German scholars made more than 200 recordings of British POWs during WWI in an effort to study regional speech and accents. Surprisingly, these century-old voices have survived to today.
HT: Aram Bakshian.
The Guardian reports on new information on findings from the Essex grave of a 6th Century Anglo-Saxon prince.
Archaeologists on Thursday will reveal the results of years of research into the burial site of a rich, powerful Anglo-Saxon man found at Prittlewell in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
When it was first discovered in 2003, jaws dropped at how intact the chamber was. But it is only now, after years of painstaking investigation by more than 40 specialists, that a fuller picture of the extraordinary nature of the find is emerging.
Sophie Jackson, director of research at Museum of London Archaeology (Mola), said it could be seen as a British equivalent to Tutankhamunâ€™s tomb, although different in a number of ways.
For one thing it is in free-draining soil, meaning everything organic has decayed. â€œIt was essentially a sandpit with stains,â€ she said. But what a sandpit. â€œIt was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries weâ€™ve made in this country in the last 50 to 60 years.â€
The research reveals previously concealed objects, paints a picture of how the chamber was constructed and offers new evidence of how Anglo-Saxon Essex was at the forefront of culture, religion and exchange with other countries across the North Sea.
It also throws up a possible name for the powerful Anglo-Saxon figure for whom the grave was built.
Previously, the favourite suggestion was a king of the East Saxons, Saebert, son of Sledd. But he died about 616 and scientific dating now suggests the burial was in the late-6th century, about 580.
That means it could be Saebertâ€™s younger brother Seaxa although, since the body has dissolved and only tiny fragments of his tooth enamel remain, it is impossible to know for certain.
Gold foil crosses were found in the grave which indicate he was a Christian, a fact which has also surprised historians.
Sue Hirst, Molaâ€™s Anglo-Saxon burial expert, said that date was remarkably early for the adoption of Christianity in England, coming before Augustineâ€™s mission to convert the country from paganism.
But it could be explained because Seaxaâ€™s mother Ricula was sister to king Ethelbert of Kent who was married to a Frankish Christian princess called Bertha. â€œRicula would have brought close knowledge of Christianity from her sister-in-law.â€
Recreating the design of the burial chamber has been difficult because the original timbers decayed leaving only stains and impressions of the structure in the soil.
But it has been possible. The Mola team estimates it would have taken 20 to 25 men working five or six days in different groups to build the chamber and would have involved felling 13 oak trees.
â€œIt was a significant communal effort,â€ said Jackson. â€œYouâ€™ve got to see this burial chamber as a piece of theatre. It is sending out a very strong message to the people who come and look at it and the stories they take away from it. It says â€˜we are very important people and we are burying one of our most important peopleâ€™.â€
Objects identified in the grave include a wooden lyre â€“ the ancient worldâ€™s most important stringed instrument â€“ which had almost entirely decayed apart from fragments of wood and metal fittings preserved in a soil stain.
Micro-excavation in the lab has revealed it was made from maple, with ash tuning pegs, and had garnets in two of the lyre fittings which are almandines, most likely from the Indian subcontinent or Sri Lanka. It had also been broken in two at some point and put back together.
The burial chamber was discovered only because of a proposal to widen the adjacent road. It was fully excavated and the research has been undertaken by experts in a range of subjects including Anglo-Saxon art, ancient woodworking, soil science and engineering.
The new Mola findings are published on Thursday ahead of a long-awaited new permanent display of Prittlewell princely burial objects at Southend Central Museum. It opens on Saturday and will include objects such as a gold belt buckle, a Byzantine flagon, coloured glass vessels, an ornate drinking horn and a decorative hanging bowl. People will also be able to explore the burial chamber online at www.prittlewellprincelyburial.org.
Essex has sometimes been seen as something of an Anglo-Saxon backwater but the Prittlewell burial chamber suggests otherwise.
â€œWhat it really tells us,â€ said Hirst, â€œis that the people in Essex, in the kingdom of the East Saxons at this time, are really at the forefront of the political and religious changes that are going on.â€
National Geographic article
"Sod Off Swampy", Britain, Greenpeace, Instapundit, International Petroleum Exchange, The Left, The Right Stuff
Glenn Reynolds remains as indefatigable, witty, and preeminent among conservative bloggers as usual. One of his particularly effective blogging techniques is the use of amusing, and implicitly classifying and categorizing, post titles.
I happened to notice his use the other day of a scornful response to left-wing insolence and irrationality: “Sod off, Swampy!”, and I began wondering where that came from.
So I looked it up, and found that it goes back to a Greenpeace protest at London’s International Petroleum Exchange in 2005.
The London Times reported:
Kyoto protest beaten back by inflamed petrol traders
WHEN 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yesterday they had planned the operation in great detail.
What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.
â€œWe bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,â€ one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. â€œIâ€™ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.â€
Another said: â€œI took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.â€ Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: â€œSod off, Swampy.â€
Greenpeace had hoped to paralyse oil trading at the exchange in the City near Tower Bridge on the day that the Kyoto Protocol came into force. â€œThe Kyoto Protocol has modest aims to improve the climate and we need huge aims,â€ a spokesman said.
Protesters conceded that mounting the operation after lunch may not have been the best plan. â€œThe violence was instant,â€ Jon Beresford, 39, an electrical engineer from Nottingham, said.
â€œThey grabbed us and started kicking and punching. Then when we were on the floor they tried to push huge filing cabinets on top of us to crush us.â€ When a trader left the building shortly before 2pm, using a security swipe card, a protester dropped some coins on the floor and, as he bent down to pick them up, put his boot in the door to keep it open.
Two minutes later, three Greenpeace vans pulled up and another 30 protesters leapt out and were let in by the others.
They made their way to the trading floor, blowing whistles and sounding fog horns, encountering little resistance from security guards. Rape alarms were tied to helium balloons to float to the ceiling and create noise out of reach. The IPE conducts â€œopen outcryâ€ trading where deals are shouted across the pit. By making so much noise, the protesters hoped to paralyse trading.
But they were set upon by traders, most of whom were under the age of 25. â€œThey were kicking and punching men and women indiscriminately,â€ a photographer said. â€œIt was really ugly, but Greenpeace did not fight back.â€
Mr Beresford said: â€œThey followed the guys into the lobby and kept kicking and punching them there. They literally kicked them on to the pavement.â€
Last night Greenpeace said two protesters were in hospital, one with a suspected broken jaw, the other with concussion.
A spokeswoman from IPE said the trading floor reopened at 3.10pm. â€œThe floor was invaded by a small group of protesters,â€ she said. â€œOpen outcry trading was suspended but electronic trading carried on.â€
Eighteen police vans and six police cars surrounded the exchange and at least 27 protesters were arrested. A small band blocked the entrance to the building for the rest of the evening.
Richard Ward, IPEâ€™s chief executive, said that the exchange would review security but denied that protesters had reached the trading floor. However, traders, protesters and press photographers confirmed to The Times that the trading floor had been breached.
News reports weren’t kidding about Richard Osborn-Brooks (the 78-year-old pensioner who killed a criminal home invader in a hand-to-hand struggle) and his wife now being in jeopardy of revenge from the dead crook’s gypsy clan.
The pensioner and his wife, the Mirror reports, are living in exile from their home under police protection, while the pikey clan has built a shrine to the dearly departed featuring flowers, balloons, ribbons, and hand-written, ill-spelt messages of affection for the dead armed robber.
Can anyone imagine this kind of thing being tolerated by the authorities before WWII? The corrosive effects of left-wing egalitarianism could hardly be more spectacularly manifested. Honest citizens are obliged to run and hide and the criminal element, empowered by the protected and privileged victim status awarded by Marxism, proudly occupies the public space and defends its own unchallenged by respectable society.
Richard Osborn-Brooks, the 78-year-old London man we told you about last week who was being held on suspicion of murder over the death of an alleged intruder he stabbed to death in his own home, has been cleared by the Metropolitan Police:
From the release:
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, of the Metâ€™s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: â€œThis is a tragic case for all of those involved. As expected with any incident where someone has lost their life, my officers carried out a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the death.
â€œWe have approached the CPS for early investigative advice, as required under the guidance. We have received and considered that advice, and, at present â€“ on the evidence available â€“ we will not seek a charging decision. Therefore, no further action will be taken against the man.
Apparently, though the old man and his wife are not out of the woods. The deceased came from a family of criminals who are thought likely to come after them seeking revenge. This being Britain, there is no way Mr. and Mrs. Osborn-Brooks can arm themselves for self defense.
Ledbury Hunt meeting at the Feathers Hotel on Boxing Day of 1909.
RSH forwarded this photo, and wrote:
â€œIf we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.â€
The first Roman invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar in 55BC is a historical fact, with vivid accounts passed down by Tacitus, Cicero and Caesar himself.
Yet, despite a huge landing force of legionaries from 800 ships, no archaeological evidence for the attack or any physical remains of encampments have ever been found.
But now a chance excavation carried out ahead of a road building project in Kent has uncovered what is thought to be the first solid proof for the invasion.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester and Kent County Council have found a defensive ditch and javelin spear at Ebbsfleet, a hamlet on the Isle of Thanet.
A “House of the Dead” dating back more than 5,000 years could contain the remains of the ancestors of people who built Stonehenge, archaeologists believe.
A Neolithic long barrow burial mound at Cat’s Brain, in Pewsey Vale, Wiltshire, is being excavated by the University of Reading in the first full investigation of such a monument in the county for half a century.
The long barrow, lies in the middle of a farmer’s field halfway between the two major stone circles of Avebury and Stonehenge, and its existence has been known for decades after a geological survey found the evidence of deep trenches.
The inner building, however, was thought to have been ploughed flat, and it was not until a drone was sent up recently that anyone knew part of it still survives.
The barrrow would have originally consisted of of two ditches flanking a central burial chamber which was probably covered with a mound made of the earth dug from the ditches.
Experts said it was surprising to find lasting evidence of the building and believe it may contain human remains buried there in around 3,600 BC.
It is hoped the Reading University Archaeology Field School investigation will provide crucial evidence from the early Neolithic period, which saw Britain’s first agricultural communities and monument builders.
First preview episode of a new YouTube video series in which seven native speakers teach immigrants to Britain how to speak Cockney, Scottish, Scouse, Welsh, Wes Country, Yorkshire, and Geordie.
HT: Karen L. Myers.