A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘wales

[META] Some blogroll additions

Two links are being added.

  • To the news section, I’m adding the Canadian news website National Observer, which has interesting longer articles analyzing Canadian events. Of their recent articles, I would recommend Lorimer Shenher’s “LGBTQ officers need to pick the right target”, which argues that LGBTQ police officers should step back and consider the import of the police, as an organization, to many queer people.
  • To the blog section, I’m adding Strange Company, a great blog that assembles links of interesting and odd things around the world, in the past and present, and takes the occasional longer look at particular events. This link, examining the history of one Reverend Griffiths who was something of a ghostbuster in 19th century Wales, is a good example of the latter category of post.
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Written by Randy McDonald

March 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm

[LINK] “The discovery of medieval Trellech and the plucky amateurs of archaeology”

At The Conversation, Ben Edwards writes about the discovery of the lost medieval Welsh city of Trellech, and the import of its recent rediscovery by an amateur archaeologist.

The tale of how an amateur archaeologist’s hunch led him to uncover a lost medieval town and spend £32,000 of his own money to buy the land, would stand to be the archaeological discovery of any year. On the border between England and Wales, the site of the medieval town of Trellech reveals much about a tumultuous period of history – and how the town came to be lost.

The story begins in 2004, when archaeology graduate Stuart Wilson began his search for this lost medieval town in Monmouthshire, south-east Wales, near where now only a small village bears the name. In the face of scepticism from academic archaeologists, Wilson’s years of work have been vindicated with the discovery of a moated manor house, a round stone tower, ancillary buildings, and a wealth of smaller finds including pottery from the 1200s.

The town could turn out to be one of the largest in medieval Wales, and while there is more work to be done, the evidence is building. The large number of finds – including metalwork, cooking vessels and decorated pottery – point to a large settlement, and are essential in helping archaeologists date the site. What they suggest is a short-lived but intensive period of occupation between the 12th and early 15th centuries, during which the town was founded by the De Clare family as an industrial centre and later destroyed during the Owain Glyndwr rebellion in 1400. This was a period of instability on the Welsh border, with conflict between rival Welsh princes and the English throne. Settlements like Trellech would become the focus of such clashes, culminating in Glyndwr’s rebellion.

What makes the lost city of Trellech so important is its rarity and the quality of its preservation. Most large medieval settlements in England and Wales are still towns and cities to this day. This means archaeological investigations of medieval London or York for example are difficult and expensive, and can only occur piecemeal as urban redevelopment allows excavation of small areas. If Trellech turns out to be an extensive town, it will be a unique and important site. As archaeology is key to understanding the lives of everyday people who are ignored by the histories of the great and the good, sites like Trellech are the only way we gain these insights.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 9, 2017 at 8:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • blogTO notes the growing concentration of chain stores on lower Ossington.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly describes her luck in interviewing a New York City firefighter.
  • Citizen Science Salon reports on a citizen science game intended to fight against Alzheimer’s.
  • Language Hat starts from a report about unsold Welsh-language Scrabble games to talk about the wider position of the Welsh language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money shares the astounding news leaked about Donald Trump’s billion-dollar losses.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a psychology paper examining the perception of atheists as narcissistic.
  • Towleroad reports on the informative reality television series of the United States’ gay ambassador to Denmark.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia’s war in Aleppo echoes past conflicts in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and examines the position of Russia’s border regions.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Bloomberg notes Ireland’s huge unexpected recent reported growth, looks at the deindustrialization of Israel, observes Deutsche Bank’s need to search for wealth abroad, looks at the demographic imperatives that may keep healthy Japanese working until they are 80, notes the slipping ANC grip on Pretoria and looks at the rise of anti-Muslim Pauline Hanson in Australia, and predicts Brexit could kill the London property boom.
  • Bloomberg View calls for calm in the South China Sea.
  • CBC notes some idiot YouTube adventurers who filmed themselves doing stupid, even criminal, things in different American national parks.
  • The Globe and Mail reports on the plans for a test tidal turbine in the Bat of Fundy by 2017.
  • MacLean’s looks at the heckling of a gay musician in Halifax and reports on the civil war in South Sudan.
  • The New York Times looks at the new xenophobia in the east English town of Boston.
  • Open Democracy notes that talk of a working class revolt behind Brexit excludes non-whites, and reports on alienation on the streets of Wales.
  • Wired looks at how some cash-strapped American towns are tearing up roads they cannot afford to maintain.

[URBAN NOTE] “A Welsh Steel Town Had a Lot to Lose. Why Did It Brexit?”

Bloomberg’s Lisa Freisher looks at why one Welsh steel town dependent on EU funding counterintuitively voted for Brexit. Desperation, blind desperation, seems key.

On the eve of the Brexit vote, nearly all official voices were nudging residents of the steel town of Port Talbot, Wales, to vote to remain in the EU: A healthy chunk of the steel produced locally was shipped into Europe, and the EU sent millions of pounds to aid the local economy.

The message came from management at the giant mill, owned by Tata Steel. Union bosses. Local politicians. But those voices from above seemed to only repel residents fed up with the status quo.

Protesting decades of industrial decline while London thrived, 57% of the 75,652 people who voted in this once proud region of steel production decided to take a chance and leave.

“All I’ve ever seen was a decline in the steel works,” said Andrew Clarke, 30, who finally got a job at the plant two years ago as a crane driver, only to watch his father laid off from the plant this year. “People might maybe losing pensions, maybe losing bonuses, maybe losing holidays.”

The town was one of many places across England and Wales where people voted against what a host of experts and government officials said were their own self interests, in favor of an unknown alternative. In Sunderland, where Nissan employs 6,700 autoworkers on the northeast coast of England, Leave won 61% to 39%. In Cornwall, after its residents voted to leave, local officials asked for reassurance after the vote that £60 million ($80 million) in annual EU support would be replenished.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • Bloomberg notes concern in Asia regarding Brexit, and reports on a Taiwanese call to China to heal from Tiananmen.
  • CBC notes a shocking proposal to assemble a human being using an artificial genome.
  • io9 notes the interest of the Chinese government in setting up a local science fiction award.
  • MacLean’s notes Russian crime gangs are blackmailing gay men.
  • The National Post observes one suggestion that Stonehenge was originally Welsh, and reports on a Wildrose parliamentarian in Alberta who compared a carbon tax to the Ukrainian genocide.
  • Open Democracy examines English identity in the context of Brexit and reports on South America’s Operation Condor.
  • The Toronto Star reports on an African grey parrot that may be a murder witness and notes Trudeau’s statement that preserving indigenous languages is key to preventing youth suicides.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • Bloomberg notes the upcoming meeting of North Korea’s governing party, observes the absence of a groundswell in favour of Brexit in the United Kingdom, and notes NIMBYism can appear in many forms.
  • CBC reports on the upcoming summit of North American leaders, notes Mike Duffy’s first appearance in the Senate, reports on the likely huge toll of insurance payouts in Fort McMurray, and notes the dependence of many Syrian refugees on food banks in Canada.
  • The Independent notes that Brexit might depend on the votes of Wales, which could be swayed either way by the fate of the Port Talbot steel plant.
  • The Inter Press Service notes, in a photo essay, how Third World farmers are seeking a technological revolution for their industry.
  • National Geographic notes how Atlantic City is coping with rising seas, mainly badly in ways which hurt the poor.
  • Open Democracy considers the Argentine government’s likely approach to geopolitics in the South Atlantic.
  • Universe Today notes the possible discovery of a new particle and looks at how Ceres might, or might not, be terraformed.
  • Wired looks at a new documentary on film projectionists and reports on the difficulties of fighting the Alberta wildfire.