Fin Cop - decorated Iron Age pottery

Contributed by Ann Hall

Fin Cop - decorated Iron Age pottery

Longstone Local History Group (LLHG)received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to find out more about an Iron Age hill fort called Fin Cop. It dominates the horizon from nearby villages and many of LLHG members have fond memories of childhood visits. They have often wondered what happened there in the past.
In the summer of 2009 we excavated the ramparts and local school children helped to investigate the fort interior by digging a series of test pits.
This piece of decorated pot was found in the fort interior. It is likely to have been used by the inhabitants of the fort for food preparation.
When the pot was cleaned and analysed by a Peak Park pottery expert members were taken aback to realise that the decoration had been made by pinching the clay AND THE ACTUAL NAIL MARKS OF THE IRON AGE POTTER WERE OBSERVABLE IN THE GROOVES. Suddenly we realised that we could place our fingers into the decoration and feel the action of our distant ancestor as this long forgotten artisen added their own personal mark to this pot.
We felt a special link with the long forgotten people who lived and died in the fort. We are thankful that we do not have to live in a fortified home.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 22:48 on 15 March 2010, Ann Hall wrote:

    Since I wrote this description the results of carbon dating of residues fron the inner surface of two pots have shown that they were used in the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age 820 to 550 BC.

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Fin Cop, Monsal Head, Derbys.


820 to 550 BC (carbon dating of residue)


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