Me in action at the Isle of Man College, talking about cremation and smithing (a point based on a 2005 paper in the Journal of Social Archaeology)

I’ve had a busy few months of public lectures.

I recently went to the Isle of Man and presented some of my ongoing research on the Past in its Place project. One of the themes is exploring the interaction between literature and archaeology in the landscapes and ancient monuments of England and Wales.

Wayland’s Smithy is one of my case studies for this project and I’m subsequently exploring the broader significance of smiths, their products and tools, in early medieval societies to understand why this Neolithic monument was attributed to the fearful figure of Weland.

So when in Douglas I presented my preliminary ideas regarding the significance of scenes depicting the legendary smiths Regin and Weland on 10th-century stone sculpture from northern Britain. This was a public talk at the Isle of Man College, organised by Dr Catriona Mackie, one of the History & Heritage Lecture Series linked to the college’s BA History and Heritage degree programme.

I spoke to a packed lecture theatre, fielded some fascinating questions and then got treated to a slap-up evening meal at a fabulous Manx pub. A great evening and one of the friendliest and most engaged audiences I have ever experienced.

You can view my talk online here.

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