Jeremy Baker

River Kings: A New History of Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads 📚

An exciting new book arrived today, detailing some fascinating new bioarchaeological findings from the Viking ‘Great Army’ mass burial at Repton, UK. A carnelian bead identified connections between western and eastern Viking expansion, travel and trade.

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Witi Ihimaera appearing as Tama-nui-te-rā in Taki Rua’s the world premier performance of “Navigating the Stars”, Soundshell, Botanical Gardens, Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Nunuku's cave petroglpyphs

Our first visit on 6 February was to Te Ana a Nunuku (Nunuku’s cave) and the petroglyphs (rock carvings) that can be found there, carved in bas relief over the top of an ancient cave mouth.

Our excellent guide Deborah Goomes indicated that tradition connects Nunuku’s cave with Nunuku-whenua, the Moriori chief who established ‘Nunuku’s Law’ which forbade war, cannibalism and murder.

The petroglyphs depict seals, birds, faces and other elements of Moriori culture and tradition.

nunuku's petroglypthsnunuku's petroglyphsDebbie and the crew

Waitangi Day in Waitangi (the *other* Waitangi)...

The 6th of February is Aotearoa New Zealand’s national day - commemorating the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), which established British government over the islands, whilst retaining rangatiratanga (chieftainship) for iwi Māori. The Treaty has been largely honour in the breach… but things are improving.

The day was stunning.

Waitangi on WaitangiWaitangi Harbour

Waitangi, Rēkohu

Waitangi is the main settlement of Rēkohu (Chatham Island / Wharekauri).

Hotel Chatham is the centre of all visitor activity. It's the main accomodation, and only restaurant and bar on the islands.

Hotel Chatham

The Waitangi Store is the main grocery and supply store. Given the island’s population of 600, it's not large. It seems many people import their own goods directly.

Waitangi Store

Small towns make for interesting combinations. They also tell Sam’s life story (but not necessarily in that order…)

Combinations and Sam's Biography

The petrol station and hardware store:

hardware store and petrol station

Rēkohu and Rangihaute visit (5-8 February 2021)

A group of friends and I visited Rēkohu (Chatham Island) and Rangihaute (Pitt Island) over Aotearoa New Zealand’s Waitangi weekend (5-8 February 2021). These islands are the most remote part of Aotearoa, 800km east of Te Waipounamu (South Island).

The islands boast stunning natural landscapes of considerably diversity, while their cultural history is equally diverse, tragic and fascinating. Ancestral home of the Moriori, famous for their pacifist culture, rākau momori (dendroglyph tree carvings), and sadly the devastating impact of contact and colonisation by both Europeans and mainland Māori.

In the next few posts I’ll put up pictures of our trip, but I wanted to provide some context for what was a truly fascinating experience.

Below is a picture of the western coast of Rēkohu, north of the main settlement of Waitangi.

West coast of Rēkohu

"The Viking Way: Magic and Mind in the Late Iron Age Scandinavia"

Neil Price (Oxbow Books 2013), 2nd Edition, 432 pages, hardback.

I have waited for this book for years - and now its here! What a tome. . .

mbnov

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Landscape and Memory" by Simon Schama made a huge impression on me when it first came out in 1995. It still resonates today. A masterwork of history and sociology. #mbnov

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This book pretty much is everything about me at the moment … #books #sheep #history #life #work #farming

Community housing, Wellington City Council.

Delighted that this has been fully renovated.

A new book 📚 for the new library 📚 from a new bookshop 📚 #library #books #wellingtonnz #bookshop #nzbooks #nzbookshopday2020 @goodbookshopnz

"The Madman's Library" - The strangest books, manuscripts and other literary curiosities from history (Edward Brooke-Hitching, 2020)

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“The Burning of Books - A History of Knowledge Under Attack” 📚 (John Murray 2020)

Attacks on knowledge and its importance are increasingly notable. Such attacks have a long history, and this book explores that history, and its continuing relevance.

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Work - a history of how we spend out time

James Suzman’s new book 📚 “Work - a history of how we spend out time” is a fascinating and thought-provoking review of the long run history of work and the impact of agriculture and industrialisation. It highlights the opportunity, in a world of increasing automation, to transform how we organise our lives and economies to support ourselves and each other. As John Maynard Keynes thought:

by 2030, capital accumulation, improvements in productivity and technological advances would have solved the “economic problem” and ushered in an age in which no one besides a few “purposive moneymakers” worked more than 15 hours in a week

We now have a chance to turn that prediction into reality.

Read more: The 300,000-year case for the 15-hour week – Finanz.dk

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Just started reading: Alaric the Goth by Douglas Boin 📚

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Currently reading: Laughing Shall I Die by Tom Shippey 📚

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Currently reading: The making of the ancient Greek economy by Alain Bresson 📚

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The Children of Ash and Elm (Neil Price 2020)

Every now and then a history book comes along that helps you think about the past in entirely new ways.

This new history of the Vikings by Uppsala University archaeologist Neil Price does just that. 📚

See: Kirkus Reviews

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Wreck of the Hydrabad

Exposed elements of the wreck of the Hydrabad Waitarere Beach

Maritime Archeaology Association of NZ investigation

1956 photographs of the wreck

Bill visits the wreck of the Hydrabad

We went for a walk up the Hokio / Waitarere beach in search of the whale burial site, and couldn’t see anything, but visited the site of the Hydrabad wreck instead:

See Wreck of the Hydrabad

“The Making of the Middle Sea”

New book 📚- “The Making of the Middle Sea” A history of the Mediterranean from the beginning to the emergence of the Classical World. (Cyprian Broodbank, Oxford, 2013)

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Arrowtown Library

Arrowtown Library 📚 #library #books #heritage #otago #aotearoa #winterpridenz #travel

Now I just need someone to play it with

“Lex Arcana” - alternative Roman history RPG

Couldn't help myself . . .

New book: Creators, Conquerors, & Citizens

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Five types of gun laws the Founding Fathers loved

Fascinating: theconversation.com/five-type…

A little bit of history . . .

An oral history of the world’s first gay rugby match -  thewireless.co.nz/articles/…

Story of the Krazy Knights - New Zealand’s first gay rugby team.

Krazy Knights team

Dean Knight fifth from right in main pic (curly hair, smiling).

Alan Wendt sixth from right in main pic (scowling).

Grant Robertson bottom left in main pic.

Jeremy Baker sixth from left in main pic.

Harp Harding third from right in main pic.

James Kolose second from right in Ponsonby team pic.

Gavin Hyde far left in NZ Falcons team pic.