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Cover of British Archaeology 117

Issue 117

Mar / Apr 2011



All the latest archaeology news from around the country

on the web

Historical recipies to tempt the taste buds


Our tribute to the losses of 2010

my archaeology

rancis Pryor on his accidental career


Why study archaeology, and can it reveal the past?


Your views and responses


10 big questions archaeology must answer

What can archaeology do for us?

THE BIG DIG: Winchester

St Mary Magdalen Hospital, with evidence of leprosy, TB and that Romans treated wounded soldiers

Return to La Cotte

Neanderthal butchering at this Jersey cave site

Dear Lord Chancellor

The human remains "crisis" continues, and children thank organisers

The one with archaeological evidence to support it

How the Stonehenge megaliths might have been moved

The Varmints Show

In the Varmints' fifth exploration of music and archaeology, we look at the 1990s Seattle grunge music scene.


ISSN 1357-4442

Editor Mike Pitts


In tribute to their everlasting contributions to the story of our origins and history, British Archaeology brings together the names of some of the archaeologists and lovers of antiquity who died in the past year. Feature compiled by Mike Pitts.


(See also Mar/Apr 2010, no 111)

TGH (Harry) James, keeper of Egyptian antiquities, British Museum, who conducted important studies of hieroglyphic texts, editor, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vice-president, Egypt Exploration Society, biographer of Howard Carter, 86 (December).

Gordon Michell, architect and conservationist who led experimental, Sainsbury Trust-funded Wirksworth Project of community-led conservation, 86 (November).



Kate Hunter, after jobs at the Lincoln Archaeological Trust, Cardiff University and as senior conservator in the Department of Archaeology, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, was keeper of conservation at Newport Museum and Art Gallery where she championed and worked on the Newport medieval ship, 55.

Birthe Kjølbye-Biddle

Birthe Kjølbye-Biddle studied archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark. She came to Winchester in 1964, directing excavations at the Old Minster. After a year at Edinburgh University under Stuart Piggott, she married Martin Biddle; together they embarked on a lifetime of major excavations and publications. Winchester was the first nearcomplete study of an Anglo-Saxon cathedral, involving the excavation of thousands of graves and St Swithun's original burial place. Next came the church, cemeteries and royal mausoleum of Anglo-Saxon Mercia at Repton, Derbyshire (1974–88), work again distinguished by her “fierce excavation discipline” (Times), dramatic finds, many bodies (in this case including victims of Viking massacre) and the unravelling of complex building histories. Further excavations took her to St Albans Cathedral and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Times 26 Jan, 68.

Lesley Lewis, art historian, vice-president Society of Antiquaries and Royal Archaeological Institute, who researched the grand tour and Georgian funerary sculpture in Jamaica, 100.

Douglas MacDowell, professor of Greek at Glasgow University, specialising in classical law, oratory and theatre, 78, Times 10 Feb.

Florence MacKenzie, secretary-treasurer of the Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust, 74.

Mary Marten, British Museum trustee responsible for the Department of Prehistoric and Romano-British Antiquities and the Great Court development, with an active interest in Persian culture and archaeology, 80.

Hamish Miller, dowser, co-author of The Sun and the Serpent (1990) and other works featuring ley lines and ancient sites, 82.

Ian Sutton, Thames & Hudson editor who wrote about European abbeys and defended British Victorian and Edwardian architecture, 80.


Claude Blair, keeper of metalwork at the V&A, leading authority on European historic metalwork, especially arms and armour, co-founder Church Monuments Society, vice-president Monumental Brass Society, author European Armour c1066–c1700 (1958), 87

Werner Forman, Czech photographer who moved to London in 1968 and portrayed ancient cultures in illustrated books including Egypt, Aztecs, China, Vikings and Maori, 89

Keith Knowles, GP and medical officer at the University of East Anglia who excavated the Roman town of Brampton 1965–89, president Norfolk Archaeological Research Group, 82

John Leopold, leading horological historian and horological curator at the British Museum, 74

Pat Nicolaysen, nurse who was active in the Kingston Upon Thames Archaeological Society (KUTAS) as field archaeologist and editor, 87

Geoffrey Rickman, professor of Roman history at the University of St Andrews, chair of the council of the British School in Rome, researched Roman granaries and ports, 77

Natalie Rothstein, curator of textiles and dress at the V&A, 79

David Smith, pioneering London dental radiologist who investigated ancient Egyptian human remains, 79

Graham Teasdill, assistant curator Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery, curator Bagshaw Museum, Batley and curator Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, helping out at the National Tramway Museum, Crich and the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, president Wessex Numismatic Society, 74

HVF Winstone, writer, biographer of Gertrude Bell, Howard Carter and Leonard Wooley, 83

Donald Wiseman, assistant keeper department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum, professor of Assyriology, University of London, president British School of Archaeology in Iraq, who deciphered Wooley's cuneiform tablets from Alalakh and was epigraphist at Mallowan's Tel Nimrud excavations, inspired in his research by evangelical Christian convictions, 91

CW Wright, civil servant and leading amateur geologist and palaeontologist who found the Ferriby bronze age boat with his brother Ted in 1937, 93


Sir Kenneth Dover, professor of Greek at St Andrews University, president Hellenic Society and Classical Association, leading scholar in Greek linguistics, history and drama, 89, St Andrews 9 Mar

Peter Foster, architect who directed restoration of external masonry as surveyor of Westminster Abbey, watercolourist, antiquarian book collector, 90

Stephen Hearst, broadcaster who on BBC TV followed his own The Glory that was Greece with Mortimer Wheeler's The Grandeur That Was Rome, Sir Kenneth Clark's Civilisation and Alistair Cooke's America, 90

Daphne Park, diplomat, chair of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME, now EH), 88

Colin Wells, Oxford-educated (under Ian Richmond) classical historian and archaeologist who moved to Ottawa University in 1960, later to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, director of excavations at Carthage, 76


William Clarke, Courtauld Institute of Art head of gallery conservation, 66

Bobby Gore, art historian, adviser on paintings and historic buildings secretary at the National Trust, 89

Alan McWhirr

Alan McWhirr was a maths and chemistry school teacher who, having dug as a boy at Verulamium, moved back to archaeology, first in the school holidays and then at Leicester University, as an inspired teacher, excavator, editor and fundraiser. From 1960 he was occasional archaeology tutor for Leicester's Adult Education Department, moving in 1988 to the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, which he made the world leader in archaeology distance learning. He directed excavations at Roman Cirencester, wrote or co-wrote the first four Cirencester Excavations volumes and was president of the Cirencester Archaeological and Historical Society. He was a stalwart of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, and chair of the Leicestershire Historic Churches Trust. He wrote several popular books on Roman Britain, and presented Digging Up the Past for BBC Radio Leicester. 72

Dáire O'Rourke, Dublin archaeologist and chief archaeologist, National Roads Authority, who studied early historic leather from Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Dublin and did much to further Ireland's archaeology, Irish Times 28 Apr, 45

Mortimer Sackler, wealthy American benefactor of many institutions including the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Museum of London, Natural History Museum and the V&A, 93

Hermione Sandwith, adviser on the conservation of paintings and sculpture at the National Trust, co-editor The Manual of Housekeeping, 85

Jim Tonkin, headmaster Wigmore Secondary School, lecturer University of Birmingham extra-mural department, president Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, secretary Vernacular Architecture Group, active researcher at Herefordshire Record Office, 89


Dennis Sharp, renovator of historic buildings, vice-president Architectural Association School, London, where he taught history of 20th-century architecture, which he championed, 76

Richard Walker, art adviser to Ministry of Public Buildings and Works and Palace of Westminster, miniature cataloguer for Royal Collection and National Trust, 93


Ray Allchin

Raymond Allchin was training as an architect when posted to India in 1944, sparking an enduring interest in the subcontinent's archaeology and culture. On return he studied Hindi and Sanskrit at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, took a PhD in Indian archaeology and taught there until 1959. He then moved to Cambridge, to teach Indian art and archaeology at the Department of Oriental Studies, rising to emeritus reader in Indian studies. His major publications include Neolithic Cattlekeepers of South India (1963) and The Birth of Indian Civilization (1968, written with his wife, Bridget). He cofounded the biennial Conference of South Asian Archaeologists in Western Europe, and conducted fieldwork and research across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with important excavations. Times 9 Jun, Guardian 29 Jul, 86

Robin Bush, historian and occasional presenter on Channel 4's Time Team, archivist at Surrey Record Office and then Somerset Record Office, prolific writer and broadcaster on west country local history. This is West Country 23 Jun, Telegraph 24 Jun, Scotsman 28 Jun, Guardian 7 Jul, 67

Carola Hicks, Edinburgh University archaeology graduate, author of books on animals in early medieval art, the Bayeux tapestry and the stained-glass of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, curator Stained Glass Museum, Ely Cathedral, fellow and director of studies in art history, Newnham College, Cambridge, editor for the Society for Medieval Archaeology and Society of Antiquaries, 68

Jonathan Horne, dealer and specialist in 17th–18th century English and continental delftware, co-founder and vice-president Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, 69

Ian Mathieson, geologist and surveyor, director Saqqara Geophysical Survey Project, Egypt, 83

Hugh Thomas, hospital administrator, founder member Guild of Blue Badge Guides, specialised in tours featuring Stonehenge and Thomas Hardy, 82


Corinne Bennett, worked with architects Powell and Moya before turning to historic buildings, at London county council, Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, architects Purcell Miller Tritton and, as cathedrals architect, English Heritage, participating in or directing conservation at many famous buildings, including Ely Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral and the Brighton Royal Pavilion (as consultant architect for both), and the Albert Memorial, 75

Pamela Clabburn, specialist in textiles and costumes, especially the Norwich shawl industry, assistant keeper of social history at Norwich Museums, helped establish the National Trust's textile conservation unit at Blickling Hall, Norfolk, founder Costume and Textile Association, 96

John Coates, chief naval architect at the Ministry of Defence who with the Trireme Trust built a full-scale working replica of an ancient Greek trireme, and brought important insights to the Ferriby bronze age ships from Yorkshire, 88

Rev Roy Fenn, head of classics, divinity and sociology at Lady Hawkins School, Kington, Herefordshire, Open University tutor, president Cambrian Archaeological Association, archivist Hergest Trust, archivist and historian to Tarmac, 77

Janet Gnosspelius, architect and conservationist who specialised in churches and saving Liverpool's buildings, 83

John Hiller, head of small works department at the Oxford Archaeological Unit and author and editor of many reports, 46

Penny MacConnoran, worked on Viking excavations in Dublin, joined the Department of Urban Archaeology as finds assistant in 1976 and rose to be one of Britain's leading archaeological finds managers at the Museum of London, expert on Roman and medieval leather, 60

Paul Williams, left Worcestershire county archaeology service to found the consultancy Mercian Archaeology and Historic Buildings, 52


Tony Aarons, born Kingston, studied archaeology at Cambridge University and transformed Jamaica's archaeology and heritage, 57

John Alexander, archaeology tutor extra-mural departments, Cambridge University and University of London, author The Directing of Archaeological Excavations (1970), president Cambridge Archaeology Field Group, directed fieldwork in UK and Africa, 88

Colin Austin, professor of Greek at Cambridge University, papyrologist and leading specialist on ancient texts, 69

Laurence Gardner, author Bloodline of the Holy Grail (1996) and other books, said to have inspired Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, 67

John Lowe, worked in departments of woodwork and ceramics at the V&A, director Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, founding hon director Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, 82

Barry Raftery

Barry Raftery, was born into archaeology: his father, Joseph, was keeper of Irish antiquities and director of the National Museum of Ireland, and the nine-year-old son excavated at Lough Gara, Co Sligo. He studied at University College Dublin, and became professor of Celtic archaeology in the Department of Archaeology. Research on the Irish iron age, including excavation of the Rathgall hillfort, Co Wicklow, led to major roles in the organisation of the Celtic exhibition, Venice, and coediting the resulting book The Celts (1991); he wrote Pagan Celtic Ireland (1994). He excavated the large iron age wooden trackway at Corlea, Co Longford, and helped establish the Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit. As a leading scholar of later prehistoric societies, he held posts in Oxford, Marburg, Munich, Kiel and Vienna. Irish Times 4 Sep, 66


Honor Frost

Honor Frost, diver, contemporary of Lucien Freud at the Central School of Art and ballet designer, was a pioneering underwater archaeologist who did much to establish the specialty, directed important projects around the Mediterranean and helped found the Council for Nautical Archaeology. After working as a technical artist for Kathleen Kenyon at the Jericho excavations, she explored the Tyre and Sidon harbours and the Syrian coast with the Beirut Institut Français d'Archéologie, beginning a long interest in stone anchors. She recorded her first wreck at Cape Gelidonya, Turkey, with a cargo of bronze age copper and tin ingots, and directed work at the port of Alexandria and excavation of a Carthaginian warship at Marsala, Sicily, restored for museum display. Guardian 27 Oct, Telegraph 29 Oct, Independent 8 Nov, 92

Mike Anthony, archaeologist, historic building specialist, champion of Welsh community archaeology and the CBA's conservation co-ordinator in Wales, 50

Stan Gooch, teacher, mystic and writer who believed modern humans bred with neanderthals, from which we inherited mixed psychologies (such as conservatism from former, socialism from latter), 78

Tjeerd Hendrik van Andel, geologist, professor of oceanography, Stanford University, honorary professor, Cambridge University, helped found the CLIMAP Project, mapping ice age and recent climatic change, founder member of the Stage Three Project, modelling neanderthal landscapes, 87


Peter Gathercole

Peter Gathercole studied archaeology at Cambridge after national service; while completing a diploma in European prehistoric archaeology at the London Institute of Archaeology, he fell under the spell of Gordon Childe, perennially writing about his work and politics (Gathercole read the Daily Worker at school). From trainee assistant at Birmingham City Museum, directing rescue excavations for the Ministry of Works and curator of Scunthorpe Museum and Art Gallery, he moved to a lectureship in anthropology at the University of Otago, Dunedin, in 1958. He returned to Europe in 1968, as lecturer in ethnology, Oxford, and then curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge. He helped organise the first World Archaeology Congress, was a founder member of the Museum Ethnographers Group and the Pacific Arts Association, and was president of the Cornwall Archaeological Society. 81

Ian Keillar, electrical engineer who gave his spare time to the study of archaeology in north-east Scotland, 85

Sally Miall, secretary to the British School at Athens, 91

Julian Roberts, assistant keeper British Museum Library, deputy librarian Bodleian Library, Oxford, 80


Robert Potter, conservation architect who built churches, set up the Cathedral Works Organisation at Chichester Cathedral, surveyor of St Paul's Cathedral, architect to St Peter Mancroft church, Norwich, 101

Olaf Swarbrick, poultry vet who sought out and drew 1,000 standing stones across Britain, and who argued the Uffington white horse was a dog, 84

Lance Vatcher, archaeologist who with his wife Faith excavated threatened sites for the Ministry of Works, including many prehistoric barrows and the Stonehenge car park (discovering large mesolithic postholes)

Bill White

Bill White spent 30 years as an organic chemist, but found his metier through a diploma at the London Institute of Archaeology and a course on human skeletal remains, working with the Museum of London on skeletons from St Nicholas Shambles. After redundancy from GlaxoSmithKline, he volunteered with MOL Archaeology before becoming permanent staff, founding the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology; he was inaugural curator of osteology for the Wellcome Osteological Research Database project. He was involved in opening a Roman woman's sarcophagus at Spitalfields market and excavation of St Pancras burial ground, and was behind the exhibitions London Bodies (MOL 1998) and Skeletons: London's Buried Bones (Wellcome Trust 2008). He was a founder member of the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, and assisted Damien Hirst with For the Love of God, a diamond-studded platinum skull. Guardian 7 Dec, Telegraph 28 Dec, 66


Peter Bird, conservation architect, cathedral architect at Wells, Winchester, Exeter and St David's.

Geoff Egan

Geoff Egan studied classics and archaeology at Cambridge University, and then worked on the medieval excavations in Trondheim, Norway. He moved back to his home town London, directing excavations and specialising in finds. Much of his work was on medieval finds from riverside rubbish dumps, closely dated by dendrochronology of the timber wharfs; a series of major finds monographs now informs excavated medieval artefacts across Europe. He studied Thames foreshore finds collected by mudlarks, and shortly before his death left the Museum of London to join the Portable Antiquities Scheme full-time as specialist on medieval and later finds. His PhD at UCL was on medieval and later cloth seals. He was finds consultant for Jamestown, Virginia, president, Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, and master, Company of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors. PAS 5 Jan, Times 22 Jan, Guardian 9 Feb, 59

Elaine Paintin, supported the treasure bill at the Department of National Heritage, which led to present treasure law and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (and later reviewed the Treasure Act), archaeology editor, Elsevier Phaidon, curator of archaeology, British Museum, head of exhibitions, education, loans and publications, British Library, director, Marc Fitch Fund, 63

Alan Rome, prolific conservation and church architect, including to Bristol, Salisbury, Truro and Wells cathedrals, Bath and Glastonbury abbeys and Lancing College chapel, 80

I am calling on the Egyptian army to head instantly to the Egyptian Museum. There is a fire right next to it in the party headquarters. As Egypt marches against its government in late January, film director Khaled Youssef appeals for help on the Al Arabiya television channel. There is damage in the museum holding Tutankhamun's treasures, but it, the New Library of Alexandria and Luxor Museum are protected by a spontaneous alliance of citizens, police and military.

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