A Life In Fragments

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Tag Archives: Archaeology

Done with Data Collection – Where to go next?

A couple of weeks ago, as many of you will have seen, I collected my final piece of data. This data collection has been ongoing since about February 2015, when I stumbled into the Totnes museum with my random assortment of equipment, eager-eyed, and, quite frankly, a little bit uncertain about how the whole thing was going to go. (more…)

Giving my spears the shaft

On Thursday, I got to do one of the things I’ve been most excited to do – I got to stick haft my barbed spearheads. These spearheads are based on the destroyed Bloody Pool hoard making them an incredibly suitable case study to replicate and experiment with. I have a special place in my heart for spearheads – more so than swords and axes! (more…)

The South Cadbury Shield: What, Where, When and Why?

I’d like to introduce you all (again!) to my favourite Bronze Age object in South West England (and possibly Bronze Age Europe): the South Cadbury shield. I first encountered this shield a few years ago and all of the studies I’ve done since have somehow led me back to it. The dynamics of this object and its context are so interesting that I simply can’t get enough of it! (more…)

Breaking apart Bronze Age swords: Smashing good fun!

Last Thursday, I took an impromptu trip to Butser Ancient Farm to assist Neil Burridge with some sword casting he was doing as part of a filming project with 360 Production (the guys who make Digging for Britain!) Needless to say, the casting went well, Neil produced an expertly delivered spiel on bronze sword casting, and everyone was very happy. It was after the camera crew had done their thing that we turned to the main event of my day – that is, breaking the sword into fragments. (more…)

A Late Bronze Age hoard from Long Bredy, Dorset

In 2009, a Late Bronze Age hoard was found while metal-detecting in a field in Long Bredy, which was promptly reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (Treasure No. 2009 T649). This hoard consists of a three deliberately broken sword fragments, a late pegged spearhead, a socketed gouge and a bifid razor and dates to the Ewart Park phase (c.1000-800 BC). It is currently held at Dorchester County Museum and I recently had the chance to study it and gain an insight into a hoard that is quite unusual for the area. (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…)

Starting My Experiments – Swording Things Out

This week I had the absolute pleasure of working with the excellent bronzesmith, Neil Burridge, down in Cornwall and finally embarking on some of my experimental work. I know I’ve been alluding to it for quite some time, though I’ve never actually explained what it is I’m trying to achieve and how. (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.

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