Lecture Program 2023 - 2024
All Lectures to take place at the Friends Meeting House, Hill Street, Coventry, CV1 4AN at 7.30pm
12th September 2023 - The Margaret Rylatt Memorial Lecture: Leicester Cathedral Revealed by Mathew Morris
Leicester Cathedral is undergoing a massive, multi-million-pound refurbishment, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Part of the project involves construction of a new heritage learning centre in the Cathedral's historic burial ground. Mathew Morris from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) will reveal what has been found during the excavation of over 800 medieval and post-medieval burials and what it tells us about the lives of the people of Leicester. Not to mention a possible Roman shrine.
Mathew Morris is a Project Officer at University of Leicester Archaeological Services and has worked on a wide range of sites including Roman Leicester. He has given excellent lectures to CADAS on a number of excavations. He is the co-author of several books about archaeology in Leicester. In 2012 he directed the famous search for the lost grave of Richard III. He leads the Castle Hill Community Archaeology Dig and the Bosworth Links Community Dig.
10th October 2023 - The Harpole Treasure by Paul Thompson
Archaeological work just outside Northampton quite unexpectedly uncovered an internationally significant burial in 2022. A spectacular 7th-century necklace as well as a high-status cross were interred with an Anglo-Saxon woman who was quite possibly royalty or an abbess or both. The artefacts from the grave will help in understanding more of this period. The necklace featured on the front cover of Current Archaeology and the treasure has been the subject of television and newspaper coverage, both national and international and also covered in Digging For Britain.
Current Archaeology February 2023 Issue 395 - https://archaeology.co.uk/issues/current-archaeology-395.htm
Paul Thompson is a project officer with Museum of London Archaeology based in Northampton. He has given many lectures to CADAS, always informative and entertaining, including the 2019 John Shelton Memorial Lecture. He is a scheduled speaker at Current Archaeology Live 2023.
14th November 2023 - Soldier and Citizen by Paul Thompson
The life of a 1st century AD auxiliary soldier and his equivalent in the Legions. Also briefly covering the three necessary soldier’s trades (bone working, armour manufacture [fabricari] and shoe making [svtor]).
Paul Thompson is an archaeologist who has worked on various excavations and has given many lectures to to CADAS, always informative and entertaining,. He was a scheduled speaker at Current Archaeology Live 2023.
12th December 2023 - The John Shelton Memorial Lecture: Exploring the Connections of Coventry's Medieval Doom by Dr Miriam Gill
From the time that it was discovered that Holy Trinity's medieval Doom was not lost but merely obscured, the story of the painting, its uncovering, conservation, art history and meaning has been a source of fascination in and beyond Coventry. In this review of the painting's connections, Miriam will examine some of the different approaches which enable us to understand the mural in a wider context. She will share reflections on its imagery, art history and links to glass painting, its possible connections with the lost Drapers' Play and the social meanings of figures such as the alewives. Although the Doom is a conventional and long-lived mural subject, the completeness, elaboration, and context of the Coventry painting make it particularly important.
Miriam's research focus has been on medieval art and late medieval wall paintings in particular, which were the topic of her PhD. She has had close connections with the painted Heritage of Coventry from the time she worked as a doctoral at the Courtauld Institute on the pre-conservation Art Historical assessment of the Holy Trinity Doom, to the discovery and publication, with Richard K. Morris, of the painted fragments from the Chapter House of St Mary's. Miriam also teaches a full range of art historical subjects in the context of university adult education and for Attenborough Arts and Northampton Museum. She taught through Vaughan College for twenty-five years until its disestablishment and closure and is a founder member of the Leicester Vaughan College Community Benefit Society, established to reinstate part-time, accessible Higher Education for mature students in Leicester in the Vaughan tradition.
9th January 2024 - What the Iceni did next: life after Boudica at Venta Icenorum by Professor William Bowden
The Iceni are famous as the people who rebelled against Rome in AD60/61 under the leadership of Boudica, after which they largely disappear from written sources. However, the Roman regional capital of their territory was called Venta Icenorum (“market of the Iceni”) and was still known by that name over 300 years after the revolt. A long programme of excavations and research by Caistor Roman Project and the University of Nottingham at and around the site of the Roman town have now shown that its inhabitants retained a very local identity in certain areas, such as diet and religion, while also participating in other aspects of Roman life. This talk will tell the story of the development of the town after the revolt through the latest archaeological discoveries.
William Bowden is Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Nottingham He worked for the British School at Rome in Italy for several years on various sites. Since 1994 he has been a member of a team of archaeologists working at Butrint in southern Albania. He taught at the University of Reading before moving to the University of Nottingham in 2006. He has published widely.
13th February 2024 - Coventry: Archaeology and Planning by Matt Parker Wooding
Have you ever wondered how archaeology features in the various planning applications and decisions in the city? What happens when major, and indeed minor, construction work takes place? Our February speaker will explain how the balance between preserving the past and building for the future is maintained.
Matt Parker Wooding is Coventry City Council’s Archaeological Advisor. He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise gained from his past experience of working as a planning archaeologist and Historic Environment Record Officer and as a project officer for several archaeological organisations over the years.
12th March 2024 – Paleolithic Art by Laura Basell (Updated)
Paleolithic art - the oldest form of prehistoric art - is divided into two broad categories: art such as cave paintings which cannot be moved; and mobiliary (or portable art), meaning art that can be carried, such as the famous Venus figurines. Forty thousand years ago our distant ancestors produced sculptures, pictures and objects whose meaning may elude us and be the subject of debate but whose quality is beyond doubt. Some items might just be doodles or children’s toys others are more than equal to anything produced today.
Dr Basell has held postdoctoral positions in different universities researching human evolution and Quaternary landscape change in southern Britain as well as the “Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition in Western Europe” project in the radio-carbon laboratory at the University of Oxford. She Co-Chair of the National Environmental Isotope Facility (Panel A – Radiocarbon), Vice Chair of University Archaeology UK and her research interests include Human Evolution: The Stone Age and Palaeolithic and rock and mobliary art. She has published widely.
9th April 2024 - John of Gaunt – Power, Passion & Dynasty by Jan Cooper
John of Gaunt, 2nd Duke of Lancaster, was responsible for the transformation of Kenilworth’s medieval fortress into a 14th Century Royal Palace. This talk covers the significance of his building works at Kenilworth and his three marriages (including his final marriage to his long term and very famous mistress Katherine Swynford). He and Katherine Swynford perfectly fulfilled the witches’ prophecy to Banquo - Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none - and the lecture will also show how his children went on to shape the course of English history.
Jan Cooper, a local historian, is chair of the Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society. She has worked with English heritage at Kenilworth Castle and has written articles on the history of the site and about notable events and people in the life of the Castle.
14th May 2024 - AGM