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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Standing The Test of Time

I was doing a little tidying and reorganising when I stopped for a moment to contemplate a basket I was packing.  You know, the oldest known basket fragments have been carbon dated to between ten and twelve thousand years old?  More than likely baskets were in use long before that but being organic  they deteriorated before we could get our 21st century, carbon dating hands on them.  
Baskets were the first containers long before Rubbermaid came along.  They came in natural, dyed, patterned, large, small, decorative and utilitarian, square, round and oval.  Many things could be turned into the useful basket.  Such things as grasses, reeds, strips of bark, willow wands and many other substances I haven't  thought of.  They were woven loosely to allow air to circulate around the contents or tightly enough to hold water.  They were constructed firmly enough to hold a child on a parents back.
The thing that is interesting to me is that the basket remains a useful and decorative item to this present day.  There is something about a basket that attracts us.  Possibly our 'cave man' genes kicking in telling us this is something we need to have.  I think you would be hard pressed to find a home that didn't have some form of at least one basket on premises....an example of human ingenuity that has stood and continues to stand the test of time.

18 comments:

  1. You are right. I hadn't thought about baskets in quite that way before - and now I am wondering what other items we have carried through time with us. Knives and diggers leap to mind but there must be more.

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    1. Shell or bone necklaces, carved dust catcher ornaments, animal skin rugs, the list is probably quite long.

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  2. I love baskets so much I don't have a single one, because once I start buying them, there'll be no end to it.

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  3. Oh, I have always loved baskets and have many of them all around my home doing various jobs such as holding the snack foods on the kitchen counter top, holding scrap paper on the computer desk, holding little odds and ends near my chair in the living room and combs and brushes in the bathroom. Some just sit in a corner and look pretty. Once I had a wall full of baskets that were the only decorations I could afford but that was decades ago. Is there really something special about baskets, or am I just a "basket case." Have a great day!

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    1. We did the 'wall of baskeets' thing too. Ah youth...poor but happy lol.

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  4. Now I am compelled to inquire of each of my friends whether they own a basket or two. I definitely have more than my fair share:-)

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  5. "Ever since I was a kid / I've been a brooding basket case." - of Montreal, "I Was Never Young"

    I don't own a basket. I have read a lot about what people have left behind, though, and it's tough for things to be preserved for long. The conditions have to be just right. Even stuff made of much harder substances than baskets aren't generally preserved.

    Baskets seem like they might have been one of those great steps forward, like stone-tipped spears, which almost every culture hit upon at a certain point in their development.

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    1. Imagine if man had never invented stone tipped spears but instead put all their efforts into basket making.

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  6. Like River, I love baskets. I have bought them, and been gifted them. When I moved, much of our lovely basket collection went to the auction. I still have two, one I bought, one a gift.

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    1. There's always room for one more basket lol.

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  7. None of my baskets are visible at this time. Filled with nonsense, they are packed away in the pantry. My favorite is a vintage picnic basket.

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    1. They may not be visible but they are working...fulfilling their purpose in life.

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  8. I must be the odd man out, here. I have a few but don't love them, as much as I want to. If I store stuff in them, the stuff falls through the holes. If I spill something on them, they can't be easily washed. They're awkward to carry and take up too much room in my shelves. But you are absolutely right about the wonder of the fact that they've been used for so, SO long and are still with us.

    P. S. Would you like me to send you a few?

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  9. Guilty here, there are several on the premises here :)

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  10. One never has too many baskets. At least that is what I tell myself.

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It's lovely to know someone else is out there. Please leave me a comment...pretty please.