What is an Open Field System?
Open field system were used in the Medieval period. They were areas of land within a Manor (that was owned by a Lord), and it was set aside for use by the local people for growing crops and keeping animals.
The strips of land, which were located within large fields, were grouped into what was called ‘Furlongs’. They were unfenced and each tenant would have a number of them located at different areas throughout the manor.
Crops grown included legumes, oats, barley, wheat and rye, and these were planted on a crop rotation basis – resting certain furlongs from growing crops. When a furlong was rested, the tenant would graze animals on them. The animals owned by tenants included sheep, cattle, oxon, horses, pigs and poultry.
There is debate about the effectiveness of the open field system, but it served it purpose for the time in history it was used. Evidence of open field systems can be seen throughout Britain, as in the above photo, which shows the ridge and farrow used when turning the soil to plant crops.
Archaeology Wow!! – Winchester Model 1873 Rifle
In November 2014 archaeologists and volunteers were searching for evidence of Native Americans in the Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA. What they discovered was something quite unusual!
Spotted and identified by an archaeologist, the rifle was seen propped up against a tree. The archaeologist was able to spot it due to his keen eyesight and training in looking for things that others might not recognize.
The rifle was found in a remote area of the park that had very few visitors, and that previously, at the time of the rifle, had been used for cattle, mining and hunting. What is fascinating about this is why was the rifle left there, when they were the gun of its time and also known as ‘the gun that won the West’.
The Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle was manufactured between 1873-1916, when a total of 720,610 were made. Each rifle had a serial number, and by looking up the number found on the gun, archaeologists have determined the date it was made – 1882 – however, there is no record as to who bought it and where.
Conservators are working on the rifle to ensure it is kept in a good condition and will be available soon for the public to see.
What an amazing and unusual find this was. Just goes to show you need to keep your eyes open and be alert at all times when out in the wilderness as you never know what you may stumble upon!
Archaeological Site Guide – Troy
Troy is a city wrapped in myth and legend, and is possibly the most widely known of all the ancient Greek sites that features in the Greek Classics – The Iliad and The Odyssey. Most people will relate to it for stories about the Trojan Wars and its most famous resident, Helen of Troy – but are these myths and fables correct?
Troy is located in the ancient area of Anatolia, Asia Minor, which is modern day Turkey. It was of strategic importance as it guarded the maritime trade routes between the Mediterranean and the Aegean and Black Seas.
The city is beleived to date back to the third millennium BC, in the Bronze Age, when it controlled the area of the Dardanelles and adjoining shipping channels. The Trojan War is placed at the site at around 3,000 BC. Alexander the Great visited the city in 334 BC and made several sacrifices to Gods at some of the tombs he found there, and the city was eventually abandoned in AD 500.
There are several archaeological stages in the rebuilding of the city over time and these are represented in the summery below
The archaeological explorations of the site began in 1865 when British archaeologist Frank Calvert undertook some trial excavations. However, proper excavations did not happen until 1868. Here is an outline of the work carried out so far,
In 1995 a Luwwain biconvex seal was discovered at the site of Troy III and it has sparked debates as to the language of the city at the time.
Troy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the major archaeological sites in the world due to its legendary status amongst the Classics. Well worth a visit and definitely on my bucket list!!
Great Web Pages to Look At…….
Activity – word-search-20 March-2015-docx