# Monday, 03 June 2013


This is interesting it’s a Celtic logboat which has recently been created by the National Trust. The boat was carved from a fallen oak tree much as it would have been when they were made 2,300 years ago. The 15ft boat floats and is able to carry people. It took 200 people 3 weeks to make the boat which is a scaled down version of a 35ft Iron Age log boat which was discovered at the bottom of Poole harbour.

posted on Monday, 03 June 2013 13:14:49 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I love cheese but haven't really considered just how long we have been making it. The answer it seems is more than 8,000 years. Researchers have found that the first cheese making took place in Northern Europe in the 6th millennium BC. Research led by the University of Bristol has analysed fatty acids extracted from unglazed pottery which were uncovered from archaeological sites in Poland. They found that dairy products were processed in the ceramic vessels. The sieves which were very close in shape to modern cheese strainers also provided evidence that they would have been used for cheese making.

posted on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 08:52:46 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 24 September 2011

Proving that we can still find historical remains in unlikely locations, archaeologists have recently unearthed Roman baths in Southwark. The site is on the corner of Borough High Street and London Bridge Street and is on of the most significant finds in the area in recent years. The remains of the baths were found when land was being cleared by Network Rail for the Thameslink project.A complex system of baths has been found including a cold plunge bath and rooms heated by underfloor hypocausts.  Although the site has been earmarked for a new office block the remains will be preserved.

posted on Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:20:13 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 30 April 2011

spider-620_1877033cAs someone who is terrified of spiders, for me this is something out of a nightmare. It is the largest ever spider fossil ever found. Thought be around 165 million years old the spider would have had a six inch leg span. The fossil was a Golden Orb Weaver spider named Nephila jurassica and would have lived in the forests of northern China. The spiders still thrive today and it is common for them to reach a length of two inches and a leg span of six inches. Eeek.

posted on Saturday, 30 April 2011 10:48:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 20 November 2010

This is an interesting idea, called The War Graves Photographic Project or TWGPP for short it is a project to photograph the last resting place of soldiers killed in the first world war. It then makes images of the grave available for relatives to view online. Volunteers have visited 23,000 cemeteries and churchyards in 150 countries from Libya to the UK and photographed the graves there. These are provided in a searchable database so that relatives who might be unable to visit the actual location can view a photograph of the headstone. They receive no funding and charge £3 for an emailed image of a grave and £5 for a hard copy.

posted on Saturday, 20 November 2010 11:40:49 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 22 July 2010

Divers have found what is thought to be the world’s oldest champagne. It is thought to pre-date the French Revolution and has been found on the Baltic seabed. 30 bottles of the Clicquot which was produced between 1782 and 1788 were found in a shipwreck on the Baltic seabed. It is thought the champagne could fetch around £45,000 a bottle at auction.

posted on Thursday, 22 July 2010 11:30:51 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 13 June 2010


According to this article this could be the oldest leather shoe. It was discovered by archaeologists in a cave in Armenia. It is 5,500 years old and made of a single piece of leather shaped to fit the wearers foot. The shoe would have been quite small about a UK women’s size 5 but it could have worn by either a man or woman. It would have been preserved due to the cool and dry conditions in the cave and the fact that it was covered by a thick layer of sheep dung which acted as a solid seal preserving it over the millennia.

posted on Sunday, 13 June 2010 11:42:42 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 04 May 2010

_47746858_009193754-1This replica wine fountain has recently been unveiled at Hampton Court Palace. It is similar to those that would have been used by Henry V111 and has been created after the remains of a 16th century fountain were found at a archaeological dig at the palace in 2008. It stands 13ft high and is made of timber, lead, bronze and gold leaf. The best thing about it, however, is that it is a working replica. At weekends and bank holidays it will serve red and white wine priced at £3.50 a glass. I like the idea of a wine fountain I wonder if I can convince my husband to build one.

posted on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 09:48:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 23 April 2010

A letter written by a passenger who was on board the Titanic has recently sold for a record £55,000. The letter was written by a man called Adolphe Saafeld and was addressed to his wife. The letter was written five days before the Titanic sunk. It gives a fair amount of information regarding the voyage including the food that was served which was a "luncheon" of soup, plaice, a loin chop with cauliflower and fried potatoes "washed down with a large Spaten beer iced". He also talks about how smooth the journey was and a near collision with another ship. It’s all interesting stuff and helps to build up a picture of what the voyage might have been like before the ship sunk.

posted on Friday, 23 April 2010 08:34:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 04 March 2010

article-0-087ACF30000005DC-77_468x470 A man from Norfolk has found a dinosaur bone in his garden. He has had the bone in his rockery for many years thinking it was simply an unusual shaped rock. It was only when he sent it to the local museum to be identified that he found it was in fact a 135 million year old dinosaur fossil. The bone is from a Plesiosaur a large marine reptile which fed mainly on fish. Mr Ruggles has now decided to donate the bone to the local Lynn Museum where it will go display as part of their permanent collection.

posted on Thursday, 04 March 2010 10:13:13 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 21 February 2010


This rather unusual wine press has recently been discovered in southern Israel. The press measures 21ft by 54ft and is unusual because it has an octagonal shape. The press which is 1,400 years old would have been quite advanced for its time and the size of it indicates that wine was produced here for export rather than local consumption. Wine would have been produced by crushing the grapes on the treading floor. It would then have flowed into a distributing vat and have been collected on two vats on either side.

posted on Sunday, 21 February 2010 13:26:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 05 February 2010

_47210118_-17 This coin which was found in the village of Hallaton in Leicestershire is thought to be the oldest piece of Roman money found in Britain. The coin was found in 2000 with around 5,000 other coins, a helmet and a decorated bowl. It has since been dated to 221BC and has been put on display at the Harbrough Museum. The other coins excavated at the Iron Age shrine of the Corieltavi tribe have been dated to the first century AD. It is not known how a Roman coin might have come into the possession of the local tribe but it is thought that they might have been traded before the Roman conquest in 43AD.

posted on Friday, 05 February 2010 12:01:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 03 February 2010

A half smoked cigar that was abandoned by Sir Winston Churchill has sold at auction for £4,500. The cigar was discarded when Churchill rushed away to an urgent wartime cabinet meeting. It was picked up by a member of staff at 10 Downing Street 69 years ago and was recently put up at auction. The cigar was expected to fetch around £350 but was snapped up by a private collector for the sum of £4,500.

posted on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 09:05:50 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 25 January 2010

_47143135_egypt1901_bastet_466_ap According to this article a temple dedicated to an ancient cat goddess has been found in Egypt. The temple in Alexandria is thought to be around 2,000 years old. It is the first trace of the royal quarters of the Ptolemaic dynasty to be revealed in the area and confirms that the Greek dynasty of Egyptians worshipped ancient animal deities. The temple which is 60m high by 15m wide is thought to have belonged to Queen Berenike 11 the wife of Ptolemy who ruled in the third century BC. It is filled with statues of Bastet the feared lion headed goddess whose image gradually changed over time to resemble the domestic cat.

posted on Monday, 25 January 2010 09:44:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 20 June 2009

PD*29520028 Well its not really a giant parrot, but it is a new type of dinosaur that looks a bit like one. It has been discovered in Mongolia and has been called Psittacosaurus gobiensis which means parrot lizard. The dinosaur is thought to have lived around 110 million years ago and is one of the latest finds in the Gobi Desert. When alive the creature would have had, strong jaw muscles and a powerful bill for crushing and biting, similar to parrots that live today. It would have been much bigger, however, measuring about three feet long. It is thought it would have mainly eaten a high fibre diet such as nuts and seeds and that it was a good runner.

posted on Saturday, 20 June 2009 10:56:21 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 26 March 2009

This article suggests that low energy light bulbs can cause rashes and swelling in some people with sensitive skin. The warning comes as many large supermarkets have started phasing out traditional light bulbs in favour of the energy saving variety. Currently people do still have the choice of whether to buy traditional or energy saving bulbs, however from September 2012 traditional light bulbs will be banned and only the energy saving bulbs or halogen bulbs will be available. Medical charities say that low energy light bulbs trigger migraines, epilepsy and rashes and in some cases lupus, a disease of the immune system which causes skin to become hypersensitive to sunlight. Based on this some doctors are now calling on the government to give medical exemptions for those affected when the ban comes into place. In my opinion if there is evidence that low energy light bulbs can affect people in this way, then the traditional alternative needs to remain on sale as an alternative although personally I do buy energy saving bulbs and don’t find that they affect me.

posted on Thursday, 26 March 2009 10:03:01 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 04 March 2009

I have seen a lot of really odd courses being offered at degree level but this has got to be one of the strangest yet. It's a MA in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society. The course which is composed of four 12 week modules and a dissertation looks at the postwar music industry and the importance of authenticity and locality according to this article. Quite why you want to spend your time doing such a course, I'm not sure, I'm also unsure what benefit the resulting qualification would have and how seriously a prospective employer would take it. Perhaps I'm missing the point? The Guardian have a quiz here entitled Would you pass the Beatles MA? I only scored 6 out 10, so apparently not.

posted on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 13:54:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 09 February 2009

This article is interesting, it suggests that whales used to live on the land. Fossilised remains of an ancient whale from 47 million years ago seem to prove that the creatures were dependant on the land for resting and breeding and may have once lived completely on the land. The fossil found was a female whale that was pregnant with a calf when she died. The calf's position in the womb appears to back up the theory that at this point whales were not totally aquatic. Looking at the position of the calf in the womb it would have been born head first like land mammals rather than tail first as the norm in aquatic mammals. It is this that in the words of Phillip Gingerich of the University of Michigan shows “They clearly were tied to the shore".

posted on Monday, 09 February 2009 09:37:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 08 February 2009

article-1135683-034BF5C3000005DC-979_468x353 Fossil hunters have discovered the fossil of a snake which they believe would have measured 45ft long. The snake would have been longer than a bus and would have been able to swallow an animal the size of a cow. The creature named Titanoboa would have lived on a diet of crocodiles and giant turtles which it would have squeezed to death before eating them whole. It would have lived in South America and would have weighed around 1.25 tons. This is an artists impression of what it might have looked like. It makes me think of the film Anaconda. I wonder whether there might still be some huge snakes living in remote locations today.

posted on Sunday, 08 February 2009 11:17:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 14 August 2008

This article suggests that rather than tackling faster prey cavemen often preferred to tackle something a little slower like tortoises. Scientists have found the remains of 526 tortoises in a cave that was occupied by early humans over 2.6 million years suggesting that cavemen were rather partial to eating the creatures. The bones show that the tortoises were roasted whole over fires and then cracked against rocks to remove their shells. Other bones from animals such as lions and hippos were also found in the caves so it appears cavemen did also hunt harder to kill creatures. Were they lazy or simply rather intelligent to target things that were easier to catch?

posted on Thursday, 14 August 2008 12:48:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 04 October 2007
I read this interesting article about some Stone Age rice field that have been discovered in a swamp in China. The discovery shows that rice was growing in the coastal wetlands of China around 7,700 years ago. There was also evidence of rice cultivation, including flood and fire control. The discovery is interesting because it helps cast light on how humans went from being hunter gatherers to farmers, something which I find fascinating.

posted on Thursday, 04 October 2007 17:08:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 03 October 2007
If you have a few million pounds spare you might want to spend it on a copy of the Magna Carta. The copy is one of only 17 known copies and the last one currently in private hands. It is thought it could sell for around £15 million.

posted on Wednesday, 03 October 2007 14:46:33 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 16 August 2007
An ancient forest of cypress trees has been discovered in Hungary. The trees are around eight million years old and were found in an open coal mine. It is thought they were preserved by sand while the rest of the forest turned to coal around them. Scientists are now trying to find a way to preserve them before the trees turn to dust.

posted on Thursday, 16 August 2007 16:39:15 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 02 August 2007

This creature was pictured near Hound Tor on Dartmoor. It is not known what the creature is but this picture helps back up the local legend that a hell hound haunts the spot. The story that a pair of spectral dogs known as the Hounds of Hell inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is most likely that this latest picture is of a wild boar.

posted on Thursday, 02 August 2007 09:55:58 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, 20 July 2007

A father and son have unearthed a hoard of Viking treasure. It contained 617 silver coins and 65 other objects including a gold arm ring and a silver vessel. It’s thought to be worth around £750,000. The proceeds of the find will be split between the finders and the landowners.

posted on Friday, 20 July 2007 17:55:55 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I read this interesting article about how Britain became an island. The evidence shows that Britain was split from France hundreds of thousand years ago by a huge flood. The evidence is based upon high resolution sonar images of the English Channel that show a deep scar in the limestone rock caused by a huge torrent of water. Its an interesting read and makes me wonder hoe different Britain would be today if it were still joined to France

posted on Friday, 20 July 2007 17:36:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback