Sue Cook and the team answer listeners' historical queries and celebrate the way in which we all 'make' history.
12 July 2005
Yew trees in churchyards
A listener in South Wales asks: Why do we find so many yew trees in our churchyards, why are they symbolic, and do they live for thousands of years as mythology would have us believe?
Making History went to Dunsfold in Surrey and Crowhurst in East Sussex to see two very old yew trees. The programme consulted dendrochronologist Andy Moir and Owen Johnson, the editor of the Collins Tree Guide.
Shopping in the Middle Ages
A listener from Kent asked about the divisions in some of our High Street trades, professions such as pork butchers and poulterers: when did they originate, and were they the product of medieval guilds?
Making History consulted the Leverhulme Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History at the institute of Historical Research in London, Derek Keene.
Romans in Brazil?
Following on from a discussion about the possibility that the Romans travelled to China, a listener asks whether it is true that they also sailed to Brazil.
The evidence comes from amphorae found on the sea-bed in the so-called Bay of Jars near Rio de Janeiro. Amphorae are long, narrow clay containers, wider at the top than at the base, with two handles, and were used in ancient times especially for storing oil or wine.
Making History consulted Professor David Peacock, archaeologist at the University of Southampton.
'The Historical Importance of Churchyard Memorials' by Julian Rawes, Gloucestershire and District Archaeological Research Group
Archaeological Review No. 23 1998 (Editors Wills J and Rawes J), Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Vol. 117 (2000)180-181 ISSN 0068-1032
Vanessa has presented science and current affairs programmes for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Discovery and has presented for BBC Radio 4 & Five Live and a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday, Scotsman and Sunday Herald.
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