Thursday, 9 May 2013

Of tomes and tombstones

I'm so sorry that I've been away for so long. I've been working on a chapter of my thesis and promised myself I wouldn't post on my blog again until it was done; partly as an incentive to finish and partly because I felt guilty writing about 'trivial' things when I had so much 'serious' writing to do!

I thought I'd be back in a couple of weeks, but this chapter has turned into a monster and consumed my life... It's about the theories from archaeology and other related disciplines I will be using to analyse my cemetery data; use of space, rituals, monuments and social identity. It's a huge area, and until I started I didn't realise how poor my knowledge was, so the chapter ended up being a 'everything I learned about this from reading 20 books' kind of affair and it's now 14,000 words long... So you can see why it's taken me a while!I've still got some more work to do on it, and then edit the whole thing down, but I've broken the back of the work now, so I'm back.

I've also been on a 3 day Human Osteology course, so I could learn about human bone analysis on archaeological remains. It was fascinating! I am sorely  tempted to do a maser's in it now (Will I ever finish my education?!). The course was in Bournemouth, which is a really pretty seaside town, with a lovely cemetery. So as an apology for my long absence, here are some photos I took whilst wandering the paths and standing in the shade of the majestic monkey puzzle trees of Wimbourne Road Cemetery,  which is located on a road island called 'Cemetery Junction'. Asking for a bus ticket to Cemetery Junction made me so happy!









I am sad to have missed so many cool monthly themes like Hidden Bat Week, so I may be doing a some very late entries! I will also try to return to a normal posting schedule as soon as possible.

All in all, I'm so glad to be back! I'll try not to disappear again!

I'm so glad you didn't all desert me (and welcome to my new followers!). So in order to show my gratitude I'll be hosting another give-away when I get to 100 followers.

12 comments:

  1. Wow, you're thesis chapter sounds really interesting! (Though also it sounds like a ton of work...) What were some of the books you read, if you don't mind me asking? I have a love of archaeology and have been meaning to read some more up about it.

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    1. It's felt like I'm teaching myself a degree in anthropology and sociology along with the archaeology stuff! Also some of this stuff is written by people who seem to suffer from 'i've-swallowed-a-thesaurus' syndrome!
      One of the books which is clearly written and is a good broad introduction to burial archaeology is 'The Archaeology of Death and Burial' by Mike Parker Pearson.
      Available here;

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Archaeology-Burial-Michael-Parker-Pearson/dp/0750932767/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368189541&sr=1-1&keywords=Archaeology+of+Death+and+Burial

      If there is a good library near you they might have it!

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  2. What wonderful pictures thanks for sharing, I`m quite surprised to see such large monkey puzzle trees in a town. Bournemouth must have been relatively smoke and pollution free for a long time for Araucaria to survive to maturity.

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    1. Bournemouth was never an industrial port during the 19th century, only a holiday resort, which may explain why these trees which I assume were planted when it opened in 1878 have done so well.

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  3. I love old cemeteries and these are no exception. Absolutely beautiful.

    Good luck with the thesis!

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    1. Thanks, I sure need luck at the moment!

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  4. I've heard about monkey puzzle trees before - I think they grow on the west coast of Canada too, but I've never seen one in real life! Beautiful cemetery shots, as always!

    Congrats on getting so much work done on your thesis! :o)

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    1. I think they must be native to Canada then because I've never seen one in England outside of a cemetery, park or botanical garden. Cemeteries often used imported species for dramatic effect; there's Redwoods at Highgate! Not that they are very large yet and are hard to see amid the utter jungle it has become! I'm going to have to research Monkey Puzzles now though!

      Thank you, It's less work than it sounds because so much of it needs re-writing! But still I've worked hard so I'm proud.

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    3. The Monkey Puzzle, ARAUCARIA Araucariaceae. Is native to the Araucarian Indians in Chile and Argentina. Only buy container grown plants as they do not like been moved, they need full sun, moist acid loam and regular feeding. Given the above conditions they do grow quite quickly. I have planted a few for various clients, some have done well, some have failed mostly due to lack of water when in pots

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    4. Chile and Argentina, Alastair? I'm guessing they wouldn't do very well in Calgary's climate then! :D

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  5. The Royal Horticultural Society`s Encyclopaedia classes them as “Fully hardy – can withstand temperatures down to -15°C (5°F)” I don`t know how cold it gets in Calgary? If they`re in the local garden centres the staff should be able to advise you.

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