A number of intriguing cartoon drawings have been recently discovered and are now being put up for auction on 17 April 2012. The items are now being offered in London with an estimate of £5,000. The fascinating collection includes depictions of Imperial German soldiers on the Western Front between 1914 and 1916, revealing a previously unknown humourous side to the miseries of trench warfare and the famed German officer class.
With the ensuing threat of confrontation between the Eastern and Western Powers, the risk of nuclear warfare became of critical concern to UK officials, both governmental and institutional. The BBC has recently published a radio script that was discussed with the Government between 1973 and 1975 to be broadcast in the event of a radioactive attack.
During the early Neolithic Period, over 10,000 years ago, human domestication of plants began in earnest, transforming the way human societies operate and paving the way towards civilisation we know today. This was generally conceived within academic circles and is the commonly held opinion of most people. There is evidence, however, that members of the Natufian culture, a society of the eastern Mediterranean region (Levant) in 13,000 BC, were cultivators of cereal crops many years before the supposed birth of agriculture. The reasoning, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, is that the ancient Natufians were hankering for a certain intoxicating beverage; beer.
The discovery of seventeen unlabeled wax cylindrical phonograph records at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park found within a hidden cache behind the cot of Thomas Edison in 1957 has revealed that they contain the recordings of personalities and key figures made between 1889 and 1890. Included within the records are the voices of Helmuth von Moltke, the German military strategist, various German and Hungarian singers and pianists and the only known surviving recording of Otto von Bismarck, the first Chancellor of the newly united German Reich.
After three hundred years, it has been reported that the wreck of HMS Victory, the predecessor of Admiral Nelson’s famous flagship, is in the process of being salvaged after being found in 2008. In conjunction with the Maritime Heritage Foundation, the wreck is now in the process of being recovered by a US salvage organisation, Odyssey Marine Exploration. Odyssey was responsible for discovering the stricken vessel four years ago after identifying the crest of King George I on a bronze cannon. The Ministry of Defence has welcomed the discovery, stating that: "Efforts to protect key parts of British Naval history such as the wreck of HMS Victory 1744 are very welcome and we hope to make an announcement shortly."
The question that arises, however, is one of morality. Is it correct to lease the rights for shipwreck salvaging to a private enterprise when they expect to receive the majority of artefacts recovered despite its importance in historical heritage and its significance as an underwater grave?
In the process of completing my postgraduate dissertation, “Colonial Conservationism: a Study of the Sierra Leone Forestry Department,” I endeavoured to explore the relationships between man and forests underpinned by the colonial attitudes of the time. Contemporary opinions were rife in assuming that indigenous forest uses were backward and destructive and that colonial stewardship of the forests was required to ensure the longevity of Sierra Leone primary forest. In the process of my research, I have come to the conclusion that colonial conservationism and the stigmatisation of ‘the profligate native’ was but a ruse, providing justification for whole scale mechanisation, standardisation and monetisation of the forests under colonial jurisdiction. The requirements for completing this mammoth undertaking involved extensive study in both the UK and Sierra Leone National Archives.
I will give further account of the research trip that I embarked upon in Sierra Leone. Once I was in receipt of my Hatfield Trust Research Award, I was able to purchase flights to Freetown, Sierra Leone residing within the country from 1st – 10th June 2011. Despite the time constraints and physical effort involved, I was able to conduct successful research concerning both colonial forest policy and the Sierra Leone Forestry Department itself.
In light of the spiralling economy and with concerns mounting to safeguard its ancient monuments, Greece has begun procedures to allow advertising firms and other financial outlets the opportunity of renting its most treasured and instantly recognisable ancient icons. Beginning with the 2,500 year old Acropolis and followed by the Delphi, Greece shows signs of commercialising the entirety of its archaeological heritage.