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Southampton

Late Saxon Southampton is poorly known, as it lies beneath the modern city, though a few unpublished combs of Types 3 and 8a are known from excavations at West Quay and Lower High Street (I. Riddler pers. comm.). In contrast, much more can be said about Middle Saxon (late 7th to early 10th century) Hamwic (Addyman and Hill 1969; Holdsworth 1976; Holdsworth 1980). Here, most combs fit into the 'pre-Viking' canon, being of Types 12, 2b and 3, while Types 5 and 6 are conspicuously absent (Addyman and Hill 1969, 75-7). Finds from recent excavations ahead of the construction of St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton are few, with little evidence of bone/antler working on a significant scale (Every and Loader 2005, 139). Fragments of a maximum of around 41 combs were recovered, 33 of which are double-sided (presumably Type 12), the remainder being single-sided or of unknown form.

Unfortunately, the combs are not illustrated or described in detail, and the only illustrated example (ostensibly a 'fish tail' comb) is clearly a comb case (see Every and Loader 2005, fig. 63, 11). At Lower High Street (Riddler n.d.), there are combs of Types 4 and 8a, as well as a very fine example of a Type 3 asymmetric comb.

 

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