Plymouth Archaeology Society

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Winter Lecture Season 2019 -2020

Our lectures are held at 7:00 pm in the Devonport Lecture Theatre of the Portland Square Building, University of Plymouth. PAS members, University staff & students, with valid ID, and all school students are admitted free. All others are welcome but asked to contribute £4 towards our expenses.

No need to book  -  just turn up

 7th October 2019

‘Non-linear human response to sea-level rise and environmental change: The Lyonesse Project’

Dr Robert Barnett, University of Exeter

(Joint meeting with Cornwall Archaeological Society. Meeting open to all and no charge.)

The Isles of Scilly occupy an important position in the western seaways and may have been instrumental in the dispersal of hunter gatherer populations into Britain after the last Ice Age. The Lyonesse Project has the aim of reconstructing the physical environment of Scilly for the past 12,000 years. This study of past sea level, landscape and cultural change provides insight into how coastal communities might respond to rapid and ongoing sea-level rise today. Rob is a Research Fellow, leading the scientific publication associated with the Project.

4th November 2019

‘Discovery is Just the Beginning

Recent maritime archaeological investigations by the Nautical Archaeology Society’

Mark Beattie-Edwards, CEO of the Nautical Archaeology Society

Over the last 15 years, Mark has been involved in a number of underwater archaeological investigations on some of England’s protected wrecks. The sites range from a presumed Dutch third rate lost in the Battle of Beachy Head (1690), to one of the first submarines ever commissioned into the Royal Navy. He is now leading projects to identify the name of the newest protected wreck and to save the fragile wreck of the London (lost in 1665) in the Thames Estuary. Mark will talk about these projects and the role the NAS plays in supporting its members undertaking their own research projects.

2nd December 2019

‘Breton Woodworkers in Tudor Devon’

John Allan

(Joint meeting with the Devonshire Association (Plymouth Branch). Meeting open to all and no charge.)

Devon & Cornwall had large immigrant populations at the end of the Middle Ages, among whom were skilled Breton craftsmen including woodcarvers. Some of the most beautiful works surviving in our churches can be attributed to these woodworkers, as well as those in town and country houses. John Allan is the Exeter Cathedral Archaeologist and Archaeological Adviser to Glastonbury Abbey. He is also the current President of the Devonshire Association and was formerly Curator of Antiquities of Exeter City Museums.

3rd February 2020

‘Finding the First Farmers on the Northern Plains of America:

Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village and Middle Missouri Culture'

Prof Alan Outram, University of Exeter

This site, in South Dakota, represents the early colonization of the Northern Plains by agriculturalists (c. AD 1050), and is used as a fieldschool for students from Exeter. The villagers lived primarily from their gardens of maize, beans and squash and from the hunting of bison. Alan Outram, Professor of Archaeological Science, is an environmental archaeologist, palaeoeconomist and is co-director of the 'Centre for Human-Animal-Environment (HumAnE) Bioarchaeology'.

2nd March 2020

Unfortunately, our planned speaker for Monday 2nd March is unable to join us due to illness.

However, Win Scutt has kindly agreed to fill-in, so our new talk on Monday 2 March will be:

Place-Names, Landscape and Language in Prehistoric Britain

How do we know what languages were spoken in Iron Age Britain and even before that? Is it even possible to know for a time when there were no written records? Many old books tell us they spoke "Celtic" - but how do they know? And what do we mean by "Celtic". This lecture will challenge all your assumptions about place-names, the Celts, the Anglo Saxons, and the evolution of language and identity in Britain.

6th April 2020

‘Camel hunting in Neolithic Arabia’

Prof Terry and Dr Sonia O’Connor

The Baynunah site in the desert of western Abu Dhabi is the first from this region to show that wild dromedary camels were driven in herds into natural traps. Excavations have shown that the location was used on a number of occasions, with various levels of butchery taking place. The talk will show the significance of the site and practical challenges that the excavation and conservation posed to the small international team. Sonia O’Connor is an archaeological conservator, now working mainly on historic textiles and artefacts made of bone, horn and ivory. Terry O’Connor specialises in the study of animal bones from archaeological sites.

April lecture cancelled

Following Government advice to reduce social contact & avoid gathering in order to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus, we have have decided that we must cancel our Final Winter Meeting scheduled for Monday, 6 April.

I know that this will disappoint some of you. We will keep our summer programme under review as we see how things develop, but have decided not to hold a summer walk in May.