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Sorry about that: replied to John, not to list

Vince

Vince Russett 
Archaeologist
Development & Environment
North Somerset Council

Tel: 		01934 426256 or 07917265645
E-Mail:	[log in to unmask]
Post: 	Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ 
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-----Original Message-----
From: Vince Russett 
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2015 9:50 AM
To: 'John Clark'
Subject: RE: Archaeology in the nursery

Morning, chums!

I think it is not currently believed that nursery rhymes are relics of stories thousands of years old. Personally, my mother and I always had hysterics when the following was spoken

'Rock-a-bye baby, in the tree top,
when the wind blows, the cradle will rock when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall down will come baby and cradle and all!'

Surely people didn't really put babies in cradles in tree tops! This verse feels, on sober reflection, to be a possible political satire on a new idea / invention that seemed fine, but had serious flaws that would bring it crashing down. People do things like that. Read some of Lewis Carroll's more impenetrable works 'The dynamics of a party-cle' for example. It also has the rather unpleasant taint of negative thoughts (or possibly even violence) to babies.

Vince 

Vince Russett
Archaeologist
Development & Environment
North Somerset Council

Tel: 		01934 426256 or 07917265645
E-Mail:	[log in to unmask]
Post: 	Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ 
Web:		www.n-somerset.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: British archaeology discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Clark
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2015 12:12 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Archaeology in the nursery

It only struck me recently how nursery rhymes can assist our understandin= g of some current approaches to archaeological research on Britarch. For = example, take 'Little Jack Horner':

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie.
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!"

We might subject this biblical-style exegesis as follows:

Little Jack Horner
- someone completely unknown to the wider archaeological world, having se= emingly no previous contact with other archaeologists =E2=80=93 but inste= ad an apparent total ignorance of the basic techniques of archaeology=E2=80=
=A6

Sat in the corner,
- isolated from the archaeological community, with no membership of or af= filiation with any archaeological organisation or association, amateur, p= rofessional or academic=E2=80=A6

Eating a Christmas pie:
- but having taken interest in and intellectual possession of a topical a= rchaeological issue=E2=80=A6

He put in his thumb,
- rather than adopting the appropriate and recognised scientific methodol= ogy (in the case of a pie it's knife and fork), he boldly probed into the=  subject using a messy technique that he found ready to hand=E2=80=A6

And pulled out a plum,
- and found what he believed to be =E2=80=98the answer=E2=80=99=E2=80=A6

And said, "What a good boy am I!"
- he thereupon patted himself on the back and loudly demanded the archaeo= logical community=E2=80=99s approval of his supposed discovery, expressin= g unbounded self-satisfaction and refusing to accept the validity of othe=
rs=E2=80=99 well-founded objections.

(No, Jackie boy, it=E2=80=99s not a plum; it=E2=80=99s just your thumb co= vered in fruit juice.)

John C

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