PAS 2021 year end review: artefacts

PAS 2021 year end review: artefacts

This week, I continue my review of finds recorded at PAS during 2021 that I hadn’t covered in my weekly review, perhaps because the images were not available at the time. Last week, I looked at coins and this week I am concentrating on artefacts. 

All of these are Finds of Note, with one considered to be of National Importance.

Featured Find

Flesh hook

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0
Object type: Flesh hook
Period: Bronze Age
Primary material: Copper alloy
Date found: 02/01/2021
Location: Grassington, North Yorkshire

A flesh hook dating to 1300 BC – 600 BC (mid Bronze Age to early Iron Age). Given the sharp spike at the end of the hook it is thought unlikely that it was used for the suspension of a vessel, eg a cauldron. Instead, a more likely use is to hold meat or fish while it is being dried or smoked. Only one other flesh hook appears to have been recorded on the PAS database. This find has been designated as of National Importance.

Selection of other finds

Photo: Surrey County Council CC BY SA2.0

Censer cover

A c11th-12th century censer cover in the form of a church tower. It would have covered a bowl, filled with incense. Very few of this style of architectural censer cover are known and it is a find of Regional Importance.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0

Ampulla of Our Lady of Reepham

Ampullas are one of the most common finds recorded at PAS. One side has the familiar cockleshell form and the other bears a letter R above what is possibly a lily-pot. It is thought that this refers to Our Lady of Reepham or Lady Richelde of Fervaques, the founder of the shrine at Walsingham. A find of County Importance.
Photo: Norfolk County Council CC By SA2.0

Iron Age Mirror handle

An incomplete Late Iron Age mirror handle. It has remains of a slot in the upper edge and stumps of missing integral loops to house the mirror, scraps of which remain in the slot. Is of Regional Importance.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0

Roman figurine of Mercury

Mercury, wearing a winged hat (petasos) and holding a purse full of money. The Roman name ‘Mercury’ is related to the Latin words for merchandise and trade (merx, mercari) and he was believed to be a god of traders and commerce. A find of County importance.
Photo: Hampshire Cultural Trust CC BY SA2.0

Book fitting engraved with “MAR”

A 14th or 15th Century book clasp, comprised of a box chape with a moulded quatrefoil boss from which emerges the neck, head and snout of a stylised animal. The dedication to Mary is unusual, most mounts are inscribed with some version of “IHC”. It is a find of Regional Importance.
Photo: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service CC By SA2.0

Sundial with a seal matrix

This pocket sundial, which dates to AD 1500 – 1700, is unusual because it comes with a seal matrix attached. Although there are other pocket sundials recorded on the PAS database, none have a combined seal matrix. It has been designated of County importance.
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