Archaeology South-East


Whitechapel Central: Winter fun

20 December 2019

As the festive season is upon us, our archaeologists have been dreaming of a White(chapel) Christmas - just like the ones Londoners used to know!

Postmedieval bone domino

Some of the Whitechapel finds have got us thinking about Christmas board games! Whether you love or loathe them, you can surely appreciate the above beautiful late post-medieval bone domino piece. The drilled holes could have been filled with paint or paste, although no traces remain of this now. The game of dominoes is thought to have been invented in China, eventually making its way to Europe in the 18th century.

However, don’t get carried away with your gaming like this poor chap, who is being thrown out of an establishment advertising GIN and BILLIARDS having gambled his money away. This plate is the third in a plate series on The Effects of the Bottle, warning of the consequences of over-drinking – something you may also resonate with if you like a Christmas tipple!

"the effects of the bottle" plate
THE EFFECTS OF THE BOTTLE (Plate 3RD) “Having gambled away his money at the c… ; he is turned out with empty pockets”. The missing text may read “card table”. The date 1849 is visible under the dog.

We hope everyone enjoys the festive season – we’ll be back in January with more exciting finds from Whitechapel Central!