Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

In recognition of the essential restrictions and measures imposed by the Scottish and UK Governments, we have closed all sites, depots and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, with immediate effect. Read our latest statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Archaeology Notes

Event ID 754256

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NT58NE 2.01 553 852

In the course of a road-widening scheme along Kirk Ports, North Berwick, part of the old churchyard of St Andrew's was levelled, with the spare soil being sold. While spreading this soil, the purchaser discovered a Norse decorated single-sided antler comb, broken into several pieces. All the teeth were missing, apparently broken off before deposition. Scandinavian parallels suggest a date of c 850-950 AD.

Subsequently, a team from the National Museum of Scotland [NMS] and the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society sieved the surrounding spoilheaps. No further material of this date was recovered but, apart from the extensive disarticulated remains of post-medieval burials, animal bone and a scatter of pottery spanning the medieval period was recovered. Examination of the area revealed only coffin fittings and two post medieval coins. The low density of finds suggests derivation from rubbish spread on fields rather than primary midden.

The comb was claimed as Treasure Trove and acquired by NMS, (registration no IL 969), with the finder being rewarded.

NMS 1994o.

People and Organisations