BERK-783763: Iron Age Mount: Anthropomorphic bucket mount

Rights Holder: Oxfordshire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Oxfordshire County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: BERK-783763

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A cast copper alloy anthropomorphic bucket mount, dating to the late Iron Age and of some rarity. The mount consists of a hollow cast humanoid face, probably male, wearing a horned head-dress. Hair appears to be represented over the brow. The facial features are depicted in plain detail, including the chin, beneath which the head narrows into the beginnings of a neck before it terminates. The human head is elongated and narrows continuously into the rounded neck terminus. The reverse of the head is hollow. The horns of the head-dress protrude outwards from the head before bending down and round back in towards the face; much reminiscent of cattle horns. A large and thick suspension loop protrudes from the top of the head. Interestingly, the reverse of the bucket mount retains some of the actual vessel. This is also made from a copper alloy, a thin sheet which is bent over at the top to form the rim, which is decorated with two or three moulded lines, presumably extending around the circumference. The mount is secured to the vessel by way of two quite substantial copper alloy rivets, the ends of which extend through the horns of the head-dress. The tips of the rivets are visible on the outside of the horns. There is also a groove behind the suspension loop, into which the rim of the vessel fits. The smooth reverse edges of the outward-curving mount suggest that the vessel would have curved outwards too, at least at its upper extents. The mount is suffering from active corrosion, causing pitting on all surfaces.

This bucket mount is one of only a handful to exhibit human representations from late Iron Age Britain, and as such is a rare and important discovery.

Other well provenanced examples include pairs of mounts from Welwyn (Hertfordshire), Aylesford and Alkham (both Kent) and a singleton from Thealby (Lincolnshire) (Powell 1966, 225; James & Rigby 1997, fig.19; Jope 2000, pl. 182i). There is also a poorly recorded example from the 'River Ribble' thought to have been found at Ribchester (Lancashire) (MacGregor 1976, ref. 316). All these mounts are dated to the early first century AD. James, S. & Rigby, V. 1997. Britain and the Celtic Iron Age, figure 19; Jope, E. M. 2000. Early Celtic Art in the British Isles, plate 182i; MacGregor, M. 1976. Early Celtic Art in North Britain, ref. 316); and Powell, T. G. E. 1966. Prehistoric Art, page 225.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: National importance

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: IRON AGE
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: IRON AGE
Date from: Circa
Date to: Circa AD 43

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 62 mm
Width: 57 mm
Thickness: 27 mm
Weight: 113.5 g
Diameter: 23 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 25th August 2012

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Anni Byard
Identified by: Miss Anni Byard

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 2012.256

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Figurative
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: South Oxfordshire (District)
To be known as: Wallingford area

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 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: BERK
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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