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South-east quadrant of the Avebury World Heritage Site
©
The Heritage Trust
 

Nigel Kerton writing in the The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald today reports that –

People who live in Avebury or who visit the village and would like to have a say about the way the village famous for its stone circles and Silbury Hill is managed, will be given an opportunity when the World Heritage Site Management Plan is updated. World Heritage Site officer Sarah Simmons said it was vitally important that those with an interest in the village were involved in revising the last management plan created in 2005. She said: “It is important that the process of review and update involves extensive engagement with World Heritage Site stakeholders including the wider public and the local community whose expertise and knowledge should help to shape the updated management plan.”

There will be two opportunities for the public to put forward their ideas and suggestions, at the Avebury Social centre next Tuesday. Ms Simmonds will be available to answer questions and listen to ideas at drop in sessions in the Social Centre on Avebury High Street next Tuesday between 2 -7 pm and in Marlborough Library on Monday, August 13, between 2 -7pm.

More here and here including, “For leaflets or further information on this important review, contact sarah.simmonds@wiltshire.gov.uk …or call 01225 718470.  The 2005 Management Plan can be read online.” The Heritage Trust will be emailing Sarah Simmonds this weekend with suggestions and comments linked to this feature. If you wish to have your suggestions included in our email please leave comments here or email them to us at info@theheritagetrust.org

Thank you.

 
From Space to Place. An Image Atlas of World Heritage Sites on the ‘In Danger’ List
 
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) are proud to present From Space To Place – An Image Atlas of World Heritage Sites on the ‘In Danger’ List. This book is a visual and narrative tour of 31 World Heritage sites around the world whose natural and cultural treasures are endangered from a variety of natural and human-caused threats. The book focuses attention on the plight of these sites in the hope that an improved understanding of the threats they face will lead to an improved management and conservation of these globally important areas. The book also shows the utility of satellite imagery and associated image analysis technologies for detecting threats, and for understanding the greater landscape context in which the sites are situated. We hope that this book will encourage site authorities and other World Heritage advocates to include the use of satellite imagery and space technologies in their stewardship efforts.
 

More here. Also available in the World Heritage Series of books from UNESCO.

 

The World Monuments Fund has announced that it –

…has entered into an exciting partnership with Google to provide content for the World Wonders Project, a new cultural digitization platform announced in Madrid on May 31. More than 130 places are featured on the World Wonders website, including more than two dozen sites where WMF has worked.

The World Wonders Project offers panoramic views of many culturally significant sites supplemented by photographs, 3-D models, YouTube videos, and information. The potential for this project is huge, allowing for anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection access to some of the world’s great places and the ability to learn more about them.

This project is also an excellent educational resource for both students and scholars, and this value will increase as more sites are added. If you haven’t yet explored the World Wonders website, please do!

See also our earlier feature here.

 

Heritage of Wales News announced today that the Festival of British Archaeology will be celebrated at Aberystwyth Castle and Ceredigion Museum this weekend (28-29 July).
 
Mae Gŵyl Archaeoleg Prydain yn dathlu’r pethau gorau sy’n digwydd ym maes archaeoleg ym Mhrydain. Wedi’i threfnu gan Gyngor Archaeoleg Prydain, mae’r ŵyl yn cynnwys cannoedd o ddigwyddiadau ar hyd a lled gwledydd Prydain o’r 14 i’r 29 o Orffennaf 2012 sy’n dathlu archaeoleg i bawb. Mae Ymddiriedolaeth Archaeolegol Dyfed, Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru ac Amgueddfa Ceredigion yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd i gynnal digwyddiad yng Nghastell Aberystwyth gyda chymorth Cynnal y Cardi. Cynhelir yr ŵyl ar benwythnos yr 28 a’r 29 o Orffennaf a bydd yn dathlu ysbryd Canoloesol y castell yn ogystal â thref glan môr Fictoraidd ac Edwardaidd Aberystwyth.

Dyma’r ŵyl gyntaf o’i bath i gael ei chynnal yng Ngheredigion a bydd yn galluogi pawb i ddarganfod mwy am eu treftadaeth leol ac yn datgelu gorffennol cyfoethog Aberystwyth. Cynhelir y digwyddiad ar diroedd Castell Aberystwyth a bydd yn rhoi cyfle i bobl gael profiad ymarferol o dechnegau archaeolegol, rhoi cynnig ar hen grefftau, a darganfod sut y gallant fynd ati i astudio eu treftadaeth eu hunain. Yn ystod y penwythnos fe fydd yr ymwelwyr yn gallu mynd i’r afael â gweithgareddau megis gwneud basgedi a thurnio, a bydd cyfleoedd i’r plant (neu oedolion!) wisgo a gwneud eitemau crefft y gallant fynd â nhw adref a’u cadw.

 
The Festival of British Archaeology celebrates the best of British archaeology. This Council of British Archaeology extravaganza includes hundreds of events being held across Britain from the 14 – 29 of July 2012 celebrating archaeology for all.  Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Ceredigion Museum are working together to hold the event at Aberystwyth Castle with the support of Cynnal y Cardi.  The festival will be held on the weekend of the 28 and 29 of July and will celebrate the Medieval spirit of the castle as well as the Victorian and Edwardian seaside resort of Aberystwyth.

This will be the first festival of its kind held in Ceredigion and will enable everyone to discover more about their local heritage and showcase Aberystwyth’s rich past.  Held in Aberystwyth Castle grounds the event will provide an opportunity for people to have a hands-on experience of archaeological techniques, have a go at heritage crafts and to find out how they can get involved in exploring their own heritage. During the weekend there will be numerous opportunities for visitors to try their hands at activities such as basket weaving, woodturning and plenty of chances for the kids (or adults!) to dress up and make crafts which they can take home and keep.

 
Details of the event here

Our 2012 Outreach Event began on Monday, 16 July with a visit to a 16th century (possibly much older) Welsh homestead; describe by one author (Francis Jones in his Historic Carmarthenshire Homes and Their Families) as, YNYSWEN, LLANEGWAD: Now an interesting farmstead on a slope near Pont-yr-ynys-wen, two and a quarter miles north-east of Pontargothi. Home of the land-owing family of Lloyd who traced to the Cardiganshire chieftain Gwyddno Garanhir, “Lord of Cantre’r Gwealod”. The present owners kindly provided us with tea and delicious homemade blueberry cakes before showing us round their unique and fascinating house. From there we travelled on to the charming fishing village of Solva, and the excellent Cambrian Inn for evening drinks and suppers of Welsh lamb and locally-caught fish.

Tuesday started off wet and grey so it was decided to visit the oldest working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire first (just a five minute drive from Solva). The mill is renowned for its traditional woollen products, still woven on site and now shipped all over the world. From the mill we then headed off to the Gors Fawr stone circle. Gors Fawr is close to the road, and with little walking involved getting to the circle itself is ideally suited for the less mobile.

Gors Fawr Stone Circle (circa 2,300-1,200 bce)
©
The Heritage Trust

As we left Gors Fawr the weather began to improve and the earlier greyness started to lift. Next stop was Carreg Coetan, and by the time we got there the sun had broken through to highlight this endearing little cromlech set in its own well-tended area of seclusion. Refreshments in Fishguard then on to Pentre Ifan, and finally to Carreg Samson – the latter still slightly shrouded in sea mist. Arriving back in Solva early evening there was time to freshen up before dinner at the Old Pharmacy restaurant in Solva where we were able to sample local seafood and, for the first time, the locally gathered samphire sea vegetable.

Carreg Coetan
©
The Heritage Trust
 

Two of our overseas attendees (with someone else’s curious dog) at Pentre Ifan

Carreg Samson still slightly shrouded in sea mist
©
The Heritage Trust

Wednesday was the day we had planned to visit Carn Menyn – the possible source of the Bluestones at Stonehenge. Starting first however with a visit to the 13th century ruins of the Bishop’s Palace in St Davids, and then the long drive to our destination in the Preseli Hills. All started well but, after an hour or so of walking, the ground became increasing wet and treacherous and a decision had to be made whether to carry on or turn back. Two attendees decided to carry on while the others turned back.

Two of our intrepid attendees setting off for the Carn Menyn Bluestone outcrop in the distance

Those who turned back and took a different route to our starting point were rewarded with an unexpected bonus. Following a sheep track for half a mile or so over rocky ground (with hidden streams gurgling away underground) they stumbled on what may be an unrecorded sub-megalithic tomb (not dissimilar, though much smaller, than Coetan Arthur which we use as our banner image above). The feature is yet to be confirmed as such, although it appears to have some of the sub-megalithic tomb characteristics described by George Children and George Nash in their book, Neolithic Sites of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire & Pembokeshire.

A seemingly unrecorded sub-megalithic tomb (provisionally named Carn Koishi after the person who noticed it) with Carn Menyn visible in the distance

Thursday saw the remaining Outreach attendees visiting St Elvis Farm double-chambered tomb (now sadly displaced by a farmer who tried to destroy it some one hundred years ago) and then on to the more remote Carn Wnda tomb.

St Elvis Farm double-chambered tomb (note the church in the background now converted into a farm building)
©
The Heritage Trust
 
 
Carn Wnda tomb (an example of an earth fast tomb)
©
The Heritage Trust
 

All-in-all it was a fascinating Outreach Event and thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended. The venue for next year’s Event is still to be decided but sites of historic and traditional interest in Devon and Cornwall have been suggested. For those who could not make our Event this year we hope to see you at next year’s – either in Wales or possibly in Devon and Cornwall.

 
The Burnt City of Sistan-Baluchestan in Iran
 
PressTV reports on the 23 July that –
 
The National Museum of Iran is slated to host the 11th edition of the country’s International Archaeology Conference in the capital city of Tehran. The event will review archaeological projects conducted during the last Persian year (March 2011 – March 2012), CHTN reported. A total of 170 archaeological projects were conducted in that period, 18 of which will be presented by participants during this year’s conference.
 

Organized by the Archaeological Research Center of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the conference will also host excavation team leaders of joint projects conducted by Iranian and international archaeologists. Reports of seven projects will be presented giving information about projects conducted by Iranian archaeologists in collaboration with Italian, French, German and Japanese teams. One of the joint projects was conducted by Iranian and Italian archaeologists in the southern Iranian province of Fars, where they unearthed remains of the oldest Islamic palace ever found in the country.

As a country with rich historical and cultural background, Iran is famous for its countless ancient and archeological sites, once playing host to some of the world’s greatest civilizations. Persepolis, Susa, Pasargadae, the Burnt City, Sialk Mound, Bishapur and Bisotoun are only a few of the many sites scattered all across the country. The country has also yielded many significant archaeological finds such as the world’s oldest animated picture [see below] and the earliest known caraway which were all found in the Burnt City, known as Iran’s largest prehistoric site located in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

 
Full article here.
 
 

Reconstructed animation of a wild goat (Capra aegagrus) on a bowl discovered in a grave at the 5,200 year-old Burnt City in Iran

8 March 2008 CAIS News reports that –

The Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) announced on Monday that it has recently completed the production of a documentary about the ancient Iranian earthenware bowl bearing the world’s oldest example of animation. Directed by Mohsen Ramezani, the 11-minute film gives viewers an introduction to the bowl, which was discovered in a grave at the 5200-year-old Burnt City by an Italian archaeological team in late 1970s. The artefact bears five images depicting a wild goat jumping up to eat the leaves of a tree, which the members of the team at that time had not recognised the relationship between the pictures.

Ancient Iranian earthenware bowl bearing possibly the world’s oldest example of animation

Several years later, Iranian archaeologist Dr Mansur Sadjadi, who became later appointed as the new director of the archaeological team working at the Burnt City discovered that the pictures formed a related series.

The ‘rolled-out’ image of a wild goat (Capra aegagrus) on the bowl

The image is a simple depiction of a tree and wild-goat (Capra aegagrus) also known as ‘Persian desert Ibex’, and since it is an indigenous animal to the region, it would naturally appear in the iconography of the Burnt City. The wild goat motif can be seen on Iranian pottery dating back to the 4th millennium BCE, as well as jewellery pieces especially among Cassite tribes of ancient Luristan. However, the oldest wild goat representation in Iran was discovered in Negaran Valley in Sardast region, 37 kilometers from Nahok village near Saravan back in 1999. The engraved painting of wild goat is part of an important collection of lithoglyphs dating back to 8000 BCE. However, wild goat representation with a tree is associated with Murkum, a mother goddess who was worshipped by all the Indo-Iranian women of the Haramosh valley in modern Pakistan, which culturally had closer ties with Indus and subsequently the Burnt City civilisations, than Mesopotamia, which could have influenced the ancient potter who made this unique piece.

Full article here. See also our earlier feature on Megalithic manga, cartoons and graphic novels: Part I below.

 
 
Bank and ditch in the north-east quadrant of the Avebury Henge
©
The Heritage Trust
 
Modern Avebury by Ronald Hutton. Number 32 in the Stonehenge and Avebury Revised Research Framework (SARRF) by Wessex Archaeology.
 
The Stonehenge and Avebury Revised Research Framework (SARRF) will for the first time provide a united historic environment research agenda and strategy for the Avebury and Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS). The two parts of the WHS currently have separate research frameworks that were created at different times and in different formats. The SARRF will update and harmonise the existing frameworks to create a single research framework comprising a resource assessment and a single research strategy with a five-year currency. The SARRF will also develop a method of monitoring the progress of the strategy to facilitate its revision. 
 
Professor Hutton writes –
 
“Between 1841 and 1871 the population of the [Avebury] settlement virtually doubled, so that it pressed even harder on the ancient remains. Small wonder that visiting antiquarians began to refer to the village as a whole with resentment and concern, Joseph Hunter calling it a ‘vile hamlet’ in 1829 and Sir John Lubbock a ‘beautiful parasite’ in 1865… [Lubbock in 1872] …when land containing some of the remaining stones was offered for sale as a potential housing development… bought some himself to block development…”
 

 
Mount Silbury by Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838)
 
 
O Thou, to whom in the olden times was raised
Yon ample Mound, not fashion’d to display
An artful structure, but with better skill
Piled massive, to endure through many an age,
How simple, how majestic is thy tomb!
When temples and when palaces shall fall,
And mighty cities moulder into dust,
When to their deep foundations Time shall shake
The strong-based pyramids, shall thine remain
Amid the general ruin unsubdued,
Uninjured as the everlasting hills,
And mock the feeble power of storms and Time.
 
William Crowe (1745-1829)
 
 

Senior conservator, Stefano Scafetta, works on a portrait of a young Menominee boy by George Catalin

In this studio [at the Smithsonian American Art Museum] conservators restore the surface of paintings to a condition that most closely resembles an earlier unaltered or undamaged state. The two most common procedures that take place here are cleaning and inpainting. During cleaning, conservators carefully remove layers of accumulated grime; darkened varnish; and old, discolored retouching from the surface of paintings. To restore areas of lost paint, conservators fill the areas of loss with gesso, and inpaint them to match surrounding areas of original paint. They use easily reversible materials and take great care not to cover any of the original paint that had been applied by the artist.

 

The World Heritage Site of Avebury in Wiltshire, England is a magnate for visitors from all over the world. Its stone circle, bank and ditch are the largest in Europe, and the nearby Neolithic structures of Silbury and West Kennet Long Barrow continue to attract people of all beliefs and all interests.

There is a little known but fascinating facet to the history of Avebury and those who have travelled the globe to visit it – a story in the shape of one Mary S Cope (1852-1888) a young woman from Philadelphia, America.

Moss, in this guest feature explains why –

 

Awbury House, part of the larger Cope Estate

In 1852, Henry Cope, a Philadelphia ship owner, bought forty acres of farm land in East Germantown near the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mary Cope and John Smith Haines. At that time, Germantown—which was not yet part of the City of Philadelphia—was largely undeveloped and an ideal place for country living. A large house was built on the property as a summer home for Henry, his wife Rachel Reeve Cope, and their grown children and families.

Henry Cope named the estate after the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, England, from which the Cope family had originally emigrated. The Henry Cope house and the Haines house were the first of what would become an entire community of houses at Awbury built by various members of the Cope Family over several generations. When the Henry Cope house became too crowded with children and grandchildren, Henry’s son Francis built a new house nearby in 1861. Soon after, three of Francis’ children built houses at Awbury for their growing families. Other cousins in the family of Francis Cope’s brother Thomas did the same. By the 1920’s 24 houses had been established throughout what is present day Awbury.

About three years ago I came across a poem by Mary Cope, she had written a poem about Avebury in Wiltshire, date 1866 but she had come from America to see this village her ancestor’s home and it intrigued me to go on and discover who was the ancestor and I wrote several unrelated blogs about the Cope family. Well that took some time, but if you were to turn to Awbury in America, then there is a clue.

The ancestor she spoke of was Oliver Cope, a tailor living with his family in Avebury, he had three children and the biographer Gilbert Cope in his book says that Oliver bought some land in America, 500 acres in two parcels bought off William Penn and recorded May 1682. Gilbert Cope’s book was on online and though there was not much written about Oliver what it did turn up was that subsesquent generations of Quaker Copes became rich and a family estate was born called Awbury and which is now an arboretum. Two things stand out, the humble beginnings of Oliver and the role of Quakerism in building up the family fortunes.

And as an aside, last week when the truth was revealed about the mendacity of our banks, a couple of letters in the Guardian, amongst many furious ones had said what if our banks had been ruled by decent Quaker bankers, we may have had a much better system and not the ‘bollinger lads’ who have brought this country to the verge of bankruptcy with their greedy ways.

But to return to Oliver making his way in Avebury, Gilbert Cope says that the family were not Quakers but at this moment in history, the dissenters were having a tough time and maybe owning up to being of a different religious persuasion was not deemed prudent, the Five Mile Act forbade clergymen to move out of the prescribed zone of their limits and hefty fines were imposed on people if you did. Eventually this ban was overturned in 1702 by the king. Here is a link to the Devizes dissenters and it is mentioned that Avebury did not have a chapel built till 1670 and today that same chapel is of course the tourist centre for information.

Oliver’s mother Elizabeth died in 1681, but the family did not embark on their great adventure to start a fresh new life till 1682 a year after his mother’s death, perhaps she had left them some money for the journey They settled in a place called Naaman’s Creek, in the County of New Castle, Pennysylvania and it was here that Oliver died in 1697, and I will reproduce his will in full for what he owned and now left his four children and wife…

I, Oliver Cope, now of y countie of New Castle, being weak in body ie but of sound and disposing mind and memory, praised be y lorde for it make and ordain this last will……………. Item;

I give and bequeath that what horses and mares my daughters have, shall be and remaine their own.

I give and bequeth unto my daughter Ruth, three wether sheep, and one ewe and lamb

To my son William, one ewe and lamb, and as for my stock of cattle, I will that my wife shall one half of them, and y other half of y cattle chall be equallie divided between my foure children.

I give to my son William £17 I give to my daughter Ruth, £3.10s.

I give and bequeath to my son John, y old bay mare and her two colts I give more to my other son William, all my other horses and mares

I give and bequeath y one-half of all remaining part of my estate, both real and personal, between my foure children – my two sons to have a double share of it I give one horse to my wfe. The other half of my estate, I give and bequeath unto my wife during her widowhood. When I make my full and sole and if my wife happen to marry that then part shall be equallie divided between my foure children……..

In the year of our lord 1697 – Oliver Cope. Also signed by Rebecca Cope.

He had had 15 years or thereabouts to make a living and support his family, what we see is a small farm, a few horses, sheep and cattle, and everyone keeping their own horses and the rest of the small farm fairly shared between the four children. John who got the old bay mare and her two colts went on to make his fortune in the world and the fortunes of future generations, so perhaps the old bay mare was lucky!

In Oliver Cope’s story we can see the generations of future Cope families making their way in the country of America, he did provide a better life for his great grandchildren, and then that moment in time when Mary Cope coming back to visit Avebury and writing her poem in 1866, is contrasting the smallness of the English countryside compared to the vastness of America, and yet, she was the beneficiary of a courageous act of emigration. I love the poem, it lurks at the back of memory, the peace and quiet of the Wiltshire downs, its small villages, still really intact though of course their social structure has been replaced by a different elite…

 

Awbury 

From western lands beyond the foam,
We sought our English father’s home
by few or known or sung.
Which ‘neath the quiet English skies,
far from all busy haunts it lies
the wide chalk downs among.

Huge druid stones surround the spot,
Which else had almost been forgot
By the great world without.
The mystic ring now scarcely traced
Is by a grassy dike embraced,
Circling the whole about.

Deep hangs the thatch on cottage eaves,
And buried deep in ivy leaves
The cottage window gleam.
There little birds fly to and fro,
And happy children come and go
With rosy cheek and rustic walk,

They curtsy for the gentle folk,
As they the strangers deem.
With pinks and stocks the beds are gay
,And box and yew their shapes display
Fantastically trimmed.
And each small garden overflows

With scent of woodbine and of rose
Above the borders trim.
The ancient little Norman church,
With quaintly medieval porch,
Stands ‘neath the elm tree tall
Sunk in the graveyard plot around,

The moss-grown headstones scarce are found
Few stoop the lettering to trace
Which time’s rude hand will soon efface.
Some there may be of highborn race,
But none the names recall.
The many gabled manor house,

With winking casement sheen,
Seem in the summer light to drowse
And dream of what has been
And we may dream of earlier days
,When the old convent marked the place,
When nuns in gown and coif complete,

Paced the green paths with quiet feet,
And gather herbs and simples small
Beneath the high brick garden wall,
Finding a safe retreat.
Like some small nest securely placed,
With ferns and grass interlaced,
But open to the light,

The hamlets seem to lie at rest
Upon the common’s ample breast,
Secure in loneliness of space
From aught that could the charm efface
Of innocence and old-world grace
Worn by ancestral right.

Home of sweet days and thankful nights,
Fair fall on thee the morning light,
Soft fall the evening dews.
Wild winds perchance may sweep the wold
But age, untouched by storm or cold,
In memory’s sight thou standest there,
Encircled by serenest air,
In changeless summer hue.

Mary S Cope, 1886

 

See also Gilbert Cope’s book.

 

Carn Menyn (possible source of the Bluestones at Stonehenge) right of the treeline in the middle-distance © The Heritage Trust

A reminder that The Heritage Trust will be holding an outreach event over three days beginning this evening, 16 July and ending on Wednesday evening, 18 July. The theme this year will focus on the dolmens of the Pembrokeshire Coast, south-west Wales. Visits to Carreg Coetan Arthur, Carreg Samson and Pentre Ifan are planned. Time and weather permitting, a visit to Carn Menyn, the possible source of the bluestones at Stonehenge, will also be included. The event is free, and will begin with an evening drink at the Cambrian Inn in Solva, Pembrokeshire on Monday, 16 July and end with a dinner on 18 July (costs for both are not included in the event).

Details here.

 

Fair fall on thee the morning light 

A recumbent stone in the south-east quadrant of the Avebury Henge
Image credit Littlestone © The Heritage Trust 

The following poem was penned in 1886 by Mary S Cope (1852-1888). Mary was a young American woman on a journey from her home in Philadelphia to the home of her ancestors in Avebury, Wiltshire. Look out for a guest feature on Mary Cope and her family that we’ll be running here shortly.
 
From western lands
 

From western lands beyond the foam,
We sought our English fathers’ home
By few or known or sung.
Which ‘neath the quiet English skies,
far from all busy haunts it lies
The wide chalk downs among.

Huge druid stones surround the spot,
Which else had almost been forgot
By the great world without.
The mystic ring now scarcely traced
Is by a grassy dike embraced,
Circling the whole about.

Deep hangs the thatch on cottage eaves,
And buried deep in ivy leaves
The cottage windows gleam.
There little birds fly to and fro,
And happy children come and go
With rosy cheek and rustic walk,
They curtsy for the gentle folk,
As they the strangers deem.

With pinks and stocks the beds are gay,
And box and yew their shapes display
Fantastically trimmed.
And each small garden overflows
With scent of woodbine and of rose
Above the borders trim.

The ancient little Norman church,
With quaintly medieval porch,
Stands ‘neath the elm tree tall
Sunk in the graveyard plot around,
The moss-grown headstones scarce are found
Few stoop the lettering to trace
Which time’s rude hand will soon efface.
Some there may be of highborn race,
But none the names recall.

The many gabled manor house,
With winking casement sheen,
Seem in the summer light to drowse
And dream of what has been
And we may dream of earlier days,
When the old convent marked the place,
When nuns in gown and coif complete,
Paced the green paths with quiet feet,
And gather herbs and simples small
Beneath the high brick garden wall,
Finding a safe retreat.

Like some small nest securely placed,
With ferns and grass interlaced,
But open to the light,
The hamlets seem to lie at rest
Upon the common’s ample breast,
Secure in loneliness of space
From aught that could the charm efface
Of innocence and old-world grace
Worn by ancestral right.

Home of sweet days and thankful nights,
Fair fall on thee the morning light,
Soft fall the evening dews.
Wild winds perchance may sweep the wold
But age, untouched by storm or cold,
In memory’s sight thou standest there,
Encircled by serenest air,
In changeless summer hue.

Mary S Cope (1852-1888)

 

Gandhāran statues at a police station in Karachi. Authorities seized dozens of precious artefacts belonged to the 2,000 year-old Gandhāran civilization, illegally removed from Pakistan’s terrorist-torn north-west region. Image credit AFP

Jaffer Rizvi, writing for BBC News Asia, reports on the 6 July that –

An attempt to smuggle ancient artefacts, possibly worth millions of dollars, out of the Pakistani port city of Karachi has been foiled, police say. A top archaeologist has said the goods are at least 2,000 years old and were illegally excavated. Police have called in experts to help assess their value.

Two men caught trying to ship the items have been arrested, police say. Karachi is often used by smugglers who can get criminal support to take valuable antiquities out of the country. Customs officers in 2005 foiled a similar attempt to smuggle nearly 1,500 artefacts worth more than $10m (£6.4m) out of Pakistan.

Gandhāran painting and sculpture displays a strong Greco-Roman influence, with its beginnings dated to around 75-50 bce when links between Rome and the Indo-Parthian kingdoms existed. “There is archaeological evidence that building techniques were transmitted between the two realms. Christian records claim that around AD 40 Thomas the Apostle visited India and encountered the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares.” (Source Wikipedia).

Full article here.

 

 

Logo for the 2012 Fifth World Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology held in Fukuoka, Japan

The Society for East Asian Archaeology (SEAA) is a non-government organization formed to further promote interest and research in the field of East Asian Archaeology through the sharing of information on ongoing projects, encouraging premier quality research, international and interdisciplinary communications, providing publishing opportunities through an online bulletin and the support of an academic journal, holding academic meetings and conferences, providing educational outreach to the general community, enhancing scholarly communications and good relations among archaeologists within East Asia, and encouraging interdisciplinary perspectives involving several regions.

SEAA’s last conference was held in Fukuoka, Japan in June of this year. The Society’s next conference will be held in Mongolia in 2014.

 

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