Steel broadsword blade converted into pothook

Broadsword blade converted into pothook, steel, early 16th century

As close-combat was infrequent among early British colonists and Virginia Indians, long-range weaponry and projectile armor were favored among European settlers. Much of the Old World’s militaristic tools and ideas, now obsolete, were constantly manipulated to respond to these new conditions. This Spanish broadsword blade, likely dating to the 1500s, was sharpened and bent into a hook after arriving in Virginia with British settlers. Archaeologists believe this hook served either as a pothook for cooking or a meat hook for hanging and drying venison, pork, or beef.

Oil painting of Soldiers Arming Themselves

Jacob Duck’s "Soldiers Arming Themselves" (detail), mid-1630s
Courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Walter H. and Valborg P. Ude Memorial Fund and Gift of Bruce B. Dayton

Paintings such as Jacob Duck’s “Soldiers Arming Themselves” have helped archaeologists interpret some of the military artifacts, such as sword fragments and arms and armor pieces, found at Flowerdew Hundred.