Friday, October 25, 2013

Archaeological Chaos

When we were in France last spring we took a side trip to a sleepy little town in the western part of the country.  It was once a site of much industry, and in particular had a major manufacturer of buttons, beads and tile.

As my better half collects buttons it seemed a logical spot for an "off the beaten path" side trip. Especially since one of her fellow collectors tipped her off as to the location of an enormous dump...where you could go and dig up buttons all day long.

Evidently the place ran into financial difficulties in the 1970s, and when it closed they just hauled the inventory out back and dumped it.  Acres and acres of artifacts.  All of it naturally atop roughly 200 years of earlier dumpings....

I am normally cautious about tossing around big numbers, but imagine this stuff going down for many meters.  We are talking about millions of bits of tile.  This looks sort of boring but other sections were more varied.  And more what we came for.

My interest in collecting is sort of the magpie variety.  If something is shiny and catches my eye I like it.  There were a few other folks wandering around the dump site with bags and small hand tools. Some of them apparently were looking for very specific tile bits. Doing a bathroom remodel on the cheap I guess.

Pity the far distant archaeologists who have to make sense of this mess, or of similar industrial age mega sites.  Proper archaeology involves taking each "small find", marking its location precisely, then placing it into its own little bag for later study.

If you have an interest in buttons and such my better half blogs on such matters regularly.  Drop in and visit at NEXT DOOR LAURA.

If you happen to be in France and have an interest, there sure seem to be enough buttons, tiles and beads for all.  And if you turn up in the near future you may not need any tools.  We left ours hanging on a branch. It is hard enough to bring big old bags of tile as carry on luggage.  I did not want to explain these.

We also left you a few artifacts.

Yer Welcome.

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