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Newsletter 9, 2011-12

1 Deadlines for week 9, 5-9 December
2 What's on during week 9, 5-9 December
3 Staff and research news
4 Library skills drop-in session
5 The Post Hole
6 Lords of Misrule autumn production
7 Opportunities
8 Calls for papers

1 Deadlines for week 9, 5-9 December


The deadline for copy for the next newsletter is noon on Thursday 8 December. Please send any items to

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2 What's on during week 9, 5-9 December

Tuesday 6 December

HYMS informal seminar, HYMS Second Floor meeting room (CAHS), 12.30

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Clifford Jolly (New York University) will be talking about his research on African monkeys.

Wednesday 7 December

Library skills drop-in session, King's Manor library, 9-12.30

Susan Clayton will be providing a drop-in clinic for undergraduates. For more details see below.

Palaeo lecture, 15.00, P/L002

What can simulation contribute to the understanding of biomineralisation? Professor John Harding, University of Sheffield

A lecture by our collaborator John Harding. John's work is critical to our understanding of protein decay in biominerals.

York Seminar, 17.00, Philip Rahtz Lecture Theatre (K/133)

Footprints through time: the Mesolithic of the Severn Estuary, Professor Martin Bell

All welcome

Friday 9 December

Research forum, 16.00, K/159

The people collectors: stone axes since the Neolithic, Mark Edmonds

Please note this is a change to the programme: the scheduled session on Entrepot has been postponed.

All staff and research students welcome

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3 Staff and research news

On 1 December, Steve Ashby gave an invited lecture at the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield on Combs and communities: some aspects of Viking-Age craft and social practice.

Matthew Collins spoke on Thursday 17 November at the Wellcome Collection (London) as an example user of Data CEntres at a RIN//JISC event How do we make the case for data centres? The meeting was held to discuss the findings of a Technopolis report into Data Centres


Congratulations to Simon McGrory and Holly Wright, who have both had PhD vivas recently and have passed subject to the completion of minor corrections.

And congratulations to Carolyn Gaunt, whose dissertation has been passed for her MA by Research.

Battlefields and mass graves

Tim Sutherland and Malin Holst were invited key speakers at the conference Battlefield and Mass Graves at the Brandenburg County Museum in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, last week  The conference, which highlighted the recent mass grave excavations at Wittstock (1636), was attended by approximately 150 archaeologists, battlefield specialists and bioarchaeologists from Europe and dealt with mass graves from the Neolithic to the 19th century.  Notably, a number of important mass graves have recently been excavated and the results of the analysis of the skeletons and artefactual evidence were fascinating. Malin and Tim gave an evening lecture about their work on the mass graves from the 1461 Battle of Towton.

The photos below are from the mass grave of the Battle of Wittstock 1636, courtesy of Brandenburg Landesarchaeologie.

9 12 dicht-an-dichthttpwww.1636.decategoryschlacht-bei-wittstockmassengrab-von-wittstock

9 12 Grabungsimpression-300x225httpwww.1636.decategoryschlacht-bei-wittstockmassengrab-von-wittstock

9 12 125-tote-Soldaten-225x300httpwww.1636.decategoryschlacht-bei-wittstockmassengrab-von-wittstock

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4 Library skills drop-in session

Susan Clayton, our library liaison officer, will be working in King's Manor library on occasions through the next few terms, and will make herself available for a  'drop-in' clinic, for any particular problems or questions you might have about finding, accessing and using information resources.  This will be particularly useful for our Y2 and Y3 students as they work on their dissertations, but it is not limited to them, and first years are very welcome to come along too. 

With Y3 dissertations due in later this year, we've set the first clinic to take place on Wednesday of week 9, 9-12.30.  This will be an important opportunity for third years to drop in and get last-minute help before you go off for Christmas, and for Y2 students to get some guidance as your ideas are starting to crystallise.  So do come along to the King's Manor library on the Wednesday morning in week 9, and just ask for Susan at the front desk.

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5 The Post Hole

The nights are drawing in and essays have been finished for another term, but don't despair because the latest issue of The Post Hole is about to arrive! With dissertation advice, revelations of staff members' archaeological Christmas wishes, and articles on Palaeolithic coastal sites, the Great War and more Theory 101, you will be sure to enjoy the end of what has hopefully been a memorable and not too stressful term.

Copies of Issue 19 will appear in the common room, foyer and basement next week and will also be available online at

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6 Lords of Misrule autumn production

The Lords of Misrule are proud to present Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a Christmas tale of magic, adventure and romance, adapted by Hollie Morgan.

Gawain, the bravest of King Arthur's knights, sets out from Camelot for the Green Chapel to fulfil a deadly promise to a mysterious antagonist, the Green Knight. On the way he arrives at a castle in the middle of the wilderness presided over by the Lord Bertilak and his beautiful wife, where all is not as it seems...

The show dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 8-10 December, at 7 pm at St Mary's Church, Bishophill Jr (YO1 6EN, York). Come and see this medieval festive tale in a beautiful setting. There will be refreshments in the interval and some medieval Christmas music from the Lords Singers. Tickets are £7 full price and £5 concessions.

For tickets, email or see

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7 Opportunities

£500 Nuttgens award for York PhD students, Georgian period

The York Georgian Society's 2012 Nuttgens Award of £500 is open to all York PhD students working on aspects of 18th-century and early 19th-century history and culture. The deadline is 10 February 2012. See the poster (MS Word , 53kb) attached.

The scope of the Award extends to any aspect of Georgian architecture, arts, culture and society. Students may be registered for the PhD on a full-time or a part-time basis. Students may not receive the Award more than once. The Award may be used for any legitimate research expenses, such as travel to archives, libraries and museums, attendance at conferences, and the purchase of books, photographs or other research materials. The Award may not be used for general subsistence, tuition fees or the purchase of equipment.

Applications for the Award will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • the originality of the research project
  • the nature of the expenditure proposed and its value in developing the project
  • financial need.

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8 Calls for papers

Computer Applications in Archaeology (CAA) conference 2012

26-28 March, University of Southampton

The call for papers for the upcoming CAA conference 2012 has been extended to the 7 December. Abstracts related to the following topic can be submitted through the conference website,

Maintaining a dialogue between observation and visualisation, session code Theory4

From creativity comes innovation and this innovation in archaeological interpretation can uncover new avenues of thinking allowing new questions to be uncovered and examined. But how can we embrace the creative side of interpretation without compromising the integrity of our work?

Interpretation of archaeological evidence will always be subjective, this fact will never change. But what this session asks is whether a sustainable standard for the management of the creative processes and decisions involved in the generation of an archaeological visualisation can be achieved and what the implications of such a standard would mean. By maintaining a critical self-awareness during this creative process is it possible to confidently explore the possibilities for visualisation of the sites in question?

Carefully recorded at any level all archaeological observations are concerned with the sites as they stand today. This session explores the mechanisms for producing complimentary reconstructive narratives whether these are creative, data driven or interpretative. With the ultimate aim of bridging the gap between the observation behind the archaeological record and the multiple reconstructions of the past. This gap between observation and the narrative leaves an area of dialogue between what is considered the 'real' of the present site and the 'real' of the reconstructed past and how it is experienced. The process of interpretation produces many questions concerning how our interpretive influence affects the integrity of the captured record, the control of experience and the ways in which we model uncertainty.

This session aims to expand upon ideas introduced at a preceding session Narrating the gap between observation and visualisation at the UK TAG 2011 conference. The previous session argued that all archaeological research begins with the creation of the archaeological record and continues with the production of a series of narratives. This relationship was considered in terms of the extent to which visualisation links the two stages. Considering in particular how such a link can relate explicitly to experience, through phenomenology, or mediated by illustration, survey, creative media or computer graphics.

Instead of a standard session with a series of long papers, this session will be structured as more of a roundtable for discussion. We invite presenters to submit short abstracts for papers no longer than 5-7 minutes which address themes in archaeological visualisation, the subjective/objective divide, digital documentation, data standards for a sustainable visualisation workflow and perceived reality. The session will then open the floor to a discussion structured around these short presentations, addressing in addition a series of pre-defined questions which will be circulated prior to the session based on themes of discussion arising from TAG 2011.

Organisers: Catriona Cooper, School of Archaeology, University of Southampton,, and Alice Watterson, Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art,,

Although our own area of research is specifically focused in archaeological computing, we will gladly welcome papers with a more creative or analogue focus as our interest is not solely with the media itself, but the processes that occur during the interpretation of a dataset and the ways of managing the subjective decisions made.

Palaeolithic/Mesolithic Conference

24-25 March 2012, Durham University

Registration and call for papers is now open for an upcoming conference on the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic: Where The Wild Things Are: Recent Advances in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Research

Final call for abstracts: the deadline for abstract submission is 17 December.

In recent years research in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic worldwide has been breaking boundaries, such as pushing back the earliest dates for the human occupation of Britain, the identification of a new species of hominin, cracking the Neanderthal genome and the discovery of the UK's earliest Mesolithic house. This 2-day conference aims to celebrate this trend, providing a forum where both postgraduates and other academics can present new research in a friendly environment.

The first day of the conference will consist of a general session with papers presenting a wide range of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic research. The second day will take a more themed approach, featuring papers and invited discussants focused around four themes: Tools & Technology, Landscapes & Environments, Subsistence & Animals, and Ritual & Society. A focus on environmental change (climatic, social and cultural) is particularly encouraged in all papers, although not required. Invited discussants include Peter Rowley-Conwy (Durham University), Mark White (Durham University), Paul Pettitt (Sheffield University) and Matt Pope (Institute of Archaeology, UCL).

Marginalia, the journal of the Medieval Reading Group

Please find below the call for submissions for the summer 2012 issue of Marginalia. The theme for this year's issue is Relationships. It is open to graduate students and early career academics, and anyone else who may be interested.

Marginalia is an interdisciplinary, on-line, peer-reviewed journal that has been publishing graduate research since 2005.  Archived issues of the journal can be found at A poster (MS Word , 74kb)  is also attached. Suggestions for topics include, but are not limited to:

  • literary relationships
  • love, marriage or the family
  • lordship, kingship or other socio-political ties
  • ecclesiastical or literary patronage
  • textual transmission
  • the bonds of friendship or kinship
  • piety and devotion to God or the saints, a medieval 'relationship with God'.

We invite submissions in the form of 250-word proposals for long articles (approx. 5000 words) and shorter Notes and Queries-style articles (approx. 1000 words). Please see our website for further details. Proposals for papers should be sent no later than 31 January 2012 to We will also be happy to answer any queries before the deadline.

The editors of Marginalia are graduate students, advised by a board of academics, from the University of Cambridge.

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Newsletter editor: Eva Fairnell