Archaeology and Me
I have been digging up a weedy lawn around our home for several weeks. While its not exactly Ancient Egypt, still there have been treasures found. And just like digging in ancient places for clues as to how people of that time lived, everything has been carefully examined and a date estimated as to how long it has been underground.
Ah, the cover of a tiny china teapot, still beautifully white with a gilt edging, sturdy enough to withstand being under two inches of soil, enduring hot summers and brutal winter weather for perhaps a very long time. Did the little girl mourn the loss? Do little girls even play with miniature tea sets now-a-days? If they do, it would probably be flimsy and plastic. I will date this to the 1920 - 1930s.
And here, a bit closer to the surface, is a one inch pink plastic elephant, rather nicely detailed. It now sits on a bookcase shelf in a dollhouse and looks quite majestic there. What do you think, 1970s perhaps?
Sitting about an inch deep under a tree near the street, is a little super ball, mostly red but nicely mottled with yellow and blue swirls. I am afraid that it has lost most of its bounce and is no longer very super. I would say five years for this one.
Near the sidewalk, embedded in the dirt, probably troddened on many times, sits a coin. Oh, it is only a penny. Its too encrusted with some of its environment still attached, too dirty for the date to be read. This will take some research, a bit of metal cleaner, and some elbow grease. I will save it for another day. There is no research needed for the next coin. A little wipe and there it is, a shiny 1945 dime and it looks like its in mint condition.
But finally, a real treasure, a high school graduation ring with the name of a girl inscribed, the name of the school, and a definite date, class of 1946. We know from the real estate history of the house that her family had lived in this old house then. Was the ring too loose and slipped into the grass. Is she still alive? We could find no trace of her on the computer, but she had probably gotten married and changed her name. How to return it to her. It dawned on us, this is a Catholic school shown on the ring and it is still in business. The nuns were so delighted with it and thought perhaps they might just have the records for that year in their archives. Perhaps there had been a reunion and an address would show up. And so the research continues.
There is still more lawn to dig up. Its been quite boring lately, even with my radio to keep me company. All that showed up yesterday was an ancient bent tin spoon, paper clips, broken glass, old nails, and carelessly discarded candy bar wrappers. (Oh the joy of living in a densely populated city.) What will show up tomorrow? I know that it will not be a long-forgotten cigar box full of gold coins, but pink elephants delight me.