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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Digging Up Treasure

On a day when, in the Christian tradition, focus is on the interment of something precious, I am intrigued to find a story about buried treasure. Some guy in Austria discovered a big cache of centuries-old jewelry in his backyard. There's not much in the story about the actual provenance of the stuff, ornate rings and brooches and belt buckles. The "who" and the "why" are TBD, but the historical antiquities people are all excited about the "what." How the stuff got there is a mystery.

The story triggered a memory. When my son was about eight years old, I gave him stash of old costume jewelry (I hope), that was my late mother's and my somewhat Victorian aunts', and broken stuff I never wore any longer. I put it in a small chest so he could play pirate games with his plastic sword and spade (but no rum). He took it quite seriously. After unstringing all the beads, faux (I hope) pearls and gems and filigree findings, he buried the chest somewhere in the vast wild backyard, never to be found again.

Now, I sometimes wish I had some of those old pieces for projects, but alas, they are gone forever. That backyard, decades and a continent away, has long since been turned into a parking lot. I've often wondered if some backhoe operator turned up a chest of odd beads and things and wondered, "What the...?" Did he take them to his girlfriend? Did he put them in the trash? Did they just get plowed under and paved over? And now I wonder, was that find in Austria just some little kid's pirate game? Was his mom pissed at the loss of the family jewels?

Who knows? In the end it doesn't matter. But, in my case, I do hope all the stuff was faux. Or, in 650 years, someone is delighted over a strange archaeological find in suburban Pittsburgh.


sybil law said...

Wow! That's pretty awesome! I wish I could find something in my backyard!

baroness radon said...

Keep an eye on Gilda and your jewelry box...she seems to have pirate potential!