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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 Chapel of the Berkhamsted Collegiate School, in the car park accessed from Castle Street, 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.
Our trips away either for a day or for a weekend are famous for being entertaining, enlightening and professional. They add to our store of archaeological knowledge and, above all, they are fun.
BADAS has been blessed with some truly dedicated organisers for several years - John and Marguereta Dahl and more recently Brendon and Janet Sparks. They proved to be a hard act to follow but at last we have new "volunteers" - George and Sue Godar who took over the programme and presented us with a splendid day away.
There is a possibility of organising a 2022 BDAS Awayday to take place on Saturday, 21 May 2022. The trip would be to Silchester as the main venue, (our intended destination for May 2020 before we had to cancel).
The coach trip is likely to take up about 2 hours each way plus a bit more to and from the midday break venue, Reading, and a mid-afternoon stop-over at St Mary’s Church in Langley. There is a 10 minute walk to the Walls at Silchester from the car park along a track and the perimeter of the Walls is 2.5km. The Amphitheatre is unfortunately at the far end of the Walls from the car park.
Before we take the project too much further, we would like to test the water as to numbers in order to check whether members are confident enough to join the trip. The ticket price we are aiming for will be £30 per person (as in 2020), but this will of course depend on numbers, coach size and coach price.
If you are interested in joining the Awayday, please can you email George and Sue Godar to let us know, as soon as possible, at:
firstname.lastname@example.org [click the link or note that there is an underscore between the fam and the godar in the email address]
Letting us know that you are interested in the Awayday is not a firm commitment at this stage.
Additional Committee members
Contact us -
Click here to download a PDF of the societies rules
URGENT NOTICE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Please CLICK HERE to access a PDF
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