What a fascinating discovery at 'King Arthur's Castle' can teach us about human culture.

Archeologists in the U.K. just unearthed ... a really old wall at Tintagel Castle.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.


And it's a big deal.

Researchers believe the wall in question is a part of the "seat of the rulers of the early medieval kingdom of Dumnonia," who ruled parts of southwestern England over 1,400 years ago, according to a BBC report.

An archeologist works at the excavation site. Photo by Emily Whitfield-Wicks/English Heritage.

"This is the most significant archaeological project at Tintagel since the 1990s," Win Scutt, a director on the project, explained in a release. "The three-week dig this summer is the first step in a five-year research programme to answer some key questions about Tintagel and Cornwall’s past."

Legend has it that Tintagel was the birthplace of King Arthur. And while Arthur is, at best, questionably real, the old royal seat is very real.

A sculpture of Merlin at Tintagel Castle. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

And, this, per the BBC, is pretty cool:

"Discoveries at the site also include large amounts of pottery from the eastern Mediterranean used for olive oil and wine, as well as Merovingian glass and fine Phocaean tableware from the west coast of Turkey."

It's yet another piece of evidence that national cultures — even very old ones — are hodgepodge stews of influences from all around the world.

Items excavated at the dig site. Photo by Emily Whitfield-Wicks/English Heritage.

It's tempting to think that British people have been "British" as we conceive it today — eating fish and chips, sipping Earl Grey tea, and singing "God Save the Queen" every night before bed — since the dawn of time.

In reality, it appears that at least some ancient Britons were merrily, Greek-ily lapping up olive oil while drinking from French wine glasses and eating off of plates from the Middle East.

It isn't particularly surprising — after all, Britain was a Roman colony until the fifth century A.D., and the Romans had footprints all over Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

But it's still important to remind ourselves of this — specifically, whenever a politician promises to beat back foreign trade, keep out a certain group of people, or make this, that, or the other country great again.

It's certainly possible, technically speaking, that a culture, city, or country may have been "great" or "greater" in the past.

A sculpture outside Tintagel Castle. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

But if it was, it probably wasn't because it was somehow perfectly isolated, free of contribution from elsewhere in the world.

Even if that contribution is flatware and a condiment to dip crusty bread in.

In that way, the Tintagel discovery isn't just a triumph for our understanding of obscure sixth-century British history.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

It's a reminder that the notion of a "pure" national culture, one uncorrupted by outside influence, is as mythical as Merlin and Arthur.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less