CAMHER-885B35: Small long brooch

Rights Holder: Cambridgeshire County Council
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Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service
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Unique ID: CAMHER-885B35

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

Very unusual and probably significantly early small-long brooch. The headplate is of cruciform type, with a small thick rectangular headplate and three half-round knobs. The headplate is undecorated except for a small curved bevel in one lower corner (the other is obscured by iron corrosion) and a central circular perforation 3 mm in diameter. The side knobs are no thicker than the headplate, and are now slightly corroded, but it appears that they were originally decorated with a broad transverse groove between a pair of narrower transverse grooves. The top knob is slightly larger, thicker, and set at an angle to the headplate. It has a collar at the base, possibly originally decorated with a transverse groove or two; above this collar it is identical in decoration to the side knobs. When viewed from the side with the foot vertical, the headplate leans backwards towards the top, but the top knob is vertical. On the reverse are a pair of pin bar lugs, both now broken, one at either end of the headplate just before the side knobs start. There is a fair amount of iron corrosion present and one pin bar lug is blocked completely. The junction between the headplate and the bow is marked by two tapering steps, and then the bow proper starts. This is thick and chunky, with an almost-horizontal panel, rectangular in cross-section, decorated with a pair of edge nicks and then the usual narrow-broad-narrow groove arrangement as on the knobs. At the bottom of the bow there is probably a matching panel, but the brooch is more corroded here and only the grooves can clearly be seen. In between, the bow is arched; the reverse is flat, the sides sharp and flat, and the top bevelled. The foot begins with a very short panel which is rectangular in cross-section and decorated with a pair of edge nicks. Below this, a longer panel has a flat top and bevelled sides similar to the central part of the bow. There is a catchplate on the reverse of these two sections which is stained with iron corrosion from the pin. The catchplate is not quite complete; it is on the right side of the brooch, viewed from the reverse, and curls over towards the left. Below the catchplate, another short rectangular-section panel is decorated with a set of narrow-broad-narrow grooves, but again there are some patches of corrosion on the edge and any edge nicks cannot be seen. The foot then ends in a circular terminal 8 mm in diameter; this is not now perfectly circular, as part of the lower edge has been worn away. The bow and foot are closely paralleled on a brooch from Shakenoak, Oxfordshire (Vierck in Brodribb et al vol III (1974), 78-83; also MacGregor and Bolick 1993, no. 15.83). The head is closer to an example from Fairford (MacGregor and Bolick 1993, 15.82); both of these examples seem to be early in the development of the small-long brooch. This brooch should perhaps date to the second half of the fifth century. 55 mm long and 24 mm across the maximum width of the headplate. 16.74g.

Class: Small long

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Date from: AD 450
Date to: AD 500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 55 mm
Width: 24 mm
Weight: 16.74 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 5th March 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Helen Geake
Identified by: Dr Helen Geake

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cambridgeshire (County)
District: South Cambridgeshire (District)
Parish or ward: Weston Colville (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL6250
Four figure Latitude: 52.124573
Four figure longitude: 0.365031
1:25K map: TL6250
1:10K map: TL65SW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Whilst metal detecting

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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