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From Houlland, Unst, Shetland

Postcard of Ladle.
© National Museums Scotland


This steatite ladle was one of several found in a marshy area at Houlland at Unst in Shetland. They may have been placed as a religious offering, symbolic of food, sometime between 800 and 1100.

Handled cooking bowl of steatite from Houlland, Unst, Shetland, between 800 and 1100 AD

The Vikings used steatite for a wide range of artefacts including cooking vessels, spindle whorls, lamps and fishing line sinkers. They were familiar with its uses from Norway, and must have been pleased to find steatite outcropping in Shetland.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-033-167-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.AQ 4
Date: Between 800 and 1100
between 800 and 1100 AD
Material: Steatite; ladle-like; with straight handle
Dimensions: 4.50" - 7.00" internal D
What: Cooking bowl
Where: Scotland, Shetland, Unst, Houlland, Loch of Cliff
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