Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta ring. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta ring. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 19 de mayo de 2016


   It had been discovered in a field, only some months ago, by a farmer named Enrico who had been plowing the ground in order to expand his carrot crop. He had been doing it manually instead than with a machine because he was testing the new piece of land he had bought. It was something of a lucky decision. If he had used any big machinery, he would have destroyed hundreds or maybe thousands of years of history.

 Enrico cleaned the shield with care, only using his hands. The state of the piece was amazing: drawings could still be seen on it, as well as some marking done by the edge. The farmer called the museum in Florence and they came to pick up the piece in a matter of hours. They also decided to ask Enrico if they could check his land for more objects and he agreed. He wasn’t going to use all the new land just yet, so the archaeologists could do whatever they wanted where he had found the shield.

 The object was put in a Styrofoam casing and transported to the city, to Florence, where experts would check its state and would determine where it came from, what it was exactly and when it had been used. Every single test available was going to be done to the shield because that’s what they did with every single piece that they recuperated. They would also clean it thoroughly, and put it somewhere in the vast collection of the Museum of Archaeology of Florence.

 The testing began at the same time a small team of people arrived at Enrico’s land. It lasted for several days, time in which many other objects were discovered in the dirt: there was a chest protection with the leather strap still attached to it, a golden ring made of gold and a dagger with an amethyst in the middle. They were very well conserved and the people that had unearthed them were really glad they hadn’t been affected by centuries of rain and earthquakes and all other natural phenomenon that affected the region.

 In the museum, they determined that the objects came from the times of the Roman Empire. By past data, they knew there was no city where the objects were found, so it had to be a camping site or a battleground of sorts. The objects appeared to be related somehow: the chest protector and the shield were used commonly by soldiers or even gladiators. The dagger also fit in there nicely. But the ring was the one thing that seemed out of place.

 No gold mines had ever existed in the region. And even if it had been made in another territory, only rich men and women were able to have such nice things. But not a soldier and that’s what the rest of the objects were suggesting the owner was: a simple soldier, maybe battling an enemy or just camping by a forest. The excavation of the site was ongoing.

 After restoration, every single one of the four objects looked as it had just been made. It was amazing. Some thought the dirt of the place they had found them all in was very special and capable of changing without deteriorating any type of material. The leather, for example, was moldy and about to break in some parts. But it was cleaned with care and then it looked almost new. The museum was expecting to find more objects in the area before organizing a special exhibition for the pieces.

 Almost six months after Enrico had found the shield, a group of college students that helped in the excavations, found another dagger and two skulls. The rest of the skeletons were discovered in the following days. It was amazing for every single person involved because the place was telling a story and it was telling it slowly, with mystery and even a little bit of drama.

 The skeletons were not complete but most of the bones had been recovered. They were reconstructed in separate tables in the museum and the bones were cleaned carefully in order to do a full testing of every single one of them. They also cleaned the second dagger found, this one missing the jewel that should have been right in the middle. It was impossible to know if it had been an amethyst or not. Maybe that was a small secret that the ground would choose not to disclose.

 When the skeletons were finally reorganized and tested, it had been determined that both bodies had been man, probably in their late thirties. One of them was missing at least three teeth. The other one had week bone structure in one of his arms. Both, however, had evidence of having being stabbed in the chest, probably causing their deaths. The entry of the daggers had been so violent, they had almost sawed some of the rib bones.

 What was strange was the fact that the daggers had been extracted after the first and, probably, only blow. Maybe they had been fighting alone, away from the main conflict and they had just realized they were exactly the same strength, they realized they weren’t going to be able to overcome the other one so they decided to go for the daggers and each had stabbed the other in the same way. Maybe it was a way of dying honorably… It seemed odd anyway.

 The skeletons were also introduced in the plan for an exhibition and the city of Florence had decided to go ahead and organized, even if the amount of objects was not as abundant as it would have been desirable. They trusted new discoveries to be made in the time they would take to organize everything. And they did right.

 Just before the excavation site turned one year old, a young archeologist name Camilla discovered the remains of two sets of sandals, as well as a leather pouch filled with coins. Inside the pouch, which was not as well conserved as the rest of the objects, was also a key that had a very small inscription in Latin.

 The first person to see the key, besides the young woman, was an expert in the museum that was very well versed in the language of Ancient Rome. And he was very amazed to realize what the key said: VOBIS IN PERPETUUM, which means “yours forever”. The key and the coins were, as predicted, of the same time that the bones and the rest of the objects. The story had turned much more interesting. What did that key open and why the inscription?

 The excavation went on for another six months but nothing else was discovered in there. It was as if those two men had been alone, very far from any other group of people, maybe sharing the money they had in order to go somewhere else. Many experts investigated old maps and discoveries made all over Tuscany and realized there was an ancient road that passed near the site and served merchant that wanted to take their good from the coast and back. So maybe the two men had been looking for a way to go there, to the coast.

 Others thought they were actually going to Florence, or Florentia as the romans called it. Some even dared to say that the two men had no intention of moving anywhere. Maybe they didn’t even know what their next step was. Anyway, none of that gave light about what the inscription in the key meant and why they had stabbed each other to death, presumably.

 The museum exhibition took place almost two full years after the first remains had been found. The excavation site was closed but the farmer never used it, deciding to excavate himself from time to time, as a hobby. The exhibition was complemented with other objects of the time, in order to illustrate the era and the way people lived. But at the center of it all, there was a big class casing with the skeletons lying there and even animated versions of how the two men would have looked like.

 The key was put in a casing above the bodies. The small object appeared to float over them and the inscription was written all over the walls and the exhibition asked every visitor to give their interpretation of the words. Maybe they would see something the experts had not seen. Maybe new fresh minds would be necessary to resolve a mystery of one thousand years. Or maybe, just maybe, some things deserved to be kept secret forever.

lunes, 24 de agosto de 2015

The ring

   Linda Fox loved to imagine what had happened in the places she cleaned up in the mornings. She usually did ball rooms and other big places but sometimes even big country houses or big rooms in huge apartments. She had learned pretty soon that some people have too much money and also too much time on their hands. She was never there once the music was playing or the guests were arriving but she could picture everything with only cleaning the places. She had learned through her senses the differences between an expensive wine and a cheap wine and between a good perfume and a bad one. Of course, she was no definitive professional on the matter but she felt she kind of knew the people that had been there by only staying in a room for a while.

 She had stumbled into that job after looking for many months. She had been laid off as a secretary on a big firm and, since then, no one would hire her. Linda knew this was because of her age. Not many companies wanted to hire women over forty and she was really lucky to have found that cleaning job. At least she didn’t have to do it on the street or every single day in a house where they would probably not even look at her. In this job, she was called two or three times a week, never more than that and it would always be to clean up places were the rich and famous went. No frat parties or middle class parties with alcohol all over the floor. No, this people were the elite but the elite had no idea how to clean a place up and that’s when they came in.

 Linda would come in with two other women, also aged over forty. And they would just start to clean up: first they would pick up the garbage from the floor, they would put away tables, cutlery and other things might slow down the mopping of the floors. Depending on the surface, they would clean it again with products that left everything smelling just perfect. Normally, they would spend at least three hours there. The three women were very thorough and checked every corner until the venue was even cleaner than before the party or event had taken place. No one would congratulate or anything after that. Their boss would pay them cash and that was it.

 It wasn’t the best job in the world but Linda knew it was the only job she could have gotten at her age. And even young people had trouble getting work so she had to be grateful. Besides, it paid well to service all those rich people. She never saw one of them but she knew they would pay through the nose just for someone to do something they would never do. When cleaning. Linda always loved to imagine she was one of the guests. Of course none of them would have to pick up the trash or mop the floors but her imagination was not going to limit itself because of that. The other women, she knew, did the same thing. After all, they knew they would never have something like that.

 One day, when cleaning a beautiful room in a country house about an hour away from the city, Linda found something very special. It was a ring and it had fell beneath the floorboards. She could see it there, shining beneath her feet as she picked up several papers and plastic plates. She looked at the other too, who were cleaning other points of the room, and tried to imagine a way to get the ring out. There was a small whole on one of the boards and she supposed the small object had fallen through there. She looked around to see if someone was looking at her and then pulled the small board, which was loose. She saw the beautiful shine of the ring and then took it. She looked at it as she had been hypnotized by it.

 It had a big diamond surrounded by smaller emeralds and rubies. They were all there; none had fallen to the ground when whoever had been wearing it had dropped it. One of the women asked Linda for the mop, and she almost dropped the ring to her surprise. She put it fast in her pants pocket and then behaved as normally as she could. Linda didn’t know why she had done that. She had found several other things in the past and had always given them to her boss in order for him to find its true owners. But this time, she wanted the ring for herself. She didn’t really know why, as he had no real chance to wear that ring anywhere and anyone that had any idea about her would know that she didn’t have the money to buy such a beautiful piece of jewelry.

 When work was over, the company sent a car to take them back to the city and she felt the trip lasted several hours but it was only one. She was the first one to exit the car when they arrived and to leave the place as soon as possible. Her work mates didn’t really think that was strange because she had always been like that, a little too private. They actually thought she was too good to even talk to them, or at least she thought that was the case. And both women had decided that they didn’t care about what she did. After all, they paid them when they all showed up for work and id what they had to do. That was it. They didn’t need more than that.

 Linda almost ran home. Once she was inside, she locked the door and closed her bedroom door behind her. She decided to change clothes first and then she would take the ring from her coat and watch it in all its glory. It was not as beautiful now as it had been before with the beautiful sunlight, but it was obvious the piece had an immense value, at least economically speaking. Linda then wondered who would drop such a beautiful ring to the ground and wouldn’t even mind to pick it up? Had it fallen from the finger of a very distracted or drunk woman? It was kind of fun to imagine all the stories behind the ring, as if it was a big adventure that she could imagining easily.

 She felt asleep wearing the ring and, at any moment, felt the urge to return it to the house where she had been cleaning or to her boss. The next day, she chose to take it to a professional jeweler to ask him how much he thought that ring was worth. He lied by telling him that she had just inherited from a dying aunt. The men checked it with various instruments for some time but finally stated that all the pieces were very high quality: the diamond was very clean and pure, probably African. The rubies and emeralds, although smaller, were also of a very high quality. Even the ring as such was made from very light titanium, which wasn’t used very frequently on rings. Linda left as soon as she knew more and also because she realized the man didn’t believe the story of her old aunt.

 Beside, she told her something she had not seen before. Inside the ring there was an inscription. It was a full name: John William Hammond. The men looked at Linda as if he wanted to know who that person was but she just lied again and said it was her aunt’s husband. Then she took the ring, gave the man some bills and left in haste. She returned home and looked at the inscription closer. It had to be looked in a certain way but there it was. The name of a man in woman’s ring. So maybe this was a ring someone had used to propose marriage. Linda couldn’t believe how romantic her story turned out to be.

 She decided to find out about every detail she could about the owners of the house she had cleaned that day. Apparently the family that owned it also owned several vineyards and other types of crops and plantations around the country. But their most well known product was wine. She also found out that the eldest daughter had recently married to a man that owned half of the biggest retail company in the city. She found a gossip magazine with every picture of the vent. Surprisingly, it had taken place very recently, only a couple of days after she had cleaned up the country house and found the ring. Then, she looked for the name that was inscribed in the ring but that proved to be a bit harder. She had to go through various gossip pages on the Internet to finally find the name.

 Once she did, however, she gasped. John William Hammond was not who she thought it was going to be. Linda was already making him a banker or a renowned tennis player or even a movie actor. But no. John William Hammond was nothing more than junior lawyer in a firm that had helped of the vineyards through a rough time. Apparently, it was his team that had stopped a very large company from securing that particular vineyard. Apparently there was a huge problem with the land. But the man was just a lawyer and they only mentioned him in one article of an economic journal.

 His name was on a ring and then, again, Linda invented a wonderful story about him been an underdog in love with the lady of society. She thought that maybe they had had an affair but she had finally effused him in favor of an even better position and money. She had been the one that had chosen the easier road. Linda slept thinking of them without ever finding out the truth, which was a lot sadder but more real. But sometimes reality is not as important as the realities we can invent with it, even more when things have already happened and no one can change them.