© David Freeman

Wooden Objects

Wood is one of the widest used materials in the world. Without it humans would struggle to make shelter, or stay warm. It is easy to work, even another piece of wood, suitably sharpened, can shape it. Simple tools, such as a stone hammer and a wedge, can split wood into planks and staves. It can be bent into shape, it can be fire hardened. We humans became very adept in exploiting this amazing material a long time ago.

We have made a vast range of goods over the millennia.
And yet...
Very few survive because they rot quickly in the ground, or perhaps ended up as fuel on a fire?. Some of the exceptions are waterlogged sites. What follows are constructions of archaeological finds, with information of the find, and the possible use of the item.

Bent Wooden Box
A find from the Glastonbury Lake Village.
The find is a long thin strip of wood, with an incised decoration on one surface, and a line of small holes along one edge, with more holes across one end.
This construct bends the strip into a cylinder. A base is sew in, and a lid covers the top.

Turned Spoon
A find from the Glastonbury Lake Village. Manufactured on a pole lathe in one piece. Split in half down the length, and hollowed out

Stave Built Bucket
A find from the Glastonbury Lake Village.
Some of the staves survived, and had a groove across the bottom showing that there was a base. The construct is made of oak. There are leather bands holding the bucket together, as there is no indication of metal bands in the original.

A find from the Glastonbury Lake Village.
Constructed from oak, as is the original. Used to catch the flour from the quern. Turns out to be ideal used lengthways to knead bread on.

Low Table
From a bog in Tyrone, Ireland.
Mentioned by the Romans in reference to the Britons "...they sit on the floor and eat from low tables..."


Storage Chest
A find from the Glastonbury Lake Village.
The lid of the chest is a copy of the find. It is approximately 1m long. It has extensions off the ends on one edge, shaped as pegs. Interpreting those as swivels, they are used as a hinge on the lid of the chest.
In the excavation the wood plank is interpreted as "a door"".
Finds from the continent.
An ard is a simple plough, designed to stir the soil to make a tilth in which you plant your crop. The ard does not turn a furrow. It was pulled by a pair of oxen, and can be used to plough a field of 30m x 30m in the course of a day.

Find from Garton Station, East Yorkshire.
Classed as a Chariot Burial, it sits close to a small stream that periodically flooded the burial with silt.This replaced the wood as it decayed. The chariot was left with a clay representation in the grave.

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