SUSS-C234F1: Early Medieval Frankish Bird Brooch

Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
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Unique ID: SUSS-C234F1

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

An incomplete cast copper-alloy Early Medieval zoomorphic brooch, probably of Merovingian (i.e. Frankish) origin or possibly an English imitation, dating to c. 6th century AD. The brooch depicts the body of a bird in profile, with a hooked beak, narrow head, oval-shaped body and triangular tail, with a thicker segment to the lower body indicating legs. Areas of the bird are raised to emphasise particular detail such as the englarged singular circular eye, the perimeter edge of the beak and body and the entire triangular tail; these areas are covered in small incised dots, creating texture. Other areas are recessed such as the beak itself and the interior area of the body, which is further decorated with three sets of incised lines following the shape of the body, with an additional recessed pointed oval centre. All recessed areas are covered in gilding, with traces of gilding on raised surfaces as well, especially in some of the incised dots. The reverse is flat and undecorated with an intact copper-alloy catchplate and hinge pin mechanism; the hinge holds some of the iron pin still intact and there is a large degree of iron corrosion in this area, spilling over onto the outer surface of the brooch near the tail of the bird. The brooch measures 35.3mm long,13.3mm wide, 2.6mm thick and weighs 4.7grams.

Similar brooches have been recorded onto the PAS database; cf.: SUR-791CE8 and SF-3100F5.

Class: bird

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Frankish
Date from: Circa AD 500
Date to: Circa AD 600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 35.3 mm
Width: 13.3 mm
Thickness: 2.6 mm
Weight: 4.7 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 3rd November 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Stephanie Smith
Identified by: Miss Stephanie Smith
Secondary identifier: Ms Liz Walker

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Iron
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: West Sussex (County)
District: Arun (District)
Parish or ward: Patching (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TQ0908
Four figure Latitude: 50.86124618
Four figure longitude: -0.45261208
1:25K map: TQ0908
1:10K map: TQ00NE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
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

No references cited so far.

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Find number: SUR-791CE8
Object type: BROOCH
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUSS
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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