Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Origins of Folkestone

April 27th, 2015

If you want to learn more about the history of Folkestone, there’s a free talk next Thursday, 30th April starting at 7.30 pm.  Click on the poster for more details.
Public Talk

Nearly gone

April 22nd, 2015

Demolition is almost complete at the Peugeot Garage site on Rhodaus Town. Some great archaeology was recorded beneath the surrounding new buildings and the excavation team is looking forward to getting on site again soon.
Peugeot Garage demolitionPeugeot Garage demolitionPeugeot Garage demolition

Canterbury’s Archaeology 2013–2014

April 21st, 2015

Our latest Annual Review arrived from the printer last week. Click on the images below to get a taster of what’s inside – ranging from Iron Age gold coins to five-toed chickens.

More details and buy via PayPal.
Annual Review spread_pp10_11Annual Review_pp28_29Annual Review_pp42_43

Welcome back

April 20th, 2015

Monday morning and back to normal duties for three members of staff just returned from Kurdistan. Last week they were working in the Shanidar Cave in the Zagros Mountains in Iraq which recently made the news with the discovery of more Neanderthal remains.  Ross Lane said:

‘Last Monday I was shovelling backfill and breaking rocks with a sledgehammer in Shanidar cave revealing Ralph Solecki’s section edge where he had previously identified some Neanderthal remains and today I am tapping away at the computer writing sets for St Edmunds School 2012 excavation. Quite a contrast. Big rocks … ‘.

Meanwhile Hazel has been back watching boreholes and our Director, Paul Bennett, is trawling through a very long list of emails. Welcome home!
Shanidar caveShanidar caveSolecki trench after excavation
Hazel sieving for artefacsPaul and Dr Lucy Farr recording Solecki sectionsThe rock breaking team

It was early one morning …

April 9th, 2015

… not quite as the sun was rising, because the clocks had changed. Easter weekend was a little dull and dank in Dover, but that didn’t deter the crew from taking the boat out for a short early morning jaunt across Dover harbour. They proved that their rowing muscles were still there – if a little out of condition – and that ‘Ole Crumlin Pedersen’ had weathered the winter well.
Replica Dover Bronze Age boatReplica Dover Bronze Age boatReplica Dover Bronze Age boat

Marlowe Car Park – one of the best

March 25th, 2015

With Richard III back in the public eye this week, it seems that car parks are also receiving attention. Our very own Marlowe Car Park features in this guide to the UK’s Best Car Parks (archaeologically speaking).

We didn’t find a king, but we did find some bits of a very nice Roman horse harness and an awful lot more … all published in this weighty tome.
Roman cavalrymenRoman horse harness

Professor Sheppard Frere

March 3rd, 2015

We were saddened to hear that Professor Sheppard Frere died last Wednesday, 25th February.

His association with Canterbury began in 1946, when he succeeded Audrey Williams as Director of Excavations for Canterbury Excavations Committee. At that time he was a classics master at Lancing College and work at Canterbury took place in his summer vacations. In his preface to The Archaeology of Canterbury VII he described how at the end of each season he would leave Canterbury with tea-chests of finds to be sorted and drawn during the following term and plans, sections and reports to be worked on, all in his spare time. He left Lancing to become a university lecturer in archaeology in 1954, continuing to be involved in excavations at Canterbury until 1957.  Between 1955 and 1961 he excavated at Verulamium and in 1961 became Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Provinces at University of London. In 1966 he became a fellow of All Souls College and Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at Oxford.

Canterbury Archaeological Trust was formed in 1975; the first Archaeology of Canterbury monograph series was launched in 1982 to publish the results of CEC and CAT excavations in various locations in the city. Professor Frere was closely involved with these publications through the 1980s and early 1990s and was guest of honour at the party held to celebrate publication of the ’Marlowe’ volume in 1995.
Sheppard Frere examines findSheppard Frere in BurgateSheppard Frere excavating

Our Libyan friends

February 26th, 2015

The Trust has recently been playing host to four colleagues from Libya; Ahmed Emrage of the University of Benghazi and Fadl Abdulaziz, Akram Masri and Moataz Al Zwai of the Department of Antiquities. They have been engaged in a range of activities and training with Trust staff  – all as part of an initiative to complete the excavation of the Haua Cave in Cyrenaica.

The cave has long been regarded as one of the most significant for prehistoric occupation in North Africa, and arguably one of the most important ancient caves in the world. It was first identified as such in the early 1950s by a Cambridge University team led by Charles McBurney. A 14m deep excavation located at the centre of the cave revealed a near continuous sequence of deposits extending back to the Middle Palaeolithic, thought then to date to approximately 80,000 years ago, ending with Neolithic remains 7,000 years old, with Greek, Roman and Arab levels testifying to more recent use. The Haua has been used by a local family to pen domesticated animals for generations and, during difficult times, for habitation.

A new phase of work in the cave began in 2007 under the direction of Professor Graeme Barker, also of Cambridge University, and is on-going. Staff from the Trust, with Paul Bennett, have assisted in recent years, but the deteriorating security situation in Libya means that work has halted – for the time being.

It is hoped that our friends from the Department of Antiquities of Libya will resume work in April with excavation monitored from Canterbury and Cambridge via Skype and phone conferencing.
Sieving with Alex VokesSurveying with Ross LaneCourse completed

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