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          An important new group of Late Iron Age gold objects was found by a local metal detectorist, Mr Kevan Halls, in the Winchester area during last autumn and winter. The objects form what appear to be two sets of jewellery made from very pure gold, although they were dispersed by recent agricultural activities. Each set consists of what might be called a 'necklace torque' and a pair of chained fibulae brooches. The necklace are without parallel in the northwest European Iron Age. Unlike other British and European torques that were made by twisting metal wires together to form ropes, these torques were made by weaving together fine rings of gold wire. This technique is one used in the classical world, but never with such thick gold wire. The result is a very flexible thick necklace comparable to contemporary Late Iron Age torques but made and looking very different. Along with the two necklace torques, two pairs of brooches were found. Fine chains made in a similar way to the necklace torques originally joined both. The brooch pairs are the only closely dateable items from the hoard(s). Both pairs are La Tene D2 types similar to those made in iron or bronze from 1st Century BC cremation burials from southeast England. Only two other gold Iron Age brooches are known from Britain. This group of objects is unique and shed important new light on the important social changes that were taking place in eastern Hampshire and western Sussex in the 1st Century BC.
The Winchester Hoard
The Winchester Hoard - reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the British Museum

          This discovery is also important because of the close co-operation that was possible between the finder and archaeologists from Winchester Museum Service and the British Museum. Hampshire is one of a small part of England covered by the pilot of the Portable Antiquities Recording Scheme, a Heritage Lottery Funded project to voluntarily record the finds made by metal detectorists and other amateurs. Because of the work of Sally Worrell, the PARS Recording Officer for Hampshire, strong relations have been established between many local metal detectorists and the archaeological establishment. The finder, Mr Halls, carefully recorded the exact location of his finds after the initial discovery of the first gold brooches. It was then possible for Tony Spence and JD Hill from the British Museum, working with Winchester Museum Service, to organize a detailed investigation of the find spot. This ongoing work suggests that the gold objects were deposited in a prominent part of the landscape, away from contemporary settlements, burials and shrines. This is the first time archaeologists from the British Museum have investigated the context of a Treasure find since the 1996 Treasure Act replaced the old law of Treasure Trove. This case shows the value that investigating the find spots of major metal detector finds has to provide vital information about the nature and context of these finds. It also shows the importance of the Portable Antiquities Recording Scheme, without which it is unlikely that this level of investigation and co-operation with metal detectorists could have taken place.
          It is hoped that once the full process of the Treasure Act has been completed that the hoard will be acquired by the British Museum.

J.D. Hill



Sara Champion
John Cruse took this picture of a typically helpful Sara on a fieldtrip to Ireland with other members of the Prehistoric Society where she is holding the rods used by Séamus Caulfield to demonstrate the position of stone features beneath the surface of the peat.


         This issue of PAST is dedicated to Sara Champion with affection and respect from her colleagues in the Prehistoric Society. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knew her to know that a concert, and a number one pop album by the band Coldplay have all been dedicated to her so PAST 38 is in good company. Sara had diverse interests and this issue has the usual range of news and has also assembled something of the flavour of Sara's interests. There is the review of the conference held in Ireland by the society, contributions by women and about women, items from amateurs and professionals, news on Iron Age finds of a gold hoard at Winchester and a very rich female burial at Wetwang, plus European news. We also draw attention to the Society website and mention some new websites so that members can enjoy the prehistoric surf.

Linda Hurcombe


         An important new Iron Age burial has been discovered in the East Yorkshire village of Wetwang. The new find is the grave of a mature lady buried was an iron mirror and a two-wheeled horse drawn cart, chariot or carriage. This burial is the 15th chariot or vehicle burial to have been discovered in East Yorkshire, and belongs to the well-known local burial rite practiced in East Yorkshire in the Middle Iron Age (c.400 to 100 BC). This is the second chariot/cart burial to have been excavated in recent times that contained the body of a woman. Four others have been male graves. That this was a woman's grave has prompted some media speculation, and certainly the study of her burial will need a careful reassessment of the little studied area of gender in the British Iron Age.
         The Guildhouse Consultancy found the grave unexpectedly at the end of the excavation of a Medieval Manorial complex on the site of a small housing development. The burial was only excavated because of the prompt actions of English Heritage. Working in partnership with the British Museum, English Heritage provided the emergency funding for the full excavation, while the Museum has provided its staff time for excavation, conservation and analysis. The burial was excavated by staff from the Guildhouse Consultancy and the British Museum. The whole process was greatly assisted by the developers, Hogg the Builders of York, whose considerable help and patience made a valuable contribution to the excavation.
         This new burial was found on the top of a ridge at the East end of the village of Wetwang overlooking the valley where John Dent excavated three chariot burials in the 1980s. Limited available dating evidence suggests this is potentially one of the earliest East Yorkshire vehicle burials to have been excavated under modern conditions. However, this will need confirmation by radiocarbon dating. As well as the grave, the entire surrounding square ditch was examined. This was found to contain small amounts of pottery and animal bone. Most of the bone appears to have eroded into the ditch on the North and East sides. The lady buried in the grave was covered with pig bones over her torso, similar to other cart/chariot burials in the area. There was a single strap union under her knees, decorated with a possible coral stud. Her mirror lay across her lower legs. Although badly preserved, the mirror appears to have had a tassel of horse hair (?) tied to the handle decorated with tiny blue beads. Careful excavation combined with clay fills has provided considerable new evidence for the structure of the two-wheeled vehicles. A large part of the axle survived as a void and this shows it was a complex, shaped wooden component. Part of the yoke also survived as a void in the grave fill. On present evaluation it appears that the wheels of the chariot/cart/carriage were taken off. The complete vehicle body, with pole and yoke attached, were placed in the grave over her body, while the wheels were placed over the pole at the North end of the grave. The rein rings (terrets), two horse bits and two strap unions were all found in position along the line of the yoke. These are all exquisitely made metal objects. The horse bits appear to have glass/enamel inlays; the terrets and strap unions are decorated with extensive use of 'coral' studs. Each terret is decorated with five studs (two on both sides and one on the top). Confirmation that these are coral and not other materials is still forthcoming. But if these studs are coral, there is probably more coral present in this one grave than from any other site in Iron Age Britain.


Plan of excavated grave
Preliminary plan of the excavated grave showing the position of the body and surviving parts of the vehicle. Drawn by Stephen Crummy. Reproduced with the permission of the Trustees of the British Museum

J.D. Hill



         The trade between the Mediterranean countries and those of temperate Europe during the Iron Age has been a favourite topic of research for over a century now. In more recent times it has been recognised that this was not a case of steady development, but that during the middle phases of the La Tène Iron Age, there had been some major recession, which saw a drop in both the quantity and quality of the goods being traded, notably in the period after about 400 BC. But also it was accepted that the nature of this trade varied from period to period, in terms of the objects traded, the routes and destinations, who was participating and organising the trade, and who were the recipients. One ot the high points, during Hallstatt D (the 6th century BC) saw prestige 'diplomatic gifts' such as the Vix crater, followed by a period in the 5th century of more prosaic bronze goods which were reaching a wider class of individuals. The 4th and early 3rd centuries saw a drop in this trade, a period which, using the watery analogies so beloved of prehistorians, I characterised in 1984 as 'The Tide Ebbs', a period when exotic goods virtually disappeared in temperate Europe. Gradually trade picked up again, and by the 2nd century it had achieved massive proportions, with tens of thousands of wine amphorae from Italy reaching central France, accompanied by fine tablewares and metal vessels.
          One class of good which bucks the trends is coral, the subject of Sara's unpublished doctoral thesis. In Hallstatt D in southern Germany, when Mediterranean goods were virtually confined to the richest class of sites and burials, coral, presumably from Italy, is found decorating the brooches and other metal objects in some of the poorer graves. In the 4th century, when other goods had virtually disappeared, coral not only continued to be traded, but reached its most extensive geographical distribution, turning up as far North as Yorkshire. When the trade with the Mediterranean revived in the 2nd century, coral disappeared. Other classes of object may also show this different pattern, the most obvious being amber. In the 5th century there are major finds such as the beads from the burial at Reinheim, but like coral, it also appears in some of the less rich burials, or in cemeteries such as Münsingen where other imports do not appear. It also continues to appear in later contexts, though only in small quantities.
          The archaeological data for the La Tène period is, however, considerably biased, with areas where there are recognisable burials (e.g. northern France, southwest Germany) over-represented, and other areas such as central France poorly represented. With the increasing emphasis on settlement archaeology in the last 30 years, the pattern is beginning to change. For the 5th century the areas on either side of the Mosel, and Champagne and Ardennes, all with rich sequences of burials have appeared important. Now Bourges in central France is emerging as the richest single site for Mediterranean imports, mainly from non-funeral contexts, tying in with the stories recounted by Livy of the importance of Ambigatus king of the Bituriges at this period.
          From documentary sources we also hear of the importance of the Arverni in the 2nd century BC, and their kings Louernios and Bituitos, but this is an area where rich burials are unknown. Here too settlement archaeology since the 1970s is showing that we can place at least some credence on authors such as Posidonius. A major complex of sites lies to the east of Clermont Ferrand, concentrated around the modern airport of Aulnat. Survey work and rescue excavations are showing that this concentration of settlement and occupation represents a genuine phenomenon, with settlements every few hundred metres. Some, like Brézet, seem to have a ceremonial element, which includes the massive consumption of wine, as evidenced by hundreds of broken amphorae, supporting the story of the great feast organised by Luernios.
          One site in the Aulnat complex allows us to study the development chronologically, La Grande Borne, excavated by Robert Périchon and myself between 1966 and 1983. My part of the site (Collis 1982) produced a stratigraphical sequence which covers the nadir and revival of Mediterranean trade, from La Tène B2 to D1 (300 - 120 BC). The earliest feature (F8), dating to La Tène B2 (Guichard and Orengo 2000a), is a linear hollow which may be a sunken trackway; it produced a large amount of material, including extensive evidence for bronze working, but not a single fragment of imported pottery. However, it contained two fragments of coral, and a third came from a pit which contained redeposited material from the 'trackway'. Two are unworked branches, and the third is an inlay, possibly for a brooch or a boss (Champion, unpublished report). There was also an amber bead.
          The next phase, represented by a four-phase ditch (F10 - 13) and a contemporary pit (F29), dates to the end of La Tène B1 and to La Tène C1 (Guichard and Orengo 2000a). It sees the first ceramic imports from southern France and Italy, including a painted vessel from the Marseille area, fine 'Campanian' back-slipped tableware, and, surprisingly, a mortarium, suggesting that southern eating habits were being adopted. The latest ditch (F12) also produced a gold coin, one of the earliest stratified Gallic coins from France. There is also an amber bead. The following period, C2, saw an increase in these fine wares (Guichard and Orengo 2000b), but it was not until phase D1, (second half of the 2nd century BC), and the period of King Luernios and the Arvernian ascendancy that suddenly the Italian wine amphorae appeared, and then in huge quantities.
          However, there is another class of import which I wish to note, and one which is not given any prominence in the literature, and this is a trade in sea shells. These also appear at Aulnat, though it lies some 270 kilometres from the Mediterranean and over 300 kilometres from the Atlantic coast. Local shells of freshwater mussel Unio tumidus occur in all phases on the site (381 examples), and may represent consumption (unpublished report by Nigel Thew), though one had been pierced to make a pendant; this pendant came from a pit (F38), dated by Guichard and Orengo (2000b) to the end of C2 or beginning of D1 (c. 175 - 150 BC). But the sea shells clearly represent trade of the shells themselves. Four species were found on the site, though one, the Common Oyster (Ostrea edulis) only came from layers associated with Roman pottery, and does not seem to have been imported in the Iron Age.
          The most frequent was the common cockle (Cerastroderma edule), of which six examples were found. Only one umbo is preserved, and in this case it had been pierced to make a pendant, so this is a possible interpretation for the other examples. Three, including the pendant, came from the same feature as the coral (F8), and date to La Tène B2. Two others came from the latest ditch (F12) which dates to C1, and the final one came from a poorly stratified Iron Age context. Also from the ditch F12 came a fragment of a great scallop (Pecten maximus), and three joining fragments from a second example were found in and above pit F17, dated to D1. There was also a fragment of a pilgrim's scallop (Pecten cf. jacobaeus) from immediately above and probably derived from pit F34, dated also To D1.
          All the shells could have come from either the Atlantic or the Mediterranean. For the earliest phase, La Tène B2, the cockles, along with the amber and coral form the only imports. Coral then disappears, but amber and both scallop and cockle shells appear in C2, when the first fine Mediterranean pottery makes its appearance. In the final phase, when the massive importation of amphorae and Mediterranean fine wares starts, we have only evidence for importation of scallops.
          There has been no systematic study of the occurrence of riverine and marine shells in the Iron Age. In the Late Hallstatt period in Thuringia freshwater mussels in the form of pendants containing red ochre occur commonly in the graves of young females. Sea shells are also recorded elsewhere, such as the cowrie shells from Le Trou de l'Ambre in Belgium, and some burials in southern Germany and at the Dürrnberg in Austria. Cockle pendants occur in Early La Tène burials in the Ardennes. However, this is no comprehensive list. Clearly there is a trade in smaller marine objects (coral, amber and shells) which does not relate to the bulk movement of goods, and which is subject to different mechanisms. Possibly some of them could be moving on the back of the trade in salt which is now becoming better documented in western Europe, but the sea shells, and indeed the amber, deserve some more systematic study than they have enjoyed so far.

John Collis

Collis J.R. 1984. The European Iron Age. London, Batsford.
Collis J.R. 1982. La stratigraphie du chantier IV d'Aulnat. In J. R. Collis et al. 1982:48 - 56.
Collis J.R., Duval A. and Périchon R. eds. 1982. Le Deuxième Age du Fer en Auvergne et en Forez et ses Relations avec les Régiones voisines. Université de Sheffield et Centre des Etudes Foréziennes, St. Etienne.
Collis J., Deberge Y. Guichard V., Izac-Imbert L., Loughton M., Mennessier Jouannet C., and Orengo L. 1999. Projet collectif de recherché sur les mobiliers du second Age du Fer en Auvergne: rapport annuel 1999.
Mirefleurs, Association pour la Recherche sur l'Age du Fer en Auvergne.
Collis J., Deberge Y. Guichard V., Izac-Imbert L., Loughton M., Mennessier Jouannet C., and Orengo L. 2000. Projet collectif de recherché sur les mobiliers du second Age du Fer en Auvergne: rapport annuel 2000.
Mirefleurs, Association pour la Recherche sur l'Age du Fer en Auvergne.
Guichard V. and Orengo L 1999. Le fossé 12/13 du site de 'La Grande Borne' à Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme). In J.R. Collis et al. 1999:67 - 91.
Guichard V. and Orengo L 2000a. Clermont-Ferrand 'La Grande Eorne', chemin 8 (Puy-de-Dôme), In J.R. Collis et al. 2000:87 - 107.
Guichard V. and Orengo L 2000b. Clermont-Ferrand 'La Grande Borne', fosse 38 (B49AP) (Puy-de-Dôme). In J.R. Collis et al. 2000:109 - 121.


BJC: Chatting to Sara Champion at a recent Prehistoric Society event, she asked me what I was doing now. Research on beaver, I answered. With a characteristic wicked gleam in her eye, she then asked 'What sort of beaver, Bryony?'. Many people ask 'Which sort of beaver?' with less mischievous intent, and the straightforward answer is Castor fiber, the European beaver, rather than Castor canadensis, its North American counterpart. This short note describes the recent recognition of a new Mesolithic artefact, made from a beaver incisor, from the Hardinxveld excavations directed by one of the Society's former Vice-Presidents, Leendert Louwe Kooijmans of Leiden University in the Netherlands.
The Hardinxveld sites (LPLK)
         The Hardinxveld sites were discovered in 1993 during the systematic coring prospection of a new railway line connecting Rotterdam harbour with its German hinterland, and called 'Betuwe Route' after the river district it passes through. The present surface near Hardinxveld is about 1,5 m below sea level. The coring went down for several metres and touched the tops of two small Late Glacial river dunes at about 5 metres below sea level. Both appeared to have been occupied in the Late Mesolithic and were calculated to be disturbed by the planned railway. Excavation was made possible by the master contract between Dutch Rail (NS) and the State Service for Archaeological Investigations (ROB). Archaeological Research Leiden (ARCHOL) was contracted for both excavations because of the expertise in this type of deep wetland research at Leiden University. The fieldwork at both sites took place in the period July 1997 - June 1998. Two large and deep trenches, reinforced with steel sheet piling, were dug to a maximum depth of 10 m below sea level (Figure 1). Two 500 page reports will be published this year with detailed specialist chapters on all artefact categories, unfortunately fully in Dutch, but reading might be a good training in this language, for those who cannot wait for a translation that seems to be desirable. An English summary paper is, however, already in press and a preliminary presentation of the site was dedicated to the memory of Grahame Clark (Louwe Kooijmans 1999, 2001, in press).
          Because of the extreme wetland conditions of the surrounding landscape and the continuous sedimentation under the regime of the rising sea level, almost everything a prehistorian might dream of appeared to have been preserved in the slope and marsh deposits adjacent to the settlement areas on the dunes. This makes the sites fully complementary to the rich Danish Ertebølle sites like Tybrind Vig and Ringkloster and as such unique for their information about the Late Mesolithic of the Lower Rhine Basin and even of the whole of Western Europe. The sites are dated 5500-4450 cal BC. Three main phases could be established. The site Polderweg had its main phase 5500-5300 cal BC, the other site, called De Bruin, 5100-4800 and 4700-4450 cal BC. Finds include burials of humans and dogs, a range of spectacular wooden artefacts (axe haft, broken bows and paddles, a complete dug out) masses of botanical and zoological remains, imported flint and natural stone. Pottery appears around 5000 cal BC and some bone of domestic animals in phase 3, seemingly connected with deposition rituals in the marshy margins of the gradually inundating dune tops. Both sites are interpreted on strong evidence as (mid-) winter base camps in which the occupants concentrated on pike fishing and the trapping of beaver and otter. In the younger phases there is additional evidence for modest summer activities as well.
Figure 1
Figure 1. Hardinxveld Polderveg under excavation. Note the sheet steel piling protecting the site, and the sloping sides of the exposed dune.
          Because of the extreme wetland conditions of the surrounding landscape and the continuous sedimentation under the regime of the rising sea level, almost everything a prehistorian might dream of appeared to have been preserved in the slope and marsh deposits adjacent to the settlement areas on the dunes. This makes the sites fully complementary to the rich Danish Ertebølle sites like Tybrind Vig and Ringkloster and as such unique for their information about the Late Mesolithic of the Lower Rhine Basin and even of the whole of Western Europe. The sites are dated 5500-4450 cal BC. Three main phases could be established. The site Polderweg had its main phase 5500-5300 cal BC, the other site, called De Bruin, 5100-4800 and 4700-4450 cal BC. Finds include burials of humans and dogs, a range of spectacular wooden artefacts (axe haft, broken bows and paddles, a complete dug out) masses of botanical and zoological remains, imported flint and natural stone. Pottery appears around 5000 cal BC and some bone of domestic animals in phase 3, seemingly connected with deposition rituals in the marshy margins of the gradually inundating dune tops. Both sites are interpreted on strong evidence as (mid-) winter base camps in which the occupants concentrated on pike fishing and the trapping of beaver and otter. In the younger phases there is additional evidence for modest summer activities as well.
         Important artefact categories are those of animal material: antler, bone and teeth. Their numbers demonstrate the richness of the sites: 327 and 270 objects at Polderweg and De Bruin respectively, mostly made of antler and metapodials, but also of teeth, mainly wild boar tusks. Worked beaver teeth are a modest artefact class, with respectively 6 and 8 specimens from Polderweg phase 1 and De Bruin phase 2. Absence in phase 3 might very well be related to the smaller amount of material from this phase. These numbers are indeed modest in relation to fact that beaver is the most frequent of all animals, accounting for 2736 out of the 7096 identified mammal remains from the two sites. Both fragments of the artefact presented here were found at site Polderweg, phase 1 and so date from the period 5500-5300 cal BC. They were found about 1 m apart in different sections of the colluvial slope deposits of that phase and so the artefact should be considered either broken during use and discarded for that reason, or accidentally trampled and snapped in antiquity.
Examining the beaver teeth (BJC)
         I was fortunate enough to visit the Hardinxveld excavations, and to see a number of the varied and well-made artefacts from the site, but at a stage before my research on beaver bones got under way. Later, in response to a request for information about beaver bones, which Jacqui Mulville sent out to archaeozoological colleagues, dr. Loes van Wijngaarden-Bakker and drs Jacqueline Oversteegen told me of the Hardinxveld beaver finds and the use of some beaver incisors for chisels. Earlier this year, during a visit to Leiden, I had the opportunity for a preliminary study of some of the worked incisors.
          A fresh incisor from an adult beaver is approximately 125mm long and 8mm wide at the cutting edge. The tooth is curved, less tightly so for the lower incisor than for the upper one, and on the lower incisor there is an S-twist like that of a mammoth tusk. The outer surface only is covered in hard enamel, which is a bright orange-brown in colour. The cutting edge is straight, usually at right angles to the long axis of the tooth or sloping slightly down to the outer corner. Because the inner surfaces of the tooth do not have the hard enamel covering, a facet develops with use, which may be long, and slanting, or stepped, depending on what the beaver has been gnawing.
          Four relatively intact incisors from the Hardinxveld sites were examined, together with five fragmentary finds. The cutting end of an incisor from Hardinxveld de Bruin had been trimmed to produce a chisel edge of about half the original width. The other three incisors, from Hardinxveld Polderweg, appear to have been trimmed to produce a knife-like blade rather than a chisel end. All were damaged, apparently with none of the original cutting edge left. While I was puzzling as to why anyone would remove all of a ready-made chisel edge from an incisor, and what use it might be put to without it, I turned to examine the fragments, all of which came from Hardinxveld Polderweg. Two finds at least looked like the broken remains of fairly complete worked incisors, but one was a very finely worked, nicely rounded tip of an incisor about 20mm long and 3mm wide, with the outer enamel remaining on one surface. The proximal end was broken, not cut, and it was soon clear that it had broken off one of the relatively intact incisors from the same site: the two finds had been made in successive years and in different excavation squares, although only about 1 m apart. The fact that both were recovered and could subsequently be brought back together is a tribute to the skills of the excavators.
Figure 2
Figure 2. The two pieces of beaver incisor brought together to indicate the form of the original artefact. The incisor has been sliced longitudinally from mid point to tip, and the tip has been further worked to a flat rounded point. The object was originally about 12 cm long.

          When the two pieces are put together (Figure 2), the result is a gently curved lower incisor trimmed to a long, narrow slightly curving tip with a rounded end, an object which from the precision of its manufacture looks as if it was deliberately, confidently produced to a known template.

What was this object? (BJC and LPLK)
The use of beaver jaws and beaver teeth to make artefacts is outlined by Osgood (1940) in his excellent survey of Ingalik material culture, a publication which Grahame Clark used in his note on a worked beaver jaw from the later prehistoric site of Ulrome in Yorkshire (Clark 1971). It seems that it is the combination of strength and curvature that makes beaver incisors good for tools - they are, after all, used in life to gnaw down mature trees, including oak. But the Hardinxveld Polderweg incisors have been worked to remove most if not all of the original chisel cutting edge, although some outer strengthening enamel remains.
          If the worked end of the re-fitted incisor artefact was the working end, then it was deliberately made small, to work in a confined space perhaps. Osgood describes the use of beaver incisors to gouge out lumps in roots, to scrape out the inside of the concavities in snow glasses, to cut people's head hair, to work wood including the making of wooden bowls and plates, to cut birch bark for canoes (Osgood 1940, 83-87). In a prehistoric context, one can imagine them being used to hollow out small objects, such as the wooden cups from Fiave (Perini 1987), or making a small cavity in a larger wooden object, such as the pubic holes in some of the wooden anthropomorphic figurines (Coles 1990). However, the Hardinxveld incisor seems to have had its chisel edge removed, so perhaps it was used for a gentler task where strength and curvature mattered more than a cutting edge, for example easing out the edible parts of shellfish and crustaceans, or cleaning out the human ear. Although no shellfish or crustaceans were found on the site, and one might wonder whether people of the Late Mesolithic systematically cleaned their ears, these suggestions give an idea of the potential of the artefact.
          On the other hand, there is evidence from Hardinxveld to suggest that boars' tusks were trimmed at the distal end in preparation for hafting, and we should at least consider whether or not the beaver incisors were being used in the same way.
          It is early days yet to come to any conclusion about the artefact, and more work needs to be done on the incisors and related material. But this new find from Hardinxveld is yet another demonstration of the inventiveness of Mesolithic people and of the diversity of ways in which Castor fiber has been exploited in the past. Meanwhile the full Hardinxveld excavation report is about to be published (LPLK) and the beaver research continues (BJC), with who knows what further discoveries to be made.

Bryony Coles and Leendert Louwe Kooijmans

Clark, J.G.D. 1971. A shaped and utilised beaver jaw from Ulrome, Holderness, Yorkshire (E.R.). The Antiquaries Journal 61, 305-307 and Pl.LXIII.
Coles, B.J. 1990. Anthropomorphic wooden figurines from Britain and Ireland, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 56,315-333.
Louwe Kooijmans, L.P. 1999. Shippea Hill and after: wetlands in North European prehistory and the case of the donken. In: Coles, J.N. & Mellars, P. (eds.) World Prehistory, Studies in memory of Grahame Clark. Proceedings of the British Academy 99, 107-124.
Louwe Kooijmans, L.P. (ed.) 2001. Hardinxveld-Giessendam, Polderweg. Een jachtkamp uit het Laat-Mesolithicum, 5500 - 5000 v. Chr. Amersfoort.
Louwe Kooijmans, L.P. in press. The Hardinxveld sites in the Rhine/Meuse Delta, the Netherlands, 5500 - 4500 cal BC, in: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe, September 4-8, Nynashamn, Sweden.
Osgood, C. 1940. Ingalik Material Culture, Yale University Press.
Perini, R. 1987. Scavi archeologici nella zona palafiticola di Fiave-Carera Vol.2. Servizio Beni Culturali della Provinzia Autonoma di Trento.


This preliminary note summarises the results of radiocarbon determinations on human bones from Fox Hole Cave in Derbyshire. The dating was undertaken as part of a wider project on the use of caves as prehistoric burial sites in Britain (Chamberlain, 1996; Chamberlain and Williams, 1998). The results are discussed in the light of a recent review of dating evidence for the earliest Neolithic in Britain.
Background to the Dating Project
         The entrance to Fox Hole Cave is situated at an altitude of 400 m on High Wheeldon Hill in Derbyshire (NGR SK 0997 6618). The cave was discovered and partly explored in 1928 (Jackson & Piggott, 1951), and more extensive investigations were carried out during controlled excavations by the Peakland Archaeological Society between 1961 and 1981 (Bramwell, 1962-1981; Bramwell, 1971). The Peakland Archaeological Society excavations concentrated on archaeological deposits in the floor of the Entrance Chamber, the Main Passage and the First Chamber, where a sequence of deposits up to 2 metres deep was recorded.
         Apart from two human jaw fragments found in disturbed surface deposits in the Entrance Chamber, the human remains were confined to Layer C1, a clay deposit that also contained remains of wild and domestic fauna, charcoal, a Group VI polished stone axe, worked animal bone and teeth, and fragments of Peterborough ware pottery in which the fabric was tempered with limestone and chert grits. This layer was sealed by Layer B, described as a cobbled occupation floor containing sherds of Beaker pottery, occasional sherds of Peterborough and Grooved Wear pottery and some bone and flint artefacts of Neolithic and Bronze Age type. Underlying Layer C1 was the lithologically similar Layer C2 which lacked evidence of human occupation, and this was separated by a stalagmite horizon from Layer D, which contained Late Upper Palaeolithic artefacts. Two items of worked antler from Fox Hole Cave have been radiocarbon dated to the Lateglacial (OxA-1493: 11,970 uncal BP, and OxA-1494: 12,000 uncal BP). Small mammal remains were recovered from all archaeological layers in the cave.

Samples and Results
         The human bones were selected in order to provide controlled dates for the deposition of layer C1 in the main passage of Fox Hole Cave. Specimen 1 is a fragment of the distal part of the shaft of a right humerus, probably of an adult individual. It is recorded on p. 54 of Bramwell's Notebook 4 as having been recovered on 7/7/1962 from section VII of the Main Passage excavation at a level 1 to10 inches above the Neolithic polished stone axe. Specimen 2 is a distal fragment of an adult right tibia. It is recorded on p. 40 of Bramwell's Notebook 4, and was excavated in June 1962 from section VII and is associated with the location of the stone axe.
         The radiocarbon determinations are summarised in the table below.

 Specimen  Material  Date (uncalibrated)  Date (calibrated 95%)  13C  Lab Number
 Humerus (1)  Human Bone  5185±60 BP  4230 BC to 3800 BC  -20.6º/  OxA-9805
 Tibia (2)  Human Bone  5485±75 BP  4500 BC to 4050 BC  -21.4º/  OxA-9929

         The dates, which are statistically indistinguishable, indicate that the human bone in layer C1 dates to the early Neolithic, between 4500 and 3800 BC. The dates are surprisingly early, and they confirm that these are the oldest dated human bones to have been recovered from a Derbyshire cave. The material is indistinguishable in age with another early Neolithic mortuary site in Derbyshire, the Whitwell Quarry Long Cairn, which has provided calibrated dates on human bone of between 4500 and 3700 BC.
         The prehistoric pottery recovered from Fox Hole Cave is exclusively of middle or late Neolithic character (Peterborough ware, Beaker pottery and a single sherd of possible Grooved ware - Jackson and Piggott, 1951), and may therefore represent a later phase of usage of the cave than the initial deposition of human skeletal remains. The human bones from layer C1 are described as being 'usually broken' (Bramwell, 1971: 8) and it is therefore possible that the human bones derive from a primary early Neolithic mortuary deposit that was subsequently disturbed and redeposited during Late Neolithic activity inside the cave.

         The dates from Fox Hole Cave are consistent with the pattern established from other cave sites in Britain which shows that natural caves and fissures were used as sites for the deposition of human remains from the earliest Neolithic (Chamberlain, 1996). There is little evidence that caves were used for this purpose in the late Mesolithic in Britain, but the large number of cave sites with human bone dating to the early and middle Neolithic points to cave burial being an innovative funerary practice at this time.
         Schulting (2000), in a recent review of radiometric dating results for the earliest Neolithic in Britain, conjectured that the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition might have been compressed into a narrow time interval around 5200-5100 BP (c. 4000 cal. BC). The bulk of the evidence considered by Schulting comes from mortuary and settlement sites in southern England, but he noted that human bones from a secure context at Whitwell long cairn in Derbyshire have been dated to 5380, 5190 and 5115 BP. Further dating of the Whitwell human bone assemblage is in progress, but the initial dates from Whitwell, taken together with the dates from Fox Hole Cave, suggest a Neolithic presence in the South Pennine region shortly before the start of the 4th millenium BC.

A.T. Chamberlain.
Department of Archaeology and Prehistory, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 4ET, U.K.

The radiocarbon dating was funded by the The Natural Environment Research Council and was carried out at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit. The cooperation and assistance of Ros Westwood of Buxton Museum is much appreciated.

Bramwell, D. 1962-1981. Peakland Archaeological Society Newsletter issues 17-30 & 32.
Bramwell, D. 1971. Excavations at Fox Hole Cave, High Wheeldon, 1961-1970. Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 91: 1-19.
Chamberlain, A.T. 1996. More dating evidence for human remains in British caves. Antiquity 70: 950-953.
Chamberlain, A.T. & Williams, J. 1998. A Gazetteer of English Caves, Fissures and Rock Shelters Containing Human Remains. Department of Archaeology and Prehistory, University of Sheffield. Available at:

Jackson, J.W. & Piggott, S. 1951. Peterborough (Neolithic B) pottery from High Wheeldon Cave, Earl Sterndale. Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 24: 72-77.
Schulting, R.J. 2000. New AMS dates from the Lambourn long barrow and the question of the earliest Neolithic in Southern England: repacking the Neolithic package? Oxford Journal of Archaeology 19: 25-35.



R.M. Baguley
R.M. Baguley (white sweatshirt) at Skara Brae in 1982 with Anna Ritchie and (we think) Ray Inskeep

         It is with regret that we report the death in March 2001 of Dr R.M. Baguley. John Cruse writes that older members will remember Rodney Baguley as a regular participant in the Society's study tours in the late 70s/early 80s. His visiting card listed his interests as 'polar research' and 'exploration' and his qualifications as B.A., Ph.D. and D.Litt. As a tall man with long legs, Rodney was a very visible member of a tour party. From feedback given by other members, it is apparent that some of his colourful tales should probably have been taken with 'a pinch of salt'.
         His lasting legacy to the Society was to inaugurate the R.M.Baguley prize, when he presented a set of wine glasses in 1979 (each engraved by himself), to be awarded each year to the author(s) of the best article (in the opinion of Council) in that year's Proceedings. Once the initial stock was used up, successive officers of the Society journeyed up to the Scott Polar Institute in Cambridge to pick up the next batch. It was therefore very fitting that, at the last AGM, the new president, Prof. Graeme Barker was able to commemorate the donor, when both the 21st and 22nd Baguley prizes were presented to Joanna Brück for her paper in vol. 65, and Mark White and Danielle Shreve for their paper in vol. 66.


Baguley Awards
Mark White and Danielle Shreve, and Joanna Brück, after receiving their respective Baguley glasses from the new president of the Society, Prof. Graeme Barker


Europa Prize
Lady Clark and Prof. Margarita Primas, the Europa
prize recipient for 2000 at the 10th Europa lecture, in May.


Aileen - A Pioneering Archaeologist: The Autobiography of Aileen Fox
2000, Leominster: Gracewing, 204 pp. 30 plates. Paperback £ 12.99.


Sara took a keen interest in promoting women in archaeology and their achievements. At 94, Lady Aileen Fox must be one of the oldest Honorary Members of the Prehistoric Society and has lived through great changes in archaeology and society. She still occasionally attends research seminars at Exeter and last year published her latest book, reviewed here.

         By writing her autobiography Lady Aileen Fox, has constructed a fascinating read not just for those who like to glimpse the lives of others, but also created a resource for those studying a history of the 20th century and women's lives. For archaeologists, she has left a written account of the development of the subject before and after the war, and developments in the teaching of archaeology. The book works on all these different levels at once. I am now on my second read and still finding new insights in the text.
         Throughout there is a sense of fighting notions of conventional behaviour for women. These are dealt with via gems of understatements, for example after describing how she had lectured in her gown up until a month before giving birth, she states 'Pregnant women were not then expected to appear in public in Cardiff', p 99. It is clear that she went to University because of her own determination, overcoming her father's objections that she would become a 'bluestocking' and her mother's preference for a suitable marriage. The trade-off seems to have been a London season which she found ridiculous, attending dances 'accompanied by equally bored and polite young men in tailcoats who could talk about nothing else than the various makes of motorcars whilst we foxtrotted,' p36. There are several other places where sentiments show that little change over the years. She was concerned that her lecturing predecessor had given out excellent sets of notes to the students such that all she got back were reworked versions of these rather than evidence of students own thinking. This is familiar territory for anyone teaching 60 years on! Similarly, on her impending marriage to Sir Cyril Fox, at that time Director of the National Museum of Wales, she writes that her father was concerned at how little museum director's were paid. However, there is much that has changed. To read the opening sections as she describes her upper middle class childhood is to enter a different world. The formal photograph of Aileen on her presentation at court in 1926, with ornate dress and train, contrasts strongly with the photograph of her in the Alps on a botanical expedition the following year, dressed practically in trousers and jacket sitting astride a mule. She could undoubtedly have had a very easy life, but her book reveals a character that was looking for something more challenging, which she found in archaeology.
         Aileen had not one career in archaeology, but several. She started out by going on an excavation, and logically developed into a fieldworker. It is clear from her book that once she was attracted to archaeology, she identified the skills which she needed to develop, (excavation, packaging, labelling, recording on site, artefact recognition) and then sorted out programmes of work, sometimes abroad, by which she could gain those skills she thought necessary. Her account shows what can be achieved by self-motivation, clarity in aims and objectives, a lot of initiative, and independent learning - and all this 75 years before the present educational 'measures' which aim to develop such educational clarity but mostly achieve only a bureaucratic papertrail. Her book makes casual mention of names which are well-known to archaeologists, Christopher and Jaquetta Hawkes, Rik (Sir Mortimer) Wheeler, and of course her husband, Sir Cyril Fox. She conveys the excitement of discovery and research, and the developments in recording and digging techniques of the pre-war era. During the war, and with a family to look after, she was given the opportunity to lecture to students at University College, Cardiff, temporarily replacing the curator to whom these duties had fallen. Teaching archaeology was to remain a key aspect of her career thereafter. She also published 'The place of Archaeology in British Education' (Antiquity 1944 18:153-7).
         She mentions a London conference in 1944 where there was an air of excitement at the largest gathering of archaeologists (280) for some time, with discussion of the need to communicate the subject to the public and the development of a forum for discussing archaeological issues bringing together the many different arms of the subject. In the Summer of 1945 she started the first of three excavations in the badly bomb-damaged centre of Exeter, where she tried to solve fundamental questions about the development of the city. It was this work which led to her returning to the city to teach at the University College of the Southwest in 1948, after Sir Cyril's retirement as director of the National Museum. She conducted more excavations such as those at Kestor on Dartmoor and published a book on the Archaeology of the Southwest in 1964 as well as fighting to improve the provision of Archaeology at Exeter. I greatly enjoyed learning about the origins and battles of teaching degrees in Archaeology at my own University and it is undoubtedly due to her efforts that archaeological degrees have been taught at Exeter since 1968.
          On her retirement she again chose not to accept an easy life, but changed direction once again and went to New Zealand. Between 1973 and 1983 she spent most of her time the other side of the world, studying and writing about archaeology in her new country, publishing work on Maori burial chests and hilltop sites, before finally returning to Devon and continuing to publish.
         Personal qualities of perseverance and determination and a commitment to the discipline emerge strongly from her book. Though I have known her personally, the book addresses questions which I would have liked to have asked but which could never have been considered polite in normal conversation! She ends her story with T.S.Eliot's words 'I cannot hope to turn again', but in fact she has done so. This book is another turn as much as her work in New Zealand was a new direction. By writing this autobiography she has created a source of information to students of archaeology and history well into the future.

Linda Hurcombe


         We had always wanted to establish a web site for the Society but the time had never been quite right or we couldn't find an appropriate server, etc and nothing had ever got done. So, when Sara Champion backed our idea and suggested we use the Britarch server this seemed like the ideal opportunity.
          Luckily, one of us (Andrew) had the necessary know how and armed with Sara's article ('Archaeology on the World Wide Web: A user's field-guide'. Antiquity 71, 1027-1038, Dec 1997) we set about putting the Society on line. A primary aim was to attract new members from the student section of the archaeological community and to broaden our presence in areas of the world where membership leaflets might not reach.
          Immediately we saw results: enquiries came in thick and fast and in the first year we received at least 25% of our new members from the web site. With the new membership form to complement the web site, the numbers of new members per year has risen from 89 in 1996 to 207 in 2000. So far, the numbers for 2001 appear comparable to 2000. The experiment has clearly worked. The membership base has also widened to include members from Korea, Japan and the West Indies amongst others. Particularly reassuring was the realisation that many of the new members were students, ensuring the vibrancy of the Society in the 21st century.
Web site
The Prehistoric Society Web Site

         However, we became increasingly aware that it was difficult to update the site instantly. Immediate access to the site would allow us to put up 'hot press' items and other up-to-the-minute news items. UCL kindly allowed us web space and in February 2001 a newly-designed site, in keeping with the new membership leaflet design of 2000, was put up at UCL ( This site contains everything you may wish to know about the Society with details of lectures, events, grants, membership, Council Members, the full text of PAST and abstracts of PPS online. Downloadable membership and grant application forms are also available, thus cutting down on administration costs. Web links gleaned from Sara's paper and from her Champion's Choice column in PAST are also included.
          Recently we have installed a counter on the site, which shows that since May we have been receiving a consistent 50-60 hits per week. This rate has surprised us and suggests that on average ten people per day are checking the site, a far better rate than was expected.
          A new venture for 2001/2, will be to put review articles online: the hope is to get them out as fast as the books can be read (!) to provide an immediate resource for all prehistorians. We also welcome feedback from the Society membership: if anyone know of a good prehistoric web site, or piece of information that can be included in the site, then please let us know by email at . The more up to the minute and relevant we can make the site, the better: We look forward to hearing from you!
          Just to whet your appetite we have found a few Palaeolithic websites, which may be of interest:

          This site, launched in July, is a stunning resource for students, amateurs, professionals and the public at large. You can test your survival skills, go on a virtual tour of the sites, read the accounts of the archaeologists of the 19th and early 20th centuries who first examined the site, examine selected finds and see what they ate and how they lived. You can even listen to music played on a bone flute (very relaxing)!
          The site also contains a comprehensive bibliography and a links section to other Palaeolithic sites and museum collections. The only slight quibble is the almost entire absence of women and children in the illustrations: a drawback for such a comprehensive and easily accessible site.
          For those less archaeologically minded (or for when you should be reading the bibliography!), there are downloadable pictures for colouring in!

          Continuing on the Palaeolithic music theme, this site records the recent work by Frank Cowan of the Cincinatti Museum Center and Ian Cross, a musicologist from Cambridge on the creation of flint music. The authors believe they have identified a specific wear pattern caused by musical usage.
          The ABC site contains a rather catchy tune written for the flint and ancient drum, but the author has to admit that she preferred the version available at far more relaxing (something like windchimes) and better to listen to whilst colouring in your Creswell drawing (although it is a toss-up between the Creswell flute and the flint)!

          This site, launched by the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins at Southampton University, is a comprehensive guide to the Centre's projects and personnel. Up-to-date details of the Centre's research sites around the world can be found, including Red Barns, the Vaal River Valley and the Bundu Farm projects.
          There are bibliographies by the relevant staff (including a Society Vice-President!) and students, including extracts from PhDs. The site also contains a comprehensive list of links to other human origins web sites. The news and events section contains details of forthcoming lectures and seminars. Definitely worth a visit after you've put down your bone flute and crayons!

Tessa Machling and Andrew Garner



         Various groups in Britain felt that there was not sufficient information about the collapse within Silbury or about mitigation. There was also concern regarding the level of available funding for the project. Led by members of The Ancient Sacred Landscapes Network (ASLaN) a peaceful protest was organised for May 19th. The original wish had been to surround the base of the Hill with people linking hands but Foot and Mouth restrictions, not to mention the depth of the water around the mound, ruled this out.
         In the event about forty people attended and with a police escort to cater for the road safety aspect walked from the South Car Park at Avebury to Beckhampton and along to Silbury Hill. Presentations were given about the concerns and the work which is to be carried out and proceedings drew to a close for some with a picnic. Others retreated to the pub to mull it over!
         The repair of Silbury Hill will reach a new stage during the summer with the awarding of a contract to carry out a three-dimensional seismic tomographic survey to elucidate whether there are invisible voids within the mound. Following the survey and consultations an engineering solution to the mound's state will be sought. More news in the next edition.

Gill Swanton


In the midst of the first major outbreak of foot and mouth disease since 1967, the Prehistoric Society held their first conference in Belfast since, eh, 1967. As this conference demonstrated, most of the issues that are now 'hot suspects' for the Neolithic, were barely showing symptoms back then…

         In late April 2001, almost 200 people attended a conference held by the Prehistoric Society in the School of Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast, organised by Ian Armit, Eileen Murphy, Eimear Nelis and Derek Simpson. The title of the conference might have been 'Neolithic Settlement in Ireland and Western Britain', but it was attended by archaeologists from as far afield as France, the Netherlands, Canada and the US.
         Unfortunately, the scheduled field trips had to be cancelled due to the foot and mouth outbreak, but the main elements of the conference, including the opening address, lectures, conference dinner, and poster displays went ahead as planned.
         The poster displays were on view over the weekend in the School of Archaeology and Palaeoecology and covered topics such as Environmental Investigations of the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in the Antrim Uplands (Lisa Doyle), Neolithic Communities and their Environment in the North of the Isle of Man (J.J. Innes, J. Blackford, P.R. Thompson, P.J. Davey and R. Chiverrell), The Calanais Fields Project (Melanie Johnson, Catherine Flitcroft and Geraint Coles), The Prehistoric Landscape at Roughan Hill (Carleton Jones) and the Quartz Mound at Rheast Buigh, Patrick, Isle of Man (J.J. Woodcock).
         The conference proper began on the Friday evening, in the congenial surroundings of the Ulster Museum. Derek Simpson, one of the few people in attendance who had been at the 1967 meeting, ended the formal part of the proceedings with a summary of the evolution of our view of Neolithic settlement since the 1960s. The weekend that followed demonstrated that not only is much more baseline data now available, but that we are asking it much more diverse and complex questions.
         On Saturday morning, the first lecture was given by Peter Woodman, who examined the context for the initial introduction and development of a Neolithic economy in Ireland and the nature of the settlement produced by that transition. He pointed out that, compared to the rest of North West Europe, the idiosyncratic Irish Later Mesolithic would be a quite different host community for the incipient Neolithic.
         He was then followed by Gabriel Cooney who outlined a number of issues concerning the Neolithic in Ireland and, in particular, the sedentism/mobility debate. This was to be the dominant theme of the conference and was returned to time and again by various speakers.
         The next three speakers; Tim Darvill; Ian Armit and David Clarke; discussed Neolithic settlement on the Isle of Man, North Uist and Orkney, with Tim Darvill's lecture read in absentia by Barrie Hartwell. Ian Armit, in particular, addressed the problems of interpreting settlement debris and structures as 'permanent' or 'transient'. David Clarke's paper represented a spirited response to much recent interpretative work in Orkney and is sure to spark further debate in this area.
During the afternoon the wealth of new evidence for Neolithic structures in Ireland was reviewed. Eoin Grogan presented an overview, outlining the current position in terms of the Neolithic structural and settlement record. As an introduction to the range of material being uncovered, six different speakers (Cathy Dunne, Dermot Moore, Paul Logue, Jacinta Kiely, Cormac McSparron and Cóilín Ó Drisceoil) gave accounts of recent Neolithic house excavations in Ireland. Each speaker had only ten minutes, but collectively they managed to convey something of the flavour and results of current fieldwork in Ireland.
         The lectures on Neolithic structures in Ireland concluded with a reflection on issues of common interest to settlement studies in Ireland and Britain by Alasdair Whittle. He identified the introduction of the Neolithic and ensuing chronology as keys to producing workable models. He also considered the potential for variation and diversity within the material.
Much credit for the smooth running of the sessions must go to the chairpersons (Brian Williams, Patrick Ashmore, Jim Mallory and Victor Buckley). Particular mention must be made of Patrick Ashmore, who skilfully kept the tightly packed schedule on Saturday afternoon flowing and on time.
         Prior to the conference dinner in the Great Hall at Queen's on the Saturday evening, Barrie Hartwell helped everyone unwind over a glass of wine, with a lecture cum virtual tour of the Ballynahatty ritual complex near Belfast.
         Sunday morning kicked off at 9.15 am with Colm Donnelly outlining some current research in the School of Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen's. This was followed by an examination and comparison of the lithic assemblages from Donegore Hill and Lyles Hill by Eimear Nelis.
         Sinéad McCartan then proceeded to outline the nature of the Neolithic evidence from Rathlin Island and highlighted the issues of lithic procurement strategies and production. Eileen Murphy then braved a sore throat to present a report on Derek Simpson's 1960s excavations at Northton, Isle of Harris, which are currently being written up at Queen's.
         Two lectures on French connections then followed, with Alison Sheridan beginning by using a jar of marmite as an analogy for her lecture (i.e. a small pot with a link to France). She then detailed some parallels between the Neolithic of western Britain, Scotland and France through ceramics and early megalithic forms. To continue within the theme of France and 'neolithisation', Anne Tresset outlined the history of domesticates in Britain and Ireland and identified potential contacts between the Later Mesolithic groups on the two islands and the Early Neolithic communities of the continent.
         To round off Sunday morning, Alex Gibson provided an insight into Neolithic settlement patterns in the Welsh borderland. He highlighted the chronological separation of Grooved Ware and Peterborough Ware and was one of the few speakers to address problems of the Neolithic-Bronze Age transition.
         The final session of the conference began with Roger Mercer providing an update on Neolithic Settlement in South-West England. Gordon Barclay then discussed some of the current issues in lowland Scotland. He returned to the complexity of the excavated record in Scotland, and some of the difficulties of interpretation.
         Having been preceded by an article in a recent issue of Archaeology Ireland, the next lecture, a re-appraisal of Neolithic settlement architecture by Sarah Cross, was eagerly anticipated. She questioned the interpretation of the rectangular Neolithic structures in Ireland as 'houses' and proposed a model with feasting as the central focus.
         The final lecture, as such, was a brief tour of the context of the Behy-Glenulra field systems by Séamus Caulfield. He outlined the evidence for the settling of the North Mayo landscape in the Neolithic and, not to be outdone by Alison Sheridan's jar of marmite, used a postage stamp to illustrate his point. He was at a slight advantage, on this score, as the stamp did commemorate his investigations of the Céide Fields.
         The afternoon was then rounded off with a summing up by Richard Bradley and a closing speech by John Cruse, Vice-President of the Prehistoric Society.
         Richard Bradley highlighted the themes that had emerged during the conference such as regional diversity, mobility and sedentism. Most importantly he identified the main result of the conference, the recognition that current archaeological research into the Neolithic is both diverse in the range of its approaches and techniques.
         Whatever the health of the livestock of Britain and Ireland, it appears that Neolithic archaeology is as strong as ever.



         Historic Scotland published its finalised Management Plan for the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site in March 2001. Copies of this are available on CD (£6.50 each). The Nomination Document has also been reprinted (£10). Please send your order, adding 50p per item for p&p, to Catherine Mackenzie, Retail, Historic Scotland, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH.
         Stonehenge and its environs were inscribed on UNESCO's World heritage list in 1986. Part of the implementation plan called for a research framework. This will include a statement of the main perceived issues and priorities for investigation over the next decade or so and proposals for progressing all kinds of archaeological research in the Stonehenge area. The involvement of the research community is crucial and to this end a series of seminars, workshops and consultations have been planned. Details are available at:



         PAST is happy to publicise conferences on this page. Please send details to the editor following the format below. If you want to use a PAST mailing to send out flyers please contact the editor for a quote.

Mosens Guder - Facing Wood 2001, Silkeborg, Denmark: 30.10.01-31.10.01
From 1 August till 4 November 2001 Silkeborg Museum presents the international exhibition Mosens Guder - Facing Wood. Around 50 wooden anthropomorphic figures from northern and northwest-Europe, dating from the period 5500 BC - 1500 AD are exhibited together, many of them are outside their country of provenance for the first time. The associated conference on prehistoric and early historic wooden anthropomorphic figures will provide an opportunity to hear of the latest development in the research of wooden figures and the investigation of sacred sites in wetland areas. The conference language is English. The conference will take place at Gl. Skovridergaard, Marienlundsvej 36, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Jutland, Denmark. The conference centre and hotel is situated in woodland close to the river Gudenåen and the town centre of Silkeborg. Further details and booking forms are available from Ms Christine Hindsgaul, Silkeborg Museum, Hovedgårdsvej 7, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark or e-mail the form to closing date: 10 October 2001.

Prehistoric Bedrock Quarries of the Central Appalachians: 9.11.01-11.11.01
This field trip will examine the geological constraints for the establishment of prehistoric quarries in varied raw material zones of the central Appalachians. In prehistoric quarries, the full range of task subdivisions and the maintenance of the quarry technology can be identified by the distribution of manufacturing debris and associated mining instruments. The field stops will elucidate the relationship between diagenesis and petrofabric and their correlation to raw material selection throughout prehistoric time. The evidence for task subdivision, quarry maintenance, and the social implications of quarry life will be examined. For further details contact Margaret C. Brewer, M.S., Tectonic Stratigrapher/Structural Geologist, LaPorta and Associates, L.L.C Geological Consultants 116 Bellvale Lakes Road, Warwick, New York 10990 or visit the website.

Celtic Coinage 2001, Oxford: 6.12.01-7.12.01
A two day conference at the Ashmolean museum, Oxford. Speakers include John Creighton, Miranda green, Colin Halelgrove and others. For further details contact
Philip de Jersey, Inst. Of Archaeology, 36 Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2PG

TAG 2001 (Theoretical Archaeology Group): 13.12.01-15.12.01
The conference will be held at University College, Dublin and will include session on migration in prehistory sacred architecture, castles, public archaeology, figurines, landscape, luscious lithics and neo-colonial pasts, among others. For further details contact TAG 2001, dept. of Archhaeology, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Ninth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS 9). Edinburgh, Scotland: 9.02-13.9.02.
The conference themes is 'Hunter-gatherer studies and the reshaping of anthropology'. Many of the 20 sessions of interest to archaeologists. Many places open for participants; a few places still left for speakers. Contact the Co-convenors: Prof. Alan Barnard (, and Prof. Tim Ingold ( Announcements, with full details of sessions, fees, etc. and the pre-registration form, available from the conference website, or from Alan Barnard.


Our administrator Tessa Machling reports on various society business.

Direct Debit & Gift Aid
         The Society has decided to update our subscriptions payment process and will shortly be bringing in Direct Debit payments as opposed to the old system of Standing Orders. This will make administration of the subs more efficient and will be easier for members as subscription rises will be handled automatically (with prior notice of course!). Standing Orders will no longer be valid from 1st January 2002, when the new subscription rates occur.
         Therefore.....ALL members who have a current Standing Order with the Society MUST fill out a new Direct Debit and cancel their old Standing Order before 1st December 2001. We will be sending out new Direct Debit forms to all members in the near future, so please return them to Tessa Machling at the London address as soon as possible. In line with the new Charity procedure, we will also be changing from Deeds of Covenant to Gift Aid and a new form will be included with the Direct Debit form. Gift Aid provides a valuable source of income to the Society so please complete the form and return it to Tessa. Please note: Gift Aid is not a method of subscription payment, it merely allows us to reclaim the tax on subs paid via cheque, Direct Debit, etc.

The Prehistoric Society needs a Treasurer
         After many years of sterling service our current Treasurer, Maria Mayall, has decided to retire. We are, therefore, looking for someone to take on these duties on behalf of the Society. The new Treasurer need not be a member of the Society, so if there are suitable candidates you are aware of please contact the Secretary, Dave McOmish. The main duties will include the following:-

  • Prepare annual budget
  • Present estimates of expenditure to date (as required by Council)
  • Prepare end-of-year accounts (with the auditor)
  • Submit accounts (as approved at AGM) to Companies House
  • Monitor and administrate receipts and expenses over the year
  • Attend relevant Council and Executive meetings (no more than 6 per year)
         Ideally, we are looking for someone with experience in fiscal management or some suitable financial area. A working knowledge of computerized financial software would also be desirable. Contact the Secretary for further information.

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