Saturday, March 22, 2008

Megaliths in the Osnabrück area

This year's Easter journey is completely dedicated to my MA. Therefore we were heading to the north where Funnelbeaker monuments can be found. Our first stop was Osnabrück in Germany with a group of interesting long dolmen, some with surrounding stone revetment. Although a certain someone says they are all looking alike and we can therefore return to someplace warmer.

Although it was either raining or snowing the last couple of days, we were lucky and whenever we went outside to study a dolmen the sun was shining or it was at least dry.

We also made the aquaintance of a really nice pony, which loved the carrot I fed it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Conference Neolithic Violence

On Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of March I attended the 'Neolithic Violence in a European Perspective' Conference in Oxford. Scholars from Britain, Denmark, Spain, Germany and some other European countries came together to talk about interpersonal violence in the Neolithic and whether we can talk about warfare in this time period. Although there is a lot of evidence that human beings were a violent lot from the beginnings of time, it is unlikely that a structured war happened in the Neolithic. However, the evindence from Talheim, Germany, where a whole hamlet was wiped out, is pretty convincing, that at least raiding and massacring was not that unusual. Essentually we can say that mankind didn't change a bit.

It's a pity I didn't had the time to explore more of Oxford, because it is a really beautiful town. Here a photo of the Oxford University Centre for the Environment where the conference took place:

And here some more 'touristy' pics, the Round Theatre at Oxford:

and cherry blossoms, yes it's this time of the year again :)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Chinese Emperor in London

I can't believe how long I haven't posted here. Well, I guess I was pretty busy with my MA presentation and everything.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a ticket for the special exhibition at the British Museum in London, featuring terracotta warriors from the first Chinese Emperor. It was really difficult, since it is completely booked out and only 500 tickets per day are issued in the morning for this day. Since I'm not really a morning person this was not an option for me; but I was really really lucky: someone must have given back his ticket because there was a single ticket for last Wednesday which I bought online.

It was a small but impressive exhibition. After all China -for the first time- gave two of his famous terracotta warriors away.

copyright British Museum

The detail and accuracy with which this lifesize warriors were made is simply astonishing. Every figure has a different hairstyle, different sandals etc. Additionally various artefacts from his tomb were exhibited among them the bronze crane you can see here:

copyright British Museum

The only negative thing about the exhibiton was that Brit. Museum didn't say which statues were the originals and which were replicas, more or less suggesting that all statues were orignal ones. And it was too crowded, much to crowded. But still worth the 12 Pounds: after all the only other option would be to go to Xian to see them live. Well, maybe next year :)