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Inventing History : forgery: a great British tradition (British History)
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Mick Harper
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You talking to me, John?
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Mick Harper
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More high comedy courtesy of academia.edu
DURING the Anglo-Saxon period, English schools were among the finest in Europe. From English schools came the great masters whose writings instructed generations, centuries even, of Insular and continental students alike: one has only to think of the works of Aldhelm, Bede and Alcuin, which were copied and studied intensively up to the twelfth century and beyond. The World of Anglo-Saxon Learning’ Patrizia Lendinara in The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, edd. M. Godden e M. Lapidge, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013

One does indeed only have to think about them. Because we don't have any copies from before the twelfth century to read about them. Anything else odd you might wish to mention?

This achievement is all the more remarkable when one considers that the Anglo-Saxons were among the first peoples in Europe who were obliged to learn Latin as a foreign language if Christianity – a religion of the book par excellence – was to flourish.
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Wile E. Coyote


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As the world's foremost expert on chess and hnefatafl........(not playing, I hasten to add, as I have allowed Magnus keep his crown for another year or two.......), I feel the need to draw to the relevant authorities' attention this slightly amateurish presentation of a spectacular find from Lindisfarne.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYxETDzQ6gg

See what I mean, Wiley would have added that the gaming piece might have been carried around, in an ornate casket, as it adds to the romance. But if you don't employ Wiley the wonderful, your viewers won't actually connect the dots.

“It is extraordinary to find a glass tafl gaming piece like this in such perfect condition. They’re as rare as hen’s teeth,” said Mark Hall, a leading specialist in Roman and early medieval games, and Collections Officer at Perth Museum & Art Gallery, who inspected the piece when it was found.

Another schoolboy error, 'rare as hen's teeth' implies rare to the point of not existing.

‘Archaeologist’s mum finds 1,200 year old gaming piece’, because it was actually found by our Head of Fieldwork’s mother, Heather Casswell, who was taking part in the dig while visiting her son on her birthday!”.

Cripes, that is extraordinary, I would deffo have not mentioned that one!

The Holy Island remains a place of pilgrimage to this day. But it's also a popular tourism destination, no doubt helped by its association with the Viking Age. The evocative ruins of Lindisfarne Priory along with the 16th-century castle built to defend the island against attack from the Scots and Norsemen are popular draws.

Wiley is available for hire.

"The year 793, an ominous flotilla of Viking longboats approaches the holiest site in Anglo Saxon Britain, alas the monks, engrossed in a game of hnefatafl and having already missed the evil omens of fiery dragons, plague and storm, allow the heathens to slip ashore unnoticed....."
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Mick Harper
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The YouTube is about Mass Psychosis. Quite interesting but Lindisfarne was not mentioned.
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Mick Harper
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But while you are attending to that I was relieved to read

because it was actually found by our Head of Fieldwork’s mother, Heather Casswell, who was taking part in the dig while visiting her son on her birthday!

It was either this or another similar episode that prompted the inclusion of this arch comment on page 304 of Missing Persons

Should evidence be archaeological, accept it only if it comes from a properly stratified layer which means a properly conducted archaeological excavation and, in these days of crowd-funded digs, dug up by a bona fide archaeologist. (You’d be surprised.)

In this case we also have the over-egged provenance in the form of the little detail 'on her birthday'. Aside from it not being clear whose birthday it is, nor why a visit 'to a son' is a birthday treat nor whose son it is, it is why it is being mentioned at all. After all it's the most natural thing in the world for a proud mum to visit her daughter in charge of a major archaeological dig; it's the most natural thing in the world for the daughter to ask mum to 'have a go'; it is not the most natural thing in the world for mum to find something that is as rare as hen's teeth.

On that very day. The birthday! You can check! When the newbie was not being supervised even though she is 'having a go' at a major archaeological dig.
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Wile E. Coyote


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The YouTube is about Mass Psychosis. Quite interesting but Lindisfarne was not mentioned.


I always thought you liked thinking oustside the box.

Still if you must.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYxETDzQ6gg
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Wile E. Coyote


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Wiley signed up for a public dig, but was swiftly removed for walking over important evidence. The head honcho then reassigned me to operating a hydraulic drill to clear away some modern concrete which was obscuring the ancient stuff. Personally I think I was quite good at that, but I have to say the diggers never forgave me for my crimes.
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Mick Harper
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Talk about amateur hour. They'd never be able to afford you, Wiley. Though your quotes lack precision. Reinstate what is relevant. One small point since you specifically mention it. The piece is definitely not 'as rare as hen's teeth'. It is either astronomically rare (only one other has been found) or it's common as muck (played all over Europe). But one thing everyone's agreed on is that it's eighth/ninth century.

Quiz question 1: why is Lindisfarne world famous and always attracting archaeological digs?
Answer: because it was where St Cuthbert et al of the eighth/ninth century hung out and when the first ever Viking raid on Britain took place.

Quiz question 2: what hasn't been found yet despite the tiny islet of Lindisfarne being given an archaeological pasting the like of which no other patch of land has ever been given?
Answer: any evidence of either the Cuthbertian church or the Viking raid.

Quiz Question 3: which bucket am I going to throw up in?
Answer: that one over there if only I can reach it in
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Wile E. Coyote


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Notice they also got lucky in finding the most important King piece.

Here are the supposed game pieces found in Sweden.

https://www.archaeology.org/issues/339-1905/trenches/7556-trenches-sweden-viking-female-warrior
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Mick Harper
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Yes but it's identical to the Pictish one. So the Swedes must have been on a hnefatafl tour. You probably don't know this, being a chess man yourself, but it was the custom to give the King from board one to the winning side to take with them. But they lost the next match. I've got the details somewhere. Ooh, what's all this sicky stuffy ... I'll have to get back to you, Wiley. People who understand the meaning of 'cleaning rota' are as rare as hen's teeth round here.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Mick Harper wrote:
Yes but it's identical to the Pictish one. So the Swedes must have been on a hnefatafl tour. You probably don't know this, being a chess man yourself, but it was the custom to give the King from board one to the winning side to take with them. But they lost the next match. I've got the details somewhere.


It's a cycle. The best way to receive the king is to lose possession of it.

Man, that is very deep.
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Wile E. Coyote


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I can't find the Pictish piece

Nearest claimed comparator with an image.

https://twitter.com/ArkmuseumUiS/status/1409819896926687236/photo/1

There is more about the pagan burial where the pieces were found here.

https://avaldsnes.info/en/informasjon/storhaug-kongen/

Strange objects
Two inexplicable objects were found in the Great Mound. One is a wax cake with the symbol of a Christian cross pricked into its surface. The Great Mound is a pagan grave, but can this cross be a sign of Christian influence as early as the late 8th century? The other strange object was a feather inside a tin. What was so special about this feather that it had to be placed in a tin? Was it a quill? Had the King of the Great Mound learnt to write?

This is dated to 779. Christianity in Norway is connected to Harold Bluetooth around 975.
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Wile E. Coyote


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I have got it, the Norwegians were already christianised in 779 but, not wanting to offend their religion, or maybe to simply scare the monks, posed as heathen vikings when conducting raids on Britain in the 790's.

I have to commend them, that was a remarkably cunning plan. They would probably have got away with it, if it wasn't for the meddling Wiley.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXUqwuzcGeU

Err. I hope it's the right youtube.
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Mick Harper
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By the way, if you want a detailed discussion of all this you'll find it on page 38 of the Meetings With Remarkable Forgeries thread. Not that I wish to cramp your style or anything. These things are circular, as a great man once said.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Muchas gracias, amigo.
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