Abingdon Area Archaeology and History Society

We are closely following the latest government advice from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public  and we will keep you informed of any changes we make. Some of these changes may be at short notice so do check the web site before attending meetings. We are very pleased to have resumed our meetings in the Northcourt Centre. For conditions of use see: Northcourt Centre Special Conditions.

You may be interested in some virtual archaeology. Details are available under the Links tab.

You can now view the panels from the AAAHS 50th Anniversary exhibition held in Abingdon Museum in 2018.

Take a self-guided walk through Abingdon’s history. Choose one of seven walks that take you to more than 40 buildings. Each walk gives you direct weblinks to articles on the buildings and the people associated with them.



The Abingdon Area Archaeology and History Society

 The AAAHS was founded in 1968, and since then it has been the principal meeting point for all who have an interest in the past of Abingdon and its region. The AAAHS Constitution can be viewed here.

The society organises monthly lectures by acknowledged authorities on topics related to history and archaeology and to those of Abingdon in particular. There is also, during each summer, a programme of visits to sites of particular significance. Members are encouraged to write for the Society's bi-annual newsletter, which is published on the website.

The society encourages its members to pursue their own research interests, either independently or within its special interest groups, and supports these financially so far as its means allow. Its archaeological group, the longest established, has carried out numerous excavations in and about Abingdon; many of these have been published while others are currently being prepared for publication. The local history group was established in 2000 and since then has taken a number of initiatives, notably including the Ock Street Heritage project of 2006-8 and the 'Abingdon Buildings and People' history website . The society provides guides and lecturers, and cooperates with other local organisations on projects of civic importance.

 If you want to join the AAAHS, there's a Membership Form on this website, or you can contact any of the committee members. Visitors are very welcome to attend meetings at a cost of £3.

 You can follow us on Twitter - click to go there.

          If you are a Member of the AAAHS then you can follow us on the AAAHS FaceBook Group


 Next AAAHS Talk:

Thursday 20th January 2022 at 7.45pm

IMPORTANT - meeting moved to Zoom

After careful consideration, we have decided to hold this meeting by Zoom, rather than in person, because of the Covid situation. We will keep the position under review month by month, and return to in-person meetings as soon as it feels safe to do so. The Zoom link will be sent to members nearer the date. If any non-member would like to attend this talk please email Michael Bloom and the link will be sent to you. We will not be asking for a visitor's donation for this meeting.

Katharina Ulmschneider (Director of HEIR):
The Camel that fled the Nazis - The Story of a T'ang Dynasty Camel in the Ashmolean Museum 

Tang CamelOn the first floor of the Ashmolean Museum in the Asian Crossroads gallery the visitor is greeted by a large, Chinese, pottery camel on a plinth. The Tang Dynasty camel serves as a symbol of the Silk Roads linking East to West, but there is much more to it than initially meets the eye. Little does the label show that this is a camel with history, a camel that fled the Nazis, a camel that survived persecution, war, and exile. This talk will trace the origins of the camel and its astonishing 20th century journey from Nazi Germany to wartime Britain in the luggage of enigmatic refugee scholar Prof. Paul Jacobsthal. Nazi perversion of archaeology, secret escapes, subterfuge, and propaganda are just some of the themes that will feature as the extraordinary story of Jacobsthal and his camel is being uncovered. 

katharina Katharina Ulmschneider (Director of HEIR)

Dr Katharina Ulmschneider is a Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College Oxford, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and an Associate Member of the Society of Archivists. She has published widely on archaeological refugee scholars, medieval archaeology and economy, and on the impact of metal-detecting in archaeology. Her co-edited books Markets in Early Medieval Europe won the British Archaeology Book award in 2004, and Celtic Art in Europe was shortlisted Current Archaeology Book of the Year 2016. In 2013 she became Co-Director of the Historic Environment Image Resource at the School of Archaeology, Oxford, and is currently finishing a book on refugee archaeologist Prof. Paul Jacobsthal.

 Visitors are welcome at our in-person speaker meetings - suggested donation £3. No donations are required for Zoom meetings.

Next Local History Group (LHG) Meeting:

The next LHG meeting will be in the Spring of 2022 at 35 Ock Street Abingdon OX14 5AG at 7.30pm and on Zoom.

Please find further details in the Current Activities - Local History Group  section on this site.