Today, I took some finds that have been in Mimi Lavie’s conservation lab at the Institute of Archaeology, at the Hebrew University. In addition to a nice assortment of metal objects from the various areas of exacavation this season, there was a very interesting find from Area F. From a Crusader period context we found several very well-preserved buttons, of a very special kind!
They consisted of what seem to be balls of organic material (seem to be some type of thread, perhaps flax) that were wrapped in a fine mesh of thread. This thread was comprised of both regular thread as well as thin metal (copper based) wires. Although we have to now check out these things more carefully, to identify the exact materials, these very interesting little objects appear to be buttons of a type that are known from Medieval and early Modern dress. In addition to the find itself, the very fact that organic finds were preserved for almost 1000 year is really fascinating!.
These finds clearly will have to be thoroughly researched, but in the meantime – this is quite fascinating. Perhaps, these are Richard the Lion Hearted’s buttons …. :-)