Historic Pastimes & Musical Instruments

From playing pieces to medieval whistles; this research project is developing a new discrete collection to be displayed in Barley Hall to complement our school’s workshops held there.

A second element of this project has developed resources for JORVIK, where we worked with ancient musicians from the UK and Scandinavia playing replica instruments based on finds from excavations and documentary sources. The resultant videos can be viewed here and also in JORVIK, alongside displays of the instruments themselves, including panpipes, whistles, a bridge from a stringed instrument, ‘buzz-bones’ and an intricately carved bone turning key.


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Games and Recreation c. AD1400-1700, by Nicola Rogers


Musical instruments

  • Buzz Bones
  • Tuning Key
  • Panpipes
  • Lyre Bridge
  • Bone tuning peg
  • Antler tuning peg
  • Bone tuning peg
  • Bone whistle
  • Tuning peg
  • Bone harp peg
  • Iron Jew's harp
  • Iron Jew's harp
  • Buzz bone
  • Buzz bone

Games and pastimes artefacts

  • Bone Die
  • Walrus Ivory Die
  • Jet Die
  • Die
  • Stone Gaming Counter
  • Sandstone counter
  • Bone Gaming Counter
  • Tile Counter
  • Fired clay counter
  • Bone Gaming Piece
  • Jet Gaming Piece
  • Wooden Bowling Ball
  • Archer's brace
  • Archer's brace