Sunday, 13 March 2016

Waiting for... but reporting

Some week's are in a funny way without major reports for public domain. No matter how much one travels or works or does. This week is one of those while waiting for next week that will undoubtedly provide blog feed for a couple of weeks. I did work a couple of weeks home, do my presentation for next week, attend meetings in London and tweet from a lecture, travel to Stockholm and sort out some software issues there and visit a major shopping area outside Stockholm for some essentials. However, the matters discussed in the meeting are confidential, the tweets are out there to be looked for and the research will be reported in its due course. Last weekend's CAA-UK was already reported in last week's post. In a way it is all about waiting. Everything begins to be ready for the Roman Archaeology Conference and Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference next week.

In addition, I missed one of this week's major events at Stockholm, the latest from the Iron Age team working for The Atlas Project (or let's give its full name The Atlas of Ancient Human Genomes in Sweden) that tries to look for the population movements during the Swedish prehistory and for any hints of the stability or changes in populations during the key moments of transition. Naturally considering only periods when the burial rite was inhumation and we have skeletal remains. Luckily, the key team is located in the office opposite me, so I heard all about it the following day when I returned. It is all so red hot new from the presses that I leave any reporting to them via proper channels. I can only say that the things I heard will give new information on late Iron Age society.

It is a pity I missed the talk, but at least I had nice chats with my colleagues the following day. While they were discussing the Iron Age, I was reporting from a similarly interesting find, the Whitehorse Hill Cist in Dartmoor. This find in the blanket peat has revealed astonishing finds that have been presented lately in many lectures around Britain, as they were also in the Royal Archaeological Institute lecture on Wednesday. The cremation was excavated in a laboratory and it has revealed some unique features, including unusual preservation of organic matter, and many that are rare, but discovered in other parts of Britain as well. Some features just reflected what was common in the Dartmoor area in the Early Bronze Age. Of the unique features, the most unique were the pure tin rivets of an arm band and a bear's pelt. There was also a copper alloy pin and amber and shale beads in a colour-schemed neclace. The speaker, Dr Andy M. Jones, remindered us that a single flint flake, a common feature in the region, may have been the only object to be found in a burial without pottery had there not been the peat.

The bead necklace (linked from the Dartmoor National Park web site

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