About 75 -80 people turned up for the postponed lecture given by Anthony Beeson. It was a triumph of scholarship and interest – packed full of comparisons of the mosaic with others in the Roman Empire – showing quite why the Boxford mosaic is indeed unique and a national treasure! We are now in the process of fundraising so that we can uncover the whole of the mosaic in the late summer of 2019 so if you can help with fundraising, especially with corporate sponsorship, please let us know. We are looking at finding £55000+ – this seems a lot but this time we will have to cover the villa to prevent damage to the mosaic from the elements as well as unwanted visitors. Donations left last night amounted to £161.50 so many thanks to all who contributed. Over £1000 has been raised from donations so far for the 2019 dig. (By the way someone left a very nice red and beige shawl/scarf with green tassels in the village hall last night – please email email@example.com if it was you.)
The Boxford History Project AGM will be held in the Heritage Centre on Monday 26th March at 7pm. We are looking for new committee members – if you are interested and there is plenty to interest – please email me.
Boxford History Project
Unfortunately the Boxford Roman project was unsuccessful at the Current Archaeology Awards ceremony held at the Senate House in London on Friday, where it had been nominated for Research Project of the Year. Two members from each of the project partners attended – Joy Appleton and Tina Lyle from Boxford History Project, Lindsey Bedford and Janet Firth from BARG (Berkshire Archaeology Project) and Matt Nichol and Duncan Coe from Cotswold Archaeology. The winner was Blick Mead, a prehistoric site in the Stonehenge landscape, a much bigger project which clearly had a high profile. We did not get to hear how many public votes each project collected. All that said and although we did not win, we are immensely proud of being nominated in the first place! Most of all, we would like to thank everyone who supported and voted for the project.
DCIM101MEDIADJI_0052.JPG Photo courtesy of Richard Miller
We are very fortunate that one of the leading UK iconographers, Anthony Beeson, will be giving a talk at Boxford Village Hall on Saturday 3rd March at 7pm entitled The Triumph of Bellerophon. The Boxford Mosaic, a unique survival from Roman Britain. Places will be limited on a first come first served basis because we anticipate a full house. So please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org This mosaic was discovered last summer by locals supported by local archaeological groups, overseen by professionals and has been described by experts as the most important discovery of a Roman mosaic in Britain in the last 50 years.
For those of you who might be interested in the background of our speaker, who after his visit to the site last year conducted an incredibly thorough research looking at mosaics throughout the Roman world.
Anthony Beeson was born in 1948 into a well established Brighton family. Having worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art Library, he moved to Bristol in 1972 to become Fine Art Librarian, and over the following thirty-seven years developed the Bristol Art Library into one of the finest British public collections of art books. He is a noted classical iconographer who has written extensively in academic journals, lectured on Romano-British art and appeared on the television programme Time Team.
Just in case you hadn’t heard, the mosaic story has hit the national papers and ITV and BBC even Russia Today!! Matt was on the Meridian News this evening with a few seconds of video of Alice explaining the mosaic at the Open Day – video courtesy of Richard. What a world!! The photos from the blog have been used by the papers too. Hard copies of the Times, Telegraph and Mail are available but the rest as far as we know is online – John even found a Greek post!
Photos on the blog are courtesy of Steve, Lindsey, Joy, Richard, Helen, Jill and Mike
The smaller building
The Law 1
A busy Open Day
The Law 2
R The Law 2
Viewing the Mosaic
Viewing the Mosaic
The end of a great day
How many archaeologists does it take…………
Lindsey contemplating a great week
The Mosaic revealed
Buffet lunch for volunteers – a small token of thanks for all their hard work ………..from the Boxford History Project
We estimate that 250 visitors came to the Open Day – the marquee was the visitor centre!
Even the police force turned up to show their interest and offer help
Matt explaining the site to locals
Richard getting the light just right for the last overhead photos of trench three open.
Matt and Alice still recoding as the sun goes down after the Open Day
The trenches are backfilled now ……..to keep everything secure and preserved. Hopefully we will be back on this site to uncover more treasures. On a personal note, I have to say that it has been an absolute pleasure to work with this group – from novices to professionals. It must be something to do with being covered in mud a large proportion of the time! If you have any good photos of the Open Day, please email them to: email@example.com. Some have been forwarded to the Newbury Weekly but I don’t know if they will be included in this week’s paper. Many thanks. Joy
Photos courtesy of Joy, Lindsey and Richard
Record…….record…….. record …………and tidy up your trench! Have to get everything ready on site for the Open Day between 2-4pm on Saturday.
Another surprise today – Agatha and Alice find another plunge pool in the bath suite. It’s likely to be the tepidarium as Lindsey had already dug out another plunge pool thought to be the frigidarium. But we have not got time to dig it out…………………maybe another year?
We hope to have lots of visitors tomorrow between 2-4pm so that they can see all the work that has been put in and the stunning results! Well done to everyone!
Photos courtesy of Joy
More mud ! Most of the finds come out covered in thick mud so Barbara and Chris are trying their best to clean it off so we can determine what we are actually looking at!!
Cleaned off finds sieved by Janet – but this time it’s “dem bones, dem bones!!! The lumps of mud on the left are what these fragments were in. The bones are not human but a broken skull and vertebrae of animals yet to be determined.
Diggers still cleaning up walls! And another young volunteer. Fantastic spread of ages across the diggers and they all get on brilliantly!
Photos courtesy of Joy