Tuesday, March 24, 2009

39 Saintly Bundles and hungry jackdaws

Each morning I go through the archaeological news for Heritage Action, mostly its boring, though what has come out over the past weeks is that museums are feeling the pinch, and many jobs may go, today it is the Bristol Museums that are in the news;
But one item caught my eye, the British Museum having dragged out, from one of its vaults presumably, a portable altar which had been donated in 1902 and not opened. Well they opened it this year and found the relics of 39 saints, wrapped up in separate cloth bags - see here...

The jackdaws, well whilst reading the news on the computer, happened to look up at the big laurel bush outside the window, and there was a jackdaw on the branch 'fixing' me with his beady eyes "where's the bread" is what I read in them. So I went and fetched their morning breakfast, goodness knows what they do when I'm not here, and as I threw it down several more appeared from nowhere. My jackdaws are a part of the garden scene, and having been instrumental in saving a few of the young, they seem to acknowledge my presence as a person who should provide for them...


  1. The find at the British Museum is fascinating, I watched the video and was surprised to see how small the altar actually is and how tiny each of the bundles of relics are. I wonder how many other treasures are stashed away in vaults or storerooms, forgotten or undiscovered.

  2. Having helped out for a few months at the Carmarthen museum I know just how much is hidden and stored away behind the scenes, but with very limited funding, it is extremely difficult to put on fresh exhibitions. Just conservation alone is an ever-ongoing task.

    That video was fascinating - I shall watch it again in the morning when it should run a bit better (hiccups tonight with my internet connection).

    As for Bristol getting rid of museum staff on one hand and spending vast amounts on another museum with the other, it makes you wonder which monkey holds the key to the safe. . .