Romano-British woodworking plane

Contributed by Beverley Guildhall

Romano-British woodworking plane

Romano-British woodworking plane, found in excavations at Goodmanham, East Yorkshire in 2000. The object is unique in that the body of the plane is made of elephant ivory (the rest is of iron). The plane was found in an enclosure ditch, part of a Romano-British village and although found in a 4th century context, may date to the earlier Roman period. It appears to have been collected (perhaps from a wealthier site) as scrap material, for later re-use. The use of ivory for such an item is unique and this may represent a "demonstration piece" produced to show off the craftsman's abilities to a wealthy client. The plane may have been imported from the Mediteranean area as a completed object or the ivory brought in separately.

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