Crossrail build yields Ancient ice skates



A recent comment: “I want to see the ice skates!

While I can’t suggest that this image is from the dig, This is what they would have looked like in that time period. Made from bone and by the looks of it not the most effective device. A fantastic comment that has inspired me! history geek that I am.



This from Wikipedia:

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Ice skating in Graz at 1909

Medieval bone skates on display at the Museum of London.

According to a study done by Federico Formenti,University of Oxford, and Alberto Minetti, University of MilanFinns were the first to develop ice skates some 5,000 years ago from animal bones.[2] This was important for the Finnish populations to save energy in harsh winter conditions when hunting in Finnish Lakeland.[3][4] The first skate to use a metal blade was found in Scandinavia and was dated to 200 and was fitted with a thin strip of copper folded and attached to the underside of a leather shoe.

William Fitzstephen, writing in the 12th century, described the use of bone skates in London:

…. when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly… some tye bones to their feete, and under their heeles, and shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow.

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