SOM-ED83D2: Medieval buckle

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-ED83D2

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

Medieval copper alloy buckle complete with frame, pin and plate all formed of copper alloy sheet. The frame is formed of a simple rectangular strip of thick copper alloy sheet bent into a C shape and used edge on. The outer (curved) edge comes to a slight point in the centre with a notch on the upper side for a pin rest. The ends are extended out at slightly converging angles and drilled to hold the seperate offset strap bar. The ends of the strap bar have been hammered flat to hold it in the drilled holes; they appear to possible be curled suggesting the strap bar is also made of a roll of copper alloy sheet but this is not clear as it is hidden by the plate.

The pin is formed of a separate piece of copper alloy sheet wrapped around the strap bar and tapers evenly in width from the strap bar to the point, the point is also thinned at the tip to make it sharper. The plate is also formed of a strip of copper alloy sheet folded in half over the strap bar. The corners are cut out at the fold to fit around the frame and there is a central slot for the pin. It tapers slightly in width towards the attachment end where the back plate is slightly shorter and the front plate has a central notch in it. There is a single, separate copper alloy rivet through the attachment end and traces of mineralised woven material remain between the plates, probably linen. It is 32.5mm long, 16.0mm wide and 5.5mm thick including the pin; it weighs 4.38 grams.

A few similar buckles are recorded on the database: SF-34E324, NMS-3B8FE2, NMS-E13256 and NMS-104CF2. Egan (2007:99) illustrates another possible example, no.725, although lacking its strap bar. He suggests "this unusual method of manufacture of the frame is a low technology one, which would have avoided the use of fixed plant as used in casting." He also illustrates a range of clasps made in the same way and, in the absence of excavated dated examples of the buckles, by parallel with the clasps suggests a late 14th to early 15th century date (ibid:100).

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Include in MedArch

Class: Thuaudet type C8

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1350
Date to: Circa AD 1450

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 32.5 mm
Width: 16 mm
Thickness: 5.5 mm
Weight: 4.38 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 4th April 2011

Personal details

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

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC 020819

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Hand made
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Zeals

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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