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LAMAS Lecture Programme

October 2023 - May 2024

Many lectures will be hybrid, taking place in-person and as Zoom webinars. Please check the lecture details for the in-person location.

The lectures start at 6.30 PM, and last for 1 hour.

Tickets can only be booked through Eventbrite. Ticket booking will be usually available 2 weeks before a lecture. LAMAS and CIfA LAG members can request an Eventbrite promo code to obtain free tickets. As usual non-members are very welcome, but a small charge of £2.50 will be levied to help pay for Zoom.


October 10, 2023 - Hybrid

Lecture Theatre G6, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY

Stamped Roman timbers from London and elsewhere - Tracing evidence of economy and emperors Sadie Watson and Damian Goodburn, MOLA
The MOLA excavations at Sugar Quay on London's Roman waterfront revealed many wonderful examples of rare branded stamps on the timber quay structures. These stamps are very useful as evidence of the timber trade that served the port. There are other examples of stamped timbers from across London as well as elsewhere in the western Roman Empire and this lecture will draw together this evidence to discuss what these tiny motifs can tell us about London, the construction of its 2nd century quayside, and its place within the wider Empire.



November 14, 2023 - Hybrid

Lecture Theatre G6, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY


A Tale of Two Fords? An alternative model of Roman road infrastructure in Southwark and beyond

Becky Haslam

This lecture will present evidence for a series of revisions to the current model of Roman road infrastructure to the south of Southwark’s Borough Channel. Recent discoveries on the sites of Brandon House and Harper Road, in combination with a reappraisal of the existing corpus of evidence on this topic, together make a convincing case that the current model be modified. Primarily, this involves a revision to the route of Stane Street across the southern mainland of Roman Southwark, from which a new location for the junction between Stane Street and Watling Street can be extrapolated. This undertaking in turn necessitates that the evidence that was previously used to justify the former course of Stane Street be reviewed. It is suggested here that this points towards the presence of a hitherto unknown road that extended westwards from Watling Street, in the direction of modern Vauxhall. The implications of this revised model on Roman-era land use at a local level with then be discussed, with emphasis on the location of the ‘ritual shafts’ of the Swan Street site, before concluding with a discussion of the potential regional implications.



December 12, 2023 - Hybrid

The Gallery, Alan Baxter Associates, Cowcross Street


The failure of London: the long fourth century

Dominic Perring, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, UCL, Institute of Archaeology

This talk - based in large part on the concluding chapters of Dominic's recent book 'London in the Roman World' will attempt to set the archaeological evidence for later Roman London within its wider historical context.
At the end of the third century, following its earlier restoration, London remained a place of considerable consequence in the politics of the western empire. But this effectively ceased to be the case during the course of the fourth century. Cycles of urban investment, followed by periods of disrepair and redundancy, echoed London's changing importance to the provincial administration. When, how and why did this important bastion of Roman power change, and to what extent can such change be characterised as 'decline and fall'?
The Arras Medallion shows Constantius' and his fleet arriving at London in AD 296 to save the city from being sacked by the Frankish mercenaries in the service of the usurper Allectus, who had probably established his imperial capital and palace at London. This is the earliest known representation of London: a wall-girt city welcoming its Roman conqueror.



January 9, 2024

Lecture Theatre G6, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY


Life, Death and Worship at HM Tower of London

Alfred R. J. Hawkins, Assistant Curator of Historic Buildings

This lecture will discuss the history and archaeology of the Chapel Royal and Royal Peculiar of Saint Peter ad Vincula which, for the last 500 years, has been the parish church of HM Palace and Fortress the Tower of London. The talk will include a chronology of the buildings development, the impact of the designation of 'Royal Peculiar' upon archaeological excavations, the results of excavations undertaken in 2019 and of the subsequent analysis of skeletal remains exhumed during those works funded by the LAMAS Research Grant 2022/23.



February 13, 2024

Lecture Theatre G6, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY


AGM and Presidential Address - Mapping medieval London

Vanessa Harding, Emeritus Professor of London History, Birkbeck, University of London

The LAMAS AGM will start at 6PM, followed by the lecture at 6.30 PM

The presidential lecture will look at the challenges and rewards of creating historical maps of London. In particular it will focus on medieval London, and the map published by the Historic Towns Trust in 2019. By 1300, London was at its medieval zenith of population size and wealth, and there is plentiful documentary evidence for features, street-names, and land-use, as well as governance and economic activity. Traces remain – mostly underground - of some of the city’s 100-plus parish churches and its many religious houses, and of a few private houses and public buildings. How can all this information be organised and represented on a map? And what do we learn by doing so?



March 12, 2024

Lecture Theatre G6, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY


The Thames Tunnel

Katherine McAlpine, Director, Brunel Museum

Discover the story of the Thames Tunnel with Brunel Museum Director Katherine McAlpine. We’ll uncover how the Thames Tunnel became the world’s first subterranean river crossing and ‘underwater shopping arcade’, how Marc Brunel’s engineering designs were influenced by a very unlikely source and why the tunnel eventually became a train line, that’s still in use today after all these years.



April 9, 2024

Lecture Theatre G6, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY


Syon Abbey revisited: reconstructing late medieval England’s wealthiest nunnery

Bob Cowie

Syon Abbey was the last great religious house to be built in the London region during the medieval period, and by the time of its closure in 1539 it was the tenth richest in England. Founded by Henry V and built by Henry VI, it was home to segregated female and male communities of the Bridgettine order.

The lecture will outline how archaeological investigations since the late 1990’s have begun to shed light on the abbey and its long forgotten layout and appearance.



May 14, 2024

Lecture Theatre G6, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY


Joint Prehistoric Society and LAMAS Lecture
Paleo-London: Thinking about the Ice Age Archaeology and Environments of the Capital

Dr Matt Pope

The landscape now covered by Greater London is one which preserves a rich record of our Ice Age past. Spanning in excess of 500.000 years, this record includes a large area of Ice Age geology, environmental records of now lost landscapes as well as stone artefacts and the bones of now extinct mammalian fauna. In this lecture we will explore this record through key sites and the history of their discovery. From the first recorded discovery of a Palaeolithic tool through to the professional commercial excavations taking place in the city in recent years, we’ll consider how the London landscape was shaped by ice and water, and the early human populations who adapted, or not, to the dramatic cycles of climate change evidenced in the gravels and clays of the city’s deep past.