Medieval Prayer Beads Discovered on England’s Holy Island

Lindisfarne Fish BeadsLINDISFARNE, ENGLAND—The Telegraph reports that prayer beads have been uncovered at Lindisfarne, an island off the coast of northeast England known as a center of Christianity as early as the seventh century A.D. The beads, made from salmon vertebrae in the eighth or ninth century, were found clustered around the neck of the remains of a man thought to have been a monk. “We think of the grand ceremonial side of early medieval life in the monasteries and great works like the Lindisfarne Gospels,” said David Petts of Durham University. “But what we’ve got here is something which talks to a much more personal side of early Christianity.” Lisa Westcott Wilkins of DigVentures added that the modified fish bones are the only artifact found to date in a grave on the so-called Holy Island. To read about a coastal castle near Lindisfarne, go to “Letter from England: Stronghold of the Kings in the North.”


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