PUBLIC-2E9A21: PUBLIC-2E9A21 AS Brooch

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Unique ID: PUBLIC-2E9A21

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A fragment of a copper-alloy early Anglo-Saxon wide equal-arm brooch. The fragment is almost half of the brooch (most of one 'arm' and about half of the bow) but as there is no trace of either pin lug or catchplate on the undecorated reverse, it is impossible to tell whether this is the head or the foot.

The surviving head or foot has a wide edge decorated with two lines of punched indentations giving a beaded effect. The corners are both missing; one appears to have broken at a possible drilled hole, perhaps an ancient repair.

The double line of punched indentations is also found along the tapering edges of the head or foot, and appears to extend onto the bow, although the bow is less well preserved. In the centre of the head or foot, two grooves (V-shaped in cross-section) emerge from the centre of the bow and curl outwards to form two opposing scrolls or spirals. An irregular line of smaller punched dots runs between and divides at the top into two lines, form a Y shape. The space outside the scrolls is filled on each side with a chip-carved triangular indentation with three broad facets.

The bow is angled up to a flat top which is broken across; the breaks are old and worn. Apart from the double line of punched indentations clearly visible on one edge, any other decoration is difficult to see or understand.

Dimensions are: width 22.68 mm, length 18.49 mm and it is 1.93 mm thick. The fragment weighs 3.41g. Overall condition is good with an even light green patina and no live corrosion.

The small size and lack of fixing on the reverse may argue that this is merely a small fragment of (probably) a headplate, with the area with the pin lug(s) having broken away along a straight edge of punchmarks.

Early Anglo-Saxon wide equal-arm brooches tend to have either punched decoration or chip-carved (although compare the possible equal-arm fragment ESS-322D11) and this brooch, which combines both, is a bit of an oddity. It joins a small group of similar brooches on the PAS database (SF-F10E65, NLM-947158, SUR-E536A3, SF-770321, NMS-647B60, NMS-399705, KENT-109B46, FASW-948D00 and perhaps SF1571) but is not quite like any of them. It has affinities with the Sahlenburg group on the Continent (Bruns 2003, 19-20), with beaded decoration on the edges of the plate and pairs of scrolls in the centre. Bruns (2003,32) dates the Sahlenburg type to the first half of the 5th century.

Class: wide equal arm

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 400
Date to: Circa AD 450

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 18.49 mm
Width: 22.68 mm
Thickness: 1.93 mm
Weight: 3.41 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 12th October 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Clive Nobbs
Identified by: Mr Clive Nobbs
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Other reference numbers

Other reference: PastfindersI

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Fragment

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: East Sussex (County)
District: Lewes (District)
To be known as: Near Lewes

Spatial coordinates

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: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth less than 0.25 m

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: ESS-322D11
Object type: BROOCH
Description: The find consists of the gilded silver head-plate and half of the bow of what appears to be either an early form of Germanic equ…
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Find number: DENO-21EE96
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Fragment of a bow brooch, heavily cast in low-grade silver alloy. Curved bow fragment decorated with arches set inside rectangular frames. Mos…
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Find number: NMS-399705
Object type: BROOCH
Fragment of Early Anglo-Saxon wide equal-armed brooch heavily modified by heat. A single pin or pin bar lug on the reverse shows that this is …
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: PUBLIC
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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