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Mystery Artefact
Found in an Iron Age context in Scotland within what (for want of a better word) is a Hillfort..

Lothians to be precise

I know what I think it is... but what do you think. ?


if you can't see the images click the words attachment

If you can also give references.. I will love you forever
Whetstone? Is that too obvious?
Small anvil/pillow stone for fine metal working such as jewellery making?
ogham try out piece?
I would say a whetstone.
oh yeh forget my idea! in my post friday beer goggles i didnt look at the scale or the date of the site! oops
Is there any chance of some fancy scientific analysis to check out if any residues are left in any of the incisions to indicate use? If it is fine metalworking that would be amazing as I think only a couple of sites in that area (Traprain and possibly Phantassie) have evidence for that!

Im quite excited about this, lol
I think that would be worthwhile!

My feeling is that it is too frequent in regular scarring to be a tally stone and a whet stone, each scratch is once only... so it makes me think of - as has been said a padstone for cutting - I thought leather... but metal working... hmmm I like

Now I actually have another one as well from the same site. same stone same regular short 'cuts'

I wonder where I could;d get analysis done? would need help in funding though... yes you guessed it... its not development work Smile

Thatnks for teh suggestions Land... I will jump to me copy of the trap Environs and teh A1 book as well.
People demonstrating the use of the ard on stony ground seem to go forward in short jumps which might leave short grooves on any stones the ard was going over, but I'd imagine you've already discounted that? Were they lying grooved face upwards? I've seen stones around here with quite short grooves on aligned to plough-direction
What you need is a drawing of all the scratch marks, maybe then any patterns will stand out. Looking at them, I get the impression that there could be a series of scratches over-lapping each other, but done at different times.

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