Having said that, what with it not being the reenactment season, there's been less to write about, so I suppose that's one good thing, it means I can pack a few points into this post!
So, what's new? Well, first up, the weather... with much of the wet weather we're now experiencing being blamed in global warming, I can't help but wonder if this is similar to what the inhabitants of Britain experienced at the end of the Bronze Age and into the Iron Age, some 4,000 years ago. Certain schools of archaeology have suggested that the number of bog bodies found across northern Europe dating from that period may well have been the result of desperate communities - who, it must be remembered, depended far more heavily on their farms and harvests than we do today - going to the extremes of human sacrifice to appease the gods responsible for a catastrophic change in the climate.
In our region, Devon and Cornwall, this had particularly obvious effects, though no sacrificial bog body has yet been discovered down here! During the Bronze Age, it is estimated that around 10% of Britain's population at the time may have lived on Dartmoor, an incredibly high percentage for such a tiny area of land! With the arrival of the Iron Age, however, peat build ups and a wetter climate is thought to have forced much of that population into the less fertile lower ground in the valleys around the moors. There is evidence that many of the settlements saw continued usage into the Iron Age, but the majority of the population came down off Dartmoor, and it has been scarcely inhabited ever since. Recent years have seen a reduction in the amount of peat bog, however, but if this wetter climate is here to stay, that may change.
The effects of this climate change to us today are obvious; disrupted transport links, flooded homes, and, of course, devastated farm land. The difference is, we can bring in food from far away to keep us fed, and farmers from the North have already pledged tonnes of feed for cattle, an advantage an Iron Age farmer would never have had. If you think we've got it bad (and please don't think for a moment I'm trying to downplay the seriousness of the situation today, hundreds of people have had their lives ruined, and that is no small matter), bear in mind our ancestors of 4,000 years ago and how much worse things would have been for them!
On a lighter note, we finally managed to give the new, smaller spearhead and narrow shaft a try out, and it is scarily fast!
About those shields... weather and life in general have conspired to keep us from completing those shields, but I hope to be able to post an update soon!
So, until next time, which will hopefully be a shorter wait than this one was!