What is The Post-Medieval Period?; The Venus of Brassempouy; Devil’s Lair, Western Australia.

What is The Post-Medieval Period?

The post-Medieval period is the time that follows the Medieval period. the exact date though is difficult to determine as it has been given different dates by different people and areas interpreting it.

The most popular dates are

  • 1485 – Following the Battle of Bosworth and the beginning of the Tudor Dynasty
  • 1485-1601 – Any period between these dates
  • 1536 – From the Protestant Reformation
  • 1540 – The Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII
Nether Stowey Hoard ©Portable Antiquities
Nether Stowey Hoard
©Portable Antiquities

The period is identified by changes in warfare, and society. The population of England doubled in little under 200 years, this led to more food being required but not always available.  Root vegetables became more popular as they were cheap and easy to grow and could grow in poorer soils.

Warfare changed with the ever increasing technology in guns and the more elaborate defence works of fortified sites, with the use of bastions and polygonal shaped forts. The size of armies grew and the time period of wars lasted longer as armies were so slow moving, and had to be fed and catered for.

Bitterley Hoard 17th Century ©Portable Antiquities
Bitterley Hoard 17th Century
©Portable Antiquities

New technologies were being invented at an astounding rate which led to the Industrial Revolution – to be covered later!

The Post-Medieval period marked the end of knights on horseback defending ancient castles, and in its place saw the beginnings of larger empires, armies and population increases.


  • “Bitterley Hoard” by portableantiquities – http://www.flickr.com/photos/finds/7460121788/in/set-72157630327419608. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bitterley_Hoard.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bitterley_Hoard.jpg
  • “Nether Stowey Hoard” by Portable Antiquities Scheme from London, England – Nether Stowey hoard. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nether_Stowey_Hoard.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Nether_Stowey_Hoard.jpg



Archaeology Wow!! – The Venus of Brassempouy

The Venus of Brassempouy was discovered in 1894 during a road construction near the village of Brassempouy in south west France.

The Venus depicts a human face and is carved from mammoth ivory measuring 3.65 cm high, 2.2 cm deep and 1.9 cm wide. The face is triangular and there is no mouth. There is a chequered pattern on the top and sides of the head which is beleived to either represent hair, a wig, or a hood.

Venus_of_Brassempouy ©en.wikipedia.org

The Venus was found in a cave and there is some question as to the dating and authenticity of the artefact. When the Venus was discovered there was no scientific method to the recovery of artefacts and so no stratigraphy was recorded.

The style and interpretation of the Venus gives experts today a belief that it dates to the Gravettian era (29,000 – 22,000 BP) within the Upper Palaeolithic period, making it around 25,000 years old. With this date it is believed to be one of the earliest representations of the human form.

Some people believe the artefact to be a fake due to the sheen and good condition of the ivory, and that its dating within a stratigraphic unit cannot be proven.

The Venus is kept at the Musèe d’Archèologie Nationale, near Paris in France.


  • Bahn. P. 1997. Journey Through the Ice Age. California: University of California Press.
  • Lawson. A. J. 2012. Painted Caves: Palaeolithic Rock Art in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Archaeological Site Guide – Devil’s Lair, Western Australia

Devil’s Lair is the name of the cave located in the south of Western Australia. It represents one of the earliest sites that people inhabited when Australia was first settled by humans. Several dates have been interpreted from materials and artefacts found at the site, but the general consensus is that it dates to around 48,000 years ago.

Devil’s Lair ©www.wanowandthen.com
Devil’s Lair

The site was discovered in 1955 and excavated by E. L. Lundelius, followed by a number of excavations by the Western Australian Museum. In the 1970’s it was excavated and researched by the well known archaeologist Charlie Dortch.

Finds at the site include hearths, stone tools (lithics), human skeletal remains, beads made from bone, a possible pendant, and the remains of 35 different animal types, including the Tasmanian Devil, which has given the site its name of Devil’s Lair.

Even though the site comprises of only one chamber it has turned up an abundance of archaeological material,  with much more predicted to be uncovered in future excavations.


  • Australian Heritage Council. 2012. Australia’s Fossil Heritage: A Catalogue of Important Australian Fossil Sites. Collingwood, NSW: CSIRO Publishing.
  • Hiscock. P. 2007. Archaeology of Ancient Australia. Oxford: Routledge.




Great Books to Read…….

Great Web Pages to Look At…….

Activity –word-search-27-february-2015-docx

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