I have always had a huge fascination with archaeology, possibly thanks to an early introduction from Indiana Jones. I studied it at university for a time (and wrote essays on the possibility of the existence of Atlantis – I didn’t score too highly on that one – it was more like a creative writing project), but never got to go out on any actual digs – I chose the wrong university for that. Perhaps if I had been required to stand in a field and meticulously record the results of monotonous sand-sifting I may have had my desires crushed, but as a result,  I have always had penchant for digging through dirt on the off chance of finding a little piece of history. One of my “when I am retired” dreams is to volunteer to go on a dig with Earthwatch. My Grandpa used to subscribe to their magazine and I used to read through the details of all the upcoming expeditions you could sign up for in wonder (wow, it still looks super cool).

Mum and Dad have just had their old garage removed, ready for a new tool shed, water tank and raised vegetable gardens. Mum has been sifting through the rubble to remove big chunks of cement and has been discovering old shards of ceramic plates from before the garage had been put in (c. 1920?). The girls got excited playing amateur archaeologist and uncovered chunks of brick and exciting lumps of concrete (treasure!). I found a couple of chips of old plate and beauiful little delicate mother-of-pearl handle, with just the hint of some engraved flowers.

So exciting! Isn’t this what Summer Holidays are all about?

ps. Thanks for all the terrific words of support about my writing the other day – all very much appreciated. I am off to attack chapter 5!

26 Responses to “Dig”

  1. PaisleyJade

    Sounds like such fun! I borrowed my great uncle’s metal detector years ago and we explored a local beach… so exciting what we found (even if half of it was really just rubbish!).

  2. Amy

    That looks like they were having a great time! Really focused. (I always wanted to be an archaeologist too, but my science grades left much to be desired… ) I love the picture of the treasures you found. Yes, definitely a fun Summertime event!

  3. Fiona

    How exciting! Your parents’ garden looks amazing – like another fantastic place for exploring.Hope you’re having a happy new year so far, too. xo

  4. Justine

    hi!i love that you’ve all been digging for treasure, what a perfect way to pass the holidays. i have always had a bit of a fascination with it too. my favourite display at the melbourne museum is all the broken bits and pieces dug up when they redeveloped the little lonsdale st area.x justine

  5. pip of meetmeatmikes

    Oh YES! This looks like so much fun! When I was little like your gals, we lived in Tasmania, on Mount Nelson. We used to dig up the back bush block of our 70s extravaganza of a house (with rumpus room of course) and we’d uncover all sorts of old glass medicine bottles with POISON emblazoned on them. I still remember the deep brown of the bottles… and the occasional clear and greenish one too. I remember running them under the hose trying to get all the dirt off and lining them up on the outside window ledge like little trophies. (Of course they were not to be taken inside!!)This is the stuff that school holidays are made of, I think! DIG, girls, DIG!

    I CAN NOT WAIT for your book, Ms Loobylu! And I think you are just awesome for taking the time to tap tap tap it out.

    Happy New Year. I think you are GREAT!


  6. Rachel Power

    We live next door to what was once a small private maternity hospital. The hallway is padded and the doors still have “Ward A 3 Beds” etc marked in gold lettering on them. We are still digging up small glass ampules, syringes and medicine bottles like the ones you describe, Pip. When our neighbours first moved in they even dug up a nineteenth century breast pump! That sense of discovery and history is so exciting–magical, even. Good luck with chapter 5, Claire…

  7. Rachel Power

    Oh, sorry, I exaggerate! That breast pump would have been from the turn of the century, i.e. 1900s/20th century–but still a pretty formidable object.

  8. Courtney Heath

    I know just how you feel. We had/have an old bottle dump in the woods behind my childhood home. I can remember the excitement of walking through the woods trying to remember just where it was and then finding lovely treasures and taking them home. I hope I can take my daughter there when she gets a little older. I’m sure it will be harder to find as the brush has surely grown quite a bit in 30 years.

  9. kylie

    I remember when as kids we lived in an old wooden house that my parents renovated. During excavation they unearthed this amazing series of old green glass bottles – I imagine looking back they were probably that lovely Depression glass.

  10. Irene

    Hi! De-lurking to say that I am an archaeologist turned shop keeper, and to confirm the existence of the Indy bug. Have fun with your dig!

  11. shannon

    What fabulous finds! How fun to have a place to dig and discover such colorful treasures!

  12. Betty Jo

    I was “addicted” to digging up old china shards for many years. I still have many tins full, but used most of them in mosaics and jewellery.Most parks in inner city Sydney and Melbourne were reclaimed tips and people often just buried their rubbish in the backyard.Both my kids still pick up old china for Mum!I applied to be on a dig at the Rocks in Sydney in the 90’s, but guess I was under qualified.

  13. star

    oh my gosh how exciting! you sound just like me! i used to want to be an archaeologist too. indy had quite an affect on people didn’t he? loli used to dig in a field next to my aunt and uncle’s house and would find bricks with the numbers stamped on them and make up stories about what the numbers meant. 🙂

  14. Rima Aranha

    What a great adventure! I must remember do this with my kids…when I have some 🙂 and when they are old enough.

  15. Lady in a Smalltown

    I, too, would have loved to be an archeologist. My husband and I own an 1850s house, in New England, with a hand dug cellar. Parts of our cellar are just dirt held back with rocks. We used some of the dirt to build our stone patio and it was my job to sift the rocks out of the dirt. I found loads of pieces of plates and bones and metal objects. As cool as it was to find those pottery shards, standing in the heat sifting 5 gallon buckets of dirt made me glad I went into teaching.

  16. Stacie.Make.Do.

    We used to live in an 1880’s house in Montana and I would find things when I dug in the flower beds. A lead soldier, a bit of tin in the shape of a boy, but mostly square-head nails. Be careful, but gosh it looks like fun!

  17. Danielle

    Sighhh….yes that’s exactly what summer holidays are all about….including novel writing! What a romantic lifestyle you lead! You are an inspiration!

  18. Amy

    In my 20’s I had quite a temper. I used to buy stacks of plates at garage sales and thrift stores and keep them in the backyard and when I would get mad I would throw them at my brick wall or the side of the house. It was very cathartic.My Grandmother used to use broken pottery in her garden. I was never very clear on why, but I find it annoying when clearing weeds to come across a sharp shard of pottery. ahhh the irony.

  19. lucykate crafts...

    at last i’ve found someone else with an interest in atlantis!, when i was doing my textile design degree, my dissertation was about whether or not atlantis every really existed!

  20. La Stella Blu

    Between the garden and the “archaeology” dig, your parents backyard looks like a dream come true for children.

  21. lexi

    Sounds wonderful – and reminded me of being at my grandparents property when we were small. We’d dig for treasure at an old, old house – find old pennies, old pieces of green glass, all sorts of treasures. That’s what memories are made of.Those plates are gorgeous. Imagine having a kitchen full!

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