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Unearthing the Past  by Bodkin 15 Review(s)
GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
Wow, Bodkin - I'm glad I helped inspire this. I really really enjoyed this and I hope you have plans to add to it. :-) I like how you showed that every artifact they found has its own story and that there are real people behind each one. It was wonderful to read.

Author Reply: Happy birthday, Gwynhyffar! Thinking archaeology and elves - and this just emerged. (The twins would like to point out that they haven't been taught proper dig technique and are no way comparable to Indiana Jones... They did take their finds to the closest thing to an expert, too.)

I imagine a lot of elves would have tried to conceal their treasures as they ran for safety here. Carrying food and clothing - and weapons - would be so much more important, but these sorts of things are part of your life and just leaving them would be hard.

I'm glad you liked it.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
What an interesting find these two have stumbled across. They work well together, I think. And they both see beyond the items as mere objects. I like the way that you have Elrohir think about the people and the poignancy of not coming to get reclaim their jewels and heirlooms, while Elladan sees the bigger picture of the history of his people. You have lovely pacing here – I really enjoyed discussion and the way they question things and try to figure it all out between them.

It’s an interesting thought that it’s easier to find bones than these mementos that belonged to people. It’s odd how objects can hold so much meaning. I love that they respect that and I thought their sensitivity to the whole place and to the memories that these items might have for others was a lovely – and elfy – touch.

Taking them to Galadriel was a clever idea. Seeing as how the Antiques Roadshow didn’t seem to be in town ;-) She immediately gives so much more meaning to these pieces by providing some of the story of the people. And I think it really gave more of an impact by having these belong to an “ordinary” person. After all, these were ordinary people, caught up in tragedy. I had to laugh at Elladan protesting that she was interested in things like mending! But how fascinating it would be to hear her story. If anything, it proves that you never know everything about a person’s life. Mothwen might be glad to have these treasures back but I think maybe Elladan and Elrohir will have got more out of this find. Galadriel is right that no matter what story an object might tell, it’s only the person who can tell the whole thing. I’m glad she’ll share her stories with her grandsons and that they’re ready now to understand. I particularly love the image at the end.

This is lovely, Bodkin. Lots to think about, for a short piece. I do love when you get these bursts of inspiration :-)

Author Reply: Thank you, Dot. This one just emerged almost fully conceived. Elrohir and Elladan do work very well together - and they understand each other so well, too. There must have been so many bones to be found on the battlefields of Middle-earth. I imagine they must have had their fair share of scattered belongings - but there is something about caches of buried possessions that suggest - I don't know - desperate times. Better for the twins to take them - respectfully - too, than leave them at the risk of being discovered by goodness knows who. And Galadriel - well, it she didn't know whose they were, she could at least decide what to do with them on a more personal level.

The twins are old enough to know that you don't have to be a Hero to have a story or two to tell - but maybe they haven't quite got to the level of maturity to realise that you can mend ellyn's ripped trousers and complain about the state of their sheets and still have a story to tell. (In which they would be like most males.)

So much modern archaeology is finding objects and then speculating. But elves have no need to speculate. They can actually go to someone who was there!

And then I was thinking about History Lessons - and how much more horrific the stories could be when told to fully adult warrior twins who understand the implications of the actions their parents and grandparents took. Perhaps Galadriel will let them see a little more deeply. Since they've asked!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
Lovely, Bodkin. And I see why you mentioned Nilmandra and Gwyn. It's odd how things that were even ordinary in their time speak to us so poignantly sometimes when that past is gone.

Author Reply: I was just thinking Gwyn and archaeology - and there Elrohir was, poking in the dirt! Often, actually, it's not the gold that is most moving - but gold has the merit of coming out of the ground looking just as pretty as it did when it went in.

Some while ago, they did one of these vote-for-the-best programmes about archaeological artefacts - and the one that came top was a collection of very thin wooden postcards that dated from the Roman period and were found in a ditch at (I think) Housestead on Hadrian's Wall. They had ordinary messages on them, like inviting someone to a party. And of the Mary Rose stuff, I think some of the most evocative are items like shoes.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
I love the archaeologist twins! And what we wouldn't give today to talk to people who lived thousands of years ago and could tell us what things were and who they belong to and what they meant. I bet Gwyn would like their help in the field.

Author Reply: It gives a whole new aspect to the thought of archaeology. Just look around you and find someone who was there. Primary sources available to everyone.

My old archaeology lecturer used to say that if ever archaeologists had no idea about something, they would say 'religious purposes'. But you couldn't get away with that in elven company!

ArmarielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
‘And cannot being part of history and being ordinary go together, my foolish ones?’

Yes, the most prosaic among us have buried treasures in their souls. A nice concept, indeed. And eye-opening too.


Author Reply: The most interesting history is generally the human (or, in this case, elven) part of it. And elves can actually go to those who were there and ask them about it! And, even if the twins know that (and they could hardly be surrounded by the likes of Elrond, Celebrian, Galadriel, Celeborn and Glorfindel and not know it) registering that even the elleth who folds their shirts probably has a story to tell must be ... yes, eye-opening is a good turn of phrase!

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