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Thread: Thames Bones...

  1. #1
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    Default Thames Bones...

    when i was doing that blog i wrote about noticing that the banks of the thames are strewn with bones. it just occured to me to google for bones on the banks of the thames.
    http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba53/ba53news.html

    Burial in water `normal rite' for 1,000 years: skeletons, animal skulls and other Iron Age offerings found in Thames
    Human bones and other prehistoric remains from a dried-up channel of the Thames in Berkshire have shed light on one of the enduring mysteries of the last millennium BC - where and how people disposed of their dead.

    The new evidence suggests that burial in rivers or lakes may have been the normal funeral rite in Britain for nearly 1,000 years before the coming of the Romans, following the demise of cremation in about 900 BC.

    Marks on the bones from the Thames may also suggest, more controversially, some degree of cannibalism - or at least ritual defleshing of skeletons - in funeral ceremonies in this period.

    This unprecedented evidence, if substantiated further, will mark the exceptionally late survival of a practice thought to have died out in Europe at least 5,000 years earlier.

    Few human burials are known in Britain from the late Bronze Age/Iron Age periods. A number of skulls dredged up from riverbeds across Britain, and dated to the 1st millennium BC, first raised the possibility that the dead may have been buried in water - but more substantial evidence was not available. Now, however, excavations by the Oxford Archaeological Unit at Eton have produced clear signs of funeral rituals taking place on sandbank islands in the middle of the river. Skulls and bones belonging to up to 15 individuals were found on the islands, and of these eight have been radiocarbon dated to between about 1300 - 200 BC. The others are undated, but some are associated with bridge timbers previously dated to the early Iron Age.

    Surrounding one island was a ring of wooden stakes, interpreted as mooring posts for funeral boats. Downstream, a wooden platform was built over another island. In addition to the human bones, the excavators found skulls from horses and cattle, and two complete pots.

    By the edge of the stream, a pair of quernstones had been carefully placed one above the other. A Bronze Age ard was also found a couple of years ago in the middle of the channel, associated with charred grain and human bones.

    According to excavation director Tim Allen, the evidence suggests that `a range of rituals' took place by rivers - not just the well-known deposition of weapons and metalwork - and that burial in water `was a standard part of the burial rite in the last millennium BC'.

    The discovery of bones from the same skeletons, apparently in situ, implies that the dead - either as whole or part bodies - were weighted down in the water to prevent complete disintegration. A lack of scavengers' marks on the bones suggests they had not previously been exposed on dry land. Other marks, however, are more perplexing. Five long-bones, examined by Margaret Cox of Bournemouth University, seem to have been deliberately smashed in a way normally interpreted - for much earlier periods - as an attempt to extract the marrow for food. Other cutmarks suggest that the flesh may have been deliberately removed from the bone. Defleshing, or scalping, is not unknown among Iron Age burials but cannibalism is unheard-of for the period.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Mudlarking

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Mayhew
    “They may be seen of all ages, from mere childhood to positive decrepitude, crawling among the barges at the various wharfs along the river; it cannot be said that they are clad in rags, for they are scarcely half covered by the tattered indescribable things that serve them for clothing; their bodies are grimed with the foul soil of the river, and their torn garments stiffened up like boards with dirt of every possible description” London Labour and the London Poor 1861
    the thames foreshore is an amazing lovely place .... visit (at low tide ) in vauxhall or even s. bank, this deserted crevasse in the middle of the city, i think there are even parties there occasionally?

    down by mi6 building where the underground river effra meets the thames, you can find a good stretch of beach - composed entirely of the detritus of ages, every pebble is a piece of tile, bone, brick, glass - old flints, pipes, bottles, corroded items, nuggets & rusted lumps of stuff, printed, painted, glazed shards, blims of arcane defunct devices: ceramic transformers, graphite grommets ... probly some filthy biohaz .... gently washed over & ground down & rolled & shuffled about - so something submerged will just reappear after years and years, dredged back up by the river, literally millennia of litter...



    check these -> twitchas luka - should we even join dem?>?

    check these dudes also


    (mind you i do remember a couple of kids getting swallowed by the mud down on avonmouth when i was a littleun )
    Last edited by sufi; 07-04-2005 at 08:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    re-reading your post put me in mind of this:
    U.A. Fanthorpe
    Rising Damp.

    'A river can sometimes be diverted, but it is a very hard thing to lose it altogether.'
    J.G.Head, paper read to the Auctioneers' Institute in 1907

    At our feet they lie low,
    The little fervent underground
    Rivers of London

    Effra, Graveney, Falcon, Quaggy,
    Wandle, Walbrook, Tyburn, Fleet

    Whose names are disfigured,
    Frayed, effaced.

    These are the Magogs that chewed the clay
    To the basin that London nestles in.
    These are the currents that chiselled the city,
    That washed the clothes and turned the mills,
    Where children drank and salmon swam
    And wells were holy.

    They have gone under.
    Boxed, like the magician's assistant.
    Buried alive in earth.
    Forgotten, like the dead.

    They return spectrally after heavy rain,
    Confounding suburban gardens. They infiltrate
    Chronic bronchitis statistics. A silken
    Slur haunts dwellings by shrouded
    Watercourses, and is taken
    For the footing of the dead.

    Being of our world, they will return
    [Westbourne, caged at Sloane Square,
    Will jack from his box],
    Will deluge cellars, detonate manholes,
    Plant effluent on our faces,
    Sink the city.

    Effra, Graveney, Falcon, Quaggy,
    Wandle, Walbrook, Tyburn, Fleet

    It is the other rivers that lie
    Lower, that touch us only in dreams
    That never surface. We feel their tug
    As a dowser's rod bends to the source below.

    Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe, Styx.

    this should probably go in the Lit section but never mind

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    there used to be something they did down near the southbank called reclaim the beach sufi, maybe that is what you are thinking of http://www.swarming.org.uk/recl/recl.htm

    good fun to be had by all.
    i had a thought the other week that the london council should buy a sand bag for every person that works along the river then make a nice little beach to enjoy at lunchtimes.
    they do this in paris, also bognor regis beach is totally man made, tonnes of sand from saudi each year gets laid down mid winter.
    but then again the beach that is there is lovely, i worked down in tha strange bit of pimlico for a while this year and it was lush seeing the spring turn.
    water is good for the brain, watching the patterns on the river brings you into a trancelike state, honing into alpha waves.

    also did you also know there is a natural spring in kings cross,which reminds me of that only fools and horses episode where they think they have found a spring in peckham.

    underground rivers :

    http://encyclopedia.lockergnome.com/...vers_in_London
    Last edited by mms; 09-04-2005 at 02:03 PM.

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    Waikiki Beach in Hawaii is a black volcanic beach at heart, but shipfuls of white sand were taken there from Newcastle, Australia and laid down for fear that black sand would deter tourists.

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    Last edited by sufi; 24-05-2005 at 02:33 AM.

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    GREETINGS, MORTALS! HAST THOU IMBIBED THY FILTHEN FLUID THIS DAY?

    I SHOULD HOPE SO, FOR IT IS THE LIQUID FILTH WHICH ART QUITE POTENT AND, INDEED, MORE EASILY
    CONSUMED THAN THE FLUFFY FECAL FILTH WHICH EMERGES HENCE FROM THE ANAL ORIFICE.


    MANY IN THE REALM OF 'JAPAN' PARTAKE IN SUCH CARNAL DELIGHTS AS OMELETTE OF CHICKEN OFFSPRING
    WITH A FINE SPRINKLING OF FRESHLY SQUEEZED FILTH, SIMMERED UPON A HEATED METAL PLATTER FOR
    NUMBERS OF THEIR ILK TO ENJOY!


    MINE MINIONS CARE NOT FOR THE HIGH HEAT, PARTICULARLY WHEN THESE MORTALS CHOOSE OIL OF PEANUT
    TO ENHANCE THE TEMPERATE FILTH, BUT STRANGELY, MINE 939,440,102,993,231,993RD MINION AND ITS
    COHORTS DO ENJOY THE PARTICULAR CRISPNESS OF FECES WHICH ART FRIED AND NOT MERELY OOZED FORTH
    FROM THE BOTTOM!

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    What on earth are you on about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diggedy Derek
    What on earth are you on about?
    GREETINGS QUESTIONABLE MORTAL! PONDERING THE EARTHLY ORIGINS OF MINE FILTHLINGS AND
    FILTHLORDS IS A QUESTION MOOT. MINE HOST AND I ARE NOT OF THIS EARTH. NAY! RATHER WE ABIDE UPON
    THE CIRCLE OF FILTH, HOME TO ALL THAT IS FILTHY, GUNGEOUS AND MURKY OF HUE.

    ONLY A MORTAL FOOL SUCH AS YE WOULD MAKE SUCH AN UNFILTHEN ERROR!

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    Default see this luka?

    from the other place:
    Gods of the River and Bridge
    An extract from the Cross River Traffic Project
    Chris Roberts, July 2005


    interesting, a bit, tho not well written & rubbish pictures

  11. #11
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    Lightbulb gonzo spelunking up fleet river


  12. #12
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    just been up tate modern

    i'd been recommended to see mark dion



    not disappointed

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    Last edited by sufi; 31-07-2006 at 09:22 AM.

  14. #14
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    check these -> twitchas luka - should we even join dem?>?

    Let's do it sufi

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    i follow this one on the twitter https://twitter.com/TideLineArt
    amazing what she comes up with,
    my eyesite is probably not as good as hers

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