What is it? Number 10 - answer

We expect you recognised yesterday's artefact as a musical instrument of some kind and you are quite right. The above is most of what is referred to as a fipple flute. It has been formed from a sheep tibia, which is the most common bone to be used for these instruments. They were end-blown, with a block or fipple inserted at the upper end. Although quite rudimentary in design these are rare finds, thought to date to the Late Saxon period. Our example was discovered by Mike Wade who was cleaning a tray of bulk finds from Trench 20 in 2015. It had been overlooked as a small find due to lots of soil and mud adhering to it and hiding the holes. Interestingly, the Latin for ‘flute’ is tibia.

What is it? Number 10

Well the challenge today is probably an easy one. So: What is this? What is it made from? How old is it? Answers tomorrow 😊

What is it? Number 9 - answer

If you thought this beauty was a brooch that you would have worn, you are correct! You can see from the back that although the pin is lost the simple catch plate is still in situ and looks just as many brooches still do today. The signs of rust corrosion indicate that the pin was made from iron, but the actual brooch is copper-alloy. There are even hints of gold remaining here and there revealing that the brooch had a gilt covering originally. Stylistically these domed disc brooches are dated to around the 10th century. Our example was recovered from Trench 15 on Chalkpit Field in 2012.

What is it? Number 9

Your challenge today is to identify this intricately decorated artefact: Was it worn, was it used to play a game or was it a coin or token? What was it made from? How old is it? Answers tomorrow 😉

What is it? 8 - answers

This amazing artefact was created during the Iron Age. Cast from bronze it is known as a terret ring and was used to guide the horse’s reins on chariots and waggons. Come back soon for another challenge!

What is it? -8

Today’s mystery artefact may have you thinking so here are a couple of clues to help you along. It pre-dates our Anglo-Saxon settlement site by quite some time and it has a connection with transport. So, what do you think it is? Back tomorrow with the answer 😉

What is it? 7 - answers

If you thought the artefact above looked like animal bone, you are quite right. But this is no ordinary bone knife handle. The terminal has been carved to represent an animal head. This form of zoomorphic decoration was common in the Anglo-Saxon period. Interestingly this lovely find was almost overlooked. It was a wet day and it had been put into a bulk finds tray as no hint of a decoration could be seen beneath the soil and mud that adhered to it. It was only after careful drying and brush cleaning several days later that volunteer, Tom Licence, noticed the decorated terminal. More mystery artefacts to come 😊

What is it? 7

Today's mystery item is clearly only part of the artefact. So: What is it a part of? What is it made from? How old is it? As usual come back tomorrow for the answers 😉

What is it? 6 - answers

Yesterday's mystery artefact is in fact a hooked tag, used to fasten clothing. We still use similar objects today. This beautiful example was found in Trench 6 in 2008. It is in extremely good condition and still shows traces of silvering or tinning which once coated the copper-alloy. Stylistically this little hooked tag probably dates to the later Anglo-Saxon period, 9th-11th century. How did you do? Come back tomorrow for another challenge 😊 Yesterday's mystery artefact is in fact a hooked tag, used to fasten clothing. We still use similar objects today. This beautiful example was found in Trench 6 in 2008. It is in extremely good condition and still shows traces of silvering or tinning w

What is it? 6

Hopefully not too difficult today. What do you think this little item is? It is complete and that is a turned back hook at the bottom. Usual questions: What was it used for? What is it made of? How old is it? Come back tomorrow for the answers 😉

What is it? 5 - answers

This fragile item was discovered in 4 pieces in Trench 6 at the beginning of the season in 2008. It is made from fired clay and is almost certainly a loom weight and was therefore used in textile processing. You might have noticed that our loom weight appears to have an impressed circular stamp in the middle of one side. Unfortunately, due to its fragility the stamp mark has become too indistinct to identify any possible design. The image here shows how loom weights were utilised, just as the name suggests.

What is it? 5

Here is your next mystery artefact. Clearly incomplete now but imagine it whole and try to answer the following: What were such artefacts known as? What is this artefact made from? Would you have used it to cook, in textile processing or when playing a game? Answers tomorrow 😉

What is it? 4 - Answer

This item is one of many that the SHARP team have excavated over the years. It is known as a heckle tooth or fibre processing spike. This fine example, made from iron, was found by Simon Lock whist excavating in Trench 20 in 2015. As the picture below demonstrates, the spikes or teeth were set into a wooden block in rows of 2 or more. They were known to have been used in preparing both wool and flax fibres. Similar spikes were used for hundreds of years but most of the heckle teeth found at Sedgeford come from a secure Anglo-Saxon context.

What is it? 4

Here we have another mystery artefact for you to identify with a couple of questions: What is this artefact known as? What is it made from? Was it used for fibre processing, farming or carpentry? Come back tomorrow for the answers

What is it? 3 - answer

Well, if you thought yesterday’s mystery artefact was part of a comb you are correct! It is a plate with 7 cut teeth and it is made from antler. This section of antler plate was found by Anne Postma in Trench 22 in 2016. It is part of a single-sided composite comb. The comb fragment pictured below, also in our collection, shows how these individual plates were secured with small iron rivets between side plates, usually made from animal bone. Both comb fragments were found in secure Anglo-Saxon contexts.

What is it? 3

Another mystery item is pictured above. Perhaps a tad easier today but look carefully at the dimensions. It is only approximately 3 ½ cm in length, 1 ½ cm wide and about 4mm in thickness. You have three questions to challenge you: What is it part of? What is it made of? How old is it? Find out tomorrow 😉

What is it? 2 - Answer

Well, this little oddity was found in the top layer of Trench 16 in 2013. It is the rear bracket and some of the ring of a foot patten, dating, in this example, to around the 17th century. It is made from iron. This photo (credit to Wikipedia) shows a complete pair of these overshoes, worn outdoors in an attempt to protect shoes and dress hems from the mud and dirt of the street. So, the answer to the third question was clothing. Look out for our next ‘What is it?’ coming up tomorrow.

What is it? 2

Our next mystery item is pictured above. You have three questions to challenge you: What is it made of? How old is it? Would you have used it during cooking, carpentry or for clothing? Find out tomorrow 😉

What is it No 1? - Answer

Well to be completely honest, we are not sure. However, have a look at something similar and see what you think. This little bronze object was recovered from Chalkpit Field in 2011. The Finds team were baffled as we couldn’t find a parallel anywhere. However, due to its general appearance we suspected it could be part of an Iron Age toggle. As you can see it is rugby-ball shaped with remains of worn ridges around the body. It has a circular area standing proud at each end. There are also clear signs that it has broken away from the rest of the artefact. A couple of years later a member of the team was visiting Avebury museum and spotted the bracelet below on display in one of the cabinets. A

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