Monday, 18 April 2011

Good news, everyone! An Iron Age massacre...and other stuff

Last Thursday night saw the second episode of A History of Celtic Britain, and while I wasn't blown away by the first episode as such, I figured it would get more interesting, and the shiny things were nice to look at, at least.

Things started off well, and over all I enjoyed the episode a lot more than I did the first, but I found myself getting a good dose of TV rage near the end, which kind of put a dampener on things. It started off well, then there was mmm shiny, then ooo that's interesting; good; ooo look it's Barry Cuniffe. Hmmhmm. Oh and there's Miranda Green and OH YES THIS IS HOW YOU DO DRUID DIVINATION WITH 'SPOONS.'

To be fair she did say something along the lines of "this is what I think they did," and that idea that the objects in question were spoons is an assumption at best. But then proceeded to demonstrate the whole thing and discussed it with the presenter as if it was all known fact: Crushed bones of the ancestors were blown through a hole in one 'spoon' into the other, then the same was done with blood. And then, from the resulting goop on the receiving spoon, the druids could happily pull any sort of answer out of their arse and manipulate the king, or just the plebs in general, to do their bidding with whatever wisdom the druids wanted to give. And everyone was happy and none the wiser. I really wish I could find the piece on youtube.

And I suppose that's the problem with a lot of documentaries these days; you write the script so that a ten-year-old can understand things, and don't over-complicate anything - just offer the easiest answers and fudge over the fact that alternatives might exist. So things tend to look fairly black and white, when there's really a whole spectrum in between. 

Anyway, there's exciting stuff in the news, if you haven't seen it already:

Mass burial suggests suggests massacre at Iron Age hill fort

There's a short video that accompanies the article - the find is significant because the bodies all appear to be women and children, suggesting that they were massacred after the hill fort (in Derbyshire) was overrun. It's the only burial of its kind found so far, with such marked segregation of women and men. Or a lack of any men at all, really.

And that's all I have just now - I have a review to do, but I think that deserves a separate post. Summer's here. Which if the last few years are anything to go by, will be short lived.