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The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
 
Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎) was born 253 years ago today on the 31 October 1760 in Edo (now Tokyo). He was a Japanese artist, Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker, and is perhaps best known as the author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景) which includes the internationally renowned print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created about 1831.
 
To celebrate the fantastic artwork of Katsushika Hokusai the British Museum has selected a range of gifts featuring his famous Great Wave print. “The selection includes stylish silk scarves, eye-catching jewellery and prints from this renowned artist.”
 
Details on the British Museum website here. Every purchase supports the Museum.
 

Conservator Luisa Duarte cleaning a Romano-British sculpture of an eagle and serpent
Image credit Andy Chopping. Museum of London Archaeology/PA

 
Maev Kennedy, writing in The Guardian yesterday, reports on a Romano-British sculpture recently unearthed in the City of London by archaeologists from the Museum of London.
 
A superb Roman eagle in near pristine condition, serpent prey wriggling in its beak, has been found by archaeologists in the City of London. A symbol of immortality and power, it was carefully preserved when the aristocratic tomb it decorated was smashed up more than 1,800 years ago – and is regarded as one of the best pieces of Romano-British art ever found.
 
The preservation is so startling that the archaeologists who found it a few weeks ago at the bottom of a ditch, on the last day of an excavation on a development site at the Minories, were worried in case they had unearthed a Victorian garden ornament.
 
Excitement spread as it became clear from the context that it really was Roman – but carved in Britain, from Cotswold limestone. Archaeologists are itching to research it further but first after a quick clean – and a frame to support the only damage, a broken wing – it is going on display for six months at the Museum of London, just 30 days from ditch to gallery.
 
Full article here.
 

La Cotte de St Brelade. Image credit Man vyi. Source Wikipedia

Sara Palmer, writing for BBC News Jersey earlier this month, reports that –
 
Jersey’s rich ice age history is being used in an attempt to attract more tourists to the island.
 
“Jersey has a story to tell about human evolution relevant across Europe and the wider world,” according to Dr Matt Pope, who is leading an archaeological team. Previous work has uncovered hunting sites and submerged ice age landscapes ranging from the earliest occupation by Neanderthals more than 250,000 years ago, to the arrival of the first modern humans.
 
The creation of ice age walking trails around the island’s coast has been done by Jersey Heritage in partnership with the archaeological team, Societe Jersiaise and the National Trust for Jersey. It has been supported by a £199,000 grant from the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) to deliver Ice Age Island. Peter Funk, chairman of the TDF panel, said: “There is a huge level of interest in archaeological discovery and Jersey has a unique story to tell which we believe will be an integral part of Jersey’s tourism offering in the years to come.”
 
Jersey has an exceptionally rich record for the Stone Age considering the small size of its land mass. The site of La Cotte de St Brelade contains more Neanderthal artefacts than the rest of the British Isles put together and ranks as one of the world’s richest Stone Age localities.
 
Full article here.

Video Heritage Channel of Korea

According to Wikipedia –

Cheomseongdae (첨성대)  is an astronomical observatory in Gyeongju, South Korea. Cheomseongdae means star-gazing tower in Korean. Cheomseongdae is the oldest surviving observatory in East Asia. It dates to the 7th century to the time of kingdom of Silla, which had its capital in Gyeongju. Cheomseongdae was designated as the country’s 31st national treasure on December 20, 1962.

A Ten Won Korean banknote showing the 1,300 year-old Cheomseongdae observatory

Rummaging through some old papers this morning I came across the banknote above which I‘d saved from a trip to Korea some forty years ago. It jolted my memory of Cheomseongdae (shown on the left of the banknote) which I’d visited back then and thought the attached video might be of interest to some of your readers.

LS

 
Update on Carwynnen Quoit from Pip Richards and The Sustainable Trust (thanks to Roy Goutté for the info).
 
Dear Friends and Supporters,
 

The dig started today with great camaraderie amidst heavy showers. You are welcome to call in if you are passing. We are trying to preserve the grass in the field for as long as possible, so it would be appreciated if you would park in the campsite next door.

We have an official open day on Sunday 27th October where you can engage in a free guided tour, and see an exhibition of the work so far. There will be demonstrations of ancient technology and experimental archaeology with Sally Herriett. She looks forward to introducing you to her unusual world, and sharing her passion for all things Prehistoric, reproducing artefacts and perfecting her Flint Knapping. At 2pm she will be presenting her work especially to children.
 
If you remember Carwynnen Quoit before or after it fell in 1966, come and share your memories with us. The film on our giantsquoit homepage made use of some recordings we made during the last phase of the project.  Another film is in production and we welcome your contribution to our collection of local memories.
 
On 31st, at around 10.30, at Samhain or All Hallows Eve, we intend to restore the first upright stone and you are welcome to come and watch.
 
Thanks to everyone for their help and support,
Pip and the trustees of the Sustainable Trust.
 
Pip Richards
See The Sustainable Trust or Carwynnen Quoit on Facebook
 
 
Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk 搗練圖卷 (傳 宋徽宗)
Chinese, Northern Song dynasty, early 12th century
Attributed to Emperor Huizong (1082–1135)
 
Beginning today (26 October) at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London, a unique opportunity to see some of China’s most stunning pictorial treasures –
 
Presenting one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions, Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 – 1900 is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see rare surviving works of art drawn from collections around the world. Explore over 70 of the finest examples of Chinese painting, from small-scale intimate works by monks and literati through to a 14-metre-long scroll painting, many of which are shown together for the first time.
 
More here. See also the The Art of Chinese Painting on BBC’s iPlayer here. Available only until 9:29pm on Wednesday, 30 October 2013.
 
 
 
Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story
 
 The Natural History Museum in London has announced plans for its forthcoming exhibition which will focus on ‘One Million Years of the Human Story in Britain’
The exhibition opens on 13 February 2014 and lasts until 28 September 2014
 
Travel back in time and experience the dramatic story of prehistoric Britain, its changing landscapes and the people that lived here in Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story. Look back at Britain long before the Romans, Saxons and Vikings arrived and discover rarely seen specimens, brought to life using the latest scientific techniques and life-size models.
 
Incredible finds from sites around Britain will reveal what life was really like one million years ago. See a skull from the earliest known Neanderthal in Britain, the oldest wooden spear in the world and other remarkable objects from our past.
 
Professor Chris Stringer, palaeontologist at the Museum and world-leading human origins expert, introduces the exhibition: “From the earliest human fossils in Britain to one of the oldest wooden tools in the world, you will be surprised by the history hidden beneath your feet. The story behind the humans who inhabited ancient Britain has taken us more than a decade to piece together. This gives us an exciting glimpse into our past, which also leads us to reflect on our future.”
 
Details here.
 
Welcome again to Part 3 of our feature – Putting you in touch. Why have we started this? Well, we’re constantly astonished by the variety and very high standards that you, our Followers, maintain in your own blogs, campaigns and endeavours. You may be a large institution, or an individual working alone, but the dedication you show to your core interests is truly inspiring.
 
You are scattered across the globe, from Alaska to New Zealand, and your interests range from the general history of your region through to art, archaeology, poetry, photography, conservation and many other interests in-between. One thing however that you have in common is that you follow The Heritage Trust – thank you – and because of that we thought we’d like to do something in return by putting you in touch with each other.
 
Here’s a list of thirty two more of our followers, starting with Keri Douglas of 9 muses news, who joined us four months ago. We’re working back to our very first follower and hope we don’t miss anyone along the way! (then we’ll put you in touch with our latest followers as they join us).
 
keridouglas
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Carwynnen Quoit by J T Blight
From Ancient Crosses, and other Antiquities in the West of Cornwall (third edition 1872)
 
The following from James Gossip, Archaeologist, Historic Environment Projects, Cornwall Council, Cornwall may be of interest –
 
Dear Carwynnen Team and other interested folk,
 
Some of you may have heard that The Sustainable Trust have been successful in securing funds for the final stages of the Carwynnen Quoit Project. We are now ready to start work and as always would value your help. Sorry it’s such short notice, but we’ve been kept on tenterhooks by the funding bodies. Attached are the details regarding the day to day practicalities (much the same as last year for those of you who took part then) which you can ignore if you’re not intending to take part; below is a brief word explaining what we’re hoping to achieve this time.
 
The project will take place Monday 21st – Thursday 31st October 2013. If you are interested in taking part please contact me ASAP and let me know when you are available. I will do my best to accommodate everyone as best I can!
 
Welcome back Carwynneners!
 
And a big welcome too – to our new archaeologists! Although a little late in the season we are so pleased to be back on track to work together to restore this special Cornish monument. While it may seem as though things have been a bit quiet we can report that over the past 12 months since the 2012 Big Dig a lot has happened – writing, drawing, studying the finds, a measured survey of the stones as well as a laser scan,  talks and walks about the project and a travelling exhibition to boot. Some of you have helped with these mini projects and a big thanks to your continuing interest and support. But one of the major achievements has been Pip’s hard work at fund raising for the final push to restore the monument. What a mega success! Some of you will see that the stones have also moved as well and they are now in place to be moved into gear when we fully restore the monument next spring. Now as for our work over the next 10 days the plan is to complete some work on the main site and explore further the rear end of the pavement as well as fully excavate the socket hole for Stone 4. In the final few days we will place Stone 4 back in its original location as a test run for the full restoration next year. We will also be exploring another area of the field where Keith and his merry team dug a few test pits in April and found some interesting stone arrangements (and flint)! Please welcome too our colleagues Richard and Laura who will be joining the team and helping us move this project along to a successful outcome.
 
Keep diggin’
James and Jacky 
 
13 October 2013
 
James Gossip MIFA
Archaeologist
Historic Environment Projects
Cornwall Council
 
 
Website here. See also the article here
 
 

Three scout leaders in the United States are to face criminal charges after filming themselves destroying a natural, mushroom-shaped rock formation (known as a hoodoo) in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park. The three men (Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor and Dylan Taylor) are seen in their own video toppling the formation while one of them is heard to say, “Some little kid was about ready to walk down here and die and Glenn saved his life by getting the boulder out of the way, so it’s all about saving lives here at Goblin Valley.”

Hoodoos take millions of years to form and there are thousands of them in Goblin Valley State Park. Spokesman Eugene Swalberg said, “It is not only wrong, but there will be consequences. This is highly, highly inappropriate. This is not what you do at state parks. It’s disturbing and upsetting.” It certainly is inappropriate; let’s hope better signage will be put in place warning visitors of the consequences of damaging the park’s features and that this particular hoodoo can be re-erected.

 

 
While the New York Post runs a feature called Get Banksy! the mayor of the city, Michael Bloomberg, is reported as saying Banksy is a vandal, not an artist, telling reporters, “You running up to somebody’s property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art.” It’d be interesting to know what Bloomberg’s definition of art is but, more interestingly, why is Banksy in New York at all, apparently thumbing his nose at the authorities along with some of the art merchants there as well.
 
Earlier this year we ran several features on Banksy focusing on the removal of one of his works from a wall in North London and its subsequent sale to an American collector for £75,000. It’s interesting now to see that original signed canvasses by the artist were on sale at a one-day stall in New York’s Central Park recently for just £38 ($60) each! Is Banksy biting back? We can’t help thinking that he is, and is quite literally taking his art to the streets of New York to be enjoyed for nothing, and even bought for next-to-nothing (many of the pieces at the stall were estimated to be worth up to £20,000 each but remained unsold at the end of the day!). Sadly some of the residents, including the mayor of New York and the NYPD don’t quite seem to have got that message.
 
Banksy is in New York all this month during which time he has promised a new piece of street art every day. Entitled Better Out Than In, daily postings of his public New York art show can be seen on his website here. This is his work for 17 October –
 
 
 
Bed Stuy / Williamsburg by Banksy
 
 
 
Items from the Silverdale Hoard dating from around 900ce
©
The Trustees of the British Museum
 
BBC News Lancashire reports earlier this week that a –
 
Viking treasure, valued at £110,000, is to go on permanent display in Lancashire. The Silverdale Hoard, made up of more than 200 pieces of silver and jewellery, was found two years ago in a field by a metal detecting enthusiast. It will be on display at Lancaster City Museum from 25 October, before moving to a permanent home at the Museum of Lancashire in Preston in February.
 
Full article here. See also our earlier feature on the forthcoming Vikings: life and legend exhibition at the British Museum here.
 
 
 
Pugh appears courtesy of the Daily Mail
 
 
Was Stonehenge the ultimate place to dine out 8,000 years ago 🙂 Mark Brown, arts correspondent for The Guardian, reports yesterday that –
 
Archaeologists digging about a mile away from Stonehenge have made a discovery that appears to overturn centuries of received wisdom: frogs’ legs were an English delicacy around eight millennia before becoming a French one. The shock revelation was made public on Tuesday by a team which has been digging at a site known as Blick Mead, near Amesbury in Wiltshire. Team leader David Jacques said: “We were completely taken aback.”
 
In April they discovered charred bones of a small animal, and, following assessment by the Natural History Museum, it has been confirmed that there is evidence the toad bones were cooked and eaten. “They would have definitely eaten the leg because it would have been quite big and juicy,” said Jacques. The bones, from a Mesolithic site that Jacques is confident will prove to be the oldest continuous settlement in the UK, have been dated to between 7596BC and 6250BC.
 
And it’s not just toads’ legs. Mesolithic Wiltshire man and woman were enjoying an attractive diet. “There’s basically a Heston Blumenthal menu coming out of the site,” said Jacques. “We can see people eating huge pieces of aurochs, cows which are three times the size of a normal cow, and we’ve got wild boar, red deer and hazelnuts.
 
Full article here.
 
 
 
 
The Valley of the Kings
©
The Heritage Trust
 
Patrick Kingsley, writing for The Guardian earlier this month, reports that –
 
An exact replica of the tomb of Tutankhamun is set to be installed near the 3,000-year-old original, in what one of the world’s leading Egyptologists has called a revolutionary development in Egyptian archaeological conservation. Officials hope the £420,000 project will prolong the life of the original while promoting a new model of sustainable tourism and research in a country where many pharaonic sites are under severe threat. Tutankhamen’s tomb is one of 63 burial sites in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings. After years of visitors, some have had to close due to damage while others – such as Tutankhamun’s – are under threat, with restoration efforts likely to make the problem worse.
 
 
Section of Tutankhamen’s Tomb
Image credit Stefano Benini
 
The facsimile is said to be one of the most sophisticated replicas ever made. Its creation involved measuring 100 million points in every square metre of the original tomb. Factum Arte used laser scanners to capture the texture, shape and colours of the tomb, before reproducing it with machine-operated blades, some with a width of less than two-tenths of a millimetre. “There’s a lot of arguments between conservators and tourism experts about whether replicas will help or hinder tourism,” said Weeks [Kent Weeks is a leading Egyptologist who has been researching pharaonic sites since the 1960s]. “But we should be able to show that there is no conflict between the economic needs of the country and conservation needs of the tombs. One can make a much more meaningful visit to the replica than one ever could to the original.”
 
Full article here.
 
 
 
 
The newly extended Mildenhall Museum
 
In March 2012 we focused on a BBC News, Suffolk, report announcing that the Mildenhall Museum was, “…set to double in size to help display the remains of an Anglo-Saxon warrior and his horse.” Last Wednesday, two of our trustees went along to the Museum to see the result –
 
It was the first day the Museum was open to the general public. The new automatic door (providing easy disabled access) swung open and we were greeted by three volunteers eager to show us the newly renovated interior, a renovation made possible by grants from Forest Heath District Council, Suffolk County Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Mildenhall Parish Council. The spacious reception area (with small shop) leads in one direction to the new community and education room, while the other direction leads to the first, ground floor gallery displaying fossils and flints from Mildenhall and the surrounding area. Passing the lift (again providing easy disabled access) and the stairs there is a replica Victorian Wash Day and Kitchen gallery showing all manner of household objects from the period.
 
 
The New Community and Education Room
 
The first gallery, on the first floor, contains Romano-British displays of objects from the period, as well as replicas of the stunning Mildenhall Treasure found near West Row in the 1940s (see our earlier The Mildenhall Treasure by Roald Dahl feature here). The replicas are of superb quality and the fact that they can be viewed in such a quiet and unhurried atmosphere is a real pleasure. The original Mildenhall finds are now in the British Museum.
 
 
The Romano-British Gallery with replicas of the Mildenhall Treasure on the right
 
What we had really come to see however was the new gallery dedicated to the remains of a 5th century Anglo-Saxon warrior which was discovered at RAF Lakenheath in 1997. The warrior was found with his sword, shield boss and spear (along with his horse which had been sacrificed at the time of the warrior’s burial) and the partial remains of a sheep by the warrior’s left knee. A bucket was found near the horse’s head and is thought to have contained feed for the animal, while the sheep may have been an offering of food for the warrior in the afterlife. We were not disappointed with the new gallery; not only are the remains beautifully exhibited, but so too are objects found in the grave, the excellent explanation panels on the walls, other items from the Anglo-Saxon period and a video detailing the warrior find and its excavation.

 
The Anglo-Saxon Warrior Gallery
 
 
Close-up of the warrior, his horse and armour, and the skeleton of a sheep 
 
The Mildenhall Museum has been tastefully and professionally refurbished throughout, and although for us pride of place went to the Prehistoric, Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon galleries, there is so much more to see and enjoy there. Admission to the Museum is free (although donations are welcome) and parking at one of the nearby super stores is possible. For Museum opening times, and further information, please go to their website here.
 

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