King Harold was somewhat notoriously so battered after the Battle of Hastings, that there was trouble IDing him (one of those facts many kids know - an arrow to the face + battle wounds = childhood gore levels to the max) and due to his then death, the way was clear for us gaining a new ruling class, some ace tourist attractions and extra set of words to our mongrel language.
However... there's a bit of an idea that Harold survived, and lived locally and secretly as a religious hermit, before confessing his true identity on his deathbed and being buried at Waltham Abbey, Essex.
Cue a very keen author and "amateur historian" Peter Burke and the same production team, Oval Films, who worked on Richard III's discovery. They've just had the licence for archaeological shenanigans approved by English Heritage, and work can begin on playing Hunt the Harold.
I've seen a lot of museums, galleries, heritage sites and stately homes holding Easter egg hunts, find the bunny/chick/egg trails etc. This makes sense over a period when the kids are off school, you want to entertain those visiting you, and want to attract new visitors looking at a range of options - you tap into the reason for that holiday break.
This is the first year though when I've stopped and thought, but is this relevant, and in the long term, beneficial to those sites?
English Heritage have just wrenched a tiny squeak of glee from me with their virtual tour of Stonehenge.
The glory of this virtual look-see is that rather than a series of sewn together images where you jump jerkily from view to view, you get a smooth experience, up to the clouds, down to the grass, and then when you look at the sun... well.... wow
I'm a big fan of using your website to give visitors an inkling of what to expect, and to give them access to areas and views which they can't see in person. Technology may never replace the feeling and experience itself, but it can give an insight, and in some cases raise extra interest ("I bet it looks even better in person, let's visit") or prevent daft things happening ("I don't need to climb over that fence, I know what it looks like")
As winter solstice creeps up on us this Saturday, if you can't get out and about, stay in and look around Stonehenge instead.
Police take casts of the tool marks left behind
In an awesome move, two men who were caught using metal detectors on a protected archaeological site, and had "A large amount of Iron Age, Roman and medieval coins, metal artefacts and pottery" at their homes, have been properly taken to task for it.
They pleaded guilty and received two year suspended sentences, 150 hours of community service, a curfew, confiscation of metal detecting equipment, £750 compensation for damage caused to the scheduled monument, AND Anti-Social Behaviour Orders that restrict use of metal detecting equipment.
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