Our image for Day 127 of VM_365 is of this disc of Kimmeridge shale, found at Cliffsend, Ramsgate near the former shore of the Wantsum channel.
Kimmeridge oil shale is easily worked and the black surface of the material could be polished to a glossy sheen, making it attractive throughout history for manufacturing decorative objects and ornaments. In this case the ground conditions in the deposit where the disc was found have caused the surface to become pitted and rough. The disc may have been a personal ornament or been combined with other materials into a decorative or practical object.
The disc was found in a plough truncated ditch and the pottery and rubbish found in association with it suggest it probably dates to the 8th or 9th century, one of the rare finds from this Later Anglo-Saxon or Viking period in Thanet’s archaeological record.