FEAG talk: Tuesday 10 March 2015, 7.30 pm, at the Tony Cooper Suite, Cottenham Village College
‘Portals to the Past: Recent finds on the Crossrail archaeology programme’ by Iain Williamson
Iain Williamson will be giving a talk on ‘Portals to the Past: Recent finds on the Crossrail archaeology programme’. He will explain how the construction of Crossrail through the heart of London is resulting in one of the most extensive archaeological programmes ever undertaken in the UK. The project spans 118 kilometres with more than 30 construction sites and has had more than 100 archaeologists involved in the work so far. Finds range from long extinct Ice Age animals to medieval plague burial grounds and more recent Industrial Archaeology of London’s Victorian era.
FEAG talk: Thursday 16 April 2015, 7.30 pm, at the Tony Cooper Suite, Cottenham Village College
‘Iron Age Coins and the tribal borderlands of Cambridgeshire’ by Rodney Scarle
This talk will give an overview of the history, types, production, role and design of hammered and cast tribal coinage. There is then a consideration of the distribution of coins across Cambridgeshire, which straddles the boundaries of the Corieltauvi, Iceni (Eceni), Trinovantes and Catuvelauni. Some particular attention is given to coins of the Iceni. The talk is well illustrated with coin images and specimens will be on show at the meeting.
Rodney’s numismatic interest began when as a young lad, he collected a diverse mix of Victorian and foreign coins. His fascination with Iron Age coins began some years ago, as his involvement in archaeology developed. A modest and small collection of these coins has been assembled in the meantime. Rodney is a member of the FEAG committee.
FEAG talk: Thursday 14 May 2015, 7.30 pm, at the Tony Cooper Suite, Cottenham Village College
‘An affluent working class – recent Roman remains at Soham and Newmarket’ by Andrew Peachey
Roman East Anglia is well known for significant towns and villas, but a vast area was dedicated to rural agricultural estates and industry, therefore Andy’s talk will cover the material culture, especially pottery associated with three sites close to the east of the Fen Edge, at Soham, Newmarket and Beck Row. All three sites produced large artefact assemblages, including those associated with ovens, enclosures and barns, but none directly associated with occupation or buildings of substance. The pottery from these sites indicates a significant level of consumption, intriguing items and patterns, not consistent with the image of subsistence economy or poor labourers, so what can we learn about the status and lifestlye of this undoubtedly large population that worked the land for generations.
FEAG talks: Wednesday 23 September 2015, 7.30 pm, at Willingham Baptist Church, George Street, Willingham, CB24 5LJ
Roman roads in Britain by Rick Kelly and Paddy Lambert
‘Roman roads around Peterborough: an aerial perspective’ by Rick Kelly
Rick Kelly will present the result of his research on Roman roads near Peterborough. Twenty-three potential Roman roads and four known roads were identified during the research for this project. Using the four major known roads as a starting point, the landscape was examined by optical imagery and then LIDAR imagery to identify potential roads, either still in use or appearing as crop marks, footpaths, depressions, mounds or field boundaries. Two new probable Roman Villas were also identified and one area raised questions about the possibility of a third villa or pre-historic enclosure for future research. Rick is an expert in the techniques of analysing optical and LIDAR imagery, having learnt during 25 years as an Imagery Analyst in the Royal Air Force.
‘All roads lead to Rome: roads in Roman Britain’ by Paddy Lambert
The Roman road network connected the isolated islands of Britain to a central nervous system of trade and culture that stretched from the colds of Scotland to the dry heat of the Arab world. Archaeology is now shedding new light on the highways of Roman Britain, blowing apart long-held misconceptions and highlighting the sheer complexity and diversity of an old world slowly connecting to the new. The impact of the humble Roman road on the landscape of Britain remains the most enduring of legacies, yet they are rarely studied in their wider, cultural contexts. The study of the cultural development and impact of the roads in the wider landscape in Roman Britain is perhaps the greatest tool in stitching together a narrative of a province of an almost unequalled unique flavour; the province of Britannia. Paddy Lambert is an archaeologist with Oxford Archaeology East and specialises in the history and material culture of the Roman world. He has excavated Roman sites in the UK and France, most recently a high-status rural settlement site in Essex.
FEAG talk: Thursday 15th October 2015, 7.30 pm, at the Common Room, Cottenham Village College ‘Archaeology and the ghost stories of M. R. James’ by Gabe Moshenska
This talk examines the work of the famous ghost story writer M.R. James (1862–1936). James’ stories, widely regarded as the finest of their genre, often featured antiquarians and archaeologists – mostly as the victims of horrific supernatural events. This talk considers these stories and their archaeological themes in light of James’ own work as an archaeologist, including his fieldwork in Cyprus and Suffolk, and his friendship and collaboration with archaeologists throughout his career. Did James really believe that archaeology was a dangerous and uncanny interference in the world of the dead, or were his stories more light-heartedly poking fun at himself and his colleagues? Either way, we should probably pay more attention to local folklore and think twice before digging into any likely-looking barrows. Gabe Moshenska is a lecturer at UCL Institute of Archaeology. He excavates in Hampshire and northern Spain, and is working on a biography of the surgeon and antiquarian Thomas Joseph Pettigrew.
FEAG talk: Wednesday 25 November 2015, 7.30 pm, at the Tony Cooper Suite, Cottenham Village College
‘The lost town of Great Chesterford’ by Maria Medlycott
Followed by AGM
The ‘lost’ town of Roman Great Chesterford, now entirely hidden beneath fields, was once the second largest town in Essex. Sited on the Essex/Cambridgeshire border, it and Colchester are the only walled towns in the county. This talk is a summary of a decade’s worth of work in piecing together excavation and survey work to bring this important site to life again. Maria Medlycott works as an archaeologist for Essex County Council and has a specialist interest in the Roman and medieval towns of Essex.