BH-CC67B7: Early-Medieval tweezers

Rights Holder: St. Albans District Council
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Unique ID: BH-CC67B7

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

A set of Early-Medieval copper-alloy tweezers.

An apex loop links two arms of equal form. Each of these arms is of 'D-shaped' section and has sides which bow inwards at the centre, flaring at either end. Their widest part is at the bottom, which is of unusual form, being rounded rather than the typical squared-off form, and not having had their points turned inwards. Another atypical feature is the use of two copper-alloy rivets to join the arms together at the top. Following the insertion of these circular-sectioned rivets, a simple geometric pattern, comprising a saltire flanked above and below by a pair of transverse grooves, has been incised into the upper surface of each arm. Above this join, the arms taper into the now-damaged loop, which is of thin, rectangular section, with evidence of wear the top. The aforementioned decoration continues above, filling the narrowing 'shoulder' which forms the junction between the arms and the loop. On one side, this decoration has been split into three panels, each separated from the next by a transverse groove. A series of vertical grooves fills the lowermost and middle panels, with transverse grooves in the uppermost. On the opposite side of the artefact, only the lower panel of vertical grooves is visible, although in this case a perimeter groove clearly extends parallel to each side of the shoulder.

Dimensions: length: 71.6mm; width at points: 6.1mm; width of loop: 11.5mm. Weight: 6.69g.

Although of unusual form, this would nevertheless appear to be a set of tweezers. The incised decoration is typical of tweezers of the Early-Medieval period and is paralleled on two published examples from the Ashmolean Museum's collection (see MacGregor and Bolick 1993: 224, nos. 38.15 and 38.16). The suggested date range for this piece is 5th to 7th century.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Date from: Circa AD 400
Date to: Circa AD 700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 71.6 mm
Width: 11.5 mm
Weight: 6.69 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 7th April 2013

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: Ver 13/63 - 1

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hertfordshire (County)
District: North Hertfordshire (District)
To be known as: Kelshall

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
MacGregor, A. and Bolick, E. 1993 A summary catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon collections (non-ferrous metals), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Oxford Tempvs Reparatum

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BH
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 9 years ago

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