With great sorrow we have to report that our
friend and fellow digger Eric died recently. Maureen Thomas related her
memories of Eric at his funeral last month. You can read her eulogy to
Eric here, and see several pictures (taken by
Dave Thomas). These pictures show Eric at some of our excavations over the
last few years. I'm sure that these words and pictures will bring back to
all our members who knew him, many of their own fond memories of Eric.
17th July 2014
Excavation at Cox Bank Farm starts again
We have just started this year's excavation at
Cox Bank Farm, to further investigate the Burnt Mound we worked on last
year and the two previous years. This year we hope to find a second
trough, that we think we may have seen a
corner of at the very end of last year's dig. More of the pot that we
found a large sherd of would be good, too. Follow our progress in
this year's dig diary.
11th May 2014
Unfortunately, the speaker who was due to give us
our final talk of this Spring season on May 9th, has had to cancel.
Apologies if you were hoping to attend.
The Society's rooms in the museum will still be
open, for any post-excavation work which may be required, and/or for
access to our library. Or just for stimulating conversation with other
14th April 2014
Kings Low and Queens Low
I know I said earlier that I wouldn't report here
as new books are acquired for our library, but this one is special. Our
librarian has now added to the library a copy of the report on the
excavations of two Early Bronze Age barrows which the Society undertook at
Kings Low and Queens Low, at Tixall, near Stafford.
This and other books so far acquired this year
(and last) are listed on our Library page.
5th April 2014
The Bridestones (update)
This sketch of the Bridestones was drawn by
Staffordshire artist Thomas Peploe Wood (1817-1845). I have copied it from
the front page of the report of our investigations at the site in 2011 and
2012. The report has been updated following review by English Heritage,
and a report of our small excavation near the monument added. I have
updated our Bridestones page
accordingly, and you can download the full report from near the bottom of
that page, or directly from
2nd February 2014
Pending availability of the full report of our
excavations at Hammerwich, we are making available Colin Sparkes's
section of the report. It provides a very interesting insight into the
area's medieval history, and you can download it as a pdf document using
the link above.
13th January 2014
Full Lecture Programme for
We now have information about all the lectures in
the Spring 2014 programme. For more detail, see our
Lectures page. Included is an evening devoted to the launch of a new
book reporting the excavations that the Society carried out some years ago
at Kings Low and Queens Low near Stafford. The evening will include a talk
by Professor Gary Lock and Winston Hollins.
11th January 2014
Spring 2014 Lecture Programme
Our new lecture programme kicks off with two
lectures of local interest: the first (this coming Friday, 10th January)
is about Richard Arkwright and the Cromford Mill; the second (Friday
January 24th) is about ceramics production and prehistoric society in the
Peak District. For some more detail, see our
Lectures page. (Sorry about the short notice!)
7th January 2014
Two new links on the links
I have added two new links on the
links page. These are to a blog describing
(amongst other things) the excavation and analysis of an early Bronze Age
burnt mound at Sizergh; and to a very interesting thesis covering the
derivation of all the main and many of the minor place names in
Staffordshire (including a review of the early history of the county and
of the various languages and dialects which have influenced its place names).
7th January 2014
A Happy New Year to all our
members and visitors!
New books, and 2014 Opening
While I have been on holiday, members of our
committee have been busy booking our meeting rooms in the Museum and
buying books for the Library. (I'm sure they've been doing other things as
well, but these are what they've told me about so far). You can find out
what books have been acquired on the Library
page, and our 2014 Opening Dates on the
Opening Dates page. The first date in the New Year is the 10th January
- hope to see lots of you there!
15th December 2013
Society Library - Acquisitions
Over the last year, our librarian has acquired
several new books and reports for our library. You can see a list of these
books on our
As books are acquired for the library, I will add
their titles to that page without further notification here.
Autumn 2013 Lecture Programme
Our new lecture programme covers a wide range of
very interesting topics - Mesolithic/Neolithic footprints in Formby,
Bronze Age Burnt Mounds, the discovery of Richard III's remains in that
Leicester Car Park, and the history of Shugborough from the Bronze Age
onwards. For dates and times, see our
The Bridestones: Historical
Colin Sparkes has written a detailed
historical background paper on the Bridestones. He surveys historical
descriptions of the monument, and compares the Bridestones with other
Neolithic tombs having similar features.
You can now download a copy of this paper here from
our Bridestones page.
Coxbank Farm 2013 excavation
completed, 11th July
with a summing-up report
(added on 19th August)
We have now backfilled this year's excavation at
This has been an extremely successful excavation
- we have found a large (ca 2.5 metres by 0.75 metre) trough which shows
evidence of having been wood-lined (though no remains of any wood were
found). We also found evidence of a working surface which had been made at
one end of the trough, and in the stones of this surface we found a
relatively large (ca 11cm by 9cm) pot sherd. Some small worked flints also
emerged. Pictures (click for a larger view) of trough and pot sherd are
below. See our pictorial diary page
for more pictures.
Our Dig Director,
Winston, has written a summing-up report on this year's excavation -
Coxbank Farm 2013 excavation
updated to 21st June
We think we may have found the trough of a
Bronze Age burnt mound at Coxbank Farm. To see the pictorial diary,
updated to 21st June,
We have received a report from the lab in New
Zealand where we sent some of last year's charcoal for carbon dating: the
result is the same as that for the other mound that we excavated on
this farm in 2006: ca 1300 BC - definitely Bronze Age.
While excavating the latest mound recently,
Winston found a small flint tool. Here's a picture taken by Dave Thomas.
To see the other side of the flint, see the
Coxbank 2013 diary.
Guided Walk around Roman
Members, don't forget the guided walk around Roman Buxton which has been organised for the Society.
As notified in a recent email, we will meet at 11:00 am on Sunday 23rd June 2013 outside the Tourist Office in the Pavilion Gardens at Buxton.
The guided walk is free for members. Guests are welcome to attend but they will be asked to pay a small fee of
£3 (£1.50 for students).
Coxbank Farm excavation, 2013
We are currently working on what appears to be a
Bronze Age burnt mound at Coxbank Farm. To see how we are getting on,
click here for a week-by-week
We are delighted to add an extra lecture evening to the Spring series.
Stephen Dean (Principal Archaeologist, SCC) has kindly agreed to visit SOTMAS and talk to us about field walking, using the latest Hammerwich/Hoard site as an example.
He will also be updating us about the latest Hoard finds.
This lecture will be given in the usual place
(see our lectures page for more
information) on Friday 24th May 2013
at 7:30 pm.
The news which previously appeared on the
rest of this page related to 2012, and can now be found by following the
"More News" link below. Details of all the fieldwork and reports mentioned
there can be found via the "Fieldwork and Trips" menu, above.