‘Damned if you do, damned if you don’t’

Written by Ian Blair

The following comes from the acknowledgements section of the newly published Prittlewell monograph (although given its large size, perhaps monolith would be more apt a description). The success of any excavation will always represent a collective effort of all the archaeologists involved, and hopefully this is reflected in my words below. It was really good to see Alexis and Ashley again in Southend last night, where we had a preview of the new Prittlewell display at the Central Museum. When the clamour dies down, do try and have a look, as it is the first time that so many of the objects from the burial have been brought together for the first time.

With the media coverage today, I sensibly decided to take a back seat this time around, and let others come up with the soundbites, although perhaps I should be worried about the Tutankhamun analogy, given that many of the main protagonists, later died under mysterious circumstances, some say attributable to the curse of opening and desecrating the tomb. Hopefully, the fact that we took a modicum of care in the excavation of the burial chamber, will lessen any curse-like effect to a bad cold or two, but I will be keeping my windows firmly closed during the mosquito season in E17, just to be on the safe side! ....

 

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Ian Blair would like to thank all of the archaeological field team – Dan Eddisford, Gary Evans, Dave Harris, Alexis Haslam, Mike House, Mark Ingram, Andy Leonard, Denise Mulligan, Ashley Pooley, Dave Sankey and Justin Wiles – for their hard work and continuing good humour throughout the evaluation. For the majority of 50 consecutive days over a decade ago, we shared long train journeys (always in the dark) from London to Prittlewell to reach the site. It mirrored the diverse and multidisciplinary makeup of the post-excavation analytical team, whose work was to follow, that the field team consisted of archaeologists from MOLA, Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA) and AOC Archaeology, who all worked seamlessly and tirelessly with a single common purpose. Site photography was undertaken by Andy Chopping and Maggie Cox often at very short notice, with the site survey, including 3D plotting of the grave goods in the chamber, carried out by Mark Burch, Dave Mackie and Joseph Severn of the MOLA geomatics section.

 

 NEWSPAPER ARTICLES 9th May 2019

 The Guardian

Guardian Article 9May 2019

 

The Times

The Times Article 9May2019

Tut-tut- MOLA Blog link

https://www.mola.org.uk/blog/tut-tut-why-compare-prittlewell-princely-burial-king-tutankhamun-tomb

 

The Times printed this cartoon on the 10May2020

Theresa May chamber grave cartoon 10May2019

 

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