A Roman well was discovered in Bretton during an archaeological dig. The well was lined with thick stone slabs leading archaeologists to believe the well was probably special to the people who used it.
There were many things found in the bottom of the well. These included shoes, nails and animal bones. They also found three pieces of tree bark, birch tree bark to be exact. The bark was neatly folded up and appeared to be placed in the well deliberately, but what was it for? When a specialist saw the folded bark she described them as looking like curse tablets. Curse tablets were often pieces of bark or lead where people wrote a nasty note in the hope of cursing someone. They were folded up and thrown into water where they believed the gods would read them and act on the curse.
Unfortunately, there are no signs of writing or scratching on the bark that would indicate they were used as curse tablets, but they had been sitting in the well for over 1600 years! They could have been folded over food as an offering to the well, or used as a container as birch bark still is today. There is, however, something exciting about discovering a potential angry curse from 1600 years though and we can only wonder at what could have been written on there and who was being cursed...
Image by Capri23auto at Pixabay