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Young Archaeologist issue 147

Spring 2011

YA147 This issue of Young Archaeologist was published in the first week of March 2011 and had a medical history theme.

Find out what our ancestors used as weird and wonderful cures in the past and enter our historical medical history poster competition to win an iPod Shuffle. See your own copy of Young Archaeologist magazine to find out more!

YAC takes a trip to Cyprus and discover the archaeological sites of Khirokitia, the Vouni Palace, Salamis, Kolossi Castle, Buffavento Castle and the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates with YAC UK member Eleanor.

Read the first part of YAC’s Archaeological A-Z.

Discover the secret of a Bronze Age burial mound in Wales and find out what happened when Time Team’s Raksha Dave went to her own Anglo-Saxon funeral in Leicestershire.

Also in this issue we learn how to make Tussy Mussys in the YAC Attack!.

Quiz Grid

Did you try the Just for Fun Quiz Grid on page 18 of the magazine? If you did, then you will know that the mystery medical man was Galen. It is now time to find out more about him.

Claudius Galen

Claudius Galen was a Greek doctor who became the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire. He is also known as Galen of Pergamon, after the place (in modern-day Turkey) where he was born in AD 131.

Galen spent his early life studying philosophy. When he was 16 or 17, he started to learn about medicine. He travelled a lot around to practice his skills and gain experience. He also studied at the famous medical school in Alexandria in Egypt before returning to Pergamon in AD 157. He then became the doctor to the gladiators of the High Priest of Asia, which helped him to learn more about the importance of diet, fitness, and hygiene. He also learnt how to treat broken bones and severe trauma whilst he cared for the gladiators. During his four years as the gladiators’ doctor in Pergamon, only five died (compared to more than 60 under the previous doctor.).

Galen travelled to Rome in AD 162, where he became the personal doctor to the Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus, and Septimius Severus. He spent most of the rest of his life in Rome, where he became the most famous doctor of his time and wrote lots of books and articles about medicine and philosophy. The exact date of his death is uncertain, but he probably lived until he was about 70 years old (although some texts say he died aged 87).

Galen believed that illnesses were the result of an imbalance of the four humours: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. He developed treatments to restore the balance of the four humours. Galen believed in the use of opposites - if a man appeared to have a fever, he treated it with something cold; if a man appeared to have a cold, he would be treated with heat.

Galen also believed in the healing power of nature and he made his own medicines from animal and vegetables extracts. Galen described in great detail various treatments including how each was made and the correct doses to be given. The word ‘galenic’ is still used today to describe drugs and medicines made from vegetable and animal ingredients.

The Eagle

The Eagle Roman Britian is the setting for the brand-new blockbuster film The Eagle, which is released in March 2011. The film follows the story of Roman soldier Marcus Aquila and his British slave Esca. Twenty years after the disappearance of the soldiers of the Ninth Legion in Caledonia (modern-day Scotland) in AD 117, Marcus and Esca set out to discover what happened to them and to recover their prized Eagle standard.

The film features and all-star cast of actors, including Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Donald Sutherland. It is directed by Oscar-winning Hollywood director Kevin MacDonald, and is a Universal Pictures/Focus Features release.

The film is based on the best-selling children’s novel The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. The book is published by Oxford University Press, and has been re-released with a brand-new cover to mark the launch of the new film.

Thanks to publisher’s Oxford University Press, you can now read an exclusive extract of The Eagle of the Ninth here on the YAC website. The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, Anthony Lawton 1954, Published by Oxford University Press,

Norman’s Noticeboard

Norman Worm is the YAC mascot. Norman’s Noticeboard is the page of Young Archaeologist magazine that is packed with letters, pictures, and questions from our YAC UK members. In this issue, we included a letter from Robert Searle who was a YAC UK member of Young Rescue in the 1970’s. Young Rescue is the old name for the Young Archaeologists’ Club.

Robert’s letter said…

Dear YAC, Back in the early 1970s I was a member of Young Rescue, which produced its own newsletter. In 1975, aged 14, I wrote an article for it on the excavations at Old Windsor that took place during the 1950s. My data came from the Guildhall Museum at Windsor where the famous Royal Castle is found. In those days the internet did not exist. Would it be possible for you to track down a copy of my old article?

Also during the 1970s, I took part in an excavation at Wraysbury in Berkshire. It was a mixed period site in which various potsherds, flints, and other artefacts were unearthed. Animal bones were quite common too. I used to wash the finds, and using white ink (if I remember correctly) I would put a code on them to indicate where they were found. This was a painstaking job.

Another thing which I did was to create a grid diagram of a trench in which the remains of a Saxon building were found. This was quite fascinating. Though I am nearly 50 (and definitely not a ‘Young Archaeologist’ any more!) I still have some interest in archaeology, and history.

Yours sincerely, Robert Searle

Norman replied…
Dear Robert, The Young Archaeologists’ Club is the new(ish!) name for Young Rescue. We became YAC 30 years ago, back in 1981. I’ve been Club mascot since 1995.

We do hold a complete archive of back issues of Young Archaeologist magazine and the Young Rescue newsletter here at YAC HQ, so we’ll send a copy to you. Young Rescue started in 1972, so next year will be the 40th birthday of the Club.

We’re looking forward to celebrating… and I demand lots of cake!


Read Robert’s original article from Young Rescue.

External Internet Saftey Links

External websites are out of the control of The Young Archaeologists’ Club. Whilst we have carried out an initial check that the content of the website is suitable for The Young Archaeologists’ Club age range, The Young Archaeologists’ Club is not responsible for the content of these external sites. If you feel that the link is unsuitable, please do let us know.

CEOP’s Thinkuknow website provides films and games to play on how to stay safer online and Childnet has produced a range of online safety resources including and Know IT All.

For more information please visit YAC’s Safe Surfing page.