Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "northampton"

The Museums Association (MA) has barred Northampton Museums Service (NMS) from membership for a minimum of five years as punishment for its sale of the ancient Egyptian Sekhemka statue.
A campaign group defending the statue described the MA decision as “a step too late.”

The decision was taken late Wednesday after a disciplinary hearing of the MA Ethics Committee.

The committee ruled that the NMS, run by Northampton Borough Council, breached the MA’s code of ethics by selling the ancient statue — an important piece in the collection of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. Read more.

A campaign group in the UK has asked the Egyptian authorities for help in its fight to have an ancient Egyptian statue returned to public view after it was sold by Northampton Borough Council to a private collector.

Despite an international outcry, the 4,500-year-old Sekhemka statute was sold two months ago to an unknown collector for £15.76 million.

The statue, which dates from the Fifth Dynasty and is believed to show Sekhemka the scribe with his wife Sitmerit, was given by the Marquis of Northampton to Northampton Museum as gift in around 1870. Read more.

A medieval barley malting oven dating back to the 13th Century has been discovered by archaeologists excavating a site where an office block is to be built in Northampton.

The dig in Bridge street is the first large-scale excavation in the town for 30 years.

The kiln is almost perfectly preserved with charring marks on the hearth.

Evidence from the site, near where Northampton Castle stood, indicates it was a thriving commercial area.

Archaeologist Paul Blinkhorn said it was a rare find in an area where there was evidence of medieval industry. Read more.

Northampton brewers have taken special interest in a medieval ‘malting’ oven found at the site of an archaeological dig in the town centre, possibly indicating the town’s first brewery.

Directors from Phipps Brewery and Carlsberg came to visit the large stone pit, still showing scorch marks from flames, which would have been used to roast barley and turn its starch into sugar, one of the main ingredients of beer at the time.

The remains were found at a dig on a former car park off St John’s Street as archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) prepare the site for the building of new Northamptonshire County Council headquarters. Read more.

Fragments of rare medieval linen and serpentine marble have been discovered by archaeologists at a dig in Northampton town centre.

The excavation is in St John’s Street, at the location of Northamptonshire County Council’s new £43m headquarters.

Jim Brown, from the Museum of London Archaeology, said the marble is “part of something quite valuable”, possibly a portable altar.

Excavation on the 1,400 sq m site continues until late August.

The extensive dig began along Fetter Street, where a medieval bread oven, an early 13th Century well shaft and trading tokens were discovered. Read more.

Preparations for an archaeological dig at a site earmarked for a new railway station are due to begin.

The existing Castle Station in Northampton will be replaced by a £20m glass and steel building in 2014.

In medieval times a royal castle was situated on part of the site, and last year items from Saxon times were unearthed in an initial trench.

The dig will be done by experts from Northamptonshire Archaeology and will take about 12 weeks.

It will record any remains before the new station is built.

Councillor Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council said: “Northampton’s unique selling point over many of its neighbours is its long and important history and heritage. Read more.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS hope to uncover up to 1,000 years of Northampton’s history when they investigate a building site on the west of the town.

A dig on the latest phase of the Upton development is planned to take place next month.

Early examinations of the nine- acre site have suggested there could be both Iron Age and Roman finds beneath the ground.

Steve Parry, from Northamptonshire Archaeology, said: “The exciting thing about this project is that it gives us the opportunity to look at quite an extensive area.

“And we believe occupation on the site runs from the early Iron Age through to the end of the Roman period. So it’s getting on for 1,000 years of settlement and farming on the site.”

Initial tests on the site, which were carried out more than a decade ago, suggest there could be a road buried beneath the ground with a number of buildings facing onto it. Read more.