As I have no doubt said before, looking at old images is a form of photographic archeology. You start out with the site; smoothed out and grassed over by age, and then slowly scrape away the layers of neglect to reveal a story from the past. Like any other archaeologist, we have our tools - our scanners and magnifying glasses, our on-line records - but at the end of the day we depend most of all on our eyes and our instincts.
As I went in search of a photograph for this week's Sepia Saturday - the theme of which is people framed by doors - I had high hopes of the faded photograph I chose. It matched the theme well, indeed for a moment I wondered if it could have been the same doorway as the one in the prompt image, but on closer inspection it wasn't. It was an old and faded photograph, however, and those are always the best for us photographic archaeologists. There was an intriguing notice in the window and the woman and girl would hopefully be identifiable.
But sometimes a bumpy field is nothing but a bumpy field. All my efforts to read the notice proved unsuccessful - my best guess is "Wax Stall" which makes little sense - and the two figures don't remind me of anyone in the family tree. The house, with its stone construction on a hillside, certainly appears to be resonant of West Yorkshire, and the fact that the photograph was in the Family Photo Shoebox rather than the Old Photographs Bought at Jumble Sale Shoebox infused it with genealogical possibilities. But those possibilities will have to lie dormant for a little longer. As I said, sometimes a bumpy field is nothing but a bumpy field.
To see what archaeological treasures are being investigated by other Sepia Saturday participants, go the the SEPIA SATURDAY BLOG and follow the links.