Yes, you heard me right, a farmer was working in his fields back in 2002 when he uncovered a bent piece of metal. Thinking that it was just another piece of junk that someone had thrown away, he tossed it on his tractor and finished the day’s work on his farm near East Rudham, Norfolk, in the United Kingdom. A few weeks later he was working in his shop and needed something to hold the door open to catch a breeze, remembering the bent piece of metal, he found it perfect for use as a door stop.
Now that is where our story could end, but for 12 years the bent piece of metal did its job through rain and wind. Then one day the farmer was cleaning up his shop and decided he didn’t need it anymore and started to throw it in the trash with some other scrap metal. It just happened that a friend of his came by and told him that he should take it somewhere and have it identified.
There is an old story about one person’s trash is another man’s treasure, well this turned out to be a national treasure. According to Dr. Tim Pestell, senior curator of archaeology at Norwich Castle that is just what happened. He was prepared to throw it in the trash when a friend told him to take it to be identified, immediately they knew it was significant!
The farmer’s doorstop turned out to be a 27-inch ceremonial dagger that experts believe is about 3,500 years old. Experts dubbed the dagger the Rudham Dirk and say it is of “incredible importance”, reported UPI.com. Experts at the National Heritage Memorial Fund said the dagger is about three times the size of a normal dagger and too heavy to be used as a weapon.
Because the blade was never sharpened and there are no rivet holes for a handle, it was most likely used for ceremonial purposes, as an offering to the gods. “This is almost certainly the reason why it was found bent in half deliberately folded as part of the object’s ritual destruction before its burial, a practice well known from Bronze Age metalwork.” according to a National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Only five other daggers like the Rudham Dirk have been found in Europe. Pestell was adamant about the dagger remaining in the UK, so he has been negotiating with the farmer for nearly a year.
With the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, he was able to offer the unidentified farmer nearly $65,000 for the dagger. It will be permanently housed at the Norwich Castle Museum, close to where it was found. That pleases Sophie Cabot, president of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society. We’re really excited, it would have been a great shame if we’d have lost it, she said.
Any officer can get by on his sergeants. To be a sergeant you have to know your stuff. I’d rather be an outstanding sergeant than just another officer.
—SgtMaj Daniel Daly 1873-1937