Have you ever discovered anything hidden away in an old house or apartment? Have you ever stashed away something so you — or others — could recover it years later?
What stories have you heard about the discovereries of old things in buildings left behind in secret places?
In “The History Hidden in the Walls,” Caitlin Kelly writes:
“The practice of burying or concealing items in the structure of a house is called immurement,” said Joseph Heathcott, an architectural historian and urbanist who teaches at the New School in New York.
“It is actually an ancient practice that cuts across many cultures and civilizations,” Dr. Heathcott added. The most famous examples are artifacts entombed with Egyptian pharaohs in the pyramids, but he said that ritual objects have often been found in the walls of Roman villas and ordinary houses during archaeological excavations. “The history of Freemasonry traces its origins to the rituals of concealment by masons, sealing up secrets in their buildings,” he said.
Objects were often hidden away as a way to bring good luck to inhabitants. This was the case in Ireland, he said, “where it was common when building a home to bury a horse skull in the floor or under the hearth, a Celtic practice that dates back centuries. Sometimes it would be the entire skull, other times just the front section or the top without the lower jaw.”
In England and Ireland, it was also customary in many regions to bury dead cats in the walls or under floors of houses to ward off malicious spirits, Dr. Heathcott added.
Students: Read the entire article, then tell us:
— What can everyday objects from the past tell us about life long ago? What have people learned from uncovering items left behind, either intentionally or accidentally, in homes and buildings?
— If you uncovered an item stashed away long ago, would you feel a connection to the person who left it behind? How curious would you feel about the item you found and the person who used it? Would you want research to find out more? Why or why not?
—What items would you put in a timecapsule for future generations, and why?
For practical tips on making a timecapsule, see this Times magazine article.
Students 13 and older are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.Continue reading the main story
Essay about What I Would Place In A Time Capsule
555 Words3 Pages
What I Would Place In A Time Capsule
As the turn of the millennium approaches, the human race will continue to develop new technology and new ways of thinking. It is always enjoyable to take a visual journey back in time, to view what was considered advanced and what thoughts of future times represented. A time capsule stored with precious documents and possessions from a past era can serve as a visual and material presentation of what past times were like, and put in prospective the accomplishments that have changed human lifestyles for better or worse.
If I were invited to participate in the planning of a time-capsule, I would include items that depicted the present society's mood and pastimes. One
item…show more content…
Within the next ten years alone, computers will have evolved to what most of us can't even perceive now. By placing a top of the line computer system into our time capsule, we can provide our future generation with the acknowledgment of success and probably a little humor in the field of computers.
Maybe not the most advanced but the most commonly known media, the newspaper, is a gold mine of facts, stock quotes, and reports that are current and important. Including a current newspaper in a time capsule would give the future finders a look at many issues and conditions that are sensitive to society and change. Weather which constantly changes, and medical problems and breakthroughs that may be turning points in the human race would be interesting to read over and learn the origins of. Probably the most complex and controversial topic of all, politics is a main interest in the world. A look back at how the economy was run and comparing it to the present time would be an experience of a lifetime. I would choose a major publication such as the New
York Times or USA Today. This would provide the most complete and factual information for the future to diagnose and learn from.
Just as archaeologists and anthropologists have determined past lives and civilizations through discoveries, a time capsule can allow an easier route to understanding the past. Besides