Length: 14.000 cm
Gift of Mrs Blunt
P&EE 1852 8-12 1
Prehistory and Europe
Antler weaving comb
Iron Age, 300-100 BC
Danebury, Hampshire, England
Broken when making Iron Age clothes
This is a weaving comb, a very common object found on excavations of Iron Age settlements in Britain. It is made of antler and was used when weaving woollen cloth on a loom. The comb has a hole made through the end of the handle so it could have a leather thong or piece of rope passed through to tie the comb to a person's belt. The comb has clearly been used and many of the teeth at the end of the comb have been broken.
The comb was found in 1852 at the Iron Age hillfort of Danebury, Hampshire. The hillfort, occupied from about 500 to 100 BC, was excavated over a period of twenty years by Professor Barry Cunliffe of the University of Oxford. Results of the excavations, one of the largest ever to have taken place on a prehistoric site in Europe, provide a detailed picture daily life, ritual and politics of an Iron Age community.
B.W. Cunliffe, Danebury: anatomy of an Iron A (Batsford/English Heritage, 1983)
S. James and V. Rigby, Britain and the Celtic Iron Ag (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)