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Farmer's Doorstop Turns Out To Be Important Bronze Age Artifact

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posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 10:40 PM
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I'm a fan of accidental archaeological find stories and this one that just showed up on my news feed is a perfect example!

Twelve years ago a farmer in East Rudham, Norfolk, was plowing his field when he discovered a bent piece of bronze in the soil. Not quite realizing what he'd found, the farmer brought the four pound piece home and used it as a doorstop for several years. Then in 2013, he was reportedly considering throwing it out when a friend suggested he first have it looked at by an archaeologist — and I bet he's glad he did!

All excerpts and images from The History Blog:

Images of Rudham Dirk courtesy of the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.


In 2013, the object was reviewed by Andrew Rogerson, Senior Historic Environment Officer of Norfolk’s Identification and Recording Service which is in charge of county’s Portable Antiquities Scheme. He identified it as an extremely rare and important ceremonial dirk from the Middle Bronze Age, around 1,500 B.C.

The landowner agreed to sell it to the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery for £40,970 ($64,272). Thanks to a £38,970 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and a £2,000 donation from the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, the Norwich Castle Museum is now the proud owner of a 3,500-year-old bronze ceremonial dirk.


A dirk is a long dagger designed for thrusting and what is now known as the Rudham Dirk is one of only six specimens of this type of ceremonial dagger ever found and one of only two discovered in the UK. The dirk's heft, purposefully blunted edge and lack of rivet holes indicate that it was not created for use as a practical weapon for everyday Bronze Age stabbing. In a practice common to the Bronze Age and later, the blade was bent as symbolic act of destruction prior to burial.

The nearly identical Oxborough Dirk is on display at the British Museum.

But wait, there's more!

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this and the other five dirks are the similarities that point to a probable common origin — despite two of them having been found in France and another two in the Netherlands!


Their dimensions and details are so similar that all dirks likely came from the same workshop, perhaps even the same hand. They are virtually identical in form, decoration and cross-section. The Beaune and Ommerschans examples are the same length (68 centimeters or just short of 27 inches) as the Rudham Dirk. The Oxborough Dirk is slightly longer at 70 centimeters, while the Jutphaas Dirk is 20 centimeters shorter. If one shop is responsible for all of them, it had an impressive reach through ancient trade networks.


How cool is that?
edit on 2015-1-21 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 10:44 PM
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That is terrific! I read about Dirks mostly in fantasy novels when i was a teen lol.




How cool is that?


Fonzie cool.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 10:47 PM
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Nice find, and nice dirk. I hope the farmer who was thinking of throwing it out until his friend came up with a wise suggestion gave a little of the money to the friend. Or at least bought him a very nice gift.

Here's Wikipedia's Dirk page:
en.wikipedia.org... , although they date Dirks as much later, so their Dagger page fits this better as it discusses prehistoric finds, en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 21-1-2015 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian
Wow,
Imagine finding one of those plowing, and how could anyone not recognize that it was special.


Nice find and thanks for posting that.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 11:13 PM
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I wouldn't of known what the hell that thing was. Awesome find!!!



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 11:39 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Stories like this are almost enough to make me want to move to UK and become a farmer (or at least go check out what these folks are using for doorstops)!


I'm guessing that since he didn't haul it off to the dump/foundry, he knew enough to know that it was something special but how he didn't realize immediately that it was a bronze weapon is beyond me.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 11:41 PM
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originally posted by: Aleister
Nice find, and nice dirk. I hope the farmer who was thinking of throwing it out until his friend came up with a wise suggestion gave a little of the money to the friend. Or at least bought him a very nice gift.


Agreed. I'd think a couple grand for the friend wouldn't be unreasonable.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 11:50 PM
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I have been reading 'The Outlander' and dirks are mentioned often. I was able to figure out it was a knife of sorts.

Wonderful find. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 11:59 PM
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You are tilling the garden and find a piece of brass like that. You wonder if there was an old dump where your garden is then toss it into the scrap brass that you will be taking to the scrapyard some day when you get enough. Darn piece of metal caused the shear pin on the augers to snap.

Most people would not recognize an ancient artifact they dug up at home unless the area is known for ancient artifacts. Then if the artifact doesn't match what is known about the old culture there, it might be thought to be something tossed into the woods by someone a hundred years ago.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 02:08 AM
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That's pretty cool not going to lie



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 02:58 AM
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Amazing .. and still in such beautiful shape for its age as well ..



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 04:50 AM
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'Farmer' and 'Norfolk'

two words which indicate to me that he's clearly not going to be the sharpest Dirk in the Shamans tool box.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 05:13 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I wonder if the archaelogists are going to do a dig on his land and possibly find more?

What is amazing but it shouldn't be, is that the surviving dirks appear to be from the same workshop. Ancient craftsmanship was really something I suspect not many people appreciate. I often watch the 'trying to create what was made in the past using the methods they had at the time' - or what we think they had at the time and the difficulties encountered - truly amazing.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 05:18 AM
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I would have chucked the dog piss out of that.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 05:57 AM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: punkinworks10

Stories like this are almost enough to make me want to move to UK and become a farmer (or at least go check out what these folks are using for doorstops)!


I'm guessing that since he didn't haul it off to the dump/foundry, he knew enough to know that it was something special but how he didn't realize immediately that it was a bronze weapon is beyond me.



He's a farmer! more things to worry about than a bit of metal, plowing, reaping, weather, fences, flooding, ditches, barns, lord knows what else!



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 05:59 AM
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snip from the OP:


Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this and the other five dirks are the similarities that point to a probable common origin — despite two of them having been found in France and another two in the Netherlands!



Their dimensions and details are so similar that all dirks likely came from the same workshop, perhaps even the same hand. They are virtually identical in form, decoration and cross-section. The Beaune and Ommerschans examples are the same length (68 centimeters or just short of 27 inches) as the Rudham Dirk. The Oxborough Dirk is slightly longer at 70 centimeters, while the Jutphaas Dirk is 20 centimeters shorter. If one shop is responsible for all of them, it had an impressive reach through ancient trade networks....


 


I emphasise this :
""Their dimensions and details are so similar that all dirks likely came from the same workshop, perhaps even the same hand.""

and so the Fabled Atlantis connection is fabricated as an explanation...as the likely place the Dirks were made


edit on nd31142192801922002015 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 07:09 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

That would have definitely happened here, the metal scrap bucket then off for a few bucks for more seed. Most people don't know what they're looking at (including me!) so obviously I'd be heartbroken. Lucky that bloke listened to his friend!!



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 07:50 AM
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Once the dirt was cleaned off it i would have wet myself in excitement.

Successful farmers are highly intelligent, its just their knowledge isn't in ancient weapons and I suspect many don't have a lot of leisure reading time.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 08:34 AM
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originally posted by: St Udio
snip from the OP:
and so the Fabled Atlantis connection is fabricated as an explanation...as the likely place the Dirks were made



I'd prefer "...and so the Fabled Ozzie's House O' Dirks in Cumbria is the likely place the dirks were made". It is more likely by several orders of magnitude, given the lack of an Atlantis.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: Caver78

When my son in law was at work, working in an area digging sewer lines, they were thirty feet down with their ditch so they could get a sewer line through a high spot, crossing a hill. Down there he found a medicine bottle and some old booze bottles. How did they get down there? Well, maybe someone a couple hundred years ago had a well dug there and they filled it in long ago and covered the area with a road. This is just one guess of many. I suppose nobody will ever know for sure how those bottles from the late eighteen hundreds to early nineteen hundreds got there.



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