In recent years, archaeologists excavating the faint remnants of wooden buildings built in the late first century CE on the fringes of the Roman empire started noticing a very curious phenomenon.
Beneath the primary wooden support posts of buildings identified as houses they found buried whetstones.
The stone tools – essential for sharpening the sickles and scythes on which the community relied for gathering the harvest – were buried too often and too specifically to be the result of simple loss or discard. And they were found only in one small region – the lower Scheldt valley in Gallo-Roman province of Gallia Belgica, now comprising the Belgium’s East and West Flanders, and a bit of the Netherlands.
Continue reading – The curious case of the buried whetstones