Grave Goods – Martin Green
Welcome to Grave Goods, a series of interviews in which the guest is invited to select five items to accompany them on the Awfully Big Adventure (click here for a full list of rules).
This time around, we’re delighted to welcome archaeologist, farmer, curator and writer, Martin Green.
Martin is fortunate enough to be able to combine a love of archaeology with a farm on a not inconsiderable patch of Cranborne Chase – home to some of the richest archaeologicaly in Wessex. Probably best known for the discoveries he made at Monkton Up Wimborne (used as the basis for ‘The Ultimate Sacrifice‘ an episode of the well-loved BBC programme Meet the Ancestors), Martin has been studying and excavating the area for decades. He has uncovered an astonishing array of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology there, including Neolithic houses, henges, Bronze Age round barrows and a host of other features including the enormous Dorset Cursus.
His book, A Landscape Revealed: 10, 000 Years on a Chalkland Farm, is a highly readable account of his discoveries there.
Tools of the Trade
I must have shifted many tons of soil in my digging career and in order to carry on I would need my favourite shovel and fork. Not being a fan of the ubiquitous mattock (they smash everything up!) with these two I could happily explore the crop mark sites in the Elysian fields.
Food for the Journey
A hamper supplied by the famous barrow explorer Thomas Bateman. According to his fellow explorer Stephen Isaacson this contained:
‘So ham, veal, rabbits, lamb, at once were thrust,
With varied condiments beneath a crust,
Pie of rabbits, tongue and chine,
Leg of poultry, cheek of swine,
Pickled salmon, onion, mango,
Brandy and beer bring up the rear.’
That’ll do nicely.
A group photograph from my ‘Doctoring’ at Reading University in 2006. It was a joyous occasion with family and friends.
Alfred Russell Wallace’s ‘The Malay Archipeligo‘. Wallace was an amazing man who explored what was then a very remote region on a shoestring. Despite many privations he still undertook a staggering amount of fieldwork and remained fascinated by everything he observed.
My friend Chris Carter the potter has additionally made some wonderful artefacts from flint which is a material precious to my heart. He is not a knapper but laboriously hand grinds and polishes. One of the pieces he has made is a flint ball which was inspired by the Neolithic decorated balls known mainly from Scotland. Its an exquisite piece which fills me with awe.