Half Term Heraldry

This half term, we took some inspiration from the many heraldic harness pendants recorded on the database and invited the children of Dorset to make their own coat of arms. A selection of harness pendants recorded on the PAS Database. From left to right: GLO-D4734B, WREX-6511C4, WILT-C890F3, WMID-28A0B3, KENT-B2C417 and YORYM-2DD34E. (Image: Portable Antiquities Scheme, …more

Ouch! Medieval preemptive measures against pain (or even sudden death!)

In an excellent (if slightly unsettling) post Helen Geake considered some of the objects recorded by the PAS that relate to medical care. Between the Roman scalpels and the late post-medieval dental plates discussed, there was a rather large gap of time (of course eminently forgivable in a short blog!).  Here, then, I consider the medieval …more

A rare complete medieval stirrup

A complete medieval stirrup has been recorded from Quainton in Buckinghamshire.  Contributing to the record was Helen, a local volunteer, Ros, the then FLO for Buckinghamshire, and Rob from the PASt Explorers team.  The record can be found on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database here: BUC-1A3216. This type of stirrup is relatively rare, though it is …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #12

The Nativity The story of the Nativity has been represented in many different formats throughout history.The Virgin Mary and child have been depicted in paintings, sculpture and even on more functional objects. It is a story that is known to all across the Christian world and many more beyond that. It’s no surprise that scenes from the …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #11

Reliquary During the Medieval period life was governed by the Church and Bible. Everything you did during your earthly life would impact your soul after death and decide if you went to heaven or hell and how long you would spend in purgatory. A part of this highly religious life was the idea of pilgrimage, …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #9

Origins of Saint Nicholas The jolly man in the red and white who brings children presents every Christmas Eve in his sleigh pulled by reindeer is the result of hundreds of years of stories, legends, tradition and marketing campaigns. The ‘real’ Father Christmas hasn’t been completely forgotten, with popular culture even referring to him as …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #3

STAG HARNESS PENDANT Reindeer and Christmas. The two words are so entwined and seem to fit together perfectly but reindeer haven’t always been associated with Christmas, so why are they today? In early versions of the legend, Santa Claus rode a white horse to deliver presents, but as the Saint Nicolas myth merged with local …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #1

THE ANNUNCIATION Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ as told in the Nativity, with a key scene being when the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will give birth to the son of God. This is known as the Annunciation and is mentioned in the Bible, the Dead Sea scrolls and the Qur’an; In Islam Jesus …more

‘Beyond the Vale of York’ conference – Saturday 11th July, York

On Saturday 11th July a fascinating day conference on coin hoarding will take place in York.  The joint meeting of the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society will discuss hoarding from the Iron Age all the way through to the Stuart kings of the 17th century.  Proceedings will start at 10.20am at the …more