Corfe Castle 'mystery pot' on display for Festival of Archaeology

image captionNational Trust archaelologists originally thought the fragments formed an oil pot

A three-handled pot that baffled archaeologists for 26 years has been displayed for the first time with its proper identity tag - a grenade.

Fragments of the pot were uncovered at Corfe Castle, Dorset, in 1986.

In May a Dutch archaeologist recognised it on a Facebook posting as a smoke bomb from Vlissingen in the Netherlands.

The pot is on display at the castle until 29 July as part of the Festival of Archaeology.

National Trust archaeologist Nancy Grace who found the fragments said: "We knew it was from continental Europe but the best guess was that it might be a piece of tableware, possibly an oil pot."

The Dutch archaeologist however identified it as a Dutch "stankpot" - a smoke bomb or grenade.

A fuse would be suspended from the three handles and then the pot filled with an explosive or smoke producing mixture.

Ms Grace said: "It is great to finally find out what it is."

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