Grave Goods – Paul Blinkhorn.

Paul Blinkhorn, at work on the set of Time Team. Image © and kind courtesy of Teresa Hall.

Paul Blinkhorn, at work on the set of Time Team. Image © and kind courtesy of Teresa Hall.

Welcome to Grave Goods, a series of interviews in which a guest is invited to select five items to accompany them on the Awfully Big Adventure (click here for the full list of categories).

For our latest outing, we welcome pottery specialist, broadcaster, beer enthusiast and archaeologist, Paul Blinkhorn.

Though Paul is probably most recognised from his long stint on Channel 4’s Time Team, amongst archaeologists he is better known as one of the foremost Post-Roman pottery specialists in the country. He has also recently co-hosted Pub Dig with Rory McGrath, a series in which he and Rory camped out in a pub whilst digging up some nearby archaeology. It was considered, certainly by Paul, to be one of the greatest formats for TV archaeology ever.

In a brave and selfless act, perhaps deliberately echoing the great 19th century scientists practice of lecturing in working men’s clubs, Paul has continued experimenting with the pub/archaeology combination by organising Archaeology@OldeEngland. This consists of Paul delivering a talk about archaeology at the Olde England pub to an audience of drinkers. Sounds marvellous. More details can be found under Mr. Blinkhorn’s travel arrangements.

Tools of the Trade

“A 10x magnification bakelite eyepiece, used to belong to my grandad, who was a watch-repairer. Very handy for looking at the inclusions in pottery ‘on the hoof’ and where I don’t have access to a microscope.”

Food for the Journey

“Whopper with cheese and large fries, unless there’s beer, in which case, smoked anchovies.”

Memento Vivere

“A carved WW1 swagger stick which belonged to my other grandad (Sgt W Blinkhorn of the Northumberland Fusiliers). Made for him by German POWs. They tipped it with a live bullet which went off went my gran was poking the fire with it! They made it ostensibly as a gift to show their appreciation of his kind treatment of them, but it was possibly a sneaky attempt to blow his head off.”

Ex Libris

“Medieval Pottery in England , 900-1600 by McCarthy and Brooks. It is about the only decent reference book for medieval pottery identification on a national scale, although it’s been out of print for 25 years.”

A Message from Beyond the Grave

“It’s better to regret something you did than to regret something you didn’t do.”

Paul can be found on Facebook and Twitter, amongst other places. These include the Olde England pub, where he has regularly been giving talks on archaeology.

His series Pub Dig, with Rory McGrath is now available on DVD.

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