Travel & Archaeology
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Lectures

Speakers & Tour Lecturers

Whether you are travelling with us or not, Hidden History has a growing team of tour lecturers and speakers who are keen to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for archaeology and travel. They talk regularly to tour groups, societies, colleges and cruises, and their talks can be tailored to specific interests, itineraries or curricula.

We provide talks to any type of organisation, from history societies to sports clubs and professional associations, and we have an expanding geographic scope across England. Our talks can also stimulate interest in private group tours, and are great for pre-tour introductions and get-togethers.

If you would like to book or enquire about an interesting talk or tour for your organisation, please contact us or call on 0121 444 1854.

Our Lecturers

Professor Gary Lock

Gary is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, where he has taught and researched for many years. He specialises in the Iron Age and is particularly interested in hillforts. He has carried out fieldwork in the UK, Spain and Italy, and co-directed the recent ‘Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland’ project. He has given many talks to local societies and has encouraged much community involvement in his excavations and post-excavation work. Based in Oxford.

A selection of Gary's lectures
Living with the White Horse
The Uffington White Horse on the Ridgeway in Oxfordshire is the best known chalk figure and the only one dated to prehistory. This talk will describe the excavations at three Iron Age hillforts close to the Horse and address questions concerning the life of people who lived in the area and constructed the Horse.

Becoming Roman in central England
This talk will describe the extensive excavations at Marcham, Oxfordshire, an Iron Age and Romano-British religious complex. The focus is on religious practices in both periods and how the Roman temple site built on the Iron Age features.

Mapping Hillforts in the UK
Hillforts are one of the most iconic and numerous of prehistoric monuments. This talk will describe the history of the study and mapping of hillforts as a background to the recent Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland project. It will go on to talk about the project and it’s results and what we think hillforts were used for.

Excavations at Moel-y-Gaer hillfort, North Wales
This talk will describe the approach taken and methods used on this ongoing excavation including the use of LiDAR and various forms of survey to establish information before excavation. Excavation itself has revealed important information which is changing our understanding of a group of poorly understood sites in North Wales.

Sally Watson

Sally studied archaeology at both Athens and Bristol Universities. She lived in Greece for some years and has taken part in many excavations, including the Minoan port on Santorini, and underwater excavations off Crete. She is a lively speaker who loves to engage the audience with a sense of fun and good humour. Archaeology is not an exact science and the evidence is often open to interpretation, so she will invite you to explore your own ideas. Based in Bristol.

A selection of Sally's lectures
Ancient Crete – Europe’s First Civilisation:
The Minoan people who flourished on Crete over 3000 years ago created the first great civilization in Europe. Archaeology has revealed their glorious art, spectacular cities and peaceful society. It was a Golden Age – or was it? Recent excavations hint at a darker side to the Minoans.

The Pioneers of Archaeology:
The intrepid archaeologists of the past were even more colourful than their discoveries. Their ranks include a circus strongman, a failed poet and several convicted criminals, but they discovered civilizations that had been lost for millennia and re-wrote the history of the human race.

Roman Art – It’s Better Than You Think:
The art of the Romans is often overshadowed by the masterpieces of ancient Greece, but Sally brings Roman Art out of the shadows and shows you how amazingly inventive and exquisitely beautiful it can be. You’ll see examples of pure impressionism, produced 2000 years before Monet, the very first “warts and all” portraits ever created and much, much more.

Dr Christopher Cole

Chris holds a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of York. He specialises in the study of human remains, and currently works for Wessex Archaeology and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust. As well as leading archaeology tours to Mediterranean destinations, Chris has particularly strong research interests in his home area of Romney Marsh on the south coast of England, where he conducts our ‘Fifth Continent’ tour. He loves to share his passion for the region and for his research and is actively engaged with many local societies and organisations. Based in Kent.

A selection of Christopher's lectures
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Dr Barbara Brayshay

Barbara completed her studies with a doctorate in environmental archaeology from the University of Sheffield. Her research interests now extend across prehistoric Europe and the use of geographical information systems and digital mapping for exploring our past and present worlds. Her work is very community oriented and she enjoys engaging with people to make her research relevant to all. Based in Manchester and London.

A selection of Barbara's lectures
How Foreign Is the Past?:
Archaeology connects with so many areas of life and yet can sometimes appear distant and detached from our modern world. How can we integrate the past with the present, and enable everyone to find their own relationship with it? Can we enable the expression of multi-layered narratives of the past and still maintain academic rigour and truth?

The Fat Ladies of Neolithic Malta:
Around 3600 BC the Maltese islanders exhibited an extraordinary flowering of Stone Age culture through artistic and architectural achievements that were notably advanced for their time, predating Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Their massively constructed and imaginatively decorated temples and tombs, and their distinctive ’fat lady’ statuary reveal a sophisticated and apparently peaceful society, and give us fascinating insights into Neolithic life and beliefs..

Dr Simon Butler

Simon’s career began in field archaeology and academic research, and then expanded into heritage tourism. He is now the director of Hidden History Travel. His talks always convey the enrichment and stimulation of archaeology and travel, drawing on his decades of tour research across Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East. He will be happy to help you choose a lecture subject. Based in Birmingham.

A selection of Simon's lectures
A Tour of Mediterranean Archaeology:
The Mediterranean Sea has been crucial to human history since earliest times. This talk explores the Mediterranean world as if on a cruise, charting its ancient civilisations and visiting its most interesting archaeological sites. An epic journey across thousands of years and thousands of miles.

The Phoenicians:
For many in the western world the Phoenicians remain a shadowy and mysterious people. But recent research has shown that these great traders and seafarers of the Mediterranean were a gifted and learned people instrumental to the growth of western civilisation; from their Bronze Age origins in the Levant to their founding of Carthage and eventual clash with Rome in the Punic Wars.

Pompeii’s Home’s and Gardens:
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD created a uniquely vivid snapshot of the ancient world. At Pompeii a complete townscape is being excavated. It provides remarkably perceptive insights into the private lives of the inhabitants, rich and poor. By putting the paint back on the walls, the plants back in the gardens, and the people back into the town we get a fascinating picture of Roman society, identity and change over the centuries leading up to the eruption.