WILT-6B6CD4: Bronze Age arrowhead

Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
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Unique ID: WILT-6B6CD4

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

An incomplete copper alloy Bronze Age (1275-1140 BC) arrowhead, missing its tip and the ends of the barbs. There is a large crack where the tang joins the rest of the arrowhead, which has nearly split it into two parts.

Cast in a two piece mould, this arrowhead is barbed and tanged in form, with the two sides forming an angle of approximately 30 degrees. It is 41.50mm long (approximately 20mm of the original length is missing), 17.45mm wide from barb to barb, 3.20mm thick and weighs 5.46g. The tang is complete and measures c.22.90mm long, 8.20mm wide and 2.50mm thick. The arrowhead has a low mid rib, giving the object a lozengiform section. Much of the original surface survives with a dark green patina, but it is heavily scratched and pitted. The exposed surfaces are mid green in colour, but there are patches of red suggesting it was deposited in ground containing iron.

There is only one bronze arrowhead from a secure Bronze Age context in Britain and that was in the Penard hoard, first reported in Archaeologica 71, page 138. The Penard arrowhead also has a mid rib. At the time of its discovery it was a unique find in Britain and was presumed to be an import as there are numerous finds of bronze arrowheads recorded from Northern France.

However, thanks to an increase in the number of reported metal detected finds, Bronze Age bronze arrowheads are now growing in number, though they remain a rare group of artefact. Dr Colin Pendleton reports that Suffolk has 17 known examples, of which 5 can be termed barbed and tanged. Norfolk has at least 4 recorded and more examples are being added to the database from around the country. This suggests that bronze arrowheads were also a British tradition.

Though the barbed and tanged form was used in flint from the Early Bronze Age to the Middle Bronze Age, the evidence from Penard, which dates from 1275-1140 BC, suggests that copper alloy arrowheads did not come into fashion until later in the Middle Bronze Age. Therefore this is the suggested date range for this arrowhead.

A similar arrowhead albeit with a mid ridge on one side rather than a mid rib is ESS-A41D75.

Class: Barbed and tanged

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1275 BC
Date to: Circa 1140 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 41.5 mm
Width: 17.45 mm
Thickness: 3.2 mm
Weight: 5.46 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Alastair Willis
Identified by: Mr Alastair Willis

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SSWM 4203

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Teffont (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST9832
Four figure Latitude: 51.08731112
Four figure longitude: -2.02993243
1:25K map: ST9832
1:10K map: ST93SE
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

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WILT
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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