Source/Archive record SYO1931 - Judge's Lodging Witch-Bottle 16th and 17th century context

Title Judge's Lodging Witch-Bottle 16th and 17th century context


In 1983, pre-empting plans to extend the 18th Century residence The Judge’s Lodgings in York archaeologists were asked to excavate the grounds of the property, hoping to find evidence for the church of St Wilfrid’s, or a part of the Roman fort. The excavation revealed layers of disturbed material, which included what the archaeologists believed to be rubbish produced from the 1715 construction of the house. Beneath these 18th Century layers was a section of dark soil, described by the excavator as garden soil. This contained a complete mid-16th Century stoneware jug with its cork still attached. Post excavation analysis has revealed that the jug was used before deposition as a form of apotropaic charm, known as a witch bottle. The bottle, a 16th Century stoneware vessel, contained copper alloy pins of the 17th Century meaning the bottle was an antique even when it was used for its final purpose. Following scientific analysis on textiles in the bottle it is believed that urine may also have been present. The following report will focus on this artefact within the context of the 16th and early 17th Centuries.

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Record last edited

Feb 9 2017 10:31AM


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