Archaeology rocks- Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters


A comprehensive list detailing various conferences, which will be taking place over the next few months.

British Art: Ancient Landscapes Exhibition

8 April - 3 September 2017

The Salisbury Museum

This major new exhibition is curated by Professor Sam Smiles, Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Plymouth and brings together his life-long passion for the history of art and a deep fascination for archaeology. The exhibition represents a first both for the museum and for Sam, as it the first show dedicated exclusively to artistic views of British prehistory and includes works by British artists from the 18th century to the present day.

The result is an exhibition that will feature some of the greatest names in British Art from the last 250 years. The work of artists such as John Constable, JMW Turner and William Blake will be familiar, but these monuments have continued to inspire artistic responses into the modern period, too, as shown by  Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Richard Long, Derek Jarman and Jeremy Deller. Putting these artists into conversation with one another reveals how this landscape has been re-imagined by successive generations.

The museum has many themed events running alongside the exhibition, which will include the opportunity to hear Sam talk exclusively about the exhibition at a Private View on 26 April. An exciting programme of speakers throughout the summer blends archaeology and art history and includes:

  • Professor Richard Bradley talking about ''Rock art' - prehistoric art in the prehistoric landscape'
  • James Russell who curated ‘Ravilious’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery (2015) talking about ‘Eric Ravilious: Downland Man’
  •  Anna and Patrick Dillon, artist and cultural ecologist talking about ‘The Draw of the Ancient Landscape’
  • Dr Jim Leary, Director of Archaeology Field School at the University of Reading talking about ‘The Vale of Pewsey Project’

The exhibition will further be illuminated by opportunities to walk in the ancient landscape with expert photographers and archaeologists. Marketing Officer, Louise Tunnard said, “We are so fortunate to live alongside the ancient landscapes that inspired these wonderful artists, and which remain relatively unchanged since pre historic times. I am hoping that we will inspire visitors to the exhibition to walk these landscapes too and discover their enduring appeal.”

Normal admission charges apple, £7.50 adults and £3.60 children.

Opening hours:

Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm

Sundays 12 midday - 5pm

For more information please see the website.

Voices from the river – art and archaeology in the Coupar Burn

16 May - 27 August 2017

Soup Spoons, forks and knives, crockery, clay pipes and mobile phones, children’s toys, bolts and fixings from the days of the railway were amongst the many finds lifted from the silt at the bottom of the Coupar Burn in Coupar Angus.

Investigating the territory occupied by the traditional narratives that have shaped mainstream archaeology, this community engaged visual art project originated by artist Frances Law has enabled an inter-generational group from Coupar Angus to re-tell their own stories through the archaeological process of classification and identification.

Carrying meaning and memory within its waters, the Coupar burn has its own history, intrinsically linked to the town. The collection of material which has found its way to the bed of the burn provides a mirror which reflects a chronological, cultural and social history of the town.

A ‘ field tent’ was set up in the town square during a busy Saturday market day.  Volunteers from stART (Strathmore Arts)  and Coupar Angus Youth Activity Group encouraged members of the local community to put on waders and descend into the burn with buckets and litter pickers.  Frances has curated a series of reflective events with members of the local community and the P5 children of Coupar Angus Primary School.  The objects have been used as catalysts for developing community engagement   providing a platform where the invaluable voice of local experience is celebrated as community expertise.

The results of this intriguing project will be on show at Perth Museum and Art Gallery from 16 May - 27 August 2017.

Admission Free

For more information please see the website.

Towards an Art History of the Parish Church, 1200-1399

2 June 2017

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

10am - 4pm

Paul Binski, in his 1999 Studies in Iconography article, “The English Parish Church and its Art in the Later Middle Ages,” asked “how, and in what ways, we might place the imagery of the parish church at the centre of the study of medieval visual culture rather than seeing it as some unfathomable, and perhaps embarrassing, epiphenomenon of something that was ‘really’ going on elsewhere.”  Though some 8,000 parish churches in England can be said to consist largely of medieval fabric, no overarching study of English medieval church architecture is available. Instead, scholarship is generally limited to descriptions of single buildings and their furnishings, and the broader historical significance of this building type has largely gone unaddressed.

Towards an Art History of the Parish Church, 1200-1399, to be held on 2-3 June, 2017 at The Courtauld Institute of Art, will gather scholars to revisit the question of the parish church and its relationship to medieval visual culture. Participants will contribute to a vibrant discussion of the Gothic parish church, its utility as an object of study, and the insights offered on the subject by diverse methodologies. In particular, the conference will prioritise ways in which scholars might think about Gothic parish churches collectively, profiting from the rapidly expanding technologies of the digital age.  We are pleased to announce that Professor Paul Binski has agreed to give the closing remarks for the conference, and reflect upon how scholarship has progressed since his Studies in Iconography article.

The conference draws its temporal focus from the most notable lacuna in scholarship, which concerns the introduction and flowering of Gothic architecture across the English parish church in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The thirteenth century saw a broadly Gothic style replace the Romanesque across England; although this has been studied with regard to great church architecture, the mechanics of what amounts to a major stylistic shift at parish level remain largely uninvestigated. Likewise, the quantity of fourteenth-century work in parish churches further shaped the manifestation of the Gothic style, particularly in features such as sedilia which were originally developed in outside of cathedrals and great monasteries. Given the impact of the English Decorated Style on Late Gothic architectural developments across Europe, the parish church promises to illuminate art historical questions beyond the borders of England. These lacunae are in stark contrast to the smaller corpus of the Romanesque period, which has had a large amount of attention via resources such as CRSBI; and the late medieval church after 1400, which draws on greater availability of documentary evidence.

For more information and booking details please visit the website.

Fifty Years of Conservation Areas

7 June 2017

A public lecture by Dr Simon Thurley.

The first Conservation Areas were designated in 1967, today at the golden anniversary there are some 10,000 sites. The presentation will explore the origins, variety and some challenges for the future.

The lecture will be held at the Museum of London, Barbican EC2Y 5HN. 

The lecture will be accessible to the general public on a first come first served basis and begin promptly at 6pm.

This lecture forms part of a series. For more information on please see the website.

Walkabout in Bolton-by-Bowland

Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group

17 June 2017

A walkabout in Bolton-by-Bowland, formerly in the West Riding, with Kevin Illingworth.

We start with a village walkabout (and perhaps a bit further) in the morning. After lunch in the village shop/tea-room there will be a longer walk, taking in Fooden Farmhouse, Fooden Hall, King Henry’s Well, Bolton Peel Farmhouse, Broxup House, with more to come.

For more information and booking please see the website.

International Workshop on 'Rural Settlement - relating buildings, landscape, and people in the European Iron Age'

19 to 21 June 2017


Jointly organised by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Eisenzeit, the University of Edinburgh and the First Millennia Studies Group.

See the website for further details.

The closing date for offers of papers is 28 February 2017.

The Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland: results, implications and wider contexts

23 - 25 June 2017

This weekend conference will provide an opportunity to explore some of the results of the AHRC-funded 'Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland' project and to set these into wider contexts. Papers will be presented by members of the Atlas team as well as by colleagues working on related themes within and beyond Britain and Ireland. Members of the Hillfort Study Group, and of the Project Steering Committee have been invited to chair sessions and lead discussion. All are welcome to attend and a particular invitation is extended to those who contributed to the Citizen Science initiative associated with this project.

Attendance is free, but ticketed. 

In collaboration with University of Oxford.

For more information please visit the website.

New Forest Knowledge Conference 2017

Call for Papers: New Forest Archaeology: Who’s doing it?

27 - 28 October 2017

Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

New Forest Knowledge is a partnership between two projects within the Heritage Lottery Funded programme ‘Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership’: Ecademy, led by the New Forest Centre, and Heritage on my Doorstep, led by the National Park Authority. Both projects have the aim to make the unique heritage of the New Forest more accessible to all across a variety of levels and interest.  Ecademy seeks to promote information sharing and integration through the creation of on-line resources; Heritage on my Doorstep seeks to engage the local community in researching and sharing the history and archaeology of the New Forest.

The aims of the 2017 conference are to celebrate the archaeological work and research being carried out in the New Forest, to find out who is doing what, and to share the results of recent work. We would like to break down perceived boundaries between academic communities, commercial units, and local groups in a way that gives everyone an equal platform on which to share their research. Papers will be arranged chronologically, telling the story of the New Forest, before focusing on specific themes such as technology, economy and society. A display area will have stalls, stands and exhibitions from a wide range of relevant organisations.

We now welcome contributions addressing any aspect of archaeology in the New Forest. However we ask that contributors place their work within the wider context of how their research is helping to enhance our understanding of New Forest and ‘the bigger picture’ of the past.

To contribute a 20-minute paper please send your title and abstract (c. 250 words) to Katharine Walker ( or James Brown ( by 5 May 2017.

We also welcome posters (A0 portrait size for easy mounting); if you would prefer to share your research in this medium, please let us know (Funding will be available to cover the costs of poster printing for community groups and students). Prospective exhibitors are also invited to get in touch and book a table or display space.

Follow the links to find out more about the Ecademy and Heritage on My Doorstep projects.

‘Not within the scope of this argument’:Archives and Rabbit Holes

HARN (Histories of Archaeology Research Network) Conference 2017

3 November 2017

UClan Campus, Preston

As archaeologists and historians, we depend upon archives as crucial repositories of primary and secondary sources.  We visit them to dive deeper into our subjects and to learn about people and events on a personal level.  Not only are archives rich in unpublished sources that undoubtedly add new angles to our scholarship, but they also produce a number of curious topics that simply do not fit within the scope of our projects.  The goal of this conference is to highlight the utility of archives in our work as historians and archaeologists and we hope to analyse the purpose of archives in our unique investigations while at the same time answering questions about archival research. We focus specifically on the idea of research rabbit holes.  We have all fallen into these, but what subjects keep leading us astray?  Or are we led astray?  Does the seemingly unrelated material bring us back to our original research?  We have all experienced the mischief of archives and their materials but they do not always fit in the scope of our larger research.  We invite presentations that talk about and analyse the important influence archives, archival materials, and the tangents that pull us away temporarily.

Papers may focus on the study of archival research as a methodology, but we will give preference to papers that allow researchers to discuss a topic that they have found interesting but that does not fit within the scope of their usual projects.

We are seeking abstracts of 250 words for papers/presentations that will be no longer than 20 minutes.  By August 1, 17:00 GMT, send your abstracts in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format with your name, institutional affiliation, title, and contact information to

Please note that all presenters must be members of HARN, which is free, or will join automatically upon acceptance.

Autumn Showcase: Celebrating Community Archaeology in Yorkshire - Call for papers

CBA Yorkshire

4 November 2017 - Abstracts to be submitted by 30 June 2017

National Centre for Early Music, York

CBA Yorkshire’s Autumn Showcase is a new event which aims to celebrate the amazing range of work being done by Community Archaeology groups in the county. The day will consist of presentations, poster displays and exhibitions by archaeological groups with a series of workshops to help develop skills.

The event is designed to encourage groups undertaking archaeological and historical research to come together, to share their discoveries and to learn about what colleagues are doing in other parts of the county. CBA Yorkshire wants to do more to encourage the work of Community Archaeology groups and so we will also be encouraging feedback on what you want us to do to improve our support. The event is being held in the historic church of St Margaret’s in the heart of York. The church was restored and converted into the National Centre
for Early Music in 2000, winning major conservation awards.

If your Community Archaeology group would like to be part of the Autumn Showcase by giving a 20 minute talk on work that you are doing and/or by putting on a poster display or a table-top exhibition then please register your interest by e-mailing a c.100 word summary of your project to: or by post to: Trevor Pearson, Secretary, CBA Yorkshire, 3 Grosvenor House, Grosvenor Terrace, YORK YO30 7BF.

We want to get all the arrangements in place by the end of June so please don’t delay your response!

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