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Inventing History : forgery: a great British tradition (British History)
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Lee Child, writing in the Guardian of boyhood visits to a small Birmingham foundry:

One Saturday we found him stamping out fake ancient Greek coins. They had been ordered by the tourist board in Crete, to bury in the sand round Konossos, for visitors to find.

A rather sweet story. Mostly.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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At least they had the nous to bury the coins. Just been reading a post by David Ford of Early British Kingdoms fame on the mid-ninth century Strickland Brooch that "survived from Anglo-Saxon times without being buried in the ground..."



Ford wrote
It apparently features a number of cats or dragons. Like the more famous Fuller Brooch, this one appears to have never been buried in the ground. It seems to have been acquired by the Yorkshire antiquarian, Sir William Strickland in the late 18th century, but from where is unknown.

to which a less impressed follower from Alaska responded

This reminds me of the Time Team special on the Staffordshire hoard, when one of the experts said the German term for some of this style of work is "Animal Salad."


The brooch was examined and pronounced genuine by the British Museum, the most respected authority in the field

Mrs. Strickland of Boynton Hall near Bridlington sold it at auction in 1949 but, fortunately, the American buyer was not granted an export licence and the BM were able to step in. Examination by their laboratories has proved the brooch is genuinely ancient and consistent with the date that its decoration suggests.

You just have to take their word for it or rather a lab technician's word nearly seventy years earlier.

Although its exact provenance is unknown, it is regarded by scholars as a rare and important artefact from the early mediaeval period in England.

The BM is hardly likely to risk a more up to date analysis now the brooch is in its A-S collection. Whatever next?
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Hatty
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The Fuller brooch to which David Ford refers is even more suspect, a one-off for starters.

The brooch has survived in excellent condition, although the pin and its attachments have been removed, and the top of the brooch has been perforated for suspension, and it may be the only surviving piece of secular Anglo-Saxon metalwork to remain unburied since its creation.

Wiki article says it was actually deemed a forgery by the British Museum on account of its good condition (a caveat that doesn't apparently apply to seemingly more perishable items like the St Cuthbert gospel book)

It was thought to be a fake by Sir Charles Hercules Read, Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities of the British Museum, because of its excellent condition. He advised the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford which had been lent the brooch, to take it off display. It was then bought by Captain A. W. F. Fuller for the price of the silver. In 1952 Capt. Fuller donated the brooch to the British Museum on the condition that it henceforth be called the Fuller Brooch.
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Mick Harper
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A nice test case has just erupted across the archaeological airways https://twitter.com/TheDigVenturers/status/1039914498419654659

They've found two matching halves of (presumably) an old piece of wall at Lindisfarne. It is our contention that no ecclesiastical archaeology earlier than c 1100 AD will ever be found on Lindisfarne. This certainly could be ecclesiastical architecture. I'm betting it will be ascribed to before 1100 AD. Whether it is or it isn't.
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Mick Harper
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Now more has turned up



As Lindisfarne Heritage puts it without further ado

Hot from the trenches - another fragment of Anglo-Saxon namestone

Fair enough but Leslie O'Shea enquires pertinently

Is the writing ogham? Hard to see in the pic

Lindisfarne Heritage sets our minds at rest

No - needs a clean but either Latin or runic script

Yes, they're damned difficult to tell apart but you can always tell them apart from any other language. Still, it's just as well to get both Runic and Latin in the same frame early doors because neither on their own would mean it was Anglo-Saxon but together it would be definitely Anglo-Saxon. Neato! J R E Thorn wants to know

What’s a namestone?

Lindisfarne Heritage‏ tells it like it is

Hi, it's a small early medieval grave marker, typical of Lindisfarne and Hartlepool in particular - broadly 8th century

That's odd. We researched this fairly thoroughly and there was no eighth century archaeology in either place, however broadly you stretched it. Our old chum Ross McIntire sums it all up

Fantastic.

How true, how very very true.
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Mick Harper
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Hatty is engaged in a Facebook Bayeux Tapestry debate so we must do our best to provide her with plenty of ammunition. Clearly the big question – whether it is as we are told or not – is who in their right minds would produce such a staggeringly expensive artefact in the first place?

Consider the entirety of art at that time (without pondering precisely what time that was). We're talking titchy stuff. Even something like the Book of Kells is pretty much a one man job and that’s true all the way up to Books of Hours. Unless you regard a Gothic cathedral and the carved figures on it/in it as art there really wasn’t much in the way of public art at all. And not much private stuff either. So that’s World Record No 1: the Bayeux Tapestry is the most complex work of art made in Europe between 400 AD and ... well, when? Who takes over the record?

That is if the Bayeux Tapestry is a work of art. If it is something else, then when does that record get broken?
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Hatty
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The oldest extant European tapestry is called the Overhogsdal Tapestry, discovered in a box in 1909 by the caretaker of Overhogsdal Church in Sweden. It has been dated to somewhere from the late 1000s to late 1100s.

Radiocarbon dating tests conducted in 1991 indicated that the tapestries were made between 800 and 1100 AD, the Viking Age. Newer tests in 2005 instead indicated a period between 1040 and 1170 AD

Overhodsdal Church itself was built three hundred or more years later so the provenance of the tapestry is anyone's guess

In 1466 a wood chapel was erected on site. The chapel was rebuilt several times, and the present church, built in 1740, was in practice a new building.

There is competition though. The Cloth of St Gereon from the church of St Gereon in Cologne was once the oldest European tapestry but is now considered the second oldest. Like the Bayeux Tapestry, it has been dated stylistically, i.e. without the benefit of carbon dating tests, due to a resemblance to "11th century illuminated manuscripts of Western Europe"

"The first European tapestry still extant is the Cloth of St. Gereon, originally created for the Church of St. Gereon in Cologne, Germany. It is a seven-color wool tapestry depicting medallions with fighting bulls and gryphons. Most scholars date the work to circa 1000, based on its decorative ornaments, which resemble those in illuminated books of the time."

St Gereon's Basilica was completed in 1227.

It was cut into four fragments in the 1860s by Dr Franz Bock, a German art historian and collector who sold the pieces to museums, presumably for a tidy sum, even though it's said to be unique

There are no other examples of tapestry similar to this that survive other than the oldest tapestry panel in the cathedral of Halberstadt depicting "Abraham and the Archangel Michael", which was probably woven around 1175 A.D

It may be that the tapestry is dated so early because of its colour loss

The colors of the characters now are a faded green, brown, blue and red. The background may have been colored (probably brownish-blue), but this is now undeterminable as it is almost completely faded out

With the exception of the Bayeux Tapestry, thought to date from the 1070s, that's all until a spate of famous tapestries mainly French and Flemish from the 1370s onwards.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Not sure I can help.

The thing that seems strange immediately to me was the end of the tapestry was missing.....

The next thing I noticed was the beginning.

Maybe we view it as linear history but its a circle ?
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Mick Harper
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I think we can do better than that, Wiley.

With the exception of the Bayeux Tapestry, thought to date from the 1070s, that's all until a spate of famous tapestries mainly French and Flemish from the 1370s onwards.

This suggests that the Bayeux Tapestry is from the 1370's onwards. In fact since the Bayeux Tapestry holds the world record as far and away the biggest tapestry, we can safely assume that it was the Bayeux Tapestry that launched the entire genre. Therefore it was made in the 1370's or just before.

Question: What was happening in the 1370's or just before?
Answer: The Hundred Years war between France and England.
Question: What is happening on the Bayeux Tapestry?
Answer: A war between France and England.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Yep you are way ahead of me, I have been more interested in the cavalry and castles depicted.


https://www.aldus.dk/baldishol/maj-eng.html


12th Century Oslo. So they say.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Mick Harper wrote:
Answer: A war between France and England.


Yeah. You're going to find that it is a much more recent war between France and England that precipitated the tapestry.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Who were the Hwicce

Hwicce (Old English: /ʍi:kt͡ʃe/ [hw-ik-chu]) was a tribal kingdom in Anglo-Saxon England. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the kingdom was established in 577, after the Battle of Deorham. After 628, the kingdom became a client or sub-kingdom of Mercia as a result of the Battle of Cirencester.

The Tribal Hidage assessed Hwicce at 7000 hides, which would give it a similar sized economy to the kingdoms of Essex and Sussex.


Aha they are Sub-Kingdom...erm after the Romans had left, before the Mercian chaps lost out to your Wessex folk.....

The exact boundaries of the kingdom remain uncertain, though it is likely that they coincided with those of the old Diocese of Worcester, founded in 679–80, the early bishops of which bore the title Episcopus Hwicciorum.


Ok we don't really know the boundaries of this sub-kingdom but we have a educated idea.

Let's pass on quickly... aha, yes, who were they?


The etymology of the name Hwicce "the Hwiccians" is uncertain. It is the plural of a masculine i-stem. It may be from a tribal name of "the Hwiccians", or it may be from a clan name.

One etymology comes from the common noun hwicce "ark, chest, locker", in reference to the appearance of the territory as a flat-bottomed valley bordered by the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills.[3] A second possibility would be a derivation from a given name, "the people of the man called Hwicce", but no such name has been recorded.[4][5] Eilert Ekwall connected the name, on linguistic grounds, with that of the Gewisse, the predecessors of the West Saxons.[6] Also suggested by Smith is a tribal name that was in origin pejorative, meaning "the cowards", cognate to quake, Old Norse hvikari "coward". It is also likely that "Hwicce" referred to the native tribes living along the banks of the River Severn, in the area of today's 'Worcester', who were weavers using rushes and reeds growing profusely to create baskets.


The Chest people. Give me a break, Where is the Theatre? I know it's only a sub kingdom but come on, surely they could have come up with something a tad more heroic.

Pass on... what about Genealogy?


No contemporary genealogy or list of kings has been preserved, so the following list has been compiled by historians from a variety of primary sources.[25] Some kings of the Hwicce seem to have reigned in tandem for all or part of their reign. This gives rise to an overlap in the dates of reigns given below. Please consult individual biographies for a discussion of the dating of these rulers.


I give up. Please stop posting. You have passed from inference, to making it up. Shut up.

The district remained in possession of the rulers of Mercia until the fall of that kingdom. Together with the rest of English Mercia, it submitted to King Alfred about 877–883 under Earl Æthelred, who possibly himself belonged to the Hwicce.


Aargh.......
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Mick Harper
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Aren't you reminded of those maps of Middle Earth in Tolkien's books? He was an Anglo-Saxon scholar of course.
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Hatty
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It could have been invented as a kind of generic word like 'townspeople' or 'villagers' to encompass people living in the area. Hwicce sounds like it's related to vicus or wi(c)k, smaller than a town or chester but larger than a hamlet. For taxation purposes, if that's what the hidage is for, only the living would count, as in the quick and the dead.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Hatty wrote:
Hwicce sounds like it's related to vicus or wi(c)k, smaller than a town or chester but larger than a hamlet. For taxation purposes, if that's what the hidage is for, only the living would count, as in the quick and the dead.

Yes, it does....
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