Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Archaeology of Christmas: 2

Just time (there's always time) to check on the ongoing experimental archaeology project that some call Christmas. It's been two years since we last looked in on the project and things have, as expected, changed: clocks move on, artefacts multiply, stratigraphy builds.
The exercise in stratigraphical development for archaeo-historical magazines (2014) has come to an end, movement of the sofa in order to permit the annual insertion of a tree, has demonstrated that for this year the depth of paper-based stratigraphy was 1.86m.

Careful examination, excavation, recording and removal of layers have shown a well-preserved chronological sequence from BBC History Magazine (December) right the way down to the primary deposit, a copy of the Radio Times ('legendary double issue') for Christmas 2013.

A quick recalculation of time-depth, however, proved necessary due to a small intrusive pocket of non-archaeo-historical magazine publications preserved midway in the sequence (relating to the late summer months of 2014).

Hence the true depth of specifically archaeological and historic magazine related literature for 2014 was actually 1.78m, an increase of 0.14m on 2012-3 when the stratigraphic sequence was last measured.

Looking up, the relative dating of tinsel-installation now numbers 11 drawing pin holes per strategic coving placement, meaning it has now been just over a decade since the last major phase of painting and decorating.

Further afield, the annual movement of furniture has produced artefacts relating to the last celebration of Christmas, key find of which was the 2013 Waitrose Christmas 'bag for life' (other supermarket bags are available).

Whilst clearance of bookshelves produced a bumper crop of unused crackers

misplaced cracker 'gifts'

and a particularly fine example of displaced joke-related fun.

A full report on the comparison between 2013 and 2014 cracker-based gifts and the de-evolution of humour in the intervening 12 months is currently in preparation and will, it is hoped, be published in the New Year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year to you too Dr R. I hope that archeological based insights continue well into 2015. Live long and prosper !