There’s just too much going on – it’s the summer rush of digs and projects and all the while we have to keep things moving in the office – here’s a pictorial guide to what’s been happening, both inside and out of the county boundary – and inside and out of the working day.
To Alton – where a fine flint handaxe from the Old Stone Age found many years ago by Ion Carolan at the Spitalfields Allotments in the town and presented to the Curtis Museum by his widow, was put on display. Michael Longyear – a work experience student who helped put it in the case, inspects the new arrival.
To Salisbury – where the new WESSEX GALLERY opened in the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum. Over 2500 people flocked to see the new display on its first day and many had dressed especially for the occasion. Druids waited at the gate – they are not keen on skeletons being exhibited in museum galleries – and Saxons slogged it out on the lawn (you have to admire their stamina, it was a very hot day). The display contains some Hampshire material – Heywood Sumner’s work on New Forest kilns, for example, and I think it’s a BEAUTIFUL collection BRILLIANTLY displayed. Go and see it.
To Stourpaine – another very hot day. CBA Wessex have opened a FIELD ACADEMY, at Ash Farm, thanks to the generosity of the owners and support of a sponsor. Julian Richards is the leading light on the ground and Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe came along to declare the Academy – housed in one of the farm barns – open.
To Andover – the last session of the North Hants YAC at Andover Museum before the summer break took the subject of ‘archaeological masks’ – Tutankhamun, Agamemnon, the Green Man and Aztecs all featured – and Chris, you’ve never looked better.
To Silchester – where the last scrapings are taking place in INSVLA IX – the insula (island) is one of the town blocks in Calleva Atrebatum, the Roman city now mostly fields but still surrounded by the remains of its defensive walls. The ‘Town Life Project’ has revealed a wonderful sequence from the Late Iron Age through the Roman period – about 600 years of chop and change all told. The finds are in the University barn – and will one day be heading our way!
And last but not least, farewell to Dr Geoff Denford – who has retired after more than 30 years with the Winchester City Museums Service. Geoff and I first met on an excavation more than 40 years ago – and neither of us has changed a bit…well, we’re still young at heart!