Wessex Archaeology's entry in this year's Christmas Tree Festival at St Thomas' Church, Salisbury is title:
History Beneath the Waves - Reminders of the everyday lives of mariners from the past
The trees will be on display in the Church until
Sunday 8th December.
Sunday 8th December.
For more information about the festival visit www.stthomassalisbury.co.uk
Last week saw Wessex Archaeology's Edinburgh Office play host to FARO, a manufacturer of specialist scanning devices.
The FARO team demonstrated their cutting-edge laser scanner and their scanning arm, to our surveyors. The image below is the result of a scan taken from a single location, it shows the northern façade of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh with our office visible next door (right hand side). The latest model of scanner is able to capture data hundreds of metres away.
The team then went on to show the power of the FARO arm for capturing extremely small details (image right), in this case the fine impressions on the face of a tiny medieval penny found during recent fieldwork in Scotland by Wessex Archaeology.
It is clear that laser scanning is becoming an even more powerful and practical tool for archaeological survey.
We are pleased to announce that The Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen, Bell Beaker Burials at Boscombe Down, Amesbury, Wilshire by A P Fitzpatrick (WA Report 27, ISBN 978-1-874350-62-0) is now available in paperback from Oxbow Books.
To find out more or order this book follow this link
At the SPLASHCOS conference this year, WA Coastal & Marine presented a poster on palaeogeographical reconstructions undertaken during the OHCCMAPP. Using freely-available geophysics datasets the team were able to identify areas of potential for the preservation of submerged palaeolandscapes particularly around the Sound of Harris. The research is now in the process of publication and follow-up work is planned.
Blog: SPLASHCOS Poland
Blog: SPLASHCOS 2013
Wessex Archaeology (WA) was pleased to have a stand at the annual South Yorkshire Archaeology Day on Saturday 23rd November, held at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield. This annual event, organised by the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, is extremely popular and attracts a range of attendees including the Mayors of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.
The WA stand focused on the Exploring Tinsley Manor project, the second year of which is currently underway. This project is being run in partnership with Heeley City Farm and Tinsley Junior School, and is kindly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
On Saturday 30th November, Andrew Norton (WA Regional Manager, North) and Norman Redhead (Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service and Cathedral Archaeologist) will be presenting the results of our recent work at Manchester Cathedral. The event will be held at The Old Fire Station, The Crescent, University of Salford and run from 9.45 to 4.15.
Thirty-two skeletons were excavated within the nave, the graves comprised a mix of shroud burials, interments in wood and lead coffins and two graves where quicklime surrounded the deceased; a further 17 skeletons were recovered from a watching brief in the cathedral precinct. The elaborate coffin furnishings manufactured from bronze and brass and five lead coffins within the nave, show these individuals to be of a high social standing, whilst the preference for iron coffin furnishings recovered during the watching brief outside the Cathedral, indicates the extra-mural burials were of individuals of a lower socioeconomic status than those buried within the Cathedral walls.
Find out more about the excavation by clicking here.
Wessex Archaeology excavated a large site in Salisbury during the summer of 2013, which comprised a strip running across one of the medieval ‘chequers’ (blocks) from north (Bedwin Street) to south (Salt Lane). Various building foundations and backyard features were encountered, dating from the medieval and post-medieval periods. A large number of finds were recovered from the site, including quantities of pottery. Amongst this pottery, one piece is particularly interesting. It comes from the rim of a jug, but a jug with a difference. The fragment we have consists of a long, narrow, vertical spout, extending up from a hollow rim. Below the rim the body of the jug has a small, regular ‘cut out’. In other words, liquid could not be poured out of the jug in the normal way, or it would spill.
So what is it?
This is a particular kind of jug, known as a ‘puzzle jug’, made partly as a test of the potter’s skill, and partly as a test for the drinker, who has to work out how to get the liquid out of the jug without spilling it. The way it works is this: the jug has a hollow handle which runs from the lower body up to the hollow rim. There are usually two or three spouts extending from the rim, only one of which is actually functional. The drinker has to find the right spout and suck the liquid through it; sometimes a small airhole on the handle has to be blocked with the finger at the same time. The reconstruction below is redrawn from R. Coleman-Smith and T. Pearson’s Excavations in the Donyatt Potteries (1988).
Our puzzle jug is made of a white clay and is covered with a mottled green glaze. This distinctive colouring identifies it as a product of the pottery industry of the Surrey/Hampshire border, and it probably dates to the 16th century, although no other examples are yet known from this source.
On 20th November, Euan McNeill, Jack Russell and Peta Knott from WA’s Coastal & Marine team were in Brussels at the PIANC workshop Dredging and Port Construction: Interactions with features of Archaeological or Heritage Interest. The workshop was chaired by Chris Pater, Head of Marine Planning at English Heritage and Jan Brooke, as a representative of PIANC UK on the EnviCon working group, was the workshop organiser. As Technical Coordinator of this international workshop, Euan sourced presentations from Belgium, South Africa, Australia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Finland and Norway. Jack presented on WA’s Southampton Approach Dredging Project and Peta presented on the Channel Deepening Project that took place in her former home country of Australia.
Case studies involving archaeological works in relation to port and inter-harbour developments were presented to an audience of archaeologists, geologists, biologists, heritage practitioners, port managers, and dredging company representatives. Each presentation highlighted whether protective heritage legislation had to be observed and whether this was done correctly, the mitigation measures used, what went right and what lessons can be learned from each case. The delegates were also treated to some interesting archaeological finds such as a surprisingly intact 19th century shipwreck in Cape Town, a rare and fairly complete example of an early navigation light in Australia and prehistoric remains in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The delegates then broke into three groups and held discussions on best practice for scoping, methodologies and mitigations methods for heritage in port and harbour developments. There was a general consensus that heritage issues should be considered at the earliest levels of port and dredging developments to avoid nasty surprises half way through the process. Another idea that came out of the workshop was to encourage a change in attitude of all personnel involved in developments that heritage should be an issue but not a problem and is an area where considerable community benefit and public goodwill can be derived.
Now the task is to collate all the ideas raised at the workshop and incorporate them into a succinct document with example case studies to illustrate a range of best practice in heritage management in port and harbour developments. This guidance document should be available through PIANC in the coming year.
Last week, Wessex Archaeology attended the Navigating Oceans of Data with MEDIN open meeting in London. MEDIN (Marine Environmental Data Information Network) is a partnership of UK organisations committed to improving access to marine data, much of which are relevant to marine cultural heritage studies.
The meeting was aimed at the marine community, in particular current and prospective partners, to discuss current MEDIN practices, how MEDIN can be of use, and future plans. The meeting comprised a morning session of informative talks by MEDIN and associated partners followed by an afternoon discussion session. The meeting was attended by representatives from various government agencies, consultants, marine associations and MEDIN.
The meeting provided the opportunity to contribute to the discussions on how metadata and data standards are being implemented throughout the marine disciplines, including archaeology, and the developments of the MEDIN portal for accessing discovery metadata.
Members of Wessex Archaeology’s (WA) Coastal & Marine team are setting off for the Continent today ahead of the PIANC workshop in Brussels tomorrow.
WA staff have worked with PIANC – the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure – to organise this workshop, which focuses on the role of archaeology within dredging and port construction. WA has also assisted with setting up the programme for the event, and several members of the C&M team will be presenting alongside speakers from around the world.
Details of the event can be found in the leaflet below. Follow the WA News Blog to find out the results of this workshop.