Did you see the program on BBC called "treasures from heaven"? As I turned on the TV half way through I was delighted to see these little tiny parcels revealed from their "Reliquary" - the ancient art of christian reliques. These charms or totems (in effect) contained holy objects in order to be consecrated and deemed effective to be used for ceremonies or personal charms. The small parcels shown below were hundreds of years old and contain bone fragments or hair said to be from various medieval saints!
This is a new piece I finished yesterday based on my kinds of treasure. I love working on the plaster surface and it takes good old fashioned pen and dipping ink like a treat.