Showing posts from September, 2017

Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | The funerary stele of Caius Sollius Marculus

< Back to Table of Contents As the visitor moves through the basement level of Grenoble’s Musee de l'Ancien Eveche they will pass this rather remarkable funeral stele. It dates to the end of the second century AD and commemorates a tax collector, Caius Sollius Marculus. At this time Grenoble was known as Cularo and contained a tax office specifically for the collection of the “quarantième des Gaules”, a 2.5% levy on all goods in transit. The stele is not simply important for the light it sheds on the financial history of Gaul and the Empire, but it this is the earliest documented reference to the city name: ‘Cularo’. Note: ‘quarantième’ is translated as ‘fortieth’, and one-fortieth is equivalent to 2.5% The stele as photographed in 2003

Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | The Baptistery

< Back to Table of Contents View of baptistery location from our Airbnb appartment I recently had the good fortune to renew my acquaintance with France. The Chapples were up in the foothills of the Alps for a family wedding, but before we headed home we decided to spend a day in Grenoble. Once safely ensconced in Belfast, I sorted through my photos and put a selection on social media. I was really surprised at the very positive responses I got from a wide selection of friends and acquaintances, so I have attempted to put together a selection for wider distribution. The Musee de l'Ancien Eveche (Old Bishops’ Palace Museum) is a free museum, based (as the name suggests) in Grenoble’s former Episcopal Palace. While it displays and promotes the archaeological and historical past for the whole of the Isère region, I first want to look at the significance of the site itself. In 1989, archaeological excavations ahead of the installation of the tram system uncovered the re

Grenoble 2017 Table of Contents

To act as an easy way of moving between each of the Grenoble posts, I’ve put together a Table of Contents. The links will go live as each is published. Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | The Baptistery Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | The funerary stele of Caius Sollius Marculus Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | Marble Gravestone Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | Coin Hoard Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | The funerary stele of Gaius Papius Secundus Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | The parakeet mosaic Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | The Helmet of Clodomir Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | Panels from an altarpiece Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | Two Capitals Find the Musee de l'Ancien Eveche | Website | Facebook Grenoble Archaeological Museum | The Church & graveyard Grenoble Archaeological Museum | Madonna & Child Grenoble Archaeological Museum | Doorways Grenoble Archaeological Museum | The Saint-Oyand crypt Grenoble Archaeological Museum | Gravesto

Ain't talkin', just walkin'. Carrying a dead man's shield

This decorated bronze shield was discovered in the River Shannon at Barrybeg, Co. Roscommon . When I was in university, it was taught that these beautiful shields (known as Yetholm type, after the discovery of three examples at Yetholm in southern Scotland) were ceremonial. How could they be anything else? They’re made of sheet bronze, just 0.6mm thick – a sword would cut right through that! If the inquisitive student questioned this dictum, they were quickly directed to Prof John Coles’ experiments from the 1950s. Coles had a replica shield made and then hit it with a replica sword. The result? Not good! The shield may as well have been made of tinfoil, as it was cleft in two with a single stroke. I have vague recollections of attending an Experimental Archaeology conference many years ago where Prof Coles spoke about his work.* While my memories of the gathering as a whole are somewhat hazy, I still clearly recollect the sound of the sharp intake of breath that ran through

‘Marrow mash’: the possible medicinal use of cattle bone marrow in Early Historic Ireland

Celtic Caludron by lemonade8 on Used with kind permission I’m never quite sure how universal my experience of academic life really is (or was). For me, at least, I finished a Master’s degree in archaeology with lots of good intentions to get down to business and convert individual chapters into publishable papers. I didn’t do too badly – I got a few decent publications of core ideas out to the wider world. On the other hand – and this is where I’ve no idea whether I’m alone or part of a larger group – there were a few ideas that I had wanted to write up, but never got around to it. Perhaps the world doesn’t need to know my theory that the modern road system in west Clare dates to the Early Christian period*. As some readers may be aware, my computer recently suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure. Although no data was lost, I’ve had to spend time going through various files and considering if I really need certain stuff on my new machine, or if it can’t b