Monday, 21 May 2007

New arrival

Isobel Kathleen Petts finally made her long-awaited appearance on Sunday May 20th at 5.36pm (just in time for Antique's Roadshow). Yay!

Monday, 7 May 2007


A bit of a quick winge. In 1987 the Norwegian director Nils Gaup made a rather good film called Ofelas (also known as Pathfinder). It was the first film made Saami, the native language of the native groups of northern Sweden/Finland/Norway and Russia, who are often called Lapplanders. It was a powerful retelling of a native myth. It was a simple, stark film relying heavily on the stark nature of the tundra landscape of northern Scandinavia, with relatively little dialogue. Its one of my favourite films.

However, 20 years later, Hollywood leaps in with both feet and remakes it as Pathfinder. Pointlessly resetting it in America, with a Viking boy adopted by Native Americans fighting against maruading Vikings. PLus adding loads of pointless special effects, atrocious art direction and Vikings in BLOODY HORNED HELMETS.

I've got nothing against pointless historical action films- when done well they can be great. But I don't understand the need to remake fantastic films, suck anything good and original out of them and turn them into cack hack and slay features. Maybe I'm just turning into an miserable old sod. Pah!

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Archaeology News

Thanks to Liz Dean for flaggin up some archaeology in the news.

First, there have been developments on the contraversial M3 motorway development in Ireland. This new motorway running through County Meath cuts extremely close to the internationally important archaeological landscape of Tara. This has caused massive controversy in Ireland, as many people have argued that the course of the road will destroy much archaeology and have a wider impact on the setting of this important site. Last monday the Irish Transport Minister cut the first sod to commence the motorway construction. The very next day the construction has to be stopped as a major new prehistoric ritual site was discovered.

Some of you may have seen the excellent Time Team recently which excavated a fantastic early Christian site on the Isle of Man. Amongst the discoveries were a fragment of an ogham inscription. The finds from the site have now been handed over to Manx National Heritage.

Many of you that one of my recent grumbles has been the diversion of money from the National Lottery Fund to fund the Olympic Games. However, there has been some positive news in the relationship between the Games and archaeology, as excavation has begun on the site of the games themselves in East London.

Finally, a medieval settlement is being excavated in Kinross (Scotland).