Diary realised that the Thames foreshore is stairs and they have also found a about the only part of London's large rudder from a nineteenth archaeology that was not covered by century ship - possibly a 'colliery cat' the professionals and would there- of the type that brought coal from fore be a suitable site for local archae-
Wendy Rix Morton, centre, Editor of Archaeology Abroad, flanked by David Harris, left, (Director of the Institute of
Archaeology, London) and Tim Potter, right, of the British Museum, both members of the management committee.
provide it with a home and indeed a chairman - for long John Evans, now John Wilkes. It is now under the vigorous editorship of Wendy RixMorton, who edits it largely from home, producing 3 bulletins a year, the main one in March, an additional one in May and then a follow up in October, giving full details of the British Schools and Institutes Abroad,
through which most of the work is channelled. They have around 500 subscribers a year and cover a wide range of countries, notably France where there is a long tradition of hospitality towards British students of archaeology. Swans Hellenic
Cruises have also long offered a special scholarship through the Service.
The 25 years were celebrated by the publication of a glossy leaflet giving details of their work. The subscription now costs £10 a year for individuals in the UK and should be sent to: Archaeology Abroad, 31/34 Cordon Square, London WCIH OPY.
One of the most successful projects to bring back amateurs into archaeology has been the Thames Foreshore Project. This was the brainchild of Custav Milne, now at ological societies to study, and on the 24th & 25th April 1998, a conference was held to look at progress.
Further up river, the Richmond
Society has been discovering fish traps, lines of wooden posts running diagonally to
The most illuminating aspect of the Conference was to realise the the river. One of these has been major role played by the radiocarbon dated to the seventh
Environment Agency, which with
English Heritage is the major financial sponsor. The Environment century, giving unexpected evidence of Saxon activity.
Further down river, the West
Agency has nothing to do with the Department of the Environment, but is in fact the old National Rivers
Authority renamed and amalgamated with certain similar organisations.
They feel that they are responsible for the River Thames, which they want to turn into a Wildlife Superhighway,
Essex Archaeology Croup (WEAG) has been working in Rainham - a five kilometre stretch with very difficult access and no amenities (ie no pubs).
However, when they can get down to the river they have been rewarded by the discovery of remains of a Neolithic forest visible at low tide.
and a defining moment came in the so called Effra planning decision. This was a planning application by developers who wanted to encroach on the Thames. The decision eventu-
The trees were first noted by Samuel
Pepys but they are still there though rapidly being eroded.
The scheme has been a huge success for the societies concerned, all ally went in favour of the developer: of whom have reported increased the Inspector, although sympathetic to the desire to prevent encroachment, felt that the Environment membership and greater enthusiasm. There is admittedly, some scepticism: as one Museum of London curator
Agency did not have enough hard pointed out, the golden age of evidence to back up their argument. discovery of the Thames was from The Agency therefore threw them- 1820 - 1900 when dredgers were selves with zeal into collecting constantly in operation and were evidence to prevent further develop- discovering the rich haul of prehisments, and they have therefore toric weaponry for which the Thames ardently championed the Thames is famous. Today however most foreshore project - not least with a lot of money. (The other case they have lost recently was over the Millennium Dome, which encroaches on the river:
finds are of the eighteenth and nine-
teenth century - 'post-medieval ephemera' according to a curator - a bias not helped by an excess of ideo-
they could not actually say this, but one got the drift...)
Three societies in particular have been participating in the foreshore project. COLAS - the City of London
Archaeology Society - which in the 1960s discovered both the London
Palace and the Huggin Hill Baths, has since been at a loose end, so they have eagerly taken on responsibility for Tower Hamlets- Shadwell and
Wapping. Most of the slipways have been closed for health and safety reasons, but they have been studying logical purity which means that for the most part they do not use metal detectors. Archaeological societies on the whole tend to flourish if they have something to do and do not just spend their time listening to lectures, and the scheme demonstrates what can be done if local societies are offered a suitable project for their talents.
Two new coin hoards have recently been announced, both discovered
University College London, who the positions of the old slipways and shortly before the new Treasure Act
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