2021 - 2022 Lecture Programme

Lectures will be at 5 pm as well as an additional 3 pm slot on 13 April.

2021

13 OCTOBER: 'Putting the Pieces back Together: what slighting can tell us about the past'
by Dr Richard Nevell
Castles are monumental structures, built as expressions of identity, strength, and as residences and fortifications. How they were used and what happened to them can tell us about medieval society and power dynamics. This talk will look at an aspect of castles which has wider implications: the act of deliberately damaging them, known as ‘slighting’. The various approaches and sources available to understand slighting will be explored and applied to Pevensey Castle in Sussex. King John gave orders to slight the castle in 1216 in the midst of
war with his barons and an invasion from France, but to what extent can this be detected in the surviving remains and how should this influence how we understand destruction? In answering these questions, this talk will address the challenges of interpreting the source material, how authority was expressed through destruction, and suggest how these methods can be applied to other contexts.

10 NOVEMBER: 'Tattershall Castle: The Newly Built Personality of Ralph Lord Cromwell'
by Dr James Wright
Rising from a Lincolnshire family of limited political influence, Ralph Cromwell became one of the most significant figures of the mid-fifteenth century. Linking structure to biography, the personality of a man on the rise from Lord of the Manor to Lord Treasurer of England is reflected in the power statements of his castles, great houses and ecclesiastical buildings. This can be contrasted with glimpses of the vulnerabilities and status anxieties bound up in his social identity with emphatic, yet revealing architectural statements revolving around his motto, heraldry, livery badges and repeated architectural devices. Those structures which he commissioned then went on to have an extraordinarily powerful legacy which lasted for over 150 years of English architecture.

8 DECEMBER: 'Talking torcs: a craft perspective on Iron Age gold'
by Dr Tessa Machling and Roland Williamson
Tess Machling is an Independent Researcher based in St Albans. Roland Williamson is a Museum Replica Maker of 40 years’ experience, and who is based in Cheltenham. Tess and Roland have been researching torcs since 2015, when they realised that the prevalent manufacturing theories for Iron Age gold torcs were incorrect. This in turn has led to an ongoing research project involving a team of goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers which aims to understand the methods used to create Iron Age gold artefacts and to examine how this may allow a better understanding of goldsmithing and trade/exchange/gifting in Iron Age Britain and Ireland.

2022

12 JANUARY: ‘A Roman shrine complex at Teffont, Wiltshire'
by Dr David Roberts
Long term research at Teffont, in south-west Wiltshire, has revealed a complex Roman landscape and structures centred around an enclosure on a steep greensand ridge. This lecture will draw together survey, excavation and analysis of material culture to review the development of this significant site from the Late Iron Age, through the Roman period, and into the post-Roman period. The shrine complex at Teffont will then be set in its wider context, drawing on wider recent survey and excavation evidence from the region to demonstrate the diversity and complexity of later Roman religious practice in the area, and the close relationships between landscape practice and religion.

9 FEBRUARY: 'Lindisfarne: new research and new ways of working, the DigVentures model in action'
by Lisa Westcott Wilkins and Brendon Wilkins
In 2021 the DigVentures team is running its sixth season of excavation on the significant early monastic site in collaboration with Dr David Petts of Durham University. The results of this work are fascinating in themselves, but we will also explore the new way of working
developed by DigVentures. The excavation has been entirely crowd-funded, £0.25m so far, and all of the data recorded so far are available to study online. Working in this way on this and other projects has resulted in the growth of a large community of engaged followers both
on site and on-line, and we believe that this model has both widened and deepened public engagement in archaeological research.

9 MARCH: ‘The Life and Times of Black Loch of Myrton, an Iron Age Wetland Settlement in SW Scotland'
by Dr Anne Crone
Black Loch of Myrton is an exceptionally well-preserved Iron Age wetland settlement, the first of its type to be identified in Scotland. At any one time in its occupation, it consisted of several roundhouses within a defensive perimeter, a palisaded enclosure in other words. What sets it apart from other dryland enclosures is its location on a peaty island in a small loch; this has ensured that the organic remains of the roundhouses, a trackway and the palisades have been preserved, the
occupation surface. The settlement is precisely dated by dendrochronology so that we can trace its evolution over three major episodes from the mid-5th century BC until the latter half of the 3rd century BC. An array of innovative and integrated analyses has provided detailed evidence for living conditions and the use of space within the roundhouses. The focus of this lecture will be the occupation of the settlement, its chronology, construction and possible function. The cultural context of the settlement will be discussed and we will explore the perennial question – why live out on the water?

13 APRIL: 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. lectures
3 p.m. Post-graduate speakers from Sheffield University

'Coming of age: a biocultural investigation of reproductive practices in Industrial Britain' by Aimee Barlow

'From Conquest to Consumption: Evidence for the sexualisation and subsequent trafficking of 'barbarian' women and children in the iconography of Roman conquest (1st c. B.C. - 2nd c. A.D.)' by Kelsey Madden

'Landscape stability and the formation of social memory in prehistoric Britain' by Chris Dwan

5 p.m. 'Best of British? A practical analysis to later prehistoric equitation in Britain'
by Dr Rena Maguire
The archaeological record of Britain contains numerous highly decorative Iron Age snaffles and other pieces of equestrian equipment which have sometimes been interpreted in fanciful ways. However, by blending practical stable yard know-how and new archaeological analyses on the equipment, we can start to ‘see’ the very real humans beside their horses. This overview of later prehistoric tack in Britain offers some insight into changing societies and technologies, and how it relates to contemporary equitation in Europe and Ireland – and why it matters.

11 MAY: 'A 'scandalous trough' and other tales of Romano-British Sculpture'
by Lindsay Allason-Jones
During the course of work on the final volume of the Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani for Great Britain (Volume I, fascicule 11), which covers the hinterland of Hadrian's Wall, several new pieces of Romano-British sculpture have been discovered and some long-lost have been re-found. Many of the stones have curious histories, and even folk legends about them. Others fill gaps in our knowledge about the Romans in the north of England and offer evidence about religious practice in the Military Zone at this time.

The lecture will be preceded at 4.45 pm by the 2022 Annual General Meeting, with tea at 4.15 pm.

Royal Archaeological Institute
c/o Society of Antiquaries of London
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London W1J 0BE

admin [at] royalarchinst.org

X