a. These are sword decorations.
b. We haven’t worked out what these are yet.
The exhibit I found most interesting was an apparently human skull. The info card even said ‘Human Skull,’ but I had my suspicions. No mention was made of whether the object had been found with the Staffordshire Hoard or somewhere else, like the nearby theatre for example. It seemed to me that the mouth contained rather too many teeth for a modern human, and the jawline looked suspiciously simian. And I never trust anything I read on cards these days…
And then it occurred to me how disastrous it would have been to have a DPhil archaeology student along for the ride. I would never have got her out of the bloody place, would I? I would have been trapped in the black hole that is the city of my birth for ever and ever, my brain developing warts and my lips becoming encrusted with dried froth, while she valiantly attempted to work out what the things that haven’t been worked out yet were. Fortunately, I was alone (as usual.)