Treasure Hunt

Two thousand years ago, as the legions of Julius Caesar closed in, fleeing European tribes sought refuge from the invaders on the Island of Jersey in the English Channel. In final desperation they hid their treasures in the ground to keep them from falling into the hands of their Roman conquerors. Thirty years ago a farmer on Jersey reported finding some silver coins in his field. Treasure hunters Reg Mead and Richard Miles determined to find the treasures they knew were buried in the farmer’s field.1 For three decades the pair searched the field in the hopes of uncovering the cache of coins. Recently their lifelong quest hit pay dirt as their metal detectors have uncovered the mother-load of 30,000 to 50,000 first century silver coins. The treasure has an estimated value of close to $16 million.

How Do You Say Shibboleth?

Back in the 1960’s, linguists announced that American dialects of the English language were disappearing. Speech experts attributed this to “the homogenizing effect of mass communications, and mobility of restless Americans.” While technology has probably accelerated this phenomenon some see evidence of regional pockets forming in which American dialects are diverging. This is best evidenced by the inhabitants of the cities near the Great Lakes.