A Life In Fragments

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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…)

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 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…)

My PhD is Turning Me into a Zombie

It was dark. Having abandoned my glasses I could just make out a faint orange glow from a lantern in the path ahead of me. My face itched from dried blood and my skin prickled as the wind occasionally whipped through my muddy, slashed t-shirt. I heard screams from the unseen longhouse. Trailing a limp leg behind me, I started to utter groans of an undead man and dragged myself towards the noise. I’d been warned that my PhD would zombify me, but I never expected it to actually happen… (more…)

You call *this* Archaeology?

In celebration of Day of Archaeology, I, along with many archaeologists, wrote a guest blog post for their website. It contains all the great wit and silly pictures you’ve come to know and love from me (it’s just in a different place!) so please check it out here and explore some of the other great entries.

Everything is Ore-some: Prehistoric Archaeometallurgy at Butser

Last weekend I had the absolutely amazing experience attending a Prehistoric Archaeometallurgy course at Butser Ancient Farm in the South Downs of Hampshire. Much like the Terramare Park I visited in Italy last month, at Butser they’ve been building reconstructions of prehistoric houses from all periods and experimenting with various prehistoric crafts, growing past crops and rearing ancient livestock for over forty years.

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A Song of Metal and Fire: Games of Stones (Part 2)

Okay so I know part 1 was a bit longer than necessary and basically a self-indulgent recount of how excited I was to look at things and be in Italy, but this second part contains the really good stuff, including smashing swords, casting objects and my failed attempts to convey to Italian children that I could not understand a word they were saying to me. (more…)

A Song of Metal and Fire: Game of Stones (Part 1)

I’m going to disappoint you now – despite what my title may imply, this blog post does not include witty dwarves, dragons, unexpected death twists, or Sean Bean. (more…)