- Museum number
Iron anvil mower's with an octagonal, slightly domed, head and tapering, square-sectioned stem, through which passes a strip coiled to form loops on either side of it.
- Production date
- 4thC (?)
Length: 243 millimetres
- Curator's comments
From the Sandy hoard.
The mower's anvil was used in the field when hammering out dents or bends in the scythe produced during the work. The tapering stem allowed it to be driven into the ground and the spiral coils prevented it from sinking in too far as the scythe was hammered on it. Although it is clearly related to the small bench anvil the tapering stem and coils indicate that it had a different function for they would be unnecessary if it was set in a wooden bench.
The type appears to be a Roman introduction into Britain; along with the rake it forms part of the ancillary equipment associated with the scythe. The earliest example in Britain is probably that found with the scythes from the Flavian fort at Newstead (Curie 1911, 284, pl. LXII, 1), and others of roughly similar date come from the Eckford and Blackburn Mill Hoards (Piggott 1953, 28, fig. 6, E19; 48, fig. 13, B38). They are particularly common in the fourth-century hoards, with five examples in the Great Chesterford Hoard (Neville 1856, 3 pl. 18), four in the Silchester 1890 Hoard (two with four coils) (Evans 1894, 143) and no fewer than eight in the Silchester 1900 Hoard (Arch. 57 (1901), 246). They are not uncommon in Roman Germany, occurring for example at Stockstadt (O.R.L. BIII, Kastell 33 (1914), 55, Taf. IX, 79); Zugmantel (Saalburg-Jahrbuch 2 (1911) 42, Taf. 9, 8), etc. and at Vichy and Compiègne in France (Reinach 1923, 277, fig. 278, 25803; 28995 and 15889).
Bibliography: Manning 1964, 55, no. 8.
See Manning,W.H., 1964. A Roman Hoard of Ironwork from Sandy, Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, V. II, pp.50-57
- On display (G49/dc16)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number