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Archaeology Matters

Halloween guidance from the past

As any archaeologist will appreciate, the Halloween we know today is the result of a cultural melting pot of ideas accumulated over thousands of years. But given modern culture's focus on the supernatural, and often terrifying, aspects of the tradition we thought you might appreciate a little guidance on the ways our ancestors have avoided the attentions of what they perceived were very real supernatural threats. The articles below have all been taken from past issues of British Archaeology. We hope you enjoy them and have a very happy Halloween.

Headline and image of dig site taken from issue 95.

Proto-Christian or Evil Dead? (499.3K, .PDF)
William of Malmesbury wrote between 1120-40 that it is well known that the Devil causes the bodies of the evil dead to walk. How did our medieval ancestors try to prevent such things? Taken from issue 95 July/August 2007

The first complete witch bottle (252.5K, .PDF)
Trouble with witchcraft? Learn how you'd protect yourself from such things in the 17th century. Taken from issue 107 July/August 2009.

British Archaeology Sale

If you enjoyed the above, remember that the British Archaeology back issue sale is now on. We are offering 50% off past issues for a limited time, so now is the perfect opportunity to track down articles on the subjects that interest you - or just fill any gaps in your collection.

Click here to browse back issues on our web shop.

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In addition to getting the latest issues of British Archaeology direct to their door, Members of the Council for British Archaeology have access to the complete back catalogue digitally via Exact Editions. That is more than 20 years of scholarship and 157 issues for you to draw upon!

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