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University of Birmingham
Entrepreneurship in Cultural Heritage Workshop

Organised by the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham. In association with the West Midlands Museum Development.

Location: The Old Ikon Gallery, Fazeley Studios, Birmingham, B5 5SE England.
2 February 2017.

Over recent years the heritage sector has been hit by cumulative cut-backs in public sector funding, reductions in visitor spend and increasing competition for visitors. At the same time, a multitude of new opportunities continue to emerge relating to technological innovation, new audiences and communication networks and new management approaches. In the context of this developing landscape for the heritage sector, this workshop explores the increasing need for museums and heritage organisations to become ever more entrepreneurial in their approach in order to increase their resilience to the changing environment and also to identify ways and means to build profile, audiences, income and opportunities to communicate the heritage at their heart.

Through presentations by speakers who, in different ways, are involved with innovative approaches to the heritage and museums sector and through discussion, this workshop aims to identify some of the more entrepreneurial management practices of the heritage sector and to explore challenges and opportunities for future entrepreneurial actions.

Key Themes:

· Working towards resilience

· Partner working outside of the heritage sector

· The role of the creative industries

· Going global

· Building audiences and income

Confirmed speakers include:

* Dr Chris Ferguson (Auckland Castle)
* Traci Dix-Williams (Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust)
* Colin Chester-Head of Buying, The National Gallery
* Tony Trehy (Director, Bury Art Museum)
* Harvey Edgington (National Trust)
* Elliot Goodger- Birmingham Museums Trust Enterprise Committee

Pre-booking is essential.

To book your place go here.

Early-bird rate of £45 ( by 13 Jan 2017).
Full delegate rate of £55 (by 27 January 2017).

Contact: Jamie Davies, Teaching Fellow in Cultural Heritage
0121 414 5616

Staff and volunteers from Accredited Museums or those officially Working towards Accreditation should reserve their place via the events page of the West Midlands Museum Development website: or contact


The Cove, Avebury
This year Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site is celebrating 30 years since its inscription on to the World Heritage list in 1986. A number of events are taking place throughout this year.
The Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Coordination Unit, with the support of their partners, is holding a 30th anniversary conference on 19 and 20 November 2016 to celebrate the many aspects of the World Heritage Site and the gains made over the past 30 years.
On Saturday 19 November in the Ceres Hall, the Corn Exchange, Devizes [England], a number of speakers including Dr Serge Cassen (University of Nantes), Dr Alison Sheridan (National Museums of Scotland), Dr Heather Sebire (English Heritage), Prof Tim Darvill (University of Bournemouth), Dr Josh Pollard (University of Southampton), Prof Vince Gaffney(University of Bradford) will be joining us to examine developments in conservation, changes in our knowledge through research and archaeology, the impact on culture and how Stonehenge fits into the European and British culture at that time.
More here.

Can Detectorists be Archaeologists? News by Roy Goutté of an upcoming conference.

The author ‘sweeping’ the line of a long lost track-way
Image credit and © Roy Goutté


On the 21st November 2016, PAS (Portable Antiquities Scheme) are staging a conference at the Museum of London. It is headed ‘Can Detectorists Be Archaeologists?’ and features many speakers during the day.

Nowadays most archaeologists recognise that responsible metal-detecting has a role to play in archaeology, though there remain concerns about the (seemingly) haphazard searching techniques employed by most finders. This conference explores the various ways in which detectorists (working alone or with archaeologists) have undertaken archaeological fieldwork, and looks to a future of further cooperation for the benefit of archaeology and public interest in the past… Dr Michael Lewis (British Museum).

As a detectorists myself and an amateur archaeologist that has worked with qualified archaeologists where my detector was called upon, this promises to be a very interesting series of talks. Any form of education, as long as it is a balanced appraisal of the subject, is most welcome as irresponsible detecting without giving thought to the archaeology is without doubt a serious matter and hopefully will be discussed at length.

There are two types of detectorists apart from the many thousands out there that, in my opinion, are irresponsible in respect of their lack of concern for our heritage and unseen archaeology. One is the blatant ‘night-hawk’ who purposely sets out to steal artefacts from areas of known ‘hot-spots’ and the other is the genuine beginner/casual user of a detector who seem totally unaware that they could be damaging the archaeology as they have not followed the Metal Detector Code because, on the whole, they are not recognised metal detector club members. As a member they would have been well versed in the rights and wrongs of metal detecting.

This doesn’t make the latter a bad bunch – just an uninformed one that are venturing out for a day’s enjoyable and relaxing detecting with thoughts of finding the odd coin/ring/watch on a beach or local scrub land. They are by far the majority – the ones that have a day out occasionally and not the day in day out detectorists.

To return to the subject matter – Can Detectorists Be Archaeologist? – well of course they can, just as well as anyone else if they are interested in the subject… which undoubtedly some will be of course. If they used their obvious knowledge of our heritage for the good and not just for personal gain as a night-hawk would, then fine. But let’s be quite clear on this – the major hoards and finds in the UK are being made by your bog standard detectorists who report their finds and not night-hawks who don’t and in places not generally being looked at by archaeologists because that is not in their remit.

Another heritage website doesn’t seem to allow for this and offers no credit to the ‘good guys’ seeing the majority of all detectorists as stealing our heritage and the vast number of them not declaring their finds. So where do they think all the hoards and other antiquities found came from if not reported – out of fresh air! The dark or negative side is always highlighted by them and virtually no credit given to the huge amount of detectorists out there doing the right thing! They need to wise-up and smell the roses!

However, not wishing to linger on this negative side, I believe this conference is perfectly timed by PAS and should open up a few eyes and minds with the range of the talks they are encompassing at the event and the quality of the speakers enlisted for it. I hope it is well attended and appreciated by a level-headed audience and hopefully gives the naysayers something that will pacify them a little – but don’t hold your breath!

Here are some more details and the table and time of events:

Can Detectorists Be Archaeologists?

Portable Antiquities Scheme Conference – Weston Theatre, Museum of London. Monday 21st November 2016. 10am – 5pm.

10:00 Roy Stephenson (Museum of London): Welcome
10:10 Dr Michael Lewis (British Museum) & Dr Pieterjan Deckers (Vrije Universiteit Brussel): Working Together.
10:30 Dr Felicity Winkley (University College London): A Font of Local Knowledge: Metal-detectorists and landscape archaeology.
11:00 Dr Phil Harding (metal-detectorist and self-recorder): Metal-detecting in Leicestershire: Insights from detailed recording.
11:30 David Haldenby (metal-detectorist from Yorkshire): Detecting the Landscape.
12:00 Lindsey Bedford (erstwhile metal-detectorist): Detecting a Path into Archaeology.
12:30 Lunch (not provided).
14:00 Faye Minter (Suffolk County Council): The Use of Systematic Metal detecting in Suffolk as an Archaeological Survey Technique.
14:30 Carl Chapness (Oxford Archaeology): Metal-detecting and Archaeology.
15:00 Samantha Rowe (University of Huddersfield) Archaeology of the plough-zone.
15:30 John Maloney (National Council for Metal Detecting) The Future of archaeology and metal-detecting.
16:00 Dr Mike Heyworth (Council for British Archaeology) The Future of archaeology and metal-detecting: Building or burning bridges?
16:30 Finish.

Worth noting that there will be no refreshments provided. If, like many others, you are contemplating taking up this wonderful hobby, the following link to a very informative Beginners Guide to metal detecting is a real must. Check it out!



The Hurlers, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
The Heritage Trust


The Mên-an-Tol, Cornwall
Image © Roy Goutté
The Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network will be holding a weekend of walks and talks amongst the ancient sites of West Penwith in Cornwall on Saturday, 30 May 2015. The event starts at 10:00am on the Saturday with a guided walk led by Cheryl Straffon and Lana Jarvis. The circular walk will include visits to prehistoric sites that were aligned to the sun and moon, including the Mên-an-Tol, the Nine Maidens Barrow and Stone Circle and the Bosiliack Barrow.
Full details of the event here.
Interpreting Bodmin Moor: A talk by Mark Camp and Peter Moore
Although the backdrop to Daphne du Maurier’s famous 1936 novel Jamaica Inn and, more recently and more generally, Winston Graham’s Poldark series of historical novels set in Cornwall, the history of Bodmin Moor and the mysteries surrounding it stretch back at least 10,000 years to the Mesolithic Period (type Bodmin Moor or Cornwall in the search box above for more info). Alternatively, if you’re in the Liskeard area on Tuesday, 26 May, join local authors Mark Camp and Peter Moore for what should be a very interesting and illuminating talk.
Carved knife by Japanese artist Kaizawa Toru
The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures will be holding a Friends Event on Monday, 23 February 2015 from 6:00-7:30pm. The Event will be held at the Sainsbury Institute in Norwich, England and is entitled Ainu Art and Archaeology. Two talks will be given; one by Professor Kato Hirofumi (Professor of Archaeology, Hokkaido University Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies) entitled Tracing the Emergence of Ainu Ethnicities using Archaeological Data. The other talk is by the artist Kaizawa Toru and is entitled Conflict and Amalgamation between “Tradition” and “Ainu”.
The Sainsbury Institute invites you to join them –
…for an evening in the company of two distinguished guests who will introduce us to two fascinating aspects of the distinctive culture of Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. The historical trajectory of Hokkaido is very different to the other main islands in the archipelago, and indeed it was only in the 19th century that Ezo, as it was formerly known, was fully assimilated into modern Japan. Before that it was the preserve of the Ainu, now formally recognised as an Indigenous People of Japan, after decades of discrimination. The Ainu cultural tradition (Ainu means ‘The People’ in the Ainu language, which is quite different to modern Japanese) goes back to at least the 13th century AD. Ainu people controlled territories from central Honshu to Russia, and played a key role in trade in the Medieval and Early Modern periods. These talks will demonstrate how, as opposed to accounts which consider the Ainu to be endangered survivors from the ancient past, they are the bearers of a vital cultural tradition with great contemporary resonance.
A 1902 photograph showing a group of Ainu people
Source Wikimedia Commons
Further information and booking here.

Katherine Baxter, Curator of Archaeology at Leeds City Museum, holding a terracotta antefix of Medusa. 300-200bce from Lanuvium, Italy

Stephen Lewis, writing in The Press reports that –

Some of the British Museum’s finest Roman treasures have come to Leeds as part of a touring exhibition examining the lives of Romans in Yorkshire.

Roman Empire: Power & People features stunning objects from throughout the Roman world, from Egypt to Italy, Germany and, of course, Roman Britain. The Leeds City Museum has combined the British Museum treasures with Roman objects from its own collection and from other museums in Yorkshire, including York’s own Yorkshire Museum. The result is an exhibition that reflects the power, vastness and might of the Roman Empire, but also considers Britain’s – and Yorkshire’s – place within that empire, says Katherine Baxter, curator of archaeology at Leeds City Museum. It also aims to give a personal insight into what the lives of Romans living here were like: and whether ‘being Roman’ was the same for people in Yorkshire as it was for those in Rome.

To coincide with the exhibition, which runs until 4 January 2015, there will be a series of lectures and family events including talks about rural life in Roman Yorkshire, and a lecture on Roman York.

Full article and further details on the exhibition here.

Well, this is our 600th post since we got going two and a half years ago. First off, many many thanks to all who have contributed, or drawn our attention to, features and photos since we started (and thanks too to our readers who have commented or indicated that they liked what we’ve published).

So, we wondered how we might celebrate our 600th post…

Cornwall’s been in the news recently: Earlier in the year it took a severe storm battering (along with other areas in Britain) and its only rail link to and from the rest of the country was dramatically severed due to high seas at Dawlish in Devon. Now, after for some two months, the line has been repaired and trains are running again. Then, last week, came the exciting news that the Cornish are to be granted minority status under European rules for the protection of national minorities (we ran a short feature about it here) which hopefully will herald a greater awareness and appreciation of Cornwall’s proud heritage. Also, last week, BBC television ran an adaptation (not an entirely successful one) of Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn; a dark and violent story of ship-wrecking, smuggling and murder centred around an old inn on Bodmin Moor.

So, with all this happening, it seems appropriate to mark Cornwall’s current place in the spotlight, alongside our own 600th post celebration, with a poem dedicated to Cornwall and the Cornish and news of an exciting archaeological/conservation event happening in Cornwall next month. We hope you find both of interest.

Pitted mining landscape adjacent to the Hurlers Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor
The Heritage Trust


Cornwall: The gold of a nation

Pitiful pitted land
Plundered for its wealth and identity
Its language lost
Earth dug and destroyed for silver, tin and China clay
Brought close to a nothingness at the tip of Britain.

And yet…
Cornwall has become itself again
Its tors and towers never really lost
Its words never really withered
All just buried deep…
Like the Rillaton treasure at its barrow-fast heart
The gold of a nation gathers again the light against it.


The Standing of the Stones
A Sustainable Trust event brought to you by: Giant’s Quoit


There will be a talk by lead archaeologist Jacky Nowkoski at Helston Folk Museum, Cornwall on Thursday, 19 December from 1pm. The talk will compliment an exhibition on Carwynnen Quoit at the Museum which will run from 16 – 20 December.
Pip Richard’s (of The Sustainable Trust) newsletter and attached posters are as follows –
At Samhain we restored the first stone at Carwynnen Quoit on the old Pendarves Estate. After 10 days of archaeological investigations in the field, the socket was uncovered and stone no 4 was put up.
We would have liked to lift it by manpower, but the weather and the uncertain state of the newly excavated socket dictated that we needed to plan for mechanical means. The newly standing orthostat is a statement that we now have the funding to complete the project, and we were pleased to see a sizeable audience on what was otherwise a dreary and muddy day. A newly formed team of Engineer, contractor, machine operator and field archaeologist worked efficiently and swiftly together, and the new standing stone received a blessing and anointment with Cornish cider by Andy Norfolk.
During the dig some large stones were investigated, showing the promise of manmade markings. More Neolithic pottery and flints were discovered on this historic site.
Pip Richards
See The Sustainable Trust or Carwynnen Quoit on Facebook.
Conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inpainting lost areas of a 400 year-old Tibetan thangka
Writing in The Art Newspaper on the 29 March 2012 Emily Sharpe reports that –
Conservators from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston called upon the services of nuns from Kathmandu, as well as Tibetan and Taiwanese specialists in silk brocades and Japanese fabricators of gilt-bronze decorative ornaments for an ambitious, two-year project to restore a series of 400-year-old thangkas or Tibetan paintings. The works, which depict the kings of the utopian realm of Shambhala, also known as Shangri-la, form part of the exhibition “Seeking Shambhala”…
A team of conservators spent around 4,000 hours on the project using materials sourced from far-flung corners of the world. “It was a truly global initiative,” says Elgar. “We wanted the mounts to be as authentic as possible.”
The works are on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston until the 21 October 2012. There will be a Gallery Talk today from 2-3pm in the Sharf Visitor Centre.



June 2022
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