Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Past Voices no.1

In archaeology many professionals have a heavy workload and many sites to excavate and report on. It is amazing how many people have walked past sites I have been on and been surprised that we are not students, part-timers or volunteers. We work 5 days a week, 12 months a year, in all weathers. As a result it can turn into a bit of a grind. It is possible to lose sight of the real reason we do the job - we are passionate about how people lived in the past. The only way to find out is to look at the artefacts and interpret them. This can answer questions such as how they were made and how they were used. What would they say if they could speak?

I am going to put together my own thoughts on this by taking various artefacts and giving them a voice. As all interpretation is subjective these voices are expressed through me. But I hope that by reading them you may be able to see past the purely material and reach the person beyond who made these artefacts. These lines are not meant to be poetry. I am not a poet. But dry prose would not bring them to life. It's a mix. Hope you enjoy them.


Here I am, a small piece of clay, a creation of the mind, the hand pressing, shaping, cutting, placing.
Surface of red with a grey body; one of many.
Ages of feet passed over me.
The family have crawled, tottered and walked on me.
Food and drink spilled on me.
Happy cries, fearful cries, hugs and fights - I support them.
I am one of many.
If I am missing it is to the detriment of all.
A scar on the face of a carefully crafted creation of the goddess.
Two thousand years have passed - but here I am.

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