Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Grave Goods

As I was driving home from Hay-on-Wye yesterday (it being OH's birthday and that having been our destination for the day out), a snippet from a bookI'd browsed that day slipped into my mind - it had been about the status of grave goods and what they said about the person. It occurred to me that my grave goods would be a peculiar mix.

I have always said I would have to be buried with my wooden jam spoon, red-stained from all those blackberries and red fruits over the years, and worn away on one side from many years of use.

A photograph of Fahly, my darling Arab horse, who was the love of my life and with whom I had such a bond, would be essential too.

And a photograph of my family goes without saying . . .

I would have to include a bit, since horse bits are my speciality and I collected the more odd and unusual for years and have quite a depth of knowledge.

One of the children's pony books I have kept since my childhood would also have to be included. Either one by one of the Pullein-Thompson sisters, or Monica Edward's Punchbowl Farm or Westling series would do very well. Perhaps Wish For a Pony, as that was my first proper pony book, along with Pony Club Camp . . .

A photograph of books perhaps, en masse, would sum my life up fairly well. A single book would be much harder to pin down, but perhaps a cookery book or something on the Picts?

Which brings me to adding a copy of my dissertation. I spent a year researching and writing this and it won the biennial Dissertation prize offered by the Society of Antiquaries. I look at it now and think, did I really write this intelligently?!

I would also like to be covered by my first crochet blanket. Once I was shown how to crochet, I worked on this every day until it was finished and it is a reminder that new crafts are always out there to be learned . . .

What would your grave goods say about you?


  1. What an interesting post, I enjoyed having this insight into your life.
    Me? a mountain of chocolate, in case there is none in the after life :D

  2. Strange how blogs resonate; a kind of serendipity. Right now, as I am supposedly downsizing and contemplating mortality,I am finding it hard to cast out papers, let alone contemplate grave goods. I think it would have to be the photo taken on our wedding day, with my husband (who is presently already asleep in bed), clasping my hand and looking at me as if I was someone really special.

  3. WSC - if you weren't someone so wonderfully special on our wedding day, then when were you? I suspect just as cherished now too . . .

    Kath - how on earth did I forget to mention CHOCOLATE?!!!

    P.S. Grave Goods: Not that I am pagan, merely archaeologist by nature . . .

  4. I've never thought of this but just for a whim: photos of my favorite cats; a reminder of my gardens, can I have my sewing machine? Books, music, special quilts?

  5. MM its according how big the hole is if you want to take your sewing machine ;)
    Can't think what I would take, dried flowers came to mind, certain books, my spinning wheel would'nt fit.
    In an archaeological sense BB, we'd have to take our pots and pans, plus needles and thread to mark our presence in the world as housewives and not some Bronze age layabout!

  6. Grave goods...interesting to ponder...the stuff of future blog posts for me one day...

  7. What a good post at the rate I am going my grave goods would probably fill a house! Its hard to choose but simple things suit me best. By the way check out my blog as have nominated you for an award.

    Its blooming cold here this evening

    Hope you are keeping well

    Take care