Tag Archives: archeology

Seal

Liquid eyes looking through time,  staring out from the wood
Lost possession,  unregarded litter, draft for a larger work?
It is treasure now
Seal eloquently sealed into timber
Sparse lines, rich artistry

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

seal carving

I’ve just discovered an interibfng wordpress arceological site amd was moved to write the above poem after looking long at a seal carving they have found.

https://nunalleq.wordpress.com/

https://nunalleq.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/artefact-of-the-day-july-25th/

Nunalleq is the name of an archaeological site in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region of Southwestern Alaska. The University of Aberdeen Department of Archaeology, in partnership with the village corporation Qanirtuuq, Inc. and the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Quinhagak, Alaska, is working to record archaeological sites threatened by rising sea levels along the Bering Sea.

Nunalleq means ‘the OldVillage’ in Yup’ik. Previous years excavations (2009 & 2010) reveal that this ‘old village’ dates back at least 700 years. It is a multi-period prehistoric (or precontact) Yup’ik winter village site.

 

We have captured the stones

We have captured the stones in their circles
First with maps and sketches
Now with our many photographs
They would otherwise move
Dance in the moonlight
Shuffle away to the devils lair
Creep up on a King or a witch

We have opened the barrows to sunlight
Pinned them to history by interpretive notices
Collected the bones within
Lurking on ridges, smothered with grass
Besieged by fields and fences
Children explore and play in the chambers
Where once ancestors dreamed

Do the stones protest at their confinement?
Do barrow wights still lurk after dark?
Have we chased away the Gods-smith?
Do we care?

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Fosbury Fort

Skylarks sing and soar
We walk encircling ramparts
Gazing at the still deep ditch
Imploring the grassy interior
Unyielding of its secrets
Bluebell woods encompass almost two quadrants
Storms have tipped mossy trees into the line of defence
Making us clamber and slip
Amid the fragrant blue

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

….we went walking in Jane Austen country this lunchtime (on Doctors orders), and explored the hill fort on Haydown Hill……….

Avebury Stone

One of my interests (my sons may term it an obsession) is prehistory – which was born from childhood visits to ancient sites in or near the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire. Not so far from the end of the Vale is Avebury stone circle, arguably more spectacular than Stonehenge.  Here is a sketch of one particular stone in the Avebury circle, and a rather colourful watercolour interpretation.

 

 

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Crystals of intent

Crystals of intent

Full, filling my hand
Carved to mould into a palm
This one is left handed,  another fits the right
Killer edges, fatal intent
A hand axe from a million years ago haunts my eyes

Small symmetrical perfect arrowhead
To be thrust by a bow through a torso
Rests on my fingertips
Tiny chips creating the edges
Beauty and death

Both objects of beauty
Stones selected for a purpose
Worked on for many hours
Made to please in many ways
Crystals of intent

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

Herepath

Herepath

Wide as ten men abreast
The old military road
Cuts between farms
Dips down to the river
Rises up over the moor
Rabbits lollop along it
Lambs bleat in fields beside it
Rosebay glows at sunset
Where were the wars that you marched to?
What were the victories that you won?
Here on the old Herepath
The road truly goes ever on

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

Loom weight

A loom weight lost these many millennia
Sits proud on heavy soil
Held in my hand, it speaks of loving toil
The spinning of fabric
To clothe a family
And a connection is made
She spoke ancient Greek
A colonist deep in Sicily’s heartland
I stroke the fingerprint left in once moist clay
And say Hello

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

loom-weight

We live on the High Ground

I’m very pleased to have a poem in the latest issue of the excellent “Three Drops from a Cauldron”. My poem was inspired by a hut circle above a tiny valley on Exmoor.

Three Drops from a Cauldron

Welcome to Issue 11, the first one of 2017, and the changeover issue to our now-monthly, new-format web journal.

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Circles

Circles

Dance a long dance at dawning
Dance a slow dance at end of day
Sing loudly together in the morning
Shout our names to the Sun as she goes away

These islands are littered with circles
Stone, earthen, timber , large and small
Little stones hidden in moorland heather
Megalith giants standing tall

We are the people of the circles
We are the people of the dawn
You will never understand us
Your link to your ancestors is torn

Dance a long dance at dawning
Dance a slow dance at end of day
Sing loudly together in the morning
Shout our names to the Sun as she goes away

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Illium

Illium

Upon the ancient plain the army sits in perpetual siege
Waiting for Achilles to unsulk
To leave his tent and re-enter the fray
What goes through their minds?
Those who have forsaken lives and families
To spend years on this foreign beachfront
Waiting for final bloody action
What of those who look down from the city walls?
Watching the byplay
The dramas of those who
Have come to slaughter or enslave them
What of Helen?
So much older now
Than when those thousand ships were launched
Does she look at her face in the mirror
Bronze is more flattering than our glass
Can she still see the beauty that brought her to this pass?
Is that defeat in her eyes?

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem is for Alice at Coffee and a blank page