Tuesday, 25 March 2014

What a find!

Last week, while ploughing a field, our friend and neighbouring farmer unearthed a pair of quernstones.   You will see their construction from the photograph - the stone on the right of the picture goes under the stone on the left.   The hole in the side of the top stone would be for a stick and the hole in the top would be for pouring in the grain to be ground.  . They are made of millstone grit, which occurs in fairly large quantities on Whit Fell, about two miles from where they were found.  It is estimated that their date is around 900BC.

It is not the first artefact that has been found in that field, which has been ploughed several times over the years, and it does suggest that there was a settlement there in those early days.   A clever site to choose if I may say so.   The field is on a South facing slope, to catch the full sun.   It is just below the top of the hill, to be sheltered from the North wind, and it is within a few hundred yards of Burberry Gill, so a source of water near at hand.   Also, there would be a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside (apart from the North) so that it would be only necessary to post a look-out on the North side to watch for approaching 'enemies'.

As usual, our friend is over the moon at unearthing such a find.   He is a man who loves this land and who loves to research its history.  It was good to handle the stones, thinking that nobody had handled them for all those years.

What a find.

27 comments:

A Heron's View said...

The ancient brits were clever fellows weren't they.
Just imagine what difference in flavour it would have made, between using freshly ground flour the bagged stuff of today ?

Canadian Chickadee said...

Wow! That's impressive. It always amazes me to think how much stuff is still underground and yet to be found in the British Isles. The history is simply fascinating. Are you going to keep the stones, or do you have to turn them in to the local museum or council?

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

What a find!! I reckon you could do with a visit from "Time Team"
Gill

Dartford Warbler said...

How amazing to find both parts together. Your friend must be thrilled!

Heather said...

How exciting for your friend - a real treasure. I would love to dig up something so ancient. The best I ever managed was bits of broken churchwarden white clay pipes in our garden in Tiverton, Devon. I did come across a tiny hallmarked silver salt spoon in our present garden. I suppose I must just keep digging!

Em Parkinson said...

An amazing find and so clever not to just see a couple of rocks! I was walking down to the river the other day when I noticed one of the many rocks I pass and usually scour for lichen, looked a bit dressed. When I looked properly, it had four holes 'drilled' into it and was obviously once part of a gate post. The odd thing was that it was in the middle of nowhere - no reeves or other field boundaries anywhere. I wonder how it got there? I took a picture of it but it was very boring and the light wasn't such that you could see the holes. I'll try again!

Tom Stephenson said...

Wonderful! And two!

MorningAJ said...

It's marvellous that there's a matching set.

MorningAJ said...

It's marvellous that there's a matching set.

John Wooldridge said...

Something reassuring about the connection to the past that items like these sometimes can bring.

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

Our son - the archaeologist - would love a find like that.

Linda Metcalf said...

How exciting and what history!

ArtPropelled said...

How exciting it must be to excavate something that old on one's farm!Great that you get to examine it closely too.

Cro Magnon said...

What a fabulous find. I do find the occasional stone age tool, but they're quite common here.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

How exciting to find such a piece - and wonderful that it is appreciated.

thelma said...

lovely find, late bronze age according to the Wiki timeline. Bet it was a woman turning the quern stone with a stick every day.....

Mary said...

That's awesome, 900 BC is jaw-dropping. Oh for some real freshly ground flour!
All I've dug up in this garden is a tractor seat!
Probably no more than 60 years old - this land was a farm at one time.

Mary

The Solitary Walker said...

An incredible find.

Slightly related to this, I remember a box of shards of Roman samian ware pottery my mother and her cousins found in the fields of Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire when young. I wish I knew what happened to them.

angryparsnip said...

How exciting !
Your friend must be so happy with this find history and all.
I have a grinding stone that was found on some property we owned.

cheers, parsnip

Barbara said...

Oh, the stories those stones could tell...
What an amazing find!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments. As for them going to a museum - they are really quite common finds around here. This is the third lot our farmer neighbour has found, so he will certainly be able to keep them.

Becca McCallum said...

That's amazing! How wonderful to find something like that. I used to find stuff in my great-aunt's garden...but bits of clay pipe and broken pottery, circa 1890. Twice I was lucky and found something more - a tiny (half the size of my little finger) glazed china doll with red paint on her cheeks, and an equally tiny goose figure. But finding quern stones would be fascinating, although I have heard that a lot of grit got mixed in with the ground flour and it wore your teeth down!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hi Pat. What a find, indeed. I know what you mean when you say how neat it was to handle the stones. I had a similar neat-o feeling when I held a moon rock at the Museum of Natural History in New York City a long time ago. As they say here in Baltimore, Cool Beans!

Cloudia said...

Exciting! A wonderful example of England's antiquity and pedigree. Thanks for sharing


ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral

=^..^= <3

Terry and Linda said...

What a cool exciting find! I would LOVE to see all the things that have been found there over the years! England goes..........wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy...........back in history!

❤⊱彡 Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Bovey Belle said...

I have a degree in Archaeology too, so anything like this is right up my street. A super find, and wonderful to have that link through the Millennia - the last person to touch these lived nearly 3000 years ago! Puts such a thrill through you. I am pleased for your farmer friend and really glad he appreciates the past (not everyone does).

Tam and I helped Field Walk a multi-period site recently, to look for flints, and Tam found the most amazing black flint core, Mesolithic (8000 yrs old) whilst my finds were not as pretty - bits and bobs including a nice pointed flake and a fist-sized flint "in the rough" with just two big strikes off it, they were worth finding : )

Hildred said...

Oh my, how very exciting. It is the history and the feeling of being close to the people who used these ancient stones that awes me.