The Bartlow Burial Mounds: Kite Aerial Photographs by Bill Blake

The Heritage Trust

Kite Aerial Photograph by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation: all rights reserved, used with permission. Note path on the left which leads from Bartlow Church 

In our inaugural article, almost a year ago, we featured an ancient Romano-British site (the Bartlow Burial Mounds, formerly in Essex but after boundary changes now in Cambridgeshire) that has suffered from three of the hazards highlighted in our header – ie Bartlow is a site which has fallen foul (relatively recently) from development, neglect and vandalism. According to the Cambridgeshire Rural Society the Bartlow Burial Mounds (also known as the Bartlow Hills) “…was originally the largest group of Roman barrows in northern Europe and includes the highest burial mound in Britain.”
The noticeboard at the foot of one of the mounds records that, “The seven mounds covered extraordinary rich burials containing a collection of wonderful artistic objects, the best found in Britain. Mound IV, the…

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Whale of a Tale, or there’s something fishy about this place…

Gilt Pleasures

Did you hear the one about the sailors who landed on an island, built a campfire and then got blown sky-high by a geyser?  No?  How about the sailors who landed on an island, built a campfire and then the whole island did a deep-dive, taking them with it?

These are just a couple of tales that made the rounds in the middle ages and both are based on the misconception that whales like to float at the surface of the water and so accumulate sand on their backs; sailors in turn mistake the whales for islands and when they make camp, may either find themselves unceremoniously caught up in the whale’s blow-hole eruption or, more commonly, they make a campfire and when it gets too hot, it startles the whale into diving into the depths, taking the sailors with it to their deaths.

Another commonly-told story about the whale…

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Dragon Blood into a Sword


The skillful, manly, work of art that goes into making a sword in 3 minutes.

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A Neanderthal trove in Madrid



Topic: More on Neanderthal

The Lozoya River Valley, in the Madrid mountain range of Guadarrama, could easily be called “Neanderthal Valley,” says the paleontologist Juan Luis Arsuaga.

“It is protected by two strings of mountains, it is rich in fauna, it is a privileged spot from an environmental viewpoint, and it is ideal for the Neanderthal, given that it provided the with good hunting grounds.”

This is not just a hypothesis: scientists working on site in Pinilla del Valle, near the reservoir, have already found nine Neanderthal teeth, remains of bonfires and thousands of animal fossils, including some from enormous aurochs (the ancestor of cattle, each the length of two bulls), rhinoceros and fallow deer.

The Neanderthal is a human species that is well known and unknown at the same time. It is well known because numerous vestiges have been found from the time when they lived in Europe, between…

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Medieval Anachronisms, Part 3: Cranes Hoisting Armored Knights

Long Man “charitised”

The Heritage Journal

The ostomy stunt at the Long Man of Wilmington that we mentioned two days ago went ahead.


We understand that it was authorised on the basis it would cause no physical damage and wouldn’t be for long. Our thesis is that damage to respect for monuments (especially hill figures it seems) can lead to physical damage to monuments.

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More Viking Cartoons – WuMo-style

Thyra Dane

I love the Danish cartoonists Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler who draw cartoons under the pen name WuMo. More often than not they are way out of line but I suppose that`s one of the things I love about them. They`ve made quite a few cartoons about Vikings and I used one a couple of days ago. Here are some more:

Find more WuMo cartoons

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Star Wars – 30 Celebrities and What They Did in Wartime

Military History Now

It was the night of Sept. 23, 1942. A flight of RAF Halifax bombers from No. 76 squadron had just raided a German harbour facility on the Baltic Sea. Sometime during the mission one of the British bombers was struck by a burst of enemy flak. Critically damaged and losing altitude, the four-engine aircraft skidded into the North Sea. Only three of the plane’s crew survived the crash. The dazed fliers were plucked from the drink by the Germans and sent to a POW camp in Selesia where they would spend the rest of the war. One of the crew from the doomed Halifax, a 20-year-old radio operator, passed the many months in Stalag VIII B performing Shakespeare plays for his fellow inmates. In fact, the young sergeant discovered he had a flare for the dramatics. He continued acting in the camp and even pursued his new found passion after…

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The Most Beautiful Suicide

Wonderland1981 - The Wonderland Murders

This photograph is of Evelyn McHale. On the 1st May 1947 she jumped 86 floors from the top of the Empire State Building. She was 23 years old.

On the ground below, a photography student named Robert Wiles managed to capture the scene minutes after her body landed on top of a parked limousine.

Years later, Andy Warhol appropriated Wiles’ photography for a print called Suicide (Fallen Body).

In her suicide note, she wrote the following:

My fiance asked me to marry him in June, but I don’t think I would make a good wife for anyone. He is much better off without me. Tell my father, I have too many of my mother’s tendencies. I don’t want anyone in or out of my family to see any part of me. Could you destroy my body by cremation? I beg of you and my family -don’t have any service or…

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Strike Hard Strike Sure – The RAF Bomber Command Memorial

Foreigner tax law

Ancient Egypt News

The Pharaoh has ordered that a new law be made concerning the right of foreigners entering Egypt. The law states that all non-Egyptians will be taxed up to 20% of their harvest. The Pharaoh thinks that this will make all foreigners leave Egypt and will make them return to their homeland.

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Stories of Sheebeg

Story Archaeology

 An Acallam na nÉces Special

In the West of Ireland, every hill is a hollow hill, and every well is a source.  But the hill we live on has many legends…

Join the Story Archaeologists on an aerial survey of the story-scape of Sídh Beag, the Small Fairy Hill.



Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest podcasts!

by The Story Archaeologists

Music: “Sheemore and Sheebeg” by Turlough O’Carolan, performed byRehouven Libine

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