ESS-5F4A91: ESS-5F4A91 Bronze Age blade fragment

Rights Holder: Colchester Museums
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Unique ID: ESS-5F4A91

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

The fragment of late Bronze Age metalwork reported here is the second find of such metalwork to have been made after the initial discovery of the dispersed hoard from High Laver. The treasure number for this fragment is 2010.T36. For convenience, the text of the original report on this High Laver hoard is given in the appendix below. It has further details of the hoard, including a bibliography.

Description and Condition The fragment weighs 12.02 grammes and is a flat plate measuring 37.8 millimetres by 21.2 millimetres. It is 2.7 millimetres thick, rising to 3.4 millimetres at the single straight rib on one of the surfaces. None of the original edge is present. Its existing edges are rounded from corrosion and the surface bears every indication (light scratches, abrasion of the patina) that the item had been circulating in the soil for some time.

Identification and Date

Items like this are described here as plate scrap, although we have no real clues as to the correct identification. Plate scrap of this kind is a component of Wilburton period hoards from Britain and the mainland of Europe (Burgess 1969, 37), although it is never common. There were sixteen fragments in the County Roscommon (Republic of Ireland) hoard but as the hoard is unique for Ireland there is a possibility that it might be a modern import from overseas (Eogan 1983, 49, 325 nos 20-21). The Syon Reach (London) hoard had seventeen fragments (Needham and Burgess 1980, 443, 445; Needham 1987, 120, fig.5.15 nos 4-18; Cotton and Green 2005, fig.12 nos 4-18 & 31). The largest single cache of this scrap plate known to the writer comes from the Essex hoard of Broxted I (Treasure Number 2008.T589) where thirty-one fragments were present.

The Relationship of the Plate Scrap with the Dispersed Hoard Late Bronze Age metalwork of Wilburton type - including plate scrap of the kind we have here - is dated c. 1120-1040 BC. (Needham et al. 1998, 82, 90). Material from the High Laver I hoard already reported included artefacts of the c. 1040-800 BC Ewart Park phase of the late Bronze Age. Clearly the scrap plate is earlier than the other material, but (assuming it was not a stray find unconnected with the hoard) Bronze Age hoards often have material with disparate dates and it must remain a distinct possibility that this scrap is part of the original hoard, particularly as such plate is only otherwise known from hoards. On balance, it would be justified to treat the find as potential treasure and as part of the late Bronze Age hoard from Little Laver.

Dr Paul R. Sealey, F.S.A.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Epping Forest District Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Donated to museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2010T36


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Exactly AD 1150
Date to: Circa AD 800

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 37.8 mm
Width: 21.2 mm
Weight: 12.02 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 24th October 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Laura McLean
Identified by: Laura McLean

Other reference numbers

Other reference: OEF 5927
Treasure case number: 2010T36

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Epping Forest (District)
To be known as: High Laver

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1000 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Epping Forest District Museum

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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