Flesh hooks

The hooked portion, with either a single or double prong and mounted in a T-piece, has a tapering socket (with rivet-hole) to receive a wooden shaft. A bronze tube prolonging the socket, to enclose the shaft, is rare (see 1856 12-22 1).

Example = http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=814326&partid=1&searchText=flesh+hooks+bronze+age&numpages=10&orig=%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database.aspx&currentPage=1
Date = 1000-900 BC
Distribution = so few have been found it is impossible to see any logical distribution pattern

Very few of these objects, called flesh hooks, have been discovered. It has been suggested that they are ceremonial objects used for prodding animals. However the most popular suggestion is that they are used in the serving of food perhaps to pull chunks of meat out of stews or off joints. Some flesh hooks such as the example from Dunaverney in Northern Ireland, are decorated and this enforces the idea that these were luxury objects linked to prestige and a public display of wealth and power.


  • Bowman S.; Needham S, The Dunaverney and Little Thetford Flesh-hooks: History, Technology and their position within the Later Bronze Age Atlantic Zone feasting complex., The Antiquaries Journal, 87, 2007
  • O'Connor, B. (1980) Cross Channel Relations in the Later Bronze Age. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports S91