Leiston Abbey was home to a little known monastic order called the Premonstratensians. We’ve got just three more days to finish excavating, so what have we discovered so far? Here’s our top five finds to date:
1. Nuremberg Jetton
This Nuremberg jetton was discovered in Trench 11 on Day 1 of our second season at Leiston Abbey. The lettering on the edge of the jetton show that it was struck by Hans Krauwinckel and dates to the latter half of the 16th Century. It was discovered in the cleaning layer at the top of a drainage ditch that flowed through the earthworks field to the west of Leiston Abbey. You can see the 3D model and also read more about it on our blog.
2. Papal Bulla
Originally dug up in the 2013 excavation, we initially thought this was a commemorative medal. But after reinvestigating it this year, we discovered that it was a papal bulla of Pope Clement VI and would have been used as an official seal. You can just about make out the beardy face of St Paul on the left. It dates to between 1342 and 1352, predating the move of Leiston Abbey to its current location by ten years. You can read more about it on our blog.
3. Belt Ornament
With the help of a local metal detectorist, we have been able to make some discoveries from the spoil heap. The first one of these, from Trench 11, is a small possible belt ornament. The ornament has two fixing hooks still present on the back of it.
4. Possible Curse Tablet
Another spoil heap discovery, this Romano British curse tablet was found in Trench 11, is made of lead and has been deliberately folded. We can’t wait for it to be unfolded in the lab so we can see if anything has been written inside!
5. Bone Knife Handle
At first, this was dismissed as yet another bit of bone, but on closer inspection, the intricate patterns and carved end revealed something much more interesting! Carved from bone, the find seems to be a knife handle. The handle has been given a provisional date of 1570-1600 and shows similarities with handles found on the Mary Rose. Click here for more info and to play with a moveable 3D model of the handle.
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