Paradoxical Reader,

If you weren’t aware, the shed is now knocked down.

I figured I’d do three further small posts on what I found, starting with the very old stuff.

A rooftile, from a very old roof.

A rooftile, from a very old roof.

I’ll start with this rooftile – it’s classic L-shape and rather imperfect matrix are immediately recognisable as Roman, and in fact this could well be my first ever Roman find. I picked it up when I was about eight and for a long time was the pride of my shelf-of-very-old-things when I was a kid. It comes from Colchester, that noble capital of Cymbeline’s, and turned up in a playground that I happened to be at. (This piece was found on the same day that I picked up a beautiful piece of a coat of arms off of a Belarmine jar, which I have not seen in about fifteen years and had hoped, in vain, would appear from the shed.)

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Then, from out of a plastic bag not far away, appeared these wonderful little shaped stones – several still with the white mortar adhering to one side – Tesserae. These would have once been a part of a very fine Roman mosaic since they were very small, very well cut, and made from stone rather than broken up tile or brick.

These will have been from one of my childhood trips to Caerwent, where there are more Roman finds laying on the ground than flowers.

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The fine-ness of the previous Tesserae was all the clearer when a second bag revealed these pieces, much cruder and therefore probably from a much cheaper mosaic.

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There was a lot of old pot in the shed. A real lot. These two above pieces were a particularly nice find, though, being probably 1st or 2nd century and fitting together.

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I am definitely giving the impression that my archaeological collections here started with the Romans – of course that’s not true, there are plenty of older things than the odd bit of Roman pot. (I’ve already blogged about that.) The above pieces are two lovely flints, probably Mesolithic or Neolithic, which came off of a spoil heap from some building works that I happened to do some climbing over as a kid.

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Some things were even older – and I did spend a few years when I was really young hunting for fossils. The above is one of my favourites and I actually thought I’d got it stored somewhere safer than down the bottom of the garden. It’s a fish head, and one of the finds that when I was about nine I was encouraged to send to a local museum along with some other things to get identified. I got a note back simply confirming that I had sent them a rock – apparently they weren’t particularly knowledgeable on fossils.

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And it wouldn’t be a post on fossils if an ammonite or two didn’t make an appearance, somewhere I’ve got a few fools gold ammonites that I picked up. Not in the shed though, so no photos of them here.

I suppose I’ll do a post on the medieval things I found next.

Adieu, happy Reader!

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