Thursday, April 24, 2008

Celtic Spoons

The following information comes from an old report of 1924, supplied kindly by Rhiannon some months ago. The report by James Hewat Craw is in connection with two bronze spoons found in a grave near Burnmouth, Berwickshire, Scotland. These two spoons are the only ones found so far north. The interesting thing about them is that they do not seem to be baptismal spoons, in fact were found in an iron age grave. The skeleton was lying east-north-east, and had a cist like grave with four sandstone slabs used as a cover. These slabs had been brought from the seashore half a mile away. In the grave was a skeleton of a man lying on his right side, between the hands were the two spoons, a knife and the jaws and bones of a young pig.
It can be inferred from the presence of the pig, that this is a pagan burial, food for the journey, with the knife as defence, but what of the spoons?
Craw records 9 sets of these celtic spoons,with some singular. He also notes the spoons found here in Weston as "On the brow of a small hollow in which a rivulet flows" (Locksbrook Stream)
Another two spoons were found in a female grave in France; In Deal, Kent, there was a pair found among graves of later Romano-Britsh date; this could of course have been an 'antique'; In Wales at Pembryn near Cardigan, under a heap of stones in a non-roman camp called Castell Nadolig, the Google book highlighted shows that the Nadolig spoons were found in 1865.
Some of the spoons have a hole on the right side, this is why they have always been presumed to be christian spoons, and also of course a marked cross in the bowl of the spoon. Experiment has shown that it is almost impossible to trickle water though the hole but that oil will drip through. could it have been a measuring spoon, or indeed just the normal 'utensils' that were used and having various uses.......

Google book result 1865 with picture of the Nadolig spoons;

The rather beautiful single spoon found in the Thames now at the British Museum.....

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