Landscape and Memories – The Tale of the Three Sisters

*This week's blog post mainly focuses on the mythology of a landscape as opposed to movement and utility. Here is a quick rendition of the Three Sister's myth, mainly sourced from midwalesmyway.com. Mythology plays a large part in describing the development of the landscape for many cultures around the world. In Wales, the myth of... Continue Reading →

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Tolerance in the Middle Ages: Respect in Treaties

"For four hundred years there had been order and law, respect for property, and a widening culture. All had vanished".[1] This is how Churchill saw the start of the Middle Ages. This quote summarises how many see the period, characterising it as a time of violence, prejudice, and superstition. Indeed, the very word 'medieval' is... Continue Reading →

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More than meets the eye: a short introduction to light microscopy of bone diagenesis to identify funerary treatments

• Histological light microscopy of bone diagenesis is a microscopic method that can be used to identify diverse funerary processes or taphonomic trajectories in archaeological human remains. • If a body is buried whole shortly after death, the bacteria from within the body will destroy bone cells as part of the putrefaction process. If a... Continue Reading →

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A medieval Helen? The case of Maria Skleraina

Between the fourth and fifteenth centuries, the medieval Roman Empire, known in modern scholarship as the Byzantine Empire, ruled large swathes of territory from the capital Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul). The Empire’s borders extended across Asia Minor, Greece and the Balkans.[1] This piece focuses on a case study from the middle period of Byzantine history, which... Continue Reading →

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The Fundamentals of Teeth

This week’s blog post was inspired by a post I saw on Twitter: It seems to be in response to the trending topic that day – Sonic the Hedgehog’s teeth. There is a new “live action” Sonic movie coming out, and the animators chose to give him teeth that look more like a human than... Continue Reading →

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Landscape and Memories – El Camino Real de las California

El Camino Real, or 101 Highway, is the longest state highway measuring 2,478 km, spanning from Southern California to Washington. Made internationally known through Tennessee William’s book, El Camino Real, the highway’s history is extremely rich and diverse. The highway is most commonly known for connecting the Spanish missions throughout California and was called El... Continue Reading →

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The Theodosian Code and the Flight of the Curiales

The great literary works of antiquity are famous for their influence on the modern world – even our everyday speech is littered with idiomatic fragments of Homer, Virgil, the Bible – but there is a little-known work that has had a far greater influence on our society and institutions: the Theodosian Code. This was a... Continue Reading →

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Ancient Beauty, Toxic Cosmetics

The timeless phrase, “beauty is pain” is one impressed into young mindsets at the earliest concept of self. However, what happens when the product we use to make ourselves beautiful has the opposite effect? Using modern cosmetics, we have all experienced this phenomenon. For example, when you try to cover a pimple with concealer only... Continue Reading →

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Artefact Spotlight! Mars figurine (c. AD 43–300)

The Ides of March marks the day Julius Caesar was assassinated by members of the Senate Despite his successful campaigns expanding the Roman empire, it was feared his individual power was threatening the Republic The Artefact Spotlight is a Mars figurine discovered in East Herefordshire, England, as a reminder of Caesar's legacy in Britain It... Continue Reading →

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Landscape and Memories – Panel Incised Stone Carvings

As Bahn (2010: 3) rightly states, rock art is a form of art that has dominated human-kind’s artistic output for about 30,000 years or more - but has been largely ignored in art history courses, given only token mention in archaeological degrees. Rock art is expressed in several different mediums, from paint and ochre to carving or... Continue Reading →

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Murder Mystery Spot- Blood in Bettisfield

How do you solve a murder without forensic medicine? In early modern Wales there was a variety of methods people could use to work out if a suspect was guilty or not. Some Tudor investigation techniques are similar to what we use today (examining witnesses, finding alibis, establishing a motive) and others seem strange or... Continue Reading →

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Neolithic Frankenstein? The truth is in the bones

Osteological examination is lacking in Neolithic burial contexts in Britain, but when completed, previous interpretations are often turned on their heads Neolithic peoples may have intentionally created "composite" skeletons consisting of the body parts of several individuals as part of a funerary ritual, like the monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Using examples from Spurge Hole... Continue Reading →

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Landscapes and Memories – Inuksuit

An inukshuk is a marker with great historical heritage, appropriated into a fad amongst amateur hikers and tourists. I often see them in the United States on trails, or in locations where there is a large quarry of flat rocks along popular routes. I have even seen them as part of an installation in someone’s... Continue Reading →

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Hedonism to Holy Night: Nativity of Christmas

Christmas was established by Pope Julius I in AD 380 to facilitate the conversion of pagans who did not want to give up their winter festivals Pagans celebrated the winter solstice for thousands of years prior to this - as evidenced by text and archaeology Feasting and gift exchange during the holiday season are traditions... Continue Reading →

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The Body Modification Segment – The knife-handed mercenary: successful amputation and a functional prosthesis in the 6th century AD

This month’s blog post concerns a Medieval Longobard warrior, excavated between 1985 and 1993 from the necropolis of Povegliano Veronese (fig.1), and recently published in the Journal of Anthropological Sciences (Micarelli et al., 2018). Only a very small number of amputations are known from the archaeological record, and even fewer prosthetics. This fascinating case study provides... Continue Reading →

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Landscapes and Memories

We have all heard of mnemonic devices in archaeology, objects that help recall memory. Over the years, however, there has been an increase in analysing landscapes themselves as mnemonic devices. I for one can vouch for this. I am not from Britain, and moving to a new city whose layout is something of a maze... Continue Reading →

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Photographing the First World War – 100 years on

The 11th November 2018 marked 100 years since the armistice was signed and the First World War ended. Alongside the usual poppy appeal across the UK and across the world there are thousands of different ways in which remembrance Sunday, unique in it’s significance, is being celebrated this year. Due to my own military connections... Continue Reading →

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Of Beasts and Men: What does the Fox say?

At the age of two I developed a phobia of dogs after being attacked by a Labrador whilst walking through the woods with my father. I spent my childhood deliberately avoiding and even running away from the creatures, in the fear that one day I would be attacked again. By association; my fear of dogs... Continue Reading →

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National Park Service – African Burial Ground

Among all the history that occupies lower Manhattan, including Wall Street, Trinity Church, and the 9/11 Memorial, only one site has been designated as a National Monument: the African Burial Ground. This 0.35 acre memorial and museum marks the resting place of over 10,000 Africans and African Americans. Originally occupying over 6 acres, the cemetery... Continue Reading →

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Artefact Spotlight! Lucayan Duho (AD 1000–1630)

    Today is Columbus Day—an annual event commemorating the anniversary of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus arriving in America. In the United States, the holiday (observed the second Monday in October) reached federal status in 1937 [1], and many businesses close their doors and schoolchildren rejoice in the three-day weekend. However, the celebration of Christopher Columbus'... Continue Reading →

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Artefact of the Week- The Incan Capacochas

The Inca Empire was extensive, ranging at its pinnacle from Chile to Ecuador. The Empire spanned from 1200 to 1532 AD (Andrushko and et al. 2010: 323). Human sacrifice in the Andes is nothing new in terms of cultural and religious development of the region since the prehistoric period. The Moche, Chimu, among many others,... Continue Reading →

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Artefact of the Week – Eagle fibula (6th century AD)

[Figure 1] Eagle fibulae found at Tierra Barros, Badajoz, Estremadura, Spain. On this day in AD 410, the Visigoths ended their occupation of Rome after three days of sacking and moved on to take Sicily and Northern Africa. This would never come to pass, however, as nature had other plans. Nevertheless, after centuries of Roman... Continue Reading →

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Queer Archaeology: an unapologetic history

During the weekend beginning on the 24th of August, Cardiff will be hosting its 19th annual Pride festivities. In this period of queer goings-on, it seemed like a good opportunity to highlight the contribution made by archaeologists who sought to include subaltern voices within their analyses of the past. Moreover, I also want to dedicate... Continue Reading →

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Cardiff University’s New Society for Postgraduate Women

An exciting development of female empowerment has just graced Cardiff University’s doors with the formation of the Cardiff University Society for Women Graduates (CUSWG), established in the June of this year. Although unable to formally accept members until September, the society has received a strong, positive response from within the University even in the first... Continue Reading →

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Autism in the Museum

The article explores autism in the museum through Firing Line Museum of The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and The Royal Welsh located in the Interpretation Centre of Cardiff Castle.

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Artefact of the Week – Powder Horns

Our artefact of the week is the powder horn. These objects were used during the Revolutionary war, and carry with them a large piece of American history that extends beyond mere warfare.

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