Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch

Branch Meeting Reports 2002

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Last Meeting of 2002

Xmas Party: Theme: Hunters and Warriors - "The Victory Feast"

A Great time was had by all, indulging in the usual party activities and the annual multi-layer "Sweets or Question" passing the parcel game! Thanks to everyone who came in fancy dress and to our two winners of the best outfit competition. Your leaders and Team members had as much fun as you did!


November meeting Report

At the start of the meeting a brief presentation was given by David Stokes on the October Field Walking event, using his lap-top PC and Geo-plot software to illustrate the finds distribution from the surveyed areas.

The meeting then divided with the Junior members continuing their Egyptian House project with Alan but due to time constraints the Egyptian 3 theme (boats) was only discussed but the planned project was postponed. The Senior members enjoyed a presentation by guest speaker Debbie Tabner from The Archaeology Centre, Bagshot. Below is a summary of that presentation, titled:

"Down to the Natural"

The aim of this presentation was to give an insight into the subject of geology. The geological influences of the landscape shape people’s lives in terms of available natural resources such as building stones, soils for agriculture and materials that can be used for stone tool making and decorative objects.

The presentation first considered the nature of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and compared their textures by observation with hand lenses. The location of the different rock types was shown with a brief explanation about geological maps and their uses in archaeology.  Geophysical techniques in archaeological investigations have been developed from those used in geology. Examples of their use in geology were illustrated to show the origins from very large scale surveying to the small scale required for archaeology. Finally, artefacts from the collection of Surrey Heath Archaeological and Heritage Trust were used to demonstrate the use of geology in identification and provenance of objects, for example, stone tools, a Romano-British jet ring and pottery and the implications for lifestyle and trade.


October meeting Report

Field Walking

There was change of location from Cobham Common to a site in Windlesham, Surrey. We are most grateful to David Stokes for arranging and presenting this event. David gave a brief report to the November meeting on the results of the morning's activities. Below is a summary of that report:

Field Walking Training Event at Windlesham

The purpose of the day was both to teach a range of techniques for field walking and to investigate a site that has archaeological possibilities from the Pre-historic to Modern. For this event the Central Southern England Branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club was hosted by the Surrey Heath Archaeological and Heritage Trust. It was part of an ongoing training programme teaching surface surveying which started with Resistivity Surveying.

In the morning the YACs were taught and practised Intensive Cell Walking. They covered 3000 square metres divided into 10 metre squares.  Their finds were analysed, recorded and the distribution plotted by adults from the Trust. In the afternoon session the whole farm was field sample surveyed; this time using Line Walking techniques.

The most important find was evidence of ancient iron working. A great deal of iron slag was found in a spot close to the river.  Nearby archaeological investigations indicate that this is likely to date from the Iron Age to early Saxon. As well as some nice little medicine bottles, a surprising amount of broken knives and forks were found. This puzzled even the experts until the local farmer explained that the area had once been a pig farm. Thus a regular supply of pig swill was required, which was tipped into a macerator and spread on the land as compost. It would seem that the swill also contained cutlery - a way to avoid washing-up! 


September meeting Report

The Junior members continued the Egyption theme set by Megan Price at the June meeting and dealt with Houses in Ancient Egypt. A project to build a house of the period was started, after completion of outstanding Henge and Hunter's House projects. The project will be completed at the November meeting. The Senior members looked at Non-invasive Techniques of Archaeology and participated in a Practical Demonstration using a Resistivity meter.

There were no meetings in July & August - but see activities below

June meeting Report

Having shared her experiences with us on Peru last year Megan Price now took us on a journey through Ancient Egypt and recalled her experiences on a recent expedition. We were also introduced to the culture and the written language, which used symbols rather than text. A practical session after break gave Members the opportunity to be an Egyptian scribe!

May meeting Report
The coach trip to Avebury, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow
your comments please !

A very enjoyable day was obviously had by everyone from the various comments received, including a card with photographs! A Big thank you also from the Branch Team to all who attended for arriving on time at the Archaeology Centre, enabling a prompt departure. We would still like to hear from you with your comments on the day.

April meeting Report

The meeting started with a video presentation on "Stonehenge", which was a 50 minute programme after which the mid-break was taken. This was in substitution for the shorter English Heritage video on "Henges" which for technical reasons was unavailable. After the break; the Junior Members continued with their "Hunter's House" project to completion and a start was made, in pairs, on the "Building a Henge" project. It is expected that this project will be completed at the June meeting. The Senior members had a great time learning the correct methods of "Pottery Reconstruction", the special techniques to be used and using the "right" type of glue! Here was the opportunity to have-a-go, which everyone did! It was interesting to see the results!

We welcomed a number of prospective Branch members and also had a visit from Rowena and her team of the new Spelthorne Branch, which is due to open in the Autumn.


March meeting Report

Carol White gave a fascinating glimpse into what is called the Bronze Age. Describing the features that you may find at a site and how to recognise them. Carol referred to present day examples that can be visited. These included Avebury, Silbury Hill and the West Kennet Long Barrow, all of which we shall be visiting in May. Carol's presentation continued after the Break but for the last hour, Carol talked to the Senior Members about Experimental Archaeology and the Junior Members continued with their "Hunter's House" project. Due to the restricted time available, none of the Houses were completed so this project will now continue to completion at the April meeting.

February meeting Report:

There was a last minute change in Guest Speaker

Our thanks to Peter Harp for his presentation, ably assisted by Brian Wood. They gave us an insight into not only making and identifying the different types of Stone Age tools but also described their current excavation site in Surrey, the difficulties and miss-interpretation that may occur.

We look forward to seeing the group photographs that were taken


January meeting Report:

The year started off with an introduction to the Stone Age and the meeting with a video about Grimes Graves in Norfolk. The Junior Members then set about the task of constructing their individual 'Hunter's Houses'. The Senior Members were introduced to the world of Dating Techniques by Tamasin and under her guidance worked examples using Radiocarbondating and Dendrodating formula.
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