If you’ve tried to find the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society online in the last 6 months, you may have been disappointed to get an error message. We do apologise for being out of reach for such a long time, but IOTAS is back now!

Unfortunately, the world is rather upside down at the moment, and in common with most other organisations and services, IOTAS is unable to bring you its normal service. Currently we are unable to host talks, outings, or our course, and archaeology itself is suspended until further notice.

However we have been working behind the scenes, and if you are a member you will have been receiving monthly Bulletins to keep in touch and our Facebook page has been operating throughout the Coronavirus lockdown, with opportunities to see virtual exhibitions and any other information we can glean to brighten up your days while we wait to resume our usual activities.

**********WHAT WE’RE DOING NOW**********
‘Magic Circles’: John Grigsby’s course, which we were just able to start in early March, is currently postponed on a revised schedule till Monday 29 June, but we are far from certain that we will be able to resume then. It will depend on government guidelines, physical distancing and other considerations to protect the safety of all those who would attend, such as hand sanitiser and mask wearing. We would envisage that we will not be able to accept any further bookings for sessions, unless a substantial number of those already booked are unable to attend.

Talks: We have postponed all talks till we resume in September, but will not be able to publish our usual Programme till we are clear about the exact dates when we will be able to reopen.

Social Gatherings: There’s a big question about whether we would be able to hold any social gatherings, such as our Wine and Wisdom Evening and Christmas Dinner in November and December, as it would be impossible to maintain a safe distance between those who attend. I think it is unlikely that restrictions will be relaxed sufficiently by then, but who knows?

So all we can really say is that we will keep the situation under review and updated, and let you have further details about our future plans as soon as we are able.

In the meantime, we hope that you are able to enjoy the wonderful weather, and that you all keep safe and well until we are able to get together again, hopefully later this year.

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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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Investigating Caesar’s Camp?

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.’

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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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Stirling Castle

A new article about the Society’s ownership of the Stirling Castle shipwreck is now available.

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What’s On?

Keep an eye on our updated What’s On page now to see what talks and activities we have lined up for the year ahead! Our new committee can also be found here. Please feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions for events or activities you’d like to see us run.

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