I have little of my own to add just now—the Leeds paper is taking my attention but you’ve heard what I have to say about that stuff here before—so let me instead draw your attention to a few interesting archæogical reports and other things of interest on the web this day that I write.
- At home (England), it is possible that the first Saxon nunnery to be archæologically located has been found, at Berkeley in Gloucestershire. The next few weeks’ digs will presumably garner a reasonable amount of press attention, unless they don’t find anything. A careful eye on the Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog, where I found this item, will be worth keeping.
- If you want to know the time, ask a
policemanninth- or tenth-century monk, preferably one of Sankt-Quirin in Neuss, Bavaria, where a semi-circular sundial that once formed part of the monastery buildings of that era has been restored and put on display. This I learn also from David Beard’s Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog.
- On the other hand we have observed here before that in Ireland, what with so much work having been driven by road construction for which there is as of recently no money, digging has almost stopped for the time being; an article in the Irish Times now discusses the breather that this may give to interpretative work and analysis. This one I have, this time, from David Beard’s Archaeology in Europe.
Peasants and women
It’s approximately 15 years now since I studied the Peasants’ Revolt in any detail, and at first I thought a recent post by Bavardess was merely a worthwhile little reminder about the sequence of events. Actually, having done that, it goes much deeper into the scholarship by asking a very simple and damning question: the sources for the Peasants’ Revolt are full of women, where are they in the scholarship? And, well, I was slightly knocked back because I know that in the sources I got, they didn’t really appear and while I’m used to the idea that history teaching is gendered this is still pretty fierce. So I recommend a read of Bavardess’s post to rebalance yourself if you were taught similarly.
It’s odd that this comes at the same time that a vocal female reaction is making itself heard on parts of the web I pass near to a recent article by Patricia Cohen in the New York Times about the disappearance of ‘traditional’ history courses in the USA. It did cross my mind that I have seen such material termed ‘boy history’ in the past, and Claire Potter at Tenured Radical picks up the opposite end of the stick, shows that the first end is on fire and in your face and suggests that such laments and worries are principally caused by men on the defensive at a slightly greater incidence of women among the faculty. The figures she gives suggest that this defensiveness is, to say the least, well into no-man’s land and that the entrenchments of the establishment are still pretty safe for now. (Though it might have made her case stronger if, er, she’d read the figures that the target article presents…)
1381, 2009, who’s counting? Some men writing history are still scared of women with agency. This is one of those continuities between medieval and modern I wouldn’t mind disappearing. (And that’s intransitive, not transitive.) I suppose that a positive change is to be seen in the fact that now some women are also angrily defensive about such fears making rumour or even policy, but in words quoted about something else entirely by Maximilian Forte at Open Anthropology at the same sort of time, “it is clear that non ah we ent arrive as yet“.