Events round-up: Hidden Earth cancelled, BCRA talks/AGM and a case of possible cannibalism in South Gloucestershire

Archaeologist Adelle Bricking digging in Fishmonger’s Swallet. Photo by Linda Wilson.

Covid continues to create certainty for events organisers, with some cancelled and others moving online, but there might be light at the end of the tunnel … unless it’s a caver coming the other way.

Hidden Earth: the National Caving Conference

The following announcement has been made by the Hidden Earth team:

“We are sorry to have to announce that due to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this event, scheduled for September, has been cancelled. A major problem has been that many venues are still unwilling to take bookings for indoor public events, even to the end of 2021. Also, we do not know what meeting and travelling restrictions are likely to be in place in September and October. As it takes several months to organise Hidden Earth, we have now reached the point where it is necessary to make the decision to cancel. We have a venue in mind for 2021, which we will try to book as soon as we can.”

BCRA Events

The online seminar postponed from Monday 12 July has been rescheduled for Monday 19 July.

The subject of this seminar is the work at the British Cave Science Centre (BCSC), with Andi Smith, Matt Rowberry, Alastair Morgan and John Gunn.  Full details on the BCRA website.

The August talk is “As Old as the Hills: The Chronology of Caves and Their Landscapes”, with Mike Simms from National Museums, Northern Ireland.

For a summary, and for information on how to log in via Zoom, please go to the BCRA website.

The annual Cave Science Symposium and BCRA AGM are now confirmed for Saturday 27 November 2021.

The Symposium will be a live event at Hulland Ward village hall, near Ashborne in Derbyshire (Covid restrictions permitting). The event will be streamed live, via Zoom. The Lecture Secretary is Jo White, to whom prospective speakers should send their lecture abstracts. Brief information will be posted to the BCRA News forum later in the summer, including a template for submitting lecture abstracts. Details of the event will be posted a few weeks before the event. BCRA’s AGM will take place during a break in the Science Symposium at 12:00 to 13:00. Details will be posted the the BCRA website AGM page a few weeks before the event.

Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology

As part of the Festival of Archaeology, Bristol City Museum are hosting a series of free online talks. The festival starts on 20 July at 3pm with a short film featuring work at Fishmonger’s Swallet: “A Case of Ritual Cannibalism in South Gloucestershire?”

In 1998, local cavers investigating a sinkhole made the unusual discovery of a substantial quantity of human bones, along with many dog and other animal bones. This material dates to the late Iron Age or the early Roman period between circa 170 BC – 120 AD. Some of the human remains have been modified in a way that is deeply suggestive of cannibalism. The site was subsequently dug by Time Team in 2000. The material has been donated to the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society (UBSS) and is now housed in their museum. The remains are being studied by archaeologists from Cardiff University.

The film features one of the original discoverers, caver David Hardwick (Hades CC/UBSS), in conversation with Professor Mark Horton, and will be followed by a live Q&A with David, together with UBSS museum curator Linda Wilson and archaeologist Adelle Bricking.

For details of how to register, visit the event page. Full details of all the talks can be found here.