Thursday, 26 June 2014

Away in the Murvi

I don't remember when, but we had to go down to Bath for some chores relating to our house down there and the Murvi also needed some equipment servicing which was down in Hampshire. So we filled in the gaps between these events by visiting some long-neglected friends. 

We also found time to turn off the A3 just south of Petersfield to visit Butser Hill Ancient Village

This reconstructed iron-age village is not at Butser hill any more - it has moved to the other side of the A3.

Although there is no evidence of iron-age settlement here, all the buildings have been constructed using data from various archaeological sites around the country.

The materials and techniques are as authentic as is possible with the information available and so a house you see here will be a true replica of one known to have existed somewhere in the UK.

This dedication to authenticity extends to the interiors as well as the exteriors.

You would not expect such dedication to omit something as important as the toilet.

Fortunately there were no demonstrations of this aspect of iron-age living.

Also on the site is a reconstruction of a Roman house which was built for a TV programme (Channel 4?) which led to a few compromises which I felt were unacceptable to some staff. I guess it was a case of he who pays the piper calls the tune.

In the Roman kitchen a lady was cooking food to a Roman recipe and I enjoyed dried peas with mint.
This table displays a range of common ingredients found in the Roman kitchen.

The mouse would have been on the menu but the marshmallows are representing the marshmallow plant whose leaves were often eaten in salads or fried.
Butser Hill also runs workshops and on the day we visited a group were learning how to smelt bronze the iron-age way.  ie: with hand bellows.  Iron-age man had not developed valves so the air sack is opened to scoop up air which is then closed and squeezed down the tube - for hours. Unfortunately on this occasion the modern crucible was not sufficiently conductive and the metals did not meld.

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