Saturday, 2 June 2012

Mystery Thames Mudlarking Finds

I picked up these two objects last weekend. Both mysteries. No joy identifying via google. Any ideas?

On first sight thought this object was probably plastic, but having almost discarded  very old  objects before, popped it in my bag just in case. Later, on closer inspection concluded it was pottery. A small oval dome 1.5 cm tall and 3cm wide. Did it come from an Egyptian black teapot – some kind of tea strainer? Last Sunday, a guy at the Thames Discovery event at the Tower of London, reckoned it was bone not pottery and that the holes were too big for a strainer. He thought it was probably used for ‘sprinking’ something....

Thames Mudlarking Mystery Find 1 Top above, underneath below

Since posting the pinner's boneI’ve been wondering whether I’d find any bones which have been worked and used as tools. Funny how you tend to find things you've pondered about. This one looks like it’s made of horn. Cut in half with a rectangular notch cut away at the top,  it’s 7.5cm long and 3cm wide. A diagonal section on the right of the horn has been worn away, presumably by a right handed person’s thumb when they used it as a tool – but what did the tool do? 
Thames Mudlarking Mystery Find 2


  1. The mystery find 2 might well be a horn lucet... bone lucets have been found, though different people seem to have different opinions on where and when (e.g. whether the vikings knew them, It's an implement used to make cordage, very similar to spool knitting. The size of your find and the worn patch both seem to support this suggestion.

    1. Great, thank you for helping resolve the mystery. Julia