The assumption that the fork was not invented until the Middle Ages is a widespread misconception. Although forks were not introduced to Western Europe until medieval times (and even much later for large parts of Northern Europe), archaeological finds have furnished evidence that they were already used in Roman times. However, it seems that Roman forks were much rarer than Roman spoons (cochlearia und ligulae) and archaeologists believe that they were mainly used to serve food rather than as eating implements, although it cannot be fully ruled out that they may have also seen service as table forks.
Various excavations unearthed a range of more or less elaborate specimens of many different shape variations, with two, three or even (seldom) four tines and diverse handle configurations. Although some rare finds were made of bone, most of the surviving examples (displayed in museums across Europe) were crafted from base metals or noble metals such a silver or bronze.
The fork in its simplest two-pronged form is believed to have first originated in the Roman Empire, as an improved skewer for serving food or carving meat. Two-pronged forks seem to have remained in use up to the end of Antiquity. Three- and four-pronged forks, which may also have served as eating utensils, are mostly assigned to the Late Antiquity (ca. 3rd to 5th century A.D.). It is assumed that all types, regardless of their application as carving forks, serving forks or general-purpose eating forks, were rather reserved to the well-heeled middle and upper classes.
This reproduction of a small Roman three-tined fork (Latin: fuscinula) is made of brass. It has a straight handle with simple yet nice detailing which terminates in a pointed, sharp finial. This nice piece of Roman cutlery lends itself perfectly for Living History purposes and is a great addition to any Roman reenactor's equipment.
- Material: brass.
- Overall length: approx. 13.5 cm.
- Head dimensions: approx. 2.8 cm long / 1.4 cm wide.
- Weight: approx. 5 g.
Shipping time: 7 to 14 Days.