The Muddy Archaeologist's Blog

Blog by Gillian Hovell, The Muddy Archaeologist


Knossos on the Mediterranean island of Crete. Let me share with you how an archaeologist sees the site and features we discover along the way … Walk with me, as we peer into the corners and gaze at the open spaces of this Minoan palace, a place of myth and legend.

December 1, 2020 · 5 Comments


To walk in Mycenae is, therefore, to walk amongst the oldest stories we know of western literature.  It was peopled by characters, with names, dramatic events took place and it was a world of warriors, power and presence.

April 28, 2020 · 2 Comments

A Sense of Place: A Virtual Walk through Troy

While the world sits in Corvid-19 isolation, our wanderlust is curtailed.

It need not be this way.  Let’s join in a virtual journey.

Today, we are travelling back 3,200 years to the great Trojan War, the source of the stories of Homer’s famous epics The Iliad and Odyssey.   Here, we shall walk through legends, consider the adventure that is archaeology, and stroll through the ages.

April 17, 2020 · Leave a comment

Where you are matters, and always has …

Cultures are changed by the resources they have available.    Whatever journey you make, wherever you go, you can, at a glance, see the materials that people have been able to … Continue reading

June 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Experiencing Chesters Roman Fort

Chesters Fort: Location – on Hadrian’s Wall This picturesque riverside site is a green and peaceful location now.  But nearly 2,000 years ago, it was a vibrant hub of activity.  … Continue reading

August 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Voyage into the Neolithic

Cruises can take you to many destinations (all without having to keep packing and unpacking!).  But one of the great joys of such a voyage is to travel back in time.  Recent cruises (with Smithsonian Journeys) have led our guests and myself back over 5,000 years to the great prehistoric sites of Orkney and Shetland. 

June 10, 2018 · 1 Comment

Megalithic Malta : Prehistoric but far from Primitive

If the Neolithic (New Stone Age) seems remote, primitive and ‘Just a load of old stones’, take a visit to Malta.   Here you can go back in time over 5,000 years; the remains of amazing temples and figurines and artefacts that folk left behind here are sophisticated and imaginative.

April 26, 2018 · 1 Comment

Sicily: A Jewel of the Roman Empire

Cicero, the great orator of Rome, called Sicily ‘the first jewel in our imperial crown, the first place to be called a province.’  And what a bright and shining jewel … Continue reading

April 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

Sicily: A Golden Classical Age

Ever since the first Greek settlers landed at Naxos in c.735 BC, 500 miles west of Athens, Sicily had considered itself as Greek as that great polis.  When Athens celebrated her … Continue reading

April 1, 2018 · 1 Comment

Sicily – Land of the Phoenicians

A holiday in Sicily is a time-travelling adventure.  So many civilisations have settled here over the millennia. One of the earliest peoples to berth their ships here were the Phoenicians. They were traders extraordinaire

March 21, 2018 · 4 Comments