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White Rabbits for August

It is an English tradition to say White Rabbits on the first day of each month. In this series I am saying white rabbits and giving some interesting notes on the month ahead, enjoy!

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The month of August is a Roman innovation. Before August was added to the year there were ten months which we have an October and a December. This was a good system and you would be forgiven for thinking that the person who messed it up should be stabbed to death, because he was. August is named for the first Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. He was Julius Caesar’s nephew who wanted revenge after his uncle was stabbed to death in the senate. When he returned to Rome in power he refused the crown and said he would not be king, only emperor.

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Personal and Professional Development

Important: This is not an advert nor have I accepted any money for benefits for writing this article.

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Like any professional I have to keep my knowledge and my skills unto date. This is particularly important with regards to the Stone Age where scholarship moves so very quickly. I usually use the Historical Associations CPD but I have chosen to supplement this with a course from Futurelearn.

So for the next few weeks I will be taking a course with York University Archaeological Department to study Starr Carr. Starr Carr is one of the most important Middle Stone Age sites in Europe and provides us with an insight into European Hunter Gathers living in Britain before it became an island.

If you are doing this course please say hello! If you fancy doing the course you can find it here. #flYorkArchaeology

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Stone Circles, Henges, Hills and a Barrow — Ailish Sinclair

It’s no secret that I love stone circles and other old stony places. I visit them. A lot. I hug them. Quite a bit. And I write about them. Aikey Brae, above, is probably my absolute favourite. The circle in my books is loosely based on this one. I’ve blogged about it here in the […]

Stone Circles, Henges, Hills and a Barrow — Ailish Sinclair
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Trouillot in the Digital Age: A Fifth Crucial Moment for Public Historians? — History Journal

AARON SHUMAN Last semester, one of my professors assigned a chapter of anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past as a jumping off point for considering how silences can work their way into the historical narrative. During our weekly Zoom-based class, conversation homed in on the ‘four crucial moments’ in which Trouillot believed that silences could be generated: […]

Trouillot in the Digital Age: A Fifth Crucial Moment for Public Historians? — History Journal
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Saints, Beggars and Scapegoats — History Journal

Why depictions of status and disability in the Early Middle Ages still matter JUTTA LAMMINAHO ‘A lame man crawling along on his hands led a blind man to the paupers’ hostel at St Gall, where both of them stayed the night, and were both healed at the tomb.’ – Walafrid Strabo, Life of St Otmar[1] […]

Saints, Beggars and Scapegoats — History Journal
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Historical Association Fellowship — Jenni Hyde

I’m really proud to announce that at the end of April, I was made an Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association. I’ve done an awful lot of work for the HA over the years, not least in being secretary of the Bolton Branch for some long time and of course I was Associate Vice President […]

Historical Association Fellowship — Jenni Hyde
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Servicing and light repairs — Somerton Smith

In the early days of rail travel, steam locomotives could only travel forward. Trains required turntables to turn them around. While there, they received “servicing and light repairs.” Where do you go for servicing and light repairs?

Servicing and light repairs — Somerton Smith
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Cats and my practice

Cats have always been part of my life and part of my practice as a historian. In this selection of photographs the white cat leaning on the model is Drucilla the Lunt Roman Fort working cat. I recruited Drucilla from the Cats Protection League as a working cat. She immediately moved in with the lady next door who fed her salmon.

The tabby “helping” to make my New Stone Age costume is called Zach. Zack immediately fell in love with the smell of leather and fighting the naughty flax as it vanished between the leather.

Cats were domesticated in the Middle East and the Egyptian word for cat is Mawo. Bronze Age / Stone Age language seems to have been onomatopoeia based. I imagine the first man to see a cat saying “What are you?”and the cat replying “Mawo!”

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Happy Independence Day American Friends

Today is the 4th of July and in 1776 the United States of America was born. I have many American friends and I have visited that great country on one memorable holiday to New York.

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I am often asked what the British call the 4th of July and quite honestly we just call it the 4th of July, however, with our wicked sense of humour we like to humour Americans by calling it Ungrateful Colonial Treason Day. Not because we think that but because so many Americans would be disappointed if we didn’t.

So Happy Birthday America… ungrateful gits

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Reading Aloud + Family History = The Best Learning — A Teacher’s Reflections

We often take it for granted that we have fresh water to drink.  Children certainly do. In our chapter reading book, “Little House on the Prairie”, Pa and Mr. Scott dig a well.  Learning where fresh water comes from was one thing, adding real stories and pictures about my family brought the story to life. […]

Reading Aloud + Family History = The Best Learning — A Teacher’s Reflections