Comb of bone

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From Freswick, Caithness

Postcard of Comb of bone.
© National Museums Scotland

Comb of bone

This bone comb was found at Freswick in Caithness. It is a type of comb manufactured in present-day northern Germany, and was probably brought to Scotland by Norse traders, or as a personal gift, between 1275 and 1300.

The double-sided comb has plates of antler cut into teeth, riveted together between two connecting plates. Each side is offset, with teeth of differing thickness. The comb has beaked ends, one incomplete, decorated with a double dot in circle motif.

An important late Norse farm existed at Freswick Bay. It is mentioned in Norse sagas, and a series of buildings have been excavated, most dating between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-645-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 656
Date: 1275 - 1300 AD
Between 1275 and 1300
Material: Bone; double toothed; asymmetrical; beaked ends, one of which is incomplete, ornamented with a double circle and dot decoration
Dimensions: 3.13" L
What: Comb
Where: Scotland, Caithness, Freswick
Description: Schleswig type bone comb with beaked ends ornamented with a double circle and dot decoration, from Freswick, Caithness, 1275 - 1300 AD
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