Characterising transformation in religious material culture AD 1000-1700: through the study of archaeological finds discovered by the public in England and Wales
Add to collection
You do not have access to any existing collections. You may create a new collection.
This paper puts forward an archaeological approach to examining changes in material culture, through time and across boundaries, here focusing on what might be termed (though maybe not very precisely) ‘religious objects’. Pilgrim ‘souvenirs’ are clearly important in this regard, not least because they travelled between places, and were owned (given the variation in their composition and quality) by people of various backgrounds, but also in that they relate to secular badges - not only livery badges, but also those that were profane. Further, whilst some badges are found across the country, others are more localised, so what does that mean? Also important are papal bullae – the lead seals attached to official documents of the same name issued by the papal curia. These once had a clear role, but then (somehow) become detached from the parchments to which they were attached, and then brutalised or (apparently) curated. Some even developed a more practical afterlife – including as spindle whorls. Might this later ‘curation’ of ‘papist’ material be a crafty way of evoking the ‘old religion’ following the Reformation? It is a question that this paper will explore. Relevant also are single finds of Limoges-made enamels, once part of Church furniture from about 1100, but then (somehow) becoming broken-up, twisted and deposited in the plough-soil, only to be found by detectorists. Some finds suggest they suffered iconoclastic damage, although there is evidence here too that others might have been carefully concealed after their destruction.