Staffordshire Hoard: "It will redefine the Dark Ages"?
The Anglo-Saxon treasure that I mentioned two days ago has its own website: The Staffordshire Hoard. Prominently displayed in large font on its homepage is a 'quote' on the significance of the hoard:
"It will redefine the Dark Ages."I put 'quote' is scare quotes because the original seems to have been less triumphalist. In the Yahoo article by Raphael G. Satter, "Largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure found in UK," which I linked to on Friday, the original quote was given as:
"It will make us rethink the Dark Ages."The was uttered by Roger Bland, who directed the excavation, and the sentiment was already poorly expressed, for historians these days generally do not refer to this Medieval period as the "Dark Ages," given the negative implications of the expression, which even Wikipedia notes. As Head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, Dr. Bland must surely know about this. I suppose that he allowed his enthusiasm to overwhelm his vocabulary.
Oddly enough, the experts at The Staffordshire Hoard site seem utterly unaware that the expression is largely held is disrepute, and they even attempt to ramp up the significance of this already significant discovery by misquoting Dr. Bland in altering "rethink" to "redefine."
They might end up tying themselves in knots in trying to defend their use of this expression in future conferences on the significance of the hoard.