Yesterday there was a radio programme by Simon Armitage the poet, on an American lady who produced rather macabre vignettes or dioramas of unsolved murder cases in Baltimore in the 1940s, and in fact these cases are still used today to train the police in America.
I recognised a fellow miniaturist, interested in both the macabre history of murder and the need to create a model of the happening, although I believe in this case, being wealthy, Frances Glessner employed a carpenter. Well I am not so macabre, but do watch the American series of CSI and NCIS for the fascinating forensic work on the victims and which she is apparently the inspiration for, and would have liked my grandson Tom to take a forensic police course at uni, but I think he is turning his studies more to business.
Archaeology of course has the same forensic nature to the unraveling and understanding of the context of the finds, though sometimes it takes many years for the reports to come out, and now as the world changes more and more books are written on the subject. Years ago we had an annual magazine which was called WAM (Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine), here would be the latest news and reports on Wiltshire, there would be a general description of a site, small reports from different people on the finds and then the summing up, or 'theorising' as it is now called.
Archaeology has taken a different road now, most 'digs' are financed mostly by the universities, except of course those that are privately financed by companies who wish to destroy a site to build homes or a road. The need to publicise archaeological excavation has become more important in our competitive world, books must be written, sites defended...
One thing that has become apparent with the event of the internet, is the 'selling' of information, you can purchase some articles on line at a fairly high cost, but there is plenty to find free. The Archaeology Data (English Heritage) service has just published for free 85 monograms of various reports, most I believe out of date, so reading last night a favourite 'Saxon bed burial' at Swallowcliffe in Dorset I think was quite exciting - surprising what makes me happy!
|Mostly all made from scratch|
|The Prittlewell Saxon burial|
|Temporary room dressing, see how dusty it is, the dress was knitted with the finest of needles|
And as it is Halloween, and according to some news yesterday that the Americans have spoiled the festival here is a blog on the Welsh tradition......Or perhaps The Wild Hunt at Halloween, which is a much better sport than handing out sweetie to children ;)