Council for Independent Archaeology Conference

Hackleton Village Hall, Northants, Saturday 15th September 2012


Summaries so far received from Speakers.


Techniques to Locate Possible Archaeological Sites.  Dr. Tom Welsh (University of Northampton)

Since publishing “Local History on the Ground” in 2009 Dr. Welsh has continued to experiment with the integrated use of documentary research and fieldwork for his own account.  He will illustrate this talk with two examples of such work. One is the quest for remains attributed to a Dark Age Palace at Forteviot in Perthshire, using historical topography, ground survey and comparison of different accounts. The other is the quest for Doomster Hill in Govan, again attributed to Dark Age origins, near Glasgow, where researching the history of farming activity and industry in the 18th and 19th century has helped pin down the location of this lost mound.


The F.O.S.S. Way—Free Open Source Software for graphical presentation in reports.  Tony Bookes (University of Derby)

Following the theme of Archaeology without a Grant, Tony Brookes discusses how free open source software can provide independent archaeologists with software offering facilities equal to many commercial packages. Not just report writing presentation and spreadsheets, but desktop publishing, graphics, drawing packages and digital mapping or graphical information systems are usually available for the PC, Mac and Linux operating systems. Such packages are already in use by Academia, Governments, Archaeologists with Grants and others worldwide.

Using Ordnance Survey Open Data maps, Open Street Map data and other (free) sources will be used to present examples of historical mapping and analysis, resistivity surveys and how such material can be used in a presentation and printed report. The type of support, tutorial and reference materials that are available for them will also be discussed.


Excavations at East Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent. Albert Daniels (Chairman of The Maidstone Area Archaeological Group)

Excavations on the site of five Roman Buildings have been carried out for the last eight years mainly financed by the proceeds of open days.  Excavation takes place on Sundays and one week day during the period April to October.  Ten to twenty five members of the group take part paying an annual membership fee of £4. During the winter a smaller group assist with finds processing.

During the last four years large area excavations have taken place to uncover two large barns and detached kitchen. Some machine excavation has been carried out and the site was totally backfilled for its own protection at the end of 2011. Total costs so far amount to £2500.

A grant of £380 from the Kent Archaeological Society was awarded to conserve and read a fragile inscribed lead scroll. Investigations continue to search for further buildings on the site.


Two Sticks.  Will Higgs (Marchers Archaeological Group)

When Will decided to launch a local archaeology group he mentioned the idea to a couple of the great and good of his community. One of them said “You can get a grant for that” and the other replied “You’ll need a CRB check for that”.

Inspired by Biggar Archaeology, Will decided that he was going to make a point with Marchers Archaeology and obtain some results by focussing on simple basic techniques to draw attention to the wealth of post-mediaeval detail in our landscape and how the enormous political and economic changes three to four hundred years ago led directly to the rural environment we see today.

Marchers Archaeology has since conducted three limited, grant-free excavations and walked twenty fields on the infrequently ploughed high ground of the Tyne Gap, providing the only evidence of prehistoric occupation in the area and raising interesting questions about the establishment and abandonment of post-mediaeval farms.


Bidston Community Archaeology Session. Alan D’Henin. (Chair & Project Director)

The session will concentrate on networking with other archaeological societies and organisations to share resources and gain access to specialist knowledge at minimal or no cost. It will cover in detail how Bidston Community Archaeology has cooperated with other groups in our area to share labour, knowledge, resources and equipment and how they have developed close links with Museums of Liverpool and the University of Liverpool to gain access to specialist knowledge and guidance in finds identification & dating and also in post excavation analysis.

The talk will also cover the use of free internet resources and software to publish post excavation reports, publicise the group to a larger audience and explain how they are in the process of developing an online museum at minimal cost.


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