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Finds from the Moorfields marsh – cabinet 2

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The objects recovered included household items such as ceramic vessels and implements, as well as tools and other items used in manufacturing. They date to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Pottery included imported wares from the Netherlands [1], Beauvais in France [2] and Germany [3]. Locally produced vessels were also found, including chafing dishes for warming food [4]. A very unusual find is part of a basil pot [5] or plant pot, made by Moorish potters near Valencia in the early 15th century. It was found at Moorgate and is thought to be the first time this type of vessel has been found on an archaeological site in Britain.

Domestic implements included spoons, one a toy spoon [6], and knives. Animal bones such as fallow deer [7] and a tiny house mouse jaw bone [8] were found, while mackerel [9], cod [10], plaice [11] and roach [12] were among the fish bones found. Bird bones included turkey [13] a North American import, still rare at this time, and a leg bone from a crane [14]. Grape seeds [15], plum stones [16] and pieces of walnut and hazelnut [17] were among the food remains discovered.

The many thimbles [18] found show that home-based industries including sewing and tailoring were common. Cloth working is represented by a carding comb [19], used on raw wool, and small iron tenterhooks [20] used in the processing and drying of cloth. Pinners’ bones [21], which were used by pin-makers to file the points on lengths of wire for pins, were also found.

Coins and jettons, used for accounting, were common. In particular many Nuremberg jettons [22] dating from the late 15th to mid-16th century were found, along with one from Tournai [23] and two ‘Venus pennies’ from the Low Countries [24]. Coins included a penny of Edward IV (1471-83) [25] and a silver half-penny of Henry VII or VIII [26]. The most unusual coin is a gold half ducat of Leonardo Loredan, the Doge of Venice [27], dating to 1501-21.