2.3 Other finds

Other finds are reported on in full in the assessment report; only those directly relevant to the medieval building in Area 2 are discussed in summary form here.

The most significant individual find was a Middle Bronze Age copper-alloy palstave (Registered Artefact [RA] 2.2; Figure 7), found in deposit 2010 (equivalent to layer 27027, or an occupation layer below). The only item of prehistoric metalwork recorded from the site, this find was notable for its association with a large group of medieval metalwork and other material from layer 27027. The palstave is double-looped, with a square stop ridge and crescentic cutting edge, and a deep septum. It is complete although there is some damage to the cutting edge and flanges, which appears to have been original and not caused by medieval re-use. It is 146mm in length and 58mm wide at its cutting edge. It can be assigned to the Taunton phase of Bronze Age metalworking, and probably dates to c. 1400–1100 BC.

The majority of the metal finds (271 items from deposits 27027/2010 and 27084) were recovered from burnt deposits within the medieval building. This group, including the palstave, is interpreted as scrap material collected in the building. The copper-alloy items include a large group of approximately 220 strip and sheet fragments from layers 27027 and 27084. These include folded/rolled sheet fragments, riveted strips and some larger, folded sheet fragments with folded sheet rivets of the kind known from the later medieval period and utilised for the repair of metal vessels (Egan 1998, 176–7).

Most iron finds were nails (42 in number) and sheet or strip-like fragments, almost all from layers 27027/2010 and 27084. An iron axe-head (RA 2.1) recovered from deposit 2010, compares with medieval examples of Goodall's (1980, 23) Type 4, with a triangular blade and a square 'poll'. Other medieval objects include a fragmentary whittle tang knife (layer 27027), a possible bucket handle strap (RA 27.19) and a probable staple/joiner's dog (both from 27135 of oven 27137). One strip (RA 27.14, from layer 27027) measures 150mm × 25–20mm wide and features an expanded/rounded terminal with rivet hole. It probably represents a hinge or binding strip from a door or chest (Goodall 1980, figs 77–79). The nails conform broadly to medieval types; where complete, they measure c. 70–85mm and feature wide, flattened heads.

A single distinctively shaped piece of sandstone (probably Old Red Sandstone) was found in burnt layer 27027, inside the medieval building. Although damaged at one end, the surviving end shows extensive wear through use as a whetstone, while one face had been used as a cushion stone (a small anvil used in metalworking). The recovery of a metalworking stone in this context is consistent with the other evidence for metalworking from the finds assemblage as a whole. There is also a small assemblage of 26 animal bones, but they are poorly preserved, highly fragmented and unidentifiable to species.


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