Selected Articles from the BHAS Bi-Annual magazine
"Flint" Spring 2013
Heritage and proposed Community Projects
BHAS have attended a number of meetings with regard to Brighton and
Hove City projects and potential community engagement. The Brighton
Biosphere project was launched in January and the Society have been
asked to join the team as part of the community section having a
regular engagement with the public and being considered as the main
access to archaeology for the people of Brighton and Hove. Other
meetings attended by the Society included a community project to
develop and promote the new 'Keep' (East Sussex Records Office) to be
opened at Falmer later this year. The Keep is promoting interest in
local history and archaeology.
Archaeology South East is in the process of making a Heritage Lottery
Fund application and has asked BHAS to join them, along with other
groups, as partners. The venture is hoping to investigate a number of
archaeological sites over the South Downs and encourage public
involvement in archaeological surveying, recording and excavation.
Once again the Society's experience in public engagement is much valued.
During the 19th century a farm was built on Newmarket Hill, near
Wooding-dean. The small cottage, barn and outbuildings were in use
and survived until the Second World War when the structures were used
for target practice by the military. The remaining buildings were
demolished to a pile of rubble in the 1950's. In February members of
the BHAS field unit met with Greg Chuter, Malcolm Emery of Natural
England and David Cuthbertson to view the farm site which had
recently had the scrub removed. David Cuthbertson's mother had lived
in the farm before the War and David would like to reveal what
remains, if anything, of the old farm that was the family home. BHAS
have been asked to give archaeological support and training for the
small group of David's volunteers. The project is planned to begin in
Mv First Exhumation
In the upper east/west ditch, having found nothing the weekend before
and now, late into Saturday afternoon, having found nothing all day,
I was not expecting to find much. However, some very thin bone
started to appear -possibly skull - but of what I had no idea.
Cleaning back to expose more, I decided to call John Funnel! over.
With his 'oh, right, stop what you're doing' I guessed I must have
come across something significant. John thought it might be human
skull so, as a precaution, work was stopped and the bits of bone
which had been placed into the finds tray were bagged up and the
remains carefully recovered.
Having contacted Carol White that afternoon for her expertise and
confirmation, I picked her up from Falmer station the following day
and, on the way to the site, she told me that Hayley Forsyth had been
informed and would be joining us later.
After uncovering it again and a little more tidying back, they both
confirmed it was a baby burial, possibly neonatal. As the coroner
could not be contacted, it being a Sunday, the police were then
informed of the discovery which lead to a number of interesting
return calls such as 'have we informed the next of kin' to which
Carol replied 'no they're all dead'. After establishing that we were
archaeologists, the police were happy for us to continue. However, it
would not be until the following weekend that work could start again
and the bones lifted because permissions and a licence were required
to exhume. Until then the remains were once again covered over.
Although Carol would be on site, I had asked for guidance as I knew
the importance of this find. I also thought about handling human
remains and if I wanted to do this even though this was to be done
double gloved. Any bone that I had previously found was bagged
separately as it had been handled. It is now hoped to get isotopic
information from the teeth some of which could be seen in the partly
The lifting of the bones was carried out by Carol, Hayley, David
Ludwig (who had been working with me in the ditch) and myself all
watched by Norman Phippard who videoed the whole process.