NEWSLETTER - JUNE 2003

*** IMPORTANT INFORMATION ***

Venue for meetings
Because of urgent building work at Allendale House we are unable to hold our meetings there for the remainder of this year. The September, October and November meetings will be at the East Dorset District Council offices at Furzehill, just outside Wimborne off the B3078 Wimborne-Cranborne road. The venue for the December meeting will be announced later.

SUBSCRIPTIONS REMINDER
Would any members who have not yet renewed but wish to please contact Della on 01258 840338.

RECENT EVENTS
At our last EDAS Lecture on 14th May Jackie McKinley gave us a talk entitled: 'The Archaeology of Cremation Burials'. The talk focused on the identification of age, health and sex of individuals from the often very small amount of human bone left after a cremation. Jackie talked about the physiology of ageing and disease, and the skeletal differences between male and female. We were shown how to recognise some of the 'indicators' of male or female gender - the supra-orbital (i.e. eyebrow) ridges and neuchal crest (the lump on the back of your head), and the jointed form of the pubic bone. We were told how the breast bone and Iliac Crest (front wing of the hips) were the last bones to finally fuse,and indicated an approximate age of thirty. After that, it was downhill, and we were shown some effects of ageing - rheumatism and weakening bones, etc. Despite being reminded of own mortality, the lecture was fast paced and fascinating. Jackie often had us in stitches of laughter, which proved that such a serious subject could also be extremely entertaining. We thank Jackie for such a fascinating and enjoyable lecture.

Sunday 23rd March - Walk in New Forest with Steve Moody
On a fine sunny morning, 10 of us plus a dog set off for a 4 mile walk in the New Forest, south east of Fordingbridge. The walk was led by local archaeologist Steve Moody. He first told us about the modern history of the area, in particular its use as a 2nd World War bombing range for developing new types of bombs, including the 'bouncing bomb'. We saw some old bomb craters.

The archaeology of the area has been studied in detail by Heywood Sumner, who lived nearby. As well as the remains of early boundary ditches and earthworks he mapped, we were shown the site of a Roman kiln which he had excavated. At the exit of a rabbit burrow on the site we found numerous Roman pottery sherds, as well as bits of heathstone used in the kiln's construction. Steve brought with him a collection of flint implements he'd collected in the area, all from the Mesolithic and Bronze Age. We found further examples along the paths, where erosion has exposed the underlying sands and gravels. Thanks to Steve for a very interesting walk and giving us the benefit of his extensive local knowledge.

(Apologies for not putting this write-up in an earlier Newsletter -Ed.)

Sunday 18 May - Walk at Studland with Mike Fryatt
Starting from Studland, Mike took us to the Agglestone Rock on Godlingston Heath, a vast lump of sandstone estimated at 500 tons, and told the story of the Devil throwing a rock from the Isle of Wight at Corfe Castle. Despite his powers he missed and the rock ended on Godlingston Heath.

We then climbed to Ballard Down to see the Obelisk commemorating the new water supply in 1892. Our walk continued along Ballard Down passing a block of stone inscribed 'rest and be thankful' and after resting to have our lunch we walked down to Old Harry Rocks.

Mike then took us back to Studland to look at the church of St Nicholas. The tower and chancel were built in the C11th just before the Norman Conquest, remodelled in the C12th and the arches and decoration date from this period. Outside we saw the gravestone of Sergeant William Lawrence, which records his exploits in the Peninsula War. He fought at Waterloo, married a French girl and returned to Studland to keep a pub. Our final visit was to the new village cross carved in 1976 which has contemporary emblems such as Concorde as well as traditional ones.

Fortunately, despite the forecast, the weather remained dry although somewhat blustery until we reached the church. We thank Mike for an interesting and informative walk.
Peter Walker

Sunday 22 June, Walk around Pamphill and Eyemead
A small group of EDAS members enjoyed an interesting short walk on Sunday researched and led by Phil Roberts. Only an hour or two before there had been several spectacular thunderstorms, so there was some doubt about the weather but it turned out to be a wonderful morning. We set off down "All fools Lane" (was Phil trying to tell us something?) and stopped at the enigmatic earthworks at Abbott Street Copse (Abbotestrete, Abbot's Hamlet). EDAS had been involved in a survey and excavations here during the 90s and one of our group had undertaken the geophysical survey. Results were inconclusive but suggested medieval, although we thought it had the feel of an Iron Age defended farmstead. We returned to All Fools Lane and followed another wonderful sunken lane (complete with extensive Badger set) and quiet country lanes until we reached the river Stour and spent several minutes watching the antics of a Little Egret catching fish and a Kingfisher sitting on a branch. After crossing the river to try to identify the roman road across Eyemead we repaired to the tiny Vine Inn for lunch. After lunch we visited the site of the Moot at Pamphill. This consists of a series of banks and a raised central area and was originally the site of the medieval manorial court. An NT information board shows a reconstruction drawing and gives some extracts of the manor court rolls. We rounded off the walk with a visit to the delightful church of St Stephen's Kingston Lacy. Although only built in 1906-7 it was designed in the Late Decorated style by C.E. Ponting and has a much older feel about it. It was instigated by Lady Henrietta Bankes, mother of the late Ralph Bankes who bequeathed the estate to the National Trust. The church is well worth a visit if you get the chance, not least for its magnificent oak roof. Many thanks to Phil for an interesting and enjoyable walk.

Library
We are grateful to Tom Crabtree who has donated a considerable number of books to our library from Mary's collection.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS (There are a quite a few events on this summer to keep you focused on Archaeology)

POTTERY MAKING - Saturday 28th June
The building of the new kiln at the R-B Farm in Upton Country Park, was completed on schedule and we hope it will be ready for its first test firing soon. Pottery making has been arranged for Saturday 28th June, when we will continue our attempts to replicate Black Burnished ware - Romano British pottery. We will follow a similar routine as before and novices and the more experienced are welcome to join in. If you cannot make the 28th other groups have shown an interest so there may be additional days for pot making (this may be arranged as part of the Museum Education Service activities) or if you want to have a go make some at home ready for firing in July. Numbers will be limited so phone Alan Hawkins on 01202 668178 to book your place

Saturday 5th July - EDAS BBQ
Just a reminder about this year's EDAS Barbecue at Down Farm, and that this year it is EDAS's 20th birthday. There will be a Celebration Toast and Anniversary Cake (and no doubt some reminiscing). See an earlier Newletter for more details and an application form, or contact Haydn and Wendie on 01725-552843.

Weekend 19th - 20th July KILN FIRING on the Archaeology Week (end)
This goes on all day, starting with the loading of the kiln at around 8.30am. Members are welcome to stay and assist and as this is archaeology week there may be an opportunity to give demonstrations or help with a display. If you can prepare an information sheet on an archaeological subject - have a go.- Tel - John 01258 840338

Sunday 20 July - EDAS Walk around Tollard Royal with Mike Beams
Meet where the minor road south from Berwick St John meets the Oxdrove, just north of Rotherley Down (GR 953207). Bring a picnic for a walk of 7.5 miles. We walk into Tollard via Rotherley Down where there is a Pitt-Rivers Romano-British excavation complete with a memorial recording the finds. In the attractive village we can visit the church and get views of King John's House. We then walk to another Pitt-Rivers site at Woodcutts before returning to the cars via the ancient Shire Rack. Details from Mike Beams 01202 814069.

Sunday 27 July - Silchester Roman Town Excavations Visit
If you are interested in the Romans then come with us to Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum) to see the continuing excavations by Reading University.

Meet at 10:45 at the excavation site. From Silchester village head North then North-East for a short way and the car park with an information board is on a bend on the right hand side (Grid Ref SU628626). It is then a five minute walk to the excavation. Either Amanda Clarke the Excavation Co-Director or one of her colleagues will give us a guided tour of the site to see this year's excavations. No doubt we will have an opportunity to view this year's finds. We will then visit the amphitheatre for our picnic lunch. Afterwards, you can join us in a circular walk around the Roman walls of the town. If time permits we can then visit Reading Museum, Town Hall, Belgrave Street, Reading to see the finds from the original excavations by the Victorians. Please note that the museum closes at 4pm.

For further information please contact Peter Walker on 01425 471326 or email Peter at pdwalker@screaming.net Also visit the web site www.silchester.rdg.ac.uk for more information. If you are unable to join us there are open days on Saturday 26 July and Saturday 9 August.

Sunday 24 August - EDAS Walk 'A Purbeck Stroll' with Len Norris
Meet at Creech Hill viewpoint car park Ref. SZ 902817. The walk will go Eastwards towards Corfe Castle. About 6 miles but not too undulating. The more energetic could descend into Corfe Castle for lunch whilst the remainder can stay 'up top' and consume their picnic. Any queries contact Len Norris on 01202 625889.

Sun 28th Sept - Walk around Ibberton and Bulbarrow Hill with Steve Smith
Meet at the viewpoint car park on the road at OS Ref ST 784059 at 10:30 for a 5-6 mile walk taking in the views from Bulbarrow hill, Rawlsbury hill camp, Wooland and Ibberton. Pub lunch at the Crown Ibberton or picnic lunch. A steep climb back to the car at the end but the views are reward enough! Any queries contact Steve Smith on 07798 832958.

PRACTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
At the moment we are investigating a number of opportunities for practical archaeology. As these become more certain we will notify you of details in later Newsletters.

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.

Sat 28 Jun Pottery Making Day in Upton Park. See earlier for details.
Sat 5 Jul EDAS BBQ at Down Farm. See earlier for details.
19 -20 Jul Kiln Firing Weekend. See earlier for details
Sun 20 Jul Walk around the Tollard Royal area with Mike Beams. See earlier for details.
Sun 27 Jul Silchester Visit with option of walk around the walls or visit Reading Museum afterwards. See earlier for details.
Sun 24 Aug Walk - A Purbeck Stroll with Len Norris. See earlier for details.
Wed 10 Sep EDAS Lecture 'New Glimpses of Prehistoric Landscape changes in the Upper Allen Valley', with Dr. Charly French of Cambridge University. ** This lecture is being held at East Dorset Direct Council Offices **
Sun 28 Sep Walk around Ibberton and Bulbarrow Hill with Steve Smith. See earlier for details.
Wed 8 Oct EDAS Lecture: 'Archaeology of the Intertidal Wetlands - some muddy examples' with Dr Mike Allen of Wessex Archaeology. **This lecture is being held at East Dorset District Council Offices**
Sun 19 Oct Walk and tour around Old Sarum with Peter Walker. Details to follow.
Wed 12 Nov EDAS Lecture: 'The Salisbury Museum Archaeological Res-earch Group (SMARG) and its contribution to archaeology in South Wiltshire' with Martin Wright of Salisbury Museum. **This lecture is being held at East Dorset District Council Offices**