ESS-E46FD7: Bronze Age hoard

Rights Holder: The British Museum
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Rights Holder: The British Museum
CC License:

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Unique ID: ESS-E46FD7

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

Treasure Case 2011/T511: Bronze Age Hoard

1. Copper alloy faceted socketed axe class D1 (Needham 1990, 41) missing a fragment which comprised part of the collar. Round mouth. The collar is defined at the base by a small depression and curves outwards near the top. Crescent shaped bevelled blade with notches. Both surfaces have faceted body angles that create and octagonal cross-section. Semi-circular loop with a roughly semicircular cross-section. Casting seams visible on both sides. Maximum Length: 103.48 mm, Maximum Width: 51.96 mm, Diameter of the socket: 36.86mm, Weight: 165.1 g

2. Copper alloy sword blade fragment broken on both ends with a midrib and bevelled edges which appear to have use wear marks. Lenticular cross-section showing the midrib. Maximum Length: 20.97 mm, Maximum Width 36.34 mm, Maximum Thickness: 6.73, Weight: 30.1 g

3. Copper alloy sword fragment broken on both ends comprising the upper part of the blade near the hilt. Biconvex cross-section. The blade edges are bevelled and extremely battered. Maximum Length: 51.70mm, Maximum Width: 38.31mm, Maximum Thickness: 9.62mm, Weight: 72.1g

4. Copper alloy socketed spearhead fragment broken on both ends missing the spearhead socket and the tip. One end has been crushed. The blade edges are bevelled and notched. Maximum Length: 51.90mm, Maximum Width: 41.47mm, Maximum Thickness: 14.64mm, Weight: 43.0 g

Discussion The hoard can be dated to the Wilburton/Ewart Park metalwork phase (c. 1100-800 BC) of the Late Bronze Age on the basis of the faceted socketed axe. The faceted socketed axe can be typologically classified as Class D1 (Needham 1990, 41). The sword fragment would also indicate this date range. Faceted socketed axes are found throughout Britain but are more concentrated in the south. They appear in certain hoards associated with Wilburton metalwork phase (c. 1100-1000 BC) such as the Haxey hoard, Lincolnshire (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 210-1). However, the majority of these axes derive from Ewart Park phase (c. 1000-800 BC) hoards such as the Petters hoard, Surrey (Needham 1990), the Grays Thurrock I hoard, Essex (Turner 2010) and several hoards in Suffolk (Pendleton 1999).

Conclusion The objects qualify as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act (1996) (Designation Order 2002).


Needham, S. (1990). The Petters Late Bronze Age metalwork: an analytical study of Thames Valley metalworking in its settlement context. London: British Museum Occasional Paper No 70.

Pendleton, C. (1999). Bronze Age metalwork in northern East Anglia: A study of its distribution and interpretation. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports 279.

Schmidt, P. & Burgess, C. (1981). The axes of Scotland and Northern England. Munich: Prahistorische Bronzefunde.

Turner L. (2010). A Re-interpretation of the Later Bronze Age Metalwork Hoards of Essex and Kent. Archaeopress: British Archaeological Reports (British Series) 507.

Report by: Mafalda Raposo (Volunteer) Ben Roberts (Bronze Age Curator) 22.12.2011

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2011T511


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1000 BC
Date to: Circa 800 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 4

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Laura McLean
Identified by: Laura McLean
Secondary identifier: Mr Ben Roberts

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2011T511

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: St. Edmundsbury (District)
To be known as: Near Risby, Suffolk

Spatial coordinates

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: ESS
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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