John Swann's first forey into Iron Age Britain was in the course of studying Ancient History at A level in Cambridge quite a long time ago. A subsequent 30 year career in the strangely specialised field of corporate structuring brought with it a plethora of opportunities of a historic nature (during weekends and spare time of course!).

 

In 1990 the opportunity was keenly taken to live and work abroad that would become an 8 year secondment to Andalucia, the southernmost part of Spain. This presented an excellent opportunity to explore the historic landscape of Iberia. With the team from "In Search of Andalucia" the result was a fine hardback book of the same name (and still available in the finest of bookshops), guiding expatriates and tourists alike to many largely hidden corners of the Malaga Seaboard.

 

Spain also presented the opportunity to rekindle a lifelong interest in the night sky with the benefit of warm nights and crystal clear skies. From time to time John served as assistant astronomer at the Centro de Observação no Algarve, a well known observatory in southern Portugal and delivered astronomy outreach sessions to school children in the Campo de Gibraltar region of Spain.

 

Following several years based in the Caribbean  John returned to the United Kingdom in 2001 and studied archaeology at Bristol University achieving a first class honours degree. Specialisms and specific interests include landscape archaeology, phenomenology and liminality.

 

This was quickly followed by a project with a group of fellow graduates to resurrect the nineteenth century Clifton Antiquarian Club, organising historical itineraries for adults and children alike. The reformed Clifton Antiquarian Club celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016.

 

During the second decade of the 21st Century the world of corporations took John to China and this opened a pandora's box of historical intrigue. The Shang, the Xia, a fascinating combination of familiar and the extremely diverse prehistory.

 

This has lead to some very popular outreach astronomy sessions on the Bristol Downs exploring the ancient Chinese night sky. 

         

"Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I might remember, involve me and I will learn."

Benjamin Franklyn

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