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£1,438 pledged of £6,500 goal
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By Brian Hoggard
£1,438 pledged of £6,500 goal
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About

Apotropaios is the Greek root of the word 'apotropaic' which means 'evil-averting'.  This project is all about publishing the research I've been collecting on this topic since 1999, creating a photographic archive of material, and ultimately making the research available online for future researchers.  The main aim is to publish a well illustrated paperback and hardback book by July 2014.

During the last 500 years people have scratched protective marks onto their buildings and concealed dead cats, witch-bottles, old shoes, written charms and horse skulls in their walls and under their floors.  This was all part of an effort to ward off any bad energies that might be heading their way.  The particular focus was in warding off bad witchcraft but people often also feared ghosts, demons and fairies too. 

Bellarmine witch-bottle from Bedfordshire.
Bellarmine witch-bottle from Bedfordshire.

These objects have not been properly recognised in publications on the history of witchcraft and tend to be overlooked in studies of the archaeology of buildings, so publication of this research will fill a real gap in the knowledge and is long overdue.

My research has acquired well over 1000 different examples of this practice and the book will present this evidence in detail and seek to explain the practice.  

Dried cat discovered in the thatch of a cottage in Worcestershire.
Dried cat discovered in the thatch of a cottage in Worcestershire.

The success of this Kickstarter project will enable me to develop the photographic archive for the book, cover publishing costs and allow me to get the blog live which will follow my photographic research. Writing up this research will be the culmination of 15 years' work on the topic and it will be based on the largest survey of this material yet undertaken.  By supporting this project you will genuinely be part of putting something new out there. 

If the target amount is exceeded I would like to extend the project to include the publishing of an online database of finds which would be available to future researchers of the topic so they can develop new research projects using the same data.  With even more funding I could develop a package for museums which would enable them to display any relevant finds they hold with ease.  

Supporters of this project can receive a range of fantastic apotropaic objects with designs by me!  Badges, t-shirts, physical copies of the paperback or hardback and me coming to give a talk at the location of your choosing (may require travel expenses).  Of course you will also receive that warm, fuzzy feeling inside of having done something good and enabled a little more knowledge to be spread into the world.

20/07/13 NEW REWARD ADDED. For £50 or more you can get a weblink to a document containing the find data for the project which will be updated as new finds are uncovered. 

Daisy wheel mark from Somerset.
Daisy wheel mark from Somerset.
Shoe and patten which had been concealed in a cottage in Warwickshire.
Shoe and patten which had been concealed in a cottage in Warwickshire.

Risks and challenges

The risks are very small with this one. I have a large quantity of material which I've research over more than a decade sitting here waiting to be analysed and written up. I'm the author of two other books which have been published so I know what it takes to finish a book.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.51

    You will receive my utmost thanks for contributing to the Apotropaios project. Thank you!

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    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    You will receive a button badge (you choose which design) and my utmost thanks for contributing to the Apotropaios project. Thank you very much!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $15

    You will receive an awesome Apotropaios button badge (you choose which design), a signed article describing my research on the topic and you'll get a mention on the supporters page in the book.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $23

    You will receive three awesome Apotropaios button badges with different designs, a signed article describing my research on the topic and you'll get a mention on the supporters page in the book.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $30

    You will receive an Apotropaios t-shirt with either the horse skull, bellarmine bottle, or daisy wheel design (you choose). You will also get a mention on the supporters page in the book.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $38

    You will receive a paperback copy of the Apotropaios book (numbered and signed) and you'll get a mention on the supporters page in the book.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $45

    You will receive a fantastic Apotropaios t-shirt (you choose which design), three awesome Apotropaios button badges with different designs, a signed article describing my research on the topic and you'll get a mention on the supporters page in the book.

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    Pledge £40 or more About $60

    You will receive a hardback edition of the Apotropaios book and three button badges (one of each design). You will also get a mention on the supports page in the book.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $76

    You will receive a paperback copy of the Apotropaios book (numbered and signed), an Apotropaios t-shirt (you choose which design), three Apotropaios button badges with different designs and you'll get a mention on the supporters page in the book.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $76

    For this you will receive a weblink to a private location where a document (word, pdf, html, or other) containing the find records for the project is kept and updated from time to time as new finds are recorded. This will be e-mailed to you once the project has been published.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £65 or more About $98

    You will receive a very limited edition hardback copy of the Apotropaios book (numbered and signed), an Apotropaios t-shirt (you choose which design), three Apotropaios button badges with different designs and you'll get a mention on the supporters page in the book.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $378

    You will receive a very limited edition hardback copy of the Apotropaios book (numbered and signed), 3 copies of the paperback version (numbered and signed), 3 Apotropaios t-shirts (one of each design), lots of Apotropaios button badges with different designs and you'll get a very special mention on the supporters page in the book.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $755

    You will receive a very limited edition hardback copy of the Apotropaios book (numbered and signed), 3 copies of the paperback version (numbered and signed), 3 Apotropaios t-shirts (one of each design), lots of Apotropaios button badges with different designs and you'll get a very special mention on the supporters page in the book. In addition to this I will come and deliver a one hour lecture on the subject if it's local to Worcestershire (can travel anywhere if travel costs are covered).

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,000 or more About $3,021

    You will receive one of the first limited edition hardback copies of the Apotropaios book (numbered and signed), three of the first copies of the paperback version (numbered and signed), 6 Apotropaios t-shirts (two of each design), lots of Apotropaios button badges with different designs and you'll get a huge special mention in the preface and supporters page in the book. In addition to this I will come and deliver a one hour lecture on the subject if it's within the British Isles (can travel anywhere if travel costs are covered).

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    Pledge £5,000 or more About $7,551

    The first to pledge this amount will receive the first three limited edition hardback copies of the Apotropaios book (numbered 1, 2, 3 and signed), the first three copies of the paperback version (numbered 1, 2 and 3 and signed), 6 Apotropaios t-shirts (two of each design), lots of Apotropaios button badges with different designs and you'll get the biggest possible special mention in the preface and supporters page in the book. In addition to this I will come and deliver a one hour lecture with a long Q&A session on the subject if it's within the British Isles (can travel anywhere if travel costs are covered).

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Funding period

- (30 days)