There may be no better example of simple age creating desirability and research value than the Lloyds Bank Coprolite. A 1,200 year old, 7-inch fossil, it was discovered during an excavation for the York branch of Lloyds Bank in England, as one of many viking artifacts. What makes this item particularly prized is that it provides some of the best insight possible into the viking lifestyle.
Through the remnant, the relative diet and some common diseases for vikings have been positively identified. Positively, because of what the fossil is. Quite simply, it’s poop. 1200 year old poop, and very scientifically valuable.
The coprolite (ancient, dessicated human excrement) is the oldest intact example known to exist on the planet.
Well, not exactly intact.
It was put on display at York’s Archaelogical Research Centre along with many other items from the Lloyds Bank site and other sites throughout the city and nearby countryside. Because of its oddity, it was a matter of particular interest and was regularly shown to visitors. Then, in 2003, someone in a visiting group was handling the item when it dropped to the floor, breaking into three pieces.
A careful reconstruction of the feces was initiated, and after great effort the piece was once again placed on public display in 2008… this time in a protective case, and under constant monitoring at the Jorvik Viking Centre, a York area learning facility representing Viking life through mannequins and relics.
The display is NOT rendered with an associated mannequin.
Question of the night : Have you ever broken anything of value?