Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

Photography. Leicester's statue of Richard III was so much easier to photograph before they moved it from the park! Among the trees and flowers down by the river the light was kind, and the scene changed all the time. It's appropriate where it now is, but its surroundings are harsh, and it could hardly have been better placed for bad light if someone … Continue reading Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

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All the world in Shoreditch

I was back in London this morning, for an interesting media event that puts some perspective on the fears some have about proposed developments across the road in Spitalfields. Here, when it’s built, will be a truly monumental tower. It’s residential. It’s on the edge of the City, but the PR focusses on artists, fashion and … Continue reading All the world in Shoreditch

London’s new marble arch

Yesterday was a thinking, walking day in London, pleasantly warm and sunny by the end, that began in the British Museum and ended in Spitalfields via Palmyra and Trafalgar Square. As usual, unless otherwise stated, all photos are mine. The new exhibition at the BM, “Sicily: culture and conquest” (from Thursday till August 14) set the … Continue reading London’s new marble arch

Janet Hodgson

More sad news. Tomorrow’s Guardian paper will carry Janet Hodgson’s obituary, online now. She will have been known to quite a few archaeologists, as among other things she worked at excavations, and some of her creations were explicitly archaeological: "Piltdown Bungalow" (1993) was an archaeological trench exposing the top of a house; "The Pits" (2005) … Continue reading Janet Hodgson

British Archaeology goes underwater

The new British Archaeology came out last week, and is in the shops now. Here’s a peek inside. As three UK universities are rated the best in the world for the study of archaeology, and the government emphasises the global reach of British arts and heritage, our front cover features an outstanding international project led … Continue reading British Archaeology goes underwater

In bygone and sensible times

Martyn Barber, who works at Historic England and co-authored HE's recent The Stonehenge Landscape, tells me he's researching John Soul. Soul featured in my previous post as the man who linked free access at Stonehenge in the last century to a photo of a Victorian event there (at 3pm on a September 18, but in … Continue reading In bygone and sensible times

How the Magpie Musicians came to stand for free Stonehenge

Four years ago (time, even immemorial, flies) I was working on an exhibition about Stonehenge for English Heritage, and I wrote a blog about a frequently reproduced photo of the stones. The image shows a crowd of people, bicycles and carts and horses, and had been commonly said to show a protest in 1901 against … Continue reading How the Magpie Musicians came to stand for free Stonehenge

Farewell Sekhemka

Northampton’s statue of Sekhemka will leave the UK, now that the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s export licence deferral has finally expired. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed a temporary export bar on the beautiful statue a year ago, after Christie’s sold it on behalf of Northampton Borough Council for a staggering £14m (though the … Continue reading Farewell Sekhemka

Madagascan martyrs

I am going to illustrate some extraordinary, shocking pictures. They were drawn and painted onto what look like sheets of cotton fabric, and were apparently all owned by the Rev Arthur Samuel Huckett (1853–1922). They are hanging in Lorfords antiques warehouse near Tetbury. Few would call them decorative domestic furnishings, but they are of great historical interest, … Continue reading Madagascan martyrs