Today, 31st July 2013 marks the start of a New Year on Mars. The counting of the Martian year started on April 11th 1955, and because it takes the planet nearly twice as long as the Earth to orbit the sun (668 days), officially it is only the Year 32!
In AD 60-61, Boudicca of the Iceni tribe inspired and led the largest revolt against Roman rule in Britain. Unhappy with the treatment of her daughters by Roman soldiers she raised a huge army and set about destroying Roman settlements. She burnt down Colchester, London and St Albans. The Roman writer Cassius Dio said that Boudicca was "most tall, in appearance most terrifying, in the glance of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh". But the revolt didn't last and she was finally defeated by Paulinus (Governor of Britain). To avoid capture it is believed that she took her own life by taking poison.
Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC in Gaul (France). He suffered from physical disabilities, including a limp and a speech impediment but overcame them to be the first Roman Emperor to successfully conquer Britain.
In AD 43 his army landed in Richborough, Kent and met a strong force led by King Caratacus and his brother Togodumnus. The battle lasted for two days ending with a Romans victory, but it would still take another 50 years to pacify most of the island.
Crannogs were a popular form of iron age dwelling in Scotland. There were built by placing large stones into a lake (loch) to form an artificial island. Then wooden stakes were driven in to make a platform big enough to build a round house on top and a narrow walkway joined the island to the shoreline. This made it easily defendable from raiders.
There are thought to be around 600 crannogs in Scotland that would have served and protected the local farming communities.
Bread, stews, porridges and beer were probably what most people in Iron Age Britain ate and drank most of the time. Beef, pork and mutton or lamb were the most common types of meat cooked but archaeologists have also found that horse and dog were eaten.
Wheat and barley were two of the most common crops grown and milk was used for making cheese.
When grain was harvested it had to be stored, the best way was to dig a pit!
They could be up to 2 metres deep and lined with wickerwork or clay. A correctly sealed pit could keep the grain airtight and stop it going off for to 2 years!
Pits often had other uses such as for putting rubbish in or even for human burials!
To make bread iron age people first needed flour and they had the technology to do it in the form of a rotatory quern!
It consisted of two stones, one on top of the other. The lower stone did not move and the upper stone was turned with a wooden handle. Grain was dropped into the hole at the top and with effort, flour would squeeze out of the sides and be collected on a rug.
The flour was very coarse up to today's standards, it had large chunks of grain which wasn't good for the teeth!
"Found 1950 in Malham, Yorkshire, during an archaeological dig"
This small bone flute is made from a sheep's leg and was found in an iron age burial. It has three holes on the upper side, one on the lower and has teeth marks on the mouthpiece.
It is similar to Saxon and Viking instruments but predates them by many centuries.
A banjo enclosure is not a musical instrument but a kind of small farmstead. It has a circular bank and ditch with a fence on top protecting a round house or houses within.
It has a single entrance that is approached along a narrow trackway and dates to around 400BC to 100BC
In 55 BC and 54 BC Julius Caesar invaded Britain because he was unhappy with the Britons helping the Gauls (the French) to fight against him. He also wanted more Political power back in Rome, and he knew a victory would certainly help his cause.
When he landed he was faced with stiff opposition from the native tribes and the poor British weather wrecked his ships. Knowing that he was defeated he withdrew never to return again!
"Found 2004 in Chiseldon, Wiltshire"
A metal detectorist discovered a bronze bowl but he did not dig it up. He left it in the ground and reported the find to the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
An excavation was started and a hoard of twelve Iron Age cauldrons were found. They had been buried in a 2 metre pit dug into the chalk, with ox skulls placed above and below them.
The cauldrons date between 200 – 50 BC and because of their unique decoration, they are very different from vessels examined so far. It is believed that they were not used for everyday purposes, but mainly for feasts.
Click here for a cauldron puzzle!
"Found 2009 in Stirlingshire, Scotland by a metal detectorist"
Some people are extremely lucky! A man on his first ever outing with his new metal detector walked seven steps and uncovered the find of a lifetime.
He found a collection of three complete gold torcs and two fragments dating to around 1st - 3rd century BC. He reported his discovery to the Treasure Trove Unit and an archaeological excavation was carried out. The find spot was actually in a large circular wooden building in an isolated boggy area. Was it a ritual offering or put there for safekeeping? We'll probably never know. As the discovery was reported correctly, a reward of £1 million was shared between the finder and landowner.
I am a freelance illustrator based within Dartmoor National Park producing humorous images for people of all ages.