SUSS-4C8491: Iron Age : Baldric ring

Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
CC License:


Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
CC License:

Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
CC License:

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BALDRIC

Unique ID: SUSS-4C8491

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

A late Iron Age baldric ring, which would have been used as part of the composite belt, used to hang a sword. It is also possible that this ring formed part of some other attachment, probably relative to a strap or harness/ bridle fitting. An exact parallel for this piece could not be found.
the ring consists of a core of iron (forming the shape of the ring). This iron ring has then been coated in a shell of high quality copper alloy, which has a shiny dark green patina. This shell has been broken open by the corrosion products and the layers of rust from the internal iron core. The core is pulling open the copper alloy shell and the iron has badly rusted. Tiny fragments of the copper alloy shell survive in the corrosion product of the iron, indicating that the iron has lifted the external surface.
Cast integrally to the ring is a copper alloy decorative feature which extends from a 12 o’clock position from the main ring. The terminal of this projection is shaped like a flower, with four petals. The flower measures (12.9 x 11.7mm). The artefact is 38.3mm in height (including the iron corrosion on the base of the ring) and approximately 27.7mm in width (again including the iron corrosion).
The flower ‘stud’ may have fitted into holes in leather in much the same way as a modern belt is held together. The baldric ring may have given the sword bearer a means of adjusting the length of the belt.

This artefact has been conserved by the conservators at the British Museum. Due to the fact that the iron is forcing the copper alloy shell open, rust layers from the iron ring needed to be removed in order to release the pressure on the shell. This process will continue as the iron will continue to push out. The artefact is being kept in a stable environment.

Four baldric rings have recently been found in West Sussex, the PAS record numbers are listed here:
SUSS-D82452
SUSS-4C9825
SUSS-4C8491
SUSS-913C68

The four baldric rings have all been donated to the British Museum by the finders and the landowners.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Donated to the British Museum (to be loaned out to local museum in Horsham)
Subsequent action after recording: Donated to a museum

Chronology

Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: IRON AGE
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: IRON AGE
Date from: Circa 150 BC
Date to: Circa AD 43

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 38.3 mm
Width: 27.7 mm
Thickness: 9.6 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 1st January 2004

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Liz Andrews-Wilson
Identified by: Mrs Liz Andrews-Wilson
Secondary identifier: Dr J.D. Hill

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: West Sussex (County)
District: Horsham (District)
To be known as: Sullington

Spatial coordinates


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

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Donated to the British Museum (to be loaned out to local museum in Horsham)
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Find number: SUSS-D82452
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUSS
Created: 14 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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