Full image caption
Two pieces of ivory, elephant's tusks. These two wastes are broken at one end and sawn flat at the other. Although ivory was greatly prized in England during the medieval period, supplies were limited because the Mediterranean trade was dominated by merchants from Venice and Genoa. By the late 1400s ivory was far more plentiful in London and this group of African elephant ivory was excavated from a site adjacent to the defensive bulwark built to protect the Tower of London in 1480. The quantity of ivory, roughly equivalent to 12 whole tusks, represents workshop waste for the manufacture of combs and knife handles and includes transverse pieces, discarded sections of pulp and longtitudinal wedge shaped strips.
© Museum of London