Wednesday, 24 June 2015

What is The Taplow Horn?

The Taplow Horn

I wanted to give my new blog a slightly unusual name that combined my loves of beer and archaeology, as well as sounding like it could be newspaper column or somesuch. Thus, the Taplow Horn was born. The Taplow Horn is a slight misnomer as there are in fact two Taplow Horns.
Photo Courtesy of the British Museum

The Taplow Horns were found in a late 6th century Anglo-Saxon princely burial located inTaplow, Buckinghamshire. They are made from aurochs horn (a breed of cattle that was the precursor to modern cattle breeds) with a gilt-silver mount, and are in fact very large - about 45cm long! In fact the aurochs was a huge beast and quite fearsome in its way, so obviously was a prime candidate for a warrior's totem. A pair of horns from one of these beasts must have indeed been a princely gift to someone.

That gets the archaeology and beer connections out of the way, but what about the link to a newspaper column? Well, for this I had to delve into my old Spiderman comics (yes, I still read comics at a grand old age that is rapidly approaching a half-century) and pulled out of the hat "The Daily Bugle". Bugle - Horn - both musical instruments that are used to send messages, usually on the battlefield, which brings me back round to the Anglo-Saxons again.

So, overall, I think the name is rather apt for what I want to portray as the overall theme of the blog.

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