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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 87   1972 page 156

Rochester East Gate, 1969. By A. C. Harrison, B.A., F.S.A.

It has survived in remote areas of Scandinavia to this day and there are excellent illustrations of one in operation on pages 46 and 47 of Marta Hoffmann's 'The Warp-weighted Loom'.29 It seems to have continued in common use until the early medieval period when the horizontal loom with treadles generally took its place. (There is a representation of a horizontal loom in a stained-glass window of thirteenth-century date in Chartres Cathedral.30)
   The contents of Kiln A consisted of thirty-three bun-shaped clay weights averaging 3 lb. each, together with 21 lb. of fragments, probably therefore representing an original batch of forty. They averaged 5¾ in. in diameter and the central holes were small, with an average diameter of 1 in. Each had a groove running from the central hole to the outer edge to accommodate the looped cord to which the threads were attached. Clay loom-weights have been dated according to the size of the central hole—the annular being the earliest and dating from the seventh century, the intermediate taking its place in the eighth and the bun-shaped coming into use during the ninth.31 The present discovery, therefore, with its associated pottery (Groups I and II) both confirms the late dating of the bun-shaped type and establishes that it was still in use in Rochester during the first half of the twelfth century.
   (b) Equal-armed cross.32 The cross, which is from Pit M2 and was associated with the pottery of Group VIII, is of iron which had been given a thin coating of bronze and measures 1½ in.
X 1½ in., with a central countersunk hole and a flange at the end of one arm pierced by an iron rivet (Fig. 20, no. 13(a)). While no exact parallel has been found, it has similarities with the cruciform harness fittings used for the attachment of heraldic pendants or bells to the horses' peytrel or to the brow-strap.33 It is suggested, therefore, that the cross was secured to a strap of equal width by a pin passing through the central hole and secured by a washer at the back of the strap. The projecting flange would thus overlap the edge of the strap and prevent the fitting from rotating. The iron rivet through the flange secured an iron ring (traces of which remain), from which the heraldic pendant or bell was suspended. Fig. 20, no. 13(b) shows how this could have been done.
   It seems very probable that the saltire decoration can be referred to St. Andrew's Priory and that the central pin bore a scallop shell to

 
29  Studia Norwegica, no. 14, Universitetsforlaget, 1964.
   30  P. Brandt, Schaffende Arbeit u. bildende Kunst, Leipzig, 1927, 1, fig. 441.
   31  C.B.A. Research Report 4, G. C. Dunning, J. G. Hurst, J. N. L. Myres and F. Tischler, Anglo-Saxon Pottery: A Symposium, London, 1959, 23-5.
   32  For the suggestions made in this note, I am greatly indebted to Mr, P. J. Tester, F.S.A. 
  
33  Medieval Catalogue, London Museum Catalogues: No. 7, London, 1954, 119, fig. 39.

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