midsummer

Fieldwork in the English/Scottish borders. Molly and I were out late this midsummer evening, walking and talking – at Bamburgh, court and capital of the Kingdom of Northumbria in the seventh and eighth centuries. Below us, on the beach, (we found out via Gilbert (Cockton) on Facebook) Alex Braidford was capturing the strawberry moonrise –…

history’s ruin – the case of an automobile

This is one of a series of comments on the 8th biennial symposium “Connoisseurship and the Collectible Car” held at the Revs Institute for Automotive Research in Naples, Florida in March 2015. [Link] I’m in a workshop at the Revs Institute in Naples Florida, home of Miles Collier’s remarkable collection of cars and all things…

the archaeological uncanny

Gabriel Moshenska has sent me his recent and very neat article about the archaeological uncanny in the ghost stories of MR James. Gabriel is quite right, I think, to highlight the connection between Freud’s unheimlich, ghosts, and the haunting persistence, sometimes malevolent, of the past – MR James made much of the curses that can…

Olivier – Le sombre abîme du temps

Laurent Olivier’s wonderful book Le sombre abîme du temps has just appeared in translation (as The dark abyss of time: memory and archaeology) – [Link] Laurent offers profound elaboration of the fundamental insight that the past is all around us, before us, in material traces, that presence is filled with the past, that the future…

spectral stone

The Coquet Valley in Northumberland is fascinating me. [Link] Around Lordenshaws, across from the market town of Rothbury, are many carved rock surfaces, typically associated with farming communities from the fourth to and millennia BCE, maybe earlier and maybe later. Birky Hill I met Stan Beckensall, school teacher in Rothbury, rock art enthusiast, some thirty…