Arche, arkeol - Digging and stuff

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by BiscuitsAB, May 2, 2012.

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  1. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Theres been a number of threads on Archaeology and its obvious we've got ARRSERs who are into digging stuff up. How about we share what we've done and what we've got on at the moment.

    Our most recent dig was at Himley Hall, where we were asked to find a lost church that was demolished in 1763 by Capability Brown as he landscaped the grounds for the new house. For those of you that have Faceache heres a linky to the page I set up recently. Wolverhampton Archaeology Group | Facebook

    For those that don't I'll try and add a couple of pictures.
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  2. My degree had a large chunk of Archaeology in it, largely inspired by a boyhood obsession with the Indiana Jones movies. In preparation for this I was allowed to spend my free periods from school on a local dig where we were excavating a Civil War burial site. There was speculation IIRC that what we were digging up was an execution site as many of the skulls had a single musket ball in the back.

    Digging at University was a lot less fun, being mainly based at Wroxeter where we lived in tents in a field next to some land which the local farmer covered in slurry on a regular basis, the kitchen was infested with huge blowflies, and after some shenanigans the local pub barred all students so we had to drive some distance for refreshment. Battling Nazis, intrigues with glamorous adventuresses & running away from large boulders were not on the cards at all.

    How loved spending three weeks on my knees scraping with my trowel a clay feature which the dig director was convinced was a lost gatehouse of the Roman city, but which turned out to be just some clay. Of course if we did find anything interesting the Undergraduates were immediately taken off the work & the Postgraduates put on it.

    After a while I really couldn’t put up with this any more so made friends with a slightly piratical Postgrad who was conducting a survey with that ground scanning kit. It was fairly dull walking up & down a field in scorching heat all day sticking the prongs of the sensor job in every few feet, but as the Postgrad did not believe in starting much before 10 a.m. (the minibus to the main site left at about 08:00), covering this late start by telling the Dig Director he was briefing us over endless cigarettes & brews, and was a fan of rather protracted liquid lunches while everyone else was miles away there were compensations.

    Another thing we had to do was surveying with a theodolite & one of those stripy red & white poles. My surveying partner & I were judged the worst surveyors of the course when from a known datum point we measured that our target in the middle of Shropshire was actually about 200 feet below sea level.

    There were other compensations as well. As the majority of the Archaeology students were of slightly alternative bent considerably quantities of strong cider & pharmaceuticals were consumed which made for a target rich environment for the few Service & ex-Service types on the dig and much top-level tent-based shagging ensued with slightly roly-poly indie chicks which was great fun if one could get over the dreadlocks, piercings & smell of patchouli oil.
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  3. Well, it was after all an officer in the BAOR (Major Tony Clunn) who discovered the battle fields of the (running) battle of the Teutoburger forest (where the German tribes under Arminius of the Cheruscii beat three Roman legions). While being based in Osnabrück, and being a hobby archeologist, he knew that the decisive battle between the Germans and the Romans had been fought in the region in 9 a.d.. From what I´ve heard he used his military training and figured out, based on the weapons and tactics used by both the Germans and the Romans, where he would have staged an ambush. Using a metal detector, he soon found evidence of the battle. The battlefield at Kalkriese was later systematically explored by professional archeologists.
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  4. Mate of mine and I used to potter around parts of the Hochwald with metal detectors. Some interesting finds, many just on the surface. It helped that Wurz was a gun-nut.
  5. Apologies for dragging this up, but I've just discovered that Tony Clunn MBE passed away earlier this month.
  6. Well thats just ******* typical.
    You start an interesting thread, another contributor informs of a Sapper officer who worked out where a battle probably took place .... and then proved it did.
    This bloke could have brought fascinating detail to the thread.
    Instead, he picks this time to pass away. Typical.

    ps (RIP Tony)
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  7. And we've missed the wake. By a bloody month.
  8. The Germans didn't miss it though, they hold him in the highest regard....

    ...although he upset a few professionals with his theory and then backed it up with a skip full of hard evidence, he's written himself into German Archaological history as firmly as Heinrich Schliemann here, or Sir Mortimer Wheeler in the UK. He handed them the single most important battlefield in German history on a plate.
    That the shoddy British gubment only recognised him with an MBE is just typical!
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  9. Tony was RTR then LE RAMC.

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  10. I've done a lot of field walking in this area. The Germans used to pooh pooh the idea of serious Roman settlements East of the Rhine, just a few trading posts and seasonal fortresses, funny how all those tiles and samian ware keep turning up though!
  11. What is "People called Romanes they go the house?" in German?
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  13. Once again the depth of knowledge and talent among the members of Arrse never fails to amaze. Never expected to stumble on a thread on arkyho.... finding auld sh!te. Used to to be fascinated as a kid by the tales of the Valley of the Kings and the likes of Carter, Champollion and Belzoni.
  14. for me the three interests are churches and old burials and monuments therein (bizarre history notes: in St. Mary's church in Kidderminster is the tomb of a knight who was killed at the battle of Harfleur under Henry V, and in a tiny village called Burford just outside Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire is buried a Princess, Elizabeth, older sister of Henry IV and her husband, a decendant of the younger brother of Henry III..) Hillforts, and ancient roads.

    might have a looksie at WAG, its just up the road - and, well, bodies - what could be better than that?