Wayland's Smithy Chambered Tomb - a scale model from the 1860s

Image: A scale model of Wayland's Smithy Neolithic Chambered Tomb, made in the 1860s by Alfred Lewis, and acquired by General Pitt-Rivers shortly thereafter. Pitt Rivers Museum Accession Number 1884.140.97

Among the material explored by the Excavating Pitt-Rivers project is a series of scale models collected by General Pitt-Rivers, some of which were made by him. The first models acquired by the General were made by Alfred Lewis in the 1860s, and included a series of sites in southern, western and north-western England. Dan Hicks published an account of one of these models - of Wayland's Smithy Chambered Tomb in Oxfordshire, and made with moss and cork on a wooden board - in 2011, in the inaugural issue of the Edgar Wind Society's Journal. You can now read the text for that short article on Dan's blog here: http://weweremodern.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/model-of-waylands-smithy-neolithic.html

Chalk carved figure from Bishopsgate, London

Chalk fragment carved in the form of a crucifix (or possibly a human figure with arms outstretched). Pitt Rivers Museum Accession Number 1884.58.54 
The Excavating Pitt-Rivers team completed the uploading of the photographs of the newly-documented archaeological objects from England, excavated or collected by General Pitt-Rivers, to the Museum database last week. This has enormously enhanced the documentation of the collection, and allows us to share images of the objects much more widely. We'll be posting a series of the documentation photographs of the more unusual objects on this blog in the coming weeks.  

Here is the first in this new series: a fragment of chalk carved in the form of a human figure: a crucifix, or possibly a figure with arms outstretched. It was found at Bull Yard, of Dunnings Alley on Bishopsgate in the City of London (EC2) on 16 November 1865. The Museum's accession book describes it as "Rough chalk carving of a crucified figure (no cross) on a block". 

We hope to be able to commission new professional photography for some of these objects through future projects. The object is now on display in the Court of the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Reverse of carved chalk fragment 1884.58.54
This is one of the earliest objects from early salvage or 'rescue' archaeology undertaken by Pitt-Rivers in London. It is unclear at present whether this is a 19th-century forgery made  for sale to Pitt-Rivers, or whether it is medieval in date.