‘Archaeologists have discovered wooden defenses surrounding an ancient Roman military base…in Bad Ems, western Germany…The spikes were mounted in a v shape onto a central post and were preserved in the water-logged soil of Blöskopf hill.’ arkeonews.net/archaeologists-h Photo: Frederic Auth

Pilgrim's badge, probably of St Servatius. He's wearing a herringbone-pattern mitre, his panelled robe forms a cross, and he's holding a key in his right hand, and a crozier in his left. c.13th-14th century. From excavations at

Cut-steel jewellery was popular in the 19th century and consisted of rivetting fine steel studs in decorative designs on a thin metal base plate. This chatelaine is a particularly stunning example of the technique. Made by cutler Joseph Banks Durham ca. 1850. On display at the V&A Museum. Photo: me

Heading back to wintry Europe but with wonderful memories of in . Can’t speak highly enough - stunning landscapes, warm and friendly people.

One of my favourite finds - not even kidding. From topsoil of early Christian church c5th century in Palestina, this little thing generated much excitement: "Button with religious cross!" "Unheard of for this period!" "Inscribed with religious message!!" (etc). Imagine my surprise when I cleaned it a little to find the English words "open" and "close" and arrows. It is a cam-lock screw. Like the ones that come with the Ikea flatpacks.

Corroded lumps are revealed as pieces of a tanged razor under X-ray. Late Iron Age, north-east Anatolia.

20 years ago one of the young shepherds near Abu Qalqal in northern Syria showed Holly Jones and me a hole in the ground - it led to a (robbed) vaulted Roman tomb. We made a quick record. Lucky I had those ridiculously oversized dishwashing gloves with me.

It may look a sand-duney-mess but that's our 2019 team aiming for the bottom of a 4m-thick mudbrick fortification wall

Pulling my hair out trying to write a funding application. Why is this so hard? In the meantime, here's a little bronze smiting god who appears equally unhappy

Hey Tooters (is that right?). My first post and I thought I'd show off this lovely iron La Tene sword I was lucky enough to examine

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