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Ornament of cannel coal

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From Law Hill, Dundee, Angus

Ornament of cannel coal
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This cannel coal ornament was found at Law Hill in Dundee in Angus. Its shape closely resembles that of a gold belt hook from a rich 2nd millennium BC grave in Wessex, southern England.

The plaque is decorated with three deeply cut grooves around the edges of its upper surface. In two places the guidelines used by the craftsman are still visible. On the back there is a large V-shaped hole, indicating that it had been sewn into a garment.

This is an example of a Scottish-made object emulating a prestigious southern English fashion item. Other examples are known, made from bone. Cannel coal was a local substitute for jet, a prestigious north British material from around Whitby in Yorkshire.

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