For Movember, archaeology PhD student Brian Costello and I have raised wads of cash with our team ‘Raedwald’s Stiff Upper Lip’.

We have cultivate a pair of genuine archaeo-taches, hewn from authentic antique facial hair, grown to historically accurate lengths and widths, and styled with inspiration from some of the most famous early medieval moustaches of all. These include the famous Sutton Hoo helmet’s face mask – from an early 7th-century ship-burial attributed by many to King Raedwald of East Anglia – and the moustache of Harold II – the last Anglo-Saxon king of England – notably depicted throughout the Bayeux Tapestry.

Ceaseless, perilous and exhausting hair-growth has been a constant endeavour for all of Movember. Most recently, I’ve been taking my archaeotache to work, including departmental meetings, and to Chester Zoo.

24-nov2 27-nov 28-nov img_20161130_072814 This is more than just any fund-raising opportunity: we have become ‘living history’ – tangible embodiments of early medieval mo-bros. Most importantly, we’ve achieved this without forking out on expensive replica costumes and weapons. I’ve even published a short academic research article about early medieval hair in a special issue of the journal Internet Archaeology, coinciding with Movember:

At the end of Movember, we assembled in my office, equipped ourselves with axes and noble steeds and rode out of Valhalla to face the end of days:


As described in the Moetic Edda, with archaeotaches as our only armour, we faced the hordes of frost-giants. I wielded my trusty hammer Mo-llnir.

The frost-giants were held up in traffic, so we officially won the day!

Anyway, we are on the look-out for any further generous donations from colleagues. If you feel minded to circulate, colleagues need to be aware of the mentally and physically exhausting efforts we have gone through to cultivate our archaeotaches in the cause of men’s physical and mental health. Follow this link to make a donation today!