NEWSLETTER - FEBRUARY 2003

RECENT EVENTS
Last EDAS Lecture

At our last lecture Gerald Ponting talked to us about the Stones of Callanish. Gerald spent an earlier part of his life in Berkshire and then moved to Callanish as a teacher. His house overlooked the famous stone circle, although, as we later learned, there are very many stone circles and stone rows on Callanish, so far being numbered up to Callanash XVI ! He and his wife started to investigate the site, which was too far off the beaten track for the Scottish archaeological offices at Glasgow to take much interest. Over a number of years he undertook a wide range of very useful and professional investigations, including examining the historic archive. He also predicted the existence of a missing stone, located it, and had it restored into the stone circle. He has uncovered a number of new stone monuments in the area, and discovered a prehistoric axe which was still in most of its wooden haft (this is now in the British Museum). Gerald has produced a number of archaeological guide books, and his Callanish Guide describes the astronomical aspects of the many sites, the passage of the moon, and Professor Thorn's (he of rnegalithic yard fame) standing points and backsights. This was an extremely knowledgeable and 'polished' talk by an amateur who has made a very major contribution to the Archaeology of Scotland and the Isles. We thank Gerald very much indeed for a very interesting and polished presentation.

PERSONALIA
Rhiannon Lovell and her husband Bob were long-standing members of EDAS until they moved back to Wales, from where they arranged the Anglesey Field trip. We have heard that Rhiannon is being treated for some serious health problems at the moment. Our thoughts are with her, and we wish her all the best for a speedy recovery.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Bestwall Quarry Archaeological Project

Help!
This is the last season of excavation at Bestwall Quarry. After 12 years we finally can see the end is in sight. The excavation season starts at the beginning of March, and will continue through until autumn. Can you help with excavation or washing and marking finds. Monday - Friday 10.30 - 4 pm. or hours to suit. Please ring Lilian Ladle 01929 553144 or Janet Bartlet 01300 341085.

The project has been awarded a large grant from English Heritage under the Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund. This will help towards financing the project toward final publication.

Lilian Ladle & Janet Bartlet.

FEBRUARY WALK - Sunday 16th Feb
*** This walk is cancelled ***. See the article about Walks in a recent Newsletter.

We are trying to change some aspects of EDAS walks to make them of more general appeal to members. If you have any views about whether walks should be short or long, think they should be organised only for the summer or winter as well, then please let us know.

Sun 7th June - Fri Jun 13th: EDAS Field Trip 2003
Arrangements for this are now underway, courtesy of Keith Allsopp who will be taking us to East Anglia. You will find an application form included with last month s Newsletter. Please see this for some of the planned highlights.

TV Programme
Members will be well aware of the unusual excavation, called the "Amesbury Archer". BBC 2 has filmed a re-enactment of the excavation, which will be shown at 9pm TWednesday 19 February in an Ancestors Special. The filming actually took place on our stamping ground, Down Farm. This makes it all the more interesting and fascinating for those of us who had the opportunity of seeing some of the filming taking place. Martin has also produced some fine finds in his latest dig; all will be revealed in his March lecture. Forget not, we have two meetings in March, don't miss either of them. We remind members that owing to limited space we can not accept visitors for Mick Aston s talk on our lecture evening of 12th March.

CFA News
The Newsletter of the Centre for Archaeology reports on the Castle Hill Fort, Witham Clump, Oxfordshire. The two interesting points are that once again investigation has revealed an Iron Age Hill Fort that was preceded by a Bronze Age Hill Fort. One is beginning to wonder how many did not have BA origins. The other point was that the research was undertaken by the CFA with volunteers from the Northmoor Trust. The volunteers were taught how to use a magnetometer. The volunteers have now obtained a grant and have their own geophysical equipment.

New Members We welcome Mrs. C. Higgins, Mrs. D. Blank, Mr. Cross and Mr. & Mrs Gooch. People joining before January will not, of course, have to renew membership until March 2004.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

The dates for EDAS events are underlined. Walks and field visits usually meet at 10.30 am at the published Grid Reference. Ring the leader if the weather is doubtful or if more details are required.

Sun 16 Feb *** Cancelled *** Walk around Turnworth with Alan Hawkins. See earlier.
Wed 19 Feb Wareham Group Meeting. 'Maces and Macebearing: Wareham's place in the history of Civic Regalia' with Nigel Spiller. Wareham Middle School, 7:30pm
Sat 1 Mar EDHT Day School: 'The Romans in Dorset and Beyond' See earlier for details.
Wed 12 Mar EDAS lecture - 'Monasteries' with Prof. Mick Aston NB MEMBERS ONLY EVENING
Wed 19 Mar Wareham Group Meeting: 'Potterne: Bronze Age Ritual and Rubbish' with Andrew Lawson. Wareham Middle School, 7.30 pm.
Wed 26 Mar AGM, followed by a talk from Martin Green on his recent work.