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Good morning
This thread made me think of the modern day practice of sacrificing material objects and interring them in metal casing into the foundation of buildings. These "Time Capsules" are meant to communicate with our own future as an augury from the past. So really, how long has this ancient ritual persisted indeed?
Cheers, Kevin

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On Mon, 8/5/13, linda speight <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 Subject: Re: Foundation sacrifice
 To: [log in to unmask]
 Date: Monday, August 5, 2013, 5:46 PM
 
 Dear Ian
 
 Off topic a bit, but these ancient rituals continued far
 longer than we realise!  I did some research into witch
 bottles a few years ago and my father, who is in his  late
 eighties, remembers hearing people whispering about these
 when he was a child.  At the time I was doing the project I
 discovered that witch bottles and associated traditions had
 been transported to Australia and discovered in old houses
 in Sydney.
 
 There are examples in England of mummified cats etc. found
 bricked up in chimneys of old houses in England (see Ralph
 Merrifield 'The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic'....and even
 chickens...one example where the chicken had laid an egg
 after being bricked up in the chimney!   There is also a
 tradition of burying an old boot under the hearth or putting
 it up the chimney .......and I wouldn't be at all surprised
 if that tradition isn't still being practiced in rural areas
 of Britain.
 
 Sorry....a bit off topic....but interesting!
 
 Linda Speight
 
 
 
 
 
 
 ________________________________
  From: Ian Evans <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask]
 
 Sent: Monday, 5 August 2013, 4:28
 Subject: [BRITARCH] Foundation sacrifice
  
 
 Dear BritArchers,
 
 This is to ask if any of you have encountered examples of
 the foundation
 sacrifice of animals.
 I ask because I have been informed very reliably of the
 presence of the
 bones of a cat beneath the stone front wall of an 1850
 cottage in country
 Victoria.
 The find may be related to the building trade practice of
 concealing cats,
 garments and shoes in voids within houses and other
 buildings. But it
 differs in that this animal was placed in the trench before
 the foundation
 stones were laid.
 I think it is remarkable that such an ancient ritual
 survived until 1850
 and that it travelled around the world to provide protection
 to the
 occupants of a small house in the country.
 I’m not yet aware of other examples of such sacrifices in
 Australia but
 would be very interested to hear if similar finds have been
 made in the UK.
 
 Ian Evans
 -----------------------------
 Ian Evans, OAM, PhD
 The Flannel Flower Press & World of Old Houses
 (www.oldhouses.com.au)
 PO Box 591
 Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia 2482
 Phone/fax 02 6684 7677 (+612 6684 7677)