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from Kildonan, Eigg, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Whetstone.
© National Museums Scotland


This slate whetstone was found in a man's grave at Kildonan on Eigg in the Inner Hebrides. He was buried between 875 and 925 with a sword, a plain penannular brooch, a belt, jet beads and some small pieces of flint.

The whetstone has a hole at one end to allow it to be hung from a belt. It is broken at the other end. It is worn from much use.

Whetstones were used to sharpen tools and weapons. They occur in a number of shapes and sizes. Some stones were particularly favoured, and traded widely in the Viking world. They occur in graves of both men and women.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-816-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0036: Kiloran Bay Viking Burial (multimedia essay)
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 177
Date: Between 875 and 925
Material: Stone; small; perforated at one end; much worn
Where: Scotland, Inverness-shire, Eigg, Kildonan
Description: Small whetstone, much worn, perforated at one end, from Kildonan, Eigg
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, p 84. 
  • Grieg, Sigurd. Viking Antiquities in Scotland (=Viking Antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland, Part II, ed. by Haakon Shetelig). Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1940, p 70. 
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