Off the Record

Thank you to last week’s Off the Record presenter, Stuart Brookes, who spoke about Interpreting Rock-Cut Grave Cemeteries: the early medieval burial site and enclosure of São Gens, Portugal, a collaborative project with colleagues from the University of Salamanca. He explored the dialogue between the ‘disordered’ type of early medieval rock-cut grave cemeteries and pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon cemeteries through spatial analysis, and the connections between the granite graves and the nearby settlement. A fascinating insight into the relationships between people and landscape. Watch this space for details of a forthcoming article.

This week, Murray Andrews will be presenting A farewell to arms? Hoards and war in medieval England and Wales.  This will be the last Off the Record seminar this term – hope to see you there!

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The 3rd Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Research Student Symposium, University College London: Institute of Archaeology

A report by Dannielle Croucher and Hayden McKee, University College London

The 3rd Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Student Symposium took place on the 18th and 19th of November 2016, at University College London. This follows two previous conferences held by students at Newcastle University (2015) and the University of Bradford (2014). The conference focusses on up-and-coming research in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age disciplines, incorporating all aspects of archaeological study in these time periods, and has been kindly sponsored by the Prehistoric Society and the UCL Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies.

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The 2016 symposium was hosted by UCL’s Institute of Archaeology as a platform for postgraduate, independent and early career researchers to present their work. The theme of the conference was Anarchy in the U.K. challenging researchers to deconstruct archaeological theory and promote revolutionary thinking.

The conference commenced on the evening of Friday 18th, with a keynote lecture from University College of London’s Professor Mike Parker Pearson on the scientific revolution in archaeology. The lecture discussed the probability of a new era of science in archaeology focusing on his genetic research of the Neolithic Bell Beaker communities and the possible deconstruction of current theories of mass migration to the U.K. The lecture was followed by questions and a wine reception.

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On Saturday the 19th the first session included new research on challenging the connotations of animal domesticity (Emily Banfield, University of Leicester), visualisation of Neolithic domestic dwellings in the Milfield Basin (Seren Griffiths, University of Central Lancashire) and domestication of Neolithic-Bronze Age mind (Alexander Aston, University of Oxford),

The second session centred on monumental construction and labour, including papers on the origins of stones at Stonehenge (Katy Whitaker, University of Reading), constructing communities reviewed through assemblage theory (Mareike Ahlers, Newcastle University) and challenging Renfrew’s labour theories in monumental construction (Barney Harris, UCL Institute of Archaeology)

The third session included talks on categorising artefacts focusing on the Unstan Bowl (Michael Copper, University of Bradford), farming in Anatolia (Beatrijs De Groot, UCL Institute of Archaeology) and challenging the absence of cremations in the British Chalcolithic funerary record (Anna Bloxam, UCL Institute of Archaeology).

The fourth and final session focused on emerging digital platforms for engaging the public in archaeological sites centred around the effort at Ҫatalhöyük, Turkey (Tara Copplestone and Izzy Bartley, University of York and University of Aarhus) the reoccurring colours, red, black and white,  in neolithic monuments in Atlantic Europe (Penelope Foreman, Bournemouth University) and concluded with a second keynote lecture from Dr. Joanna Brück on mortuary practices and social evolution in Early and Middle Bronze Age Britain with a critical evaluation of the Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen.

The symposium created a relaxed and safe environment for new researchers to gain experience in presentation, promote current research and gain valuable insights from other academics, as well as providing a highly captivating day of archaeological research for the audience. The environment was positive and encouraging form all guests, volunteers, speakers and professors, and we look forward to next year’s symposium hosted at UCLAN.

Dannielle Croucher and Hayden McKee, University College London

Off the Record

Thank you to Kris Lockyear for his fascinating tour of Verulamium today, now revealed in detail thanks to his collaborative project with Hertfordshire heritage groups which has carried out a huge amount of survey work over the last three and a half years.  The work of volunteers has generated 12,900,400 readings over 64.5 hectares of the largest Roman town in Britain which is not underneath a modern town.  As well as revealing the extent and various development zones of the Roman town, the latest results suggest interesting areas for future exploration, including tracing the route of an aqueduct to its water source.  Hopefully Kris will return to update us at another OtR in future as the investigations and interpretation progresses!

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In the meantime, for anyone who missed the seminar, and for future updates, do check out Kris’s blog, Sensing the Iron Age and Roman Past: Geophysics and the Landscape of Hertfordshire.

Next week at the same time Stuart Brookes will be talking about Interpreting Rock-Cut Grave Cemeteries: the early medieval burial site and enclosure of São Gens, Portugal.  Hope to see you there!

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Section Newsletter #10

November 2016

Welcome to the November 2016 edition of the IoA World Archaeology Section Newsletter


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Thank you to Rob Briggs for starting this year’s ‘Off the Record’ seminars with a discussion about his PhD research on post-Roman social groups, place names and archaeology in South-East England.

We’re looking forward to what promise to be fascinating ‘Off the Record’ lunchtime seminars over the next three weeks.

This week:

Kris Lockyear will be speaking on ‘Verulamium Revealed’ – 12-1pm on Thursday 24th November in room 209.

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Off the Record – Verulamium Revealed 24.11.16

Later this term:

1st December – Stuart Brookes – Interpreting Rock-Cut Grave Cemeteries:
the early medieval burial site and enclosure of São Gens, Portugal

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8th December – Murray Andrews – A farewell to arms? Hoards and war in medieval England and Wales

Call for ‘Off the Record’ speakers for the Spring Term

If any section members would like to contribute to next term’s ‘Off the Record’ series, please email me (sarah.hoile.12@ucl.ac.uk).


News & Announcements

Autumn Term Section Meeting

Please click the link below for the minutes.

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Lecture: Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck off Gozo.

On Wednesday 23rd November Dr Timmy Gambin from the Department of Archaeology, University of Malta, will be giving a lecture on fieldwork on the Phoenician shipwreck off Gozo in the Mediterranean.

“Working off Gozo during a systematic of the seabed, an anomaly was detected and was marked as just another target worthy of verification. It turned out to be one of the most exciting underwater finds in recent years.”

Wednesday 23 November, 5-6.30 pm, room 612.


Conferences, events and forums

A brief selection of recent announcements. If you would like to share upcoming events in next month’s newsletter, please get in touch.

Call for papers: Unravelling the Palaeolithic 2017

11-12th February 2017, University of Liverpool

A student-led conference on human evolution focusing on presenting research from people at all stages of their careers. Topics of interest include human origins, behaviour, environment, and technology (HOBET). Further details on the conference website.

Call for papers: Archaeology and Theory symposium – Power and Authority – an archaeologist’s friend or foe?

7th April 2017, Groningen University, Institute of Archaeology

Details on the Stichting Archaeological Dialogues website. Deadline for abstract submission: December 15th 2016.


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Off the Record: Verulamium Revealed, 24th November

Kris Lockyear will present Verulamium Revealed for the next Off the Record seminar, talking about this summer’s survey work.

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You can find out more about this project on the blog Sensing the Iron Age and Roman Past: Geophysics and the Landscape of Hertfordshire.

Thursday 24th November 12-1pm in room 209.

All welcome, and please feel free to bring your lunch!

The next OtR seminars this term will be:

1st December – Stuart Brookes – Interpreting Rock-Cut Grave Cemeteries: the early medieval burial site and enclosure of São Gens, Portugal

8th December – Murray Andrews – A farewell to arms? Hoards and war in medieval England and Wales

Thank you to World Archaeology section members who have been in touch about future seminars. We’re making plans for the spring term now so please contact sarah.hoile.12@ucl.ac.uk if you would like to contribute.