Rights Holder: Kent County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: PUBLIC-EC2A87

Object type certainty: Probably
Workflow status: Published Find published

A cast and slightly worn copper-alloy zoomorphic 'gaping mouth beast' buckle of 11th or very early 12th century date.

Description: The buckle is formed from a beast's head with a large gaping mouth and detail cast in relief. In cross-section the buckle is D-shaped. The head has blunt slightly rounded snout, round ears and large almond-shaped eyes with small partially drilled pupils and long sweeping eyebrows which end in a small upwards curl. The features at the mouth end of the head are less clear, with a number of curled interlaced elements, possibly denoting a mouth with teeth (if a lion or canine animal), a harness (if a horse) or whiskers (if a dog). The hollow of the buckle mimics the overall cross-section.

At the attachment end are two projecting pierced tabs through which a separate copper-alloy attachment bar has been inserted. The bar is obscured wth corrosion and dirt but remains intact, though slightly bowed and out of position, resting on the back of the frame. No evidence of a buckle pin remains. It is a mottled grey-brown colour with some patches of greener copper-alloy corrosion.

Measurements: Length: 35mm, Width: 14.66mm, Thickness: 1.89mm and Weight: 18.65g

Discussion: Gaping mouth beast buckles are a relatively rare group of objects, usually dated to the 12th century, with various possible animals represented, although none are yet known from sealed archaeological contexts (Rogerson and Ashley 2011, 299-302). While the overall functional form mirrors these 12th century examples, the artistic form is very much that of the Anglo-Scandinavian 11th century. An 11th to early 12th century date is therefore suggested.

Find of note status

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

Class: gaping mouth beast
Sub class: Type 2

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1000
Date to: Circa AD 1150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 35 mm
Width: 14.66 mm
Thickness: 1.89 mm
Weight: 18.65 g
Diameter: 15.2 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 10th July 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Richard Morrissey
Identified by: Mr Richard Morrissey
Secondary identifier: Mr Jo Ahmet

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)
District: Maidstone (District)
Parish or ward: Stockbury (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TQ8459
Four figure Latitude: 51.3003838
Four figure longitude: 0.63803686
1:25K map: TQ8459
1:10K map: TQ85NW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Rogerson, A. and Ashley, S. 2011 Some medieval gaping-mouth beast buckles from Norfolk and elsewhere Leeds Society for Medieval Archaeology

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: PUBLIC
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 10 months ago

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