Heavy Metal on Regis House
Written by Ian Blair
For a period of several weeks on Regis House, our superb metal-detectorist Pat Connolly (more of him in a later post), had been getting ever-more excited by a massive signal that was given off as he passed the detector over an area of one of the Roman quayside warehouses destroyed in the Hadrianic fire. Further excavation revealed that the signal had its origins in 3 large lead ingots (stamped with the Emperor Vespasian’s name) which had been deliberately hidden beneath the warehouse floor.
Written by John Maloney
In 1991, I was asked by this magazine - for the international study and practice of English, with audio and glossaries, written and spoken in native English, with information, culture and leisure for Italians [there were editions for various other languages] who use English as a second language - to write about the archaeology of the City of London. It features a glossary on every page featuring translations of ‘technical’ terms, some of those that caught my eye were ~ ‘muddy’ is ‘fangoso’; ‘fast track’ is ‘superveloce’ and ‘vagary’ is stravaganza.’
The article features a general introduction to archaeology in the City, then focuses on the discovery of the Roman amphitheatre. It comments about the difficulties of interpreting urban archaeological remains where perhaps some 60% or more of the original archaeological deposits have been removed unseen and makes the point that ‘Rescue archaeology’ is dependant on developers and what sites they want to build on and that the DUA does not choose the sites it digs. It ends by noting the lack of a state archaeological service and a safety net in times of sudden, severe recession, with consequent redundancies of staff.
The DUA (Department of Urban Archaeology), managing archaeological investigations in the City of London 1973-91
Written by John Maloney
Two photos taken in Smallhythe, Kent, by Rysz Bartkowiak during the making of Time Team Episode 6, Series 6 (1999)
From Trevor Brigham
Two photos taken in Smallhythe, Kent, by Rysz Bartkowiak during the making of Time Team Episode 6, Series 6 (1999), where Time Team were looking for a 15th-century dock next to the River Rother, one of a number of episodes with MoLAS involvement.
THE WHISPER DICTIONARY
[Devised at the Custom House, Seal House, Angel Court, Trig Lane, St Magnus, and New Fresh Wharf Sites 1974-5
Edited by Jamie Muir who writes,
"A lot of [misplaced] youthful energy went into the devising of the attached. Everybody had a hand. I don’t think it’s libellous."
Discovering the Port of Roman London
Gresham College History Lecture Series
27 September 2017
Extended tour of duty: From the DUA to MOLA
Written by Ian Blair
31st March 2020
Today is a really bittersweet moment for me, my last day as a salaried archaeologist, after an extended tour of duty lasting forty two years, two months, and sixteen days. Hastened in part by a projected downturn of archaeological work in London, I elected to do the only honourable thing, and throw myself on my well-worn archaeological sword, by accepting voluntary redundancy. I’m not alone in this decision, as fifteen of my colleagues chose to make the same difficult choice.
That even now, I have no idea exactly who has departed ‘stage left’ with me, says much of the speed with which this process was hastily implemented, and it is a real tragedy that these talented people have now gone. Unfortunately, and more worrying, is that the real threat of future enforced ‘compulsory’ redundancies on London archaeologists down the line (though now on hold for obvious reasons) still remains, hanging over their collective heads like the Sword of Damocles.
Merton Priory - Station Road, SW19
From Louise McDonagh
The entire N half of the priory church was revealed in 1987, and most of the N transept, Lady Chapel and choir was excavated. Some 160 burials were found within or close to the church.*
Trig Lane Archaeological Excavation (TL74) Summer of 1974
Department of Urban Archaeology (DUA)
A short film by Jamie Muir©
Forum and Huggin Hill Baths Models
Written by Trevor Brigham
Workshop and gallery slides of the Huggin Hill Baths and forum models in the MoL Roman gallery, variously taken by Kandor Modelmakers Ltd, Valhalla Ltd, and Jenny Hall.
Photos supplied by Trevor Brigham, who also did the design drawings for both models in 1995/6.