This fragment of a double-sided composite comb is comparatively rare in Britain and is thought to date to the late 4th to early 5th centuries.
The comb has been made from bone or antler and has been decorated with a ring-and-dot design set out in triangles. The area between the connecting plates has been cut away to produce a horse in profile. Combs featuring animals are relatively few. An example with a stylised horse head was recovered from Beadlam, North Yorkshire.
This comb fragment was tucked under the skull of an undisturbed burial. It may be all that remained of an heirloom or it could have been deliberately broken. It was likely considered an important token of the dead woman’s status in life and would have represented her status in the afterlife.
Other information & metadata
Site location: Childrey Warren, Oxfordshire
Project type: Archaeological excavation
Site type: Multiperiod
Discovery context: Roman grave
Iron Age settlement at Childrey Warren, Oxfordshire