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Catalogue Strange Unknown

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Modern (Post 1500) Iron

Blunt Crossbow Bolt

Blunt hunting crossbow bolt.

This type of crossbow bolt was used to kill or knock unconscious the game without damaging the fur or feathers. Remains of tin gilt to prevent corrosion are still visible.

Winged Hunting Crossbow Bolt

Winged hunting crossbow bolt. Find state.

15.-17. century.

15-17. century. Winged crossbow bolts were used for hunting as they caused maximum tissue damage. This type is found less often than the standard type featuring a square or rhombic cross section. The socket is made from a copper alloy. Since the copper kills the micro organisms responsible for decay the wood in the socket is still intact after several centuries.

Cleaned State

Winged hunting crossbow bolt. Cleaned state.

15.-17. century.

The cleaned version shows how much the iron was attacked by corrosion – in contrast to the copper alloy socket.

Peasants knifes AD 1400 - 1600

In medieval times the common people were not allowed to carry swords. But they were allowed to carry knifes even very large ones. These so-called Peasant’s knifes were the all-purpose tool and weapon of the common people. Typically, they are 30-50 cm long though longer specimens have been found.

Peasant Knife # 1 Find State.

Peasant knife # 1 Find state.

AD 1400-1600

The curved form is unusual.

Peasant Knife # 1 Cleaned State

Peasant knife # 1. Cleaned State.

AD 1400-1600

Peasant Knife #2 Cleaned State

Peasant knife # 2

AD 1400 to 1600. Remains of hand guard at bottom right.

Peasant Knife # 3 Find State and Cleaned State

Peasant knife # 3 Find and Cleaned State.

AD 1400 to 1600. 25 mm coin for size comparison only.

Peasant Knife # 4 Find State

Peasant Knife # 4 Find State

AD 1400 to 1600.

The heavy and well preserved knife is some 20”/52 cm long. The hand guard – the oblong structure – is still visible.

Peasant Knife # 4 and Finder

Peasant knife #4 and finder.

Rafter"s hook 1400 - 1800

Rafter's hook. AD 1400-1900.

The item was hidden behind a large rock at the bank of a large river. From medieval times into the 19. century logs were floated downstream on that river..


The most common finds related to horses are horse shoes. Spurs are much less often found.. The most rare finds are bits and stirrups – maybe because the rider noticed the loss immediately.

Spur # 1

Spur #1 from Napoleon battlefield.

Spur # 2

Spur #2 from late 18. century battlefield.

For the full search story, see votive painting reveals Napoleon metal detecting site .

Spur #3

Spur #3.

Spur found at early modern road. Ca. 16. century.

Spur #4

Spur #4 and early modern bell.

Ca. 1600 to 1800.

Strike a light

Strike a light. Early modern.

These items were struck against a piece of flint stone to create some sparkles to light a fire.

Belt Hook 30 Year War

Belt hook.

Found at 30 year war (1618-48) battlefield.

Horseshoe Group 1500-1850

Early modern horseshoes. AD 1500-1850.

Found within two search days at former waterhole.

Early modern horse shoes are common in forests and, especially, at former waterholes. The animals lost their irons in the muddy ground and without a metal detector there was not way to get them back. These finds help to trace old roads - and make nice “good luck” gifts for friends when cleaned.

Key 18. century

Iron key ca. 18. century.

Traces of former copper plating against corrosion.

Cutlery 18./19. century

Cutlery ca. 1700-1850. Tin plated iron.

(C) Thorsten Straub 2006-2019.

Medieval (500 to 1500) Modern Non Iron