A whetstone from south-east England at Newstead, Melrose (Trimontium): the reach of a major Roman stone industry
Newstead; Melrose; Upper River Tweed; Scotland; UK
James Curle found at Newstead near Melrose an unusual whetstone of bar-shaped design, with rebates on the long edges, that is now on public display at the National Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh). It is made from a greenish-grey, calcareous, very fine-grained sandstone, attributable to sandstones in the Weald Clay Formation (Lower Cretaceous) outcropping in the Weald of south-east England. Carefully manufactured whetstones produced by a large business in this area occur throughout most of Roman Britain and are also found on the coastal mainland of north-west Europe. The Newstead example is the northernmost of its products known on a spatially exponential distribution of sites.