Of lions and a ram

Week 31

This week I have been deep in the archaeological entrails of brewing, feeling a little like a guest at a party whose purpose has not been revealed. It appears that the traditional archaeologists and the modern experimental archaeologists have distinctly different views about how their subject should be studied – and apologies to those who have spent a life in archaeology for a wild overstatement of what may or may not be the case. In relation to brewing, the argument revolves around the meaning of various sites – in fact heaps of stones – that may perhaps have been used for brewing (hot rock mashing). On the modern wing, they have demonstrated that brewing could take place by actually doing it, but this fails to impress the trad school, who are still unsure (a quote suggested the sites might have had other uses, ‘even brewing!’). The exclamation mark suggests to me that beer/brewing is not taken seriously, in the same way that studies of sport were downgraded in some fields until recently. Anyway, as I pick my way through the archaeological debris, here’s a few pics from the last trip to London. The now-closed Ram Brewery in Wandsworth, and the two lions formerly sited at the Lion Brewery in Lambeth, one now at Twickenham (the little lion that stood at the entrance to the stables), and the other on Westminster Bridge. We even get into the Olympic spirit, as one of the Olympic mascot statues is parked next to the large lion, and people were queuing up to have their photos taken next to it, all very jolly!

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