The voice of archaeology in Britain and beyond

Cover of British Archaeology 87

Issue 87

March/April 2006



Unique Roman tombstone may leave UK

"No synthesis of British prehistory is right"

Neolithic road is unique

Bottle message is dry

The dead make way for iron age warrior

In Brief


When Rome left Britain: the Bosnian perspective
Buckles and Bosnia - Stuart Laycock has a dark vision of early historic Britain.

Telling the story of the people who made London
Archaeology in London: Peter Rowsome reviews a year of new publications.

Boudica: a queen in search of a husband
Finding Prasutagus: Amanda Chadburn deciphers iron age coins.

on the web

Recommended websites


Views and responses

CBA news

Headlines from the CBA office.


ISSN 1357-4442

Editor Mike Pitts

CBA news

Archaeology enriches us all

In recent years the different organisations that represent various elements of the archaeological sector in the UK have been working more closely together than ever before, principally through the Archaeology Forum (previously known as the Historic Environment Forum). The members of TAF represent widely differing interest groups within archaeology, but we are united in our main objectives. We have to show that archaeology enriches us all and that there is a huge public interest in and support for the way that archaeology connects people with their heritage.

Archaeology Enriches Us All is the advocacy document which was recently distributed to every MP and peer at the Palace of Westminster (and will shortly be sent to all msps in the Scottish Parliament and ams in the Welsh Assembly, together with other key decision makers and opinion formers). The document sets out why archaeology matters, suggests ways in which we can make the most of the UK's archaeology, and indicates ways in which we can take forward this vision. You can read it on the TAF web site at or obtain a printed version from the CBA's York office.

The document was also sent to every member of the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee as part of TAF's evidence for their current inquiry on protecting, preserving and making accessible our nation's heritage. This is another high profile opportunity to push the messages that archaeology has a major contribution to make to civil society in the UK. We hope to present oral evidence to the committee in the next few months to back up our written submission.

The Archaeology Forum is also working with members of the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group (APPAG) to lobby appropriate civil servants and politicians (of all political parties). In England we anticipate a white paper being produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), working in conjunction with other departments such as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This cross-departmental working within government is important and a recognition of the all pervasive nature of the historic environment.

We hope that the white paper will contain proposals that we have long argued for, including positive progress with the reform of heritage protection and the implementation of statutory provision of local historic environment records and an end of class consents permitting plough damage to protected sites. We hope this will lead on to new planning policy guidance for the historic environment, emphasising the importance of the knowledge base and the link with research, education, outreach and engagement with local communities.

But to ensure that these prizes can be won we need to demonstrate public support for our aims. The government needs to be persuaded that proposals for reform, some of which will require primary legislation, are of widespread public benefit. It also needs to be convinced that people not only care about their heritage, but are actively involved in local projects. We need all supporters of archaeology to write to their elected officials at local and national level to express your support for the point on which we all agree: archaeology does indeed enrich us all. Tell them about your work in archaeology and why it matters.

We would urge all readers of British Archaeology to read the TAF manifesto and write to the leader of your local authority, your MP, and to the DCMS ministers, Tessa Jowell and David Lammy, to show your support. Remember that archaeology holds the key to an irreplaceable store of human history, most with no written record and sometimes highly vulnerable. The CBA will provide appropriate contact details and can provide supporting documents for you to send.

Young Archaeologist of the Year Award 2006

Open to all aged 8-16 living in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, the 2006 award is linked to the theme of buildings archaeology. The challenge is to tell the story of a building near where you live using archaeological techniques to explore and record it. There are three entry categories: individuals (8-12 years old), individual (13-16 years old), and the group award. More details are available on the yac website at or from the YAC communications officer Nicky Milsted in the CBA office.

Archaeology and geography meeting

The links between the two academic disciplines of archaeology and geography are the subject of a day meeting at the British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1, on March 9 2006. The event is organised by the CBA linked in with our winter general meeting. The keynote address will be given by Clive Gamble.

Clive is currently a co-director (with Robin Dunbar and John Gowlett) of the British Academy centenary research project, From Lucy to language: the archaeology of the social brain, a seven year investigation into the nature and origins of humanity.He is professor of geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he teaches a course on environments and society in human evolution. Clive will be speaking on Archaeology and geography: time, brains and bodies.

The meeting will also include five case studies presented by researchers from various UK universities. The event is free and open to all.

On the beach

The latest CBA research report to be published is the eagerly anticipated volume written by William Foot, Beaches, Field, Streets & Hills: the Anti-invasion Landscapes of England, 1940 (ISBN 1902771532, £25). It will be available in February and can be purchased for only £25 (not bad for 600 pages!).

National Archaeology Week 2006

This year's NAW event will be held from July 15–23, nine days including two weekends. We hope to build on the large number of sites which took part last year (over 300) and would welcome contact from anyone interested in running an event. National Archaeology Week presents an excellent opportunity to promote your group, organisation, museum or heritage site and to engage with your local communities. More details are available on the NAW website ( If you are interested in running a nawevent please contact our nawadministrator for advice (, tel 01904 671417).

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