Just after Christmas, as part of an Irish Heritage Studies assignment, I had to go to a museum, pick out an object and compile a report.
This will be a pain in the arse, I thought to myself as the very lengthy and detailed assignment was read out. It was one, single spaced, A4 page and had lots of specific information on what the lecturer wanted.
Usually the assignments or essay titles are about two sentences long; Robert Frost Uses A Lot Of Nature As Symbols For Human Angst, Do You Are or Disagree? Something like that I usually offered up, nice and simple so it can be swallowed without chewing.
I don’t mind Heritage Studies as such, or going to the museum, but the course I am doing is tight when it comes to the timetable, it goes a little like this, lecture, lecture, lecture, lecture, lecture, EXAM. Lecture, lecture, lecture, lecture, lecture, ESSAY. And so on and on and on.
They are trying to finish it by mid-March. I don’t see that happening with the lectures that were cancelled because half the city was under water.
It is starting to show too, there were a little over 80 people at the start of the course and now there appears to be a little under 30 people, though since Christmas, the weather has been shit so a lot of people could not show up. Maybe they are following via online notes and lectures. I don’t know, or care.
So I went to the museum, I picked an Early Bronze Age funerary pot, it was a Tripartite Bowl Food vessel which was found in a grave in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland, basically these pots or vases were found in pre-historic graves in Ireland.
Food was often put in them, perhaps a belief that the dead needed food on their journey or maybe the deity they believed in accepted food as an offering, it’s anyone’s guess.
There are no written records from this period in history, so all we have are the pots and things they made.
As I was looking at this funerary pot, examining the grooves, the cracks and the little dents that somebody had made with their bare hands thousands of years previously. Some man or woman. (I think it was a woman. It was a very sexy pot. I mean just look at it) spent hours making this and decorating it, and most likely they were making it in a time of grief. Someone had died, and they made this for them around 2,500 B.C.
And there I stood in the year 2014, in a museum, taking photographs on my mobile phone in the No Photographs section of the museum, thinking; my ancestors made that. There it stood in front of me like a handshake across thousands of years.