Monday, July 28, 2014


'I say, is it really true that the French artillery had to fire on their infantry?' Delaforce asked. 'To drive them over the top?'
'Absolutely,' Finlayson said. 'They had a mutiny. The troops wouldn't leave the trenches, so the French generals laid down a barrage on them. That soon shifted them.'
'What happened afterwards?'
'Afterwards? There was no afterwards. Why d'you think they didn't want to get out of the trenches?'
- Derek Robinson, Goshawk Squadron (1971) 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Storm In Macedonia

I'm currently at Olynthos in northern Greece, excavating on the Classical city site. On Tuesday we couldn't work because of torrential rain and a thunderstorm. During the storm, lightning struck the electricity pylon just across the road, about 20 metres from where I was sitting. The pylon was knocking out and a small fire started, which had to be put out by the local fire brigade. These are the photos I took of that:

Lightning Strike 1

Lightning Strike 2 

Lightning Strike 3

In terms of actual archaeology, we don't really have any features in the trench yet, but we have had a couple of interesting finds: a stone tool which might be prehistoric, but could also be the sort of thing a Classical potter might have used to burnish pottery, and a sling bullet which is almost certainly from the siege which destroyed Olynthos in 348 BC. This is my photo of the latter:

  Olynthos Sling Bullet

EDIT 27/07/14: I've taken the picture of the sling bullet down, both because it is unpublished archaeological material, and because we don't want to encourage looting on the site.