The mill anvil still has Smith’s handprints on it


Archaeologists working on the Scottish island of Rusey discovered two stone anvils that probably date back at least 1,000 years – and everyone still carries handprints, probably made by a copper smith who used it, according to the BBC.

The discovery was the result of digging the Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust, which continued from 2010. (The site located near Swandro Bay is known as Knowe Swandro, and Rousay is part of the Orkney Islands.)

At first, the researchers suggested that the handprint belonged to one of them, left during the excavation process anvil from the remains of a partially underground workshop. However, they have since realized that the marks are the hand and knee prints left by the blacksmith. Knee marks are likely from the blacksmith kneeling next to the anvil and touching him regularly.

The building was identified as an acquaintance of the Pictish structure to the 6th to 9th century CE. Picts, a group of tribes who lived in Scotland in the last Iron Age (around the 3rd century CE) in the Early Middle Ages, disappeared around 1100 CE. Co-director of the excavations Julie Bond told the BBC that she attaches the age of seals between 1000 and 1500 years.

Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust is trying to dig up and explore the site before it becomes a victim of rising sea levels and coastal erosion on the island.