Friday, 10 April 2015

Personal connections

So far on our Friday Finds feature we've brought you pottery from 2000 years of Worcester's history, from local Roman wares and Worcester porcelain to exotic imports from abroad. Today's finds are a bit more personal, and connect us directly to the occupants of the street during the final years of its existence.
The first is a Military Police cap badge, recovered from an infilled cellar on the north side of Lich Street. It is in good condition for an object buried for over 50 years, although the slide bar at the back is damaged. The design gives us a date of 1936-46, so it is likely to have belonged to a soldier serving in the Corps of Military Police during the Second World War. We'd love to find out who it belonged to, so we're in the process of researching the names of the occupants of the street, and cross-referencing these with service records. If you have any information on friends or relatives who served as a 'Red Cap' and subsequently lived in or near Lich Street after the war, please get in touch with us!

Military Police cap badge
The second find is a beautifully hand-carved, delicate bone spoon. Bone spoons were often given as presents for occasions such as birthdays or christenings, but they had a practical purpose too: they were, and are still, used for foods where metal spoons can tarnish the flavour, such as soft-boiled eggs. This example seems to have been well-used: the handle has been polished to a very smooth sheen by frequent holding, whereas the neck and bowl remain slightly rough to the touch. You can almost imagine the owner's morning ritual: sitting down to breakfast, with a lovely soft-boiled egg, bone spoon in hand.
Hand-carved bone spoon
These finds are a personal, intimate connection to the lives of the occupants. They remind us that behind the walls and within the earth, archaeology is about connecting us with the traces of the lives of ordinary people. They may not have made it into the history books, but their lives, and their service, shaped the world we live in today.

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