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The MuddyArchaeologist’s Blog


28th July 2014


On Tour ...


Getting back into the world after my knee operation, I thought I'd kick off with a reminder that our tours are anything but staid and dull ... Perhaps the heat got to us in Bodrum Castle (Turkey) on the last cruise, but do you think the Romans had hats like this ... or sunglasses ...




22nd November 2013

Just one of those archaeologist moments that made me smile ...

‘If this is what I think it is, we’ve got some work ahead of us’










27th October 2013

Martin Freeman in Tony Robinson ‘Time Team’ mode.

Martin cast as the presenter of a very 'TimeTeam'esque sketch from the short-lived, one-series-only sketch show 'Bruiser' (2000)






9th September 2013

The Roman fort of Vindolanda has a new image.  12 of them actually.

Artist Peter Phillips has created 12 wonderful cartoons about Hadrian’s Wall and Vindolanda.

You can buy them at the Vindolanda sites (the fort and the Roman Army Museum).  Sales help the work of the Vindolanda Trust (which receives no annual funding from external bodies).


21st August 2013

A Dose of Latin ...A Roman goes into a bar ... And asks for a martinus.

Don’t you mean a ‘martini’, says the barman.

The Roman replies, ‘If I wanted a double, I’d have asked for one’.


(Thanks to Dennis for that one!)

27th July 2013

Hamish is our much-loved Cairn Terrier.    He’s seen more archaeology than many dogs.  

 Whether he’s appreciated it all,

    is another matter ...

  There may be other things on his little fluffy mind ...


 Here’s a picture gallery of his travels ..





24 July 2013

More from ‘An Alternative Dictionary of Classical Words and Phrases’   by S.Duff & N.Oncents

A few Classical personalities receive the Dictionary’s attention ...

    ‘Midas  Considered as something of a golden boy, he made an ass of himself

     Ovid   Latin poet famous for his catchphrase ‘Scream  if you want to go Fasti’  *

(with thanks to Pegasus, the journal of Exeter University’s Classics Department)


If you feel the need, after this, to know what ‘Groan!’ is in Latin, then it’s gemitus, although the Greek sustenazo carries a better meaning of ‘to groan inwardly together’!

* Latin students who feel they should get this joke but are fearful of making an ass of themselves are reminded that Ovid was writing the Fasti (‘Festivals’), a book about the origins of the Roman year’s high days and holidays, when he was exiled by the Emperor Augustus.  His heart just wasn’t in it after that and he stopped his work at ‘July’ (well, who would want to face working on the next month, ‘August’, praising his exiler’s name ...?)

18 July 2013

We begin with ...

The brilliant ‘An Alternative Dictionary of Classical Words and Phrases’

by S.Duff & N.Oncents (Late scholars of the university of the South West of England).

This wonderful little booklet is, as the authors describe it, a ‘replete tome’.  

To set the scene, the preface is written by NJO, stating (amongst other gems):

‘The Reverend would have written this preface, but for the fact that he is currently indisposed due to an unfortunate misunderstanding between himself, an overdone scone and the Archbishop of London’s feline companion.’

Today’s sample is

‘Kennedy’s Latin Primer

   Despite being banned under the terms of the Geneva Convention (1906) for causing undue misery, suffering and distress after having been used on civilians by British Officers during the Boer War, numerous copies remain in existence.’

More will follow ...

This ‘Alternative Dictionary extract is reproduced with the kind permission of the Editor of the renowned and perfectly erudite Pegasus, the journal of the Classics Department of Exeter University (my old stamping ground).  It can be found in issue 56.

Pegasus Journal Website






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