Were Forks used in the Middle Ages?

Eating Spike, Medieval Cutlery, steak knife, Viking Cutlery -

Were Forks used in the Middle Ages?

Although forks have been found in archaeological sites dating as far back as 2400BC (Bronze Age, Qijia Culture in China) and depicted on stone carvings from the Eastern Han Tomb showing a three pronged fork. There is very little evidence of the rest of the world using them at the table, until the Italians get involved. The majority of the world was happy using Knives and Spikes, with the occasional spoon thrown in!

Viking Cutlery Set

Medieval Cutlery Set. Viking Knife and Pick

In Ancient Egypt (3000BC), along with most of Europe, forks were utilised as cooking utensils only. Large pieces used for skewering meat on the fire.

It wasn't for another 2000 years where forks were first seen on the fringes of Europe in the Roman Empire where Bronze and Silver forks were utilised. But from finds it looks like these were mainly for the upper classes. The Italian tradition continued into the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman) and were thought to be commonly used in that region by the 4th century. The main driving force for using a fork was the popularity of Pasta!!

Although forks were seen throughout Europe after this date slowly progressing North but it wasn't until the 18th Century that they became common place.

Bone Handle Medieval Cutlery

Medieval Cutlery Set. Bone Handled Knife and PickSo for the majority of our history and throughout the medieval period it was actually a Knife and Spike or Pick that were used like the bone Handled set below.


Click here to get your own medieval set


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