An article published 19 January 2016 in Nature Communications, “Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon genomes from East England reveal British migration history,” by Stephan Schiffels et al, estimates that the ancestry of the modern-day East English population is about 38% Anglo-Saxon.Read more "38% of English ancestry derived from Anglo-Saxon migration"
Two maps of Gododdin territory—where Hild becomes Cait Sith…Read more "Cait Sith in the Eildon Hills"
Hild is “A magnificent and convincing portrayal of a strange, wild, beautiful world.” — GuardianRead more "Paperback of Hild just out in the UK"
I recently began Karen Jolly’s Popular Religion in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Elf Charms in Context and found myself starting to make some changes to a previous post, Elfshot, medicine, and changing belief systems.Read more "Quick addendum to Elfshot-and-beliefs post"
Are the riddles in the Exeter Book designed to have more than one answer, and, if so, why? To educate or to entertain? Either way, here’s my solution to Riddle 53.Read more "Frige hwæt ic hatte"
Anglo-Saxon medicine is a mix of empirical treatment and sophisticated psychological techniques. The trick with placebo and nocebo—for both the medieval practitioner and the modern—is in understanding what the stricken patient believes. These beliefs change over time.Read more "Elfshot, medicine, and changing belief systems"
Hild is heading north to talk (unofficially, of course) with Coledauc of the Gododdin. I had to draw maps to work out where she might go, and how, and why.Read more "Gododdin"
When did the Picts stop using the carnyx in war? And why? Perhaps it was because they were weighty and cumbersome. Perhaps it was because of cultural change—religion.Read more "Carnyx"
Breguswith knew all about the miracle eye salve that fights MRSA…Read more "Breguswith’s eye salve kills MRSA"
“The regional genetic differentiation and differing patterns of shared ancestry…carry clear signals of historical demographic events.” Nature’s recent article on the genetic makeup of the British population is full of eyebrow-raising stuff.Read more "Genetic structure of the British population"
Where, exactly, was the battle of Hæðfeld? I have a theory, based on research I’ve done on water courses and roads of 632.Read more "Hæðfeld: Where Edwin lost his head?"
Were there any working baths in seventh-century Northumbria? I’m guessing not, but perhaps some of those wall forts were in reasonable shape. Birdoswald? How about Arbeia? We know that Osric was born there…Read more "Working Roman baths in 7th C Northumbria?"
I am switching Gemæcca, my previous site, to WordPress—and taking the opportunity to rename it Gemæcce. It will happen gradually. Think of this as a test. As such, I’m just going to repost something from my personal blog.Read more "My new site"
According to Bede, when Hild is recruited to the church in 647 CE she is in East Anglia, and has been for a year. I’m trying to work out why.Read more "East Anglian accession dates"
How do you say, fourteen hundreth in Latin? I will cheerfully admit that my Latin is rubbish, but I had a go anyway.Read more "Happy 1400th anniversary to Hild!"