(Photo: ©York Archaeological Trust)

It is a very rare treat when something as intangible as a one thousand-year-old sound is recovered from an excavation. This is what has happened as the result of a discovery from a 10th century pit at Coppergate in York.

Amongst the debris in the pit was a small rectangular wooden object less than 10cm long. There was a hole in one corner and five tubes of different lengths had been bored through the wood, the smallest one broken off along the side. What was this strange object?

Treatment and analysis

Find number 1976.7, 5083; catalogue number 9038. Length 97mm, width 61mm, thickness 12mm.
For more information see: The Archaeology of York 17/13, Wood and Woodworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York by Carole A. Morris.