Lectures and Events

We are planning a number of events during the summer months of 2010 to celebrate the Society’s 75th anniversary. Watch here for details as they become available. Alternatively, if you would like to be kept updated by email please contact Tessa Machling on prehistoric@ucl.ac.uk.

Booking forms are also included in PAST.


Mon 10 January Lecture
Cambridge, 6pm
'Time and the River - Environmental Change, Monumentality and Prehistoric Land-use at Needingworth Quarry, Over'
by Christopher Evans, FSA (Executive Director, Cambridge Archaeological Unit)
Joint Prehistoric Society/Cambridge Antiquarian Society
Wed 26 January Lecture
Later Iron Age ceramics and settlement in south west Britain
Henrietta Quinnell, Archaeological Consultant and Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter

Middle Iron Age South Western Decorated ware is visually the most attractive of later prehistoric ceramics, but most published work only refers to its chronology, sources and development in very broad outline. It has been regularly linked to the adoption of enclosed settlements (Cornish rounds) and multiple enclosure hillforts. Over the last decade work in Cornwall and Devon has provided a large number of new radiocarbon determinations. These, allied to studies of stratified deposits, especially at Trevelgue cliff castle near Newquay, have provided more detailed chronology and an insight into stylistic variations. Some decorative styles/forms are more likely to occur in ‘structured depositions’ than others.

The date for general adoption of this ceramic style can now be placed at c 300 BC, rather than c 400 BC, with consequent implications for the study of settlements. Petrological work by Roger Taylor has built on Professor Peacock’s seminal study in the 1960s and confirmed that Lizard gabbroic clays were used almost universally in Cornwall. In Devon a wide range of clays were used, and a very probable source for Peacock’s Group 5 has been located in Exeter’s Ludwell Valley.

Joint meeting of Devon Archaeological Society and the Prehistoric Society, to be held in the main Council Chamber at County Hall, Exeter, Devon.

There will be a wine reception, starting at 7.30pm, to which members are invited. The lecture will start at 8.00pm.

Sat 26 February Day conference
The Iron Age in the Thames Valley
Following on from two very successful meetings on the Neolithic and Bronze Age, this day conference will explore the landscape of the Thames Valley in the Iron Age, based on the results of recent major programmes of fieldwork and analysis.
Programme and Booking form
Fri 9-Sun 11 April 6th student study tour
Looking at Landscapes: The Archaeology of the Cotswolds and Thames Valley
Led by Dr. Alex Lang
Starting with a welcome event on Friday night at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, the tour provides an opportunity to visit some of the more famous sites of both the Cotswolds (Saturday) and Thames Valley (Sunday), led by archaeologists who have excavated and researched these sites for many years (incl. Prof. Tim Darvill, George Lambrick and Dr Gill Hey). Highlights will include: The Rollright Stones, Crickley Hill, Stanton Harcourt and Wittenham Clumps/Dorchester.
Programme and Booking form
6 - 8 May Conference
Hands Across the Water: The Archaeology of the Cross-Channel Neolithic
School of Applied Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset.
Organised by: Timothy Darvill and Alison Sheridan
A major international conference organized by the Prehistoric Society and Bournemouth University Archaeology Group in association with the Neolithic Studies Group and the Société Préhistorique Française
Programme and Booking form
Sat 14 May Day conference and Europa Lecture
Eurasian Interactions 4000-1500 BC
Including the Europa Lecture by Dr. Natalia Shishlina (Moscow): 'The Mysterious Bronze Age Steppe Nomads'.
(There will be a fee for the conference but the Europa Lecture will be free to members)
Programme and Booking form
UK study tour
The Prehistory of West Penwith
Led by Jacky Nowakowski (Cornwall Council)
With a number of distinguished guides, the tour will showcase a range of sites, from burial monuments to settlements, in their landscape contexts against the background of the West Penwith survey.
Booking form to follow
Autumn 2011
Weekend conference
Climate Change in Prehistory
Organised by Dr. Bob Johnston (Sheffield University), Dr Kevin Walsh (University of York) and Dr. Graeme Warren (University College Dublin).
Booking form to follow


Sat 4th - Sun 5th September 75th Anniversary Tour
The Avebury to Norwich 'Thunder Run'
This tour will commemorate the 'great coup d'etat' of 1935 led by Grahame Clark, Christopher Hawkes, Charles Phillips and others, that transformed the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia into the Prehistoric Society. Stuart Piggott famously said of reaching the critical meeting in Norwich, 'I drove from Avebury (rather fast, in Keiller's MG Midget) to cast my vote in favour'. Travelling rather more sedately and staying overnight in Cambridge, this event will retrace Piggott's journey and stop off at selected prehistoric sites en route to reflect on 75 years of prehistoric research.
Click here for further details
Wed 20th October 75th Anniversary Debate
Soc. of Ants, London, 6pm
'The Sara Champion Debate'
'This House believes that the study of the Stone Ages has contributed more to our knowledge of the human condition than study of the Metal Ages' with Professor Clive Gamble and Professor Tim Champion

In place of the Sara Champion Memorial Lecture, we are celebrating the Society’s 75th anniversary with a special event starring Professors Clive Gamble (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Tim Champion (University of Southampton). Our distinguished speakers will debate, in a not wholly serious fashion, the relative merits of the Stone Ages versus the Metal Ages, while the President of the Society attempts to keep order and the audience decides the winner. Will you gamble on Clive or is Tim your champion…?

Click here for further details
Thu 28th October 75th Anniversary Lecture
University of Liverpool, 5pm
History of the Prehistoric Society 1935-2010
by Dr Rachel Pope (University of Liverpool) at Shore Lecture Theatre, 14 Abercromby Square. Free to members, please turn up on the day.
Fri 29 - Sun 31 October Conference
The Manchester Museum
The Present and Future of British Prehistoric Pottery: Finds, Methods, Interpretations
Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group & The Prehistoric Society Joint Conference
Conference Timetable (pdf 20kb)  |  Conference Abstracts (pdf 77kb)  |  For late registrations please contact Ina Berg

In the planning stages:


  • Joint lectures with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland,
    the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society,
    and the Sussex Archaeological Society


  • Launching the English Heritage Research Strategy for Prehistory (autumn 2010 tbc)
  • Rethinking the Late Iron Age (tbc)

Study tours:

  • Monmouth and the Gwent Levels
  • Dillington weekend

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