Tag Archives: archeology

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.

 

 

P1160248.JPG

P1160246

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.

View original post 194 more words

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

Hill Forts

Hill forts

This grassy crater
With a domed centre
Lies peacefully in the bright sun
Where once violence played
I sit on the rim and stare
Down ten feet or so
To where the strange
Many curled seedpods of Loosestrife
Boil up from the long grass
And think of other craters
The deep circle of Faial’s Caldera
Where once, I am told
People ran away in panic
Having seen the deep lake waters
Drain like a bath down a plughole
Into the volcano below
Afraid that
With magma heating
The waters would boil back out
And envelope them and their families
Here on this English hill
Only emotions boil
We sit on the inner palisade
Of an Iron Age hill fort
Built to defend against the outsider
The other
Just as racist fears have built up
In this  summer of discontent
Driving a country to retreat within its palisades
Toppling the first domino
If I cock my ear
I hear the hot gas bubbles
Breaking the surface of great Maria Laach
Her waters covering
The forgotten Rhineland supervolcano
She is bubbling, boiling, within Germany
As America toys with electing a fool
Europe tipple topples into the usual fractions
Generations have avoided war
Now the great project of Europe
Is cracking apart
Hill forts cannot help us now

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Famous Bones

As I have said before, I love good poetry that is also somewhat scientific. Well, Archaeology is a science (and one I love to follow) —and so I’d like to share this excellent poem with you. It’s by ‘Notamigrant’ at https://notamigrant.wordpress.com/

Famous Bones

I am only a second of a woman

Less interesting collection of bones
But one day I be really famous
More beautiful than a precious stone

A handsome man will stumble across me
His hands strong with protruding veins
Carefully brushing particles of me
Until he sees the last tiny grains

At that moment it becomes so obvious
I have completely lost my skin!
My blood, my organs, hardy muscles
Oh, God, where do I begin?

But the handsome man is not at all bothered
His hair has sweated and sun has tanned his skin
He puts me carefully in a sachet
That is how much I am worth to him.

 

The photo I’ve chosen is from Pegwell Bay in Kent, where a set of Bronze Age burials have been identified as people of  non-british origin (not migrants at all).  Eight are believed to have been born in what is now southern Norway or Sweden. Another five came from the western Mediterranean, possibly Spain or even North Africa. We have always been part of a wider Europe. (https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/bronze-age-burials-in-kent-mainly-by.html)