Things have been a bit quiet lately because I’ve been off on my holidays. A week away in Ibitha to enjoy a bit of early autumn sun before we all contracted Seasonal Affective Disorder was a disastrous choice as it rained almost as much as in Manchester. But there are always compensations. A visit to the little museum in Ibitha town was a joy. The helpful staff there sent us off to another museum at Puig des Molins outside the town’s monumental defences where there were displays and an open air site – a necropolis.
There was a display of material from the religious site dedicated to the goddess Tanit at Culleram, Sant Joan de Labritja, in the north-eastern part of the island. In antiquity people had left hundreds of ceramic votives as offerings but the practice still goes on today. One of the display cases held a selection of the numerous offerings people are still leaving on the site. They include coins, pine cones, carob fruits, herbs, replicas of ancient votives and postcards. This modern observance of an ancient religious custom need not mean that visitors are worshiping Tanit any more than the offerings in the box in the Lindow Man exhibition means that all our visitors are practicing pagans but people do use this as a way of payiing their respects.
What is really interesting is that the museum at Puig des Molins thought it worthwhile to keep and display this sort of material. At the very least this provides another example of the leaving of offerings at a site or in connection with an archaeological discovery, which will be of interest when we come to write up the project early next year. Thankfully there is someone who has already expressed an interest in writing up the offerings in the exhibition.
You can see more of the images at my flickr photostream
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