Thirteen Swords: Adventures in Bronze Age Metal-working
Archaeology / Events / Reviews / Travel / Weird and Wonderful

Thirteen Swords: Adventures in Bronze Age Metal-working

I’ve always wanted a sword. Ever since I was a knights-and-castles-obsessed little boy, I’ve wanted one. Doing classics, and then moving into East Mediterranean archaeology, did nothing to diminish this need, but it did make me realise one important point: Bronze Age swords are much cooler than their mediaeval counterparts. In the stressful times of … Continue reading

Classical Gothic
Discussion / Museums

Classical Gothic

Gothic literature started in 1746 with Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto. That’s the orthodox line, the version you’ll see at the British Library exhibition. But it’s notoriously difficult to pinpoint the origins of literary genres; especially one as fuzzy and hard to define as ‘Gothic’. While there was certainly a definite tradition that started with … Continue reading

Archaeology / Classics and pop culture / Reviews

Mummies as Monsters: Reviewing The Book of the Dead

It’ll be obvious from even the briefest glance over my past posts here that I’ve got a strong interest in both archaeology and monsters. Slap-bang in the middle of that Venn-diagram lies (or staggers stiffly around) the Mummy. More than any other creature, perhaps, the monstrous mummy of literature and film embodies (no pun intended) … Continue reading

Amphitrite’s Brood: Sea-Monsters in the Classical World
Classics and pop culture / History / Weird and Wonderful

Amphitrite’s Brood: Sea-Monsters in the Classical World

[δείδω μή] …τί μοι καὶ κῆτος ἐπισσεύῃ μέγα δαίμων ἐξ ἁλός, οἷά τε πολλὰ τρέφει κλυτὸς Ἀμφιτρίτη: [I’m afraid] that some god’s going to send a great sea-monster against me; glorious Amphitrite breeds them in numbers. Odyssey 5.418-21 Culturally as well as geographically, the sea was central to the Classical world. These days we’re encouraged … Continue reading

Making Ancient Pancakes
Baking

Making Ancient Pancakes

For my birthday this year I was given the British Museum’s Classical Cookbook, by Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger. I haven’t had a chance to read through it fully yet, but it all looks very impressive (though could have done with more pictures – I don’t understand cookbooks without photos!) But this isn’t a review. … Continue reading