Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Archaeological Discoveries

Yesterday’s newspapers had reports of two major archaeological discoveries in this country.

The first was in Scotland with a major Bronze Age discovery consisting of the harness and sword of a warrior. This was due to the work of a metal detector enthusiast, who displayed a very proper commitment to recovering the finds. There is an account of it at Detectorist 'over the moon' after Bronze Age find

That discovery illustrates the life of the warrior elite of its time. 

The second concerned the villa dwelling elite of late fourth century Britannia. This is the discovery at Corby in Northamptonshire of ancillary buildings to a known villa complex which expands our understanding of the villa economy of that era and can be read about at Roman industrial site gives new picture of life in Roman Britain

Whilst preparing this post I came across two other interesting reports. The odious HS2 project has had the incidental benefit of revealing ancient sites in its proposed assault on the landscape and a recent article deals with discoveries about life in Iron Age and Roman Buckinghamshire around what has become the town of Wendover. These discoveries are outlined in a report at Iron Age murder victim found buried in Buckinghamshire

Finally, and further afield, are discoveries in the Negev about life in the Byzantine world in the fifth century in the lead up to the Justinian Plague and the apparent impact of climate change consequent upon extreme volcanic activity, about which I posted a few months back. These discoveries about the development and decline of viticulture in the region can be seen at Plague and climate change caused Byzantine Empire's economic downturn

I cannot resist the obvious temptation to point out that this seems all too familiar to us poor mortals of the twenty first century.....

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