"...of all the houses in which we have found shelter..."
Coming out of her shell...
Dr Axelle Amstutz from Plymouth University took these extraordinary photographs of a naked limpet. For some reason the creature detached herself and came out of her shell. She looks so vulnerable and exposed without her hard, protective covering. I wonder if she meant this to happen; maybe she was feeling sociable, outgoing, more extrovert that day or was the rejection of her self-made home a terrible, self-destructive mistake...?
A mollusc's motto:
"One must live to build one's house, and not build one's house to live in"
The reconstructed roundhouses at Castell Henllys with Adrian and Kennie for scale, 2021
The trouble with conducting this research is that I am starting to see limpet-shaped structures everywhere! These beautifully made, conical round houses have been reconstructed on the 2000 year old site of an Iron Age hill fort in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I like to think that the Iron Age inhabitants based their design on limpets found along the nearby shoreline.
The Limpet-Spiders of Unstan Chambered Cairn
I visited the remarkable Unstan Chambered Cairn in Orkney in January 2022 with archaeologists Dr Antonia Thomas and Dan Lee and a group of Contemporary Art and Archaeology students. We went in search of ancient graffiti but also came across a limpet offering which had been left by some earlier visitor wishing to honour this 5000 year old communal burial place. The shell, which had been carefully placed alongside one of the stone uprights had been adopted by two tiny spiders as their shelter which I disturbed when I went for a closer look.