Introduction Horseshoes are worthy of study because of the light they shed on metalling of roads and extent of horse transport. Changes in their form and approach to their attachment can, in a broad sense, illuminate changes in horse stature. Some of the horseshoes recorded also have the potential to shine a sidelight on animal care …more

Stirrup Terminals

Introduction In the late early-medieval period, and early in the medieval period, certain stirrups were composites made of two metals: primarily iron, but with copper-alloy fittings.  At the end of the tread-plate, at the stirrup’s base, where it connected to the arms, there was either a connecting or applied copper-alloy ‘stirrup terminal’. PAS object type …more

Saddle Pommels

Introduction Saddle pommels capped broadly cylindrical protrusions at the front (pommel end) of generally post-medieval saddles. They could be held by a rider or used to retain the reins. Saddle pommels tend to be formed of two copper-alloy halves, soldered together, with a rounded end, itself sometimes with a central knop; some are of one-piece …more

Button and Loop Fasteners

Introduction Button-and-loop fasteners seem to have been multi-purpose, some perhaps for horse-harness (especially the chunkier earlier ones) and some for human clothing (Worrell 2008, 341).  Their core distribution in lowland Scotland and northern England, has been extended southwards by PAS finds, which are now well known from Yorkshire and the Humber, the East and West …more


Introduction A spur is fixed to the heel of a rider and used for directing the horse and encouraging it forwards. Because they are worn by the human, but only used for riding a horse, they sit awkwardly between dress accessories and horse equipment. Buckles were used for fastening spurs, and at least some can …more


Introduction Stirrup irons are used in pairs when riding horses to support the rider’s feet. Being most often iron, stirrups are rarely encountered through PAS; they are also relatively rare archaeological finds. However, the late early-medieval period saw common use of copper-alloy fittings on iron forms to the point that there are separate guides to …more

Bridle Bosses

Introduction Bridle bosses are bossed mounts most of which would have been attached to curb bits.  They can usually be distinguished from other bossed mounts that would have decorated harnesses, particularly when considerable iron corrosion product is present, but qualifiers can be employed when recording such objects as necessary. PAS object type(s) to be used Use BRIDLE …more

Harness Mounts

Introduction There is an enormous variety of harness mounts, and they can be hard to distinguish from other mounted to straps in other circumstances. Primarily, but specifically, for medieval artefacts, use this term for the following: Shield-shaped mounts (and mounts of rarer forms) with integral rivets on their reverse (often called ‘studs’) Suspension mounts for …more