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THE CULT REVIVED 1

Richard Skelton

Softcover booklet
148 x 210
12pp
saddle-stitched

Unnumbered edition of 65

The Cult Revived 1 is a booklet of prose-poetry by Richard Skelton, which takes as its focus the discovery of a body in a bog on Scaleby Moor, Cumbria, 1845.

" ... he came to the remains of a human skeleton buried about eight or nine feet beneath the surface, and closely embedded in the lowest stratum of black peat. The skeleton was wrapped in what appears to have been the skin of a deer ... "

This enigmatic 'ancient Briton' is a submerged presence within the text itself, symbolically connected to other so-called bog bodies across northern Europe, including Lindow, Tollund and Grauballe Man. In 1958, scientists examined the stomach contents of Grauballe man, identifying 65 plants that formed a gruel 'eaten immediately before death'. The text invokes the Danish names for the 'five-and-sixty', drawing sinew-like connections with 65 words for 'blow' in the Cumbrian dialact - alluding to the fact that many bog bodies suffered a violent 'strong death' with ritualised elements.

The Cult Revived 1 is the first research publication featuring work-in-progress from Richard Skelton's 'linguistic excavation' of northern Britain, begun in Sept 2015 and documented via the website: http://thecultrevived.tumblr.com. The work will continue throughout 2016 and 2017, accumulating its materia poetica from diverse fields including archaeology, geology, edaphology and taphonomy. Initial areas of interest are funerary landscapes; history relating to animal persecution; mythology relating to animal veneration (particularly horned and antlered deities); earth cults; vegetation and fertility rites, folk-ritual and magic, including masks, shamanism, apotropaia and therianthropy.

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