This August I’ve been writer/blogger-in-residence at Museum of Cannock Chase, providing an outsider’s eye on all the wonderful and extraordinary things to be found inside the museum – and then flagging it up on a lovely new blog, which you can find here.
The idea of the new blog for Museum of Cannock Chase is to create a place where you can find out more about what goes on behind the scenes, and what it takes to manage a museum, day by day, within their lively and engaged community. In the short time I’ve been there, we’ve explored aged bicycles, the local mining heritage, pigeon-racing, behind-the-scenes in the Museum Stores, traditional Punch and Judy, which is not to mention the yellow feathers of Davy the Canary. You can find him – and follow him – @DavyTheCanary…*tweet*
The archaeology of poo was especially memorable – as part of a Horrible Histories day, Penny the archaeologist could be found in a tent in the Museum grounds, encouraging young and old to take a special interest in poo.
“Yes, the photo shows my hand,” she said fearlessly, “holding a 3,000 year old poo”. One small boy squealed and ran at this point, but others crowded in, agog for poo.
“Pick a poo!” said Penny. And explained how archaeologists are never happier than when they’ve found a midden, because poo can tell us such a lot. If you find seeds in there, you know what the people were eating, at that time, in that place. If there’s sweetcorn husks, then you’re probably in Mexico, with the Aztecs. Bits of stone in your chosen poo, and you’re looking at a Viking sample – they ground their wheat in stone querns, and didn’t sieve it for tooth-breaking grit.
I can’t think why this was so popular.