• latw-46-10
    Iron Knife from ritual dinner. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-46-20
    “Table setting” from a ritual meal, including plate, cup (skyphos), pitcher (oinochoe), stew pot (chytra), iron knife (Nos. 42-46). (Photograph by Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr.)

Ritual Dinner Iron Knife

Date
Ca. 575-525 BC, Lydian
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 5363
Inventory No.
5363
Sardis CATNUM
M70.001
Material
Iron
Object Type
Metalwork
Metalwork Type
Tool
Site
Sardis
Sector
PN
Trench
PN
Locus
PN Locus cd26
Description
Iron. Blade and tang. Stoney accretions on blade. On tang, orange powdery substance with wood-like grain. Total length 0.229 m, length of tang 0.05 m.
Comments
The substance with wood-like grain on the tang probably is residue from a wooden handle. A total of 16 knives were reported from the total 26 deposits, and 10 knives have been available for study. All of those 10 are iron and have tangs for handle attachment. Blades vary from straight to curved, i.e., humpbacked. Tangs are either flat, as broad as the blade, and fitted with rivets, or slender and tapering (as in No. 46); and several had either traces of wood or wood pseudomorphs. Blade lengths ranged from 0.185 m to 0.085 m. Iron was a common utilitarian metal at Sardis already in the seventh century BC, if not earlier.
Discussed
Greenewalt, “Bon Appetit”; Greenewalt, “Gods of Lydia”; Cahill, “City of Sardis”; Greenewalt, “Lydian Pottery”
Bibliography
Greenewalt 1978, 76, no. cd 26.5.
Author
CHG