Sunday, 30 June 2013

Oxford Experience 2013

Our team is waiting to welcome you!

It is the first day of this year's Oxford Experience and our team of assistants and luggage porters are waiting to welcome you.

The sun is shining and the college is looking wonderful in the sunshine.  All is ready for a wonderful programme.

We hope that you will be joining us this year, if not we hope to see you next year!

You can follow this year's Oxford Experience on this blog!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Delving into what’s under your garden

Jane Harrison, left, and Jo Robinson from Archeox. Picture: OX60066 Ed Nix

EAST Oxford residents will soon get a glimpse into what was happening in their gardens 800 years ago.
And if past finds are anything to go by the picture may not be all rosy.
Archeox, the East Oxford archaeology and history project, is carrying out two mini-excavations in Temple Cowley on Saturday and Sunday.
The team is inviting residents in Temple Road, St Christopher’s Place, Don Bosco Close, Junction Road and Crescent Road to help them uncover the secrets buried in their gardens.
Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

What makes Jane Austen the ideal banknote candidate?

Twenty-four hours after Jane Austen is tipped as the next famous woman on a Bank of England note, Sir Mervyn King says it could indeed be her.
When Charles Darwin disappears off the back of the Bank of England's £10 note, Jane Austen is a candidate to replace him. It's exactly what was speculated yesterday.
Austen is likely to make a popular choice, but how might she have won over the Bank of England?
It's the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice, arguably her best-known novel, so getting her on a note by the end of the year would be rather appropriate.
But in a wider sense, the last two decades have been boom years for Austen acclaim.

An Introduction to the Oxford Experience

If you would like to tell your friends about the Oxford Experience, direct them to this link where they can find a short explanatory video:

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Archaeology of Christ Church

Ralph Agas' panorama of Oxford showing the outline of the foundations for Wolsey's chapel which would have completed the north side of Tom Quad

Regular attendees to the Oxford Experience may remember a few years ago when Peckwater Quad was cut about with deep trenches for new services.  Naturally, when anyone digs in an area as important as Christ Church, there has to be an archaeological investigation.

The Magazine "Current Archaeology" has just published a short article on the results of excavations that took place within Christ Church over the last ten years.

The excavations produced some impressive results: burials from the minster church of St
Frideswide (now the cathedral); a garderobe, or latrine to the west of the church which was probably there for pilgrims visiting the tomb of St Frideswide; evidence of medieval streets that disappeared as the college expanded; foundations from some of the halls that served as halls of residence for the medieval students and evidence of Cardinal Wolsey's original plans for the college, that were changed when Henry VIII took charge.

The finds from these excavations give an interesting glimpse of studies at the medieval university, including an as yet unidentified scientific instrument, and a large collection of glass and pottery from distilling implements.  This is the earliest find of such objects in Britain, dating to the mid-14th century, and it is also the second largest of such finds.

Some of this pottery and glassware had been subjected to intense heat and the internal glaze had been partly corroded by strongly acidic or corrosive substances, suggesting that they may have been used in the pursuit of the study of alchemy.

You can find out more about this issue of Current archaeology here...  

The garderobe, or latrine west of the church

Foundations of one of the medieval halls of residence

Drawing of the unknown scientific instrument and what is possibly a set of scales

Some of the medieval glassware

Some of the medieval pottery

Images from Current Archaeology