Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My life in pictures from the last month and a half

Fantastic fieldtrip to survey the Hell-Fire Caves

Had fun making a wordle of two chapters of my dissertation, on the Irish Hell-Fire Clubs

Hoped across the sea to visit the folks and survey the Hell-Fire Club of Dublin, Montpelier

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quote of the day: on the men and women of Ireland

Looks mattered in the past. Quoting from Thomas Dineley's tour of Ireland in 1797, this paragraph details the look of men and women in Ireland:

He paid more attention to the women...well-bottomed, ever growing, strangely proportion and with enormous legs... Thanks Dineley!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Quote of the day: on the value of the past and on different cultures

From Speech of Mr. Gladstone at Mold, 1873:
There is no greater folly circulating upon the earth at this moment, or at any other time, than the disposition to undervalue the Past, and to break those links which unite human beings of the present day with the generations that have passed away and been called to their account.

The above is taken from Selections from Old Kerry Records 1874 (Hickson, M. 2nd ed.), which contains a dedication poem by Thomas Davis:

What matter that at different shrines
We pray unto one God,
What matter that at different times
Our fathers won the sod,
In fortune and in name we're bound
By stronger links than steel,
And neither can be safe nor sound
But in the other's weal.

Friday, July 19, 2013

35,000 years old archaeology kicks ass...

Xzibit helps archaeology keep it real

Photo: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.150023071682921.30804.149716745046887&type=1 Source: Probably © Universität Tübingen

[Source] and find out more here: http://donsmaps.com/vogelherd.html

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Science or supernatural possession? The case of the moving statue

Archaeologists tend not to believe in ghosts or superstitions on the whole, but now and then eyebrows and questions are raised when the inexplicable presents itself. The case of the independently moving Egyptian statue is a case in point. And this story comes with time-lapse video proof!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Recent activity: from Mexico to Anglo-Saxons and a media bonanza

The last month has been a hectic jumble of archaeological wonderment, and I have yet again let my blog suffer as a result. But, it has all been for the greater good (of archaeology).

First up - a terrific trip around the Yucatan, Mexico

I discovered that I am very good at pointing at archaeology enthusiastically, while trying to hide from the sun. Chichén-Itzá was utterly amazing. The complex is dotted with stunning stepped pyramids, other religious buildings and detailed relief sculpture. Archaeologists are hard at work restoring the structures and no one is allowed climb the steps anymore. Trenches have also been opened, showing earlier occupation phases on the site - this work has been postponed until the drainage is sorted.
Exhibit A: Pointing at archaeology (extra 'points' as it includes both a pyramid and a trench)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The greatest book of all time?

As far as fabulous books go, this one is high on the list. It's title summons visions of Bette Midler as a wicked witch. It draws you in with promises of how to get rich quick, how to play with the animals (including cats). For the adventurous types, it dazzles with promises of balancing two knives on the brim of a glass (useful as a new parlour trick). Even parents get a look in as they can teach their children to read by using dice. You can become immune to the rascalous pick pockets, make fireworks and booze, and fix up the house with some plastering.

How is this not the greatest selling book of all time? Well, it's free. Download it now!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why coffee is better than wine or ale

Stumbled across a great poem from the late 17th century, all about the virtues of coffee over the detrimental effects of boozing:


When the sweet Poison of the Treacherous Grape
Had acted on the world a general rape; 
Drowning our Reason and our souls 
In such deep seas of large o'erflowing bowls, 

When foggy Ale, leavying up mighty trains
Of muddy vapours, had besieg'd our Brains,
Then Heaven in Pity
First sent amongst us this All-Healing Berry,

Coffee arrives, that grave and wholesome Liquor,
That heals the stomach, makes the genius quicker,
Relieves the memory, revives the sad, 
And cheers the Spirits, without making mad. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The story of ESD at Bristol so far - my perspective

This is a short report of my reflections on my internship with the University of Bristol - looking at Education for Sustainable Development. I wrote this storify as part of the online course E-learning and Digital Cultures (Coursera), it's my digital artefact assignment - hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tutankhamun, his mum and the curvy king

Why the ever so informal title for something I should be treating academically? 
Because this is a personal story, one of mother and son.

News broke today that King Tutankhamun's mother was the legendary beauty, Queen Nefertiti. Looking at the bust of the queen and the death mask of the king, both share decidedly good facial features with marked symmetry (a hallmark of goodlooking-ness).
Image from i09's article on the subject
What's the evidence?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Months of busyness

With my part-time job and part-time teaching and this and that, I have woefully neglected this delightful gem of a blog. No more! My new year's resolution may be over a month late, but it's never too late to get back to spamming the internets with my mindless musings.

What have I been up to?
Undergraduate teaching to wonderful first years.
An University internship
Voiceover shenanigans