KENT-66BBC9: A incomplete Post Medieval bone knife handle with geometric decoration.

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
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Unique ID: KENT-66BBC9

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A Post Medieval bone knife handle fragment with in situ iron rivet (c. 1500-1700 AD). The fragment is sub-rectangular and tapers towards the broken terminal, it is D-shaped in cross-section . The fragment consists of one hemi-cylindrical portion of an oval-sectioned knife handle, another fragment similiar to this one and the blade is missing.

It is difficult to estimate how long the original handle would have been as one end of the fragment is broken, although based on the tapering of the handle fragment, it is likely that the handle was not much longer than the present fragment. The break is old and uneven. The other end appears to have been the finished terminal of the handle as it has been shaped and polished to form a flat base, with a gently rounded edge bordering the outer surface of the handle. There is a small crack on the base which extends on the exterior and interior of the handle for approximately 20-25 mm, it seems likely that this was caused by a variation of humidity in the environment either before or after deposition.

The handle has been decorated with an incised geometrical pattern that divides into three panels running along the length of the handle, each separated with a straight vertial groove. The central of the three panels has been filled with ten groups of three slightly diagonal grooves, towards the base of the handle, there is an iron rivet on this panel. On the left of this central panel, there is a collum of cross-hatched grooves. The panel on the right of the handle, has approximately fourteen diagonal grooves.

MacGregor (1985, 170) notes that such cross-hatching design is commonly encountered in knife handles from the Post Medieval period, as it serves both a decorative purpose and a functional one, as it improves the grip of the handle.

On the reverse of the fragment, the interior of the handle is flat and towards the base of the handle, there is the reverse of the iron rivet visible on the exterior, this area is orange and brown with corrosion. Overall the fragment is cream/ light brown.

It measures 63.5 mm long, 21.0 mm wide, 7.7 mm thick and weighs 8.8 g.

Comparable to several objects recorded on the PAS database; LON-F004E6, LON-281621 and ESS-D218F6.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1500
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 63.5 mm
Width: 21.1 mm
Thickness: 7.7 mm
Weight: 8.8 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Caroline Chestnutt
Identified by: Ms Caroline Chestnutt

Materials and construction

Primary material: Animal skeletal material
Manufacture method: Hand made
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)
District: Gravesham (District)
Parish or ward: Shorne (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TQ6972
Four figure Latitude: 51.4218179
Four figure longitude: 0.42925577
1:25K map: TQ6972
1:10K map: TQ67SE
Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Metal-detecting.

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: DUR-2FA083
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An incomplete bone knife handle of the Post Medieval period (AD1500-1700). The object has a rounded start and is sub-rectangular in shape, ta…
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Find number: ESS-D218F6
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A fragment of a Post Medieval worked bone knife handle dating between 1500 - 1700 AD. The fragment is one half of a handle that would half be…
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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