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Matters of Life and Death

January 24, 2019

The next WAS lecture is the intriugingly named “Matters of Life and Death: Demography and Society in Lower-Middle Palaeolithic Europe.”  Our speaker is Dr Jennifer French from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.  This should be a fascinating talk, and we looking forward to seeing you there.

United Reformed Church, Church Road, Welwyn Garden City (opposite Sainsbury’s in the town centre), January 25th, 7.45pm.

The Etruscans

December 11, 2018

Our next talk on December 14th is “The not-so-mysterious Etruscans” by Dr Corinna Riva of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. Corinna, Ellen and I undertook some geophysical survey at the city of Vulci in 2016 and 2018 and had a chance to visit some of the spectacular remains.  This should be a great talk on the archaeology of this fascinating group.

The meeting will be preceded by drinks and nibbles.  We have permission to start a little bit early, so there is time to mingle and enjoy a mince pie or two (or three) before the talk starts.  Doors will be open by 19:15 and there will be the usual tea and coffee and some mulled wine and nice things to nibble.  If you can please bring something to share, that would be lovely.  Please drop Ellen a line to let her know what you are planning to bring.

CBA Marsh Awards

December 1, 2018

Kris, Peter, Ruth (all from WAS) and Jim West (from the Chess Valley Archaeological and Historical Society) all went to York for the CBA Archaeology Day.


Although the Mapping Verulamium project did not win the prize, being in the top three was a great achievement.  Congratulations to all those who have worked on the survey with CAGG, both from WAS and the many other societies involved.  All, congratulations to the team from Woking who won the 2018 award.

Forthcoming events and some great news

November 18, 2018

Following on from our last speaker, David Griffiths of Oxford University, our next talk will be on Timber Framed Buildings of Hertfordshire and Essex by Helen Gibson on November 30th.  This should be a excellent talk about this fascinating subject.  For details, see poster below.

Before then, our sister society, the Wheathampstead History Society, are having their next meeting on the 21st November.  This will be a members meeting with several short talks and a quiz.  The meeting starts at 7.30 at the Mead Hall, Wheathampstead.

Our good news is that the survey of Verulamium, on which members of WAS are collaborating with the Community Archaeology Geophysics Group, has been shortlisted for the CBA Marsh Awards for Community Archaeology Project of the Year.  The winners will be announced at the CBA event in York on the 30th November.


North-West England and the Irish Sea in the Viking Age

November 8, 2018

Our next lecture is by Dr David Griffiths on the Vikings in NW England. David obtained his BA in History and his PhD from Durham University. He now teaches at the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford.  He published Vikings of the Irish Sea  in 2010. He also ran the Archeox Project which was a community archaeology project focusing on the urban landscape of East Oxford funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Oxford University.  David is an experienced and lively speaker, and we should be in for an excellent talk.

The Beaker People: migration, mobility and diet in prehistoric Britain

November 8, 2018

Our next talk is by Mike Parker Pearson, Professor of Later British Prehistory at UCL.  Mike is well-known from his TV appearances and for his work on Stonehenge.  This time, however, he is going to speak to us about “the Beaker Folk”.  The Beaker period in the very earliest Bronze Age has bean a controversial topic for many years.  Were they itinerant bronze smiths, or was the spread of beakers a case of cultural transmission rather than movement of people?  One theory was that the “beaker phenomenon” was related to a drinking cult.  Modern scientific analysis of the bones from these burials has, however, thrown much light on these questions which are addressed in Mike’s forthcoming book due out next year.  Come and get the scoop in advance!


The new season is about to begin

September 26, 2018

In just over two weeks the new lecture season will begin. Always an exciting time to see what treats we have on offer over the coming months.  The opening lecture on Friday 12th October is entitled Shrines, fortresses, and shifting towns: archaeology of the Upper Casamance, Senegal (7th-19th centuries).  Sirio says:

This talk will discuss the archaeology of Kaabu, a West African kingdom that controlled the wider Senegambian region from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Initially part of the wider Mali Empire, later an independent state, Kaabu was well known from oral traditions and historical chronicles but had never been studied archaeologically prior to this project.

It should be a fascinating start to the season.  I have designed a poster to advertise the talk.  If anyone is willing to put some up, please let me know and I can either email you the pdf or send some hard copies.

Now for the bad news!  Subs are due at the first meeting.  They are £15 for an individual, or £20 for a family.  You can either pay us at the first meeting, or if you would like to use a direct deposit, email us for the bank details (


Heritage Day and forthcoming talk

September 5, 2018

This Saturday (8th Sept) Welwyn Hatfield Museums are hosting a “heritage day” at Welwyn Roman Baths. Both WAS and the Community Archaeology Geophysics Group will have displays. If you can help, please get in touch, or at least come and visit during the afternoon, 2 to 5pm.

In two weeks time, on the 19th September, WAS member Elizabeth Eastwood will be speaking to the Wheathampstead History Society on Constance and Mary: The Battle for Female Suffrage.  Due to the link between our two Societies, WAS members can attend free of charge.

The Archaeology of Wheathampstead

July 17, 2018

Tomorrow’s lecture at the Wheathampstead History Society is by Simon West and is entitled The Archaeology of Wheathampstead. A quarter century of highlights.  It should be an interesting talk.

The conference is this weekend

July 9, 2018

Book your tickets now!

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