Seax handle

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Antler knife handles

In the earlier part of the period in the UK it has been found that often smaller knives and such are hafted with horn (e.g. ADS page 17.

Later on antler and bone seems to be more prominent than before and ranges from simple finds with basic decoration e.g. [1] to far more complex and intricately carved handles e.g. [2] and even some composite handles are known e.g. [3]. Horn does not totally dissappear though and can be found on higher status items as well e.g. the saex handle from Cumwhitton.

Throughout the period certain "natural" looking handles seem to be avoided - I have come across no finds of antler handles with the outer surface remaining, bone handles that still have the epipyhsis, antler handles that still have the crown etc. All handles from the simplest awl to the most ornate saex seem to have been at least smoothed and usually have a minimum of simple ring-&-dot, incised lines or similar for decoration.