Thursday, 4 April 2013

Artefacts

I promised that I would show you some of the things which have been found on the farm within easy distance of our beck - thus suggesting that they were dropped by people over the ages who were using the beck as a path for getting from A to B (this is obviously the lowest point and therefore the most sensible place to walk).

I am never sure which order the photographs are going to come up in, but if I just give you a description of each one, they are all so different that they will be easy to identify anyway.

The first, and definitely the most exciting, is this Neolithic stone
polished axe, circa 3000 BC most likely for cutting trees.   The source of the stone has not been determined but the museum which
identified the axe head said that the nearest stone like this was in the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District, which is a good seventy miles away from here.   There is a suggestion that it would have been much bigger and would have been strapped to a wooden handle and that it may have been thrown away because it had become too small.   But I find it fits beautifully into the hand, so I doubt that.  I like to think that when my father in law found it after he had ploughed the field, his was the first hand to touch it after that Neolithic Man.

The round lead whorl weight is a common find round here - we find them all the time.   I have seen these still being used in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco and in the Taurus mountains of Turkey.  They weigh down the wool as someone spins.

The horse bells date from the seventeenth century to Victorian times and would have been used for decorative purposes on horses working in the fields.

The clay pipe is another common find, but this one is interesting because it has a heart on the side.   I thought it was probably a love token to somebody's sweetheart, but there is a good clay pipe site on the internet and I find that the heart is a symbol of one of the early Farmworkers' Trade Unions.

The tiny flint knife was found in the front garden of my house where my son now lives (which is itself on the edge of the beck).  It has a very sharp edge and these are often found around our village. There is a 'but' though as all the walls surrounding the cottages here are dry stone walls, so the knife could have come in with a load of stone from somewhere else.

The coin, which is very corroded and difficult to see properly is most likely George IV judging from the hairstyle of the monarch.

Finally the carnelian necklace.   The farmer bought me the silver chain but the fob on it was found near to the beck in one of our fields.   It is silver and is hallmarked 1826 and the stone is a carnelian.   It was most likely from a watch chain.   There is a space at the back where there could have been a compass or even a lock of hair, but whatever was there has rotted away.  

I often wonder what else lies there waiting to be discovered - valuable or not.   There is just something exciting in picking up an object that was dropped all that time ago isn't there?






 



  

20 comments:

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Incredible! Some of those artefacts look like they're from the neolithic.

Heather said...

What fascinating treasures Pat - each one is a delight and will illustrate your talk beautifully.
We had a glorious day yesterday - it even had a touch of warmth. However, today is very different with a biting wind and sideways dusty snow. One step forward and two back!

Elizabeth Wix said...

Indeed, they are fascinating!
Best of luck with your talk!
ps. The photos will come up in the order you upload them.
I put the photos in first....then write the text round them, but Blogger is a bit challenging and weird at times.

Jennifer Tetlow said...

What incredible and beautiful finds - and what an eye to have spotted them whilst ploughing. Love the thought of being the first to hold the axe after our ancestors!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

It is amazing that you can find objects so old as some of these - what treasures. I wonder what people will find of ours that that thrills them.

MorningAJ said...

I'm very jealous of your polished stone axe. We often found flint knives (and once an arrowhead) around my old home, but a stone axe is in a whole different class.

Wonderful things.

(If you ever have chance to go to the Broseley pipe museum in Ironbridge Gorge you'd have a great time. Lots of clay pipes there.)

Bovey Belle said...

Langdale Pike is a famous Neolithic hand axe factory - I can remember it from a lecture- the axes were traded across the country. Lovely brittle bells too and fascinating finds from a tracks at which has been in yield use for thousands of years.

it's me said...

Those are grand! What a thrill to imagine the past associated with each one. In the US we sometimes find arrowheads, and on our old farmstead we find old bottles and jars--nothing as ancient as those.

angryparsnip said...

Wonderful !
When I travel in the UK or Europe I always imagined who could have walked in the exact same spot from my history books.
How exciting to have found these treasures on your farm.

cheers, parsnip

Tom Stephenson said...

That axe is amazing - a real museum piece.

Joanne Noragon said...

The whorl captured my eye. The spindle was wood and is gone but the whorl remains. Do you know how the hole was put through them?

Carolyn H said...

Well, your finds certainly beat the few 1920's era pottery shards I sometimes find around my neck of the woods. Here in the New World we don't have anything nearly that old. And this area hasn't been settled long enough or heavily populated enough even 200 years ago to make finding things very likely. I'd be thrilled with any one of your finds.

Em Parkinson said...

What fabulous things. I saw a man on the beach with a metal detector last weekend and, despite not wanting to do it myself, I can see why people get so obsessed with doing it. I like the necklace best!

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

There's a message for you on my last blog post :)

Canadian Chickadee said...

How interesting...it just goes to show, we need to use our eyes when we go out walking about. Who knows what other treasures are waiting to be discovered? A fascinating post. xoxo

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your interest. My talk went very well indeed and everyone was so interested in all the artefacts.

kristieinbc said...

What an interesting post! And what a treasure chest full of artifacts you have! I grew up on a farm near an Indian reservation in northern Idaho, and my dad sometimes unearthed old Indian artifacts. Pestles were the most common item.

Cloudia said...

Marvelous country!

Bovey Belle said...

I meant to type crottle bells and not brittle bells. I must have left my brain in bed!

ArtPropelled said...

What exciting finds, Weaver!! As you say, I wonder what else is waiting to be discovered. It makes walking (searching) all over the farm just that much more interesting.