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.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Premyslid faces from Prague

Facial reconstructions of the skulls of long dead individuals - be they identified or now anonymous - has become a frequently used technique alongside archaeological work. The results are always interesting and remind us that archaeologists, of Sir Mortimer Wheeler’s point, are not digging up things, but people. Quite literally in cases such as these.

Today the Mail Online has a report about such a project in Prague with the remains of the uncle and the father of St Wenceslas, brothers from the Premyslid family who were successive Dukes of Bohemia at the turn of the ninth and tenth centuries. As the report goes on to say the next projects for the team involved in the process are the remains of St Ludmilla, grandmother of St Wenceslas, and then those of St Wenceslas himself.

The report can be read at  See the faces of medieval dukes who died more than 1,000 years ago - ignore the typo about 1.700 years. 

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