Introducing the Birmingham & Warwickshire Archaeological Society Lecture Programme for 2021 – 2022. Our lectures are open to members and non-members alike.

Our lectures are FREE for members and members of affiliated societies. Members do not need to book tickets.

When non-member tickets are released, they are available for £5 (+booking fee). You will find links to book tickets on Eventbrite below.

All lectures commence at 7pm unless otherwise stated.

Subject to coronavirus: if physical attendance is not possible, BWAS will make every effort to hold lectures via Zoom.


Tuesday 5th October 2021

Eresh: City of Culture, 2550BC? A Sumerian city in southern Iraq

Speaker: Professor Nicholas Postgate
Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel

This lecture has now taken place.

Tuesday 16th November 2021

Medieval Archaeology in Birmingham and Warwickshire

Articles published in the Society’s annual Transactions over the past 150 years reflect changing approaches, trends and priorities in the archaeological investigation of medieval Birmingham and Warwickshire. They show how an early and continuing interest in the above-ground archaeology of churches and other medieval buildings was later accompanied by excavations at monasteries, castles, moats, towns and villages, surveys of earthworks and landscapes, research into crafts and industries, and detailed studies of medieval floor tiles and other objects.  Join us for this fascinating lecture to find out more.

Speaker: Dr Mike Hodder

Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel

This lecture has now taken place.


Tuesday 7th December 2021

The Saxon site at Atcham

The great hall near Atcham, Shropshire, identified from the air in 1975, remains a rare example of a type site epitomised at the major Royal centre at Yeavering in Northumberland. Only just over a dozen of these sites are known from England and they remain somewhat enigmatic in their use and purpose. Although the Atcham site was scheduled straight away, recent threats from rabbits and metal detectorists prompted the need for a small-scale excavation of the site to assess its long-term survival. This was also an opportunity to establish its date and character, as well as train the next generation of archaeologists. This lecture presents the results, and establishes the context of the site as it is currently understood. 

This lecture will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting.

Speaker: Dr Roger White

Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel

This lecture has now taken place.


Tuesday 4th January 2022

Stonehenge and its landscape

Stonehenge occupies one of the most intensively studied archaeological landscapes in the world. However, most of this work has focused on the numerous visible monuments, with little attention to the areas between. Recent work focusing on extensive geophysical survey followed by borehole survey and targeted excavation has demonstrated the existence of numerous other, previously unknown monuments, in addition to new evidence for the earlier use of the landscape. This talk will outline the approach and results from this work, highlighting shifts in the interpretation of Stonehenge, in addition to some reflections on methodological approaches to the study of extensive prehistoric landscapes.

Speaker: Professor Henry Chapman

Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel

This lecture has now taken place.


Tuesday 1 February 2022

The first London-Birmingham railway

Learn about the construction and early years of the London and Birmingham Railway. Felix will trace the history of this huge undertaking through the watercolours and lithographs of John Cooke Bourne (1 September 1814 to February 1896). Cooke Bourne’s pictures illustrate the amount of earth movements necessary to build the railway.

Felix will discuss some of the technologies used in the construction of this first railway to reach London. Felix is neither a historian nor an archaeologist but a railway systems engineer who enjoys talking about the history of railways and its pioneers.

Speaker: Professor Felix Schmid

Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel

This lecture has now taken place.

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Cheddar Man and the genetic prehistory of Britain         

Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology have meant that the analysis of DNA from ancient humans (ancient DNA) has gone from something extraordinary to a routine practise within a decade. We now have genetic information from close to 1000  ancient people who lived in Britain over the last 10,000 years . The majority of these people date to prehistory, and their DNA has provided new insight into the prehistoric inhabitants of Britain. In particular, these results have highlighted the significant role of migration in influencing cultural change and human genetic variation in British prehistory. This talk will discuss what we have learned so far from the genetics of the prehistoric inhabitants of Britain, and where future studies of ancient DNA are likely to take us.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the speaker will now be joining us on Zoom. The lecture will still take place in person, and we look forward to seeing you at The Edgbaston Park Hotel.

Speaker: Dr Thomas Booth

Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel

This lecture has now taken place.

Tuesday 5 April 2022 

Medieval Graffiti of South Warwickshire Churches         

The study of graffiti in churches has become a area of renewed interest recently, with the realisation that probably all English medieval churches once carried examples of these often enigmatic vernacular marks.  This talk will consider the survival and the motifs of graffiti in and on churches in the South Warwickshire -North Oxfordshire area.  It  will cover the possible intentions of the makers, how they made the marks and what class of people they might have been, as well as examining the possible sources and meanings of the marks.

Speaker: David Freke

Venue: St Johns House Museum, Warwick

This lecture has now taken place.


Tuesday 3 May 2022 (12pm start)

A E Everitt, artist and antiquarian: the first Secretary of BWAS    

This talk will explore the work of artist Allen Edward Everitt and the formation of the Birmingham Archaeology Society in 1871.  Allen Edward Everitt (1824 – 11th June 1882) was an architectural and topographical artist who was interested in the study of buildings considered to be of historical interest as well as buildings which were at risk.  Everitt created a phenomenal body of work which documented buildings across Birmingham and the region.  This collection is part of the City’s collection of Topographical Views at Birmingham Museums.

Speaker: Jo-Ann Curtis, Curator of History at Birmingham Museums

Venue: Birmingham & Midlands Institute

This lecture has now taken place.

Lecture Programme 2021 – 22

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