Wednesday, 20 October 2010

How long?


Tonight I am speaking to our local study group about the village beck. It says something for our village that this is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the group's foundation, and it is still going strong.
There have been people living around the beck for thousands of years - as with any settlement, water was the main reason for them being here. To show that we have proof of people living here I am taking along some artefacts which have been found on our farmland over the years.

By popular request (well, two or three people have asked) I am therefore posting the photograph showing those artefacts. They are:-

A Neolithic stone axe head found in one of our fields when it was being prepared for ploughing. It would have been bound to a wooden handle. The stone is identified as probably coming from the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District - maybe a hundred miles away. A tiny flint tool chipped to a sharp edge. This was found on my garden wall. There is no flint in this area - so how far did the owner of this little knife walk - and where did he come from? Two crotal bells - one of which is probably sixteenth century (the broken one) - this would have been hung round the neck of a horse most likely - although it could have been on a child. The other crotal bell is in much better condition and is probably much later. On the right hand side of the stone axe is a Victorian horse bell. The little round object with a hole in the middle is a whorl weight. You still see these in nomadic tribes where the man is riding on the donkey and the woman is trailing along behind spinning as she walks. This whorl weight would have been fastened on the end of the spun thread to keep it taut. Finally - a clay pipe. There are masses of these everywhere, usually broken as they are easily snapped. This one is interesting because it has a heart logo on the bowl. There is a good site about clay pipes on the internet and from there I discovered that the heart was a symbol of one of the earliest Farm Workers' Trade Unions.

They will all be together on the table tonight - as I said yesterday - time is all in the mind really -= today they are all here now.

20 comments:

willow said...

Oh-oh-oh...this post made my heart go pitter-pat! (heehee, no pun intended) I would have been a great archeologist. Thrilling treasures!!

Poet in Residence said...

Pat, your current research into time has prompted me to write a poem called 'the illusionist'. So many thanks. Enjoy tonight!

MorningAJ said...

Those are fantastic and thanks (as one of the people who asked!) for posting the photo.
Can I be a bit pedantic though? The Neolithic and the Bronze Age are two different things. That axe looks neolithic to me - because it's made of stone. "Neolithic" means new stone age. I won't go into the complexities of bronze age axes - I'd need a whole post of my own for that!
(I did an archaeology degree and my specialism was British prehistory.....)

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a wonderful selection of artefacts

Derrick said...

I enjoyed reading your time piece of yesterday and seeing the items today. I'd never heard of the term 'crotal bell' but now gather that they were used on horse harnesses or carriages/drays to warn other road users! As you say, it's fascinating to think of the history contained in even a small collection of items. Enjoy your talk.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

What a thrill to discover these little treasures! A window right to the past. I love how it makes you think about all the souls that walked the same earth before you. Stood where you stood. Fascinating.

Golden West said...

What a fascinating group of treasures, Weaver! Thanks for sharing with us.

Gerry Snape said...

Have fun tonight Waever! I bet you'll go down a storm. Wish I could hear you talk of all these wonderful things from the history of the farm. Best.

angryparsnip said...

Great post today !
At one time I wanted to be an Archaeologist (art won out) so your post today is so interesting to me.
How exciting to find such treasures on your property.

cheers, parsnip

mansuetude said...

I have never heard of a crotal bell
so this post pushes me "into" time too, to discover.

thanks

Rusty said...

Long, long ago some skilled hands crafted these things. If only we could see through their eyes, read their thoughts at the time. ATB!

Bee's Blog said...

That's one of the beauties of your part of part of England - hidden treasures.

I haven't heard the term 'beck' for years and I used to live in the North Riding of Yorkshire!

MorningAJ said...

I've always wanted a stone axe... you've no idea how jealous I am!

I grew up in Seamer, four miles out of Scarborough. Lived there till I was 17 and left home. Mum and Dad moved to Harrogate a couple of years after that. My mum was born in Bradford so I have a few Yorkshire links!

Heather said...

If it wasn't for the fact that the garden is looking quite good at the moment, I'd want to rush out and dig test pits all over it!! The stone axe head is such an exiting find and I often wonder how many treasures I may have walked past because I don't really know what I'm looking at. I would love to be in the audience for your talk and am sure it will be very well received. Thankyou so much for granting my wish and letting us see your treasures.

Cloudia said...

Such a wonderful country!


Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

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Dave King said...

Wonderful! Took me back to my school days when, as part of our geology project, we found some stone-age tools on the local common. Super post.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad you enjoyed looking at my treasures. The talk went very well and people were all interested. I learnt a lot myself as people came up and discussed various things. Lovely evening - wish you could all have been there to share in the wine and food - there was enough to feed a Roman Legion left -

MorningAJ said...

For everyone who has said they's like to try a bit of archaeology there's a wonderful old trick you can try: kicking molehills.

Moles go where they like and every now and again they dump the soil in their own little spoil heaps. If they're near any kind of old habitation site there's a real chance they'll bring some sort of remnant to the surface.

rallentanda said...

It must be very exciting finding historical remnants on your property.A farmer on a neighbouring property in North Western NSW found the remains of a diprotodon which became extinct 40,000 years ago in a dried out creek bed.I have not found anything that interesting apart from a broken medicine bottle form the late 1800s.

thousandflower said...

We have found several spear points on our farm. They are really old and very beautiful. I'll have to photograph them and put them on my blog one of these days. Soon.