Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Between sessions at Ortega Elementary yesterday a teacher, married to a geologist, brought this artifact to my attention and asked for help in identification.  Needless to say, she stumped this chump!  I have no idea.  I could make a few guesses, but what's better for WIIW than an authentic mystery? 

WHAT IS IT???


45 degree angle showing profile and top of stone artifact.

View of the top of the artifact.

Please post a comment with your best guess.


Last WIIW answer:

The artifact in question is a lagrimario.  According to Deagan's Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, Volume 2 (p. 101) the clear glass heart was possibly used as a receptacle for wept tears.  Break a Spanish senorita's heart back in colonial times and you could receive the vile vial!  The artifact pictured at left was found in St. Augustine.
Please comment if you know anything more about this Spanish Colonial custom!  I am curious at what age this was done, as tweens today might appreciate the drama of the gesture, but require a larger library as Google and Proctor Library are tapped out of resources.  Kathy's original source: Concepcion Alarcon Roman's 1987 publication Catalago de amuletos del Museo del Pueblo Espanol.  Madrid: Ministerio de Cultural.  (pardon omission of accents, not able to insert in blogger).



I want this book TODAY!!  Later won't do!

I'm afraid Agotago may mean sold out?

6 Responses so far.

  1. From the photo it looks like a stone that has been drilled at regular intervals. Is the stone pumice? Pumice stones are often combined with nail brushes. Might this be an early and much-worn example?

  2. Not pumice, maybe soapstone. Dot Moore today noted the paddle shape, much like wooden decorated ones to tranfer design on prehistoric pottery. The deep regular holes completely throw me.

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  4. I'm clutching at straws, but yours is a marine environment. If it was sandstone, it could be a "holystone" used to scrub the wooden decks of ships (they were called "holystones" because one had to kneel to use them). But the holes seem to indicate the presence of something projecting above the stone surface, which is why I thought of bristles. If the object was wooden I'd suggest it was for carding wool...

  5. Holystone, I like it! Definitely describes the stone with so many holes;) I could see it- see this one (halfway down http://bit.ly/jZkRyW )

  6. :-D I was so desperate to identify this that I hadn't noticed the pun!

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