Finding history in material culture

Being an historian of material culture isn’t easy. It confuses, it contradicts and it doesn’t categorise elegantly. When does material culture become more than just pretty pictures to illustrate your otherwise colourless prose? This has been something that I have been bothered with for as long as I have been working with objects and their… Continue reading Finding history in material culture

A history of Welsh copper in 29 objects: displaying the Latin American connection

On Thursday 16 December at 4pm I shall be giving a paper to this title for the Centre for the Comparative Study of the Americas (CECSAM) at Swansea University. This will be the first time I have delved into a brand new region’s material culture since my foray into medieval southern Italy for my PhD.… Continue reading A history of Welsh copper in 29 objects: displaying the Latin American connection

The Science of Noah’s Ark

After ages, a meaty debate has been developing on the Group for Education in Museums Jiscmail list. It centred around an initial post by Richard Ellam on the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) decision to award their quality badge to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. On balance the response from list members has been… Continue reading The Science of Noah’s Ark

Textile Conservation Centre finds a new home in Glasgow

Clearly much continued to happen behind the scenes by the TCC Foundation before and since its closure in Winchester. A press release was made last week announcing a new home in Glasgow for many of its activities, particularly in research and education. I have taken the liberty of reproducing the press release in full below:… Continue reading Textile Conservation Centre finds a new home in Glasgow

Medieval sacred textiles in Germany

Just a quick note to disseminate this excellent resource listing sacred textiles in German collections by Amalie on the Adventures in Historical Tablet Weaving blog. List of the contents of Sakrale Gew√§nder des Mittelalters. It reminded me that in Bamberg Cathedral’s treasury there is meant to be a cloak that belonged to Duke Melo of… Continue reading Medieval sacred textiles in Germany

Catalogues of medieval coins

Of real benefit not just to numismatists but to medievalists who deal with material culture, economy, politics and more, are the three catalogues of Byzantine and medieval coins (including those of Ostrogoths, Vandals and Lombards, plus later coins from Thessalonica, Trebizond and Nicaea) by Warwick W. Wroth (see my delicious links on the right hand… Continue reading Catalogues of medieval coins

Shared cultures in the medieval Mediterranean

I am currently writing up a paper based on two pieces of research which compares material culture from southern Italy with that of its central and eastern Mediterranean neighbours (e.g. Sicily, Greece, Egypt, North Africa). It is based on a conference paper I gave last July, at the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean conference at… Continue reading Shared cultures in the medieval Mediterranean

Textile Conservation Centre continues online

Following the closure of the Textile Conservation Centre, until recently, part of the University of Southampton, the staff of the TCC and the TCC Foundation have set up a website to keep people in touch and retain a presence in the world of conservation, culture and heritage. Here, you can also keep in touch with… Continue reading Textile Conservation Centre continues online

Some loose thoughts on the Staffordshire Hoard

The reaction to the news of the recent discovery of an immense hoard, rich in gold and silver, has been predictably varied, both from the academic and museum communities and the general public. The Staffordshire hoard was announced on 24 September 2009. The story of its discovery by metal detectorist Terry Herbert and its subsequent… Continue reading Some loose thoughts on the Staffordshire Hoard

What makes a medieval topic important?

As another academic year turns, so do I. This time, to emerge from the provinces and from behind my charters and museum objects, and join in London’s medieval scene. This evening’s first seminar of the European History 1150-1500 series was a discussion led by David Carpenter and Miri Rubin entitled What Makes a Medieval Topic… Continue reading What makes a medieval topic important?