Wednesday, December 2, 2009

C.B.'s fork? spoon? knife?

The past few days in the lab we have been hard at work washing, rebagging, and cataloging the artifacts recovered from units in the area of the Swann foundation. So far the content of the material has been quite varied, with with everything from bifaces to modern junk. One of the nicer items taken from Stratum 2 of Unit 81 is this bone utensil handle. While we do not know if it was originally a fork, spoon, or knife, it was clearly very dear to someone, as suggested by the carved initials "C.B."

You may wonder why someone would carve his or her initials into the handle of a utensil...well, so do we! Perhaps C.B. labeled his spoon simply to mark ownership in a time when utensils were less common, or perhaps he was a frequent traveler who liked to keep track of his personal spoon. Since the intitials are not carved very neatly, I am not inclined to believe this handle belonged to a very wealthy individual who would likely have taken great care in personalizing an item, such as the wine bottle seal we found this year. Of course this is just speculation, as for all we know the owner of the handle could have carved his initials just for the heck of it...a motive that would be very difficult to discern from just looking at the handle!


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