iron Age woad grinder

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Kranglemeister
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iron Age woad grinder

Post by Kranglemeister » Wed May 23, 2018 5:07 pm

Hi all. This is my first post on MDF.
I think it may be made of brass. Solidly hand made. 7cm long with a crow beak shape. I concave groove on the under side.
I hope there's someone clued-up on this out there.
Thanks in advance.
Kranglemeister
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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by Allectus » Wed May 23, 2018 5:41 pm

Iron age woad grinder. ::g

A ;)
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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by sweepstick47 » Wed May 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Hello 'Kranglemeister', Welcome aboard the forum ::g Your object for ID resembles a ::g Celtic toiletry - Woad Grinder. It's most likely copper alloy in construction (bronze). Regards ss47
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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by Kranglemeister » Wed May 23, 2018 5:53 pm

Thanks for the welcome - you're great. Spot-on ID - I see it now. I'll be back soon I hope.
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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by Lowland » Wed May 23, 2018 6:01 pm

Blimey
That’s a great find.
And IDs
::g
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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by SuperRed » Wed May 23, 2018 6:49 pm

Unusual find - well done! Just round the corner from me too ::g
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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by alloverover » Wed May 23, 2018 7:00 pm

Lots of nice stuff around that area Kranglemeister, I lived within a mile or so once.
Think about what you are doing when stating the area though, you are making it attractive for people you would proberbly rather didnt come along if you have permission there .

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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by SuperRed » Wed May 23, 2018 7:29 pm

alloverover wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:00 pm
Lots of nice stuff around that area Kranglemeister, I lived within a mile or so once.
Think about what you are doing when stating the area though, you are making it attractive for people you would proberbly rather didnt come along if you have permission there .
Hmm, hadn't considered that (naivity of the newby!). Updated my profile info - thanks.
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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by Kranglemeister » Thu May 24, 2018 12:00 am

Thanks and understood. Much obliged FORUM.

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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by Kranglemeister » Thu May 24, 2018 12:19 am

I love this to bits, now I realise it's a personal object that has been used by hands that were obscure and now live again 2000 years later. It is still usable! I must find some woad or similar Iron age foliage. Gush Gush

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Re: Unknown object from Little Shelford area

Post by Dom » Thu May 24, 2018 7:18 am

Amazing find, well done indeed!
Great condition and patina, I love these sort of finds.
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by f8met » Thu May 24, 2018 9:02 am

Lots of information in these downloads from the British Museum site. Still find it amazing they did not know what these were until the 1980s.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/p ... _sets.aspx
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Quoin » Thu May 24, 2018 10:59 am

Nice item. Well rescued. I've had a few of those over the years and one of my favourite finds. Sometimes found in graves, yours is the female part so the male part might be near by. I would give the area a good going over next chance you get. My theory is that they are too small to grind woad so we're used for some other purpose, some drug maybe?

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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Phil2401 » Thu May 24, 2018 4:29 pm

Quoin wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 10:59 am
Nice item. Well rescued. I've had a few of those over the years and one of my favourite finds. Sometimes found in graves, yours is the female part so the male part might be near by. I would give the area a good going over next chance you get. My theory is that they are too small to grind woad so we're used for some other purpose, some drug maybe?
I agree, Quoin - starting from complete ignorance and never having seen one of these, I've done a bit of Googling - it is difficult to see why they would have used such a small implement to grind the relatively large quantities of dried woad that would have been needed for face / body dyeing, but they are generally classified as woad grinders, or pestle & mortar...I'd have thought that a larger pestle & mortar would have been more use for woad...so - what could they alternatively have been used for? some sort of drug or cosmetic?

Don't know if anyone else watched the Roman Britain episode yesterday evening - but one of the artefacts found in London was a pot of what looked like modern foundation cream or blusher or whatever it's called - the archaeologists were adamant that cosmetic treatments such as this, and mascara, lipstick, etc. were around in Roman times if not before.

It's a great find, but I for one would love to get a better idea of how they were used back in the day.

Phil
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Dom » Thu May 24, 2018 4:43 pm

Same. You'd expect more wear on them as well. I feel unconvinced that they have ever been properly id'd.
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by sweepstick47 » Thu May 24, 2018 4:51 pm

Phil2401 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 4:29 pm
Quoin wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 10:59 am
Nice item. Well rescued. I've had a few of those over the years and one of my favourite finds. Sometimes found in graves, yours is the female part so the male part might be near by. I would give the area a good going over next chance you get. My theory is that they are too small to grind woad so we're used for some other purpose, some drug maybe?
for

I agree, Quoin - starting from complete ignorance and never having seen one of these, I've done a bit of Googling - it is difficult to see why they would have used such a small implement to grind the relatively large quantities of dried woad that would have been needed for face / body dyeing, but they are generally classified as woad grinders, or pestle & mortar...I'd have thought that a larger pestle & mortar would have been more use for woad...so - what could they alternatively have been used for? some sort of drug or cosmetic?

Don't know if anyone else watched the Roman Britain episode yesterday evening - but one of the artefacts found in London was a pot of what looked like modern foundation cream or blusher or whatever it's called - the archaeologists were adamant that cosmetic treatments such as this, and mascara, lipstick, etc. were around in Roman times if not before.

It's a great find, but I for one would love to get a better idea of how they were used back in the day.

Phil
Yep, They are often referred to as 'Cosmetic Grinders'. Incidentally, the plant used for making blue 'woad' is Isatis Tinctoria. Regards ss47
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Phil2401 » Thu May 24, 2018 5:03 pm

Just to throw another idea in - it would seem from all the stuff on Google that these are only found in the UK and not in other Celtic / Roman countries....why would that be?

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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Kranglemeister » Thu May 24, 2018 10:00 pm

This has been so exciting for me to see how much interest has been stirred. I have read most, but not all of the information from the links so kindly given. And I've studied what is on show.
What I notice on this example, compared to the others, is that it has the possibility of being hermaphrodite.
As you can see there is a concave groove (with matter I haven't explored) and on the sharp side there are signs of ware along the edge. The edge is sharper nearer to the loop. as you would find on a modern kitchen knife.
I feel that this may have had another part to it, but it seems to be able to perform both functions as described by recent knowledge.
Also I am intrigued that this seems to be peculiar to the British Isles .
Its a great mystery and once again it is fascinating to share it with you.
Kranglemeister.
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Steve_T » Thu May 24, 2018 10:14 pm

That is a great find, and one for the FLO, don't disturb what's in the groove, they may be able to do some analysis on it to determine what it is, could reveal its purpose and use

Well found and saved ::g ::g

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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Kranglemeister » Thu May 24, 2018 10:39 pm

"There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered"
Good old Shakey Speary.

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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by sweepstick47 » Thu May 24, 2018 11:33 pm

It seems the Ancient Egyptians and Chinese are said to be the earliest users. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isatis_ti ... and_indigo
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Shufly » Fri May 25, 2018 7:06 pm

What a superb example..I would rather see a nice artifact any day of the week..Well Saved... :D :: ::g

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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Dom » Sat May 26, 2018 8:12 am

Shufly wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 7:06 pm
What a superb example..I would rather see a nice artifact any day of the week..Well Saved... :D :: ::g
Agreed.
It seems a lot of people are 'Hammie' obsessed, give me that item any day.
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Kranglemeister » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:33 pm

Hello everyone out there scrubbing their finger nails.

I got the Cosmetics Grinder on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website with the help of our FLO:

https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts ... /id/905606

Once again thanks to all

Especially to our FLO

KM

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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Easylife » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:44 pm

A really nice find, it just has that special look. ::g
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Steve_T » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:57 pm

Great stuff ::g

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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by Oxgirl36 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:31 am

That’s a beauty 8=ypr
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Re: iron Age woad grinder

Post by f8met » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:45 pm

Quite a lot have been found in East Anglia so not only just the UK but only certain parts of the UK. It is thought that they are from the Iron Age to Roman.
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