…but this is pretty special in my eyes.
Last week I visited the remains of the Roman amphitheatre below the Guildhall Art Gallery in the City of London. It’s well worth a look (with free entry as an added sweetener), even if the illuminated graphics on the walls are more Tron than Gladiator (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve been already). In the corridor area just above the amphitheatre floor there are some display cases containing some of the more notable Roman, medieval and post-medieval artefacts recovered from excavations in and around the Guildhall site. What you see above is the jawbone of an ox, onto which has been carved an interlacing knotwork pattern (another eight similar carvings were found in the excavations). Dating from the eleventh century, it is all the more remarkable because the carving was done as a practice; presumably the craftsman’s intention was always to discard it when finished. As such its a precious insight into the intermediate stages of a manufacturing process being undertaken almost a millennium ago.