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From Dog Collars to Love Letters: Modern Day Destruction

In 2007, the Archbishop of York made a symbolic act of destruction by cutting up his dog collar in protest to the rule of President Mugabe in Zimbabwe. He argued that Mugabe had “taken people’s identity” and “cut it to pieces”, and in response he cut up his own identity (i.e. his dog collar) on the Andrew Marr Show. (more…)

Creative Destruction

I recently finished a fictional novel called “Us” by David Nicholls. This book has nothing to do with the Bronze Age (Believe it or not, I sometimes have other interests!) It is about a man called Douglas having a mid-life crisis. His wife (Connie) is about to leave him, in part because of his tumultuous relationship with their son (Albie). Douglas and Albie are two very different people and throughout the book he recalls anecdotes that emphasise this. (more…)

Priddy Awesome

Today marks 20 years since the Treasure Act was implemented in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, making it law for all finders of gold and silver objects and hoards of coins over 300 years old to report them. Hence the initiative: Treasure 20. (more…)

Help! I Married An Academic!

Earlier this year I got married.

To a fellow academic.

If you read much popular opinion in the media, you’d think this was a bad idea. There have even been academic papers on it.

academia vs relationships.jpg


Reflections on “From Every Object A Story”

On October 19th and 20th, I attended the Later Prehistoric Finds Group (LPFG) conference: From Every Object A Story. This conference offered the rare opportunity for all of those of us around the country studying all objects of the Bronze and Iron Ages to get together and basically nerd out.


A Whole Blogging Year…

One year ago today I posted my first blog entry on my PhD research. At the time I didn’t particularly have a clear vision of what I wanted this endeavour to achieve though. One possibility was that my friends and family, who so patiently stare at me when I talk at them, might understand what I do and why; another possibility was that I could begin to get my research accessed by a broader audience. Ultimately, I think I hoped it would provide a much needed relief from the stress of writing the actual PhD by formulating ideas in a (relatively) stress-free environment. (more…)

A Week in Fragments: Research, Experiments and Interesting Conversations

This week has been a bit all over the place – every day has offered me interesting meetings, museums visits, plans for teaching archaeology summer classes, and many objects to look at! So this post, like my week, is going to be fragmented, and give a brief update of everything! (more…)

What do we, archaeologists, see as our grand challenges

Bloggers from all over have put forward a wide range of “Grand Challenges” to archaeologists, presented through Doug’s Archaeology. Having read mine, you might be interested in reading others!

Doug's Archaeology

What are the great challenges of archaeology? At the beginning of the month I sent out a call to see what my fellow archaeobloggers though were the ‘Grand Challenges’ of their archaeology in a blogging carnival. The responses have been amazing or ‘grand’ as Susan at ‘Don’t forget you shovel’ interpreted the phrase into the Irish meaning of the word: ‘So … it’s a word that oils the social wheels, but also establishes the start of a conversation, allowing deeper questions to evolve. It’s a word that can be used to temper the realities of life, where a finished PhD that’s good enough is better than an unfinished one that’s lying in a drawer. It’s a word that can inject hope for the future.’ I think that perfectly encapsulates the responses to this blogging carnival, the start of many conversations,  allowing deeper questions to evolve… hope for the future.


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Archaeology Grand Challenges Pt.2: How to destroy things best

When Doug got me thinking about “Grand Challenges” for Archaeology, large topics came instantly. In Part 1 I indulged in one that I actually feel we might be able to tackle. With this second part I wanted to think on a more microscale, focusing on a “grand challenge” that affects me and my research. There are of course many of these that spring to mind ranging from simply absorbing the vast amount of literature on Bronze Age metalwork to clambering for answers as to why we find so much metalwork buried in the ground. In the end I settled for an achievable challenge I’m facing currently:

How to destroy things best (more…)

Archaeology Grand Challenges Pt.1: So where’s your whip?

Earlier this month I received an email from Doug’s Archaeology inviting me to contribute to a Blog Carnival hosted through his blog site. Inspired by a survey of archaeological opinion a few years ago, Doug has posed the question: “What are the Grand Challenges facing YOUR archaeology?” This is an incredible difficult question to respond with just a single answer – heck, it would be difficult to respond with only ten answers! – so I thought I’d tackle it two-fold with the things that dwell on my mind most. Firstly, with a more general response that I think most archaeologists would also agree is a “Grand Challenge” we face on an almost daily basis: the warped popular perception of Archaeology. And secondly, with an answer more specific to my own project: how best to destroy things. This post relates to my first answer. If you agree with these challenges faced by Archaeology, please share and/or retweet using #blogarch.