The Forests of the Sea

submerged forest Nova Scotia
The traces of this submerged forest in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia lie below some 12m of water at high tide. It is an evocative experience to walk among them.
The tree remains at Lionacleit on Benbecula are less impressive than those of Nova Scotia, but you can see here that a considerable amount of organic matter from the woodland floor lies preserved in the peat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are slowly becoming accustomed to the idea that the world experienced by our ancestors was very different to our own, even within the span of a few millennia. Nowhere is that made clearer than when standing among the remains of a long-dead forest, especially when it lies in a landscape devoid of trees. Continue reading The Forests of the Sea

Scatter sites: more than meets the eye

Mesolithic Deeside.
This evocative image by Ali Cameron gives a good idea of the joys of fieldwalking. It is all about finding flints, usually in the rain! Mesolithic Deeside members at work fieldwalking the prolific sites along the River Dee in Aberdeenshire.

I’ve been thinking about lithic scatters a lot recently. For the uninitiated a lithic scatter is a collection of stone tools. They tend to be found on the ground surface, usually across the surface of a ploughed field, but they may also occur in other Continue reading Scatter sites: more than meets the eye

Chocolate: not as Relaxing as You Thought

Archaeology works hard to be inclusive.  Participation involves responsibility, but there are always people on hand to advise. Why then has a well-known company apparently chosen to dive in without forethought?

It can’t have been the Spring Publicity campaign that Cadbury planned. On the face of it, the idea: to encourage families into exploring the outdoors and engaging with heritage, was such a good one. How could it all go so horribly wrong?

Not only have they been encouraging illegal behaviour (the ransacking of archaeological sites is covered by legislation in each of the countries of the United Kingdom), it is also irresponsible. I doubt that they would suggest that kids go out and collect birds’ eggs from nests. So why was it deemed acceptable to Continue reading Chocolate: not as Relaxing as You Thought

New Publication: At Home on the Waves

I’ve a chapter in a new book. And, though I blow my own trumpet, it is a brilliant book. Not only does it cover a theme that is interesting to me: the relationship between people and the sea, but it combines an unusual mix of anthropology and archaeology so that you have papers on cruise ship crews from the Philippines sitting alongside papers on Neolithic archaeology. It makes for fascinating reading.

The publication started out as a session at a conference held in Bristol many years ago. Now, the editing of conference volumes is a thankless and demanding task so my heartfelt thanks must go to Gary and Tanya who took on the job for this one! I am sure that at times they despaired of ever getting everything together – editing took place across the continents just to add to the fun of it! Anyway, at last the book is out and everyone can relax.

As you will see, you do need a second mortgage in order to buy a print copy. In addition to the cheaper e-book, there is a 50% discount with the code KIN420 on print copies ordered through the Berghahn website UNTIL 30th April 2019. They are encouraging us to spread the word.