Today’s image for Day 279 of the VM_365 project is of a copper alloy object that was excavated during evaluations at Ebbsfleet, Thanet in 1990.
Made of copper alloy or bronze in a mould, the object has broken above the rounded tip and would originally have had two projections on the underside – one now broken. The surviving projection originally had a hole pierced through it, which would have been mirrored by the one on the other side. This hole has been filled by the remains of a bronze rivet which was used to fasten something between the two projections.
A similar object was excavated from grave 116 at the Anglo Saxon cemetery at Buckland, Dover. The Buckland object is more complete than our example and included a hanging loop at the top which connected to a bronze girdle hanger by a thick wire loop. Evison suggests that bronze rivets would have fastened the peg-like projections to a wooden shaft which could have been anything from a weaving implement to a holder for a hone stone.
Evison, V. I. 1987. Dover: Buckland Anglo Saxon Cemetery. HBMC Archaeological Report no. 3. pp 117, 242 & 320.
Today’s image for Day 220 of the VM_365 project shows another of the Bronze Age hoards from Thanet, consisting of 181 pieces, weighing approximately 27.21 kg (60lbs).
A description of the Hoard was given by George Payne in Archaeologia Cantiana after it was passed to him by Mr W.H. Hills of Ramsgate. The hoard was found on a farm at Ebbsfleet near Minster sometime before 1895.
The objects include socketed axes, spear-heads, parts of swords and axes, belt fasteners or ‘bugle’ fittings, portions of a dagger, a knife, and a quantity of ingots.
George Payne suggested that ‘These objects formed the stock in trade of a bronze founder, who went about from one settlement to another casting implements on the spot and taking old worn and broken ones as payment for new’.
This interpretation persisted in the classification of hoards like this containing a mix of complete and broken objects as well as ingots of bronze as a Founders Hoard.
Today’s VM_365 image shows a skewer roughly fashioned from a small animal bone.
This object was found within a Late Iron Age hut floor at Ebbsfleet, Thanet in 1990. The hut floor was made up of a 15cm thick layer of flint pebbles which was covered with a deposit consisting of pottery dating to the late Iron Age, many animal bones, some of which had been roughly fashioned into skewers or awls, a clay spindle whorl and marine shells.
It is not clear what this object would have been used for. Perhaps it was used for extracting marine molluscs from their shells, perhaps it was used in some way during weaving, or perhaps it was a general purpose tool that could be quickly fashioned and used in a myriad of ways.