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For more than forty years Berkhamsted and district archaeological society has offered a hands-on opportunity for local people to explore the history of this area.
Archaeology is an interest that appeals to all ages and all walks of life. Members of the society choose their own level of involvement and the activities in which they want to participate.
So, if you've ever wondered how the experts reach their conclusions about your ancesters, here's a chance to find out...
Come to any of our lectures and meet fellow enthusiasts or
Annual adult subscriptions £15
BADAS members play an important role in helping with excavations on major sites, providing archaeological manpower resources which might not otherwise find funding or where time-scales are critical.
With coaching, members gain real experience in most aspects of archaeology, from helping to conduct geophysical surveys of important sites to actually digging to unearth finds that can identify and date a site and provide clues about what took place there from decades to thousands of years ago. This is real archaeology - discovering our ancestors and the world they lived in.
Volunteers are needed for excavation and digging, recording finds and finds washing.
By converting the strength of measured signal into tones of grey in the computer we can create a diagram showing what lies beneath the surface so we can establish which areas we need to excavate.
The pictures on the right show a resistivity suvey in progress and the graphic below it is a typical survey of a plot of ground 30 meters square.
As entertaining as they are informative, the society's lectures are held in the ancient hall now used as the music room in Berkhamsted's Collegiate School, monthly from September to April.
Specialist guest speakers cover periods from ancient Egypt to ancient Britain, Roman to Saxon and medieval to Victorian.
Topics range from specialist techniques to assist in dating and identifying finds to discussions about what archaeologists have learned of the societies and cultures whose artifacts and sites have been discovered.
And when the mood takes us we have also been known to enhance our talks with supper.
The pictures above show our work in the lawns at Ashridge House where we are exploring the remains of the conventual church. It was dedicated in 1286 and demolished in 1575. The remaining monastic buildings were demolished in 1803 and replaced by the current house. Above is a small coin found there in 2012.
Offering a wider perspective for our members, we arrange visits to important archaeological sites throughout the UK. usually over a weekend, often with specialist commentary from local experts. Sutton Hoo, Roman Bath, pre-historic monuments, Norman churches, castles and mosaics have featured in recent itineraries.
These are both educational and entertaining as well as offering an oportunity for like minded people to share a fulfilling and social event.
Lectures take place in the music room at Berkhamsted Collegiate School in Mill Street at 7.45pm
23rd September - Only Guardians - Not Owners. Collecting Small Antiquities
28th October - Shaky Foundations: The Legendary Origins of some London Churches
25th November - The World of the Minoans and Mycenaean
16th December - The Domus Aurea . The Golden House of Nero in Rome
27th January 2014 - TBA
24th February - The Sandridge Hoard of Roman Gold Solidi
24th March - The Ickneild Way - A Prehistoric Highway
28th April - Industrial Archaeology in Hertfordshire
Watch this space for news of our away weekend in 2014
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE
Additional Committee members
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The ongoing dig at Ashridge has been carefully documented and reports have been published every year for the College.
PDFs of these reports have been prepared and links are available here for you to download your own copies
The growth of the internet brings the past into the present and the future and makes archaeological information increasingly accessible. The following links are particularly recommended:
BBC HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY