A wooden paddle, recovered from the upper fill of a ditch dated to the 12th to 13th century.
The paddle was situated in waterlogged deposits which created the anaerobic conditions necessary for organic preservation. It has been fashioned from straight grained, knot free, good quality, oak heartwood. The elliptical handle gives way to the blade via a moderate shoulder. The blade is relatively symmetrical around the central axis and somewhat trapezoidal, the end being slightly wider than the section closest to the handle.
Both faces of the blade are relatively flat. Both edges and the end of the blade are rounded and appear well worn with one edge of the blade having an indent that may be the result of wear from use. Although no traces of the tooling remain, it seems likely that the artefact was carved with an axe or adze. The paddle was possibly used with a small craft on the nearby river.
Other information & metadata
Site location: Temple Back, Bristol
Project type: Archaeological excavation
Site type: Medieval and post-medieval occupation
Discovery context: Ditch