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It was well noted by contemporary historians that, far from being dirt encrusted barbarians with matted hair, the Vikings were in fact fastidiously clean people (or at least, by the standards of the day). It is therefore no surprise that excavations on Norse settlements and tombs often unearth items for personal grooming such as combs, tweezers and ear picks (also known as ear scoops and ear spoons). In the absence of that miracle of the modern age known as the cotton bud, the Norse (and associated peoples of that era) would use these tiny ear spoons. Perhaps the intricacy of their decoration was indicative of their importance – which may have been due to ‘social grooming’. As often a person having his/her ears cleaned would lie or bend down with his/her head in the lap of the person doing the cleaning. The cleaning of ears was often performed by a parent on a child or, among adults, by one's partner. Perhaps even close friends or siblings were given the chore. So, as bizarre as it may sound today – an ear pick could well have been associated with social and familial bonding. An outdoor lifestyle often resulted in dirt under the fingernails, for which the other end of this instrument was used.
Made of iron, the overall length is 9.1cm, the ring section is half a centimeter wide and the bowl is 5mm wide x 3mm deep. As with all items on this website, delivery is FREE anywhere in Australia.
Reference: Kirsten Wolf (2004). Daily life of the Vikings. Greenwood.
Although smaller than I expected it to be the ear/nail cleaner is exactly the best tool for the job. Able to be placed in the ear then slowly rotated it fitted perfectly. The other end was sharpened to the right angle so as not to cut or damage the quick under the nail. All round two thumbs up. Unknown on 17th Sep 2019
I already have a viking ear scoop but since the price was so reasonable I thought I get this one too. Everyone NEEDS one of these and no self respecting Viking should be without one. It's also safer to clean under your nails than using your Seax! Unknown on 26th Jul 2017