Monthly Archives: April 2020



A Sense of Place                                WALKING THROUGH ANCIENT MYCENAE

The Muddy Archaeologist's Blog

Mycenae: the place the myth and legend.  It was from here that King Agamemnon set out for the Trojan War, leading the allied troops of the Greek lands across the northern Aegean Sea to a long drawn-out siege and seemingly interminable hand-to-hand battles.  So the epic poems of Homer sang.

The king returned here, with his new, captured girl, the daughter of King Priam of Troy, Cassandra.  Here he was slaughtered by his wife, Clytemnestra and her new lover, Aegisthus, almost as soon as he arrived home; Clytemnestra had, understandably, never forgiven Agamemnon for sacrificing their daughter, Iphigenia, to gain favourable winds to sail to Troy.  So the epic poems of the 600s and 500s BC and the dramatic tragedies of Athens of the 400s BC tell.   The stories lived on as Greek vases and Roman frescoes and epics would vividly tell their stories.

To walk in Mycenae is…

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Posted by on April 30, 2020 in Uncategorized


The Arthurian Realm: The Abductions of Guinevere

Under the influence!

John_Collier_Queen_Guinevres_MayingGuinever Goes A-Maying – (Cropped) – by John Collier [Public domain]

Coveting Guinevere

The theme of the abduction of Queen Guinevere runs throughout Arthurian tradition and is taken up by numerous medieval writers.  Caradoc of Llancarfan mentions it in his version of the Life of Gildas, as does Geoffrey of Monmouth, in Historia Regum Brittaniae, (History of the Kings of Britain).  The theme is also taken up by medieval French poets Chrétien de Troyes and Robert de Boron, and in the work of Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur.   Here we look in brief at various versions of the abduction and then discuss ideas about how they may have been influenced by pagan elements and may be distant echoes of the dramas of ancient gods and goddesses before the arrival of Christianity.

Caradoc of Llancarfan

Probably one of the earliest examples of the abduction of Guinevere comes from…

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Posted by on April 14, 2020 in Uncategorized


Ancient Chaco royalty ordered ‘catered’ food


Topic: No time to Cook?

Elite priests living in a spectacular spiritual outpost built high on a southwestern Colorado mountain ridge a thousand years ago likely had their meals catered by commoners living in the valley below, according to preliminary new research by a University of Colorado at Boulder archaeology team.

New findings from the Chimney Rock archaeological site near Pagosa Springs, Colo., suggest that resident elites were dining on elk and deer, unlike the workers who constructed the site, who were eating smaller game, according to CU-Boulder Professor Steve Lekson, who directed the excavation. The royalty at Chimney Rock — an “outlier” of the brawny Chaco Canyon culture centered 90 miles away in northern New Mexico that ruled the Southwest with a heavy hand from about A.D. 850 to 1150 — were likely tended to through a complex social, economic and political network, Lekson said.

“While our analysis has…

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Posted by on April 13, 2020 in Uncategorized


Choc Chip & Cranberry Cookies

low carb for life

Searching for a recipe for an Easter egg replacement treat I found this recipe on YouTube modifying it slightly by omitting the sweetener, and sugar free (but not sweetener free) choc chips, replacing these with a small amount of unsweetened cranberries and very dark chocolate. The result is a portion controlled (makes two) cookie that really hits the spot without the excessive carbs and a microbiome that doesn’t go into chaos over an influx of fake sugar.

The original recipe (link above) uses a microwave to “bake” the cookies but I found that a traditional oven bake gave them a more robust texture.

15g Butter or Coconut Oil (melted)
56g Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Square of 90% Dark Chocolate (chopped)
1 tbl Cranberries (chopped)

Combine all the ingredients until a crumbly mix is achieved.
Form the mixture into a…

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Posted by on April 12, 2020 in Uncategorized


Teaching with CREWS

Do you want to learn more about writing in the ancient world? Then read on!

I am excited to tell you that we recently received a small grant to develop some teaching materials based on our research on ancient writing systems and practices! Firstly, we want to make as many resources as we can available to the wider public, and we hope that lots of people will enjoy and learn from these – especially in these dark times when so many of us are isolated from each other, looking for something to take our minds off the news, and so many children are learning at home. This post is going to give you an idea of resources that are already available, and ones that are coming soon.

ERNbH7bX0AAdE_e Lego Pippa and Philip demonstrating ancient writing techniques to a crowd of fascinating onlookers. Lego tableau by Philip Boyes!

Eventually we aim to…

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Posted by on April 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

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