Fortunately, I warned you this blog would be about the miscellany cluttering up my mind. Some of my more dramatic miscellany is a collection of four little items with (possibly) deep historical significance. This is for the record, so somebody knows what they are when I kick off:
1) A seashell. I don’t know the type, but it’s one of those elongated snail types, the kind I’ve seen as pendants on “mound builder” images with a lengthened bottom and belled top. I will boldly admit that I stole it from the pre-Columbian shell-heap called Turtle Mound on Florida’s Atlantic coast. About 40 years ago—so maybe past the statute of limitations? The point being that this modest little seashell is at least 500 years old.
2) A Roman coin. I found it in 1967 in the recently turned dirt in the yard of our new little townhouse in Ann Arbor MI. I’ve since read that such anomalous Roman coins have turned up all over the Americas and in particular at several sites across the Midwest. I’ve never had it studied to find out which Emperor is shown on it, but obviously it must date before the fall of Rome. So maybe 1700 or 1800 years old?
3) A fragment of a tiny (about 2 in.) white porcelain figurine, a sexless torso with head and extremities broken off. I found it in 1984 on the wild slope of a small hill near La Cienega, New Mexico, which hill I’ve since learned sports ancient stone-works on its summit. That fact alone is intriguing as the historically known early inhabitants of this locale didn’t generally build in stone, but in adobe. Also, the artifact shares nothing stylistic with local traditions. Instead, it has a realistic, even classical perfection of form. I’ve tried to find some “expert” archaeologist to take a look at it but haven’t been successful. Delusional as it sounds, when I hold it in my hand, it whispers, “I’m thousands of years old.”
4) A Pre-Roman pot from Dacia. I have that provenance on authority of the guy who gave it to me, also about 40 years ago. And here’s the story. Back then when I had a big Victorian house in DC near Logan Circle, various guys rented rooms, and there were frequent, assorted house guests. One guest for some weeks was a Czech filmmaker from Prague named Jaroslav (who reminded me of Gerard Depardieu). When he was nabbed for selling dope on 14th Street, it came out that Jaroslav had smuggled in several items supposedly stolen from museums back home in Czechoslovakia. He’d managed to sell off all but one, the pre-Roman pot from Dacia, and by default that became my hostess gift. Make that maybe 2500 years old.
The pot is about seven or eight inches tall, in remarkably good shape, exactly like I got it 40 years ago, with a noticeable but not dangerous crack down from the lip on one side. I think these details are quite visible in the photos below.
What I would like to find is a collector or museum, (maybe even the original museum?) to take this little treasure and give it the visibility, respect, and preservation that it deserves. For goodness sake, contact me.