Lecture Program 2022 - 2023
All Lectures to take place at the Friends Meeting House, Hill Street, Coventry, CV1 4AN
13th September 2022 - The Margaret Rylatt Memorial Lecture, Roman Leicester: Life in the Roman world by Matthew Morris
Mathew Morris is a Project Officer at University of Leicester Archaeological Services. He has worked on a wide range of projects, including Roman buildings and mosaics in Leicester, various sites across the country and famously in 2012, he directed the successful archaeological search for the lost grave of King Richard III. He leads the Castle Hill Community Archaeology Dig and the Bosworth Links Community Dig. He has co-authored several books including Life in the Roman World: Roman Leicester and Life in Roman and Medieval Leicester.
If you walk through Leicester today, it is often difficult to appreciate that you are treading on 2000 years of history. Yet beneath the city’s streets, are the remains of Ratae Corieltavorum, the Civitas capital of the people known to the Romans as the Corieltavi. This lecture will cover what archaeological research has revealed about the evolution of Leicester from an Iron Age settlement into a Roman city and show what life was like in the Roman world.
11th October 2022 - Operation Nightingale and the Excavations at Bullecourt by Alex Sotheran
Alex Sotheran is the Archaeological Advisor for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, covering the North of England and Scotland and has been a professional field archaeologist for twenty years. He has worked on sites in various parts of the world and his work has included First World War archaeology. He has also worked on several television documentary series on First World War sites, as well as lecturing on the topic.
Operation Nightingale is a project intended to help rehabilitate injured soldiers by involving them in archaeological excavations. Teams of wounded service personnel and veterans have worked very successfully on various sites. Some have gone on to become professional archaeologists. One such site is Bullecourt in France, which was the scene of a major tank battle in 1917 and was the subject of one Digging for Britain programme.
8th November 2022 - The Norse Code by Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson is a Project Officer with Museum of London Archaeology, based in Northampton. His archaeological career began in 1992 and as well as the John Shelton Memorial Lecture in 2019, he has given many interesting and informative talks, some in costume, to CADAS over the years.
Hear about Viking life and culture from the point of view of a Danish Hersir, who decided in 940AD first to raid England and then to settle in the Danelaw, at Rugby. He’s a warrior, but he can tell the story of his family’s clothing, shoes, jewels, accessories and household items and what they eat in a period which saw the fate of England balanced between an Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian future.
13th December 2022 - The John Shelton Memorial Lecture: Piety, Patronage and Place - The Carthusian Priory of St. Anne’s, Coventry by Richard Walsh with either Andrew McLeish or John Thomas
Richard Walsh is an archaeology graduate from the University of Leicester who researched the Charterhouse in Coventry for his degree. The University of Leicester Archaeological Services excavated a section of the site in 2019. The two speakers will be sharing their findings with Richard Walsh, talking about the Carthusians, while the speaker from ULAS will describe the findings from the excavations. The Charterhouse was founded in the 14th century by the Carthusian Order and dissolved at the Reformation. It was one of the sites excavated by CADAS under Margaret Rylatt and the Society has worked there more recently as well. The part of the Priory which survived above ground was used as a residential house and then for educational purposes. It is now in the care of Coventry Historic Trust.
10th January 2023 - Life and death at Overstone: Bronze Age monuments and Saxon settlement and cemetery by Simon Markus
Simon Markus is a project officer with Museum of London Archaeological Services, based in Northampton. He has worked on sites across England, including the excavation and recording of Hayle Harbour in Cornwall as part of its regeneration. He has also worked on the Huntingdon to Cambridge Improvement Works, with its incredible finds, about which he spoke to CADAS in 2019.
Overstone Leys had more than 40 structures built on the site in a period of over 300 years. Its associated cemetery had over 150 burials - the largest cemetery by far from the Anglo-Saxon period ever found in Northamptonshire. The excavation also revealed a Bronze Age monument complex, which included three barrows. Nearly 3000 rare Anglo-Saxon objects were discovered, including jewellery, weapons and some textiles. Research by finds specialists and osteologists is revealing how the lives of the people who lived there varied between the two different periods. The site has featured in Current Archaeology journal.
14th February 2023 - The Home Guard by David Morse
David Morse has had an interest in the Home Guard, that was formed during World War 2, for over 20 years. After forming the Warwickshire Home Guard Living History Group, he has attended military and charitable events around the Midlands with his extensive Home Guard Display. His talk will follow the path from the mid-30s through to Stand Down and the end of the Second World War Home Guard in 1945. It will include mention of Churchill's Secret Army and he will be bringing along items to embellish his talk that attendees will be able to study after the lecture finishes.
14th March 2023 - Encounters with Achilles: The Rutland Villa Project by John Thomas
John Thomas is Deputy Director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services. He has been a professional archaeologist since 1986 and has directed many large-scale excavation projects, with a particular emphasis on prehistoric sites. Between 2010-2014 he co-directed research excavations at Burrough Hill, the region’s best preserved Iron Age hillfort and in 2013 directed excavation of the Iron Age settlement at Glenfield. Both sites yielded nationally important prehistoric metalwork. He was project manager on the excavations at the Rutland Villa and has published widely.
In 2021 ULAS excavated a late Roman villa in Rutland and brought to light a stunning mosaic, unique in Britain, with scenes from the Iliad showing the death of Hector and the ransoming of his body from the victorious Achilles. The mosaic, however, does not follow the Iliad directly and seems to have been copied from an illustrated manuscript showing a slightly different version of the story. The mosaic was eventually damaged by fire, the villa itself fell out of use and two later burials have been found in the room. Further excavations are planned for 2022. The site has featured in Current Archaeology, Digging for Britain and various national newspapers.
11th April 2023 Marine Archaeology Wessex Archaeology
Wessex Archaeology, as well as providing archaeological and heritage services, is also an educational charity. The company has had a long association with Time Team. One of its specialisms covers maritime archaeology, which not only covers excavation under water but also coastal areas. The lecture will have a marine theme and there will be artefacts from excavations on display.
9th May 2023 AGM