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    Meetings at Unitarian Church, New Road, Brighton starting at 7.30 pm

    Note on the 8th December 2023, the AGM will start at 7pm, with the lecture starting at 7.30pm

Free entry for members, £4 to non-members.

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Friday 13th October

Digging the Durotriges: Excavations in Bronze and Iron Age Dorset 2021-23

Excavations restarted on the Durotriges Project, an investigation by Bournemouth University into the settlements and cemeteries of Bronze and Iron Age Dorset, in 2021, at Winterborne Kingston near Bere Regis. In that time two Later Bronze Age farms and an Iron Age banjo enclosure, containing over 65 pits, have been excavated together with a small Iron Age cemetery. This talk will show how these ongoing excavations, together with other surveys of the county, are helping reconstruct prehistoric activity in central SW Britain before the arrival of Rome.


Dr Miles Russell

Friday 10th November

A History of the Adur valley

To most people driving along the A27 the words ‘Adur valley’ mean a good view of Lancing College Chapel, Shoreham Airport, Old Shoreham Toll Bridge and, to the north, perhaps a glimpse of the ruins of Bramber Castle - but there is much more to it than that. The Adur valley, with its tidal river, was once a broad sea estuary where coarse brown salt was made in medieval times. Ships made their way on the tide as far as Steyning, bringing wine and other goods from overseas. Smuggling was rife, the proximity of Brighton in Regency times encouraging the illegal importation of opera glasses, tea, coffee, musical boxes and leather gloves, as well as the more commonly perceived spirits, wines and tobacco.

Come and hear about the ‘Stone-Age doughnuts’ of Old Erringham and the lack of wild oats at Applesham Farm. Find out what some of the Coombes’ Church wall paintings mean and something about St. Botolph. Bramber Castle had been a ruin for more than a century by the time the Royalists and Roundheads clashed at Bramber bridge in 1643, but the uncrowned Charles II did pass that way in 1651 on his flight from the Battle of Worcester.

Janet Pennington lived at Botolphs in the Adur valley for some years, worked on several archaeological excavations in the area, was archivist at Lancing College, and prior to 1968 handed over many sixpences in order to pass over Old Shoreham Toll Bridge by car on the former A27 route. Luckily she was not on the Southdown double-decker bus that plunged into the river on 1st January 1949, but that story does have a happy ending.


Dr Janet Pennington

Friday 8th December

BHAS AGM followed by:

Crete: The Myth of the Minotaur and the archaeology of the Minoans

Crete is best known in Greek Mythology as the home of King Minos, his wife Pasiphae, their daughters Ariadne and Phaedra and Pasiphae's child, the Minotaur. According to the myth, the half-bull, half-man was housed in a labyrinth and killed by the hero Theseus. But who were the Minoans and how did their civilisation, which has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe, develop into a strong maritime entity which traded throughout the Aegean, notably on mainland Greece, and with Egypt?

This lecture will look at the archaeological evidence we have for the Aegean Bronze Age civilization on the island of Crete, which flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BC and was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Arthur Evans


(N.B. The AGM will take place at 7.00, immediately before Janet's lecture. There will be drinks and nibbles after the Lecture).



Sarah Green


Friday 9th February

Saxon and Highdown Hill.

Arguably the most important Saxon cemetery in Sussex, this lecture will look at new evidence from Highdown Hill and discuss the potential for future investigations at this most enigmatic of sites. The story of its discovery in the 1890s through to our reanalysis of the grave goods will be covered, in addition to looking at trends in the Worthing area from the end of Roman Britain to the coming of the Normans.


James Sainsbury

Friday 8th March

Life, Death and Times in the Bronze Age.

Recent archaeological discoveries in Britain have revealed unexpectedly ordered and complex understandings by Bronze Age people of their world some three thousand years ago. Mike Parker Pearson will talk about his excavations in the Western Isles of Scotland and how they have helped to transform our knowledge of how treatment of the dead, including exhu-mation and mummification, and of how people lived their daily lives in roundhouses according to a variety of tem-poral cycles. More complex notions of time and astronomi-cal measurement are also evident in some of the monu-ments and sacrificial remains from the period more widely across Britain.


Mike Parker Pearson

Friday 12th April

Recent discoveries in the Roman city of Colchester

Recent discoveries in the Roman city of Colchester; military buildings, declining townhouses, the bathhouse and extramural burial, settlement & industry.


Adam Wightman


Admission Free to BHAS Members, £4 to Non-Members



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