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Thursday, 30 April 2015

NASA's Messenger probe completes final tour or Mercury - and prepares to enter Mercury's archaeological record

After more than ten years in space and four years orbiting Mercury, Nasa's Messenger mission is set to come to an explosive end.

(Click here to read more).

The spacecraft is expected to crash into the planet's surface at 20:46 BST today after burning its last fuel in a final manoeuvre on 24 April.

According to said Nancy Chabot "It will probably be an oblique crater... because the impact angle will be so steep, so grazing to the surface. But at over 8,000 miles per hour,
it's going to make a crater."

Possibly the craft will be obliterated, but it will certainly make a dent – and future space travelling archaeologists might just wonder what it was that made that crater.  Or maybe not.....Space Archaeology already exists. get an idea of what it is about, it is worth looking up my friend Dr Alice Gorman of Flinders University who is an internationally recognised leader in the emerging field of space archaeology. Her research on space exploration has been featured in National Geographic, the Monocle, and Archaeology magazine.  She is a faculty member of the International Space University's Southern Hemisphere Space Program in Adelaide.

We met when she was researching stone tool and the Aboriginal use of bottle glass after European settlement in Australia. 

"The archaeology of orbital debris, terrestrial launch sites, and satellite tracking stations."

Follow Alice on Twitter @drspacejunk
Click here to see Alice's profile 

You really must click here and watch this video of Alice describing her research to at TEDx Sydney in 2013 – it will open your eyes!

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983
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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Museums and Heritage Show 2015

The show starts today – at Olympia.  2 days of talks, demonstrations, exhibitions and masterclasses. 

I will be there handing out leaflets about our ‘heritage sector’ insurance products – cover for museums, private collections, excavations, archaeological travel insurance – etc……all that boring, but vital stuff!  (Click here to find out more).

It is free to attend, but you should register online.

Apparently, delegates are expected to look like this:

I, on the other hand, will look like this:

If you see me wandering around looking lost, please come over and talk to me! 

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Archaeology is alive and kicking on BBC Radio 4!

Archaeology is alive and kicking!  

During my hour long drive to work this morning, I was lucky enough to hear news items about the Hougoumont (Battle of Waterloo) excavations and Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War.

It is great news that attempts are being made to create a permanent research centre around Hougoumont.  Sitting here in a coffee shop called Hussar’s just outside Kingston upon Thames, I discover that the Hussars were of course present at the Battle of Waterloo – and indeed, Sgt Maj Edward Cotton of the 7th Hussars who fought at the time, was the first tour guide of the battle field site in the 1830s.  (Read more about him here).

These links will give you a good idea of what the site is like now.

Going back in time to Thucydides and another war, have a look at Neville Morley’s blog – where you will discover the continuing relevance of the Peloponnesian War.

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Monday, 27 April 2015

Six museums have been shortlisted for the £100,000 Art Fund Prize Museum of the Year award 2015

Imperial War Museum London 
Whitworth in Manchester

Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Dunham Massey, a National Trust property in Altrincham

HM Tower of London 

MAC in Belfast 

This year’s judging panel is chaired by Stephen Deuchar, the director of the Art Fund, and members include the artist Michael Landy and Axel RĂ¼ger, the director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. 

The winner will be announced on July 1st 2015
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Ask your local candidates about archaeology and the historic environment

RESCUE is a member of the Heritage Alliance, an umbrella body representing over one hundred heritage organisations with a combined membership of over 6.3 million people (

As part of the election campaign, the Heritage Alliance has drafted a letter, available on their website ( which can be sent to local candidates to focus their attention on the historic environment. RESCUE endorses this letter and hopes that all members and supporters will use it to raise the profile of archaeology and the historic environment with local candidates as the election approaches. Needless to say, the draft can be amended to include issues of local and regional importance which can be overlooked by bodies engaged in campaigning at a national level.

Not great timing at this late stage – as you might find you have written to somebody who is looking for a job after May 7th, but certainly worth keeping the pressure on.

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983