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Doggie Archaeologists

5 February 2021

According to the Indpendent dogs are now contributing to archaeology – and they have a picture of a dog to prove it, using its big nose to sniff around ancient ruins. See www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dog-archaeology-ancient-human-remains… .. and at www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeolgy/china-archaeology-medieval… … another story, this one from western China, and a sort of buffer state between China and Tibet, back in the day. Nanzhou. The ancient ruins of a Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province are under investigation. It dates to the 9th century AD. That was the peak of the Nanzhou empire, a militarised state on account of its position between two states with formidable armies. Nanzhou expanded southwards into Myanmar [Burma], Laos and Thailand, foiling Chinese attempts to expand into SE Asia. It also controlled regions that are now part of China, such as parts of Guizhou and Sichuan. Nanzhou held the balance of power between China and Tibet, nestled as it was beneath the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau.

At https://theguardian.com/science/2021/jan/30/find-of-the-century-medieval… … a left wing rag salivating over lost treasure. It seems a medieval graveyard has been found beneath university accommodation which is being redeveloped. It contains 60 graves – some of which are described as rich with grave goods. Not sure what these exactly were but it certainly got the tax exiled Guardian excited. The major interest of historians will be the date of the graves as some of them go back to the 5th to 7th centuries AD, right in the dark ages of the post Roman era. Not sure the journalist that wrote up the piece caught the point though as he referred to 'Romans living in Cambridge' before these graves were dug. No, the people of Roman Britain were not Roman, but British. They were ruled by a Romanised British elite, who were in charge at a local level [and the local villa owners]. Roman merchants and engineers were over here, and Roman governors etc. The general population was British – and that is the real treasure of the discovery, as archaeologists will be able to assess how much of Roman culture survived the end of Roman rule.

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