Camel for the Afterlife

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Andrew Tregear's Ancient Camel
What would you save? This Chinese dynasty camel. Before I bought it I’d never owned or touched anything so ancient. It was made in 600 AD so it's roughly 1400 years old. I think it's amazing, especially because it has survived for such a long time. Unlike many of the disposable things we create and consume today, things were made to last back then, and it clearly has!
What’s its story? I’ve had it for about 20 years. I bought it at an antiques fair in Bath, Somerset. It was on a stall that sold lots of Chinese artefacts that were found in a shipwreck. It is a grave good. These were items buried with people as a symbol of something that they would need in the afterlife.

 

As a child I’d always been fascinated with Ancient Civilisations and Archaeology so that’s what drew me to the stall. And I chose a camel out of all the items because they are my favourite animal. I like them because they are grumpy, and they spit! Apparently, a bit like my personality…

How would you feel if it got destroyed in a fire? Gutted.  Because not only would I have lost a valuable object, but history would have too. It can never be replaced as you can’t just go out and buy a new one. There are of course still grave goods like this available, but over time they become rarer and rarer. Which is why I think it deserves to be saved from a fire.
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