Past lectures

A Selection Of Past Lectures

This selection of lecture summaries is a celebration of past lectures given by well known speakers, and others who are not so well known but shared something significant with us. Please note that the descriptions are taken from past newsletters, and although they hint at treats to come they have already been.

‘The Amesbury Archer: King of Stonehenge?’   by Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick, Wessex Archaeology

The discovery of the grave of the archer, prior to the building of a new school in Amesbury, has been hailed as one of the most interesting archaeological finds of recent times.  It is certainly the richest Beaker burial yet found in Britain, and one of the earliest, radiocarbon dated to 2,400-2,200cal.BC, a busy period at nearby Stonehenge. All the finds, and the body too have yielded important information and added to the discussion on the origins of Beaker culture in Britain.

‘Big ladders and little fingers; latest advances in Ice Age Art ‘ by Dr Paul Bahn

Everyone is familiar with the images of large bulls and little ‘Chinese’ horses from Lascaux in France.  Until I visited them recently, on a tour led by Paul Bahn, I did not realise how much more there was to be gained from experiencing them in situ –(admitedly not Lascaux itself, but many of the others.) Paul is one of the foremost authorities on Ice Age art.  He has written about, lectured on and taken groups to enjoy this art, all with infectious enthusiasm.

‘Glimpses of the Client Kingdom; Continuing excavations at Silchester Insula IX’ by Prof Mike Fulford   Reading University

I feel that we can claim a ‘special relationship’ with Silchester! Over the years, Mike Fulford has conducted exemplary research training excavations with his students at Reading. Some of our members have been able to take part and many more have visited the different sites and listened to Mike explain his finds. We shall get an update on what has been learned so far from the excavation of part of this interesting Insula about halfway through the programme of excavation.

‘The Late Roman Cemetery at Lankhills, Winchester’;  Paul Booth, Oxford Archaeology

Many members will remember visiting the excavations which took place prior to development, and  seeing a great number of burials.  The post-excavation work has now been done and the results, seen alongside the results of the earlier Lankhills  work can now give some fascinating  information about the population of the late Roman town,  – such as  the status, religion and possible military connections of some of the inhabitants buried there.

‘Watermills on the River Loddon’;  Brian Eighteen, Berks Local History Association

This lecture will be chiefly illustrated from old postcards, which give a good idea of the mills in their heyday. Brian is a retired miller from Berkshire, and should be able to answer any technical questions.

Although he knows the Berkshire mills best, he will begin with those in our patch.

‘Early Christian churches and mosaics at Aquileia, Ravenna and Venice’;  Prof. Tony King, University of Winchester

Tony King is known to most of us as a Roman specialist who has worked on temples, villas, mosaics etc., but he has recently been working on this subject and offered to give us a lecture on it.  Quite a few of us will have visited Venice, maybe rather fewer the other two sites, but I’m sure this lecture may well make us determined to remedy that!

‘Soft  curves and full figures: Images of women in the Old Stone Age’;  Dr Jill Cook, British Museum

I just could not resist this title!  Come and learn about the ‘Venus’ figurines, (who said the Palaeolithic is just handaxes!) Jill is the Palaeolithic specialist at the British Museum.

‘Drawing on the future to map the past’;  Simon Crutchley, English Heritage

Here is a title which perhaps needs a little explanation; Simon will be talking about the latest survey techniques as used by English Heritage, and the wonderful results which can be obtained from ‘LIDAR’ and aerial photographs.  A must for all those actively involved in the Society’s fieldwork.

‘Jane Austen, her life and family in Hampshire’;   Elizabeth Proudman, Jane Austen Society

As a Society, we have a special interest in Jane Austen, in particular the site of the Rectory at Steventon where she was born, so it will be a great pleasure to welcome Elizabeth from the Jane Austen Society to come to give us some historical background to her life and family.

‘Recent work at the Marden Henge, and the Neolithic building’;  Dr Jim Leary.

This must be one of the most talked about Neolithic sites at the moment, making the news in all the archaeological magazines, so we are very fortunate that Jim has agreed to come and talk to us. Marden has until now been one of the lesser known henges, but the recent excavations have added important new  information, with ‘ the building’ being the big surprise. A sauna?

‘Celts from the West’;  Prof. Sir Barry Cunliffe.

Sir Barry is a speaker who needs no introduction, especially here in Hampshire which has been the scene of his best known excavations. As well as being a gifted excavator, he is a great communicator who is able to make us look anew at supposedly well-established facts. His latest research has been centred on the elusive Celts. Come along for a treat, and maybe follow it up by reading his latest book

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