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Talks for 2023...

Updated: Mar 30

Sunday 1 October

James IV Memorial Lecture: Dive Into Durham

This talk will take place at 2.30pm at Etal Village Hall. Tea coffee and biscuits will be served beforehand.

Dr Gary Bankhead is an amateur underwater archaeologist and an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University. He has made regular appearances on the Sky History programme “River Hunters”. Since 2007, he has been diving under Elvet Bridge in Durham, gathering over 13,500 objects dating from as early as the 12th century. He will talk about his work and some of these objects, ranging from medieval pilgrim badges through lead cloth seals for bales of wool to Victorian dentures.

Entrance fee £6. Booking: Please pay by BACS to Account number 06001108 (TillVAS); Sort Code 80-13-02

Please include your name as the reference and email to reserve your place.

In November and December we propose to repeat our February experiment with Sunday lunchtime talks. The talks will take place in Crookham Village Hall at 12 noon, with tea coffee and biscuits served beforehand.

Sunday 5 November

Barry Mead has for some years been leading the Community Archaeology project in his home village of Cresswell leading to the restoration of Cresswell Pele Tower, now regularly open to the public mainly on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. The project has now moved on to archaeological investigation of the gardens and Barry will give us an update on discoveries made so far.

Crookham Village Hall, 12 noon.

Sunday 3 December

John Nolan, a historian and archaeologist who was heavily involved in many of TillVAS’s Flodden digs, has been working for a number of years on researching Barmoor Castle, an eighteenth and nineteenth century mansion built round a Pele Tower but uninhabited for many years and now in a ruinous state. The owners hope to convert the building into luxury holiday accommodation. Any planning application requires archaeological investigation first, mainly at ground floor level, to explore the feasibility of this. John has been directing a number of TillVAS members brave enough to take part in this dig in the depths of winter and he will talk about discoveries made.

Crookham Village Hall, 12 noon.


Date tbc

Professor Chris Fowler of Newcastle University will talk about the analysis of ancient DNA revealing Neolithic kinships in 35 individuals buried at a site in the Cotswolds. DNA showed that 27 of them were close biological relatives spread over five generations and dating tests showed they lived around 3700-3600 BC.


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