Thursday, July 14, 2005

Ssssllloooowww progress

Just picking up the threads of a history article that I'm supposed to finish by the end of July. It's based on a project I did for University a decade ago, and needs to be made good enough to publish. There are a fair few things to add, plus I need to rewrite some aspects, and I also need to format it in the journal's house style. Urgh! It's really a case of getting down to it, and then my enthusiasm will get set off, with a bit of luck.

Meanwhile, I've was down at the York University library the other day. Was checking out references for my article, plus seeing if they had some books on Roman burial rites. My partner is currently digging up some skeletons, and some are decapitations, so he wants to read up on current thinking. Fortunately, I now have lending rights at the library as I'm doing some Continuing Eduction teaching, so I can take out the publications, rather than photocopy like a demon. btw, the skeles are part of the same cemetery as these.

The Borthwick Institute has recently moved into a new building next to the library, and I have been advised that the records of a brick company have been deposited there in the last few months. I'll be chasing up that up on my next visit, as it would be great to see what's relevant for my article.


At 10:32 pm BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Oh, there's a story lurking. A nice little horror one.

Hm, I still have that unfinished zombie thing in my files, maybe I could connect it to the decapitated Romans and finally finish that baby.

At 11:01 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Apparently, some of the decapitations are definitely executions, but others (such as the ones my dp is digging) seem to part of some sort of burial rite, so perhaps they shouldn't be called decapitations per se; they've got coffins and other artefacts, rather than being just put into a grave. There are other decapitations and 'head removals' found in Roman Britain, but just not in the same concentration as York

At 12:05 am BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Well, it's a recurring motive in Icelandic sagas that some bodies just won't stay put and then the hero has to fight the smelly thing. The usual method is to chop their head off the second time, and bury it in a different place. That keeps them down. ;)

With all those religions in the Roman army, and especially the auxiliaries, I won't wonder if some such belief lies behind the beheadings. Now to trace it down ... *grin*

At 8:37 am BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

York is famous for its ghosts, some of which are Roman, so perhaps it all makes sense.

All these headless bodies will keep the academics happy for years to come!

At 10:58 pm BST, Blogger Kate Allan said...

Ex-York History student speaking: Long live the Borthwick and it's ancient medieval manuscripts (which we were only ever able to handle with gloves on), and the Uni library!


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