This reminded me of another entertaining cave man cartoon that appeared in New Scientist ‘Chewing gum gave Stone Age punk a buzz’ (18th September 1993) in which it was reported that 9000-year-old chewing gum had been found in Sweden:-
All posts tagged Prehistory
In an earlier Blog I wrote about scanning the head of Worsley Man as part of a research project carried out by a team of specialists from Manchester and Nottingham universities and other organisations .
One of the new findings to emerge from the recent study was the discovery of a previously undocumented third cervical (neck) vertebra, which had a section created by the chopping action of a sword, or, just possibly, the action of a saw. The team wanted to study the section in more detail using a high resolution scanner to verify how the head was removed from the body. This may appear macabre but there is evidence that some bog bodies were dismembered and parts disposed of in different locations, possibly marking the boundaries of a territory or for other reasons that we can only speculate about.
Last week Sam Sportun, Senior Conservator at Manchester Museum, and I went over to the Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility on the university campus to speak to staff about the practicalities of scanning Worsley Man’s head. We’d like to know whether the section of the damaged vertebra was cut or sawn; whether the cord buried in the flap of soft tissue that survives does indeed go around the neck as a garotte; and what is the composition of anomalous material in a tooth? But the technology will investigate more nuanced questions which we are only just beginning to appreciate.
However, before we reach that point we’d like to gather any comments about the proposed work. Human remains in museums are an important source of information for learning about life in the past. We accept that material of this kind has different meanings to different people and we’d welcome any comments in advance of scanning Worsley Man.
When John Connelly came across the human head whilst was stacking peat blocks on Worsley Moss in August 1958 little can he have imagined the long-term research ramifications of his discovery. The head has been the subject of a Coroner’s Inquest, an exhibit in a Pathology display, a museum specimen and now the proposed subject of a detailed scanning.
Incidentally if anyone knows of Mr Connelly or his family we’d be really interested to hear from you.
Recently I wrote about a controversy over some barbed bone points or harpoons from Holderness in East Yorkshire that took place during the 1920s. Another discovery that sheds some light by association on the Holderness points is that of Poulton-le-Fylde. During the construction of a bungelow animal bones were discovered together with a couple of bone points. The animal had suffered a number of wounds at the hands of prehistoric hunter gatherers. One of the points had even pierced its hoof. Presumably the animal tried to escape the hunters by swimming but, weakened by its wounds, it drowned and the carcass was never recovered. Thousands of years later the animal’s skeleton was discovered during building work. The Poulton-le-Fylde elk can be seen in the Harris Museum in Preston and a truly magnificent exhibit it is too!
The results from the radiocarbon-dating showed the elk died some 13,500 years earlier. This would put it in the late Glacial. Between about 23,000 and 19,000 years ago a large ice sheet covered much of northern Britain. As Ice Age drew to a close the climate got warmer and the ice sheets retreated but this improvement was not sustained and there was a sharp cold ‘snap’ about 13,000 years ago that lasted about 500 years before the climate improved again and warm conditions prevailed similar to those we enjoy today. The elk in the UK dispappeared because of pressure of hunting, or climate change or a combination of both factors.
The Poulton-le-Fylde elk provides an example of an animal hunted using very similar bone points to those found by the Morfitt family. The association of points with a large mammal skeleton can be compared with the point from Skipsea Withow. The date at which this happened is also of interest. The contested Holderness harpoons have never been dated. Having been boiled in glue by the early 20th century antiquaries in order to conserve them means they cannot now be accurately dated. However, a barbed point discovered in a quarry at Gransmoor in Holderness during the 1990s was dated to about 13000 BP, again comparable to the Poulton-le-Fylde example.
What we seem to have is evidence across northern Britain of hunting at an early date, after the melting of the ice sheets. Waterlogged landscapes like Holderness and the Fylde enabled the survival of large mammal skeletons intact and the barbed points of spears associated with them. the Morfitts’ points may be even older than they were said to be during the 1920s.
This Blog continues the series about the relationship between Thomas Sheppard, Curator of Hull Museums and the Morfitt family of Atwick in Holderness. In the last instalment Leslie Armstrong claimed two bone points or harpoons in the Morfitt collection were Maglemosian or mesolithic, i.e. about 10,000 years old. Thomas Sheppard insinuated that the bone points were forgeries. A committee of enquiry was called to investigate the matter…
A fortnight after the British Association meeting in Hull Mr M.C.Burkitt, Prof.J.E.Marr and Dr A.C.Haddon met in Cambridge to compare the Holderness barbed points ‘harpoons’ found by the Morfitt family with similar specimens from Kunda in Estonia. The ‘Cambridge committee’ as it came to be known concluded that ‘in type, general facies, colour, and in the partially mineralised condition of the bone, the Holderness harpoons were identical with those from Kunda… both the Holderness harpoons are genuine antiquities’. However, another committee consisting of Sir Hercules Read, Prof A.Smith Woodward and Prof. P.F.Kendall was appointed by the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute to investigate the matter in London on 6th December 1922. Its conclusion was curiously ambiguous:
‘In general we see no evidence in the objects themselves that is conclusively against their genuineness… A curious feature is that the workmanship of the barbs is so similar as to point to their being the work of the same individual’.
This enabled both parties to claim victory. Leslie Armstrong and other supporters of the Morfitt family felt vindicated because the committee had said there was nothing against them being genuine but Shepaprd seized on the same committee’s comment that they seemed to have been made by the same individual. Admittedly there was a lot of confusion over the context or layers in which the points were found. The Skipsea point was said to have been found ‘in silt beneath 5 feet of peat.’ When Beaumont Morfitt was called to the podium at the British Association Meeting in Hull in the autumn of 1922 he said “the points were 12 or 14 feet down and resting on boulder clay”. Sheppard argued that no-one could dig that deep on the Holderness coast and beds of peat of that depth had never been found. And if they were indeed made by the same individual it didn’t make sense. If they were found in different contexts deposited with an interval of hundreds, if not thousands of years, in between them, then that person must have lived an awful long time!
The Morfitt family had kept details of the discovery of the bone points in note books but the books were not produced in evidence before the committees, very likely because the entries would not have reflected well on the Morfitts, who made spelling mistakes and often wrote in what can only be described as ‘stream of consciousness’ style. The Hornsea point was said to have been found ‘on the margin of the mere whilst excavating for a new gasometer at Hornsea at a depth of 16 feet below the surface in a lacustrine bed amongst the roots of sedges and reedso. The discovery is dated 1915. A sub-committee satisfied itself that no such bed of peat deposits existed at Hornsea.
In publications the dates of discovery of both the Hornsea and the Skipsea points shifted in a way that suggested to Sheppard at least that the claims were mischievous. The Hornsea bone point is also recorded as having been found in 1905; the Skipsea example in 1902 . As there is a letter from Canon William Greenwell to Mr Morfitt dated 27th January 1902, I think the date of 1902 for Skipsea is reliable even if other dates were later published for its discovery. It seems this confusion may have been more down to human error and shoddy note-keeping by the Morfitt family rather than conspiracy. Even if one committee had ruled in favour of their genuineness, the second had raised doubts which Thomas Sheppard exploited ruthlessly. Ultimately it all looked rather damning for Armstrong and the Morfitts.
The London committee had also concluded ‘Mr Sheppard appears to have had strong grounds for doubting the authenticity of the harpoons, but the evidence on which his judgement is based is no longer verifiable.’
No what on earth did that mean? To answer that question we really have to fast forward to 1929 after the last member of the Morfitt family, Beaumont, had died. Thomas Sheppard finally revealed the strong grounds for doubting the authentity of the ‘Holderness harpoons’. But that’s the subject of the next blog in this series…
Day just got off to a great start. I was taking a seat at the staff presentation earlier this morning when Lindsey Loughtman called me over to say she’d found an object in the Botany collection that certainly wasn’t natural history and was it archaeology? You bet yer!
I recognised it immediately as a neolithic ground and polished stone axehead dating from about 3500-2000 BC. Not only that, it had the original ‘O’ number museum reference written on it together with the name of the place where it was found: Winton near Eccles.
It was a stone axehead I knew of from references in J.Wilfrid Jackson’s papers about the archaeology of Manchester. The Eccles example is listed on page 74 of Jackson’s ‘The Prehistoric Archaeology of Lancashire and Cheshire’, Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society 50 (1936), pp.65-106; and in his ‘Contributions to the Archaeology of the Manchester Region’, The North Western Naturalist 11 (1936), pp.110-119.
It turned up during the building of the new Westwood housing estate at Winton in 1922. At the time it was described as one of the finest and most perfect specimens in the Manchester area. J.J.Phelps in a short article ‘Stone Implement found at Winton, Eccles’, Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society 40 (19XX), pp.42-44 described it as ‘a remarkably fine specimen’ and ‘one of the finest and most perfect specimens found in the district around Manchester’.
The axehead was found in June 1922 by Mr. James Caine, who saw it lying on top of spoil thrown out of a drainage trench cut in the soil about the centre of a newly made roadway named Westwood Crescent near Parrin Lane.
The axehead was presented to Manchester Museum by the Health Department of Eccles Corporation.
The axehead has been sampled petrologically. You can see the thin slot cut in the side of the axe in order to provide a thin section to be used for identification. The material was identified by J.W.Jackson of the Manchester Museum and W.B.Wright of the Geological Survey as group VI greenstone, a kind of rock known as volcanic tuff. It is fine grained because it is made up of the compacted dust and grains from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. It shares characteristics with glass and flint which means it can be shaped by flaking because it will break in a predictable way. The source material outcrops in Langdale in the Lake District and the Pike O’Stickle quarry is famous for its breath-taking location. The prehistoric axe-makers made rough-outs and then ground and polished the rough-out until it was smooth and of a regular, symmetrical shape.
I wanted to display it with other Manchester neolithic discoveries in our new Ancient Worlds displays which opened last autumn but unfortunately I couldn’t locate it. It was in the Botany department all the time! I can only speculate that perhaps the Curator of Botany years ago was running some sort of seminar on pollen analysis and wanted to show the impact of the felling of trees by people in prehistory. If that is the explanation, why use what must be one of the finest examples of a neolithic axehead in the collection, if not all of Manchester?
This is still a wonderful surprise and it’s great to be reunited with an old friend. Thanks Lindsey!
Another welcome surprise during my recent holiday in Crete was to see an obsidian drinking vessel or goblet in the Antiquities Museum in Iraklion. It’s almost 30cm tall! It’s from Zakros at the eastern end of the island and the label in the Iraklion Museum said it dates from the New Palace period (1500-1450 BC).
I sent a copy of the photo to Dr Elizabeth Healy who is in the Archaeology department at the University of Manchester and she commented that “It must have been a huge piece of obsidian!” A lot of work has been work done on sourcing some of the Greek obsidian vessels by Prof.Tristan Carter at McMaster University in Canada.
I haven’t seen many vessels made of obsidian but there is one in the Ancient Worlds third gallery in a case of alabaster and other stone containers from ancient Egypt. In this gallery we wanted to show off more of collections that were previously in storage and so we got out lots of examples of glass vessels, jewellery, shabtis and other items. Had we not done this it is unlikely that colleagues in the wider university would have realised that we have an obsidian vessel from ancient Egypt in the collection.
The Manchester Museum’s black kohl-pot has a flat rim, and a fragment of the lid, which has a rebate to fit into the mouth of the kohl-pot. It was identified as obsidian in the Museum original register. It measures 4.2 x 3.3 cm and was given by the British School of Archaeology in Egypt (1912-1913). It dates from the Middle Kingdom (Dynasty 12) and was found at el-Riqqa in Middle Egypt.
There are also flakes of obsidian displayed in one of the sections in the Discovering Archaeology gallery. They come from the site of Yanik Tepe in northern Iraq. Work is currently being undertaken by Tristan Carter at McMaster Universitry to try and identify the source of the obsidian, which is a kind of natural glass produced at high temperature in volcanoes. This is the material known as dragonglass in the popular Game of Thrones books by George R.R.Martin.
Prof Tristan Carter commented that although the Zachros vessel has not been analysed chemically it is ‘almost certainly’ made of obsidian from the Aegean (Dodecanesian) source of Giali (near Nisyros). The material was originally referred to as ‘Liparite’ by Sir Arthur Evans (some of this material was found at Knossos) who thought it was the ‘spherultic’ material from Lipari, a claim that ‘made sense’ at the time with regard to claimed links between Minoan Crete and Spanish tin sources (of which no evidence has ever been found).
Renfrew et al (1965) proved in fact that the very distinctive white spotted obsidian in the Aegean came from Giali. It has terrible flaking properties so it was only used on local islands for chipped stone tools during the Neolithic.
From the Middle Bronze Age it was exploited by Cretan (or Minoan) lapidaries to make vases (following a lead from the Assyrian Trade colony in central Anatolia – e,g, Kultepe/Acemhoyu – and northern Levant and Egypt).
This vase is Late Minoan IB (post Theran eruption and for some the apogee of Minoan civilisation).
The use of this obsidian for raw materials is rare for vases and restricted to palaces (also Malia and Knossos) and high status sites. This form of vessel was also made using other raw materials. Zakro would have had good connections by sea to the Dodecanese.
I must check whether we have any Nisyros obsidian in our lithics collection.
Thanks to Prof.Carter for sharing this information.
I bumped into Craig Brisbane on the Ancient Worlds galleries a few weeks ago and he mentioned in passing that the Prestwich Archaeology Group had found a neolithic stone axe head on the site of an old building. This immediately set off an allert on my radar because I have been looking for some time for a local example of what are known as ‘thunderstones’ or kerauni to put on display in the Ancient Worlds archaeology gallery.
Thunderstones are explained in Ralph Merrifield’s The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic (Batsford 1987). The story goes something like this: in Greek and Roman times people did not know when they found a prehistoric stone axe that it was a piece of archaeology. They understood it to be a fossilised thunderbolt and called it a keraunos. Working on the principle that lightning never strikes the same place twice, it made sense to them to place it in the roofs of buildings to act as a charm to ward off lightning. Ralph Merrifield mentions a Neolithic stone axe head found in a Medieval building context at Treasury Green in London. He argued that the axe could have dropped down from the roof where it had been placed as a protective talisman, and ended up in the footprint of the building when it fell into ruin.
I wanted to display an example of one of the re-used axes in Ancient Worlds. As it turned out, the best example we could find before the opening was a Neolithic adze, found in the lining of a Romano-British potter’s clay pit at Brockley Hill, Middlesex, which we borrowed from the Museum of London. I always felt that a local example ought to turn up. And now, thanks to Craig, it seems to have done.
Craig put me in touch with Ms Susan Lord, Museum Curator at Bury Art Museum , which has the Rainsough excavation archive with the stone axe, on loan from Bolton Museum. She kindly sent me information about the Rainsough excavations.
In the meantime I checked with Mike Nevell, Head of the Centre for Applied Archaeology at the University of Salford. Mike confirmed, after speaking to Craig, that the axe was found whilst excavating the foundations of a timber-framed cruck cottage, at Rainsough Brow, in Prestwich, about half way between Manchester and Bolton, during the 1980s. I understand that cottages like this were still being built into the 17th century. The axe came from the middle room of the cottage, in the main heated room space. Mike told me there was no surviving floor surface there when the site was dug, but the axe was not in a pit or a cut but at the surface. Of course, we cannot be absolutely sure that the axe had been in the roof and fell down during dereliction, but judging by the location and shallow depth of the axe head, Mike felt that this was highly likely.
What do other people think? Do you agree that the Rainsough Neolithic axe head is probably a keraunos?
You can find out more about the circumstances of this discovery in Archaeology North West, the Bulletin of CBA North West No7 vol.2,part 1 spring/summer 1994 (see Dr Michael Nevell’s article ‘Rainsough a Romano-British site in the Irwell Valley’). You can find a plan and a section drawing of the cottage in Michael Nevell and Norman Redhead’s Bury the Archaeology of a Pennine Valley (University of Manchester, 1999).
We are now talking to Susan Lord and the museums at Bury and Bolton with a view to borrowing it to display in our Ancient Worlds galleries.
Though this isn’t exactly an International Rescue, we can at least say that Thunderstones are Go!
My sincerest thanks to Craig Brisbane for mentioning the axe, to Susan Lord for sending photographs and supporting information, and to Mike Nevell for confirming the stratigraphic location, all of which has helped in the reappraisal of this discovery.
A few weeks ago I received an enquiry from Paul Brown asking whether we had any artefacts from the famous site at Ehenside Tarn in the archaeology collections. Students of archaeology, particularly wetland archaeology, will be familiar with this site, which is situated in low hills overlooking the Irish Sea in south-west Cumbria. When the tarn was drained in 1869, archaeological material including flint and other stone implements and wooden artefacts were exposed. R.D.Darbishire subsequently investigated the site. What was particularly astounding was the discovery of a greenstone axe complete with its beechwood haft (see Bryony and John Coles’ People of the Wetlands, 1989).
I found a grindstone or quern from the site in the Museum a few years ago. Although it wasn’t on our documentation system, it had been given the number O.1787. I went to the ‘O’ number catalogue and there was the reference “Grindstone (No.17) Ehenside Tarn”. This enabled me to to trace its modern accession number in a concordance volume. I found that O.1787 had been renumbered as 22283 on the documentation system. I searched on the computer and there it was, except that it was documented as ‘unprovenanced’ or without a locality. I had a result! With the help of information contained within the record I quickly located the grindstone in the archaeology store. It had been donated by R.D.Darbishire. I also updated the record with the locality details. Terry Manby, who knows more about prehistory and prehistoric collections in museums in the North of England, told me this is a grindstone for finishing axe heads rather than for grinding grain to make flour.
R.D.Darbishire had excavated the site for the Society of Antiquaries in 1871. But who was R.D.Darbishire? The next time I went to the Local History Library in the city centre I checked the biographical index and found a whole host of references to R.D.Darbishire.
Robert Dukinfield Darbishire (1826-1908) was a solicitor and one of three legatees of the estate of Sir Joseph Whitworth. Darbishire took a particular interest in the Whitworth Park and Institute (the Whitworth Art Gallery) but clearly had wide-ranging interests. He was a keen conchologist or collector of shells. In 1868 he was involved in the acquisition of the collections of the Manchester Natural History Society Museum by Owens College (the forerunner of the University of Manchester). The collection had previously been offered to and declined by the Manchester Corporation. Darbishire played a similar role in the acquisition of the collection of the Manchester Geological Society so Darbishire was a “founding father” of the Manchester Museum. A painting of R.D.Darbishire wearing his characteristic black skull cap by Mr T.B.Pennington used to be on display in the entrance to the Whitworth Art Gallery. Darbishire was made an honorary freedman of the city on October 6th 1899. Towards the end of his life Darbishire’s large collection of prehistoric stone and flint artefacts was transferred to the Museum.
It remains to be seen whether any other artefacts from the famous Ehenside Tarn remain to be identified within the lithics collection of The Manchester Museum. They would certainly be of considerable historical significance.
There the matter rested until Paul Brown’s enquiry. In return for providing him with a photo of the grindstone, Paul has very kindly allowed us to use photos of Ehenside Tarn. Some time ago the drainage outlet became blocked and for a short time the tarn looked something like its appearance when the discoveries were made in the 19th century. It’s a great thrill to see them and share them with a wider audience and the Museum is very grateful to Paul for allowing us to use them in this way.
The photograph above shows an example of the work of ‘Flint Jack’ or Edward Simpson. Jack achieved notoriety in the late 19th century by selling fake antiquities to unsuspecting collectors and museum curators. Eventually the truth got out and Jack went to Ireland to lie low for a time. We know ‘Jack’ used a number of different aliases like ‘Fossil Willy’, ‘Bones’ and ‘Shirtless’.
We’re very lucky to have in the collection of the Manchester Museum a reference to his activities in a letter written by the photographer R.J.Welch, the conchologist, to Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum benefactor Robert Dukinfield Darbishire in the early 1900s.
There’s some wonderful period detail about lunching with the heads of department at Harland and Wolff’s shipyard before Welch refers to a young naturalist of his acquaintance, A.W.Stelfox, who met Jack:
The young collector ‘turned out a tray of Stone Jack’s forgeries made for the Stelfox children about 10 years ago while they lived for some months at Bushfoot, Giant’s Causeway. Arthur saw some of them made on the spot & knows all about ‘Jack’ and his work. Jack only worked enough to get money for usquebaugh [the water of life or whisky]. I do not know any part of Ireland where the Tourist trade [? word not clear] (alas that my business should be to still further develop it) has more entirely demoralised the smaller farmer class than about the Causeway and Bushmills district, they neglect their farms and work to sponge on or mildly blackmail timid Saxon tourists during the summer months as guides & c & c.
They are very poor forgeries most of them. If useful I could photo the best and worst for you some day. Did you ever get from Mr Wm Gray his photo of Stone Jack at work. If not I will try and get you a print or enlargement.’
The letter is dated 24th February 1904, so if Stelfox saw the fake arrowheads being made ten years earlier, they were made in 1894. The young natural historian was Arthur Wilson Stelfox (1883-1972), who trained as an architect but found employment more suited to his interests in the National Museum in Dublin. His research in the fields of conchology, entomology, botany, archaeology and genetics was recognised officially when he was elected an Associate of the Linnaean Society in 1947. Stelfox must have been 9 or 10 when he met Jack. One can imagine Jack, good-natured despite his trade and his drinking, demonstrating how he made flint arrowheads for the no-doubt wide-eyed children.
We have two dozen of Flint Jack’s arrowheads with the Welch letter and it seems likely that they are the fakes that are referred to. However, there is a mystery here. Many articles have been written about Flint Jack and they put his date of birth in the early years of the 19th century (1812 or 1815). He seems last to have been sighted in 1874 and is said to have died in 1875. If that is the case, what is he doing turning up nearly twenty years later near the Giant’s Causeway in northern Ireland in 1894? He would have been in his late 70s. The alternative explanation is that Stelfox didn’t meet the real Flint Jack but another imposter who used the same alias ‘Stone Jack’. That may be the case but Welch’s letter implies that Stelfox had encountered the real ‘Flint Jack’ (as opposed to one of his emulators) because he goes on to talk about William Gray’s photograph of Flint Jack at work.
Thanks to my old friend Terry Manby over in the East Riding, I now have a copy of a newspaper report about a meeting of the Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club in 1873 at which Mr William Gray gave a description of Flint Jack and his works. The article gives details of Jack’s Irish tour: ‘From Belfast he went to Antrim, Ballymena, Balleymoney and Coleraine, from whence he visited the Giant’s Causeway – spending a Sunday there.’ Whoever the faker may have been who met the Stelfox children in 1894, Stelfox and Welch believed it was the well-known Flint Jack.
The letter adds a little local detail about an encounter with a faker of prehistoric flint artefacts. If nothing else it adds gives another human interest story to the Ancient Worlds galleries that visitors will be able to explore through download materials using a mobile device.
Amazing what turns up at the Museum. Yesterday I received a telephone call from Mr Tony Shuck asking if we could identify an old sword that belonged to his late father. He did not know how his father came by the sword but he remembered that at one point his father had chased an intruder across the garden waving the sword and wearing only his underpants! Tony did not know where the sword came from and wanted to find out more.
From Tony’s description I gathered that the sword wasn’t very old in archaeological terms because it still had its leather scabbard and its bound leather handle with pommel. I don’t claim any expertise with this sort of material but I know a man who does, or who, at the very least, knows about matters military: Michael Whitworth.
Michael is Head of Commercial Operations at the Museum and he kindly agreed to meet me and Mr Shuck in reception this morning. We went up to a meeting room to see the sword. Michael identified the sword as probably Sudanese and mid-later 19th century or early 20th century in date. He suspected it had picked up as a souvenir from a battlefield in East Africa.
There were a number of campaigns in Victorian times in this part of the world against the Dervishes. Gordon of Khartoum is perhaps one of the most well-known casualties of these wars. This was all very well and good and I was pleased we’d been able to help Tony with his enquiry. But then it occurred to me that this was rather helpful in shedding light on one of the objects in our Ancient Worlds displays. In our third gallery we are going to show lots of objects and explain why we have so many examples of things like lamps and glass vessels and so on.
One of the display cases shows objects that copy other things, sometimes in a rather surprising way. We are going to show some Danish prehistoric flint tools. One of them has been flaked or shaped in such a way that it imitates the stitching you might find on a leather handle. I realised when I saw Tony’s sword hilt that this was very similar to what the Danish flint workers must have been trying to copy about 4000 years ago, as you can see from the photographs. It’s really useful to have the photograph of the East African sword for comparison and Tony’s happy for us to use this in a download of additional information about the objects that visitors can look at on a mobile device.
I am really grateful to Tony and his partner Holly for bringing the sword in to show us today and to Michael for kindly giving up his time to identify it.