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What’s Going On?

July 11, 2014

Not much it would seem. We have no new members, no conference alerts, no news of talks or upcoming publications, no guest bloggers. HARN is eerily quiet this week, it’s possible everyone is ‘engaged on other projects’ aka lolling in the sunshine. If you listen carefully you’ll hear the whisper of tumbleweed gently rolling past HARN Towers. Oh, and the murmur of Test Match Special because I too am ‘doing something else’, sadly not lolling in the sunshine, reading about bricks or even getting round to the much-needed painting the kitchen. No, I’m drawing some plans and sections and listening to the cricket. Much as I love research, it’s the editing and illustration that pays the bills, and if that isn’t a cue for Gwen Guthrie I don’t know what is:

The great advantage to drawing is I can listen to the radio while I draw. I am not one of those people who can retain information – or even think – while there’s background noise. Complete silence is my preferred state, but I can just about put up with the sound of pages being turned, pens writing on paper or keyboards being, softly, struck.

However, even though I’m intolerant of noise in others I’m told I’m very noisy while I’m working, I mutter to myself, a lot. Sharing an office with me is very irritating, unless you want to know – in detail – about whatever I’m researching. On the upside this does have the advantage that I get lots of space to myself when I’m working in public – even when the British Library is really busy I soon have a lot of empty desks around me. No-one wants to sit next to the mad lady who mutters, loses pencils in her hair and occasionally sobs

I’m sure for anyone else, drawing and listening to the cricket would start fantastic ideas fermenting in their brains but I’ve got nothing except tumbleweed and Henry Blofeld talking about buses. Ideas do pop up but they’re impractical – a blog post wittily tying in the Football World Cup to the history of archaeology, sounds good doesn’t it? Except I can’t really do witty and there is no connection I can think of between football and archaeology. And, even if I came up with some faintly plausible connection it would fast become apparent I don’t know a thing about football. I’ve never understood any off-side rule and if you try and explain it to me I will cry*. Nor have I watched any of the World Cup – well I watched some of Germany v Brazil but that was car crash television rather than football.

A post about the site I’m illustrating? Kintyre is full of archaeology

Surely that could tie in with the history of archaeology? Ah, but this particular site was found recently by field survey so no interesting antiquarian excavations, or even 19th or 20th century excavations. Elsewhere on Kintyre everything seems to be equally recently investigated, my best lead is Duncan Colville who was active in the 1920s and 1930s, but appears to have only published the one paper (Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland volume 64, 1929) or Mr and Mrs J. G. Scott, active in the 1950s and 60s, but they have a very common Scottish surname, in the face of innumerable Scotts I gave up trying to find out more. Although if anyone does know any more about either Colville or the Scotts do please tell me. There is, of course, the wonderful Audrey Henshall, but I can’t do her work justice in a short blog post and surely someone is already studying her contribution to archaeology?

The situation in Iraq and Syria? The destruction of famous and not so famous monuments dug by archaeologists such as Petrie and Layard? There are many blog posts there, but I’d direct you to Sam’s excellent blog he’s way more qualified to discuss this than I am.

Cricket and Archaeology? I thought I had something here, I distinctly remembered seeing a PhD thesis arguing for Stonehenge being a prehistoric cricket pitch. Unfortunately, when I consulted a more reliable memory source he informed me I was completely wrong, I was conflating a thesis about the lines and angles of Stonehenge and another which argued hot air balloons had been to get the stones into position. Entertaining idea, but as you’ll agree nothing to do with cricket. It turns out there are several excavation reports from digs on cricket pitches,

A discussion on BAJR

A heart-warming tale of archaeologists’ generosity

And, an archaeologist writing the history of Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

But, so far I’ve found only one cricketing archaeologist – Dr Gerald Brodribb

There must be more, if you know of any do let me know I’m now fascinated by this – in a vague and inept way obviously.

So, there you go, there’s not much going on at HARN and not much going on in my head either, maybe I need to stop listening to the cricket, folk, disco and Motown and lively myself up to get my brain working. Bit of politically correct Swedish death metal? That should do it!

Have a good weekend and hopefully next week I’ll be a little more focussed.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. harngroup permalink*
    July 13, 2014 9:41 am

    The indefatigable Jonathan Trigg sent me this comment:
    JG Scott would surely be the former student of TGE Powell here at Liverpool, then at Glasgow City Museums. He died in 1999 (obituary in GAJ 21, 1999). He definitely worked at Kintyre.
    I cannot claim entire responsibility for this information – Colin Wallace added greatly to what I already knew.
    So that’s one mystery cleared up, anyone have any more answers for me?

  2. July 18, 2014 9:50 pm

    Archaeological Cricketers -very old and tenuous link but apparently H.C.P. Bell, 19th century Archaeological Commissioner in Sri Lanka played for Columbo CC and Galle CC – Rick

  3. July 18, 2014 9:51 pm

    Sorry forgot the link to this

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