The objects discussed and catalogued are either from stratified Anglian / Anglo-Scandinavian contexts or are typologically likely to be of these periods. Undiagnostic unstratified or modern objects are not included.
For a discussion of the knife classification on which this report is based see Ottaway 1992, 558-82.
Knives 2-3 have the distinctive form in which the back passes through an angle at about the mid-point and then slopes down to the tip. What is often known as the ‘angle-back' occurs in early Anglo-Saxon contexts, but becomes common in the mid - late Anglo- Saxon periods, making up c.20% or more of such assemblages as that of mid ninth - mid eleventh century date from 16-22 Coppergate (Ottaway 1992, 561-5). Knives 2 and 3 both have the variant of the form in which the rear part of the back slopes upwards from the shoulder, as opposed to being horizontal, before the angle. Evison (1969, 332-3) is probably correct in suggesting this is an introduction of the ‘post-pagan period'. The two variants occur in equal numbers in the Middle Saxon period. Knife 3 has a groove near the top of each blade face. Such grooves are common features on Anglo-Saxon knives and most common on those with the angle-back (Ottaway 1992, 579-81). Knife 6 is very similar to 2-3, but the front part of the back is convex rather than straight (back form C2; Ottaway 1992, 570). Knife 1 has a back which is straight and horizontal from the shoulder before becoming convex and curving down to the tip which is at about half the blade's width. Knives of this form are very common throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. Knife 5 has an incomplete blade and no diagnostic features survive.
Probably the fragment of a pivoting knife (see Ottaway 1992, 586-8 for details). The type was current in the eighth - tenth centuries.
A tapering object which is rounded at the thicker end. Its function is difficult to determine and it has no known parallels. It is most likely that the thinner end functioned as a tang set in a wooden handle leaving the thicker end for use - possibly in the chasing or shaping of non-ferrous metalwork.
The wool comb, No.10, is in a fragmentary condition, but it was clearly similar to the more complete comb recovered from an Anglo-Scandinavian context from York (Ottaway 1992, 539, fig.212). The teeth, c.85mm long, were set to a depth of c.15mm in a wooden board alternately in two rows. The board was bound with an iron sheet (No.26 may have been a fragment) and would have developed on one side into a handle. The teeth (c.18 in all) have the characteristic stepped head which was formed when they were severed from the parent strip. In addition, the site has produced another six teeth, some probably from this comb and two further pieces of sheet (23, 25) which, like 26, may have been part of the binding.
Wool combs were used in pairs to prepare wool for spinning by removing short fibres and foreign matter, and causing the remaining fibres to lie parallel (for further discussion see Ottaway 1992, 538-40, and Walton 1989, 315-6).
Teeth of early Anglo-Saxon date have been found at Shakenoak Farm (Brown 1972, 106, fig.51, 296-310; 1973, 134-6), but the earliest complete combs known are, perhaps, a pair from a late seventh century female grave at Lechlade (Miles and Palmer 1986, 17). Other middle Anglo-Saxon combs come from Canterbury (Cakebread Robey site, sf790), Hamwic (Six Dials site, SOU169, sf1975) and Wicken Bonhunt (Goodall and Ottaway, forthcoming, sf379a/b).
It may finally be noted that recent research by P. Walton Rogers suggests that flax could not be processed with these combs, but would require teeth set in a fixed base.
The punched eye is comparable to many Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Scandinavian examples (Ottaway 1992, 544-8).
The working arm identifies No.18 as a leather worker's awl (Attwater 1961, 28).
No.24 is probably a piece of a larger tin-plated fitting which has been broken or bent back on itself. At the unbroken end it has what is probably a very simplified animal head terminal. It has a D-shaped cross-section and on the convex face (originally the upper surface) there are criss-cross grooves. Fittings, either small hinges or mounts, with similar cross-section and decorative treatment including animal head terminals have been found in tenth century contexts at York (Ottaway 1992, 631, 641).
Nos.23, 25, and 19 are probably fragments of mounts from caskets, although 25 might come from a buckle-plate. No.19 has small notches cut into the edges of one face. All three objects are tin-plated.
The surviving link fitted into the eye of a second strap to form a chest hinge of standard Anglo-Saxon form (Ottaway 1992, 623-5).
Either the head a chest hinge strap or part of a hinge with a strap either side of a U-shaped eye (Ottaway 1992, 637-9).
No.35 is half a ring or circular buckle frame; it is plated. No.36 is a small washer-like object.
There are seven small iron pins. Six have spherical or sub-spherical heads and one (No.39) has a biconical head. Six are plated with tin-lead alloy, the exception being No.43. Cut into the top of the head of No.39 are six short grooves radiating from the tip. Running around the widest part of the head of No.40 is a groove above which is a collar with small indentations in it. Moulded collars can be found at the head of the shanks of Nos.37-39.
Small spherical-headed iron pins, probably for use in dress or hair, appear, like those in non-ferrous metals, to be common in eighth - ninth century contexts. Other examples come from 16-22 Coppergate and Fishergate, York (Ottaway 1992, 693; Rogers 1993, 1367), Wicken Bonhunt (Goodall and Ottaway forthcoming, sf375) and Flixborough which has produced over 100. Tin plating is usual, although some examples have a non-ferrous head. The additional decoration on the heads of pins 39-40 from Cottam has, however, no exact parallel.
Probably an incomplete strap end formed from two tapering plates welded together at their narrower end. The surface of one has a pattern of grooves cut into it which includes a St Andrew's cross motif at the wider end. The object is plated with tin-lead.
Iron strap ends are not common, but another middle Anglo-Saxon specimen, made in a similar way to No.44 and inlaid with silver, comes from Ramsbury (Evison, 1980, fig.20, 6). Five Anglo-Scandinavian examples, including two which taper towards the tip, come from 16-22 Coppergate, York (Ottaway 1992, 690-1).
No.45 could be Anglo-Saxon. Examples of snaffle bits with two joined links very similar to No.45 and ring cheek pieces come from middle Anglo-Saxon contexts at Thwing and Wicken Bonhunt. It should be noted, however, that very similar bits were used throughout medieval and post-medieval times.
In addition a number of nails of various types, and other fragments were recovered.
The small group of ironwork from COT93 appears to be typical of what might be expected from an occupation site of Anglian / Middle Saxon date. Particularly diagnostic, perhaps, are the seven pins and, as far as a terminus post quem is concerned, the presence of objects, including the pins, which bear tin-lead plating. This method of treating objects for decorative and anti-corrosive purposes can not, at present, be dated before c.700 AD
The ironwork from COT95 contains no diagnostic objects apart from the knife No.6 which cannot be more closely dated than to the Anglian or Anglo-Scandinavian periods.