We had three fun-filled days in Milano and got back last night around 9 pm. I’m still tired!
Probably the best thing for me was the contemporary art fair – MiArt. But I have been to Milan before, so I was mainly revisiting (though I spent more time in San Lorenzo than before – pictures to follow!).
and LOTS of pictures to file and post.
Also, commentary on the young man from Bates College who died last week.
. . . and ended in the sun! That was our visit to the Roman Forum. Morning rush hour on Monday proceeded in a downpour. By the time we got into the forum itself I was wet from the knees down (though not my feet!). Then the rain stopped! Well, mainly. I re-opened my umbrella a few times. But the forum as as empty as I have ever seen it.
And the students held up without any grumbling – an excellent first class day! As I told them, the weather is unlikely to get any worse than that. Though it did snow in 2012!
The British Museum stored a lump of “organic material” for 125 years and no one had ever looked at it properly? That’s how this story sounds.
A Celtic treasure looted by the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago has been discovered in the British Museum’s storerooms. An ornate, gilded disc brooch dating from the eighth or ninth century was found by chance and is being described as a “staggering find”. No-one knew of its existence until now.
It had been concealed in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway by a British archaeologist in the 1880s and acquired by the British Museum in 1891.
Curator Barry Ager, a Vikings specialist, was poring over artefacts before a visit from a Norwegian researching the Viking site when his eye was caught by some metal sticking out of the side of the organic lump.
Intrigued, he asked the conservation department to X-ray it. “At that stage, I really didn’t know what was inside,” he said. “It was a staggering find.”
Read this article: the man who found the gold bracelets has made a number of other finds – and he was part of a 100-person group searching the Forest of Dean that weekend.
I’m in the process of getting a First Year Seminar called “Stealing Art/Saving Art” approved for next fall. The main topic is understanding cultural property – who owns art? One of the units I’m planning is a compare and contrast between the practices and legal situation of metal detectorists in the UK and tombaroli in Italy. The British experiment beginning in the 1990s (I believe) with allowing detectorists to profit from their finds legally has been wonderful for archaeology. Meanwhile, in Italy, where the finds are much bigger, no one but the State (through its designates) can excavate anything legally.
Neat BBC video of newly restored 15th C wall paintings at a tiny church in Wales! Great St George and the Dragon scene!
I could never be a conservator! A square inch per hour?
The US scuttled some Japanese super-submarines in 1946 rather than show them to the Soviets. Now one of them has been found.
One of my happy places – and I understand it so much better now after this spring!
. . . and he finds a coin hoard with 55 Roman golden solidi. That’s a hobby purchase that paid for itself. Great photos – including one of the shopkeeper who sold the metal detector. You know his shelves are bare, now!
I spent most of the day moping about the weather and reading an oldish (1899) book about Rome that I’ve used forever but never actually READ. So after a long walk late in the afternoon I watched Strictly Ballroom (1992) . . . after which Netflix suggested Flashdance. Yes, I watched Flashdance (1983). Michael Nouri was so young!
When the crusaders of the Order of St John first built a 35-latrine toilet complex in the medieval city of Acre in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, they could scarcely have considered that researchers would be sifting through its contents 900 years later. Yet the 13th-century latrine soil is providing another chapter in understanding the long history of our relationship with intestinal parasites.
Interesting archaeology – from Medievalists.net.
This interesting article suggests that isolation and cultural dissonance prompted the Vikings to abandon Greenland – not privation, disease, and starvation. Jared Diamond is interesting, but that doesn’t make him always right.
The article points out that archaeological analyses of skeletons of both man and beast show interesting things – there was not a lot of disease – no more than in Iceland. The Vikings made a swift transition to eating seals. They didn’t try very hard to preserve their herd animals.
So how old is cheese? I never cease to be thrilled by what we have learned to do – archaeologists have analyzed the lipids trapped in ceramic sieves to figure out that farmers were processing milk into cheese in what is now Poland 7000 years ago! As a dedicated cheese and yogurt eater, I’m grateful for the lactose mutation.
Look what a 4 year old can find with a metal detector – if he lives in Essex: Christmas-themed medieval stuff, now on display at the British Museum.