Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Hippos at Herne Bay

July 25th, 2017

It’s true! What was at first thought to possibly be from a rhinoceros - which was exciting enough – has now been identified as hippopotamus. A shoulder blade and other fragments were found in gravel deposits on the former golf course site. The excavation there was visited recently by specialists from Royal Holloway, University of London.  Read the full story here.

Open Day: East Wear Bay

July 24th, 2017

As part of the Festival of Archaeology 2017, our field school and excavation at East Wear Bay will be open to visitors next Saturday (29 July) from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.  For more events in the Council for British Archaeology’s festival see here. More about the East Wear Bay field school can be found here, where you will see that on a fine day (as Saturday will surely be) the site is spectacular. There might even be ice cream!

The Ian Coulson Annual Bursary

July 13th, 2017

Ian Coulson, A Town Unearthed 2011
Congratulations to St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Gravesend for being awarded the first Ian Coulson Bursary for Local History/Archaeology in Kent schools (July 2017).

Full details and how to apply for this bursary can be found here.

Herne Bay golf course

July 4th, 2017

Drone photo: Nathan Ellis
Here is a drone photo of Herne Bay Area C, showing a wide hollow way flanked by boundary ditches.

The hollow way is ancient, perhaps dating from the late Iron Age into the Roman period. The route way may have continued in use into the medieval period, the date of the flanking boundary ditches.

We have been working at Herne Bay on and off since June last year. There have been some very interesting findings which we will bring to you soon.

Congratulations Mr Bennett!

June 21st, 2017

Professor P Bennett MBE
A nice surprise for everyone at the Trust this last weekend, and news flew around the airwaves fast.  Our own Mr Bennett (or more properly, Professor Bennett) was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for ‘Services to Archaeology’. Congratulations have been pouring in from far and wide. Just to keep his feet on the ground, we’ve found just a few of his ‘best moments’ from a lifetime in archaeology at home and abroad. Well done Paul!
Sid Khrebish 1972-3, centre with dog!Canterbury 1979Cricketer by L Sartin
Buckland Cemetery 1994LibyaCathedral transept vaulting

Death as a process

June 20th, 2017

A special delivery arrived recently.  Jake Weekes received advance copies of this book, co-edited with John Pearce of King’s College London.

The study of funerary practice has become one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of Roman archaeology in recent decades. This collection of papers draws on large-scale fieldwork from across Europe, methodological advances and conceptual innovations to explore new insights from analysis of the Roman dead, concerning both the rituals which saw them to their tombs and the communities who buried them.

Included within is Jake’s own chapter on the funerary archaeology at St Dunstan’s Terrace, Canterbury, a site investigated by the Trust in 2001 under the supervision of Mick Diack. The book is published and distributed by Oxbow Books.

Baedeker raids on Canterbury

May 31st, 2017

Tomorrow, 1 June, is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the ‘Baedeker’ raid on Canterbury – one of the raids directed at English cathedral cities described in the German travel guide. In the very early hours a large part of city around the St George’s and Burgate area went up in flames. To mark the anniversary the Centre for Kent History and Heritage is holding a one day conference on Saturday 3 June.

For almost a decade after the war, bombed areas lay in ruins. Cellars along street frontages, however, were soon emptied of rubble because of the lurking danger of unexploded bombs and some in the city saw the opportunity offered for archaeological exploration before rebuilding took place. This led to the formation of the Canterbury Excavations Committee. The story of what happened next, their pioneering work, some of the discoveries made at the time and the enormous legacy inherited by present-day archaeologists studying the city, will be told by Paul Bennett on Saturday.

For more information on the conference click here and for booking here.

Celebrating William Urry

May 22nd, 2017

map_angevin_kingsCanterbury Under the Angevin Kings
It’s fifty years since the publication of Canterbury Under the Angevin Kings, William Urry’s fascinating study of the twelfth-century city.

To celebrate this, a special event was held last Thursday afternoon (18th May) at the Cathedral Archives and Library.  Sheila Sweetinburgh has posted an account of the afternoon on her Centre of Kent History and Heritage blog. It makes interesting reading!

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