CHANGE!!  –  Monday 27 November:  There will now be a member’s talk in our rooms at Crampton Tower Yard.  For details, please email us at

OTHER NEWS:  On Monday, 4 December, our missed course lecture from 9 October will take place at Crampton Tower Yard.  This is the lecture on the Six Witches of Maidstone.  To register for this, please contact us on, or turn up on the night.  Fee: £12 Lecture time 7-9pm – please join us at 6.45 for mince pies before the lecture starts!

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Here it is!

IOTAS Archaeological Studies Lecture Course 2017

Transitions in History, Archaeology and Myth: how did traditions change or survive?

13 March:    1. The chosen few: Medway Megaliths – were Neolithic tombs burial places of elites, war-dead  or sacrifices? Looking at evidence for a clash of faiths in Neolithic Britain.

10 April:   2. Broken circles: The End of the Bronze Age in Thanet and Kent – rituals and sites, and the  coming of Iron. Might climate change have brought about the collapse of Bronze Age society?

8 May:   3. Pontifex Maximus: Julius Caesar in Kent – the impact of the Romans on British language,  culture and religion. How much did the Roman occupation really change the native Britons?

12 June:   4. Gods, heroes or mercenaries?: Hengist and Horsa – Anglo-Saxon paganism and the coming  of the English. Are the first English heroes mythical or rooted in reality as Tolkien believed?

10 July:   5. Domneva’s Deer: Saints and heroes – possible Pagan survivals in local hagiography. We look  at the miracle tales of the early Christian saints – did they incorporate aspects of an older faith?

 11 Sept:   6. Dissolution: The history of St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury: The rise and fall of Monasticism in Kent from Augustine to Henry VIII.

 9 Oct:   7. The Six Witches of Maidstone: The witch-trials of the 1600’s – origins, theories and facts. We look at documentary evidence of the trials and the social phenomena behind the persecutions.

13 Nov:   8. The Hooden Horse: folk tradition or pagan survival? Analysis of a Kentish Christmas custom  – do the roots of such traditions countrywide predate Christianity?

Lecturer – John Grigsby has lectured in archaeology and myth for the University of Kent, worked for English Heritage for 15 years and is now working for Canterbury Archaeological Trust while writing his PhD on Stonehenge with Tim Darvill

ADVANCE BOOKING ESSENTIAL – Fee for all eight lectures £80: individual lectures £12, including refreshments and course materials. Under 18s (minimum age 16): all eight lectures £65, individual lectures £10 each. Course sessions are held in the hall at Crampton. Each session runs from 7.00-9.00 pm.

Limited places – book early! For course details and enrolment: , message us on our Facebook page (Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society), write to IOTAS at our address below, or register here:                                        Lecture Course 2017 – enrolment form

Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society Room B, Crampton Tower Yard High Street, Broadstairs Kent CT10 2AB Registered Charity No.275659

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IOTAS has a wide selection of Current Archaeology, World Archaeology and Ancient Egypt magazines for sale, as well as a number of books on Archaeology which may interest you. If you are interested, please message us via this page or contact us on, let us know where your interests lie, and we’ll give you full details of what we have available.

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Lidar Map of England

A new link has been added to our links page, a Lidar map of England. Lidar is one of the newest scanning techniques used by archaeologists. An article from the Guardian helps to explain why Lidar is such a useful tool.

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New Link Added – England’s Places

One of the most well-known collections in the Historic England Archive, the Architectural Red Box Collection, has now been scanned and made available online. The collection consists of over 600,000 photographic prints taken of cities, towns and villages around England, attached to cards housed in red boxes. You can now browse this fantastic collection on the England’s Places website!

If you don’t have time to have a look now fear not, we’ve added the link to our ‘Useful links’ page.

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Interested in taking part in some practical archaeology?

Several IOTAS members took part in a dig in October 2016 to find the site of a Camp from the first Roman invasion of Britain.  Andrew Mayfield, Community Archaeology Liaison Officer for Kent was leading this dig, which followed some promising geophysing in 2015.

Andrew reports:

‘Two slots were dug through the ditch and heroically excavated down to natural. We also identified at least one phase of trackway and an entrance. Not to mention a series of features ?cut? by the ditches…

We recovered some excellent dating evidence in the form of pottery, metalwork, animal and human bone.’

There’s a possibility more work will take place on this site next year – WATCH THIS SPACE!

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Can You Help Us?

IOTAS has been investigating Holmes Park, on the Chessboard Estate in Broadstairs. This park was named after George Augustus Holmes, who gave the land to Broadstairs and St. Peter’s UDC in 1944 in his will. We are interested in finding out as much as possible about this generous man, and are appealing for any information any local residents may have about him. Please email us at if you do have any information. Many thanks!!

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Latest News

If you join IOTAS you can take part in activities such as finds processing and geophysing, as well as enjoying all the talks and visits to places of interest.  To join, visit the Membership Page and follow the link to download the membership form or e mail the Society at

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Calling all volunteers who worked on the St Peters Anglo-Saxon cemetery

An excavation of the St Peter’s Anglo-Saxon cemetery was carried out from 1969 – 1971 under the direction of Cecil Hogarth, assisted by pupils from Chatham House and Clarendon House grammar schools.

We would like to invite volunteers who took part in this excavation to share their experiences or to come and learn about recent research.

Do you know anyone who took part in the excavation in the 1960’s?

Please get in touch with either the society or The Trust for Thanet Archaeology.

A report on this important excavation is to be published by two archaeologists from Cambridge University and will be featured in a seminar and a convention planned for the autumn this year.

We would also like to invite anyone interested to come along to the special talk planned for October this year so watch this space for further news.

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