To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The study of Anglo-Saxon pottery in the pagan period in England has probably received less attention, and has certainly made less progress, than that of any other archaeological epoch. Our knowledge of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age ceramics has been revolutionized in the last ten or fifteen years, and it is now possible to use the pottery of these periods, as it should be possible to use the pottery of any period, as the most ignificant and sensitive element in the cultural evidence for the time. With some types of Roman pottery it is possible to go still further, and to treat them not only as a barometer to indicate the varying cultural pressures, so to speak, of different areas and sites, but even as a chronometer for the close dating of the different phases in their occupation. But with Anglo-Saxon pottery at present we can do none of these things. Apart from certain rare and peculiar forms recently studied by Roeder: we know about as much and about as little about it as was known when Neville published his Saxon Obsequies in 1852, or Kemble first drew attention to the continental parallels in a pioneer paper in Archaeologia in 1856.
Although situated in the heart of Angers a few squares behind the Cathedral, the disused church of St. Martin lies so completely hidden by encroaching modem structures that a view of its tower may only be had from one side street. Likewise an undeserved obscurity has descended upon its past history. Known before its dissolution in 1790 as one of the most venerable religious foundations of Angers, whose canons received their appointment from the king himself, the ancient College has left almost no records of its activities and vicissitudes. Nearly all its documents have perished at the hands of the revolutionists and the book-binders. Even archaeologists have left the church in relative neglect; for in spite of the fact that it has been known and casually referred to since the days of de Caumont as an interesting example of Romanesque and pre-Romanesque architecture, it has hitherto been surveyed only once, by Gailhabaud in 1848. Even his handsome engravings (in Monuments Anciens et Modernes) quite omit the twelfth century choir and apse which so adequately mirror the power and growth of that fertile Anjou whose counts could step to the throne of England. The structure received no adequate attention until Canon Pinier acquired it in 1903, saved it from imminent ruin, and by excavations under the crossing revealed the importance of the site.
During the first years of this century an astronomer, Dr A. E. Douglass, started a series of examinations of the annual increment in trees just south of Flagstaff, Arizona, to see if the cyclical nature of sun-spot appearances was reflected in tree growth, through their influence on climate. He found that there was a rather high correlation between tree growth and sun-spots in the living trees he examined. In order to extend his studies into the past—beyond the 500 years recorded by living trees—he collected material taken from beams in the old Spanish Missions that dot the southwestern United States. He had found that it was possible to identify certain characteristic sequences of tree-ring widths with certain years, and thus project into the past his chart of tree growth from timbers cut at an unknown past date. In doing so he discovered a technique that has founded a new branch of science—dendrochronology.
The Admiralty, having purchased in 1937 an extensive area of land in Llanychaer and adjacent parishes five miles SSE of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, kindly permitted the National Museum of Wales to examine and make records of any sites or buildings of interest therein.
I visited the local headquarters at Trecŵn in June 1937 for this purpose. The site consists of a narrow valley—at one point a gorge with rocky scarps—and its flanking uplands. The western half is occupied by Trecŵn House, its parkland and village, an estate developed in the English manner and providing little of antiquarian interest. The remainder was largely under different ownership, and, apart from Llanychaer church and farm, both of which are modernized, more primitive conditions survive in it. This portion of the area, which includes the picturesque rock-wall of Graig Lwyd, is shown in FIG. I. Each rectangle on the map represents a dwelling; and it will be seen that settlement is now confined to the floor and eastern side of the valley. It is of the diffuse type, which contrasts so strongly with the nucleated villages characteristic of England and met with in south Pembrokeshire and other anglicized parts of Wales. If the parish boundaries be examined (shown by a line of dots on the map) it will be seen that most of the houses are in Llanychaer parish, the ancient centre of which, the church, has only one farmstead near it. The shaded (red) portion of the map represents part of the common land (rough mountain pasture) of this and the adjacent parish. The dwellings within the area controlled by the Admiralty are overprinted in red.
The English long barrows have for long been a fertile source of discussion, and since Thurnam’s paper of 1868~th ere has been much speculation as to the precise Continental affinities of these tombs. It seemed clear from the outset that they were members of the complex family of megalithic tombs distributed from Iberia to Orkney, while Thurnam himself compared more detailed features such as the chamber at West Kennet with such Breton examples as Mané Lud. Subsequent writers, notably Forde have seen in the Breton many-chambered passage-graves of the type of Keriaval the probable source of such long barrow chambers as Stoney Littleton, Parc Cwm or Wayland’s Smithy; but it was difficult to provide convincing Continental parallels for the whole specialized English long barrow type. While certain elements (notably details of passage, antechamber and chamber) could be paralleled again and again in the megalithic series, the persistent and carefully constructed trapezoidal mound eluded search outside Britain. Furthermore, a study of the grave-goods, particularly in the light of a number of recent excavations of barrows in southern England, showed that the long barrows of Wessex, mainly non-megalithic and supposedly derived from the megalithic barrows in the Cotswolds or further west, wele apparently contemporary with and an integral part of the earliest Neolithic culture of Britain (Neolithic A) and a similar cultural identity seemed probable in Sussex.
Four kilometres within the boundary dividing the British Mandated Territory of Transjordan from Syria, 1000 metres above sea level, and on the northern limit of the plain south of the Jabal Druze (Hauran), lie the ruins of Umm el-Jamal. The city is twenty kilometres from Mafrak, where the pipe-line and road from Iraq cut the Hijaz railway on their way to Haifa on the Mediterranean. The Druze Mountain dominates the plain from the north and this monument lies at the foot, the most westerly of a series of ruined basalt-built towns and the most interesting.
The surrounding plain is not a desert of sand. Its ancient fertility is shown by the old field boundary stones, now wasted by wind-erosion and neglect, leaving a dry exhausted soil thinly sprinkled with desert plants and strewn in parts with basalt boulders grey with lichen. Nowadays the rainfall in these parts is negligible and an attempt some years ago to restart cultivation around Mafrak failed; for the soil was just dust, carried off by the wind in great clouds when ploughing was attempted. Mafrak is now inhabited, water having been found some hundreds of metres down by boring; and it was the outpost from which men and materials went forward to build the road and pipe-line now stretching down the corridor between Syria and Saudi Arabia to Iraq. Ancient trade routes converged in this neighbourhood and the name ‘Mafrak ’ signifies the ‘Junction’. It was in antiquity a strongly fortified site and later a station on the Haj route.
‘Constantinople is a precious key, worth a whole kingdom; its possessor will be master of the world’. Napoleon’s prophecy might equally have been made by Constantine himself, the founder of the city. For the chequered history of the Byzantine Empire shows that more than once the mere possession of Constantinople stood between it and destruction. Yet the city’s impregnability did not depend solely on its Roman heritage and its peerless geographical and political position, but owed as great a debt to the genius of the younger Theodosius in constructing an enceinte which, apart from St. Sophia, is today the most impressive monument of the vanished Byzantine power.
The safety of Avebury is of such imporatnce that we print in full the appeal which has been issued by the Avebury Preservation Fund, and hope that it will meet with generous response from many who are not yet acquainted with the details of THE PLAN