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.

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