Skellig Michael

Historical Ragbag

Skellig Michael is one of the most extraordinary places I have ever been. Situated roughly 13 km off the coast of Kerry in Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean. It stands with Little Skellig, which is a thriving bird habitat.IMG_2664

Skellig Michael and Little Skellig, Skellig Michael is in the back.

IMG_2489Little Skellig

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Skellig Michael.

Although from the photos both Skellig Michael and Little Skellig might seem to be simply harsh lumps of rock in the middle of the ocean, this is far from the truth. Skellig Michael has a fascinating history of habitation, and the most spectacular monastery I have ever seen is situated on its seemingly impassable slopes.

The history begins with the first known mention of Skellig in 1400 BCE when legend has it that Milesius, an early invader of Ireland, lost one of his sons, Irr, to Skellig’s cliffs. There is also legend of Skellig being a refuge…

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Very sad news from Oswestry

The Heritage Journal

The development is to go ahead. You can take part in a Consultation – but only about the “modifications” suggested by the Inspector, not about the development itself. The document is at pains to make that extremely clear:

“Please note that the Inspector is only inviting comments on the suggested Main Modifications. Comments that do not relate to a suggested Main Modification will not be considered.”

To give you an idea how hard the door has been slammed and how ineffectual and almost insulting are the modifications, here are some of them……

Development should demonstrate appropriate regard to the significance and setting of the Old Oswestry Hill Fort……

Full archaeological assessment will be required to enhance the understanding and interpretation of the significance of the Hillfort and its wider setting …….

Ensuring long distance views to and from the Hillfort within its wider setting are conserved ……..

Development should…

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Holy Well or folly Bath house – Woolston’s St. Winifred’s Well

holyandhealingwells

Hidden down a little lane in the quite Shropshire village of Woolston is a picture-postcard holy well or is it? A site cited in every major countrywide review of the topic but is it a genuine site?

A holy well?

 Thompson and Thompson (2001) in their Wells of Mainland Britain are pretty equivocal stating that the well was used in the medieval period as a source of healing. A fact perhaps taken for the association with Saint Winifred. However, although this is a common theme amongst modern well researchers the earliest reference referring to the site by name is Phillips and Hulbert’s 1837 History of Salop:

“In the township of Woolston is a remarkable well, dedicated to St Winefred, but whether of healing virtues I am not able to give information.”

However, Charlotte S. Burne, Shropshire Folk-Lore reveal some interesting local evidence:

“some have sought to explain this…

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The sacrificial well shrine of Su Romanzesu Bitti Village Sardinia

holyandhealingwells

Delightfully situated high, at 750 metres above sea level, on a plateaux amongst the gnarled cork oaks is the Nuragic settlement of Romanzesu di Bitti. The site is believed to be one of the most important sites of worship of the Nuragic period. A site by its name suggests a long continuation of its usage into the Roman occupation of the island.

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Accidental discovery

Like a number of similar sites, the site was revealed by accident during the search for water in 1919, when Antonio Taramelli a local archaeologist. Sadly, during the excavations, a number of parts were destroyed; the scale trapezoidal coming down the well was destroyed. The water was also diverted into a trough and even in the 1950 new reclamation work utilised the well for a modern sewer and thus a number ceramic pipes were placed at the site in blocks of local granite. As a result…

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KORA Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Workshops at the University of Kent, June 2015

These Bones Of Mine

The Kent Osteological Research and Analysis unit (KORA) at the University of Kent is offering individuals interested in bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology the chance to get to grips in understanding the value of analysing human skeletal remains by playing host to two workshops in June 2015.  The great selling point about these particular courses are the fact that they are open to members of the public, as well as to archaeologists who are keen to gain experience of handling and analysing archaeologically sourced human skeletal remains.

Details of the two workshops can be found below on the poster.  The first is the Medieval Burials in Canterbury workshop running on the Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of June at a cost of £75.  The second workshop is titled CSI (Crime Science Investigation) at Kent and runs on the Saturday 27 and Sunday 28th of June, again costing £75

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The Pillar of Eliseg Votes!

Archaeodeath

IMG_8087 My students approach the Pillar of Eliseg

IMG_8089 The Pillar of Eliseg

In case no-one noticed; it was the UK’s general election yesterday. I voted at 7.10 am that morning before heading into work by bicycle to set out with students by Uni fleet vehicle on a day-long field trip. It was a fun way to spend election day, isolated from the radio and TV and from the buzz of polling stations, and instead being out in the rain and the sun and the wind.

I took the enthusiastic MA Archaeology of Death and Memory students out in the Vale of Llangollen to consider this striking landscape as a ‘topography of memory’. By this I mean that we considered not simply the rich and varied archaeological heritage of the Vale, but in addition we visited a selection of sites to consider the complex and varied myths and memories that can be shown to…

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