A Life In Fragments

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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…)

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…)

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.


Bronze Age Metalwork at Wells and Mendip Museum


Believe it or not, two years into my research, I still haven’t finished my data collection. The spread of objects across the South West has proven far more troublesome than even I anticipated. Nonetheless, I persevere and my latest venture took me to the beautiful tiny city of Wells. (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…)

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…)

Why #Museumselfie Day is good for everyone

Big teeth

My, what big teeth you have!

The “selfie” has (for better or worse!) become a defining feature of our culture. In 2014, Mar Dixon had the simple inspired idea to encourage anyone and everyone visiting museums to take a selfie with a simple engagement objective:

Objective:  A day to share selfies either in museums or around museums.  These can be on the day or ones from previous visits.  This is a FUN DAY to encourage people to visit museums and participate a bit with art or collections.   (more…)

Week At The Museum

Music echoed through the empty gallery.

Christina Aguilera, Sean Paul, UB40…

There was no rhyme or reason – the iPod’s owner clearly had an eclectic taste!

Underneath is all, faint atmospheric noises from the exhibits eerily accompanied silent projections on the walls, ongoing despite the absence of visitors.

I, meanwhile, sat on the walkway above, tapping my feet, looking out over a prehistoric canoe suspended c.10 foot in the air above a plesiosaur skeleton set within the floor below. (more…)

My First Step on the Path to Destruction

The title of my PhD changes pretty much every time I think about it. But as no one really wants to hear me recite a twenty-something word title out loud, I usually simplify it to:

“Why did people break stuff?” (more…)

What is the Bronze Age anyway?

When I was applying for my PhD, Alex (my brother) very kindly offered to read over and comment on my proposal – those of you who know Alex will appreciate the value of this gesture as he tends to avoid engaging in things for which he has no interest! He returned the proposal to me a couple of days later and as I flicked through it I saw no marks, no comments, no alterations, nothing to suggest he had even opened the document. Until, that is, I got to the bottom of the final page and there was a single six word sentence: (more…)