Showing posts from January, 2007

London’s Temple of Mithras to be listed

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has announced that the Temple of Mithras, in Queen Victoria Street in the City of London, is to be listed at Grade II. Discovered in 1954, the third-century Mithraeum was one of the most important archaeological finds of the immediate post-war era, with crowds queuing for hours to see the excavated site. The temple remains were moved in the 1960s to their current location at Bucklersbury House. Listing will ensure that the significance of the structure is respected in future plans. A proposal to reconstruct the temple in its original site on Walbrook will now be given due consideration. Reports Salon IFA I wonder why it is not listed Grade 1?

Winchester 907 AD blog

Interesting example of someone using a blog researching their fiction. Winchester 907 AD Archaeology

Respect for Ancient British Human Remains

Interesting insight into Pagan views of life and death and how museums should deal with human remains. Respect for Ancient British Human Remains

London: A Life in Maps

Went to the Life in Maps exhibition at the British Library - really great to see some of those maps I have been using in slides for years in person. Particularly great to see copy of the Tudor sketch map of London - of which I have only seen bad modern copies. It would be great to get access to the maps on a regular basis - some interesting views of St Thomas Church for example, which I have not seen before. London: A Life in Maps

Medical Heritage at Guy's Meeting

We attended a meeting called by Simon Howell of King's College to discuss setting up a Medical Heritage of Guy's project. My version of the idea - see below - was circulated, and there was lots of enthusiasm for the idea from a number of important collections although I think the people from Guy's people are more interested in beautifying Guy's courtyard, and finding a use for the 'heritage' buildings. Celebrating the Medical Heritage of the Guys/Old St Thomas Hospital area Introduction Recent discussions have been held on the importance of the Guys/Old St Thomas's area for the history of Medicine. The area is of particular importance for the history of medicine in London and, as the Capital, of Britain but also has an important place in the story of the history of Western Medicine. The importance of the vicinity suggests a scheme or schemes to celebrate and preserve the medical heritage of the area would be appropriate. Two factors make this an o

Exploring the Learning Context in Art and Design

The University of the Arts organised a one day conference on 'Exploring the Learning Context in Art and Design'. I went to interesting sessions on using Wiki's and making podcasts. The former was a little frustrating as it was a little too 'introductory' for me. What was interesting was the tension between those who use and like 'Blackboard' and those, like me, who think it is a dinosaur of the prehistory of the Internet. It is not Web 2.0, not open source, not cool, no skins - and inappropriate for an institute like CSM which is at the forefront of design. I think we should change to Moodle - which is open source - or abandon a set Virtual Learning Environment altogether and put something together using tools that are out there already such as wiki, furl, second life etc. Some good came out of it - which is that a group was set up for those interested in wiki. I came to the conclusion that I should have written about my work on wiki as am by now a v

Tower of London on Unesco danger list

Salon IFA reports that: 'Unesco is considering adding the Tower of London to its list of endangered World Heritage Sites because of the number of skyscrapers being planned for the surrounding area. If they decide to list the Tower, it will be the only World Heritage Site in the developed world on the endangered list. Press reports say that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has been given until the end of January to demonstrate to the Unesco World Heritage Committee why the Tower of London should not be included on the list and give a timetable for ‘corrective action’. DCMS is expected to say that the correct planning procedures were followed for the proposed developments, which include the 306-metre-high ‘Shard of Glass’ tower planned for London Bridge, the 200-metre Minerva building, the 324-metre-high Bishopsgate tower and the 209-metre building at 20 Fenchurch Street, all of which will affect the Tower of London’s setting and skyline. The World Heritag

London Museums Group Meeting

I attended a meeting of the the London Museums Group held a meeting on 9th Jan at MLA, London. Full minutes of the meeting will be available soon on the LMG pages of MLA, London We received reports/presentations from Alison Hems on plans for consultation re Hub plans for 2008-10; from Marc Prescott re GLA cultural plans, and Carol Dixon of MLA, London, re plans for strategic commissioning in the education sector. Marc Prescott reported that GLA cultural projects for 2007 were: March - East - projects about the East End May - Late London - projects to boost late night Cultural Activities July - Sept - India Festival 2008 China in London festival Opportunities for involvement by Museums in all of them and some limited grants. We discussed: threats to closure of several museums High cost of membership of VisitLondon and problems if Museums excluded from VisitLondon schemes Need to incre

The Goldilocks Enigma

Great quote in an article in the Observer about a book called the Goldilocks enigma by Paul Davies - Einstein is said to have said: the most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible. The book is about the anthropic principle which is that the universe is constructed exactly to suit us - if things were different it would not work. It is the best of all universes in the multiverse of universes? Was the universe made by God - if so who created him/her/it? Is God a designer of laws not species? A facilitator not a creator? BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight Home | The Goldilocks Enigma

Museums without Barriers - grant success

I got the good news this week that we have been given a day's help from a consultant to built our case for better access to the Old Operating Theatre Museum. This has really cheered me up!

Richard Coates article on the survival of Celtic Words in English

Interesting article on the reasons for the survival of of so few Celtic words in English by Richard Coates. The linguistic evidence, as summed up by Coates in the article suggests the lack of Celtic in English shows that the English did not have significant contact with the Celts. Coates says: "My inclination is therefore to accept the traditional view that in certain parts of what became England there were few visible Britons, and that this state might in principle have been achieved by emigration, annihilation or enslavement, for each of which there is evidence in English sources, though much hinges, of course, on whether these sources are viewed as credible witnesses." rc_britons.pdf (application/pdf Object) archaeology

Re: Languages in Prehistoric Britain -correspondence with Britarch

I wrote the following email to Britarch concerning theories byStephen Oppenheimer and Win Scutt that English may have been spoken in england before the Roman period. 1. Win Scutt should not really be the subject of the discussion - Win is, I think, taking his cue from 'The Origins of the British' by Stephen Oppenheimer. It seems that hardly anyone on this list has read the book. Oppenheimer's ideas are summarised in his Prospect article His book is well worth reading and you do not have to accept his ideas on the origins of English to get something out of it. But the argument should be about Oppenheimer not Win Scutt 2. John Briggs has an acerbic email style and is perhaps is a little blunt but it is just the way he is isn't it? Back to Oppenheimer. He uses genetic studies to give an insight into the genetic origins of people in the British Isles and speculates how t

Was English spoken before the Romans

Win Scutt's ideas on whether English was spoken in Britain before the Romans. thames

Painting at the Old Operating Theatre Museum

Today I painted the door of the spiral staircase in the Museum - a very minor contribution to the redecoration that the staff are doing! But it all helps make the Museum look better. I had lunch with Karen from the Trust and there seems some possibility of support for the purchase of the Church - so things are looking up for the new year.

Wake Up London! Save The Theatre Museum

Good article by Ylva French, on closing the Theatre Museum. It seems my emailing to everyone in my intray was a good idea. Wake Up London! Save The Theatre Museum Says Ylva French - 24 Hour Museum - official guide to UK museums, galleries, exhibitions and heritage

Keats House to be restored

Keats House, Hampstead, London has won a £424,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the House how it looked from 1818 to 1820, when Keats was resident. This was not only perhaps his most creative part but also where he fell in love with Fanny Brawn and where he suffered his first attack of consumption which soon would end his short life.

Museums outplay the Football League

The Travers Report National Museum Directors' Conference: Travers Report, Dec 06 has pointed out that more people attend museums that go to watch football matches, or go to the Theatre. The report highlights the economic and social impact of Museums and reports that this economic success is in danger if the sector remains underfunded. The report is available to download at the site linked above.

Holbein Exhibition, Tate Britain

Holbein in Britain exhibition - great collection of Holbein's portraits in Britain - all you would expect, Henry VIII, Princess Catherine of Denmark, Erasmus, Thomas More and family etc and much more. Henry VIII Usual art exhibition design - brown and dark red walls, short didactic panel on entry to room and small labels with a little bit of background. Hence if you know most of these paintings as I did, you do not learn very much but, of course, you get to see the originals. So, I don't think I now know much more about Holbein. Labels were a bit negligent too - for example the picture of Henry VII and Henry VIII does not give a clue who the 2 women are - Elizabeth of York and Jane Seymour - a little bit shocking. Henry, VII and VIII, Elizabeth of York and Jane Seymour I would speculate that Holbein must have been a little bored in London as virtually all his output is of portraits of people staying out at you or over your left hand shoulder - even the group por