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‘Anglo Saxon Astronomy?’ Around 1,500 years ago Europe was in the so called ‘Dark Ages’. The Roman empire in the west has collapsed, the scientific knowledge gained by the Greeks 1,000 years earlier appears to have been lost. Now for just a brief moment in time you have a chance to go back in time to the ‘Dark Ages’ and see what life was like as an Anglo-Saxon astronomer.
Martin was Curator of Astronomy at the Yorkshire Museum from 1989 until 2011 when he took early retirement. His job included looking after the York observatory and its 1850 vintage telescope made by the celebrated instrument maker Thomas Cooke of York. He undertook a lot of research into Cooke and became something of a world's leading authority on Cooke. His astronomical research work has taken him all over the world and projects he has researched include the 17th-century supernova Cassiopeia A, the Middlesbrough Meteorite and Viking astronomy. In addition he worked with the North Yorkshire Science Education team from 1992-96 on a project called Earth and Space a series of education projects that attracted 5,000 children to York each autumn. It was also his job to bring astronomy to the public with regular star-gazing evenings at the York observatory. In 1998 he was given an MBE for services to astronomy and education. At the moment he is researching Novae that occur at high galactic latitudes.
Using an authentic Anglo-Saxon recipe, Leeds Brewery is brewing some beer – Eoforwic Ale – for York Festival of Ideas. It will be on sale throughout the Festival at the Duke of York pub on King’s Square, York, and will also be available at the Back to the Beer-Hall: More Anglo-Saxon Poetry evening taking place in the pub on Thursday 11 June.
Guerilla Signs: In search of Anglian York
Eoforwic was the name for York during the four and a half centuries between Roman York and the Viking city. This period, the Anglian (or Anglo-Saxon) era was long, yet there are few visible reminders of it in the modern city. Guerilla signs made by the Friends of York’s Anglian Era will appear along the city walls and elsewhere near the city centre, to highlight the buried evidence and lost treasures of that time.