SAFS fieldwork find Pictish copper smith’s workshop

25 JUL 2018 | BY GAFFNEY, C

SAFS students on UoB fieldwork in Orkney have been part of an exciting discovery that is all over the web.

The site located on the Orkney Islands has revealed a sooty imprint of what is believed to be the smith’s hands and knees, which could potentially be 1500 years old.

Dr Stephen Dockrill, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Bradford explains: “Analysis of crucible fragments and the floor deposits demonstrated that a copper smith worked in the building. The analysis of the floor enables us to say with confidence where the smith worked, next to a hearth and two stone anvils. The biggest surprise came when we lifted the larger stone anvil and cleaned it; we could see carbon imprints of the smith’s knees and hands.”

Dr Julie Bond, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Bradford added: “This is an extremely exciting find and we are doing all we can to gather as much information on the site before it is destroyed by the sea. A handprint is so personal and individual that you can almost feel the presence of the copper smith and imagine what it must have been like working in there all those years ago.”

You can find out more in the Guardian’s story

or the University’s press release:


Orkney, Bay of Swandro

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