Speaker: Emma Brownlee
One of the most unusual forms of burial found in early medieval England is the use of a bed on which the deceased is laid to rest. Several of these burials have made the news recently: the Harpole treasure excavated near Northampton in 2022, and the Trumpington bed burial, whose facial reconstruction made international headlines in June 2023. The burials found in England all belong to women, and all date to the period of Christianisation in the seventh century. Yet bed burials are not confined to England. They appear across Europe, but take quite a different form on the continent. This talk will combine information from the burials themselves with new scientific evidence, to consider what they can tell us about connections across early medieval Europe in a time of social and religious change.
Dr Brownlee is a research fellow at Girton College, University of Cambridge, where she focuses on how grave good use and burial rites vary across Europe in 5th to 8th centuries AD.
Related upcoming events
01/03/2024 19:30 - 01/03/2024 21:00
Speaker: James Wright – SPEAKER ON ZOOM
Every single hamlet, village, town and city in the British Isles has a story of secret passages running beneath the landscape. The tales speak of hidden tunnels connecting the castle and the monastery, or the hermitage and the pub, or the church and the manor house. Often these are supposed to be escape tunnels, sometimes they are connected with smuggling or treasure, on other occasions the given reasons for their existence are somewhat salacious and scandalous. The folklore of Britain’s subterranean landscape is ubiquitous, but is there ever any archaeological evidence for these yarns? What are the underlying truths? Can the stories ever tell us something about how people think about their communities and heritage?
Archaeological Research Group
08/03/2024 19:30 - 08/03/2024 21:00
Speaker: Sarah Howard - SPEAKER ON ZOOM
Sarah Howard is a heritage management professional who has worked for local and national government heritage services, the educational charity Council for British Archaeology, and more recently for the Environment Agency as their Midlands regional advisor on avoidance and mitigation of heritage impacts from the construction of flood alleviation schemes. Sarah holds an MSc in Environmental Archaeology and a PhD in heritage management that examined the concept of sustainability and how it has been understood and applied to archaeological heritage management. Sarah contributes as a regular co-host to a podcast series on Sustainable Heritage with fellow archaeologist Mark Williams, and volunteers some of her time to the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists to help assess new members and participates in their neurodiversity network.
15/03/2024 19:30 - 15/03/2024 21:00
Speaker: Tony Wilmot
This talk will summarise the phenomenon of the Roman amphitheatre as experienced in Britain and will concentrate on contrasting the evidence from the amphitheatres of Chester and Richborough, both of which have been excavated within the last 20 years. It will cover variations in amphitheatre construction between the legions and the civilian centres and evidence for the nature of arena events and the behaviour of spectators. Tony Wilmott is a senior archaeologist at Historic England and has worked as a professional field archaeologist for 46 years. During this time he has excavated on many sites, mainly, but not exclusively, of Roman date. He is particularly known for his work on Hadrian’s Wall and at Richborough, and for excavations on the two amphitheatres of Chester and Richborough. He is the author of The Roman Amphitheatre in Britain and is currently working on a fully revised edition.
Joan D'Arcy Lecture - The Seizure of Church Goods in Derbyshire 1552-3: a later act of Tudor Reformation destruction23/03/2024 14:00 - 23/03/2024 16:00
‘The Temple well purged’: the Seizure of Church Goods in Derbyshire 1552-3: a later act of Tudor Reformation destruction.
Speaker: Dr Richard Clark
On 15 January 1553 the government of Edward VI put in place arrangements to seize the goods of churches throughout England and Wales. It had ordered these goods to be listed by each parish in the summer of 1552. The seizures in Derbyshire took place in May 1553 as Edward VI's health began to decline and concerns about the royal succession grew.
The talk will be based on the records, covering large parts of Derbyshire, which were produced to enable and administer these changes. These were edited by the speaker and published by the Derbyshire Record Society as Church Goods in Derbyshire 1552-1553 in 2022. They complement the doctoral studies on the impact of the Reformation on the deanery of Derby by the late Joan D'Arcy.
The DAS Library will be open from 1.00pm with exhibitions and books for sale including publications by the DAS, the Derbyshire Record Society and other local groups.
3.00pm - 3.30pm A break for tea, a chance to browse the Library and book sales
3.30pm - 4.00pm Highlights from the archives of the Derbyshire Archaeology Society (Rosemary Annable)
The Riddings Oil Refinery of 1848 - 175 years ago: Britain’s first oil refinery - was it also the world’s first?05/04/2024 19:30 - 05/04/2024 21:00
Speaker: Cliff Lea
It was in the 1840s that the Oakes family struck oil whilst sinking one of their coal pits at Riddings near Alfreton. Hear how the technical characteristics of this fluid – a fluid that was regarded as simply a nuisance at the time - were researched on site by a truly pioneering Scottish chemist, James Young. How Young found out what could be produced from the oil, how he developed a method of refining and fractionation for production of what were to become extremely useful end products. This was to lead to the invention of paraffin wax candles, and the isolation and use of what we now call “paraffin oil”, allowing the very start of use of paraffin lamps; both inventions were so useful for revolutionising domestic lighting from the 1850s on. Before this the very poor sputtering light of tallow wicks was the usual form of lighting in most households. Following his early work in Derbyshire it was James Young who was globally the very first to take out a patent to define the oil refining process. When mineral oil was shortly afterwards to be discovered in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the early oil pioneers in USA were to pay vast royalties to Young in those very early manic days of the rise of the world’s most lucrative industry.
Cliff Lea is a chemist who had spent his career in the oil industry. He discovered only when moving to Derbyshire in 1980, that this county is perhaps the most important of all in Britain’s mineral oil industry history. He has given talks on the subject at both international and national conferences on history of the oil industry. Cliff is a founder member and currently chair of the North East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology Society.
Organised by the Industrial Archaeology Section