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St Patrick's Isle Pagan Lady Burial iron rod

Date made: Viking: 800-1265

Description: This plain iron rod tapers at both ends and is more or less square in section. There is a lozenge-shaped iron loop which acts as a "guard" between the main length and handle. Adhering to the rod are small fragments of bone, textile fragments and pseudomorphs (imprints) of feathers and plant seeds. This material seems to have been wrapped around the main part of the rod (though thickest at the top) a number of times.

The rod was found to the right hand side of the body (on top of the clothing), from the inside of the right arm to just below the knee. Most of the feathers have their tips towards the point of the rod and were probably wings. On top of this was placed a bunch of seed-bearing plants.

The textile remains are now mineralised, but it is likely that they represent woollen fabric. Four different types have been identified on the rod.

The rod is one of the most intriguing of the Pagan Lady's grave goods. Very few have been found outside of Scandinavia. Was it a cooking spit, accompanied by herbs for cooking and a goose wing for basting or dusting? Or was it a staff of office for a wise-woman who was buried with a herbal or floral tribute?

Measurements: 837mm; 20mm x 17mm w (originally 10mm x 12mm)

Materials: feather, iron, textile

Date found: 1984

Object name: rod

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 1984-0016/27


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Dear Sirs and Madams, I would like to insert this image in a booklet I am currently working on. Is there a copyright , and if so, how much would it cost to use the image for the book? Thank you very much, Christa Viohl - christa Viohl Report this