New Anglo-Saxon treasure trove

Article in the Telegraph.

At least 1345 items, apparently largely military and largely gold and silver have been recovered by a metal detectorist from a field in Staffordshire. Apparently it made an expect cry! Check out the Telegraph’s photo gallery or the Guardian’s photo gallery. The provisional date is 650AD to 750AD, and the presence of a rather bent up cross has indicated that it might be pagan (you know, because Christians wouldn’t bend up crosses… yeah, tenuous I agree. Particularly considering the presence of a piece with a biblical inscription). Anyway, rather lovely and exciting as it’s too early for Offa (the guy with the Dyke), and nothing to do with the Vikings. Apparently the local museums are going on a campaign drive to get the money to buy the hoard… but we all know the British Museum will snap it up – and if they don’t, who the hell will be able to afford it? The experts are all gushing about how it’s the most important thing since the Book of Kells and how it may be worth millions of pounds… can we afford to let that kind of resource go to a private collector?

Borough Market Closes

Article in the Guardian.

The old Borough Market in London, situated under the shadow of a Victorian railway viaduct and slap-bang next to beautiful old Southwark Cathedral has been closed for two years to allow Thameslink to stick up another viaduct. The new one will run next to the Victorian one, over the market and hemming the Cathedral in even more. It also requires the demolition or severe modification (ie chopping off the top two floors) of a swathe of Victorian housing so fit the viaduct in. I’m sure there are lots of arguments for the necessity of the viaduct, and god knows we should encourage train travel, but this thing is bloody ugly. And if you only give your traders a week’s notice on closures etc, how many of them will come back in two years time when the market reopens?

Moctezuma exhibition at the British Museum

Articles in the Guardian (not very informed), Telegraph, Observer (much better) and Times (very intersting short history of the period and criticism of bland morally-neutrail interpretation of the exhibition).

Oooh very exciting! I know next to nothing about the Aztecs (not that we should call them that), but damn – this stuff looks good. The exhibition is part of the British Museum’s series on rulers, and starts today! It’s on until 24th January, and looks pretty sumptuous. Of course, it’s £12/£10 per person, which I still think is a bit extreme – but maybe understandable as most of this stuff looks like it came in from other countries and not just from the storage basement of the BM like the stuff in the bloody rubbish Hadrian exhibition. Fingers crossed it’s substantially more exciting than that was  – and that they actually give you a bit of information on the objects rather than forcing you to pay an extra £3 for the audio guide.


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