I MADE IT! (kind of)

So here we are the end of my blogging challenge.¬†On the downside I have only written 25 blogs, not 30, but on the plus side I WROTE 25 BLOGS IN A MONTH ūüėÄ

I have created a tags page, so that you can browse my posts that way. Check it out!

I’ve learnt a lot! I can now put anchor text in posts (I feel like Wikipedia), and can use pretty much all of WordPress’ basic features (apart apparently from new pages… ). Oh, and I’m never uploading 47 photos in one go again. It didn’t go well, which was why this post was a day late. I’m still figuring out exactly where I want this blog to go and who I really want my audience to be, but I do have a much better idea of that than I did at the start.

I have lots of future plans but I won’t put concrete dates on anything yet, because as you’ve no doubt learnt if you’ve read along with me this whole way, I have a bad habit of saying I’ll do one thing and then doing something else instead. I don’t think it’s too much to ask myself for two posts a month, though.

Book reviews, the Vikings in Turkey, a visit to Winchester and possibly even some historical fiction writing of my own. This month threw up a whole lot of research questions too. Watch this space!

Thank you very, very much to everyone who has read my posts during this challenge. Special thanks to the people who have shared posts and those who have commented (you know who you are) and to people who have told me they have been reading along. I appreciate you all so, so much.

To finish off, I’ll throw some stats at you. (So you can stop reading now if that bores you).


172 visitors and 289 views

Over 20,000 words written!

Almost all of you came from Facebook, but some arrived here from Twitter, Linkedin, WordPress Reader and through Google.

Most of the views were from the UK, but the other countries were: USA, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, Romania, New Zealand and Hungary. I know who a few of you are, and to the rest of you, hope you liked what you saw!

The two most popular posts were Too busy to read? and my introduction Daily Blogging! The two least popular (give them more love!) were An exceedingly natural burial and Redcar and the royal burial.


THANK YOU!

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I MADE IT! (kind of)

Were your ancestors Vikings?

There’s been a rash of articles floating around my alerts about Viking surnames. Apparently the TV channel History teamed up with experts from the Centre for Nordic Studies in the University of the Highlands and Islands, in which it looks like the experts did all the work and shared their knowledge and the TV channel surveyed 2000 people on questions which, given the answers, probably looked a bit like: “Do you want to be descended from a Viking?” and “Do you know anything about the Vikings?” Scintillating stuff.

I really hope that by now, unlike some of the people in that survey, you are aware that the Vikings were around in, for example, the 9th century, and not a) Elizabethan times like those people thought, or b) as one well-meaning schoolchild parent once suggested to me: “before the Romans”.

I wish all schools had basic timelines of history hung on their walls.

Since as usual I can’t find the actual source of either the survey or of any written-up piece from the university, I’m just going to go through the names that various newspapers have dropped and explain their actual origins as best I can. This will be dodgy as all I have is my 2005 reprint of the Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, and the internet for the Gaelic ones. Nonetheless, it sounds fun.

Important point for my own peace of mind: Dr¬†Alexandra Sanmark who is the academic mentioned in all of these identikit articles, is an expert and if I question any names here it’s only because I can’t find¬†anything academic written to look at, not because I think I know better.


Names which end in -son or -sen. This is a fairly well-known Scandinavian pattern, I think. It literally does just mean, for example, John’s son. Johnson. This originated as a type of surname called a patronymic. Actually I don’t think that it its original form it counts as a surname at all but I’m loathe to call it anything else. It’s kind of more like a byname, since it just describes someone.

(Scandinavian names in Britain?? Yeah, well, I did a tiny blog on that yesterday.)

Check out this blog for a slightly better explanation of a byname, which is a descriptive second name used to distinguish people – it was not passed down through the family. Heritable names evolved out of bynames, and that’s more or less what’s happened with the -son/sen names.¬†I wonder if they started happening because the meaning started to blur … to explain that:

Johnson. The earliest record my dictionary has of that surname is in 1287, as Jonessone. But hilariously, the man’s first name is John. So he will pass that byname down to his children. And given that I’ve heard there was less of a variety of names in the early medieval period (warning, unsubstantiated speculation!) I wonder if that sort of thing helped this pattern of name to become hereditary.

The articles all then go on to say something along the lines of “Other surnames which could signal a Viking connection include … Roger, Rogers, Rogerson and Rendall.”

This is personally interesting, since Rogers is my grandmother’s maiden name. So I go and look it up in my dictionary, and don’t find what I expect at all.

This name was introduced to England by the invading Normans. They had it because they were ancestral Scandinavians who had, as far as I understand, assimilated into Frankish culture. This meant that the existing Germanic name (H)Rodger (fame + spear) got boosted by the Scandinavian name Hro√įgeirr, which meant the same thing.

So there’s my Viking connection, just … not quite from the direction I was expecting!

Rendall is either a pet form (nickname) of Reynold or of Randolph. Again, these were names introduced with the Normans which had exceedingly similar Old Norse and Old Germanic versions.

And of course the newspapers didn’t stick with jut English names.

The Scottish surname MacAsgaill comes from … well, the articles say the Old Norse¬†name Arskell or Asketil and my dictionary says Askell. Mac means son of, so we’re actually dealing with patronymics here too.

There’s also:

MacCaskie, which comes from a Gaelic nickname of Askell: Ascaidh.

Macaulay: the Old Norse name Olafr.

MacLeod or McCloud: Comes from the Old Norse name Liotr, which actually might have been a byname itself since it means “ugly”.

‚ÄėMcIvor‚Äô is also mentioned in the articles but I can’t find that in my dictionary. Let’s see what Google has to say … Got it! Goes back to the Old Norse name Ivarr, apparently.

Other names mentioned are from Shetland and Orkney, which was extremely strongly Scandinavian-ised ( I must do a blog on this) to the point where they actually spoke a different language. My dictionary’s got nothing on these, so, to the internet!

‚ÄėLinklater‚Äô =¬†lyng¬†heather + klettr¬†rock (Source)

‚ÄėFlett‚Äô = eventually from the Old Norse flotr “arable land”. (Source)

‚ÄėScarth‚Äô looks an awful lot like Old Norse¬†skar√į¬†but the extremely well-respected big brother of my dictionary just says it’s named after the name of a piece of land. (Source)

‚ÄėHeddle‚Äô Named after a place again, but apparently originally from Old Norse hey¬†(I don’t trust the given etymology, does it really mean high??)¬†dalr, valley. (Source)¬†

‚ÄėHalcro.‚Äô Named after a place. Can I find what it means? Can I hell.

For Irish names, I found a¬†great little¬†article here. I’m going to quote from there unless me and my dictionary have anything else to add.

McAuliff, son of Olaf (You can really see the similarities between this and the Scottish version MacAulay)

Groarke, Mag Ruairc, son of Hrothkekr;

McBirney, son of Bjorn;

Reynolds, Mac Raghnall, from the Norse first name Ragnall.

Doyle is √ď Dubhghaill, from dubh, ‚Äúdark‚ÄĚ, and gall, ‚Äúforeigner‚ÄĚ, a descriptive formula first used to describe the invading Vikings¬†… O‚ÄôLoughlin and Higgins both stem directly from words …¬†[directly referring to the Vikings]:¬†Lochlann in Irish and Uig√≠nn, an Irish version of the Norse Vikingr.


 

Well I enjoyed this sojourn into surnames, and I hope you might have found it a little bit interesting! See you tomorrow, and thank you for sticking with me!

 

Were your ancestors Vikings?

Discovery in Croydon

Hi all!

(This started off a news story and ended up with me getting exceedingly interested in Anglo-Saxons with rickets. A topic for another time, clearly.)


Today’s Anglo-Saxon in the news is a 1,300 year old skeleton from a front garden in ¬†Croydon 16th April 2014. It was dug up by a builder. The homeowner got a distinctly unexpected phonemail to say that they had found a skull. She called the police, and the entire area was promptly shut down as a potential crime scene. Quite understandable, however on this occasion any crime which may have been committed was definitely out of their jurisdiction!

After testing in Florida it was revealed that the bones dated from¬†670 to 775. There was an almost complete adult skeleton, aged no more than 36, and a thigh bone from a child somewhere between 3 and 11. The bones are now on display in the Museum of Croydon. In 2016 apparently a report was commissioned to find out more about them. I can’t find it to save my life, so we’re just going to have to go with what the newspapers say the report said. *shudders*

Neither skeleton nor thighbone could be confirmed as male or female. The adult had had rickets as a child, but was no longer deficient as an adult.

For another Anglo-Saxon with a similar had-rickets-now-don’t, have a look at this cool article on skeletons found under Lincoln Castle. His reconstructed face is here!

Rickets is caused by lack of vitamin D, or sometimes lack of calcium. It was common before the 20th century but massively shrunk in occurrences after we started fortifying food like breakfast cereals and margarine. So eat your cornflakes, they really are good for you! People think that rickets is all about sunlight, and while sunlight is definitely incredibly important you can also get vitamin D from oily fish and eggs – and I’m sure we all know a few common ways to get calcium through food. More relevantly of course, this means that rickets can not only be caused or exacerbated by lack of sunlight but by malnutrition too. Thus it can be treated by eating more of the right food. Presumably the Anglo-Saxon had better access to eggs and stuff as they got older, somehow – I’m not good at 8th century life¬†in comparison to¬†10th and 11th.

There are many signs and symptoms of rickets, and having as I said no access to the actual report I’m going to assume (gasp) that the diagnosis of childhood rickets was gained through skeletal deformities. The NHS website states some of these as: thickening of the ankles, wrists and knees, bowed legs, soft skull bones and, rarely, bending of the spine. There’s also the fact that bones with rickets don’t grow properly so the adult may have been shorter than others around them. On the other hand, they probably all had rickets too … hm, according to this book most adults were “of normal height”, which was 1.72 for men and 1.61m for women. Taller than bones found from the Roman period!

Rickets also messes with your teeth so the adult may have really needed a filling or two. Do I know Anglo-Saxon dentistry practises? No, I do not. Do I really want to ¬†research if it was anything more than “This is very sore; please yank it out?” Most definitely. Making a note for after this month is over.

Oh boy, I’ve been sidetracked. No, but personally I find that this sort of thinking really helps me to visualise the person. They’re not just a skeleton now because we have a clue about how their early life may have been. Every now and again it pays for me to step back and remember that these were actual living human beings, not just stats or facts. I suppose that’s why historical novels are so popular.


Well, that was a random collection of words tonight! Hope you found some of it of interest! See you tomorrow!

Discovery in Croydon

An exceedingly natural burial

The French do make my life difficult sometimes. For once I’m not talking about the Normans, or even the French public toilets of my childhood holidays.

I have an alert set up for when “Anglo-Saxons” get mentioned in the news, and it’s often filled with French newspapers talking about us. Like, I know we as a country left the rational world a good ten months ago and are charging onward to the moon yelling “WE CAN DO ANYTHING!”, but still, stop clogging up my early medieval interests!

Eventually I found a couple of recent pieces of news about Anglo-Saxon discoveries.¬†Sadly these won’t be quite as thorough as I was able to be with the cannibalism vs vampire story, because I can’t find the original report behind either story.


Today’s is about … well, not quite mummified trees. Kind of exactly the opposite, if you’re associating mummies with heat and drying out. Preserved. Really stunningly well-preserved.

(I tried to come up with an Old English heading along the line of “waterlogged trees” but couldn’t find any decent adjectives and couldn’t for the life of me think what tense the verb would be in (trees which had been soaked???). Ah language skills, I miss you.)

The story is about a discovery of two very rare types of Anglo-Saxon grave on a dig in Great Ryburgh in Norfolk. I’ll link you to the funding body’s article, Historic England, for want of a better source. I don’t know if I can use the images from that so I won’t – you should really go and look at them!

(I love learning about things like this. It can be so difficult to picture people from a long time ago without actual things to look at.)

As it obviously by now, these graves involved trees. The majority, with 81, were tree trunks. I think they were oak trees. These had been cut in half lengthwise and hollowed out. The bodies went in the bottom half and the top half was the lid. To continue the mummy theme, imagine a kind of tree sarcophagus. (Click the link up there and you’ll find an option to explore one of the coffins in 3d!). This is an ancient form of burial which we first see evidence for in the early Bronze Age, so, around 2000BC.

Forgot to mention: not only were the graves still around, so were the skeletons inside! Truly phenomenal preservation.

One of the things that I found most fascinating about this form of burial is that the trees had to come from somewhere, reliably, in large quantities. Did the Anglo-Saxon community involved “farm” the trees? “Death Orchards”? Did they perhaps trade for the trees with other areas? And the work was extremely intensive, up to 4 days work according to the Historic England article, so again was that labour which came from within the Norfolk community or was that bought in? If it wasn’t skilled work, just difficult, maybe slaves were involved? I would assume that the burials would be high-status but there were so many of them!

(Yes, the Anglo-Saxons had slaves. I’ll try to do something on this later)

The remaining six graves were even rare and more unusual. The grave space was cut into the ground and then the area was lined with planks of wood and more planks were used for the covering/lid. These are thought to be the earliest examples of this type of burial yet found in England.

However, the buzzword on most of the newspaper articles about this was “Christian”, because the lack of buried possessions and apparent timber church foundations nearby, along with east-west oriented placement, suggests this rural 7th – 9th century Norfolk settlement was Christian. There’s a novel Christian funeral for you – inside a tree.

The only reason that these pieces of wood remain so astonishingly intact is apparently:

James Fairclough, Archaeologist from MOLA said: “The combination of acidic sand and alkaline water created the perfect conditions for the skeletons and wooden graves to survive, revealing remarkable details of Christian Anglo-Saxon burial practices.””

Lots of future study is planned on the bodies and the coffins to find about more how they lived and died, and finds from the dig will be kept at the Norwich Castle Museum.


There we go, a summary of a unique find. Hopefully in a while I can link back to this blog as I discuss their findings on the skeletons’ lives, but if not I have certainly enjoyed reading around the internet about this.

Hope you enjoyed reading too; let me know!

 

An exceedingly natural burial

Daily Blogging – The Halfway Summary

Hi all! Since this is the 15th day¬†I’ve written in this blog for this month, I thought it was the perfect point to do a summary post of everything that’s happened so far, so that anyone who comes in from now on won’t have to be bewildered when ¬†I yell “GENITIVE!” or complain about my lack of church architecture knowledge.

(The astute amongst you will have noticed that in fact today is the 18th and if I have only posted for 15 days then I am several days behind. This is true. Easter was supposed to cure that, and it didn’t. Oops.)

So without further ado:


Day One – Failure Day 1. I literally forgot it was the 1st)

Day Two РI announced my intentions to blog every single day in the spirit of the Nanowrimo challenge. I then posted about my too brief trip to the Saxon Tower in Oxford. I do definitely intend to go back there one day, I was far too rushed.

Day Three – I dug into a story which was floating round my corner of the internet about whether these remains found in a tiny village had been burnt and hacked after death because the villagers were afraid they would rise again, or because the villagers were really, really hungry. Meaty stuff.

Day Four РI start recapping the place-names conference that I went to at the end of March. A lot of this first entry is me complaining how difficult the drive down was, and making the first of many mentions to my academic inferiority complex.

Day Five – Failure Day 2

Day Six- Conference continues. I manage to make a reasonably sized post despite the quality of my notes having flagged, and share that frankly terrifying but cute photo of my cat with you all.

Day Seven – By this point I’ve reached lunchtime at the conference. On a personal note I talk a bit more about that inferiority complex (which by the way I just spelt infeririotity) and how certain people helped it, and on a slightly more academic note I introduce you to the difference between a surname and a byname. (There will be a test at the end…) There’s also a photograph of me and my favourite professor at graduation.

Day Eight¬†– And I finally finished recapping that conference! I’d like to point out that I originally only thought it would take me two posts. Ha. Coolest thing I learnt during this bit: Boudicca might have been able to speak¬†a Germanic language.

Day Nine¬†– This is the first of two posts about my trip into Cambridge. Turns out there’s a lot of old stuff in Cambridge – more than I actually got to see as it happens. This was about St Benet’s Church, with its stunning Anglo-Saxon arch and tower. Standing under that tower was quite the experience, let me tell you. For some reason it hit me in a way that climbing the one in Oxford didn’t.

Day Ten¬†– Second post about Cambridge. This time the photo spam is of The Round Church, which you’ve all probably seen if you’ve been in Cambridge city centre at all, but I bet you didn’t know that it’s been there for over 900 years! The round bit of it is Norman in origin, and so much smaller than I had expected!

Day Eleven РA quick and easy post linking you to some relevant events/books etc which have happened in the last six months.

Day Twelve РFailure Day 3

Day Thirteen – In which I start my little series on the place-names on Huntingdonshire. The first one shows you some Huntingdonshire inhabitants whom you never knew about – and about which all we know is their name.

Day Fourteen РHuntingdonshire series powers up with a display of the languages which were spoken by varying inhabitants at varying times, as shown in the settlements they named.

Day Fifteen – I continued to get very excited about the genitive case when discussing places in Huntingdonshire named after animals. My favourite is still Yaxley, for how it looks so un-English in its spelling but is actually one of the less changed names I found. Maybe you like Woolley for its animal? I won’t spoil the surprise for any first-time readers there.

Day Sixteen – It was Easter Sunday, and my 2 – year anniversary of starting this blog. I celebrated by talking a lot about garlic and getting excited about a thorn bush: plant names in Huntingdonshire.

Day Seventeen – The final piece on Huntingdonshire place-names (for this month, anyway) was on place-names within the Fens. I got very confused by the meaning of the word “fen”.


Day Eighteen – Well, here we are. It’s been brilliant fun so far, and I really can’t thank everyone enough for reading along with me. Let me know if there’s anything you want more of less of for the rest of the month and I’ll see what I can do!

Daily Blogging – The Halfway Summary

A Quick News Roundup

Things have occurred and I am in a grumpy and demotivated mood, but since this is a challenge and I am sticking to it, dammit, I will just show you some links to nice/cool Anglo-Saxon/Viking/etc things which have happened (fairly) recently.

The Jorvik Viking Centre has reopened after massive flood damage at the end of 2015. Their “reimagined” exhibition is a whole collection of experiences based around the discovered remains of York while it was under Scandinavian control (remind me to do a 101 on this). I really, really need to go one day.

In 2015, researchers at the University of Nottingham working in a thoroughly interdisciplinary fashion (can’t think of many other times when medievalists work with biologists!) discovered that an Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye infections not only works, but actually kills the superbug MRSA. Thus creating the new field of “ancientbiotics”! (Actual study here – remember, go to the study!!) This research is still very much alive and kicking today across the pond. I remember feeling very proud of my university when I heard about this – and also it’s a good kick in the teeth to those people who believe that progress is linear, our technology is best, and nothing can ever be learned by looking backwards. I might do a full blog post on it soon.

The brilliant Anglo-Saxon exhibition and living history farm which I knew as Bede’s World in 2013 (actually for some reason I always called it Bede’s Farm??) had major issues with funding and looked set to go under, but has now re-opened as Jarrow Hall. I desperately need to go back there too.

OK, this may only interest me, but, the phenomenally detailed Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland was published late 2016. I have met one of the editors! (Actually I have seen talks by him, two research associates, and a researcher of Irish names. Rubbing shoulders with the greats at the place-names conference last month!)

Do you really know what “Viking” means?

And last but not least, possibly my next trip:

The University of Nottingham Museum (Lakeside Arts) is opening up a new Viking and Anglo-Saxon exhibition. THINK OF ALL THE PHOTOS.

That’s all for tonight, see you again tomorrow!

A Quick News Roundup

Spel Banum – The Story of Bones

I had a different blog topic planned for today, but a friend sent me a very interesting article instead.

(Also please forgive the bastardised Old English in the title. I couldn’t resist giving it a go.)

So today we are looking at the collection of mutilated bones found in the medieval settlement of Wharram Percy. This archaeological study has just been released, and I am delighted to say that it’s Open Access, which means FREEEEEEE, and you can read it here if you want to. I’d recommend it. That was the one thing that my Masters really¬†drilled into my head: always go to the original source where possible.

Let’s just indulge my main interest for five seconds:

Wharram: Old English hwer “kettle/cauldron” but in the plural dative (-um), so it’s more like “(missing word) at the cauldrons”. First attested in the Domesday book as Warran.

Percy: de Percy, from the Percy family.

(All information from A Dictionary of British Place-Names by A. D. Mills (revised first edition, 2011).

Ok, good, that was cool, let’s go!


ORIGINAL STUDY HERE


A collection of bones was found during an excavation for something else entirely in 1964. They were originally shrugged off as Roman remains, but some of them were carbon-dated somewhere between 182-86 and revealed to be from much later. Ten more samples were sent to be dated in 2014.

(Update for those unaware, the Romans were in Britain from AD43 to about AD410.)

Some of these bones were marked in ways that suggested they had been burnt, hit hard with something sharp, and broken soon after death. Some of the sharp implements used were knives, and others were “a sword or other sharp bladed implement”. (I wonder how many farming tools come under that heading …)¬†The age range of the bones went all the way from 3 years old to over 50.

In sum, the whole collection consists of 137 bones representing a minimum of 10 individuals: six full adults (two females, two probable males, two unsexed), one possible female who died in her late teens/early 20s (above enumerated with the adults), one subadult in their mid teens, one child aged about 2‚Äď4 and one aged about 3‚Äď4¬†years.

We’re not talking full skeletons here, or anything close, as you can probably tell by those numbers. One complete human skeleton¬†has over 200 bones. So. Bits and pieces.

Because I’m a medical nut too, I liked finding out that there was evidence of these diseases in the bones found:¬†degenerative joint conditions, porotic hyperostosis and a case of Paget’s disease of bone.

The radiocarbon dating showed that most of the people probably died between 1000-1250.

So what happened to them?

Well, the investigation suggests that the heads were severed from the bodies before being burnt, and that the limbs were probably lying on the ground rather than stacked up in a fire since only one side of them is burnt. All the sharp implement marks were found on bones from the upper body, and all bar three of the marks are from extremely sharp un-serrated metal knives. They were probably buried elsewhere else before ending up in the pit where they were found. The scientists rule out several possibilities, like victims of battle (not enough sword marks) or a group of people excluded from church burials (suicides and unbaptised babies for example). They came up with two possibliltes: cannibalism through starvation, or:

“attempts to lay the revenant dead.”

Understandably the media has seized on “vampires” as their story, but I like the cannibalism theory, so let’s run through that briefly.

Potentially gruesome words ahead.

Medieval rural society was almost wholly harvest dependent – bad harvest meant a really, really bad food year. The study notes that between 1066 and 1300 twelve famines were recorded. And that was just the ones considered, and I quote, “worthy of note”. Wharram Percy’s soil wasn’t ideal quality for agriculture, and its upland northern location also made harvests less reliable than those lower down/more southern. (Despite what my mother thinks, those two things are not interchangeable). There isn’t much documentary evidence for medieval cannibalism, but the situation could have been severe enough, and other countries and places have shown that resorting to this does happen.

  • Some of the long bones were broken: this could have been to extract tasty fatty bone marrow. Yum.
  • They weren’t cooked in a pot, but could still have been roasted.
  • There are some knife marks on bones which could indicate filleting the meat, but on the other hand the knife marks concentration around the head and lack beneath the chest area doesn’t fit known cannibalism patterns.
  • The cut marks, burning and some breaking of these human bones are all different from those found on animal bones from Wharram Percy. This might indicate they weren’t being prepared for food, or simply, I think, that human remains in such desperate straits were treated differently.
  • My Personal Thought: one of the diseases found in the bones, portico¬†hyperostosis, has been used to show lack of adaption to environment, low iron due to fighting disease, and vitamin deficiencies. Sounds like a malnourished population to me …

Ok, fine, to the vampires. Zombies. Whatever.

People used to believe that corpses could rise from the grave, after death but before the flesh decomposed fully. These reanimated corpses generally had bad and destructive intentions. Though the Church tried to claim this belief had Satan at its roots, it might be far older than Christianity in Britain and was generally believed to happen to dead people who a) had done bad, bad things in life and had some leftover evil to spare or b) people who died very suddenly and so still had some life energy left over. How to deal with these horrors? Well, dig them up, cut them up, and burn them!

The fire at Wharram Percy wasn’t very hot (about 400 degrees) but would have been hot enough to remove or distort the skin and flesh, thus getting rid of the danger.

What’s the point of breaking the corpse’s legs if its flesh is the problem? Well, who knows, but it’s been recognised as a way that these corpses were dealt in other occurrences of reanimation.

Recorded “zombies” were¬†always adults, and almost always men. This would seem to cast doubt on this interpretation, since as stated above there was a real mix of genders and ages in the Wharram Percy bones. However, documentary evidence is not the be all and end all, especially in an era without widespread literacy, and when looking at something that the church considered a sticky subject.

The authors think that the evidence weighs in the direction of reanimated corpses. I’m intrigued by the idea that it might have been cannibalism. Neither of these explanations explain why the bones were found in a pit away from where they had been buried, separate from the rest of their skeletons. I love a mystery.

Let me know what you think, or indeed if you’ve managed to read this far at all!


ORIGINAL STUDY HERE

Spel Banum – The Story of Bones