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Monday, 29 December 2014

Opportunity to excavate at Vindolanda

Vindolanda is regarded by many, as one of the most exciting archaeological sites in Europe. The story of Vindolanda is literally unfolding before our very eyes on a daily basis as more and more artefacts are uncovered……. anyone with a keen interest in archaeology to apply to dig here. Is it time you started a lifelong friendship with the Vindolanda Trust?

The Excavation period dates for 2015 are as follows

PERIOD 1 - March 30th to April 10th
PERIOD 2 - April 13th to April 24th
PERIOD 3 - April 27th to May 8th
PERIOD 4 - May 11th to May 22nd
PERIOD 5 - May 25th to June 5th
PERIOD 6 - June 8th to June 19th
PERIOD 7 - June 22nd to July 3rd
Recording week - July 6th to 10th (No Excavations)
PERIOD 8 - July 13th to July 24th
2 Week break - July 27th to August 7th
PERIOD 9 - August 10th to August 21st
PERIOD 10 - August 24th to September 4th
Roman Society Week - September 7th to September 11th
PERIOD 11 - September 14th to Sepember 25th

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Introduction to Ceramic Petrology Course

Wouldn't it be great to go on this........

In May 2015, the Fitch Laboratory will hold a two-week postgraduate training course providing an introduction to ceramic petrology, building upon the Laboratory’s established reputation on ceramic petrology applications and its extensive reference collections of geological and ceramic thin sections.

The course is open mainly to people with no (or limited) previous experience on petrology although familiarity with archaeological ceramics will be useful. It is an excellent introduction for students already on a research degree in archaeological materials, as well as for postdoctoral researchers and academics interested in being familiar with ceramic petrology applications. Although the focus is primarily with ceramic materials, the skills learnt are applicable to the study of lithics, building materials, pigments and soils.

Call me to discuss on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Sailors & Marines help to excavate ancient burial site in Parco Forestale Di Calaforno

After a request from the lead archaeologist at the Ancient Greek Archaeology department of the University of Catania to the Naval Air Station Sigonella Public Affairs Office, Marines and Sailors from SPMAGTF Crisis Response-Africa helped excavate cave openings to an ancient burial site in Parco Forestale Di Calaforno (Park Forestry of Calaforno) in Ragusa, Sicily.

Call me to discuss on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

What is Business Combined Insurance?

Business Combined or Commercial Combined insurance is a package of insurances combining the covers which are essential for your business.  These may include:

·         Protection for your business premises and contents
·         Equipment – your own, hired and for which you are responsible
·         Business Interruption
·         Business money on premises and in transit
·         Goods in transit
·         Your business liabilities – Public, Products and Employers
·         Personal Accident

Of course, you may choose those covers which are applicable to your business from this list.  The key ones for archaeology businesses / charities are equipment cover (on-site and in storage) and the liabilities.  Employers liability is the only one which is mandatory if you are employing people or utilising volunteers.

Professional Indemnity Insurance is generally offered separately because the insurers who underwrite it are often specialists which do not offer the broad range of covers within the business combined package.  However, it is often a good idea to have your PI insurance renewing on the same date as your business combined insurances – for ease of admin.

Over the coming weeks, we will investigate each aspect of Business Combined Insurance with specific reference to the archaeological products which we have created at  We will also look at the calculations behind the pricing mechanisms and look at ways of reducing the premiums through risk management.  We will also demystify the dreaded policy wording - which, like every archaeological document is full of acronyms and terms which are not fully understood outside of the industry!!

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Gadget insurance complaints to Ombudsman jump

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) says it saw 2,200 complaints about gadget warranties last year, double that of the previous year.

It says many people hugely undervalue the cost of the technological items they carry with them, and are also unaware that most general insurance does not cover items outside the home.

Some people who know this are taking out specific gadget insurance.

But the FOS says their policies wrongly failed to pay out almost half the time.

It says it intervened in 800 cases where claims were turned down, and in 43% of them found in favour of the claimant.

What we say:

Your gadgets could be covered on home and contents insurances, business insurances, car insurances and travel insurances….and as the BBC article suggests, the onus is on you know who covers you for what – which isn’t easy.  I would say this wouldn’t I, but a good insurance broker should be able to assist you in identifying the covers which you have and the covers which you need.  They should also be able to assist you with identifying which of your policies is most applicable to your claim. 

Don’t forget that the broker’s assistance doesn’t come free.  We are paid a ‘commission’ by the insurer to arrange your insurances – and essentially this is taken into account when the insurer calculates your price.  A price worth paying?  I think so!  Buying an anonymous insurance product from an anonymous insurer online might be slightly cheaper (though not always), but are you 100% sure that the cover is right, that you have made all of the right declarations, that you have understood fully the small-print?  Are you sure that you haven’t doubled-up on your insurances?

Many home and contents policies now include gadget cover – at home and away from home – so it is worth doing your research.  Also, if you are a business owner, your business tools could very well include your gadgets.  So, keep it simple and don’t get talked into buying multiple policies until you know what cover you already have.

Call me to discuss on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Monday, 22 December 2014

Review Heritage Daily’s Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2014

2014 has been a year of countless discoveries in archaeology, pushing the boundaries of scientific research and our understanding of the past. The following “Top Ten List” has been compiled by an analysis of trending stories with the most site visits from our audience on HeritageDaily, in conjunction with the overall magnitude of the discovery.

1 – New digital map reveals stunning hidden archaeology of Stonehenge
2 – Egyptologists identify tomb of royal children
3 – Two ancient Maya cities discovered in the jungle of southeastern Mexico
4 - ….

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Rickety old ship - bone diseases of the long-dead

PITY the poor sailors of the Mary Rose. In 1545, the lives of more than 400 men (and one dog) were lost when Henry VIII's flagship took on water and sank between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland. There it, and the remains of at least 179 sailors, rested for more than four centuries. What was left of the ship was raised in 1982, and the remains became the spoils of the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. As if that were not ignominy enough, now people are shooting lasers at the sailors' bones.

Read more in the Economist or

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Stonehenge dig finds 6,000-year-old encampment

Archaeologists working on a site near Stonehenge say they have found an untouched 6,000-year-old encampment which "could rewrite British history".

David Jacques, from the University of Buckingham, made the discovery at Blick Mead in October, and said the carbon dating results had just been confirmed.

The earliest Mesolithic encampment at Stonehenge has been discovered and it will reveal how Britain’s oldest ancestors lived – but it could be damaged if Government plans for a tunnel at Stonehenge go ahead.

Call me to discuss on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Storing equipment on-site in a locked shed?

Perhaps worth looking at a PIR (motion) activtated camera that will text/e-mail the pictures to you.  You can then 'hot-foot' to site and make sure that your equipment is safe!

On activation the camera will text or e-mail images to your phone or computer. This system will give you pictures of anyone who is up to no-good within seconds of setting off the camera.

Colour pictures/ Video /night vision pictures.

Up to 4 mobile numbers and 4 email addresses at one time.

It runs on AA batteries and requires a 'pay as you go' or contract mobile phone sim card.

It is quite pricey at £299.99, but it could save you that amount on your premium in the first year!  Call me to discuss on 2028 2550617 or email

Cheaper option for on-site camera recording

If £299.99 for an on-site camera is just too much, but you want to record what happens on-site overnight / while you are not there, perhaps you would consider one of these instead?

Nextbase InCarCam 101- in Halfords for £49 – though there are many different versions for a variety of prices.

I use one in the car so that I have a record, should I have an accident.  The camera has a memory card on which continuously stores 4 minute ‘takes’ – over-writing the oldest when the memory card is full.  So depending on how long a time-period you want to film, dictates the size of memory card required.

It is very simple to link the camera to the computer to review the footage – as well as view it on the camera’s in-built screen.

There might not be huge savings on your insurance, but there will be on your peace of mind!!

Call me on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983 or email

Dispute brewing over search for King Alfred bones at Hyde Abbey in Winchester

A NEW dig that could find the bones of King Alfred the Great is moving closer.

But researchers are on a collision course with the charity that created the memorial garden that stands above the monarch’s grave in Winchester, theChronicle can reveal.

The Friends of Hyde Abbey Garden say they will oppose any excavation at the garden, which opened in 2003.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Understanding Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance covers against any legal liabilities arising from any bodily injury or property damage caused by you to a third party.  Like Professional Indemnity insurance, it is not mandatory for archaeologists to have Public Liability Insurance.

However, legal costs and compensation payments can be very large if, for example a member of the public were to die or become injured as a result of your work / activities.  Think of the fees, the costs and the expenses incurred during a coroner’s inquest, for example.  Again, you will do your very best to make sure that such serious accidents do not occur during the course of your work, but again, mistakes can be made – so it is a good idea to have Public Liability Insurance to protect you and your business.  Slips and trips don’t sound very serious, but they could kill your business.

Again, think about the sort of level of cover you need in terms of the maximum claim which could be made against your business.  Do large numbers of people visit your ‘attraction’? Heritage sites can be very busy and potentially dangerous. 

Products Liability
Products Liability might not apply to your business if you are not selling, manufacturing or designing goods for sale.  But if you are, claims for injury as a result of what could be perceived to be faulty or defective goods bought from you would again be costly.  Often Products Liability is provided along with Public Liability for no additional cost.

Employers’ Liability Insurance

Employers’ Liability Insurance is mandatory.  If you employ people (including volunteers) you must have at least £5m of cover and you must display your Employers’ Liability Insurance Certificate at the location where you employ people.  Again, you are covering legal fees and costs arising from slips and trips – even disease and death arising from your work.

Insurance for Expensive Archaeological Equipment On-Site

Insurers clearly don't like to provide cover against theft for equipment stored in a site hut or even in a site tent!  However, by taking some basic security precautions, cover can be extended to larger items like sieves such as this RGC Sieve Grader:

 R.G.C Sieve Grader

By locking the sieve to ground anchors, this client was able to get insurance cover for this expensive piece of kit.  The insurance included cover against theft while the site was unattended overnight.

Please call to discuss your insurance requirements 0208 2550617
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