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Author Archives: ritaroberts

About ritaroberts

I am a retired archaeologist. I have worked on Minoan pottery in Crete. I have also worked on Roman and Medieval pottery in England. I enjoy Archaeology and History, also Geology and collecting fossils .I am now studying the Minoan/Mycenaean scripts writings.

Bygone days of Domesticity

Since the second world war domestic technology has progressed so quickly and the standard of living has progressed so markedly that it is easy to forget that in the early 2oth century the domestic life of the poorer class in many cases compared more to that of their 18th century contemporary middle classes. The transition to the use of gas and electric power in the home in the past war period meant the younger generation has difficulty in recognizing some of the equipment their grand parents and, in some cases their parents remember and often used today. Some of these domestic items can still be found today in antique shops as collectors items, such as the item you see below known as a folding boot jack.

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There were differences between life in the towns and life in the country, consequently in domestic furnishings when looking at interiors from the middle ages to the present, a progression is apparent towards greater comfort and efficiency depending more on manpower at first and then later increasingly on mechanics as well until exploitation of manufactured energy. In most rooms the standard of production were clumbersome and uncomfortable even though attractive in their functional simplicity of design.

As the household became less communal and houses began to aquire several living rooms, differences in the style developed between furnishings and equipment for various different rooms. The number of necessary items increased, furnishing became less sparse and a major focus of attention of designers and manufacturing, The industrial revolution provided the means of supplying to a large number of people in new and improved materials.

During the latter half of the 18th century increased production tended to go hand in hand with good design and maintained standards of quality, the 19th century saw increased mechanization towards supplying much larger quantities of mass produced, cheap articles and at the beginning of this century the clutter began to diminish.

For the greatest interest lies in the 19th and 20th century bygones, more interesting items were produced by the inventors manufacturers in order to fill the smallest gap in the range of useful devices, and especially for the kitchen and the hearth.

Around the heat of the fire were all the activities of the house and the succeeding generations devised means of using one source of heat for many purposes and keeping the fire going was an ongoing priority. During the night the embers were covered with a metal dome called a couvre feu with a gap at the side for a slight draught, and in the morning they were blown into flame with bellows.

The major innovation between 12th and 19th centuries was the moving of the fire from the centre of the room to the thickened end wall and into it’s own fireplace with a chimney, a development not universally adopted until the 16th century. The space was built wide and the fire was central either on the ground or raised slightly on bricks. The back was protected by a cast iron fire back and the legs supported by fire dogs of many designs: cup dogs had small cup-like baskets on top for holding drinking vessels to warm. Most dogs had hooks at the back of the uprights where the spit could rest for roasting. Later horizontal bars, laid across between the dogs, developed into baskets or braziers to hold coal, raised above the hearth to provide the necessary up draught.

Where there was a bread oven it was usually near the fire and often opened into the fireplace. It was usually built in brick with an arched roof and was heated by filling with brush wood which set alight and the door was closed. When the fire had burnt out the ashes were then raked out, sometimes through a narrow chute on the floor and loaves and cakes were put in batches for baking were inserted and withdrawn on the end of a long wooden paddle called a peel.

In the larger affluent houses fireplaces in drawing and living rooms followed fashion, their shape, size, mantles and fittings changing accordingly: the trend towards coal fires gradually altered the shape of the grates. Their function was not confined to space heating and many of the high quality brass and copper accessories which survive today was not used in the kitchen’

Elegantly designed trivets to stand in the hearth or hang from the bars of the grate, four legged foot men or stands for the same purpose, toasters, spirit heated kettles on tall or short stands were all designed for the elegant teatime around the fire. Fireirons multiplied in variety if not efficiency, the shovels giving most scope to the craftsman. In the 17th century fenders were introduced and later fireguards.

The handy box for holding spills – lengths of twisted wood shavings used for taking a light from the fire replaced the tongs. When bellow blowers and scuttles had been embellished too, there was still scope for metal hearth ornaments whose only purpose was to enhance the fireplace.

Note : To me, these are what we call the good old days, where everything around the hearth seemed warm and comforting even though hard work.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

Statin Nation – The Great Cholesterol Cover-Up

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Hidden away in an unlisted section of Youtube sits this eyeopening documentary from 2012 by Director Justin Smith.

Statin Nation reveals the medical corruption that has led to the mass over-prescription of cholesterol medications (statins). The film explains how the facts about cholesterol and heart disease have, for decades, been distorted by pharmaceutical companies keen to increase their profits. Cholesterol-lowering has become a huge global industry, generating at least $29 billion each year.

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Posted by on January 18, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

The Linear A Scripts

Introduction

Many scholars have tried to identify the language behind Linear A which has not yet been deciphered.

The oldest of these signs was a pictograph writing system developed around 2000 BCE known today as Cretan hieroglyphs. Another group of signs was identified as Linear A, developed around 1700 BCE. While Cretan hieroglyphs have a pictorial appearance, Linear A has a linear appearance: most documented clay tablet Linear A inscriptions are arranged in square fields, typically four to nine lines. Neither of these writing systems has been deciphered yet. It is thought that both Cretan hieroglyphs and Linear A represent the same language. The number of Linear A signs identified ranges from 77 to 85 according to different scholars, suggesting that this was a syllabic writing system.

Many studies have tried to identify the language behind Linear A but none have produced convincing results. Some scholars have argued that Linear A represents a pre – Hellenic language unrelated to Greek. while other theories have claimed that the Linear A language does not even belong to the Ind- European language family. Other studies have speculated that Linear A is related to the Old European culture.

Another group of signs identified by Arthur Evans was the Linear B script and although Evans did not know it at the time, Linear B is an adaption of Linear A employed to represent an archaic form of the Greek language.

Linear B was deciphered in 1953 CE by Michael Ventris , more than a decade after the death of Sir Arthur Evans.

THE FORM OF LINEAR A AND IT’S USE.

Although the Linear A script remains undeciphered, some scholars have attempted to understand the overall readings of some of the Linear A texts based on functional comparison with the Linear B script. Based on these studies, it has been argued that the Linear A inscriptions are concerned with accounting data and other forms of record keeping and administration, very similar to the Linear B scripts which are also concerned with accounting data and other forms of record keeping and administration This is consistent with the fact that the Minoan palaces had a huge storage capacity and are believed to have acted as redistribution centres.

Knossos

Some Linear A inscriptions have been found on libation tables, associated with ritual and religious items (i.e. votive, terracotta or bronze figurines with ritual gestures, gold jewelry, pottery and stone vessels) found at sanctuaries located on or near mountain peaks dated to Minoan times, sometimes referred to as rural sanctuaries or peak sanctuaries. Most examples of Linear A have been found on clay tablets and other examples have been identified on pottery shards, seal stones , steatite – seals and pendants, also on inscribed building blocks.

Inscribed Minoan stone libation table
Minoan Linear A tablet HT7
Minoan Linear A tablet HT 114a

By the mid 2nd millennium the Minoan civilization was declining giving rise to the Mycenaean civilization. The Linear B script replaced the Linear A script and by 1450 BCE most Minoan sites on Crete were destroyed , the Linear A script was replaced by the Linear B and by 1400 BCE, the Linear A script was completely abandoned and all writing in Greece and Crete was recorded using Linear B.

Courtesy The Travelling Classroom. Article by Cristian Violatti

NOTE.

As all my blogger friends are aware, that after completing my Linear B studies I decided to attempt learning the Linear A script writing and have translated my first Linear A tablet on a previous post, under the title of Minoan Linear A tablet translation HT 31 (Haghia Triada cross-correlated with Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641 -1952 (Ventris) , albeit the nearest it is to the actual translation, I have attempted to translate more Linear A scripts which will shortly be forthcoming as I have to wait for my teacher to check for any corrections needed before I can post them. Thank you for following my progress.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

All about KoKo

Last week we lost our best friend and companion KoKo, he was a rescue dog and at the time was 18 months old. He was found roaming the streets in the pouring rain and starving when our friend who runs Takis Shelter here in Crete took him, to his shelter and looked after him among many other rescue dogs.

We had decided to look for another rescue dog after losing Ben our previous dog two years previous even though I said I would not have another dog because it’s so upsetting when you lose them ” famous last words” but we did of course. This is why we were at Takis Shelter Out of all the rescue dogs there Koko seemed to stand out from the others only because he was so quiet and was standing back from all the other dogs, we picked him up ,he was only a medium sized dog so easy to handle at the time, he didn’t shy away and he didn’t bark or growl so we thought he seems to have a nice nature. When we got him home he was so nervous that it took him about a week to settle and by this time we had named him KoKo.

About two months after, Koko became lathargic and wanted to hide under the table or any closed in space he could squeeze in. We took him to the Vet who thoroughly checked him over and discovered he had Lieshminiosis decease so was on medication for the rest of his life, we always knew when he had a set back which was usually about every 4 months or so by his hiding actions so, it was a regular trip to the Vet’s In between time Koko was lively and happy.

Everyone who has had a dog knows his or her little habits and if you have a routine they follow that routine for instance, KoKo knew that while I was preparing our evening meal at usually 5-0’clock he would be fed before we began our meal while he sat quietly at the kitchen door and didn’t move until we had finished our meal. Now I am not sure if whoever had him previously trained him but he was such an obedient dog and if you can say a dog is well mannered he was, because wherever I went say downstairs or outside he just stood back and let me go first . With regard to his medication which was a tablet morning and evening after his meal, but if I happened to forget Koko would just come into the kitchen and nudge me then sit and look at the cupboard where I kept his medication as if to say come on you forgot my tablet !!

My partner breeds birds and Koko liked to remind him that they need to be fed especially evening where again he would sit in front of my partner and stare and shuffle, as if to say come on it’s time to feed the birds,I think he associated this with the music of a certain program on the T.V. ,all our routines he seemed to follow.plus he was a very loving dog and shared his affection by sitting between both of us during the evening when relaxing.

Two weeks ago Koko became quite ill and wasn’t eating very much,just a little every other day or so,we took him to our Vet who told us to leave him there for a few days so that she could monitor him, after 9 days we were told to go and see him because he still wasn’t eating, he was so pleased to see us so the Vet said he wants to be home with you but you have to make a decision because he is not goibng to get any better as his kidneys were gone and he was suffering,we brought him home and he seemed to pick up and began eating again but that lasted for two days,we went back to the Vet and had to make the dreaded decision. Those of you who have had and lost your pet know the feeling and it takes a long time to get over We miss KoKo so much.

KoKo found the sun.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Four Years Remission – Sceptics & Statins

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In 2017 I was diabetic and taking a combination of drugs as a consequence. The usual cocktail of Metformin, Gliclazide, Ramipril and of course…statins. When my GP told me that the effectiveness of the blood sugar lowering drugs was wearing off, Canagliflozin, which would effectively cause me to pass out the offending glucose in my urine, was prescribed.

By this point I was resigned to the dogma that it was going to be an inevitable decline and that more and more drugs would need to be added to combat this downward spiral of ill health and so happily accepted my doctors advise.

Then I discovered low carb and realised (with scepticism and trepidation) that there may be hope after all. After spending many, many hours poring over the works of Tim Noakes, Gary Taubes, Nina Teicholtz, Jason Fung, Steve Finney, Robert Lustig, Zoë Harcombe and more, I returned to my…

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Posted by on November 11, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

VINDOLANDA FINDS.

The Roman auxiliary for of Vindolanda is best known for being the home of the Vindolanda tablets, a series of thin wooden sheets whose ink inscriptions hold a wealth of information about military life in the first and second century Britain, but after 45 years of excavation under the Vindolanda Trust the site continues to yield remarkable timber finds dating back almost 2,000 years.

Recent discoveries include a well preserved pine barrel stave dating from A.D.90 which was recovered from deep in the site’s anaerobic levels. Thought to be imported from Spain, the number still bears a clear – though as – yet unidentified makers mark. The numerals MCC indicate that the barrel it came from held a quantity of 1,200 but it’s contents remain a mystery.

Excavations Director Andrew Birley, CEO of the Vindolanda Trust, said that the barrel stave has been one of the highlights of the season so far and hopes that the coming weeks further information will be known about the makers mark ALBINNORB, as images of the stave had been sent to specialists in both Spain and in the U.K. for further information. However ALBIN could mean ALBINVS, the name of the manufacturer of the barrel, and NORB is the place of origin

The team has also uncovered part of the wooden handle from a toy sword, dating back to A.D. 105 “no doubt owned by a small Tungrian, ‘Andrew commented. Non wooden highlights from the present season include numerous leather shoes, as well as a cow skull peppered with small and large holes made by arrows and ballista bolts- the team suggest that it may have been used for target practice by the Roman Garrison

The Vindolanda Trust have been working on plans for a 1.3 million pounds extension to their museum, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, specially to house and preserve wooden finds from the site

The Vindolanda Barrel Stave.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Videos: Caushibo and Ashkinica dancers in Peru

Videos:  Caushibo and Ashkinica dancers in Peru

The Americas Revealed

Caushibo means “Strong or elite – Place of” in the Panoan languages of Peru. The word, Caushibo was Anglicized to Cusabo by early settlers of the Colony of South Carolina. Since both the Caushibo of Peru and Caushibo (Cusabo) speak/spoke Panoan languages, they were undoubtedly the same ethnic group. Coosa, the powerful province, whose capital was in Northwest Georgia, is actually pronounced “Kaushe” in Creek. They may have also been descended from Caushibo immigrants.

Jacques Le Moyne, resident artist at Fort Caroline, sketched or water colored several dance scenes on the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, which seem to be identical to the dances in eastern Peru. Undoubtedly, the energetic “courting” dances were also popular within the interior of that region. Sensuous dancing between young women and men among the Creeks and Chickasaws is one of many cultural traditions that separates them from most North American tribes and…

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Posted by on October 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Fat Fiction – The Documentary

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“For most of human history there has been very little starch or sugar in the human diet. In fact, if you put all of human history into one year, it’s only in the last day that we started eating grains or bread and it’s only in the last hour that people have been eating sugar.”
Mark Hyman MD

This 1 hour 40 minute documentary narrated by Mark Hyman MD delves deep into the world of low carb with contributions from many of the top names in the field of nutrition. The following quotes from the documentary sum up just some of the insights and revelations:

You can’t throw drugs at a dietary disease and expect to make it better
Jason Fung MD on Diabetes

It’s the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American people
Jonny Bowden Phd on Statins

It’s eye-wateringly lucrative to keep this idea going, that we need…

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Posted by on September 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

How to make a clay tablet, part 1

It's All Greek To Me

As part of my research into writing practices in the Mycenaean palace of Pylos, I’m looking at how the clay tablets on which administrative documents were written in the Linear B script were made in the first place: after all, creating the object you’re going to write on is as crucial a part of the whole package of writing practices as actually doing the writing, even if we don’t know whether this was usually done by the writers themselves or by other tablet-makers. Earlier on I did some preliminary work preparing and trying out different clays, and now that I’ve been able to start examining the actual tablets in the National Archaeological Museum here in Athens, I’ve also started some more systematic experiments trying out different methods of tablet-making. I’ve just presented this work-in-progress at the European Association of Archaeologists‘ annual conference, so it seemed a…

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Posted by on September 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Game Changing Injection?

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It’s all over media today, a ‘game changing’ injection to lower cholesterol. My only question is why?

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1484718/cholesterol-drug-inclisiran-novartis-nhs-deal-save-lives-prevent-heart-attack-stroke

Maybe these news outlets should show this incredible research instead .

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Posted by on September 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

 
 
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