Sunday, August 9, 2015


And to quote Mike Pitts in British Archaeology... Here Come The Celts.  I very rarely advertise anything on my blog, but hopefully will be able to find this magazine somewhere in Yorks.

"Some archaeologists will no doubt carp about the use of the word “Celt” in the British Museum’s “Celts: art and identity”, which moves to the National Museum of Scotland next March under the simple title of “Celts”. I’m looking forward to seeing the show, and will write about my impressions here (it opens on September 25). In the meantime, the first of three features in the new magazine offers an early insight: four of the people behind the exhibitions introduce their controversial idea of what Celtic arts mean. I think we may be leaving behind the old debates about whether or not there ever were such people as Celts, and taking a wider, more interesting view of the world. A good thing too. Continuing the new Celts theme, a third feature considers fine metal artefacts that were taken home from the British Isles by Norwegian Vikings."

Celts; Carping hardly covers the arguments that will storm onto the net when this word is used, you will even see me pussyfooting round the word because it has so many connotations.  But I am sure John Hooker (Past and Present Tensions) will be pleased to see this.  Use it in an art sense, it is perfectly understood, conjure up those magical Irish legends and try to mix it up with actual archaeology, and the pixies will come storming out of the woodwork!

To a different theme, yesterday evening we walked along to the field that is in the process of being cut.  The farmer was round baling the straw, the machine chewed it up, clattered quietly and then spat out a perfectly formed enormous round bale, the sort we see trundling past the windows of the house.  New to both of us and we watch fascinated, the farmer had a little yappy terrier in the cabin.
Met Mr. Gospel on the way home just going out to mow someone's lawn and he called in later in the evening and measured up the gate and fencing, we all decided fencing in the largish front garden would be the best answer, the gate is made at some wood mills down the road.  It will be larch, nice to know everything is local. He also has 10 springer spaniel puppies, but really don't want a lively pup.

I'll Find my Way Home;  1980s just on Radio2 so must record it just for the weird noises


  1. Thanks for the "heads up" Thelma, I have just signed up for thee (electronic) issues and have just finished reading the lead article and the fascinating preview of the recent forensic study of the Snettisham hoards (with equally fascinating photos). Both are very good. I'm also pleased that there will be an accompanying book to the Celts exhibit.

    I found it funny that a finder of one of the Snettisham hoards thought he was seeing an old bedstead at first -- when Ian Stead saw photos of my British plastic style finial: he jokingly called it "bed knob".



  2. Glad you found it helpful, we used to have the magazine, but they do accumulate into great fat piles on the shelves, so we threw them away in the 'great clear out'. It is much cheaper to buy electronically though, will probably do it as well it looks a good issue.
    Well it was a strange looking 'bed knob', never seen one like that before!
    As for the Celts exhibition, we might see it Scotland, London is a bit far too travel now..

    1. And more people will help with moving when your library is digital!

      I do hope you will report on the exhibition if you are able to catch it.

  3. Will try, one of the joys moving North is that we are halfway to Scotland, and therefore can visit more easily. Problem with exhibitions is whether or not you can take photos, the German Celtic exhibition was a definite no, the British Museum does not seem to mind though.

  4. Bought the subscription this morning John, the pictures are a revelation, so much detail. Having just read The Snettisham Hoard. The ploughman's find of the hoard and subsequently leaving it on the side of the road as an old bedstead was funny. But I now realise why the British Museum is so in favour of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, when this 'Gold Field' was found, and still there is no report but one day maybe. Anyway it reminded me of the Roman Silver Mildenhall treasure find, where a ploughman also ploughed up 'strange objects', and got done out of his just rewards by the farmer. Roald Dahl wrote about here;

  5. Hi Thelma, I had no idea that Roald Dahl had such an interest!

    For all my interest in Celtic art, I have never seen most of it. I had no interest in it when I lived in England, and when I first returned to England for a visit after thirty years, that gallery at the British Museum was closed for renovations.

    Other than things like taking flash photographs of old watercolours, I see no reason to ban photography or even sketching in museums (The London museum allows neither). If these are public collections, no one should have the right to disallow photography if it does no harm to the exhibit.

    It was Sir John Evans (the father of Celtic numismatics, and some say the father of modern archaeology) who fought to have finders full rewarded as it would encourage reporting.