More than 300 people came along to celebrate 40 years of Hadrian’s Wall research at our special conference on 2-4 September, organised in partnership with Durham University and sponsored by Andante Travels.
The celebratory weekend began on Friday with a tour to Vindolanda and Housesteads with Andante Travels, led by expert guides Mark Corney and David Mason, before returning to Durham to hear David Breeze give a fascinating keynote lecture on the place of his and Brian Dobson’s book Hadrian’s Wall (first published 1976) in the history of Wall studies.
Checking out the facilities at Housesteads
Over the course of three stimulating and enjoyable days we heard from internationally renowned specialists sharing their research on the purpose of the Wall and perplexing features such as the Vallum, how it was designed, what impact it had on the native population and landscape, what women’s life was like on the frontier, and more. The Wall was also examined in a wider context by our second keynote speaker, Sebastian Sommer, who offered an international perspective and concluded the weekend with an insightful talk comparing Roman frontiers in Britain and Germany.
Sebastian Sommer speaks on Hadrian’s Wall and the Upper German-Raetian Limes
As well as this marvellous array of presentations, we had a selection of stalls taking part in our popular Archaeology Fair, including dedicated booksellers and specialist archaeological service providers.
Our thanks go to our speakers and chairs, Durham University, Andante Travels, everyone involved in the Archaeology Fair, and everyone who attended.
Rebecca Jones presents CA editor Matt Symonds with a chocolate replica of the Roman distance slab from Bridgeness
Below are just some of the comments we received about the weekend. We hope to see you again in February for CA Live! 2017!
[quote]Thank you and everyone else involved for organising that brilliant Hadrian’s Wall conference last weekend. I enjoyed it so much – and I’m sure everyone else there did too.[/quote]
[quote]I would like to congratulate you all for an exceptional weekend. The organisation was superlative, the venue worked well for me as one of limited mobility, and you were all very helpful and supportive, much appreciated.
The speakers were brilliant, and bringing together so many experts was in itself a great achievement. I found it very stimulating and thought provoking, and while there were answers to some of my queries I have come away with many more new conundrums. Also the ability to discuss ideas with the speakers was a great privilege. I don’t think I have I had such concentrated intellectual input since I qualified as a lawyer in 1960.
[quote]Very many thanks for organising such an efficient and enjoyable conference. It started really well on the Friday evening and then you got the main proceedings off to an excellent start on Saturday morning by setting the scene and setting the informal, collaborative atmosphere. I don’t think I’ve heard quite so many running jokes at a conference before! I also particularly valued the good visibility of the screen and the smoothly-run IT.[/quote]
[quote]I was very pleased with the price of the conference and I’m very glad I came.[/quote]