones.

According to the website, Archaeological field surveys and trial trenching along the proposed onshore pipeline routes will be conducted by URS (a US commercial company with UK presence) during May-June 2013.

Consultation on Dogger Bank Teesside is being carried out in two formal phases.

Phase One (May-June 2012) | During this phase, "Forewind explained the site selection work done to date, including the process to narrow down the locations of the offshore wind farms, landfalls and converter stations.  Stakeholders were invited to provide comments on the proposals while local people were specifically asked for information on issues to be considered when choosing the precise locations for onshore and offshore elements of the project."
The Preliminary Environmental Information 1 documents and other consultation materials are available to download here and hard copies are available locally from the locations listed here.

The consultation period for these documents is now closed. However, comments may be given consideration if possible. They can be submitted by Email: | Freephone: 0800 975 5636 | Freepost RSLY-HKGK-HEBR, Forewind, Davidson House, Forbury Square, Reading RG1 3EU

Phase Two (anticipated to be 2013) | During this phase Forewind will ask the local community for comments on the detailed proposals for Dogger Bank Teesside.

Development schedule
Q2 2012 First stage of statutory consultation
2012 - 2013 Environmental surveys and reporting
Q3 2013 Second stage of statutory consultation
Q1 2014 Submit applications for development consent order(s)
Q2 2015 Application(s) determined
2015 - 2017 Pre-construction phase
2016 - 2021 Construction
2017 onwards Operation


News Roundup

Re-tracing St Cuthbert's Journey | Celebrating the Lindisfarne Gospels' return to north-east England

Durham University writer-in-residence, Richard W Hardwick, is calling on local historians to help re-trace St Cuthbert’s final journey, a momentous seven year, thousand mile trek that began when the Community of St Cuthbert fled Viking invasion in 875 with the body of St Cuthbert, the Lindisfarne Gospels and other treasures and relics.

Richard will set off from Lindisfarne on Sunday 21st April and visit the forty seven places the community of St Cuthbert took refuge in, arriving in Durham on 4 May.

His journey is part of the region’s celebration of the Lindisfarne Gospels going on display in Durham University’s Palace Green Library on 1 July, on loan from the British Library, and in partnership with Durham Cathedral and Durham County Council. Read more

NE Yorkshire Mesolithic Project | Excavations completed at Goldsborough

The final phase of the North East Yorkshire Mesolithic Project, funded by English Heritage and directed by Tees Archaeology with the North York Moors National Park Authority, saw a two-week long excavation at Goldsborough, near Whitby, in early March. Project director Rachel Grahame commented:

"Despite the weather we achieved everything we set out to do—we have enough shovel pit data to compare to the fieldwalking and the geophysics, we found a ditch (probably Iron Age), a small gully and post pit (could be Mesolithic?) and an area of burnt sandstone, charcoal and unusual stones which could be the remains of a Mesolithic fire. Kevin Horsley has washed and re-bagged all the flint and other finds, and they are awaiting assessment by Peter Rowe. We also have environmental samples to be processed, in the hope of finding some dating evidence, and the unusual stones will also be going to a specialist."

Rachel offered thanks to all the volunteers who braved the weather. Results will be posted on the project webpage as they come in.
Image | Tees Archaeology Project Director Rachel Grahame (Courtesy of Whitby Gazette).

Durham Fulling Museum to close | Archaeology moves to Palace Green

13 March from the Northern Echo | The iconic Old Fulling Mill Museum is best known for being part of what is perhaps the most popular view of Durham Cathedral. Unfortunately, its picture postcard location is also its greatest drawback.

Sitting next to the River Wear, it is liable to flooding. Hidden away on the wooded riverbanks, it is well off the regular tourist route. Hence, the museum attracts only around 8,000 visitors a year. But all that is about to change. In June, the mill will close and its collections will be moved to Palace Green Library, where a new Museum of Archaeology will be created in the Wolfson Gallery.
Craig Barclay, curator of the University’s museums, said:

"We have fantastic collections but at the moment, it isn’t really doing it. There’s so much more we could do to make them more accessible to people. To be able to offer our collections to people at the centre of the World Heritage Site is such an exciting opportunity."  
Read more

The Fulling Mill Museum is on The Banks, Durham. Until the end of March, it is open from Friday to Monday, between 11.30am and 3.30pm. From April to June 2, it will be open daily from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Entry costs £1 for adults, 50p for children aged five to 16 and over 60s and is free for under-fives and students. Out of the Attic runs until Sunday 21 April 2013. More Info | Tel: 0191-334-1823 | Website
Image | Fulling Mill Museum of Archaeology (Editor).
Acklam Hall Redevelopment | Work to start in August

13 April from BBC News (Tees) | The redevelopment of Middlesbrough's only Grade I-listed building is expected to start in August, developers say.

Planning permission was granted in June for the grounds of Acklam Hall to be used for housing, a care home and doctors' surgery. The 17th Century stately home was last used by Middlesbrough College in 2008. Read more

Image | Acklam Hall, Teesside (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0).

Medieval Cookbook from Durham | 800 year old recipes to be recreated

16 April from the Northern Echo | A selection of recently uncovered 800-year-old recipes, believed to be the oldest ever found, will be served up at a special event next week.

The re-examination of a Latin manuscript, written in the Priory of Durham Cathedral around 1140, revealed several food recipes hidden among instructions for medical ointments and cures. The recipes predate the previous oldest examples by 150 years.

Postgraduate students from Durham University will try to recreate the recipes described in the manuscript at a workshop on Thursday 25 April at Blackfriars Restaurant, in Newcastle, before the dishes are served alongside a lunchtime lecture at the venue on Saturday 27 April.
Read more | Blackfriars Restaurant
Image | Courtesy of Blackfriars restaurant.

Planning Rules may affect York's Heritage | Concerns voiced over proposed cuts

11 April from the The York Press | Undiscovered archaeology buried under York could be at threat if the Government goes ahead with proposed change to planning and building regulations.

Under the reforms, householders would not need planning permission to add an extension to a property if the construction was under eight metres long. However, archaeologists are concerned it could threaten future historic finds in the city. Mike Heyworth, director of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) which has it’s head office in York, said:

"The government’s planning proposals pose a risk to our local heritage. When combined with the potential loss of expertise and jobs being proposed within York City Council’s Conservation department if this change went ahead the impact may be significant for the city".   Read more

Image | Roman Gladiator Exhibition (Editor).

Campaign to Protect Rural England | CPRE issue landscape challenge to Government

8 March | The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) have launched a challenge to the Government to create a brighter future for England’s landscapes.

CPRE’s eight point Manifesto for the Landscape comes at a time of growing pressure on the policies and resources needed to safeguard our finest countryside from damaging change. Andrew Motion, CPRE’s President said:

"David Hockney apparently painted his famous view from Garrowby Hall from memory. But we must do everything we can to make sure that in the future our children will not just know the beauty of the countryside from books and paintings. Our landscape manifesto is a clear challenge to those who currently hold the future of England’s beautiful countryside in their hands that they must do much more to safeguard our matchless landscape legacy."   Read more



The Stanbury Hill Project | New book published

Click to download (PDF)Since 2007, a team of volunteers from the Bingley and District Local History Society and the immediate area, with the help of the Division of Archaeological, Geographical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bradford, has been investigating a Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age landscape on Bingley Moor in West Yorkshire, characterised by a concentration of rock art (cup-and-ring-marked rocks), cairns, possible walling/boundaries, and the find spots for flint tools.

Investigation has been by desk-based research, topographic, geophysical and walkover survey, followed by two seasons of excavation and post-excavation assessment and analysis, backed up by radiocarbon dating and palaeoenvironmental sampling. The results of all this work have now finally been published as Stanbury Hill Project: Investigation of a Rock Art Site.
Copies of the book are now available in one of two formats: either as a PDF file (mailed out as a CD-R) or as a printed book, or both. Cost is £15 (plus £2 UK postage and packing). Requests for copies should be sent to:
Email: | Post: Keith Boughey, Church Bank, Church Hill, Hall Cliffe, Baildon, West Yorkshire BD17 6NE
Payment should be by crossed cheque made payable to Bingley and District Local History Society and mailed to the address above.

Limestone Landscape Partnership | Village Atlas Projects across north-east England

A series of community archaeology and local history projects, supported by the Heritage Lottery fund, are rolling out across the north-east of England.

Volunteers can get involved with archaeological digs, documentary training and research, biodiversity sampling, geology walks and fossil hunts. The Ferryhill project, announced in February, is one of four Village Atlas’ currently taking place in the area, the other three being in Hetton, Penshaw and Easington. More information is available online

Recommended blogs and websites | Entertainment, education, help and debate in no particular order
  1. Vindolanda excavation blog 2013 | Stay up to date with the lastest discoveries
  2. The Landscape Research Centre | 25 Years of Archaeological Research on the Sands and Gravels of Heslerton by Dominic Powlesland
  3. MAV Museo Archeologico Virtuale (Facebook page) | Fantastic reconstruction videos of Herculaneum and the Roman world | The Central Baths | Click the "next" button to see many more
  4. DigVentures blog | No room for archaeology | "According to a new survey from the Society of Museum Archaeologists, 27% of museums have run out of room for archaeological archives. Not only that, but 70% are not able to employ a specialist curator to care for already overstuffed stores, leading to sub-standard levels of conservation and documentation."
  5. Mesolithicbuilding | University College Dublin’s new blog (2013) about reconstructing the Mount Sandel mesolithic house as an experimental project
  6. Heritage Help advice portal | Expertise offered by heritage organisations and offering support on saving and caring for historic assets | CBA announcement
  7. | Did people in the Middle Ages take baths?
  8. Walbrook Discovery Programme | Museum of London Archaeology's excellent blog where you can subscribe to email updates on the latest discoveries (more than Roman) and learn more about the key team players
  9. Can You Dig It? | New blog by Maney publishing about archaeology and heritage news
  10. Archaeological Collections Areas Database and Map | Society of Museum Archaeologists, 2003 (updated 2013)
    This digital archive contains details of three projects undertaken by the Society of Museum Archaeologists in 2002, 2006 and 2012, and an updated resource for the use of archaeologists working across England.

    This is the Archaeological Collections Areas Database and Map, first created ten years ago. The interactive Map provides an easy way to access details of organisations that are accepting archaeological archives (related to Local Authority boundaries) and indicates which areas do not currently have a repository available. It is intended that this information will be regularly checked, and that museum curators and archaeological contractors will report any changes to existing facilities or contact details. The Map also indicates whether or not there is an archaeological specialist at each location and it is planned that this information too, will be updated as appropriate.

    The survey carried out in 2012 investigated a wide range of issues relating to the deposition of archaeological archives in museums, and resulted in a series of recommendations for all archaeologists. The report, Archaeological Archives and Museums 2012, is available to download, alongside the previous survey reports.

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.

Kind Regards,
Spencer Carter | TAS eCommunications | Twitter @microburin
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