That seems to be a very good suggestion - why didn't we think of that.

A Google search suggests that a two ended stonemasons chisel was called a 
'Millbill' and it fitted into a wooden shaft called a 'Thrift' and was used 
to dress millstones.

This could be a distinct possibility. Was the fulling mill we are excavating 
once used as a grist mill? The possibilities are endless.

Thanks for your contribution.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lyle E. Browning" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 8:29 PM
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] WHAT IS IT - A double ended cold chisel?

> This one looks like the stone dressing tools used for cutting the  grooves 
> in millstones. But those should have a hole for a handle in  the middle, 
> unless they have one of those odd handles into which the  item is put that 
> has a progressively narrower hole.
> Lyle Browning
> On Oct 6, 2007, at 2:50 PM, Trevor Dunkerley wrote:
>> Dear List,
>> The responses to our last 'button feature' are now on-line.
>> To follow the buttons we have a real 'brain teaser' which has us  all 
>> completely baffled! Excavated from a 19th century context, with  the 
>> corrosion removed and the metal cleaned up, the object is in  relatively 
>> good condition and appears to be made of steel and  weighs exactly 1 kg. 
>> It has a named stamped on the side with  individual letter stamps and 
>> reads M_ _ LAN underneath which is  LONDON.
>> Is it possible to have a two ended chisel blade? We think not! But  what 
>> could it have been produced for?
>> Click on the 'XML' tab on the front screen, or from the 'Quick Link  Site 
>> Map' on the first page and follow 'WHAT IS IT' pages.
>> Trevor
>> - a community archaeology initiative.