5th 6th century

Greek Terracotta Pig Rattle, 6th-3rd Century BC

Possibly from Cyprus

A child’s toy in the shape of a pig, probably mold made and with a pebble sealed within. He has delightful applied eyes, nose, pointed ears, and curly tail and stands on four splayed feet. Holes drilled in top and bottom were probably put in place to prevent this little piggy from breaking in the kiln. It is thought that a toy like this was made for a toddler, and their sound was supposed to ward off evil spirits.


Just the other side of a sea wall lies the Church of St Ia, the parish church of St Ives, in Cornwall. St Ia was supposedly an Irish holy woman of the 5th or 6th Century. The church was built in the 1400s, during the reign of Henry V, as a chapel of ease in the parish of Lelant. The tower stands at over 80 feet high and is made of Zennor granite, which was brought to the site by sea.

Cornish Wanderer ©


Greek Olbian Gold Seal Ring, 7th-5th Century BC

With a locust motif; inset carnelian panel with intaglio motif of a cockerel standing on an ear of wheat with a mouse in its beak.

The ring was used as a seal matrix for sealing amphorae of wheat (hence the ear of wheat symbol) with its purity and freedom from contamination symbolized by the cockerel and the dead mouse. The locust is the seal of a ceramic manufacturing house.

Beckery Chapel near Glastonbury 'earliest known UK monastic life'

Skeletons unearthed at a site said to have been visited by King Arthur are the oldest example of monks ever found in the UK, archaeologists have said.

Carbon dating revealed the remains, discovered at medieval Beckery Chapel, near Glastonbury, were from the 5th or early 6th Century AD.

Site director Dr Richard Brunning said: “It’s the earliest archaeological evidence we’ve got for monasticism.”

Beckery was excavated in May by the South West Heritage Trust.

The team found about 50 to 60 skeletons, most of whom were adult male, apart from two juveniles thought to be novice monks.

A female skeleton is believed to have been a visiting nun or patron. Read more.