Knives were vital to medieval man for a whole range of uses, from the domestic to the wider social context: Anglo-Saxon pre-Christian burials bear silent witness to this dependence in the many cases where knives are found among the grave-goods. Forged and hafted with great skill, sometimes with elaborately decorated scabbards, knives are of intrinsic fascination, besides being indicators of the popular artistic tastes of the time.
This book catalogues, discusses and illustrates over five hundred knives, scabbards, shears and scissors dating from the mid-12th to the mid-15th centuries and found in the City of London, particularly along the waterfront sites, where recovered items can be accurately dated by dendrochronology and coin finds. It is a fundamental work of reference for medieval artefacts and material culture, an essential handbook for excavators all over Britain and much of Europe.
JANE COWGILL, MARGRETHE DE NEERGAARDE and NICK GRIFFITHS are former members of the staff of the Museum of London.