British Museum jolly

As usual i’ve been too busy working and sleeping to make regular posts. I’ve also been continuing in my attempts to try and write up various publications (difficult when you’ve been digging all day). Last week I took a couple of days off from digging in order to do a little research on some Bronze Age assemblages at Blythe House which is part of the British Museum (or the BM as you call it if you want to sound cool).

My main interest was in some cremations which are known to be Bronze Age, as I am still working on my idea for research on radiocarbon dating EBA cremations, so knowing what museums have is really useful. I ended up also looking at some material of less certain age as I had time to spare. I managed to assess cremated remains from several sites including, Sawdon Moor (Barrows 1 and 2), Luxford Lake, Hitter Hill, Roke Down (this one did not really have any bone!), Kempston, Ynys Branwen, and Shorncote Quarry.  I also managed to look at some inhumations from Arbor Low, and Eynesbury, and again from Ynys Branwen and Shorncote Quarry.  This visit was not for analysis but to assess the amount of material and whether any of it would be good for sampling for radiocarbon dating.  Opening boxes which might not have been looked at for years is always interesting….you never know what you might find, it’s sort like opening presents…in a slightly macabre way.


pelvic bone from Arbor Low

I did manage to get an idea of age and sex for some sites, so I’m sure at some point I will be going back to do a full analysis.  Above is a partial pelvis from Arbor Low.

When looking at very fragmented remains (the norm for me) the most useful elements to find are teeth!  Even when looking at cremated remains surviving tooth fragments can sometimes give you an idea of age.  Teeth have also been one of the most informative parts of my Bestansur work (PPNA in Kurdistan).


After I’d finished looking at material at Blythe House, I had some time so I decided to visit the BM as I haven’t been for a while.  It was packed with tourists and London was extremely hot but I still managed to get a look at some Middle Eastern Neolithic stuff including a plastered skull from ‘Ain Ghazal, and some remains from Jericho.  I also revisited the Mold cape and Folkton Drums as these are my favourites.

Finally I shall leave you with a very large cat which is entirely unrelated to any of my research…

BM cat


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