all the (published) radiocarbon dates of the Anglo-Saxon period

•April 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

all dates in the database

Those are the OS grid references, plotted, of all 954 dates that are currently in my database of Anglo-Saxon radiocarbon dates. I made that in Mapinfo. As far as I know, these are all of the published dates on samples from (or at least that date to) that era. I am working at publishing the database on the web, hopefully in a web 2.0 kind of space, but I am undecided as to how to do it. I want people — especially the archaeologists who might find the information useful — to be able to search it, access it, and add to it. I want a way for it to be kept up-to-date, too, but I think that might be asking a bit much…

Suggestions?

harlech castle, wales

•April 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Let me start by explaining my header photo.

A few weeks ago, I took a ‘castles and cathedrals’ type road trip going north-south along the Welsh coast. Our first night, we cut south from Llandudno/Conwy and into Snowdonia. We camped in the shadow of a castle in a picnic area full of sheep in full lambing season. It was raining so hard that my tiny pocket rocket of a stove was unable to boil a kettle or heat a tin of soup. We were huddled around it, trying to gain some heat off it on our numb hands, buried in our rain jackets, when we heard the sound of a Land Rover. The fear of wild camping is always that a farmer will show up and throw you off his land because you’re disturbing his dead-eyed sheep, so we did our best to look innocuous. I think we came off more as miserable, because he shined his headlights at our bedraggled forms and then drove on.  In the morning, it stopped raining, there was snow on the hills, and we trekked up the hill to the castle to have a look.

Then we wound up going to see Harlech Castle, on the coast, where it was entirely another world in terms of weather, landscape, and mood.  This is the side of the castle looking towards the sea.  Behind me is Snowdonia.

Now then, no more pretty narrative.