For a competitive insurance quote, call 0208 255 0617 / 07768 865983 or email your details to

Thursday, 26 November 2015

E&G Picks: Exciting New British Museum Exhibition

Iron Age shields
© The Trustees of the British Museum
A new exhibition starts on Britain's most important archaeology finds opens soon at the British Museum.

Silver coins dating to the 3rd century AD
© The Trustees of the British Museum
The display is comprises hundreds of objects including Roman coins, ceramic pots and - perhaps most saliently - a magnificent Frome hoard pot.

The pot itself was swollen with 52,503 coins when it was found in Somerset in 2010, and promises to be the centerpiece of a fine array of archaeological trinkets, which were described in an article by Culture24 a few days ago.

Bronze Age weapons discovered in the River Thames will also make an appearance, as will the first Iron Age coin hoards; all of the objects have been subject to extensive study at the British Museum.

Together, they not only symbolises Britain's rich history, but also the success of her laws: the Treasure Act of 1996 obliged treasure hunters to report their discoveries, and this potentially superb exhibition owes itself to the act.

Roman ceramic money box, with coins and a spoon
© The Trustees of the British Museum

What: Hoards: The Hidden History of Ancient Britain
Where: The British Museum, London
When: December 3 2015 – May 22 2016.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Glastonbury's Monk Marketers

For centuries a mystical atmosphere has swirled around Glastonbury Abbey, which is said to be the resting place of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere.

Since the 12th century, the Abbey has been one of Britain's most sacrosanct destinations for pilgrims and monks; but archaeologists have discovered that it's part in British myth may be more contrived than previously thought. 

In fact, the whole Glastonbury origin myth may have to be rewritten after surveys conducted by Reading University conclusively established that no remains belonging to Arthur or Guinevere are buried on the site. 
This leaves open the possibility that the site's monk custodians were actually medieval Mad Men, who invented the myth in a bid to raise funds after a fire destroyed the site in 1184. 

It goes without saying that their mythopoeic marketing strategy was an overwhelming success, and so firmly entrenched Glastonbury Abbey in British folklore that the site's popularity has endured to the modern day. Cynical monks, however, are no match for science's quest for truth.

The group of archaeologists whose project resulted in the findings say that despite the prospect of "the history of Glastonbury Abbey [being] rewritten", tourist numbers will not dwindle. 

Likewise, site director Janet Bell insists that the report does not "debunk King Arthur's affiliation with the Abbey", and even hints at the possibility of using it as another marketing opportunity. 

Her predecessors would have been proud. 

Export & General's friends at C&N Hollinrake Ltd, consultant archaeologists, are situated in Glastonbury, and devote some of their time to ecclesiastical archaeology. You can visit their website here