Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society (SOTMAS) was founded in 1959 and currently has almost sixty members, several of whom have given more than forty years’ service. The age range is spread from students to octogenarians with everyone able to contribute according to their interest, ability and skills. Our stated aim is “to promote and encourage archaeological research, especially the examination, recording and preservation of the antiquities of North Staffordshire.”
The society has always been active in the field of practical archaeology. Much of the earlier work concentrated on the excavation of various pottery sites within the city, adding extensively to knowledge of the formative industry and unearthing many fine pieces now on display in the city museum.
In more recent times we worked on the Hulton Abbey* excavation (there is now a book in print), an important Bronze Age burial site (King’s Low and Queen’s Low*), and an eighteenth century peasant farm. Our current major dig takes place at Tollgate Farm, a Romano-British site, though we also undertake smaller projects as time allows.
When digging is not taking place, we have a programme of lectures which cover a wide range of archaeological and historical subjects. Speakers have included Paul Bahn, Stan Beckensall, Martin Henig and Mike Parker Pearson. The lectures take place at our base in the museum, where we also have a large and comprehensive library.
* Major displays in the Potteries Museum