The archaeology of Arthur

Can archaeology help us to find Arthur?

Given that there are no contemporary documents telling us about Arthur, what about archaeological remains? Are then any discoveries that date from the period he is supposed to have lived (some time between the mid fifth century and the mid sixth) that might show that he really existed? While some have sought to document a period at which new Anglo-Saxon settlements ceased to be created in the belief that this is evidence for Arthur’s victories over the Saxons, I am more concerned here with the more positive claims of inscriptions, graves and locations for Camelot. And not all of them are necessarily preposterous and put forward by fringe writers: respectable academics have also been seduced by the blandishments of the Arthurian romances.


The Artognou stone
The Artognou stone: not evidence for Arthur at all


In 1998, an unexpected find was made by archaeologists from the University of Glasgow uner the direction of Chris Morris during their excavation at Tintagel, a site full of Arthurial allusions. Following Courtney Arthur Ralegh Radford’s (1900-1999) excavations there in the 1930s, his interpretation of the site as a “Celtic monastery” had been generally accepted by the academic community. However, following a grass fire on the headland in 1983, new excavations were undertaken by Chris Morris for English Heritage from 1990 onward.

These new excavations showed that Radford’s model was wrong: far from being a community of ascetics living a life of seclusion on an isolated headland, Morris showed that the place had extensive contacts with the outside world and that it was more urban than monastic. This was a shock: there weren’t supposed to be towns in ‘Dark Age’ Britain and the changed interpretation has still not been accepted in some quarters, particularly by advocates of “Celtic Christianity” as a more ‘authentic’ form of the religion than the major modern churches. But this was not the really controversial discovery: it was the finding of an inscription re-used in a seventh-century deposit.

The inscription was made on a piece of slate measuring 350 × 200 × 10 mm, which had been re-used as the cover of a drain. It carried two separate inscriptions. One, in large letters, only survived in part and appears to read …AXE…, which may be part of the Roman name Maxentius or some other name or word. It was the second part of the inscription, though, that caught the attention of the press. Reading + PATERN… COLIAVIFICIT… ARTOGNOV… COL… FICIT…, it presents all sorts of challenges to interpretation, but contains several names: Patern[us], Col (or Coliau) and Artognou. The first is a Roman name, the second and third Celtic. It was the presence of the phoneme Art… in the third name that excited the media.

Although Charles Morris was entirely cautious in his announcement of the discovery, pointing out that the inscription did not name Arthur, others were not so careful. While we might excuse the popular press (and, perhaps, especially the tabloids) for exaggerating and misinterpreting the meaning of the inscription, it is difficult to understand how such august bodies as the Archaeological Institute of America were able to promote it under the heading King Arthur was Real?. The inscription – whatever it actually says (perhaps ‘Patern[us, son of] Coliaw, had this made for Artognou: Col made it’) – does not mention Arthur at all.

The supposed tombstone of Arthur from Mynydd y Gaer
The supposed tombstone of Arthur from Mynydd y Gaer


Amateur historians and authors, Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett have promoted their hypothesis that Arthur could be identified with a King Athrwys of Gwent (specifically Athrwys ap Meurig, known from a number of early medieval genealogies). In fact, the identification was first proposed in the eighteenth century, but no matter. The name Athrwys is no more identical with Arthur than than name Artognou on the Tintagel inscription. However, Wilson and Blackett went further, in that they identified the church of St Peter-super-Montem at Mynydd y Gaer, near Bridgend (Glamorgan, Wales), as the burial place of King Arthur. Having announced their hypothesis, they became concerned about the possibility of looting at the site, which they bought. At an unknown date between 1983 and 1990, they claim to have unearthed the tombstone of Arthur, which reads REX ARTORIVS FILI MAVRICIVS. A subsequent excavation in the church, carried out in 1990 under the supervision of Eric Talbot, at that time with the University of Glasgow, revealed earlier structures and a silver cross, again with an inscription (PRO ANIMA ARTORIVS), was found.

Arthur for the soul?
Arthur for the soul? Illiterate Latin is hardly evidence!

If genuine, these inscriptions would be good evidence for the existence of someone whose name could be written as Artorius in Latin in early medieval Wales. However, neither inscription has been submitted for analysis by acknowledged experts in the field and even to an outsider, they appear curious. For a start, both are ungrammatical, if they are meant to mean what they are claimed to mean. Wilson and Blackett translate the stone as ‘Arthur son of Mauricius’, which to them confirmes the identity of Athrwys ap Meurig with the “King Arthur’ of the inscription. The problem is that the inscription should actually be translated ‘King Arthur Mauricius, of the son’. And while they would like to see the cross inscription as being ‘For the soul of Arthur’, it is actually ‘Arthur for the soul’ (which is probably not as effective as chicken soup). In other words, these inscriptions are, at best, crude forgeries by someone with a very poor knowledge of Latin and certainly poorer than we would expect in early medieval Wales.

Camden’s illustration of a lead cross allegedly found at Glastonbury in 1191
Camden’s illustration of a lead cross allegedly found at Glastonbury in 1191; but there is no evidence that Camden ever saw it!


By far the most famous inscription mentioning ‘King’ Arthur is that said to have been found on a lead cross by the monks of Glastonbury who excavated the purported site of his grave there around 1191. Descriptions of the discovery were written by Ralph of Coggeshall in 1221, Giraldus Cambrensis in 1193 and Adam of Domerham (himself a monk at the abbey) in the 1290s. All give slightly different accounts of the discovery of the body, but it was alleged to have lain in an ancient coffin, hollowed from an oak trunk. They also differ in the wording of the inscription said to have been on a lead cross found above the coffin. Ralph gives it as Hic iacet inclitus rex Arturus in insula Avallonia sepultus (‘here lies the famous King Arthur, buried in the Isle of Avalon’); Giraldus adds the phrase cum Wenneveria uxore sua secunda (’with his second wife Guenevere’) at the end.

In the sixth edition of William Camden’s Britannia, published by Richard Gough in 1607, a drawing of the cross appeared for the first time. It is by no means certain that Camden saw the cross, but Leslie Alcock used the shape of the letters in the drawing to suggest a tenth- or eleventh-century date for it. He was subsequently (and, in my opinion, rightly) criticised for his lack of scepticism regarding the alleged cross, last known to have been owned by William Hughes, a chancellor of Wells cathedral, in the early eighteenth century. However, in the Enfield Advertiser of 17 December 1981, a Derek Mahoney claimed to have rediscovered it in the bed of a lake at Forty Hall near Maidens Brook, Enfield (UK), when it was being drained for dredging, but apart from showing the object to an inexperienced assistant at the British Museum (whom he refused permission for photography), no-one else has ever seen it. In the following year, Enfield Borough Council prosectued him for theft as the cross was allegedly found on its property. Mahoney served a year of a two-year sentence in prison for contempt of court.

It is now thought that Mahoney’s cross was a forgery. He had worked as a lead pattern maker and knew that Richard Gough, who prepared Camden’s Britannia for a new edition in 1607, had lived close to the site of the supposed discovery. Members of the Enfield Archaeological Society, which had overseen the dredging operation on the lake, had seen nothing like the cross removed from the sediments and at least some of the members believed that Mahoney was seeking publicity. Mahoney became ill after his release from prison and was found hanged at home in 1989: a verdict of suicide was recorded. There was no trace of the cross among his possessions and it seems that he had disposed of it in order to avoid its exposure as a fraud.


If there are no inscriptions that can convincingly be shown to mention Arthur, what are the chances of locating Camelot? Although it is not named before the romance of Lancelot, le chevalier de la charette, written by Chrétien de Troyes between 1177 and 1181, this has not stopped enthusiasts for seeking its location. After all, someone as powerful as Arthur must have had a court (or, if we want to think of him as a Late Roman emperor, a bureaucracy) that was housed somewhere. The serious historian John Morris even proposed identifying Camelot with Colchester, the Romano-British Camulodunum on the grounds that the two names contain (almost) the same consonants in the same sequence… So is there really a site that can lay claim to be Camelot?

South Cadbury hillfort
South Cadbury hillfort: as likely to be Camelot as is Milton Keynes

By South Cadbury is that Camelot…

In 1541, the Tudor traveller John Leland (1506-1552) wrote that “At South Cadbyri standeth Camallate, sumtyme a famouse toun or castelle. The people can tell nothing thar but that they have hard say that Arture much resortid to Camalat”. The first archaeologist to attempt an excavation on the hill was Harold St George Gray who found Late Iron Age structures and material near the entrance in 1913. However, it was Courtney Ralegh Radford’s identification of Merovingian glass among finds brought up by ploughing in the 1950s that reawakened interest in matters Arthurian.

After an abortive proposal for excavation in 1959, a Camelot Research Committee was formed in 1965, which entrusted the excavation to Leslie Alcock (1925-2006), then of the University of Wales, Cardiff. It inevitably became known as the Quest for Camelot. Attracting financing from the British Academy, the BBC, the Society of Antiquaries and various other sources, the project began with trial trenching in 1966. Excavation then continued until 1970, with spectacular results spanning much of later prehistory and, excitingly, the early medieval period, ending with the establishment of a short-lived mint around 1010 under Æthelræd II (‘The Unready’, c 968-1016, King of England 978-1013 and 1014-1016).

It was the early medieval occupation of the late fifth century that attracted the most interest. While Leslie Alcock was always rather circumspect about the Arthurian associations of the site, he nevertheless encouraged the popular press to report it as the base of an ‘Arthur-like’ figure who, naturally, was transformed in the popular consciousness to an Arthur of history. Indeed, Alcock’s 1971 overview of the period was called Arthur’s Britain, an acknowledgement that he believed that someone did the things credited to Arthur around the right time, so we might as well call the period ‘Arthurian’. Geoffrey Ashe has gone further, arguing that South Cadbury was nothing less than Arthur’s headquarters. And we may as well call that Camelot…

Unfortunately, while Alcock’s book was not well received by the archaeological community, it made a larger impact on a more general readership. It became popularly believed that Alcock had found evidence for the existence of Arthur, both in terms of what he had excavated at South Cadbury and, more generally, in the pattern of Anglo-Saxon settlement and its apparent slowing down c 500. However, while Alcock’s excavations had uncovered a new class of late fifth-century site – the heavily fortified British hall – it was soon found that it was not unique. If South Cadbury was the base of an ‘Arthur-like’ figure, there were many more of them. If they were all ‘Arthur-like’, which one was the home of the ‘real’ Arthur? Do any of them actually provide evidence for a ‘real’ Arthur? The answer has to be no…

The baths at Wroxeter
The baths at Wroxeter: the Milton Keynes of sixth-century Britain?


One of the great excavations of the twentieth century was that carried out by Phil Barker (1920-2001) at Wroxeter (Shropshire, England) from 1966 to 1990. In a masterpiece of slow, painstaking excavation and recording, he surprised the archaeological community with his demonstration that there was a long sub-Roman occupation of the former Roman city of Viroconium Cornoviorum. Not a place traditionally associated with Arthur, amateur historians Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman built up a case for identifying it with Camelot in King Arthur – the true story (1992). They did so by first equating Arthur with the historical Owain Ddantwyn, an ancestor of the kings of Powys who would have lived around 500. They then argue that Wroxeter was the only place in late fifth-century Powys that could have served as a royal capital. And… well, that’s about it, in a nutshell.

Like all attempts to locate Camelot, it suffers from the fact that there is no evidence that such a place ever existed outside Chrétien de Troyes’s imagination. It starts with an assumption that there was a Camelot to be found and that there was an Arthur to hold court there, then goes out to find the evidence. Without the later stories of ‘King’ Arthur, there is nothing in the archaeology of these places that would lead us to postulate the existence of such a character. We bring our later preconceptions to bear on the interpretation of the data, which is definitely Bad Archaeology.

36 Replies to “The archaeology of Arthur”

  1. easy to disparage all ‘non-recognised’ authors as not providing ‘true’ results. all
    non funded people fall into this category. so
    to be ‘believed’ funding is required……..
    chicken or egg? JMC 22jan13.

    1. It is not the authors one critiques, but their findings. It is not one’s standing in a given community, academe or otherwise, but the rigour of one’s logic and methods, and in the cases at hand, both are sorely lacking.

      This may disturb the non-academic, but it’s the sort of scrutiny a professional historian or archaeologist expects to receive for their work.

  2. I grew up pretty much under the shadow of Mynydd y Gaer and I assure you it’s one of the best spots in the area for magic mushrooms. Maybe this is a contributing factor to messrs Wilson & Blackett’s theories.

  3. Having visited sites in Wales I can only say that it is obvious that most of the best possible sites with possible Arthurian connections have never been seriously investigated or excavated. Why can only be surmised, but it does seem to have something to do with willful ignorance.

  4. The cover up continues so it seems at a grand pace. It’s not bad archeology to blame it’s the whole reeking old boys network that puts up sites like this to put off anybody (right or wrong) who challenges the status quo and acceptable history according to the whims of those in charge. There must be something about what these two guys have uncovered why else do they get followed, harrassed at every turn and inconsistency they uncover, they’re put down vermently by the compliant media and government agencies that are supposed to be working for the greater good, not to mention the nature of the welsh these days to ignorantly stick the knife into their own for the promise of another days bread and circus in the sun just as their masters require them to do….. very sad.

  5. dear god… can’t you please stop the unmitigated (though deserved) comments and
    crap and get on with doing something about it.
    what about the planned open cast site where st michaels-supra-montem currently
    exists? jmc

  6. Hi, I was one of the first people to contact Messrs Wilson and Blackett and was able to look at their early publications. I corresponded with them for a while until they became abusive. A conference was being held in Llangollen and at this would be several of the top experts on Arthur from Wales, including Sir Idris Foster and Prof. Bedwyr Lewis Jones (both sadly no longer with us) and I personally invited Wilson and Blackett to take part but they refused. Instead they sent me some flyers for their next publication.
    I would say that they have nothing to add to the research on Arthur and have become even stranger over the years believing that they have been smeared by academia. Most people I know who have taken Arthurian studies seriously would not go near them. It is very sad.

    1. OK, I am sick and tired of all the bullshit surrounding Wilson and Blackett. Time for a few home truths.

      Baram Blackett’s real name is Anthony Thomas Blackett, although has been known to answer to Mike (his brother’s name). Indeed, he is very fond of aliases and has also been known as M.T. Byrd, Brian Terry, Grant Berkeley (yes, they are one and the same person), and a whole host of others. He also encouraged Alan Wilson to use the alias Victor Van Orton.

      The amount of work that Blackett has actually contributed to the pair’s researches is negligible. He is happy to let others (in this case, Alan Wilson) do all the hard work and then take the credit for it. It is clear that during radio programmes in which Blackett has taken part he is very obviously reading from a script.

      Most of the “attacks” and harrassment suffered by the pair, allegedly at the hands of the establishment, be it the police or even MI5, are actually orchestrated by Blackett, who takes immense pleasure in feeding the paranoia of Alan Wilson for his own amusement. He has a powerful and dangerous hold over Alan Wilson who for some unfathomable reason believes anything and everything that Blackett tells him even if it means revising his own memories of events that have happened.

      Alan Wilson is a very knowedgable man in his chosen researches. He is also extremely, childishly, naive in many other areas. Today he would very likely be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. As such he obsessive but also very susceptible to the lies and fantasy world that Blackett has created for him. Blackett himself shows all the symptons of having a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

      1. Sounds like a possible case of a “Handler” and a brainwashed MK ULTRA, MK NAOMI or anothsr sordid name of Powers That Should Not Be abusing & exploiting humankind any way they can.
        Same story all over the world, sad to say…..
        Alexander Helios the II or III is buried in Illinois, USA, but TPTSNB (The Powers That Should Not Be) are such Paranoid Control Freaks that TRUTH would obliterate any type of EGO that they cannot Godly possess so therefore they stick with their own kind, The lovers & worshippers of The Father of Lies.
        King Juba II and Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Marc Antony & The last Pharoah of Egypt’s Cleopatra Selene the 7th, were married & came to America. Think the Real Truth will ever be shared? No, the “little men” are too scared!!

          1. She is referring to Burrow’s Cave, supposedly located near Olney in southeastern Illinois. As someone who has followed this story since the cave’s “discovery” I can assure you that there is no coverup, the finds are all forgeries (the “gold” items are painted lead and the “tablets” are engraved on commercial lithograph stone, and it is wonderful wacko archaeology!

      2. More stupidness here. Type in google Victor Van Orton. Probably an actor. How on earth can Baram orchestrate the bomb attacks by himself when he almost lost his life?

  7. I tried watching a series of videos on Wilson and Blackett but it brought back too many bad memories. They seem to think that they are dissidents. They likened themselves to Solgenitstin (sorry can’t spell it), Sakarov, Ginsburg, and other Russian dissidents of those dark days yet walked free while the Communist regime in Russia would have sent them to an asylum for mad folk never to be seen again. I still have their letters. They did, and probably still do, have followers and they seem to have taken in people in the US.
    I have had the opportunity to meet many interesting folk while I was editor of an Arthurian journal and I also met a few strange people but none like Wilson and Blackett.
    The whole adventure of searching for Arthur has fascinated me most of my life and I have a room full of books, journals and notes. I have read so many theories and yet never come across any that could not be dismantled in some way. Prof. Bedwyr Lewis Jones was convinced that we will never find Arthur because he has become an “everyman” and that too much has been added to the possible history. I however live in hope that someone will find something that may shed some light of things.

    1. Same here, Charles. I am fully open minded to any historical identification of Arthur and whilst my favourite remains Owein Ddantgwn I was quite willing to read Wilson & Blackett’s Athrwys idea (with some date switching involved) But their arrogant attitude and now paranoia and sheer nastiness has put me off reading any more of their publications, although if they were willing to allow proper examination of their evidence it would maybe help their cause.

  8. Can the nutters please answer one question?
    Why would *they* want to cover up what would be a career making discovery?
    Or am I asking the insane to explain why they howl at the moon?

    1. Thank you.

      It always seems easier to conjure a conspiracy than to question one’s own needs for a certain thing to be true. Alienated as the layman is from the academic processes of criticism and verification, we become the easiest of scapegoats.

    2. People love to watch heroes fall. Some still insist we haven’t made it to the moon yet. Calling people nutters is quite pathetic. If you want to argue do it politely.

  9. All I would like to hear are facts/evidence and then keep an open mind.Has anyone reviewed “The Keys to Avalon” yet.I found the book very interesting linking Arthurian places in Wales with the “stories”.Please let us all know if that book has credence.

  10. The search for Camelot is bedevilled by an unwillingness to understand. Camelot means a rubbish dump or, more colloquially, a heap of ordure. It is French, and also particularly, old French: the term is disparaging. Whence came it, and since this heap of dung is supposed to reside in Kerniw, where is Kerniw?
    Well the forest of Kerniw still exists and is still on the OS map – but its name is Welsh, hence it is called Y Coed Kerniw, and lies between Cardiff and Newport. For americans and other aliens, Welsh is not a dialect of English, but is a very ancient language having its roots originally in Palestine, hence one should not seek phonetic similarities as indicators of meaning.
    Above Caerleon – which is on the edge of the area originally covered by the forest of Kerniw, lie the remnants of a massive fortress whose name was Caer Melyn. Caer Melyn (pron. Ca mehlun) is sufficiently close in pronunciation to the French camelot (pron. Ca meloh) that any French speaker who disliked the Brits would automatically mispronounce it, and hence an important castle was transmogrified into pile of rubbish. So Camelot does lie in Kerniw, but Kerniw has nothing to do with Cornwall.

  11. In my opinion, Arthurian studies suffer due to a widespread failure to name the culture, correctly, to which a figure like Arthur would belong. There seems a passion for believing that the Roman culture retreated before an advancing Saxon culture, leaving Britons in the vacuum that remained, to combat the Saxons in that corner of the Empire that reached from eastern Wales to the North Sea and the English Channel. Therefore, an Arthur figure is to be sought among those Britons in that region. But is it not more than likely that such Britons did not exist in that region? –That the inhabitants of this corner of the empire spoke Latin (but not as a “second language”) and regarded themselves as Romans?–That those who could afford it, had left this dilapidating and tenuous region for the more solid Latinate territories of Europe, leaving the underclass to scrounge for a living in the old provinces of Roman Britain when the Saxon invasions hit? Bede knew of Britons, but to my thinking he knew of Britons essentially in the foothills and marches east of Wales and in Wales itself, and Cornwall, and Strathclyde. These Britons include the infamous Cadwalla, whom Bede characterizes as “a barbarian more savage than any pagan,” and willing to take the fight eastward into Anglo-Saxon territory. So I would say that, literature and folklore aside, the cultural resistance to the Saxon advent was in these Celtic regions and did not include the central Roman provinces, because they were fully Roman and European in temperament and had already given up their homeland as lost. Not soldiers themselves, these people had no art in soldiering, and scratched around for an expedient to serve in the place of the Roman legions at the cost of much gold, silver, and treasure in general. There should have been a serious population decline to coincide with the general uncertainty. What Welsh law consisted of, prior to the laws of Howel the Good, is perhaps a moot point, but that tenth century code of laws suggest a well-regulated, clannish Briton society, where outrages are compensated strenuously, and had forever been so. Those Welsh laws seem light-years removed from Norman and English law, without a concept of knights-errant and the medieval tournament way of life. Yet it is among the populace governed by these Welsh laws, traditions, and structure that opposition to the Saxons sprang. And these Celtic people themselves probably saw eastern Britain’s fall as the fall of Rome, not as the fall of Britain, until the British (that is, the Welsh, Cornish, and Stratchclyde peoples) were themselves impacted, which was not until later in the Saxon advent.

    1. All anyone has to do is sit back and watch The Powers That Should Not Be marrying into the TRUE Royal Earth DNA Bloodlines at the very top level.
      The lesser levels are instructed to marry into families with money & possessions, even if it takes generations to take total control of all assets,
      Even Nostradamus stated in one of his Quatrains that the English Monarchy would end if a Battenburg ever reached the chance of the Throne.
      Princess Diana, young & naive, came to that exact conclusion all on her own. How sad to have more Royal Blood & DNA than the actual “royal family”. So the question to be asked is: Who benefitted? When and how long now? Where does this “false” even though most likely mixed DNA spread out to? Leaders of other Countries? What has happened to the descendants of the TRUE Bloodline Families? Why? Face it! 10 Lost Tribes of Israel are being “kept” lost for very evil purposes. As in the Days of Noah so shall the end be. (Yeshua/Jesus Christ) What was happening in Noah’s Day?
      Severe pollution & poisoning of the air, land & water. DNA manipulation, transhumanism, et travel, giants, hybrids, cloning of animals & humans. Poisoning of the population. Now just WHO? would want this? Who benefits? Follow the money to the “little men”. Big men are assassinated, mocked, ridiculed, crucified, murdered, enslaved, dumbed down, etc.
      TRUTH is malignant to “little men”. Paranoia is Truth to them.
      They don’t want Arthur found. Goodness, Truth & Light would expose their “littleness” and evil nature.
      Sad thing is: They need the “broodmare” Dianas of this world because enmity was gifted by God to the seed of Woman to protect God’s Creation from non-human DNA. (Genesis. Garden of Eden.) I am sure King Arthur, being a good & Godly King, possesses the correct Godly DNA & that scares some……
      Gilgamesh was recently found & statements state he is in wonderful preservation. Military pounced & surrounded the area in Iraq around or leading up to 2008. How convenient? Mosul, Iraq= Ninevah= Tower of Babel=Nimrod. Wake up Sheeple!!

      1. Not sure what princess Diana has to do with anything here but, young and naive??? She was one of the most able manipulators of the media I have ever seen. The fluttering of the eyelashes, the downcast looks, Oh she was good if a little hammy. She knew full well what she was marrying. (Her older sister had been in line previously) and she moved in those circles. Also she was a distant cousin (12 times removed if memory serves) being descended from Nell Gwinn. one of Charles ll mistresses. (He had no legitimate children). She was also an adulteress as much as he was an adulterer. Henry Vlll would have had her head of sharpish (oh dear did i really write that, sorry)

  12. ** The Grail Cypher **

    This is the most comprehensive and radical reassessment of Arthurian history ever undertaken. The conclusion is that the classical Dark Age Arthur did not exist. This is why there is no mention of King Arthur for nearly 600 years, until the early 12th century. It was only when Templar Crusaders returned to Normandy from Syria and Judaea, that the Arthurian genre was born.


    Because in reality, King Arthur was the alter ego for the biblical King Jesus of Judaea. The Templar Crusaders had discovered a manuscript in Syria detailing the true monarchal and martial life of the real King Jesus and his family. But this revised history was decidedly heretical and positively dangerous. Being unable to record and preserve this history directly, the Norman Templars crafted an alternate pseudo-history about a ‘British’ monarch called King Arthur.

    The Grail Cypher (600 pages)

  13. Hi Keith, nice article.

    I’ve followed the work of Wilson and Blackett for a while now, so I’m interested to hear some more information about the stone. In Artorius Rex Discovered, they do acknowledge that numerous ‘experts’ (as they styled the word) jumped on their discovery of the stone and pointed out the poor grammar, claiming it must then be a forgery. Now, I can’t read Latin, so this is what I’m wondering: What exactly are is the grammatical issue? Is there more than one? Because in that section of their book, Wilson and Blackett address the point that it really *should* say ‘filius’, whereas it actually says ‘fili’. However, they go on to say that they can instantly point to no less then 10 of the most illustrious 6th century stones that are inscribed with ‘fili’ rather than ‘filius’. They don’t provide any examples, unfortunately, but I know of one: ‘Maglocunus fili Clutorius’. Significantly, this is generally held to be early-sixth century or possibly late-fifth, so it is even closer to the Roman period than their Artorius stone is meant to be.

    So, my question is, is that the only grammatical issue? Or are there others? Because if that is the only issue, then evidently it is not an issue at all. I’d appreciate the clarification.

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