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Love Archaeology Magazine 1

Meet the Team


Meet the Team...
Adrin Maldonado,
General Editor
Our resident early medievalist and
Pictish nerd, Adrin is as surprised as
you are that this magazine has come
together.
Terence Christian
Copy Editor/Design
Terences PhD is on WWII air wrecks.
Simultaneously, he has found the
boggiest and most remote places in
Scotland.
Rebecca Younger
Copy Editor
Becca is a caffeine-addicted, henge-
obsessed PhD student at Glasgow
University.
Paul Edward Montgomery
Copy Editor
Paul is interested in Vikings and public
archaeology. Oh, and bears.
Amanda Charland
Copy Editor/Gear
Amandas PhD is on Crusader castles.
She enjoys long walks on the beach
(i.e.her sites) & spotting A-listers in posh
Jerusalem hotels.
Jennifer Novotny
Design and Production
Jen specialises in the Archaeology of
conict and violence, which often leaves
her feeling conicted and violent.
Ryan McNutt
Web/Copy Editor
Ryans PhD research focuses on
conict archaeology, and is master of
Archaeology Berserkergang, specialising
in Bear-Fu.
Seumas Bates
Content Editor
Seumas is our Token Anthropologist,
currently researching the impact of
Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill on
the people of rural S. Lousiana.
Christy McNutt
Design and Production Editor
Christy is a graphic Designer with a
love for bright, shiny things, and taking
pretty pictures of old stuff.
David Watson
Digital Design Manager
Dave is an architect specialising in
building conservation and restoration.
He once dreamt that he was a building.
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Editorial
m.. ..
.. .... /
Where do we come from? Where are we going?
Whats that coming over the hill?! Here at Love
Archaeology Magazine, we do not shy away from
the big questions.
Issue 3 marks our third foray outside our
comfortable academic bubbles and into the wilds
beyond. How long can we get away with this
colossal waste of time? Tune in to Issue 4 to fnd
out! That is, of course, if any of us survive the
Mayan Apocalypse. For any residents of The Future
who are reading this, congratulations on not being
eaten by zombies/chosen for the rapture/engulfed
by the CERN black hole/killed by the Bond villain evil
plot that actually worked/consumed in the fames
of the comet strike that totally happened even
though we sent Bruce Willis to nuke it in the face.
As archaeologists, we are used to unearthing
unspeakable ancient evils and endangering
humanity by our overreaching quest for knowledge.
Therefore, we are uniquely well placed to study the
myths and monsters which are common to every
culture. In this issue, we do not intend to dwell
on the inevitable end, but prepare you for your
inescapable role as lore-keeper/past-rememberer
in the post-comfortable period to come. This issue
deals with the fctions we invent to persuade
ourselves that life has order and direction, and
no, we dont mean history.
Unusually for archaeologists, this issue focuses
on our immaterial culture. What do we modern
people do now that we have the world at our
fngertips? Pretend it doesnt exist and play
Skyrim or go LARPing instead. What do myth-
crafters Tolkien, Pratchett and Lovecraft have
in common? A mastery for creating imaginary
realms inspired by the detritus of antiquity. All this
plus the usual interviews, reviews and trenchside
tales. Join us once more and let us teach you
how to see the archaeology in everything. And
not a single mention of Indiana Jones! Ah, shit.
Truly,
. . ..,, ..
Now seeking content for Issue 4: The Sex Issue!
Hit us with your best ideas at
lovearchaeologymagazine@gmail.com
Become a follower @LoveArchaeology
Put us on your wall at facebook.com/LoveArch
Daily archaeology action at
lovearchmag.tumblr.com
mylittleCthulu
Love Archaeology Magazine 3
Contents
2 Meet the Team
3 Editorial
6 Watching Brief
7 Cabinet of Curiosities
8 Farewell to 2012
11 Scientifc Sandbox
12 2012: Year of Early
Medieval Britain
18 Fashion Ramblings
22 Advice from the
Ancients
23 Viking Man: review of
the Manx Museum
p8
p34
p30
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24 Speculum Fantasia:
Middle-Earth As Mirror
For Medieval Europe
28 Imagined Heritage
30 Lovecraft Archaeology
34 The Archaeology of
Skyrim
39 Living Fantasy
41 Let Other Pens Dwell
On Guilt And Misery
44 Neo-Neolithic:
the archaeology of
contemporary henges
48 Restoring a ruin: The
gothic chapel
53 Careers in Ruins
56 The Backfll
p41
p39
p24
p28
Love Archaeology Magazine 5
PORN CONFERENCE
The speakers have been announced for a
titillating interdisciplinary conference at the
University of Warwick in April 10-12, 2013,
entitled Erotica, Pornography and the Obscene
in Europe. Presenters from a variety of research
areas will explore sex and sexuality in Europe
from 1600 to 1900. [See also Stuart Campbells
discussion of an erotic artefact on p.] You have
until March to register at their website. Kudos to
attendees that manage to not giggle during the
proceedings.
WHERE THE HOBBITSES ARE
When the Lord of the Rings flms were made
over a decade ago, the hobbit houses of
Hobbiton were constructed with temporary
materials at the request of the landowner upon
which the scenery was located [See our article
on p28.] This time around, at the request of
the landowner (who changed his mind), theyve
created a permanent Hobbiton that fans will be
able to visit. Plan your hobbit hols now!
QUALITY TIME-WASTING
Gaming giant Bethesda are expanding their
highly successful Elder Scrolls franchise with the
Elder Scrolls Online, a new MMORPG, the release
date for which is a tantalisingly vague 2013.
The game is set 1000 years before Skyrim, so
get your mage on, while paying attention to
the changing material culture. As long as we all
survive the Maya Apocalypse, obvs. [See our
article on the virtual material culture of Skyrim
on p.34]
MONSTER MASHING
Medusas Gaze and Vampires Bite: The Science
of Monsters (2012: Scribner) by science
journalist Matt Kaplan provides a scientifc
explanation for everything from vampires to
zombies to dragons, and pulls back the curtain
on Minotaurs maze and Merlins magic. This
empirical approach is not always convincing, but
is itself a great example of the timeless desire to
explain the world around us. [See our piece on
Tolkiens myth-craft on p.24]
FOOD ARCHAEOLOGY
Ever wondered what an extinct species would
taste like? Nows your last chance to eat the
archaeology without getting kicked out of the
museum. Hostess Brands, makers of American
pseudo-foods since 1930, have offcially ceased
to be, and the last-ever shipment of Twinkies
(cream flled cakes, in the loosest sense of
both words) hit stores this month. [See our
blog]
Watching Brief
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Cabinet of Curiosities
Stuart Campbell, Treasure Trove Unit, Edinburgh
O
ne of the advantages in dealing
with chance fnds is that
objects, and categories
of objects, can appear rather
unexpectedly. Recently the treasure
trove system has been swamped
in a tsunami of flth, its staff gazing
in horrifed fascination at obscene
objects of an increasingly depraved and
inventive nature. A notable example is this
pipe tamper of a man in a state of strenuous
arousal, clad solely in a top hat. The type of
hat, known as a beaver, dates the tamper to
1800-10. When we ask when and where such
objects would be acceptable (and conversely,
where they would offend) we can start to
answer questions about contemporary
society. Intriguingly, many of these objects
are snuff spoons and pipe tampers, evoking
a world of exclusively male sociability. There is
considerable evidence that obscene objects could
serve other functions beyond obvious ribaldry,
their limited social acceptability could exclude
those holding respectable opinions and create
social groups where controversial political and
social issues could be espoused in like-minded
company. Rather obviously, the fgure is engaged
in the act of masturbation, popularly thought
to be both a moral evil and unhealthy by 18
th

century medical standards. This debate had a
surprising social range from the sweaty palmed
hysteria of the journal Onania sparking a public
debate between medical professionals pointing out
the absurdity and immorality of [the] doctrine in favour
of Onanism or masturbation, to the unfortunate Scottish
minister Daniel MacLauchlan being imprisoned for writing a
vile, abominable and obscene pamphlet, a debate ending
in the (metaphorical) waving of electrically charged
prosthetic phalluses, like dawn duellists become horribly
awry. It was easy to mock such mainstream views and
clubs such as the Beggars Benison used ceremonial
masturbation both to lampoon the formalities of
established clubs and to ridicule what they saw as the
narrowness of mainstream society.
Stuart Campbell is currently researching what other
people should be protected from and is presenting a
paper The Naked and the Seditious; a material culture
of Georgian erotic objects at the Erotica, Pornography
and the Obscene in Europe conference at Warwick
University April 10-12, 2013


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Farewell to 2012
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Why didnt the Mayan Apocalypse happen? Was it still a good thing for archaeology?
ARTHUR DEMAREST of Vanderbilt University sets the record straight.
T
he ancient Maya civilization has long
captured the attention of both scholars
and the general public. It fts the most
romantic description of a lost civilization
with the deserted ruins of its sprawling cities
overgrown by jungle, its carved monuments
covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions in an
ancient tongue, and its temples with tombs
and treasures within them. Yet this enigmatic
civilization is also of great and serious scholarly
interest for many reasons. One of those is that
few highly complex societies have ever arisen
in a rainforest environment. Despite the thin
soils, few navigable rivers, and rich but fragile
environments of the subtropical forest, the Maya
civilization was able to achieve perhaps the
highest level of sociopolitical complexity of any
ancient Pre-Columbian society. At its apogee
between 400 B.C. and A.D. 900 the ancient
Maya states extended across a vast area of
Mexico and Central America. Yet by the end of
the frst millennium AD, these great cities were
abandoned to be covered in jungle and deserted
for centuries prior to their discovery.
A Palace at the Site of Palenque, Mexico.
While the Maya tropical forest adaptation and
their collapse have been the subject of much
recent archaeology, both scholars and the public
have also been intrigued with the evidence
in the ancient inscriptions and their ongoing
decipherment. The Classic period Maya created
a number of calendars based on their many
centuries of observations of the night sky. These
included detailed knowledge of the cycles of the
appearances of the sun, moon, Venus, Saturn,
and star confgurations. They could even predict
eclipses of the sun, moon and Venus.
Perhaps most important of their time systems
was their count of days, the Long Count.
This was comparable to our own Gregorian
calendric dates which record the days, years,
decades, and millennia since the birth of Christ
as in November 10, 1952. The Maya, however,
counted time from a day of the present cycle
of creation which was the day expressed in
Above: Panel 3 of Cancuen Showing the Great Holy King,
Taj chan Ahk and two sub-lords.
Below: Drawing of the Acropolis at the Site of Piedras
Negras, Guatemala.
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our calendar as August 13, 3114 B.C. Another
difference with the Maya calendar was that it
relied on their base twenty mathematics. Thus,
instead of counting in years, decades, and
centuries they counted short years (tuns of
360 days) in units of one (the tun), twenty
(the katun), and 400 (the baktun of 400 or
20x20 tun years). Just like our own calendar
the Maya recorded dates since the beginning of
the current Great Cycle of time but using a
base twenty system, a much earlier start date,
and also appending to it identifcations of the
day in their other astronomically-based or ritual
calendar systems.
It is this Long Count of days since the start
date in 3114 B.C. which has led to the current
controversy about the supposed Maya prediction
of the end of the world on December 21 2012.
This date would have been an important
one since it marks the exact date of the end
of 13 of their 400 short year periods (13
baktuns). Undoubtedly the Maya would have
anticipated this date with anxiety and would
have then celebrated its arrival with great ritual,
ceremonies, and constructions. It represents
the culmination of years after 13, (a sacred
number), of its units of 400 years (20x20, the
other sacred number).
Nonetheless, it is a great misunderstanding to
think that the Maya would have believed that
this was the end of time and the apocalypse
ending history. Maya time was cyclical so when
this Great Cycle of 13 baktuns would end, a new
one would begin. Furthermore, the Maya had
even greater cycles of time including a count of
20 baktuns, 20 of their 400 year periods. That
would not end until October 13, 4772 in our
calendar! Furthermore several Maya inscriptions
include prophecies about events thousands of
years into the future, obviously indicating that
they did not believe that the world would end
before those dates. Thus, the sensationalist
predictions of doom are baseless.
Nonetheless, the 2012 apocalypse predictions
have served a good purpose in drawing attention
to the study of the ancient Maya. Furthermore,
the leaders of the millions of modern Maya have
embraced in a positive way the concept of the
2012 end of the Great Cycle of 13 baktuns.
They believe that we should celebrate this date
not as an end, but as the beginning of a new
age, the opening of a better new cycle. This
new cycle, they propose, should be an era in
which the centuries of brutal oppression of the
modern indigenous Maya, descendants of the
great Classic Maya civilization. In that spirit on
this date we can all appreciate the greatness of
Maya culture, ancient and modern. We can also
be pleased that the archaeological study of the
ancient Maya has helped to bring attention, and
hopefully support, to the Maya peoples of today.
Further reading
Coe, Michael D. 2011 The Maya. Thames and
Hudson.
Demarest, Arthur A 2004 Ancient Maya:
The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization.
Cambridge University Press.
Van Stone, Mark 2010 2012: Science and
Prophecy of the Ancient Maya. Tlacaelel Press.
Carved Stelae of a Divine King of the Site of Copan,
Honduras.
Scientific Sandbox
by Dan Weiss
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2012: Year of Early Medieval Britain
Say goodbye to the Dark Ages: 2012 has seen an unprecedented amount of excavation on early
medieval sites across Britain. Heres some exclusive, unpublished highlights of ongoing work.
TRUMPINGTON ANGLO-SAXON BED BURIAL
Dr Sam Lucy, Cambridge Archaeological Unit
Developer-funded excavations at Trumpington Meadows, three miles south of Cambridge,
revealed part of an Anglo-Saxon settlement (later 7th- to 9/10th-century) consisting of
sunken-featured buildings and one hall building, as well as a later phase of sub-rectangular
enclosures. Associated with the earliest phase of settlement (later 7th century) was an aligned
row of four inhumation burials. These were all of sub-adults or young adults, and one was
a bed burial accompanied by a chatelaine and a gold and garnet pectoral cross. The bed
consisted of a wooden frame held together by metal brackets, with further pieces of looped
metal fxing the cross-slats to create a suspended bed base, similar to modern beds, but with
a straw mattress. The discovery of the bed adds to the cluster of examples already known
in the Cambridge region, while the cross is the ffth known from Britain (in addition to those
from Ixworth, Suffolk; Wilton Norfolk; Holderness and that found in St Cuthberts coffn). The
other known crosses are pendants designed to hang suspended on a necklace, whereas the
Trumpington cross has a loop on the reverse of each arm, so that it could be stitched directly
onto either clothing or another material.
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2012: Year of Early Medieval Britain
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LYMINGE ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT Dr Alexandra Knox (University of Reading)
Lyminge, Kent, is known as the location of an
Anglo-Saxon double monastery established
in the 7th century. Archaeologists from the
University of Reading, led by Dr Gabor Thomas,
have been excavating within the village
since 2008, locating the 8th and 9th-century
monastic settlement. In 2010 we discovered
the pre- Christian precursor settlement dating
to the 6-7th centuries, represented by post-
built structures and sunken-featured buildings
containing a wealth of high-status material
culture, including the frst example of a plough
coulter from Early Anglo-Saxon England.
The project received funding from the AHRC in
2012 to continue the campaign of excavations
for a further three years; this work is targeting
Tayne Field, a large open site in the heart of
the village occupying a low spur overlooking
a fresh-water spring. Our inaugural campaign
of excavation surpassed all expectations by
revealing the ground-plan of a massive timber
assembly hall of a type found at Cowderys
Down, Yeavering and other early Anglo-Saxon
royal centres. We can provisionally date the
hall to the late 6th-early 7th century as datable
artefacts were found within its wall trenches, and
radiocarbon dating will enable us to see if this
is might be one of the earliest Great Halls in
Anglo-Saxon England. This phase of the project
is delivered in collaboration with project partners
Kent Archaeological Society and Canterbury
Archaeological Trust. Find out more at
www.lymingearchaeology.org
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HOLY ISLAND, LINDISFARNE
David Petts (Durham University)
Despite its importance as a centre of early
medieval Christianity in the Insular world, Holy
Island has seen very little recent archaeological
work. However, this autumn, thanks to funding
from National Geographic, archaeologists from
Durham University carried out the islands frst
large-scale geophysical survey, covering around
20ha in and around the village. The putative
boundary ditch for the monastery following the
Marygate did not appear, but we have identifed
an alternative boundary feature closer to the
site of the medieval priory that also aligns on
elements of the surviving road system. We have
also identifed a series of medieval enclosures,
a possible prehistoric enclosure and most
spectacularly, a second cloister attached to the
medieval priory. All this remains hypothetical
until we can ground-truth it through excavation,
and we are currently looking for funds to do
this. In addition to the feldwork, we are also in
the process of pulling together all unpublished
archaeological interventions on the island. Weve
tracked down the archives from Brian Hope-
Taylors little-known research on Lindisfarne
(carried out 50 years to the day before we did
our geophysics) and will be digitising his site
plans and sections. We are hoping to develop a
campaign of new feldwork, so watch this space!
RHYNIE PICTISH STONE
AND TIMBER HALL
Dr Meggen Gondek
(University of Chester) and
Dr Gordon Noble
(University of Aberdeen)
The Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project
(REAP) has conducted two evaluative
excavations (2011 and 2012) at the site of
the Craw Stane, an in situ Pictish Class I
symbol stone. The project has revealed a
hitherto unidentifed high status complex
dating to the 5th 6th centuries AD.
Features include an impressive timber
palisade enclosing the site alongside a
series of ditched enclosures. There is also
evidence for elaborate timber entrance
features and pit structures associated with
the ditch terminals. Within the interior there
is evidence for at least one large timber hall
and other structures showing architectural
techniques ranging from post-built, post and
beam, post and plan and plank-built. Many of
the structures appear to have been destroyed
in a catastrophic fre. The fnds from this
destruction layer are characteristic of early
medieval high status sites and include sherds
of Late Roman amphorae, imported glass,
and evidence of fne metalworking.
Photo David Petts
Photo REAP
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TRUSTYS HILL PICTISH STONE AND HILLFORT Dr Chris Bowles, Scottish Border Council
Trustys Hill, near Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, is best known for the Pictish
symbols carved into a natural rock outcrop at the forts entrance. However, in recent years,
many historians have begun to doubt the authenticity of these carvings. The Galloway Picts
Project, a recent collaboration between the local community, private sector and public sector
organisations and led by the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian
Society (DGNHAS), sought to fnd out why there are Pictish Carvings here, so far from the
Pictish heartlands in the north-east of Scotland, and if the carvings are indeed genuine.
The re-excavation of Prof. Charles Thomas trenches from 1960 in May and June of this year
discovered exciting new evidence that the site was once a royal stronghold, including elite
metalworking, pins and brooches and a sherd of imported E-Ware pottery from the Loire
valley. The assemblage is in line with other hillforts ascribed a royal status such as Dunadd,
Dumbarton Rock and Edinburgh Castle. The excavations also revealed the full sequence of
construction and destruction by vitrifcation of the ramparts, ending in the middle of the
7th century. Finally, the feature called a guard hut by Thomas, located directly opposite
the Pictish symbols, proved to be a rock-cut basin with an arguably ritual signifcance at the
entrance to the fort. All of this led the excavators to conclude that Trustys Hill was a royal
stronghold, perhaps the home of powerful kings of Rheged such as Urien and Owain. If this is
correct, then a once obscure archaeological site can now be seen as being central to the early
medieval history of Scotland.
MARYPORT ROMAN ALTARS AND LONG CISTS Prof
Ian Haynes, University of Newcastle and
Tony Wilmott
Our aim in 2012 was to review the full extent of
the famous Maryport pits, frst uncovered in 1870.
Discoveries in 2011 had made quite clear that the Roman
altars from these pits had not been interred in an act of
piety, but as ballast for a timber structure. By the end of
2012 we had identifed 63 discrete pits, most disturbed
by antiquarian investigations, but for one which had
been left untouched. It contained fragments of yet more
Roman altars, one dedicated by Titus Attius Tutor, prefect
of cohors I Baestasiorum, a regiment known to have been
stationed at Maryport from the mid 160s to the early
180s AD. But what was this structure?
An important breakthrough came when we unearthed
a clutch of long cist burials in the NW end of the site.
The graves do not encroach on the area occupied
by the timber structures, indicating that they were
contemporary. Two of these contained quartz pebbles,
an indication of early Christian funerary rites. We eagerly
await the results of lab analysis of fragments of tooth
enamel, human bone, a mysterious wooden object, textile
and a necklace which survived from these graves. This
site was probably of particular importance to an early
Christian community and, looking out across the Solway
on a clear day, one can perhaps see why this high point
was chosen: it is intervisible with Whithorn, the cradle of
Scottish Christianity.
DINAS POWYS HILLFORT
Dr Andy Seaman, University of Canterbury
Dinas Powys hillfort is the richest, best
preserved and most fully excavated post-
Roman secular settlement in Wales. Until
recently the importance of the site was
understated due to the misdating and
interpretation of its defences, but re-evaluation
of the fnds and stratigraphy combined
with radiocarbon dating has led to its
reinterpretation as a high-status socio-political
centre associated with the 5-7th century
rulers of eastern Glamorgan. Nevertheless
considerable ambiguity surrounds the
relationship between Dinas Powys hillfort and
the Tyn y Coed Earthworks or the Southern
Banks which lie 140m to the south. These
were surveyed in the early 1950s and trial
trenched by Leslie Alcock and Geoff Wainwright
in 1958, and have been variously interpreted
as a prehistoric enclosure, a Norman siege
work, a cattle corral, and an early medieval
settlement. The primary aims of the current
project are to establish the date, form, and
function of Tyn y Coed and ascertain their
relationship with Dinas Powys. Work so far has
focused on survey and trial excavation, but
larger scale excavation is planned for 2013-14.
Photo Ian Haynes
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Fashion Ramblings
Fashion
Ramblings
End of the World Editon
Amanda Charland
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Love Archaeology Magazine 3
T
he temperature has dropped, the heating in
the Archaeology Department isnt working,
and the subway is mobbed by people with
ridiculously oversized shopping bags. Yup, its
that festive time of year again! The mood is only
slightly interrupted by the seemingly endless
supply of doomsday documentaries showing us
how to prepare for the next Armageddon/mass
economic breakdown/giant volcano explosion/
plague outbreak/zombie apocalypse. Ok, so the
Mayan Apocalypse was no big deal, but theres
lessons to be learnt for archaeologists who have
to work in extreme conditions. Heres how to build
up your very own bug-out bag: the essentials
that let you get the hell out of dodge and survive for
a couple of days (if you cant outrun the zombies
for this long, then youll just have to accept that
natural selection has had its eye on you).
Disaster Plan
Before you set off you gotta have a plan. Youll
need a GPS unit. The Garmin Dakota is relatively
easy to use. Make sure to splurge on the OS maps
for your GPS (this isnt the time to go cheap) and
make sure to pack some extra lithium batteries.
Its also a good idea to buy a back up map. The
OS Explorer Active map is weather resistant.
A Backpack
Youre gonna need a pack big enough to keep
everything to quell your paranoia. Camelbaks
Vantage FT (Mens) and Vista FT (Womens)
packs have great zipper access (top and side) so
you can grab anything you need without having
to unpack everything. The integrated Antidote
Resevoir will handle some of your water needs.
Water
Eventually youll run out of zombie-free water.
The Katadyn Hiker Pro can connect directly to
your Camelbak hydration pack. It will lter up to
1L/minute and remove bacteria, protozoa, cysts,
algae, spores, sediments as well as reduce bad
tastes and odours. This system must be used
with either the Katadyn Micropur Forte MF 1T
silver ion and chlorine tablets or the Aquamira
Water Treatment Drops to ensure the removal
of viruses. These tablets/drops are safe to ingest
regularly, unlike iodine-based water treatments.
Love Archaeology Magazine 19
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Stove
You never know how these nicky apocalypses
are gonna go, so you should get a multi-fuel
stove. The Primus OmniFuel Stove will work
with LP gas, petrol, diesel, kerosene and aviation
fuel (you know, should you come across an
abandoned airplane, but cant y it to safety).
A cheaper alternative is the MSR Whisperlite
International 2012 Stove, which will run with
gas, kerosene and unleaded fuel.
Cooking Pot/Utensils/Food
Nothing beats an old coffee can and a spork. Of
course, if youre not a coffee drinker, you can get
an MSR Stowaway Pot. For food, stuff your bag
with trail mix and Snickers bars. For information
on tracking/killing/preparing food in the wild
please watch all series of Bear Gryllss Born
Survivor.
Fire:
Once youve distanced yourself from any potential
zombie onlookers itll be safe to build a re. If you
want to go the traditional archaeological route
get yourself a int and steel kit complete with
charcloth and hemp rope. (Heres a tip: include
another smaller tin with a small hole piercing the
lid inside your kit to make more charcloth as
needed). Or if youre lazy, you can use either a
re piston or a BIC lighter. As far as lighters go,
nothing beats a BIC. Other high-end lighters or
Zippos may claim to be long lasting and windproof
but in hotter climates fuel evaporates quickly
and a ame created when its windy isnt any
better than that made by a BIC. Avoid waterproof
matches: although the tips are waterproof and
will remain combustible, the tip will most likely
break off of a wet stem.
20 Love Archaeology Magazine
4 Love Archaeology Magazine
Stove
You never know how these nicky apocalypses
are gonna go, so you should get a multi-fuel
stove. The Primus OmniFuel Stove will work
with LP gas, petrol, diesel, kerosene and aviation
fuel (you know, should you come across an
abandoned airplane, but cant y it to safety).
A cheaper alternative is the MSR Whisperlite
International 2012 Stove, which will run with
gas, kerosene and unleaded fuel.
Cooking Pot/Utensils/Food
Nothing beats an old coffee can and a spork. Of
course, if youre not a coffee drinker, you can get
an MSR Stowaway Pot. For food, stuff your bag
with trail mix and Snickers bars. For information
on tracking/killing/preparing food in the wild
please watch all series of Bear Gryllss Born
Survivor.
Fire:
Once youve distanced yourself from any potential
zombie onlookers itll be safe to build a re. If you
want to go the traditional archaeological route
get yourself a int and steel kit complete with
charcloth and hemp rope. (Heres a tip: include
another smaller tin with a small hole piercing the
lid inside your kit to make more charcloth as
needed). Or if youre lazy, you can use either a
re piston or a BIC lighter. As far as lighters go,
nothing beats a BIC. Other high-end lighters or
Zippos may claim to be long lasting and windproof
but in hotter climates fuel evaporates quickly
and a ame created when its windy isnt any
better than that made by a BIC. Avoid waterproof
matches: although the tips are waterproof and
will remain combustible, the tip will most likely
break off of a wet stem.
Love Archaeology Magazine 5
Clothes:
Simple remains best even in extreme-conditions:
always pack socks (Icebreaker and Smartwool are
the best) and long underwear; then layer up with
t-shirts, a hoodie or eece, and light trousers.
My new favourites are Bear Gryllss Bear
Survivor Full Stretch Trousers: they only
come in boy sizes but theyre really comfy, and
survived me sliding down most of the Trotternish
on my rumpits a long story. Staying dry and
warm separates the living from the zombie-food.
For coats, always go synthetic rather than down:
down is lighter and warmer, but as soon as you
get it wet the heat will disappear (along with your
hopes and dreams of survival). Make sure to put
a pair of extra socks into a waterproof bag, like
the Sea to Summit 35L Ultrasil Dry Sack.
Shelter and Sleeping:
Barring the occasional abandoned car or
secluded empty cabin, shelter may be hard to
come by. I lean toward the claustrophobic so
Im all for a two/three person tent something
roomy enough to store my gear in and have
some space to share. An affordable choice is the
Vango Mirage 300 Tent. For sleeping youll
want a close-tting mummy bag that will suit
low temperatures (at least 0C). Mountain
Hardwears Lamina 0 Reg is the warmest in
their range with a comfort lower limit of -12C.
To make your stay comer you can use a closed
cell sleeping mat like Thermarests RidgeRest
SOlite. You could use an inatable mattress,
but if it bursts your mood will surely be severely
deated!
Other Useful Knick Knacks:
A head torch, in case you have to keep on the go
at night; try the Petzl Tikka 2 Plus 2012.
Superglue: you can use it to close cuts until you
nd medical help.
A towel. Because nothing says DONT PANIC
quite like your trusty towel.
Love Archaeology Magazine 21
Advice from the Ancients
ARE YOUR LYMPH NODES SWOLLEN?
DO YOU EXPERIENCE SWEATING, ULCERS, SORES, OR FEVER?
YOU COULD BE
SUFFERING FROM
TALK TO YOUR
MONARCH
ABOUT TREATMENT
OPTIONS FOR THE
THE KINGS EVIL
DIRECTIONS FOR USE:
WEAR THE TOUCHPIECE AROUND
YOUR NECK UNTIL ALL SYMPTOMS
HAVE COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED.
DO NOT REMOVE PRIOR TO
THE END OF THE COURSE OF
TREATMENT AND SPEND THE
TOUCHPIECE AS SOON AS YOU
LEAVE THE PALACE.
PRELIMINARY TEST RESULTS
SUGGEST THAT REGULARLY WASHING
IN ADDITION TO WEARING THE
TOUCHPIECE IS BENEFICIAL.
ONCE CURED, YOU MAY USE THE
TOUCHPIECE AS CURRENCY OR
CONTINUE TO USE IT FOREVER:
THE ROYAL TOUCH DOES NOT
EXPIRE.
At the rst instance, contact your
local medical professional for
diagnosis. Due to an increase in cases
of fraudulent illness, you will be
asked to provide a certicate from
your village physician or local church
or government ofcial.
Once you have your referral, head
directly to your monarch. Expect
lengthy delays as most often treatment
is limited to times before Easter or
Christmas. Your monarch will provide
you with prayers, scripture readings,
and a touchpiece* of precious metal.
CAUTION: SIDE EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE
INCREASED LEVELS OF SUPERSTITION AND
PRO-MONARCHISM.
*THIS OFFER IS LIMITED TO ONE TOUCHPIECE
PER SUBJECT.
THE KINGS EVIL
ALSO KNOWN AS SCROFULA OR TUBERCULOUS
CERVICAL LYMPHADENITIS.
Love Archaeology Magazine 23
L
ike many museums in distant areas, the
Manx Museum exists not only to showcase
natural and archaeological fnds from the
region, but also to provide a narrative outlining
the communitys development into its present
form. It serves as the islands centre of display
for history and ethnography and also acts as the
islands archive, National Trust, and headquarters
of Manx National Heritage. Its located at the top
of a hill overlooking the main part of the capital
of Douglas, so keep in mind that youll have to
work for your museum gratifcation (quick tip:
take the lift in the shopping centres car park to
get you to walkways leading to the museum).
The museum follows the usual pattern of
progression, addressing the islands geology and
extinct fora and fauna before launching into a
chronological archaeology display. The prehistoric
section takes up a substantial area full of twists
and turns, with interesting explanations of how
the objects were made and how Manx prehistory
varied from the period elsewhere. But the real star
of the show is the Viking exhibit, which takes up a
gallery of its own. Despite the lack of known Viking
settlements on the Isle of Man, there are plenty of
silver hoards, sculpture, burials and stray fnds to
keep you amused with lots of bright, shiny things.
For someone who studies the Vikings (like me, if
you have not yet picked up on it), this is a chance
to see in person so many of the fnds that appear
in books on the subject. Among the highlights
for me were a traders balance with animal-
headed terminals, the skull of the sacrifced
slave girl from Ballateare and reconstructions
of a Viking man and the Pagan Lady of Peel.
After the magnifcence of the Viking section, the
following medieval gallery pales in comparison. It
is quite small and only gives a brief look at some
church art, which is somewhat disappointing after
the attention given to the previous galleries. This is
redeemed somewhat by the more modern galleries,
including an endearing nook reconstructing
part of an old-fashioned schoolroom complete
with excerpts from school masters records and
recollections of several Manx residents of their
own schooldays. Admission is free, but Im sure
they wouldnt say no if you wanted to donate some
of your Manx pounds before you leave the island.
For more info go to: www.gov.im/mnh/heritage/
museums/manxmuseum.xml]

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Viking Man: review of the Manx Museum
Elizabeth Pierce

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The closest thing to a horned helment on Man
Vikings: beard-conscious
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SPECULUM
FANTASIA:MIDDLE-
EARTH AS MIRROR FOR MEDIEVAL EU-

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MIDDLE-EARTH AS MIRROR FOR MEDIEVAL EUROPE
SPECULUM FANTASIA:
Mark Hall, Perth Museum
Love Archaeology Magazine 25
For Tolkien, writing in a time of
world wars, the remains of the
past were a constant reminder of
moral decay in the batle between
good and evil.
T
he Italians have a proverb: Se non e vero e
ban traveto, If it isnt true, it is a damn good
story. All civilisations are inventions. Some
go on to be re-created as acts of archaeological and
historical interpretation, but some do not achieve
material reality and remain fctive imaginings.
To recognise this is to recognise that the role
of audiences is as crucial as that of authors and
experts, an audience that is actively involved in
creating and re-creating the worlds and histories
we read about. I suggest that the fctional world of
Middle-earth can be understood as the response
of one particularly keen audience member and
student of history and mythology, and one who
sought to make his own set of meanings as an
author. I am referring of course to J.R.R. Tolkien.
This article hopes to follow both Tolkien, and one
of his great admirers and satirists Terry Pratchett,
on their quests for meaning-making while
confronting and critiquing our entangling past,
both as audience and author to it.
J.R.R. Tolkiens Middle-earth (principally The Lord
of the Rings, The Hobbit, the Silmarillion and the
History of Middle-Earth series) is an active relic
of popular culture, with millions of individual
readers and a mystifed band of critics. It is a case
study with particular relevance to the popular
understanding of the medieval past.
Middle-earth distils Tolkiens fascination with
language, which for him defned reality. Indeed
in a 1967 interview Tolkien remarks how the
seed for Middle-earth was his childhood invention
of languages. This developed into a need to
know what the ancestral myths permeating the
9th-century Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf would
have looked like. In many respects Tolkien was
concerned with successive falls from successive
golden ages, with diminishment and passing.
Inspired by his work as a scholar of ancient
languages, he created a landscape scattered with
ruins and ancient material culture, especially
swords, jewels and rings of power. Yet his concern
was more than just creating a new mythology,
but countering his frustration at the fragmentary
nature of the Anglo-Saxon past. For Tolkien,
writing in a time of world wars, the remains of the
past were a constant reminder of moral decay in
the battle between good and evil.
Many of the words encountered in Middle-earth
are not Tolkiens unique creations but stem from
his exploration of medieval word origins during
his time as a lexicographer for the Oxford English
Dictionary. They include Arkenstone, Shelob,
carrock, confusticate, dwimmerlaik, ent, halfing,
hobbit, Quickbeam, Smaug and Withywindle.
The one I will single out here is mathom, a word
Tolkien used to mean anything that hobbits
had no immediate use for, but were unwilling
to throw away, as defned in the prologue of
the Lord of the Rings. This word was common
in Old English and meant something valuable,
an item of treasure, but its earliest form is 4th-
century Germanic, where it referred to gifts or
something exchanged. A variant of it (mathum)
is deployed in Beowulf to describe a dead kings
funeral treasure. In Tolkiens Middle-earth the
word is used by hobbits and the men of Rohan, the
latter most closely resembling elite Anglo-Saxon
society, and is redolent with gift-giving and buried
treasure. It is a sign of Tolkiens inventiveness
and his willingness not to be confned by the
known past that he changed the meaning of the
word within its hobbit context to be something
of no real worth but which you cannot quite part
with a humorous pointer to the anachronistic,
unheroic, middle-class culture of the shire.
Tolkien also sought inspiration from historical
material culture. In Middle-earth, swords are
centuries old and some follow a trajectory of
heirlooms (thus the shards of Narzil descend to
Aragorn and are reforged to become Anduril),
while others are lost before their recovery in a
later age. They are found in hoards of treasure
secreted in barrows and when recognised as
old friends (or feared enemies) their names are
immediately recalled. This is not unlike what we
know of the trajectory of many early medieval
swords. Swords were given personality through
their being named by their owners and evolved
these personalities through their subsequent
social trajectories, often over several generations
when passed on as heirlooms, gifts or removed
from burial chambers. Such realities of the lives
Tolkeins Rohan was modelled on Anglo-Saxon culture

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26 Love Archaeology Magazine
of swords are refected in their mythopoesis,
which of course adds narrative exaggeration, as
with King Arthurs sword Excalibur (with roots in
Bronze Age votive depositions) and the sword
Hrunting in Beowulf.
The book is given special signifcance in Tolkiens
consideration of material culture and the structure
or architecture of the Middle-earth narrative is
heavily infuenced by this. The Lord of the Rings
cycle is framed as history, based on stories from
the fctional Red Book of Westernesse and including
within its structure oral tales and songs. To a 13
year-old boy reading Lord of the Rings for the frst
time this was one of its deepest and most beguiling
pleasures. I knew just enough about history at
that age for its texture and internal referencing
of the Red Book to be entirely plausible and to
provide me with a sense of discovering something
about the past, though I never did fnd the Red
Book in bookshops or libraries.
But Tolkiens invented civilisation is also a product
of its time, showing how narrative inventions still
reveal the biases and prejudices of their authors.
Middle-earth is an androcentric world and it is an
oft-repeated criticism of Tolkien that he created
insignifcant female characters. Certainly the
Jackson flms (with Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens
co-scripting) sought to soften this by foregrounding
female characters in recognition that contemporary
politics needed to be refected in their modern re-
telling of the story. This is sometimes done with
a sense of humour, for instance, by giving the
dwarf Gimli dialogue in which he talks to Eowyn
with sexual longing of female dwarfs and their
beards. This is in acknowledgement of one of
Terry Pratchetts criticisms of Lord of the Rings,
as in his invented civilisation of Discworld, all
female dwarfs are bearded. Another long-held
criticism and uncomfortable truth of Lord of
the Rings is its implicit racism, though perhaps
Euro-centrism is a fairer criticism: we should
remember that cross-ethnic pairings are crucial
to Middle-earth, including Beren and Luthien and
Aragorn and Arwen and that the movement of
the dark forces of the enemy from the east and
south is an (admittedly unsubtle) refection of the
contemporary view of the 7th-century spread of
Islam into the fringes of Europe as a cataclysmic
event.
Finally in this abbreviated discussion of Tolkien
we should note that he saw his creation of
Middle-earth as our own world, veiled in myth
but accessible through material culture for those
tuned to recognise it. Middle-earth was another
term he worked on for the OED and so was acutely
aware of its Old English meaning as the middle-
region occupied by humans, between heaven
and hell, with a derivation as far back as the
4th-century Germanic midjan-gards. He stressed
several times in his writings that Middle-earth was
not an imaginary place but a real place in which
he set an imaginary story.
This is in contrast with another invented
civilisation, Terry Pratchetts Discworld, which is a
parallel world primarily concerned with exposing
myth, using a sharp-edged satirical wit. Different
books in the Discworld series incorporate different
aspects of medieval material culture, myths and
politics, including the Stone of Destiny (The Fifth
Elephant) which forms the inspiration for The
Stone of Scone an enormous rock-hard scone
upon which the Low King of the dwarves is always
crowed, which is stolen just prior to the coronation.
Here, as already indicated above, the point is not
to create a more satisfying history or mythology,
but to tear down our own mythologizing of the
medieval past. At the root of Pratchetts different
approach is his adoption of a narrative context
of broad, satirical humour and Pratchett is on
record as being inspired to write fantasy contra
Lord of the Rings. Pratchett adds a further level
of refexivity to this by weaving in post-medieval
cultural categories of the medieval. Amongst the
key characters of The Wee Free Men, A Hatful of
Sky and Wintersmith are the Nac Mac Feegle:
tiny, blue, kilt-wearing, ferce fairies or Pictsies,

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Lord of the ringforts: Artists depiction of the ancient fortress on Amon Sul in the Eriador region of Middle Earth
Love Archaeology Magazine 27
a delightful pun on 18th- and 19th-century
concepts of the Picts. In terms of their genre and
their exploration of the medieval they could not
be more different, but both authors display moral
astuteness and a shrewd understanding of human
behaviour.
Within fantasy, story comes frst and great
works of medieval-inspired fction include
what purists would call anachronistic elements
(Tolkiens hobbits for example drink tea) but
more importantly such anachronisms add to
the mirroring of our own world which amidst its
modernity has its medieval roots exposed. More
than this though, imagined realities have been an
ever-present part of the human drive to explain
and adapt through narrative. Archaeological and
historical explanations are driven by an honestly
meant desire to be objective, yet often prefer
a narrative form. The paradox has grown as a
consequence of the fantasy / truth split. On the
one hand invention and mythopoesis are part
of the human condition and so help activate the
mute archaeological record. On the other hand, in
a contemporary context we require an objective
separation between archaeological, scientifc, fact-
centred analysis of reality and narrative desires.
It can be hard to separate fact from fction when
fction is a fact of existence. Pratchetts fusion of
fact and fction is about the blend rather than the
separate entities it is not seeking to prove an
ancient reality nor to deceive us, but to remind
us about the contemporary relevance of the past
and present and its abilities to expose the tricks of
power and capitalist-fuelled consumerism.
Both Tolkien and Pratchetts mirroring of the past
attest to a popular desire for giving the past a
coherent narrative. The popularity of both has
been endorsed and extended by adaptations into
other media, including TV and radio adaptations,
cartoons, and flms. Further blurring the boundary
between fact and fction the flm adaptation of
LOTR has also generated a blockbuster museum
exhibition, showing a pervasive desire for myths
to be real. In the absence of a compelling narrative
of the medieval past, a part of the public prefers
to experience the medieval as fltered through
these authors visions of it.
Myths of course are as much about what we
want or would wish to have happened as
accommodating what actually happened. History
and the earliest archaeology were concerned
with producing narratives of national and social
identity but today as academic disciplines have
broken away from an authoritative view of the
past. They are no longer tasked with creating
narratives but pointing towards deeper truths and
plural voices, as exemplifed by Pratchetts post-
modern Discworld vision of the medieval past. As
an academic and an author, Tolkien demonstrated
that one can pursue separately fact and fction
and that each can inform the other, but he also
invented to suit his story. As a consequence, I
cannot be the only person who, in part at least,
ended up a medievalist or an archaeologist or an
historian after reading Lord of the Rings in ones
youth.
Perhaps archaeologists and historians should
write more narrative constructions but should
these form part of their analysis of the past? We
need to be aware of our own and our audiences
desires to know all and to subvert the past to an
ideal reality but we should not produce myths in
lieu of not knowing. On the other hand, we should
not feel threatened by the range of alternative
readings produced by writers and flm-makers or
indeed the public, since a literary work can have
meanings far beyond an authors intention
Note and thanks
This paper is an amended and re-focussed version
of a paper originally published on the EAA blog
at http://e-a-a.org/blog/?p=219, itself a slightly
amended version of the paper given at the EAA
Annual Meeting in Zadar, Croatia, September
2007. It was read at the session on Invented
Civilisations organised by Cornelius Holtorf and
Michael Jasmin. This new version has benefted
from several insights offered by Adrian Maldonado.
Pratchets fusion of fact and fction
is about the blend rather than the
separate entities

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Tolkiens rings of power were inspired by Old Norse
mythology and Viking artefacts
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P
erhaps the most striking thing about the
overlay of the fantastic world of The Lord of
the Rings onto the landscape of New Zealand
is the lack of materiality.
Before I go any further, I should say that I am not
a New Zealander, but I live with one and I spent
about 9 months in the country in 2010 enjoying
the landscape, the heritage, and the hospitality of
his family members, several of whom appeared in
the flms. This was right in the middle of various
scandals concerning the making of The Hobbit:
the frst director had quit and we decided that it
was as good a time as any to sit in the apartment
of an elf veteran of the Battle of Helms Deep and
watch the extended versions of all three flms.
Why werent you in the flms? I asked my
partner. Because I had a job, was his response.
Fair enough. Not that it sounded like that much
fun; our elven companion told us that there was
a microphone in her bow and that their costumes
were so tight that they couldnt sit down, just lie
prone on blankets between takes.
We had previously passed Helms Deep, or should
I say Dry Creek Quarry outside of Wellington,
when we were out driving. The set is entirely gone
and it is a working quarry again. We were on our
way to buy pyjamas: Helms Deep just happened
to be by the side of the road. It seems like much
of LOTR is on the way to pyjamas, the mechanics,
or Burger Wisconsin.
We took things a few steps further after I found
a book in the local library outlining where various
parts of the flm were shot. A decade had passed
since the frst flm came out and I was eager
to see what was left. We piled into a car (along
with another elf veteran of Helms Deep), and
went to the flming locations that are reasonably
accessible to Wellington. We had lunch at Isengard
(Harcourt Park, Upper Hutt City). Although Sir Ian
McKellen was reportedly in town that week, he
wasnt there, nor was there anything left from the
flm. The book instructed us to look for a particular
tree which we arent sure we found. We did fnd
everything we needed for a round of frisbee golf,
though, save the frisbee.
Rivendell (Kaitoke Regional Park) was a bit more
impressive. The area was beautiful even if I did
have to walk across a terrifying cable bridge
Dr. Donna Yates refects upon the (im)material legacy of The Lord of the Rings flms in New Zealand
and how ephemeral locations from flms based on a work of fction are still on the real-world tourist trail.
IMAGINED HERITAGE

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The set of Hobbiton used for the original LOTR flms near Matamata, New Zealand
Love Archaeology Magazine 29
over the River Anduin (Upper Hutt River). All the
actual sets from the flm are gone, of course, but
there is signage up with stills from the flm that
encouraged visitors to imagine Rivendell as still
being there. Yes, they were asking us to imagine
a flm projection of an imagined literary invention.
Near Mt. Victoria, right in the heart of Wellington,
we found ourselves in the woods where Frodo
and the gang were chased by a Nazgl on the
way to Bree. The area is signed as Hobbit Trail
and we are pretty sure we found the right tree to
huddle under. The archaeologist in me came out
and I insisted that I could see the modifcation
cuts made during the flming of that scene, but I
was making that up. I cant fully express how in
the middle of town those woods are; they feel
so remote in the flm. However, in real life you
can see into the back gardens of all the student
fats clustered in that area. It was within walking
distance of the movie theatre in which all of the
LOTR flms premiered.
In a way, The Lord of the Rings came and went
leaving little in the way of material culture
in its wake. The blockbuster museum exhibit
mentioned in this paper ended, and Te Papa,
New Zealands national museum, didnt acquire
any of the items from it: that stuff is owned by
Peter Jackson and Weta Studios. According to
my elf source, who also happens to be a historic
preservation expert, most of the sets and props
that were made for the flm were formed out of
strange plastics that degrade over time and would
have been a nightmare to curate. Apparently the
less ephemeral props (think real swords and real
rings) were given to relevant cast members. Word
is that the new Hobbiton for the upcoming Hobbit
flms has been made of more permanent material
and will stay up and in place, a nod to the tourism
potential of the flms.
But honestly, you dont really need the sets: New
Zealand is just naturally a fantasy landscape for
those of us who are not from there. The running
joke as we looked out over the Karori Valley while
we drank morning coffee was that if the offcial
Hobbit flm fell through, we could just make
one ourselves. Grab a video camera, round up
some extras from the flm, and just stick them
out there on a hillside. New Zealand looks like a
fantasy novel, it doesnt even have to try, which
is why everyone flms there: Willow (1988),
The Chronicles of Narnia instalments The Lion,
the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Prince
Caspian (2008), and Bridge to Teribithia (2007),
to name just a few.
In a way, the lack of materiality forces you back
into the serious business of imagining. For every
super-fan who felt that the flms didnt do justice
to their own mental construction of Middle-earth
materiality, New Zealand sits as a convenient
backdrop onto which you can project your own
invented structures

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Heritage: its all in the mind
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Lovecraft Archaeology
There is something Lovecraftian about
archaeology. Fumbling for some ancient and
secret truth. Searching in the dark. On the brink
of revealing something truly amazing about the
history of humankind and our ancestors. In the
zone between human and non-human, the living
and the dead. Powerful amulets and magical
objects. Death, mystery, horror, the occasional
curse. Large brown rats with human faces and
little hands. Well, maybe not the last one, being
a description of the disturbing creature known as
Brown Jenkin which haunted a student of Non-
Euclidean calculus and quantum physics in HP
Lovecrafts 1933 tale The Dreams in the Witch-
house. Dabbling with science digging (in
both senses of the word) where one should not
ending badly is a trope of horror fction. But
Lovecraft was especially adept at dredging up the
ancient and the disturbed (again, in both senses
of the word), and making old stuff seem weird and
sinister. And as such, when Lovecraft did dwell on
antiquities and archaeological sites, the outcome
was generally not good.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born in Providence,
Rhode Island, in 1890
1
. An unassuming character,
he was a prolifc writer of weird fction, a blend of
fantasy, horror, science fction and ghost stories,
with the most productive period of his career in
the 1920s and early 1930s. During his lifetime, he
was relatively unheralded, and as with so many
authors, only became appreciated after his death.
His highly distinctive prose style overblown yet
precise, colourful but creepy was displayed over
a range of genres, and published as short stories,
novellas or in serials in colourful magazines such
as Weird Tales. In many of his stories, Lovecraft
drew on a peculiar mythology that he himself
created, known as the Cthulthu Mythos, where he
portrayed a world that had once been populated by
ancient, alien, elder beings, which had in some way
interfered with (or engineered) humanity, and with
this came a recurring retinue of stock monsters,
cult texts and sinister New England locations.
(Lovecraft was an accidental founding father of
alien archaeology, later popularised by Erich von
Daniken
2
.) Lovecrafts world, often normal on the
surface, was beneath the faade a seething mass
of indescribable creatures with multiple tentacles
and unpronounceable names (Tsathoggua, Mi-
Go the Fungi from Yuggoth). Secret information
was imparted about this Mythos through a series
of grimoires
3
, bizarre and dangerous books that
recur again and again in Lovecrafts writing,
notably the Necronomicon, and the wonderfully
named Unaussprechlichen Kulten by Friedrich von
Junzt. Despite the schlocky nature of much of
what HPL wrote, populating cheap magazines and
Lovecrafs fction is all about the past
and its secrets. Tough he was a deep
lover of antiquity, he was also afraid
of it.

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Kenneth Brophy delves into the mysterious worlds of H.P Lovecraft
ARCHAEOLOGY
Love Archaeology Magazine 31
science fction anthologies, his work has proved
enduringly popular and infuential, inspiring the
likes of Robert Bloch, Stephen King, Robert E
Howard, Brian Lumley and Neil Gaiman.
What does Lovecrafts fction have to do with
archaeology? Lovecraft rarely explicitly discussed
archaeology per se, one rare exception being a
bizarre serial adventure he ghost wrote for Harry
Houdini in 1924 entitled Imprisoned with the
Pharaohs (aka Under the Pyramids). Yet traces of
the past, in the form of material culture, ruins,
rock-art and creatures are consistent themes of
Lovecrafts stories, with an underlying antiquarian
sensibility. When such things crop up they are
almost always viewed as indicative of something
sinister. Lovecrafts fction is all about the past
and its secrets. Though he was a deep lover of
antiquity, he was also afraid of it: in his stories,
aberrant things lurk in dark attics and ancient
texts. Looking too closely into the past leads to
terror, madness and death
4
. Lovecrafts fction in
infused with a range of scientifc interests that he
had, from astronomy to chemistry, and his writing
drew on the conventions of scientifc reporting, a
style that when combined with the weird and evil is
particularly chilling. The fnest example of this are
reports delivered after a disastrous expedition to
Antarctica which form Lovecrafts fnest work, At
the Mountains of Madness (1936), which includes
a tense alien autopsy in shocking detail. In this
vein Lovecraft drew on archaeological information
available to him at the time, which included
Howard Carters famous dig at Tutankhamuns
tomb in 1922 (and associated curse), to
developing theories on hominid evolution, in the
form for instance of Piltdown man (half human,
half ape), discovered in 1908
5
.
Lovecrafts work drips with (pre)history, sometimes
ancient and primordial, a deep history that is
written into the fabric of buildings, memories and
even the bodies of individuals. This was not the
past of history books or archaeological excavations
(archaeologists almost never appear in HPLs work
to mediate the traces of the past for the reader),
but mythologised histories, whispered reminisces,
very often articulated through unease rather than
nostalgia. Rather like the writings of archaeologists,
Lovecraft presented narratives of how the world
might have been, displaced in time yet fxed in
real places. Michael Houellebecq has written of
the balanced role played by archaeology and
folklore in Lovecrafts fction
6
; often this is played
out in tension between stock educated characters
(students, academics, scientists, artists) and the

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Above: Depiction of Shoggot, from Lovecrafts At the mountains of Madness
Previous page: Portrait of Lovecraft
32 Love Archaeology Magazine
simple country folk of Massachusetts who know
more than they are letting on. And this device in
turn creates tension, fear, suspicion and a lot of
this energy emanates from mysterious buildings
and ruins that make no sense to the educated
outsider; the singular angles described by the
moss-grown rows of grey standing stones (The
dreams in the Witch-house), the ruined edifces
at the bottom of the ocean (The Temple), the
ghoulish, decapitated steeple in Innsmouth (The
Shadow over Innsmouth); a great black stone
with unknown hieroglyphics (The Whisperer
in Darkness) and so on. The past was a central
means by which Lovecraft generated what he
called cumulative horror
7
.
Perhaps the greatest example of Lovecraft pulling
all of these themes together objective and
calm reporting (under terrifying circumstances),
distance-learned archaeological titbits, ancient
symbols and structures, and the Cthulhu Mythos
of pre-human manipulation is to be found in
the story The Rats in the Walls (frst published in
1924). Unusually this tale is set in old, not New,
England, at Exham Priory to be precise (based on
Hexham Abbey in Northumberland, which has a
remarkable and ancient crypt). The narrator of the
story has been restoring the Priory; the ancient
partially ruinous building has a dubious history
associated with his family, and was built on the
location of older structures, certainly Roman, and
probably a druidical temple where indescribable
rites must once have taken place (which pretty
much sums up a lot of conclusions reached in
Neolithic studies). The foundations and ruins of
the Priory had been a source of local disquiet (the
country folk hated it but antiquarians loved it) and
the narrator could not source any locals who would
work on the renovations. Roman inscriptions in
the cellar were a further source of dread. DIV OPS
MAGNA MAT was one such inscription, apparently
fecund with suggestions of Roman ceremonies,
orgies and cult activity. Subsequently Anglo-
Saxons expanded this temple until a weird
monastic order had taken hold by AD1000. This
was a place with a dark history, associated with
the narrators bonkers ancestors, a ruin with
fearful qualities, regarded with fear and suspicion
by the local populace.
Needless to say things did not turn out well for the
new occupant of this pile, and soon the narrator
was down in the cellars, poking about in fantastical
Roman ruins with implements of excavation trying
to work out what was bothering his cat (which
had a name which refects Lovecrafts racism,
revealed in particular in his letter writing)
8
. The
investigation drew on the skills of a Dr Trask, an
anthropologist, Sir William Brinton, some kind of
archaeologist, and Capt. Norrys, a friend. There
follows a journey through the bowels of the
building into a network of caverns and caves that
drives most of them mad. Amidst the ruins was
found a ghastly pile of bones, gnawed by rats;
Lovecraft did not display archaeological sensitivity
when he described the skulls as denoting nothing
short of utter idiocy, cretinism, or primitive semi-
apedom. A huge cavern was then found, which
contained a confusing palimpsest of archaeological
sites: a weird pattern of tumuli, a savage circle of
monoliths, a low-domed Roman ruin, a sprawling
Saxon pile, and an early English edifce of wood.
More piles of bones were found, representing
individuals lower than the Piltdown man in the
scale of evolution. A crude excavation of one of
the tumuli revealed skulls slightly more human
than a gorillas. It all ends very badly.
This is a remarkable story, a relatively minor
element of the Lovecraft canon, and yet it captures
a sense that if we go digging about underground,
or looking in dark corners, for answers then we
may not like what we fnd. Lovecraft seems to be
suggesting that when we excavate, we excavate
ourselves, and some things from the past contain
secrets that we should not meddle with (such
secrets are not good for mankind). Perhaps this
refects general reservations that Lovecraft had
about the impact of science, concerns which he
raised in his copious letter writing (it is estimated
he wrote at least 100,000 letters during his
lifetime)
9
. Yet Lovecraft clearly retained a respect
and fascination for science and the conventions

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Ian Miller cover of Panther Horror edition of At the
Mountains of Madness (1974)
Love Archaeology Magazine 33
of scientifc analysis and reporting. The weirdest
discoveries made by Lovecraft characters
remained within the scope of academia, viewed
as too strong for public consumption. Papers and
fles associated with the events of his story The
Call of Cthulhu were, so the narrator tells us, to
be published by the American Archaeological
Society. And perhaps also Lovecraft felt that a
career spent researching the past was dangerous
and wrong-header. One key character in
Lovecrafts early writing was an antiquarian called
Charles Dexter Ward
10
. For HPL, Ward was a man
caught up in the past, fascinated with it, to his
own personal cost: With the years his devotion
to ancient things increased; so that history,
genealogy, and the study of colonial architecture,
furniture, and craftsmanship at length crowded
everything else from his sphere of interests (The
case of Charles Dexter Ward). And Randolph
Carter, another recurring character in a number
of other stories, was also an antiquarian. In
the story The Statement of Randolph Carter, an
investigation into a crypt in an ancient cemetery
is undertaken; the place smelt of rotting stone
and excavations quickly allowed miasmal gases
to escape. Once again, this digging adventure
ended in death and madness. Lovecrafts horrible
fascination with antiquarianism, and the places
and objects of the past, are reinforced by the fact
that most authorities accept both Ward and Carter
were thinly veiled autobiographical characters
11
.
Ultimately, the pleasure of reading the works
of HP Lovecraft
12
comes not from looking too
deeply for hidden meanings, or carrying out our
own excavations of his writings. Yet, even so,
deep down, I cannot rid myself of the feeling that
there is something hidden and unmentionable in
his sacred texts still waiting to be found. I feel
queerly drawn to carry out further investigations,
even although just last night I was awoken from
my dreams in a frenzy of screaming. And what
archaeologist has not thought, in secret moments
of weakness, stupendous and unheard-of
splendours await me below, and I will seek them
soon
13

References:
1. Houellebecq, M 2006 HP Lovecraft: against the
world, against life. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
2. See von Danikens pseudoarchaeological classic, The
chariots of the Gods (1969) for starters
3. See www.hplovecraft.com for a list of creatures,
characters and texts from Lovecrafts writing
4. http://archaeopop.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/
archaeology-in-fction-hp-lovecraft.html
5. Russell, Miles (2003), Piltdown Man: The Secret Life of
Charles Dawson & the Worlds Greatest Archaeological
Hoax, Stroud: Tempus
6. Houellebecq 2006, page 75
7. From August Derleths much reprinted foreword to
many HPL anthologies, H.P. Lovecrafts Novels.
8. Houellebecq 2006, 105-9
9. Dziemianowicz, S 2010 Terror eternal: the
enduring popularity of HP Lovecraft. http://www.
publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/
publisher-news/article/43793-terror-eternal-the-
enduring-popularity-of-h-p-lovecraft.html
10. And see http://pages.vassar.edu/anth331/?tag=h-
p-lovecraft
11. Joshi, ST & Schultz, DE 2001 An HP Lovecraft
Encyclopedia, Greenwood Publishing.
12. HarperCollins are the most recent publishing house
to release the complete works of Lovecraft in three
volumes: At the Mountains of Madness, Dagon and
other Macabre Tales, and The Hunter in The dark. These
collections were initially compiled by HPLs colleague
and publisher, August Derleth
13. HP Lovecraft The shadow Over Innsmouth (frst
published in 1936)
Once again, this digging adventure
ended in death and madness

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Detail of Lancer edition of The Dunwich Horror (1971)
The Archaeology of Skyrim
Is it crazy to look at the archaeology of a video game? Of course not! Is it an elaborate ploy to intel-
lectualise and legitimise our Skyrim addictions instead of tackling our actual research? Maybe! Two
of our massive nerds Jen Novotny and Seumas Bates take a closer look at the material culture of
the immaterial world of Tamriel.
Skyrim is the highly successful newest
installment to Bethesda Softwares long-
running Elder Scrolls franchise. After Skyrims
release in November 2011, the gaming website
VGChartz reported that 3.4 million retail (not
counting digital) copies of the game were sold
in two days. If youve never played a sandbox
style game like Skyrim before, you dont
know what youre missing. The game is set in
Skyrim, the mountainous northern province of
the mythical continent of Tamriel. The world
available to experience is larger than several
sovereign states, coming in at almost 40 square
kilometres, and the diversity of fora, fauna and
opportunities for social interaction is staggering.
As a player, you have freedom to explore almost
every corner of this map at a time and pace
that suits you. The game doesnt force you into
action, instead it gives you the opportunity to
act and the tools to make this happen.
The popularity of games and virtual worlds
begs investigation because they offer hours
of deeply immersive entertainment to an ever
increasing number of players. Sociological and
anthropological research has been conducted
in virtual environments for over a decade,
and Rice University will be offering the course
Scandinavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas
and Skyrim this year. As virtual environments
get more visually and texturally realistic,
archaeologists should take notice.
Your inventory is full: virtual material culture
Can we apply archaeological thinking to Skyrim,
and more importantly, why? There is, in fact,
archaeology actually occurring in Skyrim. There
are 3 different excavations you can explore
as dungeons: Ansilvund, Nchuand-Zel, and
Saarthal. At the latter, you meet a balding, robed
researcher who is in charge of the exploration
of this ancient ruin of the Nords (the indigenous
ethnic group of Skyrim think Vikings). Of
course, Skyrim maintains archaeologys pop
culture reputation as treasure-hunting in this
instance you are tasked with fnding magical
artefacts in the form of enchanted rings and an
amulet. Except in this world, you dont have to
record, clean, or conserve the artefacts; they
are simply yours to keep!
There has been a growing interest in virtual
material culture in the past fve years, once it
became apparent that players
of online games would pay
real-world money for virtual
goods. Play any free game
available on Facebook and
you will quickly notice that
whether you have a virtual
farm, city, kingdom, house,
or pet, the coolest, cutest,
or newest items require
special game credits that
cant be earned, but have to
be purchased with real cash.
In fact, virtual economies
have become astoundingly
lifelike. The frst attempts to
study virtual material culture
focused on Second Life,
the virtual world created in 2003. Second Life
requires much more user input than Facebook
games; Second Lifers build their virtual worlds
from the ground up. In this user-created
environment, the design of items like clothing,
furniture, and household objects became a way
for a player to earn real money for their virtual
creations, blurring the line between the virtual
and real worlds.
In games like Skyrim, the ability for user-
created content is much more limited,
though modding on the PC is encouraged.
But the folks at Bethesda have paid an
astonishing amount of attention to the
objects in Skyrim. Nearly everything you
encounter can be picked up, dropped,
knocked over and kicked.
Weapons, tools and clothing can
be equipped
and used, and
raw materials like
plants, leather and
ores can be crafted
into objects. There
are hundreds of other
items which arent even
particularly useful or
exciting; you can pick up,
but not use, spoons, forks,
dishes, brooms, buckets,
irons, kettles, and any
number of other mundane
things. Certain items can be
examined in even further
detail: books can be read
page by page and special

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2011 Bethesda Game Studios
curious intellectuals
34 Love Archaeology Magazine
quest items can be rotated and zoomed in on for
a closer look. Even the loading screens feature
objects. Instead of showing landscapes or artistic
scenes like Skyrims predecessor, Oblivion,
these placeholders highlight a randomly selected
item which you can
rotate and zoom
while you wait for
your dungeon to
load. A shield
can be rotated
all the way around
until you can see
how the handle is
attached at the back,
you can zoom in to see
the carved patterns in a
statue, or you can spin
a sword until the light
glints off the blade
With the release of the
Hearthfre downloadable
content (DLC) in
autumn 2012, an added
level of virtual material
engagement arrived
to Skyrim. The add-on
allows you to build a
house from the ground
up, allowing for greater
customisation than the
ready-made houses
for purchase in normal
gameplay. After a brief
but suitably heroic quest
in one of three provinces, the player is offered
an empty plot of land upon which to construct
their dream home. While the core options are all
the same for each of the three locations, there
are place-specifc quirks. For instance, the plot
on the misty edge of a northern lake comes with
a fsh hatchery, whilst another in the agrarian
heartland has a beehive that can be harvested
for honey.
Building a house involves crafting nails, hinges,
and locks from iron, quarrying stone and
clay and purchasing lumber. You can quickly
construct a simple, one-room dwelling that
meets all of your accommodation needs, but
who on earth would stop there? A much more
substantial great hall can be added to the back
of the original one-room house, which becomes
merely the entryway. Then the real fun begins
and the player may choose one of three options
for each of the remaining sides. Are you a
fghter, not a lover? Build yourself an armoury.
Is that hanging cauldron inhibiting your culinary
aspirations? Build a separate kitchen wing with
functioning oven.
Obviously, the frst wing I constructed
was a library tower because I am a
nerd in both my real and virtual lives;
and besides, the view from the top is
breathtaking.
Health and safety nightmare

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Love Archaeology Magazine 35
36 Love Archaeology Magazine
Once you choose between the many room
options, you can start customising the
furnishings. You can show off your hunting
prowess with mounted antlers or taxidermied
animals. Again, these are crafted from raw
materials you gather and manipulate; my stuffed
snow bear required a pelt, claws and straw,
and the display base had to be constructed
separately of clay and stone.
Constructing objects in Skyrim adds to the
already high level of material engagement in the
game. Breaking a virtual object down into its
constituent parts adds realism, but it also makes
you view objects in the game differently. I now
fnd that when I move throughout the world, I
involuntarily consider an objects components.
That shrine to a strangely-named deity is made
up of malachite, a few silver ingots, panes of
glass, and a fawless sapphire - and I can make
one for the cellar shrine at home.
Despite the fact that the stuff in Skyrim is
virtual, I would argue that our reaction to it can
tell us a lot about how we interact with real-
world material culture. I became convinced of
this as I watched my partner spend 20 minutes
of game play obsessively manoeuvring objects
into place on a shelf in his newly purchased
house (a spacious stone mansion built by
dwarves; I went for a more modest two-storey
wooden house, myself). Moving items around
in Skyrim is a fnicky, frustrating process. Its
simple enough to pick up or drop an item
you just press a button. But to move an item
around, you have to hold down a button until a
telekinetic bond is established, then fddle with
the left and right sticks and triggers until the
item is levitated into place. The sheer annoyance
of telekinesis and my partners willingness to
endure it says something about his dedication to
doggedly trying to shift items into their proper
positions.
As he arranged his virtual artefacts, he proudly
told me that he had earned each of the
unique items in the Thieves Guild questline
(he promised me he would go straight once
he established a comfortable nest egg, but I
now suspect that hes become an assassin)
and wanted to display them all together on
a shelf in his sitting room. I could mock him,
but Im just as bad. Both of us collect rare or
interesting books that are scattered throughout
dungeons, simply to have them on our shelves.
Some books offer skill boosts, but these are
just for show. Similarly, I will frequently change
my characters armour and clothing, not just
for practical reasons like bodily protection, but
because I feel like I should wear a nice dress
when I try to barter for goods, and I cant bear
to un-equip the amulet given to me by the
Archmage before he died.
Hmmm... library or armoury?
2011 Bethesda Game Studios
2011 Bethesda Game Studios
Its clearly not just us; numerous Skyrim wikis
tell you in minute detail where to fnd all sorts
of unique items and pieces of kit. I take this to
mean that the emotional bonds that my partner
and I were forming with Skyrims immaterial
material culture are shared by lots of other
players. It doesnt matter if its real, it seems
that we psychologically interact with virtual
material culture in much the same ways that we
do with actual material culture.
In this instance, an ersatz world makes
us refect upon the physical world in
other words, fake things can be just as
engaging as real ones.
Heart shaped axe: digital material culture and binary attraction
Let me describe my yesterday to you; I got up,
went to the offce, had dinner with a friend,
came home, fought off a massive dragon that
was attacking a small farm near where I live,
went to bed. Thats right folks, I play Skyrim,
and so should you, because experiences like this
are part of a hugely important shift in this thing
we call living in this place we call modernity. A
shift which is causing a persons self, community
and entire culture to become partially digitized
and exist online. A shift which has seen the
virtual world play an increasing and at times
dominant role in our experience of life, love,
work and identity in daily life. A shift which (if
youre reading this article on the internet) is
happening to you right now. Disagree with all of
the above? Post a comment on Facebook saying
so. Ill even Like it.
But back to me. In battle I favour an aggressive
approach. Nothing says fun to me like bursting
in a door with lightning fying from one hand
and a serious-looking axe in the other, gleefully
carving a path of hedonistic destruction in
search of treasure and glory.
If my playing style were a guy, hed be
that douchebag at the party wearing
sunglasses inside and trying to sleep
with your girlfriend.
(Obviously were talking about my virtual
combat style here; in real life, Im a timid,
skinny nerd just as you suspected.)
After a few such bombastic battles atop some
perilous battlements, the local lord decided to
reward me for my service by granting me a
personal man-at-arms, someone to watch my
back and carry my gear. Great, I thought, some
giant warrior with tattoos and a thousand-yard
stare, some grim looking beast of a man who
can get stuck into some serious combat and
crack some skulls. In fact, she was about 18,
and called Lydia. Lydia? What the hell? Thats
not a heroic mans name! Wasnt she that dippy
one from Pride & Prejudice? Whatever,
lets just go with this and I can swap
her for someone better later. After
all, shes just a computer program,
an object created to enhance my
gaming experience. As it were.
Time went by. We fought side by
side across many ferce battles,
and as I watched this slip of
a girl cut her way through
hordes of the undead or
stand her ground while a
dragon bore down on us, I
began to form a grudging
respect for her. She had a
pretty good sword arm,
and was a fair shot
with the bow. Indeed,
one might say she had
the Moves Like Jagger,
Girl Power, and all that.
Two things then
happened. Firstly,
she was killed. It just
happened so suddenly. I
turned around, and before
my eyes she was cut down
by a Frost Troll. Man, I
was gutted. And I guess,
technically so was she. So
what did I do? I reloaded my
last save, losing maybe an hour
of gameplay just so I could
have another crack at that
battle and have her survive
to fght another day. Thats
Wickham doesnt have a chance
2011 Bethesda Game Studios
Love Archaeology Magazine 37
38 Love Archaeology Magazine
correct, I wasted an hour of my real life time so
that a fake character in a made-up world could
continue to be my wing-man. Woman. Whatever.
Secondly, I began to get a little annoyed that
I was the only one getting recognition for our
adventures. Kill a dragon; well done me. Save
a town; well done me. Put down the rebellion
against the Empire; well done ME. What about
well done us? She was right there the whole
damn time. Its enough to turn an axe-wielding
mage-warrior into a feminist.
But why should anyone but my signifcant other
care about this slightly creepy attachment
I seem to have formed with a group of 1s
and 0s? In fact, a signifcant and growing
portion of the British population are having
similar experiences in this emerging artistic
medium. Chris Melissinos, guest curator at
the Smithsonian American Art Museum, has
discussed the uniqueness of video gaming as
an art form because of its three perspectives:
that of the games creator, the mechanics of the
game itself, and players response. However, it is
the interactive nature of gaming which is usually
cited by gamers themselves as the principal
draw which makes them choose this medium
over, say, flms or literature. These players get to
experience a taste of actually fghting a dragon
rather then watching or reading about someone
else doing it; the adventure is theirs in a very
deep and personal way.
The researcher is therefore presented with an
emerging social norm whereby millions of people
are connecting in a very real, phenomenological
way in extremely unreal environments. Skyrim
is part of a much larger pattern (one which
includes online gaming, Twitter, and Facebook)
which sees social life and artistic engagement
happening in the hyper-modern locales of the
internet and digitally created worlds. Whats
more, the areas of digital social networking and
the video game art form are fast converging
to occupy and increasingly shared space, as
seen in immensely popular online games like
World of Warcraft. Anthropology, archaeology
and other disciplines need to be alive to the
new challenges and opportunities that engaging
with this new form of material culture presents,
because in a world where I can genuinely care
about the fate of a computer program called
Lydia, it seems the signifcance of these virtual
worlds cannot be in doubt
Further reading
Boellstorff, T. (2008). Coming of Age in Second
Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually
Human. Princeton University Press.
Lehdonvirta, V. (2009). Virtual Consumption.
Publications of the Turku School of Economics,
A-11:2009.

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Love Archaeology Magazine 39
Living Fantasy:
A Review of Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Roleplaying Games,
by Lizzie Stark. (2012). Chicago, Chicago Review Press. 10.59 RRP. ISBN 978-1-56976-605-7.
Ryan K McNutt
M
yth, as defned by the anthropologist
Bronislaw Malinowski, . . . is not merely
a story told but a reality lived. It is not of
the nature of fction, such as we read today in a
novel, but it is a living reality, believed to have
once happened in primeval times, and continuing
ever since to infuence the world and human
destinies.
1
The texture and contexts of our
own modern myths may have changed, but
something about myths and legends strikes a
chord that resonates profoundly with some deep
integral spark of our humanity, that encourages
us to explore, create and pass on stories. Within
modern society, outputs for this activity can be
limited; perhaps then, this need for mythmaking
explains the popularity and participation in
roleplaying games. More specifcally, the
participation in that particular subgenre of live
action roleplaying games, or Larping, seems to
strongly echo that mythic aspect of a reality
lived in Malinowskis view of myth.
1 Malinowski, Bronislaw (1954). Myth in primitive
psychology, in Magic, Science and Religion, New York:
Anchor. 93-148, at 100.
Yet, as a recreational past time, larping is the
unfortunate victim of a host of stereotypes, and
exists as something that may appear to the
outsider as a tribe of Peter Pans and Wendys.
Lizzie Starks Leaving Mundania: Inside the
Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing
Games is an excellent work that delves deep,
and delivers muchalong the way addressing
many of the stereotypes and misperceptions of
the world of larpers. Her work is, in essence,
an ethnography of strange and foreign worlds,
populated by knights and knaves, dragons and
demons, and magic and mischief. Werewolves
and vampires, slayers and Lovecraftian monsters
stalk, slither and drip within its environs. An ever
evolving stream of worlds and universes are the
foundations of the myths constructed and lived
by larpers, and Stark explores an impressive
host of them. For a relatively short text228
pages, not including acknowledgements,
glossary and bibliographyStark covers an
extraordinary amount of material.
Organized into general thematic chapters, Stark
narrates as her experience unfolds, pausing
the fow of the ethnographic experience with


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Legalising marijuana had
changed the dynamic somewhat
chapters that delve into essential aspects of
larping, like the historical development of larping
and its descent from boardgames and Dungeons
& Dragons. She also explores the historicity of
larping, linking it into the pageants, plays, and
theatre of the Elizabethan Age. While generally
interesting, these chapters can be a bit dry, as
can be the sections where she explains in detail
the particular rule systems of some of the larps
like how market commerce is roleplayed.
Stark does a very deft job of addressing the
stereotypes of larping, making it very clear that
as a subset of society, larping encompasses a
multiplicity of genders, ethnicities, ages, political
outlooks and occupations. In conjunction with
this discussion of the demographics of larpers
themselves, she lays out the context and origin
of much of the fears, misunderstandings, and
condemnation of roleplaying games generally
and larping specifcallyby some of the general
public, and their origins in fear mongering
about Satanic worship and suicides among
troubled teens involved with the gaming culture.
The impact of this continuing stigma on her
informants and their personal and professional
lives is also discussed, and its intersections
with various concepts of identity, masculinity,
and ethnicity. Sexism and racism in larping
is something Stark explores as well, though I
personally felt sexism was one area that needed
to be covered more deeply, preferably in chapter
all on its own.
How does one handle sexism when roleplaying
within a patriarchal fantasy universe? Moreover,
in a genre such as fantasy that is only relatively
recently seeing equal numbers of female authors,
illustrators, and visionaries, how does a participant
address that fact that the vision of how women
look in fantasy worlds has been sculpted,
illustrated and shaped by successive waves of
predominantly white, male, straight creators?
Stark attempts to answer this, though perhaps
overly concisely: given the recent uproar in the sci-
f/fantasy communities over supposed poser geek
girls, and the continued objectifcation and side-
lining of women within these communities, Stark
should have taken this opportunity to delve deeper
into sexism within geek culture generally, and its
manifestations in larping.
Despite this caveat, her book is still quite
engaging, exploring a multiplicity of themes.
Throughout her work, one of the paramount
themes is that larping is an activity that
positively affects those who are involved; she
highlights its use as a training tool, how it can turn
introverts into extroverts, and a therapeutic way
of dealing with PTSD. Furthermore, she explores
how some players in the act of creating their
own myths and legends, end up not divorcing
themselves from reality, but fnding their true
self within it. While there are a few rough
patches, ultimately, Starks work is excellent,
examining fairly a hobby that has suffered rafts
of misunderstanding and condemnation. Perhaps
most importantly, she leaves one with the feeling
that participants in larping, by constructing the
lived reality of a modern myth, are continually
engaging in one of the most intrinsically important
aspects of fantasy; its ability to function as mirror
of modernity and humanity, refecting back at us
who we are, and more importantly, who we want to
be as people and as a society. Our myths are our
way of making real the abstract ideas of justice,
mercy, and kindness: we . . . need fantasy to
be human. To be the place where the falling angel
meets the rising ape.
2
And Stark shows very
clearly how larping functions to create a living
reality of myth
2 Pratchett, T. (1998). Hogfather. New York,
HarperPrism.

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Getting a seat at Dennys afterward was
always a challenge
Archaeological health and safety regulations had
gotten out of hand
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Love Archaeology Magazine 41


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Let Other Pens Dwell On Guilt And Misery:
A Hesitant Twentysomethings Journey Into The World Of Regency Re-enactment
Seumas T.G. Bates
E
arlier this year about 700 mad people
enthusiasts promenaded through the streets
of Bath dressed in full Georgian costume.
What else do I need to say? I could just knock
off for lunch here and use the remaining space
to cram in as many photos of ladies in pretty
dresses as possible. But my editor has that look
in his eye so I guess Id better tell you about the
incredible time I had at The Jane Austen Festival
in Bath this September instead.
The Jane Austen Festival of Bath has been
running for 12 years now and attracts well
over a thousand people each year to immerse
themselves in over a weeks worth of Regency
frivolity and high-jinx. These visitors come from
the four corners of the map to dress up, join
in, drink tea and celebrate one of Britains most
beloved authors.
Lets talk context for a moment. Jane Austens
six books (Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice,
Mansfeld Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and
Persuasion) which were published between 1811
(Sense & Sensibility) and 1818 (Northanger
Abbey and Persuasion, both posthumously)
have proven inexhaustibly popular. Pride &
Prejudice alone has sold more than 20 million
copies and been translated into 29 languages,
not to mention the numerous adaptations and
spin-offs. Born in 1775, Austen lived through
a tumultuous period of British history, with the
declaration of independence of the United States
(1776), the Regency (1811-1820), the abolition
of the slave trade (1807), and (perhaps most
importantly for her personally) the Napoleonic
Wars (1803-1815).
Good luck fnding clear reference to any of that
in her novels though, which instead centre on
the relationships of families and lovers.
The basic plot of each novel is this [SPOILER
ALERT]: girl meets boy, complication, girl
marries boy. Thats pretty much it. It is
remarkable then that this simple formula
provides the vehicle for one of the most astute
character and situational writers of her era to
craft narratives alive with wit, sorrow, humour,
and (of course) romance.
Now that Ive offended half of my audience
and alienated the other half, lets talk about
me wearing tights and really seal the deal. The
festival opens with the famous Grand Regency
Costumed Promenade. Dressed in our very best
we process through the streets of Bath looking
like what would happen if the BBC costume
department sponsored the Stop The War
Coalition. So there I was, escorting my mother
down Bath high street wearing three layers of
The scheduling confict with the Great British
Bake-Off got ugly surprisingly quickly
I felt like part of some sort of
well-dressed circus, minus the
terrifying clowns, screaming kids,
and underlying theme of animal
exploitation.
wool, three-quarter length breeches and, yes,
tights in the midst of summer.
Oddly, before long the costume began to take
over my entire personality. I found myself
emerging from my PhD-student-slouch and
standing straighter and stiffer then Darcy at a
ball. I wished people good day rather than my
usual grunt and nod. I started offering my arm
to mother when we walked up and down stairs.
Of course, she doesnt need help walking up
stairs, as shes been doing it for almost 60 years
without incident. I even exclaimed huzzar!
without irony at one point, which was, on
refection, taking things somewhat too far.
Thats the thing about escapist re-enactment of
this sort. The excellent Facebook profle picture
is only half the fun; you cant help but get
swept up in the whole experience. The festivals
calendar of events soon goes full-steam with
lunches, lectures, sewing workshops, musicals
and more. But truthfully what I enjoyed most
was taking a leisurely stroll through the city
enjoying the fne Georgian architecture and
doffng my cap at the other folk who were
dressed up and doing exactly the same thing.
We were simultaneously creating a spectacle
and experiencing a taste of the past, offering
neither theme-park ride nor history lesson but
something more than both.
One particular highlight of the week ftted this
nicely; it was a lecture on the etiquette and
practicalities of duelling. Rather then packing
us into a dusty lecture theatre, our guide took
us on a tour of the city where at each stop he
explained more about the art of duelling. What
really made this special was that hed enlisted
a local troupe of actors, so that at each stop we
got to see the whole ceremony of the duel, from
the initial argument and challenge outside the
Assembly Rooms, to the culmination in the park
below the Royal Crescent.
The festival ended with a masked ball in the
Pump Rooms, complete with dinner, live music,
and period dancing. We assembled for the ball
in the nearby Roman Baths, a pleasant mixture
of 2012, 1812, and 312, and a reminder of the
fascinating history of Bath. Of course, Jane
Austen would not have been fully aware of the
Roman aspect of this, as the famous baths were
not fully excavated or opened to the public until
after her death. Ponder THAT while you watch
Colin Firths stunt double jump into that pond.
Seumas Bates
They never did fnd Wally
42 Love Archaeology Magazine
Love Archaeology Magazine 43
Why is it that we were dressed like Jane Austen
in a Roman bath? Why not like Romans in Jane
Austens Georgian house? It makes just as much
sense, really. In some ways, Roman culture
is more similar to our own take under-foor
heating and regular bathing for example, two
things we have that are not found in the Regency.
Or sanitation, for another; the Georgians would
urinate into a pot in the corner of the ballroom
behind a temporary screen, a practice which Im
pleased to say was omitted from the festival ball,
historical accuracy be damned.
I think to fnd our answer we return to the
author herself. Jane Austen didnt write about
peeing into pots at balls, and she didnt write
about complex political and military intrigue
which has relevance only so long as people still
remember it, or are willing to go out of their
way to learn about it. Instead, she wrote about
people falling in love, friendships, little miseries,
and pretty dresses; things which today feel as
current as when she penned them 200 years
ago. When we read Jane Austen were offered
a window into a different age, but an age from
which our own grew, and by donning ones
bonnet and stepping out onto the streets of
Bath we can step through that window and live
the life she described, if only for a week or so.
If I sounded overly cynical about all this at the
beginning of this article, its just because Im a
hetero-normative, euro-centric white male who
is hiding his insecurities with banter, and who
doesnt want to admit that Persuasion is one of
his favourite novels to the lads down the pub.
Heres the bottom line; would I go back next
year? Damn right I would; in fact, I intend to be
there next year, and I strongly encourage you all
to join me.
Ill be the one in the tights
The Jane Austen Festival 2013
runs between September 13
th
and
21
st
. To learn more about this great
author why not check out your local
Jane Austen Society?


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Seumas Bates
Taking tea with Mama or whatever
The queue for the chamber
pot was horrendous
Neo-Neolithic:
the archaeology of contemporary henges
Our resident prehistorian Rebecca Younger visits Jeremy Dellers Sacrilege and dares to ask, whats
the meaning of (bouncy) Stonehenge?
S
tonehenge captures the imagination of
archaeologists and non-archaeologists
alike, and has long inspired a worldwide
phenomenon of making Stonehenge replicas. But
these suggest that the public imagines henges
in a very different way than archaeologists: in
the world of henges, Stonehenge is completely
unique. Is this a problem? And can we draw
any comparisons between contemporary replica
henges, and real archaeological henges?
These were questions I began thinking about
when I visited a life-size, infatable replica
of Stonehenge: the bouncy-castle megalith
Sacrilege, created by Turner Prize winner
Jeremy Deller. Sacrilege started its tour of the
UK in Glasgow in 2012 as part of the Glasgow
International Festival of Visual Art. I went to see
it the day after it opened, and couldnt help but
draw parallels between visiting Sacrilege and
visiting an archaeological site.
A phenomenology of bouncing
Arriving at Glasgow Green, I was greeted with
an offcial-looking sign telling me about Sacrilege
(looking in much better condition than many
Historic Scotland interpretation boards Ive
seen). I approached the site along an avenue
of trees, perfect for a bit of ritual procession.
Finally reaching the site, I discoveredthat it
was closed. Apparently youre not allowed on
Sacrilege in extreme weather conditions, and
the light mizzle we tend to get in Glasgow every
now and then was considered extreme enough
to put an end to all bouncing for the day. (Most
archaeological monuments are still open in the
rain, as Ive learnt on several cold, wet and
muddy feldtrips.)
As it turns out, this made the experience
somehow more authentically hengey for me.
A favourite family anecdote recounts my
fathers childhood visit to Stonehenge, only
to fnd it shut, allowing only a distant and
underwhelming view of Stonehenge through a
wire fence. At Sacrilege, I was treated instead
to the whimsical sight of bedraggled volunteers
mopping a megalithic bouncy-castle. I chatted
with one of them, who looked askance and
uncomprehending of the thought that anyone
would want to research henges.
On my second feldtrip to Sacrilege, the weather
was sunny, and bouncing was allowed. Sacrilege
certainly looks like Stonehenge. A video on
the Sacrilege website documents a visit by
archaeologist and Stonehenge expert Mike Pitts,
in which he recognises each of the infated
stones. In an interview with BBC news, Deller
says that he created a bouncy Stonehenge
because it allowed people to interact with the
monument in a way they cannot with the original
Stonehenge.

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Sacrilege in the rain
44 Love Archaeology Magazine
WHAT IS A
HENGE ANYWAY?
While Sacrilege might look like Stonehenge,
not all henges do. Stonehenge is literally the
defnitive henge all henges are named after
it. But, paradoxically, Stonehenge does not
really conform to the strict defnition of a henge.
In archaeological terms, a henge is a circular
earthwork monument, with an external bank and
internal ditch, dating from the Late Neolithic
Bronze Age. At Stonehenge, the bank is inside the
ditch. The name henge is thought to derive from
an Anglo-Saxon word, which may refer to the
horizontal stone lintels at Stonehenge. Yet when
an archaeologist uses the term henge, they refer
to earthworks, and not (contrary to popular belief)
a stone circle.
To the rest of the world though, henge is
synonymous with Stonehenge. And indeed
there is a great enthusiasm for naming anything
resembling a trilithon (two upright stones with
a horizontal lintel) as -henge, and for building
structures to resemble Stonehenge. Thus we
have Car Henge in Nebraska; Fridge Henge
near Santa Fe, New Mexico (sadly removed
a few years ago), and many more besides
(I recommend the Clonehenge blog to see a
wonderful collection of Stonehenge replicas my
favourites are the food henges).
The idea that the purpose of Stonehenge is
mysterious is prevalent in many representations
of the henge among non-archaeologists.
Scandinavian comedians Ylvis went global with
their song Whats the Meaning of Stonehenge?,
which plays on the idea that nobody knows
exactly what Stonehenge was for. Yet even
archaeologists debate over the purpose of
henges. The popular interest in what henges
mean(t) has perhaps made archaeologists
unwilling to engage with this or to see it as
a proper thing for academic study. But we
cannot afford to neglect this issue; otherwise,
the danger is that we leave the door open for
endless alien-druids built Stonehenge on a ley-
line theories.
Stonehenge is, Deller claims, like
British identity: no-one knows
what it is.
The interviewer, incongruously bobbing
around in a smart suit, sounds mildly
shocked, and proclaims that Stonehenge is
sacred to Britain. Perhaps he has forgotten
that the infatable he is standing on is called
Sacrilege.
Is Sacrilege actually sacrilegious? The
implication is that somehow, larking about
on a giant infatable Stonehenge is not
quite an appropriate treatment of the iconic
trilithons. When I went to Sacrilege, there
were kids running around everywhere,
playing tag, hiding behind stones, and
kicking the monoliths in futile attempts to
knock them down. If people behaved like
this at the original Stonehenge, eyebrows
would be raised. It would fy in the face of
our expectation that monuments should be
conserved, preserved and protected.
This has not always been the case. Even
the original Stonehenge has been used in
ways that might indeed seem sacrilegious to
modern archaeological sensibilities. A sheep
fair was held there in 1680, while in 1781
the monument played host to a midsummer
games, with events including a sack-race,
cricket, wrestling and bowling (Darvill 2006:
249). During the 19th century, people even
chipped pieces off the stones (ibid.: 264). A
bouncy castle in the image of Stonehenge
doesnt seem all that bad in comparison.
But my two visits had got me thinking:
why has Sacrilege been made to look
like Stonehenge, rather than any other
monument or landmark? If Stonehenge is
an outlier among henges, what makes a
real henge? What about other, less bouncy
examples of modern henges; do they count
as real?


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Sacrilege sign
Carhenge, Nebraska
Love Archaeology Magazine 45
46 Love Archaeology Magazine
Illegal henges and authenticity: the case of Achill-henge
Achill-henge, near Pollagh, County Mayo is
a ring of concrete monoliths, 4.5 metres
tall, 30 metres across, and topped off with a
Stonehenge-style lintel. It is reputedly built
to align with solstices and equinoxes, and was
constructed over the course of a weekend in
November 2011. Having been built without
planning permission, the structure has proven
controversial. The mastermind behind Achill-
henge was one Joe McNamara, who according
to the Mayo News, is also known as the Anglo
Avenger for stunts carried out in protest against
the Anglo Irish Bank. It turns out that willy-nilly
henge building is not generally encouraged, and
McNamara served three days in jail last year
after continuing to work on the henge despite
having been served with an injunction to stop.
He has since been ordered to take the structure
down. So, while Sacrilege is treated as an
artwork, the construction of Achill-henge is seen
as a criminal act.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Achill-
henge however has been the public reaction to
it. Just as the purpose of Stonehenge is often
seen as mysterious, so Achill-henge has been
mythologised. The Mayo News notes various
interpretations of the structure. It is supposedly
a place for refection although, the newspaper
reports, many believe it to be a political
statement some have even claimed it to be a
tomb for the Celtic Tiger. Just like its prehistoric
counterparts, the lack of an obvious function
or explanation for Achill-henge allows for a
certain amount of speculation to enter into the
interpretation of the structure.
In fact, it is some of the most controversial
aspects of Achill-henge which arguably make it
more authentic. A local archaeologist objected
to Achill-henge on the grounds that it is located
less than 0.5 km from the site of a Bronze Age
monument. While today it is not considered
acceptable to erect structures on archaeological
sites without archaeological evaluation being
carried out (and rightly so), Neolithic and Bronze
Age henges were almost invariably built on
the site of earlier activity. Almost all henges
excavated in Scotland are multi-phase sites
which were used over centuries. They were used
for a variety of purposes, including in some
cases cremation cemeteries or the construction
of other kinds of monuments, before the henges
themselves were built. For all we know, this
might have been as divisive and controversial in
the Neolithic as it is now, but it was certainly a
widespread and common practice in prehistory.
Whatever henge monuments were for, an
important part of this seems to have been that
they were built on already ancient sites.
Most people would probably still make a
distinction between modern structures like
Achill-henge and Sacrilege, and real, Neolithic
Achill-henge on a dreary day
seequinn Flickr
and Bronze Age henges. But in some ways, the
ways we have treated archaeological monuments
and the ways people use these two contemporary
monuments is not dissimilar. Sacrilege is a place
where you behave differently from how you
normally would. In order to prevent bouncing
anarchy, you are only allowed on Sacrilege if you
follow certain rules, such as removing your shoes.
This parallels archaeological thinking on henges,
which are seen as ritual monuments where the
architecture controls and directs movement,
and where there would probably be rules and
traditions governing what you were allowed to
do. This also makes them liminal spaces, places
marked out as special and different. Similarly,
Achill-henge has been mythologised, and adopted
by some members of the local community,
in much the same way as an archaeological
monument might be.
This analogy between contemporary henges
and ancient monuments perhaps reveals
something problematic in the way archaeologists
conceptualise monuments. Consider these
quotes from Terence Young (2002: 4-8), a
professor of geography:
they have become major pilgrimage sites
within todays mass cultures
they are places where contradictory myths
are often intertwined, and where these
myths are given form and place by the
landscape
places removed in space and time from
everyday life, which seem to be outside
the everyday world because their landscapes,
in contrast to other landscapes, appear
timeless.
This is probably a fair description of how some
people see monuments and of how Achill-
henge and Sacrilege have also been viewed.
But Young was not writing about the experience
of visiting archaeological monuments. He was
writing about theme parks. Maybe we have been
guilty of turning monuments into something
akin to a theme park, making them unreal and
other, manufacturing a fctional experience
of monuments that may as well be some kind
of prehistoric Disneyland. Sites like Achill
and Sacrilege may not be authentic henges
according to an archaeological defnition, but
non-archaeologists have used them, interpreted
them and understood them in an equivalent way
to how they understand prehistoric henges. And
it all depends on how you defne what a real
monument is. Does it have to be old?
Perhaps some would balk at the idea of
considering sites like Achill-henge or Sacrilege as
real henges, but they can certainly be treated
in the same way as archaeological monuments.
They can be visited and experienced in similar
ways to Neolithic monuments. They have
biographies, interesting (and potentially long)
use-lives, with poorly understood origins.
And, just like the original Stonehenge, they
captivate the public, and encourage imagination,
speculation and myth-making
Further Reading
Darvill, T. 2006. Stonehenge: The biography of a
landscape. Tempus.
Young, T. 2002. Grounding the Myth Theme
Park Landscapes in an Era of Commerce and
Nationalism. In T. Young and R. Riley (eds.)
Theme Park Landscapes: Antecedents and
Variations. Dumbarton Oaks, 1-10.
Achill-henge on a good day
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48 Love Archaeology Magazine
Restoring a ruin: The
gothic chapel
I am a pull quote, yes I am. I am a pull
quote, yes I am. I am a pull quote, yes I
am. I am a pull quote, yes I am. I am a
pull quote, yes I am.
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Abandoned, vandalised and left to decay, the
gothic revival Chapel at Coodham Estate,
Ayrshire was designed by the Architect of the
Museum of Natural History in London and was
an important part of the life of the estate in the
19th & 20th centuries. David Watson details
the research, design and construction phases of
an ambitious restoration project to convert this
ruin into a family home and breathe life back into
this neglected building.
R E S T OR I NG A R U I N
t h e g o t h i c c h a p e l

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Above: Newspaper article of organ recital at Coodham Chapel & image of original chapel interior
Previous page: Coodham Chapel before and after restoration

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Background & Historic Research
T
he Gothic revival Chapel at Coodham Estate
in South Ayrshire was built in 1874 as an
annex to Coodham House, completed
43 years earlier. The then owner, Sir WH
Houldsworth, commissioned Alfred Waterhouse to
design the chapel, and Henry Holiday to design
the stained glass windows. The building overlooks
Coodham lake, to the north side of which is a
small walled family graveyard. Following the
death of Houldsworth in 1949 Coodham estate
was sold to the Catholic Church to be used as
religious retreat named Fatima House, but by
the end of the 1970s the church was unable to
fund the repair and maintenance costs and the
fabric of the buildings began to deteriorate. In
the 1980s the buildings were sold to developers,
however none of the proposed redevelopment
proposals came to fruition and the Chapel was
severely neglected with vandals setting fre to
the roof and removing and vandalising interior
fttings and fxtures. In the late 1990s the site
was acquired by a new developer who ultimately
secured planning permission to convert the now
A-listed Coodham House to 6 fats and 3 family
dwellings, one of which was to be in the former
Chapel.
Due to the extensive damage and vandalism which
the Chapel had suffered over years of dereliction,
historic books, records and photographs
were essential in understanding the original
appearance of the Chapel, and for detailing its
local signifcance. Archived newspaper clippings
were rich with information of social events at the
chapel, such as organ recitals in 1909, curling
matches on the frozen lake and details of the
burials within the chapel graveyard on the north
side of the lake.
50 Love Archaeology Magazine
Clockwise from top left: Condition sketch of chapel; proposed foor plans; pre-construction interior

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Condition survey & design
Although much of the interior and roof structure
of the building had been removed or damaged
the main stone shell of the building had remained
in relatively good condition especially the ornate
carved window arches. Some stone repairs
would be required with stone replacements being
carried out using petrographically matched red
sandstone sourced from a local quarry. Wet and
dry rot combined with severe weather damage
meant that the entire roof and bell tower had to
be replaced.
It was agreed at an early stage the exterior
appearance would be restored to largely
match that of the original chapel with the main
design alterations occurring within the internal
spaces. This approach allowed the original
external character of the building to remain
whilst accommodating the requirements of a
contemporary home.
The interior of the house was laid out with the
vestry and organ wing being the circulation and
stairway spine. This circulation spine would
lead to the original nave which would house the
main accommodation over 3 storeys comprising
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, the kitchen and the
triple height living space. Original features such
as the internal arch, the window arch and the
hammer beam roof truss would be exposed to
reveal aspects of the buildings original use. The
open plan kitchen space on the ground foor would
lead into a triple height gallery space fooded with
natural light from the clerestory windows above.
Love Archaeology Magazine 51
Above: A selection of construction phase images including a workshop image of the rebuilt timber bell tower

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Construction phase
Throughout the construction phase the design
team worked closely with local tradesmen
ensuring the quality and authenticity of the
restoration. Condemned elements of the roof
structure such as the bell tower and the hammer
beam trusses were removed and dismantled to
allow the carpenters to study and produce new
replicate roof members with matching profles
and woodworking joints; a similar process was
employed by the stonemasons and roof slaters.
Modern features such as sound, lighting and
entertainment systems and high performance wall
and roof insulation were integrated and concealed
within the original fabric of the building.
52 Love Archaeology Magazine
Above: A selection of interior & exterior pictures of the completed chapel restoration and an image of the en-
trance gate to the Coodham cemetry of the opposite side of the Coodham lake

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Completion & legacy
Converting a building which was originally
designed as a church into a modern family home is
a challenge that involves respecting the fabric and
materials of the original building whilst meeting
the needs of contemporary living. Whilst in an
ideal world it would be good if the building was
restored as a chapel with matching stained glass
windows and internal fttings the reality is that it
was not fnancially viable. Conversion of historic
listed buildings such as the chapel secures and
protects the properties for generations to come
Careers in Ruins
Professor Caroline Wilkinson
If you could introduce yourself?
Caroline Wilkinson, Professor of Craniofacial
Identifcation at the Centre for Anatomy and
Human Identifcation at the University of Dundee.
Could you give me a run-down of your
career thus far?
I started out doing anatomy and physiology,
then I wanted to do something involving art, so
I went and did art, then combined the two and
did facial anthropology for my PhD. I worked
in Manchester on and off for 20 years at the
University, and then I moved to Dundee about 7
years ago.
Could you give us a basic overview of what
Forensic Anthropology actually is?
Really forensic anthropology is the establishment
of a biological profle, so usually that would be
sex, age, ancestry group, stature - those sort
of factors that we use to identify somebody.
Were involved with human remains, they dont
necessarily have to be skeletal human remains
but that is usually, traditionally where forensic
anthropologists have worked. But actually more
and more now forensic anthropologists are
being used for living identifcation as well as
identifcation of the dead.
So would living identifcation mean
working with the police? I understand
youve done some work with Crimewatch
and the criminal justice system?
My kind of forensic anthropology is quite specifc
in that I work with heads and skulls, and the
majority of identifcation work that Im involved
in is to do with faces(either depicting the face of
people who are dead, to help with identifcation,
or comparison of living faces for recognition or
identifcation purposes). So, the kind of things
Bringing back Bach

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Love Archaeology Magazine 53
54 Love Archaeology Magazine
I get involved with would be when theres a
dispute over identifcation from images like
immigration or border control, cctv footage
comparison, or when people are being looked
for, things like images of missing children or
[age] progression of criminals who have been
missing for a long time.
Could you tell us about the equipment you
use on a day-to-day basis?
We use quite a lot of computer equipment now,
so we have a lot of digital equipment we can
use for production of faces imagery, and also for
analysis of skulls. We tend to use laser scanning
to take 3D structures of skulls or of faces and
computers to do measurements and depictions.
But traditionally we would use mould-making
and clay and standard anthropometry;
measuring callipers things like that. We tend to
do the majority of that digitally now.
Could you tell us about your historical work?
Because were involved
a lot with the depiction
of faces from the
skeleton, inevitably
this has led us into
the archaeology and
history area, so weve
been asked to do
depictions of faces of
people from the past -
including well-known
historical fgures like
[J.S.] Bach, Ramesses,
and St. Nicolas. We
also get involved with
less famous people
from the past so when theres an archaeological
investigation and a number of skeletons are
found, one or two of them may be used to do a
facial depiction so we can see the kind of people
that they were as well as know about their
personal details.
Could you tell us a bit about your T.V.
work with the show History Cold Case,
and putting archaeology on T.V. more
generally?
The specifc feld that I work in is of interest
to people because were all capable of making
judgments on peoples faces, we do it every
day and people are generally fascinated about
the way other people look. So its a very useful
thing to be able to depict what people from
the past looked like. Inevitably were asked to
get involved in television programs all the time
because thats quite a visual thing, its quite,
you know, sexy to see the computer system
and see a face appear where before theres
been a skeleton. History Cold Case was based
around the Centre I work in in Dundee, and we
had a number of people involved in looking at
skeletons from different periods in time, working
out the biological profle through anthropology,
doing stable isotope analysis to fnd out where
they came from; and then from my point of
view, to do craniofacial analysis and fnd out
what they looked like, or their most likely
appearance.
Is there any case that stands out as a real
favourite?
Well, there was quite an interesting case in the
second series, a woman who had been found
with neonates, new born baby skeletons, three
of them. It was probably the least exciting
I think for the archaeologists, and the most
exciting for us. She turned out to be really quite
ordinary looking, if thats not an insulting thing
to say! She wasnt really attractive, she wasnt
really ugly, she didnt have anything going on
with her face, but, it was a really interesting
project because it turned out shed died in
childbirth and had whats called coffn birth.
Thered been another child inside her that was
birthed after shed died and it was because she
had triplets which was a very unusual thing.
She was actually a perfectly healthy young
woman but, ended up dying because this was
such an unusual thing, having triplets in this
period of time, and for me it was quite exciting.
Actually, the less important the person, the more
interested I am really!
Is there one particular unsolved mystery of
your career that really stands out?
Good question! Well, weve done quite a lot of
work with ancient Egyptians, I was involved with
a case of what was thought to be Cleopatras
sister, Arsinoe. I dont know very much about
the controversy surrounding whether it was
her remains but Id be quite interested to

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know whether is was in fact Arsinoe. We did
a reconstruction and she was really very
attractive, which kind of worked with the story
but its still not known for defnite if it was her.
So, if you could live in any historical era
would you pick ancient Egypt?
Oh, I dont think Id like to live in ancient Egypt,
it sounded a bit brutal really, and there were so
many power struggles going on I dont think
Id have time for that! Im kind of tempted to go
back to a Shakespearian era actually.
Interesting, would Shakespeare himself be
the draw?
Yeah! I think its because its one of those
periods in time we dont know a huge amount
about, but theres all this signifcant writing and
music that came out of that period so Id quite
like to go back and see exactly what it was like.
What are you working on right now?
Well, weve just done a three-dimensional
computer depiction of Robert Burns, its really
exciting! Its due to be released relatively soon,
obviously its all top secret in terms of what
he looks like. So thats quite exciting, and Im
working on some really old remains from an
archaeological site in Malta.
Where should we be looking to see these
things published?
Well, the Burns thing will Id imagine be
all over the news anyway, cos hes always big
news isnt he? Otherwise it tends to come out
in archaeological science journals, because the
other areas where I publish tend to be forensic
journals and thats not really appropriate for
many of these historical cases.
Seems like theres a strong cross-over
between the two felds?
Yeah! Well, theres always been a strong cross-
over between anthropology and archaeology,
in fact theres quite a lot of controversy
about whether or not anthropologists and
archaeologists can be the same practitioner -
because its just bones, and its the period of
time they come from which is the difference
really isnt it between forensic [anthropology]
and archaeology? Its the same work, its just
whether they are old bones or more recent.
Many thanks for your time, well be sure
to plug your upcoming talk in Glasgow on
Monday 8
th
April 2013
www.bbc.co.uk
Arsinoe carving Arsinoe render

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56 Love Archaeology Magazine
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting crash turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. With muddy heather-flled boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of Hot Can smells that dropped behind.
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of rumbling,
Fleeing the beans revenge just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And foundering like a man in fre or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes of faulty fashlight
At the GPS, we saw him frowning.
In all our dreams, before our helpless sight,
He plunges forward, waving (barely) not drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the car that we fung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devils sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, complaints
Come gargling from fatigue-flled tongues,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, but curable sores on not-so-young guns,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To Freshers ardent for some desperate glory,
Te old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro Archaeologicae mori.
The Backll
Sometimes feldwork does not go as
planned, despite all the best intentions
and eforts. Here is an anonymous tale
of woe, with apologies to Wilfred Owen
Love Archaeology Magazine 57
58 Love Archaeology Magazine