Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

IOTAS Archaeological Studies Lecture Course 2017

March 1st, 2017

The Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society has sent us details of their lecture course, this year given by John Grigsby. John is currently writing his PhD on Stonehenge; his day job is with our excavation team.

Transitions in History, Archaeology and Myth:
how did traditions change or survive?

Session Date
1. The chosen few: Medway Megaliths – were Neolithic tombs burial places of elites, war-dead or sacrifices? Looking at evidence for a clash of faiths in Neolithic Britain. 13 March
2. Broken circles: The End of the Bronze Age in Thanet and Kent – rituals and sites, and the coming of Iron. Might climate change have brought about the collapse of Bronze Age society? 10 April
3. Pontifex Maximus: Julius Caesar in Kent – the impact of the Romans on British language, culture and religion. How much did the Roman occupation really change the native Britons? 8 May
4. Gods, heroes or mercenaries?: Hengist and Horsa – Anglo-Saxon paganism and the coming of the English. Are the first English heroes mythical or rooted in reality as Tolkien believed? 12 June
5. Domneva’s Deer: Saints and heroes – possible Pagan survivals in local hagiography. We look at the miracle tales of the early Christian saints – did they incorporate aspects of an older faith? 10 July
6. Dissolution: The history of St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury - the rise and fall of Monasticism in Kent from Augustine to Henry VIII. 11 Sept
7. The Six Witches of Maidstone – the witch-trials of the 1600′s – origins, theories and facts. We look at documentary evidence of the trials and the social phenomena behind the persecutions. 9 Oct
8. The Hooden Horse: folk tradition or pagan survival? Analysis of a Kentish Christmas custom - do the roots of such traditions countrywide predate Christianity? 13 Nov

ADVANCE BOOKING ESSENTIAL – Fee for all eight lectures £80: individual lectures £12, including refreshments and course materials. Under 18s (minimum age 16): all eight lectures £65, individual lectures £10 each. Course sessions are held in the hall at Crampton. Each session runs from 7.00-9.00 pm.

Limited places – book early!

For course details and enrolment: , message us on our Facebook page (Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society), or write to IOTAS at:
Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society
Room B, Crampton Tower Yard
High Street, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2AB


Canterbury Christ Church University

February 20th, 2017

Uncovering the precinct wall Possible buttress Excavation underway
We have just begun a new investigation within the North Holmes Campus of Canterbury Christ Church University.

Initial evaluation was conducted last summer and the footings of the medieval abbey precinct wall were located. The present evaluation is intended to find out more about the site, based on the results of the earlier phase of work and other sites in the near vicinity. It is probable that further medieval activity, Anglo-Saxon craftworking remains and Bronze Age features will be identified.

The work is being funded by Canterbury Christ Church University ahead of the construction of the new Arts Building that is proposed for the site.

We will post more soon.

Last chance!

February 16th, 2017

Gravestone Sandwich news 02 DSCN0978 Sandwich news medieval tile
The month has gone all too quickly and this weekend will be the last for the community dig at St Peter’s Church in Sandwich.

We are holding an Open Day on Sunday (19th), so do come along and see what has been uncovered, talk to the archaeologists and members of the team and maybe get involved in some of the activities in the church.

New community project at Sandwich

January 24th, 2017

St Peter's Church, Sandwich
A community excavation began at St Peter’s Church in Sandwich on Sunday.

The project will uncover what remains the south aisle, which was demolished when the tower of the church fell in 1661. Read more about the project and its progress here.

Work continues each weekend until mid February.

A double act evening

January 23rd, 2017

Last Thursday was a busy evening for those keen to attend archaeology lectures in Canterbury.  Read all about it on CCCU’s Centre for Kent History and Heritage blog.

The next Friends’ lecture is on Saturday 25th February. Starting at 6 pm in Og46 Old Sessions House, this is traditionally something of an annual marathon. Trust Director, Paul Bennett will attempt to beat the clock and deliver an amply illustrated account of all the Trust’s various activities over the past year – before the caretaker arrives jingling his keys!

40 years opens in Maidstone

January 17th, 2017

40 Years, Maidstone 40 Years, Maidstone 40 Years, Maidstone
The exhibition ’40 years: Canterbury Archaeological Trust’ opened in Maidstone on Saturday and it’s looking grand in its new space. If you missed it at the Beaney in Canterbury here are details of opening hours and how to get to the Kent History and Library Centre.

Thanks to Enid Allison for the photos.

FCAT lecture: working with military veterans

January 12th, 2017

Army Veterans visit Hampton First Steps
Next Thursday, 19th January, Andrew Richardson will talk to the Friends on ‘Archaeology as therapy for military veterans’ and how some of our recent community archaeology projects have supported this initiative.

A group of army veterans joined the ‘A Town Unearthed’ dig at East Wear Bay in 2011, as part of Operation Nightingale. That scheme was set up to help rehabilitate injured soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan by getting them involved in field archaeology. Having made a connection, the Trust has continued to work locally with military veterans.

Andrew’s talk begins at 7pm at Canterbury Christ Church University (Newton NS06).  This is a Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust event, but guests are welcome. Donations at the door.

Digging for Britain

December 20th, 2016

Professor Alice Roberts
If you’ve been following the current season of ’Digging for Britain’ with Dr Alice Roberts be sure to tune in tonight to BBC Four.  You will see our own Andrew Richardson with Canterbury Museum’s Craig Bowen, talking to Alice about the Canterbury Pendant and telling an interesting Viking story.

You can catch up on all the episodes so far here on BBC iPlayer.

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