Showing posts from February, 2015

Nazis in Connemara, Co. Galway!

I reckoned that was a headline that would grab your attention! Front view with distinctive Swastika I’ve just been sent this pair of photos from an old friend of mine. He tells me that the object washed ashore near Clifden, Co. Galway about a year or so ago. Unfortunately, the photos lack a scale, but the one where the object is being held should give some indication of its size. At a very rough guess, it appears to be about 85 mm long, and bears a very recognisable Nazi Swastika inside a pentagon ( c . 40 mm across). The side view shows that the pentagon seems to have acted as the head of a bolt for securing or tightening a wire or cable of some description. My friend suggests that it might have been used to secure sea mines, but I’ve no particular knowledge of Nazi engineering so I’m not able to either confirm or deny the theory. For this reason, I’m throwing this open to archaeological crowdsourcing in the hope of an answer! Many thanks, Robert M Chapple

The 2014 Bob Chapple Archaeological Essay Prize in association with Wordwell Books | The Results

In December 2013 I published a piece on this blog about a little idea I’d had to commemorate my late father, Robert F Chapple, in the form of an archaeological essay prize. My dad had worked on an archaeological excavation as a schoolboy and had been instrumental in providing the inspiration for much of my own career in the field. My goal in this was simple - I had wanted to capture some of that inspiration my father had given to me and pass it on to another generation of archaeologists. I had hoped that by providing the platform of this blog, I might assist in introducing the scholars of tomorrow to the wider world today. Beyond that, I hoped that the essays submitted would themselves act as catalysts for inspiration to those outside academia or the archaeological professions. I sketched out some competition rules and Nick Maxwell of Wordwell Books (publishers of Archaeology Ireland magazine) generously agreed to sponsor the prize of a €60 book voucher against his publicati

Reflections of an overworked, overwrought, overlooked archaeology PhD student

I’m really delighted and honoured to be able to publish this piece by Dr Margaretha Marie-Louise Vlahos. Be under no illusion, it is a harrowing read in places as she details the difficulties she experienced on her journey from deciding to enter University to eventually receiving her PhD. I’ve heard tales of physical and emotional difficulties faced by many PhD students, so I know that she is not alone in her struggles, but these are rarely addressed in public. For this reason, I believe that it is a remarkably important paper that should be regarded as recommended reading for anyone contemplating a higher degree of any kind – not just archaeology. I applaud Marie for her bravery in undertaking this piece and for the honesty of her writing. I also hope it brings comfort to those who need it, knowing that they are not alone. I commend it to your attention … Robert M Chapple *           *           * Reflections of an overworked, overwrought, overlooked archaeology

Keep Talking | The Great Debate 20 years on | Some disorganised thoughts & unreliable reminiscences

I graduated from University College Galway in 1991 with a rather underwhelming degree in Archaeology and English. A number of factors conspired to influence me to return to Galway in 2011 to be part of the twentieth anniversary reunion of the conferring of that degree. There was to be a reception in the Quad, a tour of the campus, and a celebratory dinner. It seemed like a great idea ... right up until I got there. There appeared to be plenty of people there from the 1991 Law and Medicine classes, but only a handful of the Arts graduates ... and I didn't recognise or remember any of them. In the years of my absence, the campus had expanded all along the bank of the River Corrib and was largely unrecognisable to me. The university was so large you needed a bus tour to see it all. The university was so large you could actually drive a bus around it! Unfortunately, it also appeared that many of the building projects had stopped mid-flow in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The