The large county of historic Lincolnshire which the SLHA covers extends from the Humber to the Wash. This is a vast tract of land with a fascinating long history and a rich archaeology.
The many visible remains include Neolithic long-barrows, Roman town walls, deserted medieval villages, churches and castles. But much more lies buried beneath the ground: prehistoric landscapes well-preserved in the fens, causeways and burial mounds in the Witham Valley, and deep urban deposits in the city of Lincoln have all been the subject of national research projects.
In addition, there are Iron Age and Roman settlements, Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, and market towns originating before the Norman Conquest.
The Society’s predecessor bodies have promoted the value of this heritage from the first. The week-long meeting of the Archaeological Institute in 1848 was a watershed in this respect, and the county has been the base for subsequent events on a regular basis.
Systematic enquiry only began in 1945, with the formation of the Lincoln Archaeological Research Committee. This worked to a research programme mainly directed at Roman Lincoln but also explored sites outside the city and of other periods, using volunteers, but during the 1960s it became increasingly difficult for it to maintain pace with the rate of development.
From 1972, with the development of professional rescue archaeology units, the SLHA’s fieldworkers turned to more long-term and less urgent projects, including the Roman aqueduct serving Lincoln.
The emphasis of the Society’s work has shifted to its successful events programme, including regular lectures and the annual day conference, but plans are being drawn up for new fieldwork projects.
At present, links are also being developed with local community archaeology teams, of which there are several across the county.