Corn-dryers!

Yes, corn-dryers! There, I’ve said it, and there’s no going back. Familiarity, as the old saw goes, breeds contempt – or at least indifference. I think that sometimes that holds true for archaeology as much as anything else: there are certain topics that feel done, perhaps even overdone. Topics with which you feel you’ve spent…

Makin’ hay

OK, so there I was, strolling leisurely through the Tyrolean countryside in Austria on a beautiful sunny day, when out pops a bit of striking agricultural heritage. “Hello,” thought I, “this could be a little something for the ol’ blog back home.” And so it proves. Ladies and gentlemen, meine Damen und Herren, meet the…

Spelt… wrongly?

Q: What do you call a spelt grain in an Anglo-Saxon pit? A: Residual OK, so it’s not going to win any prizes at the Edinburgh Festival. Indeed, it’s not even a joke – it almost makes a serious point. You see, it’s all about the shadow – the spectre, even – of residuality that…

A cast of thousands

In the last thrilling instalment, I introduced my tangential involvement with the Lyminge Archaeological Project, and described how I spent a substantial slice of life examining large quantities of charred plant remains. So, what did I find? Well, the most striking thing about my assemblage is Sample 24 which, not to put too fine a…

More terraces

Not so long ago I blogged about recent research dating late antique terraces in the Iberian peninsula. Now I learn that another terrace system has been scientifically dated – this time, it’s researchers from the University of Cincinati applying optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating to the terraces of Petra, and finding that the system may…

Casting pulses before swine

“No!” she cried. “Don’t sell your soul!” Such was one reaction I received upon suggesting that I might pursue stable isotope analyses in the future. Alternative reactions have leaned more towards the ooh-that-could-be-interesting end of the spectrum. This division is probably due to the fact that stable isotope analysis – while not exactly the newest…