BERK-4A121C:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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LYRE

Unique ID: BERK-4A121C

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A copper-alloy mount of Early Medieval date c.7th century, probably a mount from the apex of an Anglo-Saxon shield, see, for example, YORYM-3938D7 and BH -E649E3 alternately, it could be a mount from a lyre.

The decoration is Anglo-Saxon Style II interlace and consists of a band of two, intertwined serpents in a band around the edge, their jaws at 2 o’clock. These surround a central panel containing three interlaced serpents. In the centre is a boss and a truncated stud on the back. The back of the disc bears the stump of an integrally cast pin. 

This object may be compared to the two disc mounts fitted to the lyre found in the princely grave at Prittlewell Essex (Lyn Blackmore, Ian Blair, Sue Hirst and Christopher Scull, 2019, The Prittlewell princely buria; Excavations at Priory Cresent, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, 2003, Museum of London Archaeology Monograph 73, 242, 394, Figs 225,306, Nos. 164, 165). These however, were gilded and, at 21mm, smaller than the disc described here. Parallels may also be made with the central element of the Sutton Hoo lyre mounts which, at 30mm are closer to the size of this find but, like Prittlewell, were gilded. (Bruce-Mitford, R 1983. Edited by Angela Care Evans, The Sutton Hoo Ship-burial, Volume 3, Late Roman and Byzantine silver, hanging bowls, drinking vessels, cauldrons and other containers, textiles, the lyre, pottery bottle and other items , London, British Museum, 630-633, Fig. 447). All bore integral attachment rivets.

Dickinson, T. 2005, ‘Symbols of protection: The significance of animal ornamented shields in Early Anglo-Saxon England’ Medieval Archaeology, Vol 49, p 125) but the lyre mounts we have (Prettlewell, Sutton Hoo and Taplow) all have Style II).

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Period from: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Period to: EARLY MEDIEVAL

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 5 mm
Weight: 13.5 g
Diameter: 35.3 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 21st July 2021

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: South Oxfordshire (District)
To be known as: Britwell CP

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Recording Institution: BERK
Created: 11 months ago
Updated: 11 months ago

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