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Copper alloy knife handle (Ringerike Style)

Anglo-Scandinavian, first half of 11th century AD.

Found with a metal detector near Winchester, Hampshire.

Unusual copper alloy knife handle. Knife handles were most often made of wood or bone, and few are known in metal. Traces of the iron blade are preserved in the form of corrosion on the narrow end. The decoration, identical on both sides, is in the Ringerike style, common at this time in Scandinavian Northern Europe, and resembles half of a human or animal mask. This item reminds us that Anglo-Saxon England was part of the Viking world during the reign of King Canute and his successors.