Anglo-Saxon inscribed bone comb fragment

Contributed by Prebendal Manor

Anglo-Saxon inscribed bone comb fragment

The fragment of a bone comb was recovered during archaeological excavations at Prebendal Manor, Nassington. To date no other inscribed pieces have been found in Northamptonshire. The inscription shows that the person who owned the comb was literate, which, excepting the clergy, was uncommon during this period. It comes from a pig bone, which is unique. The text is in Old English and might say 'O Lord, Herebeorht the maker or owner commends his spirit', or it might be Herebeorht asking God to put a spell on anyone who takes the comb without permissison. The use of the Old English, rather than Latin, shows how important the culture of the Anglo-Saxons was in laying down the foundations of our modern language. For some reason the comb was burnt in a fire and then discarded into a rubbish pit.

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