Inappropriate Vessels & Food Presentation




Tom Davie, an artist from Oklahoma, has repackaged food into transparent glass bottles. It looks surprisingly revolting. Perhaps it is only highlighting how disgusting processed foods are, but there is a frisson between the form of the bottle and the understood contents. This kind of art is fairly typical of remix culture, but it still makes me wonder…

GRCA 62460
Grand Canyon Tusayan Grayware Pottery, by the Grand Canyon National Park Service

…would what have looked absolutely disgusting and inappropriate in this pot, for example? I’m not a ceramicist and I have a tendency toward pragmatism that can be hard to suppress. I took it for granted that vessels, being useful things, would be used for miscellaneous foods. Sure, some vessels could ONLY be used for corn, or wine, or some such–we can tell that through paleobotany and isotopic analyses. But what if something is put in them that is wildly inappropriate? Amphorae full of…goat meat? Willow pattern teapots filled with creamed corn?

I guess it’s asking a bit much of archaeological interpretation to try to think about things that were NOT put into pots.


Archaeology on Etsy

For the uninitiated, Etsy is a website that hosts listings from people who sell their own creations.  I’ve bought a few things from various sellers, mostly for Christmas gifts.  I am not much of a craftsperson myself, beyond making mudbrick or taking classes in blowing glass–generally inspired by archaeological research (with a touch of pure dilettantery).  Etsy has grown in leaps and bounds, probably caused by the upswing in DIY/Maker attitudes and the economic reality of recent years.  Last September Regretsy popped up in response to some of the more horrific crimes against crafting, much to the collective delight and mortification of the internet in general, and my friends in particular. I still have hardly ever laughed as hard as I did when I first saw the Rasta Centurion macrame mask or the Handcrafted Placenta. Naturally, I wanted to check out some of the archaeology offerings.  It also helps that I am currently heavily medicated to fight off a raging flu.  Anyway, while I’m not even a tenth as funny as the lady over at Regretsy, I thought I might share a few of my favorites.  The images are linked to the Etsy sales pages if you are tempted by any of these fine offerings.

The Archaeology Trowel Necklace, Egyptology Edition

Here’s a helpful shot of it in action, along with a suggestive dog motif:

And for the archaeologists who have retired from the field, a way to recycle your trowel:

Unique Mosaic Candle Holder by ClowerCottage

Ever wonder what to do with all the uncatalogued pot sherds you (hopefully don’t) have hanging around your house?

"Blue Shard Blossom Stained Glass Flower"

Some archaeology “inspired” arts and crafts:

1 sheet of handmade paper with primitive caveman hand print - $2 each
Anubis, here to welcome you into the underworld...or the tub.

All that said, there is also some pretty kickass stuff on etsy.  Try whipping one of these babies out next time you are in the field:

Blacksmith Forged Hand Trowels

Hand forged out of railroad spikes! Now that’s tough. But if you’re looking for something a bit more delicate:

Hand Trowel Sterling Silver Charm

I’d like to think that I’m not nerdy enough to wear this…but I’d be sorely tempted, I have to admit. If you’re after something to wear for your bouts of experimental archaeology, you could do worse than this complete set:

Halstatt Period Jewelry Set

Caern Crafts has some serious skill and attention to detail. They also have some torques and brooches worth checking out.

Finally, there’s just something so adorable about a dollhouse sized amphora:

1 inch scale amphora

I’d love to see what other people can manage in the hallowed halls of Etsy.  Send me a link to anything good!

%d bloggers like this: