Archaeology Today Conference

Suffolk Archaeology CIC held its first conference at the historic Quay Place (formerly St Mary at the Quay), at the waterfront in Ipswich on 13th May 2017. The event was a great success with over 100 people attending the presentation by our guest speakers of a wide range of heritage and archaeology projects from around Suffolk.

Jo Caruth and Keith Wade, opening the conference

The morning session was hosted by Jo Caruth, Senior Project Officer at Suffolk Archaeology CIC who welcomed everyone and introduced the day. The speakers started with Keith Wade, the former County Archaeologist for Suffolk, giving an overview of ‘The Origins of Ipswich’. His detailed knowledge of all the excavation work in and around Ipswich could have filled a much longer talk! We then had David Rea from the Aldeburgh and District Local History Society discuss ‘The cunning woman of Barber’s Point and other projects’ who gave an enjoyable and personable account of the Society's excavations at the Barber’s Point site on the River Alde. Next up was Tom Woolhouse of Pre-Construct Archaeology who provided a round-up of recent work around Ipswich and the Felixstowe Peninsula with his presentation on ‘Bronze Age agricultural landscapes in south-east Suffolk’. The morning session finished with Jack Cade of the Suffolk Archaeology Field Group who brought us up to date with ongoing community work within the Waveney Valley with his talk entitled ‘A Prehistoric and Roman site in the Waveney Valley’.

During the lunch break attendees had the chance to chat with the various presenters and groups that had supplied display tables, showcasing their recent work.

The afternoon session was hosted by Alex Fisher, Outreach Officer at Suffolk Archaeology CIC, who gave a summary of our recent Outreach work. This was followed by our other Outreach Officer, Duncan Allan, who manages the Hands on Heritage centre in the Tunstall Forest. Duncan gave a great insight into the role the facility plays with his presentation entitled ‘Hands on Heritage: a case study of the development of heritage education for young people’. Lisa Wall, an Accredited Conservator-Restorer, asked ‘Who moved my house’, a fascinating talk on the journey of a Tudor house from Carr Street in Ipswich. Her research has revealed the fate of this and other buildings from across the town. The conference closed with Leigh Alston with his talk ‘From Ponds to Punishment Cells: Recent Building Recording in Suffolk’. Leigh is a building archaeologist and architectural historian and provided a fitting end to proceedings with his entertaining and informative observations on buildings both old and not so old.

We would like to thank Quay Place and their staff for hosting and providing a suitable backdrop for the conference, and to White’s Catering for supplying the food and refreshments. Special thanks go to our fantastic speakers for their talks which offered something for everyone and to the dedication of those manning the display tables. A big thank you also to staff at Suffolk Archaeology CIC, particularly Alex Fisher, Jezz Meredith, Linzi Everitt and Rob Brooks, for their time in making the event happen.

And finally thanks to all those who attended! We hope you enjoyed the day, that the conference achieved a balance in topics covered, and that you'll consider coming again to any future events.