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2023 Conference - Archaeology and Antiquarianism

Saturday 21October 2023


To commemorate the 200th anniversary of ET Artis' book on the Roman town of Durobrivae, the Nene Valley Archaeological Trust is holding a day of talks to look at some of the prominent figures during the transition from antiquarianism to archaeology.

You missed the conference but might be interested in a book released on the day, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Artis' The Durobrivae on Antoninus.



Session 1

Antiquarian or Archaeologist?

Edmund Tyrell Artis (1789-1847): his life and work around Peterborough

Prof Stephen Upex - Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge University

The Northants Roman Exploration Committee and the 1878 investigation of the ‘Roman camp’ at Irchester

Prof Sarah Scott - School of Archaeology and Ancient History, Leicester University

Session 2

Painting the Past: artists and archaeology in England 

Dr Paul Stamper - Director, Paul Stamper Heritage

Class, Collectors and Conflict in Victorian Palaeolithic Archaeology

Prof Mark White - Department of Archaeology, Durham University

Session 3

Sir Cyril Fred Fox (1882-1967): the Cambridge region and beyond

Dr Oscar Aldred - Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Why Wyman Mattered – antiquarian or archaeologist?

Grahame Appleby - City Archaeologist, Leicester City Council


Registration from 10.00. Proceedings commence at 10.40.


A cold buffet lunch will be provided between Sessions 1 and 2. 


Talks are expected to last about 35 minutes plus time for questions.


The conference will close at 16.45.


Thomas Deacon Academy
Queen’s Gardens
Peterborough PE1 2UW


The Thomas Deacon Academy is located 1 mile north of Peterborough city centre. Free car-parking is available. For those travelling to Peterborough by public transport, the No 2 bus service from Peterborough bus station to Paston Ridings stops at Park Road / Queen's Drive corner, 400m from the school.

see for the timetable and further information



Conference Fee: £25

Students: £15

These prices include lunch and refreshments

Booking closes on Monday 16th October 2023

To pay by cheque or bank transfer download booking form and follow instructions:

Why Attend?

The enthusiasm, insights and skills of antiquarians laid the foundations for the generations of archaeologists who have followed. They are an inspiration to current day amateur and professional archaeologists alike. Indeed this set of talks will appeal to anyone with an interest in how we make sense of the past.  

Our expert speakers from across the country bring deep knowledge of their diverse topics. They will aim to ensure their messages are authoritative, entertaining and readily understood. 

The conference will be a celebration of the role of the antiquarians and early archaeologists - not least our own Edmund Tyrell Artis. His Durobrivae of Antoninus first published in 1823 remains a reference point for archaeologists in the Nene Valley to this day.

Speaker Profiles

Dr Stephen Upex.JPG

Stephen Upex

Stephen is a tutor at Madingley Hall, Cambridge and a longstanding figure within the Nene Valley Archaeological Trust. In recent years he has focused on publishing the results of recent and historic excavations in the Peterborough area, and has taken a keen interest in the work of ET Artis, who trod the same ground 200 years earlier. 


Sarah Scott

Sarah has a longstanding passion for school and community engagement with archaeology, and has recently been developing this aspect of the University of Leicester’s excavations at Irchester Roman town. The site has a long history of archaeological and antiquarian interest, and Sarah’s talk will cover one of the first investigations that brought Irchester to people’s attention.


Paul Stamper

Paul works as a freelance consultant on all aspects of the post-Roman landscape and its buildings, having spent 20 years before that as a senior advisor at English Heritage. His talk will explore the artistic representation of archaeological landscapes, monuments and artefacts, from medieval depictions of Stonehenge to the works of the 20th-century Neo-Romantics.


Mark White

Mark is a specialist in the Palaeolithic period, and also takes a keen interest in the history of archaeology. His talk will look at the asymmetrical social relationships between different tiers of Victorian archaeology, from Lords to Labourers’s Boys – their role in constructing our national collections, and what happened when those relationships went sour.


Oscar Aldred

Oscar has previously held academic posts in Iceland and Newcastle, but is currently focusing on publication of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit’s major development-led excavations at Northstowe. He also has an interest in Sir Cyril Fox, whose key work The Archaeology of the Cambridge Region is currently celebrating its centenary.


Grahame Appleby

Grahame came into archaeology following a career in the public sector, working first as a researcher for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit before taking his present post with Leicester City Council. His talk on George Wyman Abbott will look at one of the more colourful practitioners of archaeology in the Peterborough area. 

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