Ben Cartwright, a member of Cambridge’s Material Culture Lab, is an archaeologist whose research focuses on the ways in which the crafts of spinning and weaving are embedded into the historic culture of the islands of the North Atlantic and remain an important part of island identity.
From the elixirs of legend to transmutation of base metals into gold, medieval medical practice and social mobility were steeped in alchemy.
A new study into the grim and frequently heart-breaking history of childhood sickness and death has opened a window on to a surprisingly tender world of close families and devoted parenting in early modern England.
In the recent riots looters made off with some of the items that have come to symbolise our materialistic society - trainers, track suits and flat screen televisions. Katy Barrett, who is doing a PhD in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, is co-convening a series of seminars which will look at the powerful role that possessions play in society, past and present.
Having just returned from a year spent documenting the language and culture of the remote Inughuit community of north-western Greenland, Dr Stephen Leonard describes how he witnessed first-hand the manner in which globalisation and consumerism are conspiring to destroy centuries-old cultures and traditions.