A Life In Fragments

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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…)

Fragments of the PAS: Dorset

Dorset is a particularly interesting place within my study region. It straddles a geological boundary of the sandstone that dominates Devon, Cornwall and much of Somerset, and the chalklands that characteristic Wiltshire and Hampshire. At least half of the county (the eastern half) falls under the traditional ‘Wessex’ landscape. What this means is that the character of the metalwork, and indeed other materials, is quite broad and often unique within the south western region. (more…)

Fragments of the PAS: Devon

Approximately 50 findspots have been recorded through the PAS for Devon, comprising around 100 objects. This includes fragments of all types of objects, including sword, spears, axes and other tools, from a variety of contexts. (more…)

Fragments of the PAS: Cornwall

Cornwall. It’s a weird and wonderful place, and not quite like anywhere else I’ve ever been, ranging from harsh, barren moorlands to stunning coastal scenes. Sitting at the tip of the South West peninsula, it’s the first of the counties in my blog series on the PAS material from my study region. (more…)

Fragments of the PAS

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been ambitiously tackling the online database of the Portable Antiquities Scheme database (aka the PAS). This has involved me extracting information from the database and compiling a catalogue of material relevant to my thesis. (more…)

The Broken Hoards of Late Bronze Age Cornwall

Cornwall has a lot of Late Bronze Age hoards.

I know this because I am currently trying to see them all. Fortunately, the majority are held in the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro, which I can see from my living room window, making my life a lot easier! These hoards hold particular significance, however, as they follow the typical Late Bronze Age pattern of having been smashed to pieces. (more…)

Bronze Age Hot-shorts (but not as Google knows them)

I predominantly consider myself a social archaeologist. I kindof slipped and fell into Experimental Archaeology and I now find the same thing happening with material science and the overall topic of Archaeometallurgy, so I thought I’d lay out some of the things I’m encountering, mostly to formulate my findings to coherently, but also to encourage anyone reading this to point out if I’m on the right track or completely wrong. (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…)

From the Depths of the Bloody Pool…

Legend has it that there was once a fierce battle between Viking marauders and the native population somewhere in south-east Dartmoor. It raged on for hours and hours; swords and shields smashed against each other in a scene worthy of Peter Jackson, and much blood was spilled on both sides with hundreds of people left slain. Eventually, however, the natives were victorious, forcing the Vikings to flee back to their longships. There is a “pool”, not much more than a marsh now, said to mark the spot of this battle, from which one might still hear the sounds of the dead and at times it will turn red with the memory of their blood. From this pool in 1854, they retrieved a set of bronze spears… (more…)