Showing posts from September, 2006

Interviewed on Radio Nottingham

I was on Radio Nottingham today talking about the history of medicine - surgery before anaesthesia in particular. The following is an interesting piece on Joseph Priestley, friend of Benjamin Franklin, and scientific pioneer. Joseph Priestley

Social Bookmarking Tools (I): A General Review

Useful article summarising social bookmarking tools. Social Bookmarking Tools (I): A General Review

Walter Tull - first Black football player

'East End Life' had an interesting article on Walter Tull - who played for Clapton Orient, Tottenham Hotspur, and Northampton town - the first outfield player who was also black, He was brought up in an Orphanage in Bethnal Green, London. He rose to be an officer in the Army and died at the second battle of the Somme in 1918 Walter Tull His brother, Edward became a dentist.

Britons only 12,000 years old

Professor Chris Stringer in Daily Telegraph his forthcoming book Homo Britannicus , suggests that Britain has only been continously occupied for 12,000. There were 7 successive occupations of Britain by genus Home since 700,000 years ago but they all fizzled out before the current attempt. For further information click here Archaeology feed

Prasutagus and the Big Fish - Evidence from Celtic Coins

Current Archaeology (Issue 205) has an interesting article by Chris Rudd showing how useful coins continue to be re the dynasties in power before the Roman period. One of the examples he gives is from the reexamination of silver coins found at Joist Fen in Suffolk over 40 years ago. Numismatists have reconstructed the name Esuprastus or Esu Prasto from the inscription which reads 'SVB Ri Prasto' and 'Esico Fecit' - the later part meaing Esico made it. It is thought that Esuprastus is the native version of the name King Prasutagus - the husband of the famous Queen Boudicca. The coins are typical Celtic design showing a a head on one face with a horse on the other - following the designs on coins of Philip of Macedon. He also refers to one Ale Scavo - the latter part of the name suggesting a Roman connection from Scaevola - left handed. Rudd suggests he was succeeded by Esu Prasto, possibly after the rebellion of 47AD, suggesting Prasutagus was put in place by the

Gauls and Britons - new inscription

Current Archaeology (issue 205) has an interesting piece on qn inscription found at Vindolanda. It was found in the SW corner of the fort and the inscription read CIVES GALLI DE GALLIA CONCORDES QVE BRITANNI which they translate as: "The troops from Gaul dedicate this statue to the goddess Gallia, with the full support of the British-born troops". The interesting implications are firstly that there are Gauls still on the frontier and secondly that Britons was an accepted term for those from Britain - i.e. presumably some sense of unity within the province? They also found a very priapic statue of Priapus. To find out more visit the Vindolanda site and see the Excavation News page

Ideas to improve furl

I find furl ( invaluable. However, couple of things I would help improve it. I use it as partly bookmark, and partly information database, partly blog and partly bibliographic tool, and partly to track what I do. I can see furl falling behind as other techologies develop. So just a few ideas on how it might develop. 1. develop the bibliographic bits of it so it can also be used for books and articles 2. Ineeds a graphic overhaul - doesn't look as good as flickr, etc. 3. Would be good to be able to customise one's view, to enable it to be part of one's own web site. 4. Need to develop the blog aspect - I currently have blog and furl while I would rather just have furl 5. One problem is that I cannot use furl to help drive content to my web site or even to my furl archive - my furl archive only appears in a google search in an unreadable xml rss format. One of the things I offer is my expertise in the sites I visit - would be good if furl was

Re materia medica

I have photographed the materia medica cases we received from the Monica Britton Collection when they disbanded their history of medicine collection. These can be seen on my flickr site at I think they are a great acquisitions by the Museum as they represent an opportunity for improving understanding of what materia medica meant in the past. There are also formidable obstacles to their use. Firstly, we need to identify the materia medica. Secondly, how do we display them? They have so many drawers! and they are best seen close up and with information. Maybe we could begin by organising a lecture on materia medica with the new objects being shown to the public.

Replica Pottery Trinity Court

Finally traced somewhere who can make replica Albarelli. trintiycourt home

Human DNA tree memorial

Very interesting idea. Take someone's DNA splice it with a tree seed, and grow the tree as a memorial. I wish I had thought of it. Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Firm plans human DNA tree memorial

Setting up a virtual learning environment

Central Saint Martin's Action Research As part of my Certificate in Higher Education I am undertaking an ' Action Research' project. The aim is to find useful web tools to help students record project research. The first is Furl: This is essentially a super book mark tool - it allows users and groups to record all the web sites they visit simply by pressing a button on the web browser. It is better than a book mark as you can categorise each web page you furl, and you can access it from any computer. Also you can use the bookmarks very easily on web pages, and you can export the web url's as references for academic reports. Finally furl saves a copy of the page you furl - so even if the page is deleted, you still have a copy of it making it very valuable for academic work. My archive can be see at: Try filtering by topic to see how it works. If you look at And look

Family motto - death to the oppressor!

Our family motto is (apparently) Mors ad inimicus [death to the oppressor] . although it seems to have been stolen with the coat of arms from the legitimate owners who were I think the Kynastons.

Flude in literature

I have just found references to use of the word 'Flude' in medieval and later literature - both are in the context of Noah's Flood, 'The good gossippe souge The flude comes flittinge in full faste, On everye syde that spreades full farre; For feare of drowninge I am agaste; Good gossippes, lett us drawe here, And lett us drinke or [ere] we departe, For ofte tymes we have done see. For att a draughte thou drinkes a quarte, A ND soe will I doe or I gee. Heare is a pottill full of malmsine, good and stronge; Itt will rejoice Louth hearte and tonge; Though Noye thinke us never so longe, Heare we will drinke alike.' For first the sun in hys uprising obscurate Shall be, and passé the waters of Noa’s flude, On erth which were a hundred days continueate And fifty, away or all thys waters yode, Ryght so on our waters, as wise men understode, Shall pass: that thou, with David, may say Abierunt in sicco flumina, etc (63). From Mary Anne Atwood Herme

Surname Finder

Use this tool to map distributions of British surnames. [object HTMLImageElement] Mike Catling for Salon IFA wrote: The database reveals that many British surnames names can be mapped to specific places in the world from which they have spread out through the globe. Searching on the name ‘Catling’ for example, reveals that almost all of the people of that name were living in the Peterborough area in 1881 (this fits with family tradition that, until my father made the break, generations of Catlings had all worked in the brickfields of Whittlesey, three miles east of Peterborough). By 2006, Catlings were dispersed all round England, and were also to be found living in Auckland, New Jersey and the Australian Capital Territory. Clearly the database is more useful to people with a distinctive surname, though even a relatively common name such as Owen had a very precise geographic origin that is still traceable as recently as 1881 (Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey). The developers of the dat

Round Table Building Windsor - England's first theatre?

The Archaeology programme, Time Team, managed to find something of real importance at Windsor - the circular foundations of Edward III's Round Table building. Big Royal Dig from

Sound Scientists at the Whitechapel Art Gallery

We went to see the Sound Scientists' first gig at the Whitechapel on Saturday night. My first hip hop gig, the music was really great especially for a first gig! Backing was excellent, rapping was great, Harry the guitarist was bluesy and soulful and my daughters, Hetty Boo and lady Constance were fabulous.

Binham Abbey

Cycled to Binham Abbey A lovely ruined abbey with the Nave turned into a Parish Church - the conversion to Parish Church was delightfully bodged and so makes the front of the Church rather startling. (picture in wikipedia) Binham Abbey .

HTA - The Human Tissue Authority

They are making museums pay £6,000 a year for a license to display human remains - totally inappropriate for museums to have to pay this. HTA - The Human Tissue Authority

The Burnhams, Chalk walls and Soft Machine!

Went for an excellent walk around the Burnhams in Norfolk. Interesting to see walls built with chalk and flint. I have excavated these sort of walls in London but have never seen whole houses made of chalk (and flint). Burnham market is very upmarket - in the evening we returned to see a gig by the Soft Machine - one of my favourite 60's bands. Very austere free form jazz - they bend over backwards to avoid musical cliche - perhaps too far!

Warham Camp Hillfort

Took my parents to visit Warham Camp - a very impressive double banked 'hillfort' on the edge of a very small river. Strange sloping site for such a large doubled banked fort. In the territory of the Iceni. It is a short walk from the excellent Three Horseshoes pub in Warham - a good place to discuss the Archaeology!. The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map: Warham Camp Hillfort

Britain AD by Francis Pryor

Pryor, Francis 'Britain A.D.' Harper Perennial 2004 An interesting read - attempting to debunk British archaeology. Francis Pryor has a nostalgic view of the history of Britain, which, using his background in prehistory, he disbelieves in the existence of any invasions in British history. He also loves the idea of continuity and his view is so-rose tinted as to be untrue! He believes the Saxons are a product of our historical imagination, and that Britain has always been a multicultural paradise. He is happy to ignore the existence of the English language as any evidence of a major change after the end of the roman period.

Tatberht's London

Tatbearht's London by Leary, Jim et al 'Tatberht's London - Archaeological Excavations In Middle Saxon London' Published by Pre-construct Archaeology 2004 This is a Monograph pulling together excavations on Lundenwic in the Covent Garden area - very much an archaeology book but careful reading will give a pretty good insight into what is know about London in the 7th - 9th Century.