Emotions, Identity and the Supernatural: The Concealed Revealed Project


doors open 6pm (event starts 6.30)


Owen Davies (University of Hertfordshire) and Ceri Houlbrook (University of Hertfordshire) will talk about their work on the Concealed Revealed project shedding light on the continuing relationship between objects, the home, and notions of ‘magic’ and the supernatural.

Over the years, post-medieval houses have yielded some interesting and mysterious finds. Old shoes up chimneybreasts; garments secreted away in roofs; mummified cats bricked up in walls; horse skulls buried under hearthstones. The nature of their locations confounds the theory that they were accidental or incidental deposits; it is much more likely that these objects were being deliberately concealed. However, very little appears to have been written contemporaneously about this practice, and so researchers can hazard only educated guesses as to its purpose. Why were these objects concealed? What were their concealers hoping to achieve? Owen Davies and Ceri Houlbrook have been considering these questions in their project the Concealed Revealed. By mapping the finds, critiquing the literature, and interviewing modern-day finders, they hope to shed more light on this enigmatic custom. Their talk will outline their work so far.

This event is organised by Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotion