NLM-7FA566: Early Medieval Whetstone fragment

Rights Holder: North Lincolnshire Museum
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Unique ID: NLM-7FA566

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

Lead and stone whetstone fragment. The broken end of a fine-grained grey layered stone, possibly a slate but resembling a 'phyllite', with a neatly-cut square section groove around its narrower end, and another at right angles to this on either side. The broken end of the hone has been sheathed in lead, which has held its parts together. The hone may have broken across the site of an original suspension hole. There is a probably drilled transverse hole in the end of the lead sheathing which would replace it. This is an unusual example of the repair of a personal hone so it could be continued to be carried and used after its breakage. The execution is atypically careful, and testifies to the esteem in which these small accessories were held.

The hone would originally have been of a tapered bar-shaped form and was sawn to shape; diagonal striations from this remain visible. Hones of this size were personal items to be carried and worn at the belt alongside the knife they sharpened. They might be supplied with a drilled suspension hole, or simply marked out for the purchaser to complete. True 'phyllite' hones came from Telemark in Norway, and were among the first imported whetstones of the Viking Age. A range of other banded and coloured stones were adapted for similar use, many coming from graves at Birka, and their fine appearance was as important as their usefulness as sharpening stones. These pre-date the mass marketing of whetstones or mullions of Norwegian Schist, which would come to dominate the English market for sharpening stones throughout the Middle Ages. Suggested date: Early Medieval, 900-1100. In view of the unusual evidence for its repair, this object is considered a 'find of note'.

Length: 25.2mm, Width: 11.2mm, Thickness: 7.8mm, Weight: 6.93gms

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: cf. Phyllite

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Scandinavian
Date from: Circa AD 900
Date to: Circa AD 1100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 25.2 mm
Width: 11.2 mm
Thickness: 7.8 mm
Weight: 6.93 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 7th May 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Martin Foreman
Identified by: Mr Martin Foreman

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NLM36288

Materials and construction

Primary material: Stone
Secondary material: Lead
Completeness: Fragment

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Roxby cum Risby (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SE9014
Four figure Latitude: 53.61482558
Four figure longitude: -0.64099692
1:25K map: SE9014
1:10K map: SE91SW
Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NLM
Created: About one year ago
Updated: About one year ago

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