Kościana rękojeść nahajki z okolic Grabowca, w pow. hrubieszowskim
BONE HANDLE OF A KNOUT FROM THE AREA NEAR GRABOWIEC, DISTR. HRUBIESZÓW
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A group of stray finds, prehistoric and medieval, deriving from the area near Grabowiec in eastern Poland, includes a remarkable 117 mm long object (Fig. 1) fashioned from the long bone of a mammal by sawing off its epiphyses, hollowing out the shaft and drilling in one of its ends three openings arranged in a triangle. The surface of this object, on one of its faces only, is covered with a finely engraved ornament. The artefact is probably a handle of a knout. Its leather lash would have been attached by tying a knot at the end of the handle without the holes after passing the thong through the hollowed out bone. Additionally, the thong would have been secured and stabilised using rivets or wire staples fitted into the three holes at the opposite end. No analogies to the bone handle from Grabowiec were found in analyses published so far, possibly because ordinary bone handles tend to be overlooked and still await discovery in e.g., groups of artefacts interpreted as knife handles or hafts of some other implement. The bone handle from Grabowiec is hard to date. Other objects from the same set can only suggest a dating of between the 10th and the 13th century. This is the dating also of most knouts known from the territory of Kievan Rus’.
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