Find of the Month – September
- 2nd October 2017
Some finds, like the sword we found a few weeks ago, have an obvious significance and appeal. Most artefacts were everyday objects though, but even these have interesting stories to tell of the individuals who made and used them. September’s find of the month is one of these.
This is the upper half of an earlier medieval ‘expanded-head’ pin, used for fastening cloaks and tunics before buttons came into common use. The surface of the pin is polished, perhaps from use where it rubbed against the cloak fabric.
Throughout history, animal bone has been a cheap and widely available material. Bone can be easily shaped and decorated using simple tools, such as a knife. As a result, it is often associated with household crafts, rather than more specialised industries. Perhaps this bone pin was even made by its wearer or a family member.
There are very few other finds from this Herefordshire site, but some fragmentary sherds of Cotswold ware cooking pot suggest 11th to 12th century activity in the area, which is consistent with this style of pin.