Thursday, 26 May 2011

Medieval graffiti website

The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey is pleased to announce that their website is now fully updated and revised. The new site now contains the first elements of a visual catalogue that showcases some of the more interesting and unusual discoveries made by the project. It is currently organised by parish but, as the site expands, we hope to make all the information searchable by subject as well as by site. The new site also contains a link to the new Medieval Graffiti twitter feed - which allows you to learn about new discoveries as they are made. Real-time church archaeology.
Some churches have apotropaic marks and other esoteric graffiti, which whilst not actually Pagan, derives from the pagan worldview which the Christian order inherited. To quote Ronald Hutton:
medieval and early modern Europeans constructed their world-picture out of materials taken from both Christianity and ancient paganism, making a mixture of both which they believed to be a form of Christianity.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

PfA and HAD

A comment from "Anonymous" appeared in the comments following Caroline Tully's recent interview with Ronald Hutton.

It alleged that Ronald Hutton is "behind" Pagans for Archaeology. He's not some eminence grise, you know. Ronald Hutton is not associated with Pagans for Archaeology; I asked him to be a patron and he gracefully declined, on two grounds: (1) to preserve his neutrality; (2) because it would imply that he endorses everything we do (whether he does or not). I founded Pagans for Archaeology, and have asked two Pagans who are interested in archaeology to help me run the Facebook group.

Anonymous further alleges that PfA is seeking to undermine HAD. Far from it; we have cordial relations with HAD, and I regard HAD as the moderates in the reburial debate, as they are only calling for reburial of some remains, not all remains, and are building dialogue with the heritage, archaeology and museum sector. I have had cordial conversations with Emma Restall-Orr on the subject of reburial, and interviewed her on the Pagans for Archaeology blog. The extremists in the reburial debate are CoBDO (West), who want to rebury all remains.

Pagans for Archaeology represents those Pagans who do not agree with reburial, and who are interested in archaeology, and want to improve relations with the heritage, museum and archaeology sector.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Faith heritage trails

Many different faiths and cultures have made a mark on Britain, and this should be celebrated. Today I visited the amazing Hindu mandir in Neasden, which was very beautiful. But there are many places associated with different faiths.

The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies is gathering a Hindu archive which explores Hindu influence in Britain and beyond.

Hindu heritage sites include The Maharajah's Well in Berkhire, the tomb of Rammohun Roy in Bristol and the Chattri near Brighton (which is dedicated to Sikh and Hindu soldiers who were cremated there).

The first Indian restaurant in England was opened in 1810 by Sake Dean Mohamed. The oldest surviving Indian restaurant, Veeraswamy, was opened in 1926.

Some information on Muslim heritage, including blue plaques and old mosques, can be found on the British Muslim heritage site. A history of Muslim science is on the Muslim Heritage website.

Sikh heritage in Britain is celebrated on the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail website.

The BBC has some information on Buddhism in Britain.

The Institute of Jainology has a list of Jain temples in the UK.

Jewish heritage can be explored on the Jewish trails website.

Inspired by the Jewish trails site, I also started a Pagan trails website, which needs contributions.

There's a Unitarian heritage trail in London. Also the Humanist Heritage website mentions several Unitarian sites connected with the early history of Humanism. The Unitarian Communications blog has now gathered a list of Unitarian heritage websites.