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CHAS (but not Dave)

November 25, 2020

The Combined Hertfordshire Archaeological Societies (CHAS) was formed in October to provide a platform for some of the archaeological groups in the county to be able to run some form of event during the covid-19 pandemic. The five societies involved are:

  • The Welwyn Archaeological Society
  • The East Herts Archaeological Society
  • The North Herts Archaeological Society
  • The Norton Community Archaeology Group
  • The South-West Herts Archaeological and Historical Society

In addition, the Hertfordshire Association for Local History had to run their annual symposium online and both contributed towards the initial licence, as well as paying for a month’s extension to allow for 500 attendees. Attendance at these meetings is free, but if you are not a member of one of the contributing groups, please consider joining.  Our usual worries about membership are magnified by the pandemic.

Tickets for the CHAS lectures can be obtained via Eventbrite.  Links for the meetings are available on the CHAS page of this website.


The weirdness of Late Iron Age burial

March 13, 2020

This Friday, 6th March 2020, Isobel Thompson will be speaking on “The weirdness of Late Iron Age burial”. Isobel is well-known for her research into the late Iron Age and is an expert in grog-tempered pottery. She co-authored “Alban’s Buried Towns” with Ros Niblett. She formerly worked for the Hertfordshire HER, and is now an honorary member of staff at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. WAS has a long involvement in examining late Iron Age burials having originally helped rescue the Welwyn Garden City chieftain burial, found and excavated the Aston Princess, and most recently excavated a series of odd burials in the “great white hole” in Welwyn. Come and put our finds in context in the last regular meeting of the season.

Hunting in the Palaeolithic

February 16, 2020

Next Friday (21st Feb 2020) sees the return of Annemieke Milks talking about “Hunting in the Palaeolithic.” Some of you may remember her excellent talk on “Not just a pointy stick” a couple of years ago. We are looking forward to seeing how her research is progressing.  It should be a fascinating evening.  All welcome (visitors £3).

Royston Cave

February 6, 2020

The next lecture on the 7th February 2020 is by Keith Fitzpatrick Matthews entitled “Royston Cave and the Templars?” The question mark is very important! Come and find out about one of the oddest bits of Hertfordshire’s heritage. United Reformed Church, Welwyn Garden City, 7.45pm.

Early Medieval London

January 20, 2020

Firstly, Happy New Year to all our members. I hope you all had a joyous and restful holiday season.

The forthcoming lecture this Friday (24th Jan 2020) is by Victoria Ziegler entitled Early Medieval London: from wic to burh.  Victoria’s research on this topic was recently published in The Archaeological Journal and should be a fascinating look at the evidence for this key period in London’s history.

The meeting starts at 7.45 at the United Reformed Church in Welwyn Garden City, opposite Sainsbury’s in the town centre.

The Emergence of the English

December 4, 2019

Our last talk of 2019 is by Sue Oosthuizen on the theme of her latest book: “On the Emergence of the English”. It should be an excellent end to 2019! Prior to the talk, we’ll be having a Christmas drinks and nibbles event. Please bring a contribution to the food and we’ll supply mulled wine and tea/coffee. Doors will open early at 7.15 so we can celebrate before the talk. Hope to see lots of you there.


Verulamium: Busy places and empty spaces

November 26, 2019

This Friday’s lecture presents the work of the Community Archaeology Geophysics Group, to which many WAS members contribute, at the Roman city of Verulamium.  The talk will look at the history and plan of the city of Verulamium, and examine how the results of the geophysical survey have contributed to our understanding of the city.  The meeting starts at 7.45pm at the United Reformed Church hall, Church Road, Welwyn Garden City.

At the meeting we will also be asking for people to offer to contribute to our pre-lecture Christmas drinks and nibbles prior to the final lecture of the season.

The first Britons?

November 3, 2019

This lecture is sponsored by The Prehistoric Society.

Our next talk on November 15th is The First Britons? Mesolithic evidence from Starr Carr by Don Henson.  Prehaps the most famous mesolithic site in Britain, this should be a fascinating talk about recent work at the site.  Don will be bringing replicas of some of the famous artefacts from the site for us to examine.


An Introduction to Experimental Archaeology

October 31, 2019

Chris Martin-Taylor will be providing an introduction to Experimental Archaeology this Friday, United Reformed Church, WGC.  Meeting starts at 7.45. Chris works for KDK Archaeology based in Leighton Buzzard.  Amongst other things, he has volunteered in the construction of Guédelon Castle in France, which is being built using only historically accurate tools and construction methods.  This should be a fascinating talk.

Talking torcs: the technology of Iron Age gold

October 2, 2019

The first lecture of the 2019/2020 season is almost upon us. Tessa Machling and Roland Williamson will be showing us the technology behind Iron Age bling! Tessa showed us the chocolate versions earlier this year. Do come and get this season off to a great start, and don’t forget your subs are due.

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