CLASP
Community Landscape
& Archaeology Survey Project

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Purpose

CLASP is an association which brings local archaeology enthusiasts together to investigate their local past. Professional archaeologists lead the activities and contribute specialist skills when necessary - but the 'amateurs' are encouraged and enabled to learn skills for themselves and become self-sufficient in many aspects of archaeological investigation. CLASP also provides talks and lectures as part of its commitment to encouraging local communities to 'own' their archaeological heritage.

Projects facilitated and initiated

LOCAL PEOPLE, LOCAL PAST

CLASP evolved from the archaeology sub-committee of 'Friends of the Upper Nene': in this context it inherited the project 'Local People, Local Past' fieldwork for which ended in August 2004. Over a period of three years, 'Local People, Local Past' has worked with volunteer members of local archaeology and history societies to investigate Roman-British settlement in five parishes of the Upper Nene area to the west of Northampton. The Local People Local past web site, and a CDRom based on it, will be major component of the final report of the project.

WHITEHALL ROMAN VILLA AND LANDASCAPE PROJECT

Friends of the Upper Nene was also instrumental in contributing funds to the 'Whitehall Roman Villa and Landscape Project' on which most of the volunteers have also worked since 2000: the finds-processing, surveying, mapping and data processing aspects of this excavation fall within the remit of 'Local People, Local Past'. The Whitehall project has its own extensive website, but elements of the findings from Whitehall will be introduced to the CLASP website and cross-referenced from the Whitehall website.

HARPOLE ROMAN VILLA

CLASP initiated and facilitated a one week excavation of test pits and trenches at Harpole Roman Villa, and the associated finds-processing and data analysis. This small-scale project was funded by the Harpole Parish Council. A full report will be published on this web site in due course.

Work is intermittently ongoing at two villa sites in Harpole Parish and the Parish Council continues to fund CLASP activities.


Future projects

CLASP is currently seeking major funding for a five year non-invasive archaeological investigation, initially of Romano-British settlement in the Upper Nene Valley and in the hinterland of Watling Street (the A5 trunk road) between Bannaventa (north of Weedon) and Lactodorum (Towcester). An essential part of this project will be to continue educating and training local volunteers to a level which will enable them to devise and carry out projects of their own, based in their local societies. Another aspect of the project will be to devise diagnostic strategies for settlement identification which can be applied anywhere.

Government

CLASP became a registered charity (no. 1111667) on 13th October 2005.

CLASP is governed by its Trustees (elected by CLASP's Individual Members) sitting as the Executive Committee. All expenditures must be authorised by the Treasurer, and one officer (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) and another Trustee. The Executive Committee appoints and sets the rules for the Organising Committee which reports to the Executive Committee and takes the lead in organising the practical activities of CLASP. The Organising Committee is comprised of trustees, a representative of each of the participating local societies, representatives of the Individual Members (1 per 80 members), and co-opted members: in this way the local societies remain central to CLASP's development.

Participating Organisations so far

Members of the participating societies are automatically associate members of CLASP - they enjoy the benefits of Individual Membership of CLASP (see below) but are not covered by CLASP's insurance for on-site activities, and may not vote at CLASP general meetings. Associate Members may become Individual Members by paying the appropriate subscription.



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CLASP is a member of Milton Keynes Heritage Association
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