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Ear, ear! What's this peculiar object from Craven Museum?

Ever wondered how medieval Craveners kept themselves groomed and pristine?

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Craven Museum & Gallery has just acquired a peculiar object that was used much like a modern day cotton bud, to clean dirt and wax out of ears.

The item was found by a metal detectorist near Ingleton in spring 2014 and has been purchased for the museum by the Friends of Craven Museum. The small 'earscoop' measures just 3cm in length, is made from silver and is from the 1500s, around the time that Henry VIII ruled the country.

"We are incredibly happy with this quirky little acquisition," said Martin Wills, Museum Manager. "It gives such an interesting insight into how people in medieval Craven thought about how they looked.

"We usually receive coins or tools from this period, so we know how people traded or where they worked, but I personally have never given a thought to medieval personal hygiene! This object shows how much thought and effort must have gone into looking good and feeling clean."

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Bryan Morgan, Student Placement at Craven Museum from Bradford University, with the medieval earscoop

The object is currently on display in Craven Museum and Gallery, as part of their People's History of Craven in 25 Objects display. The museum has recently launched a project to tell the story of Craven since its earliest settlers 11,000 years ago right up to present day. Other objects include Neolithic tools, Roman jewellery, civil war armour and Tour de France memorabilia.

"We have selected 24 objects from the museum's collection that represent Craven and its people through the ages, but also show how important Craven has been on a national scale," said Martin.

The museum wants the 25th object to be suggested by the public and is asking for people to get involved with its selection.

"We want people to suggest what object could best represent the Craven district today; we will then choose the best suggestions and put it to a public vote," said Martin. "The winning suggestion will be displayed in the museum."

All suggestions can be emailed to the museum at museum@cravendc.gov.uk, alternatively suggestions can be received by submitting a short form available in the museum.