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Holy stinky barrels of Medieval Danish shit!

Doing a big urban archeological dig in Copenhagen, when they turned up these priceless artifacts. Yes, those are huge barrels of 14th Century human shit. And yes, apparently they do still stink.

Before they were used as latrines, they were used for storing other things, so archeologists hope to learn a lot from those barrels. Some very unlucky undergraduate is going to have a memorable job prepping them for inspection, I tell you what.

We went to a lecture the other night on the vanishing trades of Kent and Sussex (segue: barrel making). Most of them involve wood. This is the woodiest part of England and trees have been grown very much as a renewable resource here for millenia. Harvested, mostly, by pollarding and coppicing.

The problem with wooden wheel making, basket weaving, barrel making and the like — they’re hard to master, incredibly physical, and nobody in his right mind would pay a living wage to a smart guy for hand weaving a freaking basket. So a lot of that is inevitably going to be lost.

Which is a pity. Fun fact: a tree that is pollarded once and then left to go natural will live another hundred years, or two. A tree that is continually pollarded at regular intervals is effectively immortal. There are trees in this county that have been perpetually harvested that are reckoned to be several thousand old. Think on that.

Right! Tomorrow, 6pm WBT, Dead Pool Round 61. Fred Phelps didn’t make it to the next round. His last act on earth was to deprive poor StPatrick_TN of a dick. Asshole ’til the end.

March 20, 2014 — 10:50 pm
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