SF-4014B0: Early Bronze Age Copper Alloy Arrowhead

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service
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Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: SF-4014B0

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

A complete cast copper alloy barbed and tanged arrowhead of probable Early Bronze Age date. The arrow has a deep brown patina and a relatively simple casting with a raised midrib, bevelled edges and a slightly concave blade in between. The midrib and the tang both splay outwards at the base, which terminates in a convex semi-circular butt that appears to have been deliberately moulded in this form although retains an amount of flashing around the edges. It has relatively crude notches between the tang and barbs, one of which appears incomplete but is probably merely poorly cast, but evidence of their casting is clearly visible on one face. The entire object is in relatively good condition with no obvious damage apart from some slight blunting and notches to the blade edges that may potentially indicate possible evidence of use wear. It measures 55.54mm in length, 25.50mm in width, 3.42mm in thickness, and weighs 10.03g.

Parallels to this arrowhead can be noted in other copper alloy examples recorded in East Anglia, in particular examples from Stanningfield, Mildenhall and Withershield in the Suffolk HER and one from Essex. None of these carry the distinctive splayed base evident on the current example. These were all stray detector finds and consequently the dating of the objects is problematic. However, Dr. Colin Pendleton (SCCAS) notes that there is no reason to doubt an Early Bronze Age date (c. 2100-1500 BC) contemporary with flint examples of similar form, adding that copper alloy arrowheads of this date are extremely rare in Britain.

Sub class: Barbed and Tanged

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 2100 BC
Date to: Circa 1500 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 55.54 mm
Width: 25.5 mm
Thickness: 3.42 mm
Weight: 10.03 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 1st March 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Andrew Brown
Identified by: Dr Colin Pendleton

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cambridgeshire (County)
District: East Cambridgeshire (District)
To be known as: Isleham

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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