Unstoppering a 17th-Century 'Witch Bottle'

Tuesday 18 May, 13.00 - 14.00 


Presenter Raksha Dave will be broadcasting live on Facebook from the Pitt Rivers Museum, as a team of archaeological experts unstopper a 17th-century 'witch bottle'.

'Witch bottles' is the name given to 17th-century glass and stoneware vessels believed to have been used as the containers of a 'prepared cure' against bewitchment. Their contents most commonly include pins and nails, but sometimes nail clippings and hair from the afflicted individual. They have been found placed in hearths or beneath the floors of present-day historic buildings, churchyards, ditches and riverbanks or are recovered from archaeological sites. More information about witch bottles can be found at Witch Bottles Concealed and Revealed, the project being undertaken by the team behind today's event.

The bottle that will be opened at this very special event was found in 1893 from what was thought to be the courtyard or garden of the former Duke of Norfolk's Palace in Norwich. Whilst it seems to have been opened sometime after its discovery and the contents noted, it was subsequently re-sealed.

Want to know what's inside? Join us live at https://www.facebook.com/pittriversmuseum/posts/4146316748722516 to find out!