In 1836 a group of young boys discovered a group of 17 miniature coffins buried in a cave outside Edinburgh, Scotland
The coffins contain tiny dolls, each individually dressed, and the coffins all differ in their decoration. No one knows who buried them, when, or why.
“I was recently in Edinburgh for the really incredible Sensualising Deformity conference, and while there I was reminded of my one of my favorite museum objects, in the National Museum of Scotland: the mysterious little coffins of Arthur’s Seat.
In 1836, five boys were hunting rabbits on the north-eastern slopes of Arthur’s Seat, the main peak in the group of hills in the center of Edinburgh. In a small cave in the crags of the hill they stumbled across seventeen miniature coffins carved in pine and decorated with tinned iron. Carefully arranged in a three-tiered stack, each coffin contained a small wooden figure with painted black boots and individually crafted clothing.
What are these objects? Who made them and who buried them? And why? To this day, no one has any real idea.