Monthly Archives: September 2014

Civil War Enigma: A Comfortable Story

This is such a wonderful story I thought worth a Re-blog

Silver in the Barn

IMG_20140929_063736 One Sunday paper – two Civil War articles. Welcome to Richmond.

It’s not unusual to see mention of the Civil War in my local newspaper; after all, I do live in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy. When I moved here twenty-odd years ago, I had no idea that the “War of Northern Aggression” was still a subject that aroused such heated debate. My eyes were opened by reading the impassioned Letters to the Editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Silly me, I thought it was all in the dusty past.

Distracted and inattentive reader that I’ve become, I count my lucky stars that I didn’t blow right past a recent Civil War article, but it caught my eye because of two personal hot buttons: vintage photography and slavery.

A 150-year old tintype has just been donated to the Library of Congress by collector Tom Liljenquist who recently purchased the photograph, but declines to disclose its price or identify…

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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


Cardigan Bay 4,000 Ago

Around 4,000 year ago, Cardigan Bay was filled not with salt water but with thick forest,, divided by a broad river channel. This landscape was lost to rising sea levels in the early Bronze Age- but now storms have stripped back centuries of accumulated sand and peat to reveal traces of this lost landscape, and the people who inhabited it.

Among the remains of ancient tree stumps and branches, a team of staff and students from The University of Wales Trinity St David, supported by RCAHMW, have recorded human and animal footprints, including tracks from red deer, and most likely horses and sheep

The prints are preserved in the top layer of peat-we think they broadly correspond with the end of the forest in the early Bronze Age or late Neolithic, ‘said  Geoarchaeologist  Dr Martin Bates. They are particularly concentrated around the river channel. In a previous visit to the site we found a great mass of tracks belonging to humans and adults like those discovered at Happisburgh but there are also tracks further from the channel, in what would have been marshy clearings where humans were probably coming to hunt in the forest. They were clearly exploiting a wide range of habitats.’  He added, the forest was pretty massive-we know it goes inland from the modern beach about 5-6km (3.l-3.7 miles) . It is hard to say how far it extended seawards due to later erosion, but the most recent stretch to be exposed stretches about (l.2 miles) north to south.’

Scatters of burnt stones have been found near some of the footprints, while further evidence of human activity was recorded by RCAHMW’s Deanna Groom and Ross Cook who recently discovered a wattle walkway during a beach walking survey after a storm. Made from  short lengths of coppiced branches  secured on each side with posts, it would have helped the area’s Bronze Age  occupants to navigate their waterlogged home. These traces give a really nice link with the past. In one place there are two very clear footprints belonging to a prehistoric child and one could even stand in those footprints where prehistoric people stood thousands of years ago and look out over what is now sea, but what would then have been the land they lived on.

The Prehistoric walkway.

The Prehistoric wattle walkway. Recently discovered by RCAHMW’s Deanna Groom and Ross Cook.


Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


The making and meaning of Ming: 50 years that changed China

British Museum blog

Earthenware funerary model of a house complex, China, Ming dynasty, c.1450-1500. BM 1937,0716.6.cYu-ping Luk, Exhibition Project Curator, British Museum

One of our missions at the British Museum is to encourage visitors to think about cultures and periods that might be outside their everyday spheres. Everyone has heard of China, and most people have heard of Ming, but we wondered how many people fully appreciate the significance of the Ming era in Chinese and world history – beyond, of course, the making of exquisite porcelain. This was one of the motivations behind our major autumn show, the BP exhibition Ming: 50 years that changed China, which has just opened and runs until 5 January 2015.

Carved lacquer dish Yongle Period, Ming Dynasty, 1403-1424. BM 1974,0226.20 Carved lacquer dish Yongle Period, Ming Dynasty, 1403-1424. BM 1974,0226.20

We hope that the exhibition will open visitors’ eyes to just how much happened in the years 1400-1450, when the Ming dynasty was in its ascendancy and took its place on the global stage. It was during this period that Beijing…

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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Ancient kitchen found in Sagalassos


A 2,000-year-old kitchen, which dates back to the late Roman era, has been discovered in the ancient city of Sagalassos in Turkey’s southern province of Burdur.
Excavations in the ancient city started in early June, but the discovery of the kitchen was only reported last month.

“The kitchen was completely unearthed. We will learn in great detail about the kitchen culture present in that era. This is a very detailed scientific work. Not only archaeologists, but also anthropologists, zoologists and botanists are working together [on this project],” said Professor Jereon Poblome, head of excavations.

“There are no tiles on the ground, only soil. The understanding of hygiene was different in the late Roman era. Ergonomically, it is a difficult kitchen for us [to use], but they became used to it. They use to put coal in the middle and a pot on it with bulgur and meat inside. They used…

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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Bid a Warm Welcome to Ourselves & Our Friends on Twitter & their Linear B Sites

Thanks to everyone who follows me on Twitter. Rita Roberts.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Bid a Warm Welcome to Ourselves & Our Friends on Twitter & their Linear B SitesHere are a few links to our collegial sites, first for Rita Roberts and myself on Twitter. For each site you wish to visit, simply click on its banner:Rita Roberts:

Rita RobertsRichard Vallance Janke:

RichardVallanceTwiiterYou may very well want to sign up with Rita and me on Twitter, because between us we are following at least 1,500 Twitter accounts, a great many them archaeological or on ancient linguistics, often relating specifically to Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, the ancient Cycladic, Cypriot, Cretan and Mycenaean civilizations, among others directly related to them, as well as other contemporaneous civilizations such as ancient Egypt, Syria etc. Although we follow well over 2,000 Twitter accounts between us, the overlap is certain to be considerable, which is why I have given an estimate of 

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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


What I want from the British Museum

British Museum blog

Bonnie Greer OBE, playwright, novelist and critic, former British Museum Trustee

I wrote in my recently published memoir A Parallel Life, about my first encounter with the British Museum. My dad worked in a factory at night making tin cans and during the day he read. One of the things he read voraciously was the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and it is in its pages that I first saw the Parthenon Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, and the British Museum – the edifice – itself, very feminine and welcome, Muse-like to me. Decades later, after I had moved to London from New York, I was given a Readers Card, a pass which enabled me to take books out of the British Library, then housed in the Museum. I can’t tell you the fear and the excitement I felt going through those faux-Grecian pillars for the first time, me – a kid from the…

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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


Rita Roberts’ Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 634 Bn 03, People, More Girls & Boys

And here is another of my Minoan Linear B Translations. Thanks folks for reading.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Rita Roberts’ Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 634 Bn 03, People, More Girls & Boys (Click to ENLARGE):

Knossos Linear B KN 634 B n 03And here is Rita’s translation of Knossos Tablet KN 634 Bn 03, which is trickier than the previous one, since it is right truncated, and it introduces the ideogram, people. Since this is only a fragment, it is impossible to determine what the giver is giving the boys and girls, as Rita so rightly asserts.Richard 

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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


Rita Roberts’ Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 194 Bg 03, Girls & Boys

This Re-blog is for those of my fellow bloggers good enough to follow my progress in this fascinating study of Linear B Minoan Script Writings.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Rita Roberts’ Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 194 Bg 03, Girls & Boys (Click to ENLARGE):

Knossos Linear B KN 194 B g 03Not too long ago, my most advanced Linear B student graduated to actually translating Linear B tablets from Scripta Minoa at Knossos. But I did not simply assign her ordinary tablets with syllabograms only on them. Instead, I tossed her headlong in the sea, expecting her to sink or swim, as the old saying goes. And she swam, and is swimming better and better with every translation she accomplishes. While this translation of one of scores of Linear B tablets at Knossos is relatively straightforward, the one in the next post is trickier, and she got them both bang on.I also recently assigned several sheep, rams and ewes tablets to Rita, and she should be starting to post her translations of these relatively soon. In this endeavour, she will be assisting me…

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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


Where are all these tens of thousands of rams from? Guess. One guess & you’re right!

I am re blogging this post because it is relevant to the Subject I am studying, that of Linear B Minoan scripts. In this post my teacher Richard Vallance is asking if anyone can help with the subject he refers to. We would be most grateful for any help whatsoever.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Where are all these tens of thousands of rams from? Guess. One guess & you’re right! Click to ENLARGE:

Knossos KN 917 1088 1089 1090 1096As I pointed out in great detail in a previous post, the Minoan/Mycenaean economy ca. 1450 BCE, with its home base at the city of Knossos itself, spread out its sheep husbandry locales among several key sites, notably, Kytaistos, Phaistos & Lykinthos, mentioned 20 times each, Exonos 15 times, Davos 14, Lato & Syrimos 12, Lasynthos 9, Sugrita 8, Tylisos (or Tyllisos) 5 & Raia 3 times. But Knossos is never mentioned at all! All of this is threshed out in the previous post, CRITICAL Post: The Minoans Counted Sheep While They Were Wide Awake,
which I strongly suggest you read, if you are at all fascinated by the Minoan economy and their international trade, especially in the area of sheep raising and husbandry, which was the vital…

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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

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