figurines

All dolled up

To many people they're simply a nostalgic throwback to childhood. To some, they're treasures to be collected and curated. To others, they're objects of horror, a sentiment encouraged by tv, films and a particular island in Mexico. To archaeologists, they're the remnants of long lost childhoods, a personal and sometimes poignant reminder of the children that came before us. They make visible an aspect of life in the past that is so often hidden, in both the archaeological and historical records. They're also cute and creepy by turns. The following are some of our favourites from Christchurch. Enjoy!

This one seems disappointed.

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This particularly shapely calf comes with a lovely little ankle boot.

I love this one. She looks like a soothsayer.

I find this one unsettling. One of my colleagues thinks it's adorable. You be the judge. If you look closely you can see that the baby is holding a rattle

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More often than you might think, we just get a torso. Or an arm. A foot. A disconcerting remnant of somebody's once beloved toy. Sometimes, when struck by a combination of melancholy and melodrama, I find myself thinking 'archaeology: it's all just lost and broken things' and that sentiment never seems more apt than when you're looking at a bunch of broken dolls. Image: J. Garland.

Then again, sometimes you get the head of a figurine wearing a fantastic

Jessie Garland