The page has been created to promote and disseminate research into medieval & historical graffiti; the archaeological identification of apotropaic symbols and the practice of concealing objects within buildings to ward against misfortune. Contributions are welcomed!
‘The Medieval & Historic Graffiti in the Borough of Swale’
Sheppey Little Theatre, Meyrick Road, Sheerness ME12 2NX
The Swale encompasses the Isle of Sheppey as well as the towns of Sittingbourne & Faversham, all of whom have their own array of unique churches. Surveys undertaken in these ancient buildings have recorded a fascinating corpus of medieval and historic graffiti (including inscriptions and figurative art) which will be discussed in this illustrated talk.
Many of the marks are so-called ‘ritual protection marks’ – also known as ‘apotropaics’ (from the Greek, ‘to turn away evil’) whose purpose appears to have been was to defend the buildings against evil spirits, to protect them from the evil eye and, in some cases, to act as counter-witchcraft measures.
The talk will begin with a study of the medieval buildings within the area of the Swale and then expand the discussion to compare the corpus of graffiti and inscriptions with regional, national and international examples.
I am an archaeologist with over twenty years of experience. After a decade or so working as a volunteer on excavations in the 1990’s, I undertook my degree in Archaeology at the University of Birmingham. In the last year of my degree I helped to supervise the university’s annual excavations.
Directly after my exams I began my career in Commercial Archaeology as a Field Archaeologist with Oxford Archaeology and remained there for four years. Anticipating a career in archaeology in France I volunteered on excavations at Rom and at Prisse-la-Charriere, Niort (for Poitiers & Rennes University respectively). In due course I worked for the States’ premier scientific organization, I.N.R.A.P. (Institut Nationale des Récherches Archéologiques Préventives) as well as for a number of private companies.
I returned to the UK in 2013 and resumed my role as a Supervisor, undertaking projects around Oxfordshire with John Moore Heritage Services before moving to London in 2014.
I now undertake Historic Building Surveys and supervise urban excavations in the City of London as well as overseeing rural excavations in surrounding Sussex, Surrey & Kent.
BA Hons (Archaeology)
ACIfA (Associate Member, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists)
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